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HF-MOTM Winner - Mar 08
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Daryl Shilling said:
Every generation has marginal players. Every league has them. Just because you're a marginal player in a 30 team league which draws from a much MUCH larger talent pool doesn't mean you're worse than a marginal player in a 12 team league that really only drew from one country.

Daryl
I agree but the standard of a 3-4th liner 50 years ago is much different than today. The standards were much higher and the best of the best got to play. If you look at players that almost made it 50 years ago and compare them to todays standards, I would bet that the majority of players from 50 years ago were better overall than the standards of today.
 

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hockeyboy14 said:
I agree but the standard of a 3-4th liner 50 years ago is much different than today. The standards were much higher and the best of the best got to play. If you look at players that almost made it 50 years ago and compare them to todays standards, I would bet that the majority of players from 50 years ago were better overall than the standards of today.
Consider how much better the training, conditioning, coaching, scouting, strategizing, teaching tools and equipment are today compared to 50 years ago.

Consider that the talent pool today is about 30 times larger than it was 50 years ago.

Consider the speed of the game today, only the very best of the best from 50 years ago could hope to compete in today's game.

Did you know that a lot of NHL players smoked back then? Can you imagine any NHLer today doing that? Guy Lafleur quite commonly had a smoke break between periods!

"Clear the Track Here Comes Shack". I'm afraid old Eddie wouldn't make waterboy on an NHL team today.
 

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What about the fact that times were much tougher back then. People always talk about how tough the players were back then and the league was trying to weed them out slowly throughout the years. The same players like Donald Brashear, Brian McGratton, etc. were what made the times back then tough. They were on NHL teams back then. You think every player back then was Gordie Howe, or some lesser form that could do everything? No, they had the players that are now supposed to be extinct in today's NHL.
 

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HF-MOTM Winner - Mar 08
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nhldave said:
Consider how much better the training, conditioning, coaching, scouting, strategizing, teaching tools and equipment are today compared to 50 years ago.

Consider that the talent pool today is about 30 times larger than it was 50 years ago.

Consider the speed of the game today, only the very best of the best from 50 years ago could hope to compete in today's game.

Did you know that a lot of NHL players smoked back then? Can you imagine any NHLer today doing that? Guy Lafleur quite commonly had a smoke break between periods!

"Clear the Track Here Comes Shack". I'm afraid old Eddie wouldn't make waterboy on an NHL team today.
I knew this was going to bit me in the butt, I was going to state what you said in your 2 first paragraphs, but I would have contradicted myself. I was going to mention the smoking thing but I knew someone would say it.

The equipment helps players of today, I do believe that it allows them to play better, but I question is it the technologies of today are making the player or is it the player that makes the player.

About the talent pool, I agree to a certain extent; back 50 years ago most people were in shape and most Canadians played hockey before anything else. Today the NHL has competition with other sports in Canada, meaning that alot of kids now are pursuing careers in NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL instead of the NHL. Also times change and so do the people, now kids are sitting back pursuing a NHL career on their PS2's instead of going out and playing the game. Also, not the best players get drafted. You may look back but alot of players such as Belfour, St.Louis, Cujo were never drafted and had great careers but that is only because, like you said there are so many people still wanting to play.

Would players from 50 years ago be able to play at the NHL today, I would say YES! Could you imagine players from 50 years ago with the medical treatments of today, Bobby Orr would have been playing another few years instead of having to retire, that I'm sure of! Like I said before the equipment players have now protect them is so well made that it can allow players to play longer than expected ( Messier, Yzerman).

Alot of people smoked back then but also, people didn't know the health issues that smoking can bring to a person. Trainers, if they knew what smoking did, would have never allowed players to do it.
 

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nhldave said:
Did you know that a lot of NHL players smoked back then? Can you imagine any NHLer today doing that? Guy Lafleur quite commonly had a smoke break between periods!
smoke break? lafleur used to chain smoke in the showers between periods. but did that mean the nhl was a less competitive league back then, or just that he was a phenomenal athlete? remember, mario chain smoked between periods as well before his cancer scare. and that was in the same 80's and early 90's gretzky-era nhl that is supposedly so superior to previous decades.
 

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pavelbure said:
smoke break? lafleur used to chain smoke in the showers between periods. but did that mean the nhl was a less competitive league back then, or just that he was a phenomenal athlete? remember, mario chain smoked between periods as well before his cancer scare. and that was in the same 80's and early 90's gretzky-era nhl that is supposedly so superior to previous decades.
It's one small example of how the standards were lower in the league then compared to today. The standards today are much higher then they were when Lafleur smoked in the showers and even when Mario was doing it too.

Players today are bigger, tougher, faster, dare I say even smarter?
 

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nhldave said:
It's one small example of how the standards were lower in the league then compared to today. The standards today are much higher then they were when Lafleur smoked in the showers and even when Mario was doing it too.

Players today are bigger, tougher, faster, dare I say even smarter?
Odd question but how do you smoke in the showers?
 

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prucha_for_mvp said:
Odd question but how do you smoke in the showers?
i can't tell if you're joking or not but, assuming you're not, these guys weren't smoking while showering. they just went to smoke where the showers are so the smoke would be away from the rest of the team.

joe sakic used to tell a story about lafleur being his first nhl roommate on the road. apparently, lafleur was nice to this 19 year old kid from burnaby and smoked in the bathroom, even though he was guy friggin' lafleur and could smoke anywhere he damn well pleased.
 

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No question Bobby Orr is the best besides Gretzky. Yes, I am a Bruins fan but believe me, there is no bias here. Look what Orr did in relatively little time. Basically he did what he did in 6-8 years because after that his knees were shot. His time in Chicago doesn't even count because he was just a shell of himself by that time. I love all the old greats, but Orr gets my vote because Howe, though an outstanding player,played 22 years to amass the points he did, Orr did it in about 8 years. An amazing player.
 
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I am not going to vote in this poll, due to the fact that I do not think that Gretzky was the best hockey player to ever play in the NHL. Infact, on my list he's third. I believe that Bobby Orr was the greatest of all time. Not only did he put up exceptional numbers as a d-man, he was a solid checker, and never slacked off when he was defending. Lemieux is third on my list. Yes Gretzky has alot more points, goals, and assists, but Lemieux's carrier was injury plagued. I believe that if he had played as many games as Gretzky, he would have more goals, and would be much closer to Gretzky's total tally of points. Plus Lemieux was physical, he hit, he faught, and never really needed to be protected by an enforcer.
Hey, I'm not saying that Gretzky was am overrated player, he wasn't, he was awesome, but I strongly believe that Lemieux and Orr were a bit better and more complete as a hockey player.
 

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bert2nazzy said:
I am not going to vote in this poll, due to the fact that I do not think that Gretzky was the best hockey player to ever play in the NHL. Infact, on my list he's third. I believe that Bobby Orr was the greatest of all time. Not only did he put up exceptional numbers as a d-man, he was a solid checker, and never slacked off when he was defending. Lemieux is third on my list. Yes Gretzky has alot more points, goals, and assists, but Lemieux's carrier was injury plagued. I believe that if he had played as many games as Gretzky, he would have more goals, and would be much closer to Gretzky's total tally of points. Plus Lemieux was physical, he hit, he faught, and never really needed to be protected by an enforcer.
Hey, I'm not saying that Gretzky was am overrated player, he wasn't, he was awesome, but I strongly believe that Lemieux and Orr were a bit better and more complete as a hockey player.
Umm...when did Lepew fight or throw hits?

I think the fact that he didn't play as many games as Gretzky is a huge argument against Lemieux for being better than Gretzky. People point to Lemieux's PPG Avg as the big selling point as to why he's better, but stretch his career out over 19 years and it wouldn't be above 2 either.

What would Gretzky's numbers have been like had Suter not destroyed his back in that Canada Cup?

Gretzky's numbers speak for themselves. 137 points as a rookie. Fastest to 500 goals. He did it in 575 games. 50 goals in 39 games. The only player to score more than 200 points in a season, and he did that 4 times. More career assists than anyone else has total points. I mean think about that. Take his almost 900 goals away and the guy is still the all time leading scorer.

And don't give me the same old tired argument about Gretzky's supporting cast. Gretzky made those guys better. None of them came close to the offensive achievements AW that they managed while playing with Gretzky.
 
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gordfish said:
Umm...when did Lepew fight or throw hits?

I think the fact that he didn't play as many games as Gretzky is a huge argument against Lemieux for being better than Gretzky. People point to Lemieux's PPG Avg as the big selling point as to why he's better, but stretch his career out over 19 years and it wouldn't be above 2 either.

What would Gretzky's numbers have been like had Suter not destroyed his back in that Canada Cup?

Gretzky's numbers speak for themselves. 137 points as a rookie. Fastest to 500 goals. He did it in 575 games. 50 goals in 39 games. The only player to score more than 200 points in a season, and he did that 4 times. More career assists than anyone else has total points. I mean think about that. Take his almost 900 goals away and the guy is still the all time leading scorer.

And don't give me the same old tired argument about Gretzky's supporting cast. Gretzky made those guys better. None of them came close to the offensive achievements AW that they managed while playing with Gretzky.
Gordo, Lemieux was alot more physical than Gretzky. While I was reading your post, the raw stats that you have brought to my attention cannot be over-looked. You say that Lemieux would not have been able to keep his PPG througout his entire career. That could be true, but I don't think that his point totals would have dropped so drasticly, that his PPG would be significantly less. I mean look when he came out of retirement...The guy was smoking everybody in the points race, until he got injured, and it still took something like 2 weeks for the next guy to catch up to him. No one will ever know what would have happened if Lemieux played as many games as Gretzky, but I bet you that he would be alot closer to Gretzky's point totals.

As for Gretzky's linemates...yes I agree with you that he made them better, but don't you think that they might have helped also? I mean, Kurri did not become one of the greatest ever European hockey player, just becaue Gretzky was playing with him. Sure Gretzky helped him alot, but I also feel that Kurri had alot to contribute with Gretzky's success.
 

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nhldave said:
IMO there is no question Bobby Orr was not only the greatest defenseman of all time he may well have been the greatest player of all time, even better than Gretzky.

He was a defenseman who owned the Norris Trophy AND won the scoring championship, not once but twice, beating out such notables as team mate Phil Esposito and Guy Lafleur.

Gretzky could never have accomplished that feat.
They really should rename the Trophy. When it comes to forwards, people still argue whether it was Gretz, Mario, Howe, etc. Theres still a debate.

Mention defensemen, its unanimous. Orr 0wNz j00.
 

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bert2nazzy said:
Infact, on my list he's third. I believe that Bobby Orr was the greatest of all time. Not only did he put up exceptional numbers as a d-man, he was a solid checker, and never slacked off when he was defending. Lemieux is third on my list. Yes Gretzky has alot more points, goals, and assists, but Lemieux's carrier was injury plagued. I believe that if he had played as many games as Gretzky, he would have more goals, and would be much closer to Gretzky's total tally of points. Plus Lemieux was physical, he hit, he faught, and never really needed to be protected by an enforcer.
Hey, I'm not saying that Gretzky was am overrated player, he wasn't, he was awesome, but I strongly believe that Lemieux and Orr were a bit better and more complete as a hockey player.
Honestly, if you substitute the Orr for Hull, then I couldn't have said it better myself. And Gordo, Lemiuex has been in quite a few scraps over the year. Lots of them were when he was young however. :0pouce:

BTW: Bert, how can Gretzky and Lemiuex be third on your list? ;) :haha:
 

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Crazy Roy Fan said:
Honestly, if you substitute the Orr for Hull, then I couldn't have said it better myself. And Gordo, Lemiuex has been in quite a few scraps over the year. Lots of them were when he was young however. :0pouce:

BTW: Bert, how can Gretzky and Lemiuex be third on your list? ;) :haha:
I'm sorry, but you guys are just nuts ;) . I'm curious. Are either of you old enough to remember having seen Gretzky play in his prime?

Take a poll among NHLers who is better and I'd bet it would be 1500 to 1 in favour of Gretzky. And take a wild guess who the '1' would be.

Gretzky did things I've never seen anyone do. No-look tape to tape passes. Little stick checks at just the right moment. And he could throw the puck around like a hockey ball. And he was so freaking small and skinny, I kept expecting someone to break him in half one night.

He had this habit of finding open ice like no one I've ever seen. Here he was shattering all kinds of offensive records on a nightly basis...how the hell could he get so open? I don't know how many times I yelled that at my TV in the 80s.

It was like everyone else was moving just that much slower to him. He knew what was going to happen before it happened. He did it so much it was spooky.

Here's a kid that wasn't very big, at 18 could be beat up a by 12 year old cheerleader, didn't have a mean bone in his body, couldn't skate overly well, didn't have the hardest slapshot or quickest wrist shot. But at the age of 14 he was making grown men look stupid on the ice.

Orr was the closest I've seen to him. He could dominate the game like that too, but in more direct ways. Orr had size, speed, was tough and mean and could shoot the puck.

Nothing anybody ever says can convince me that Lemieux was anywhere near these two. Beliveau was better than Lemieux. So was Howe. So was Maurice Richard.
 
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Crazy Roy Fan said:
Honestly, if you substitute the Orr for Hull, then I couldn't have said it better myself. And Gordo, Lemiuex has been in quite a few scraps over the year. Lots of them were when he was young however. :0pouce:

BTW: Bert, how can Gretzky and Lemiuex be third on your list? ;) :haha:
Sorry, I ment, Orr first, lemieux 2nd, and Gretzky 3rd:haha: ;)
 
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