ATD10/MLD10/AAA10/Double-A The Undrafted Players Thread (arguably Top-1000 All Time)
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04-05-2009, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
The Third Line
LW Val Fonteyne
- Val Fonteyne is commonly known as the cleanest player in NHL history. He amassed only 26 PMs in 820 games. His 229 points are decent, but nothing special. He excelled defensively, however. “Players” says he was used primarily in a defensive role and for penalty killing. LOH.net says
” solid two-way player whose unselfish approach to the game earned him the respect of his teammates…hard-working… consistent performer…”
Joe Pelletier describes him as
” speedy left winger who specialized in defensive play and especially penalty killing. On many nights he was unnoticeable to the fans, but his teammates and opponents sure appreciated his thankless play”
. Fonteyne went to the finals in 1961, 1963, and 1966 with Detroit. He would make an excellent 3rd line winger.
C Rudy Migay
- A great defensive center who played 418 NHL games. He also was not without his talent, though. He was able to put in 151 points in the NHL, and was a top AHL scorer too. He didn’t get to play much in the playoffs, as he was with the Leafs in the lean 50’s. “Players” says he was mostly a penalty killer with Ron Stewart, and was a taut, small player who was tenacious and hardworking. According to LOH.net,
” What Rudy Migay lacked in size, he more than made up for in speed and natural puck handling skills”
He was even good enough to get into the 1957 All-Star game. That season he had 35 points in 66 games.
RW Bill Hicke
- Hicke was a fast right winger who had a lot of skill, just not enough to make an impact on a scoring line with the powerful Habs of the 1960’s when he broke in. By the time he had played 51 NHL games, he was a two-time cup winner. LOH.net explains how he was lost in the numbers game in Montreal:
” Naturally there was little Hicke could do to fulfill such expectations. He simply took advantage of the limited ice time he could steal away. During his six and a half seasons with the club, he did manage to score a modestly respectable number of points each year.”
He played in three All-Star games and, aided by expansion, played 729 games, scoring 402 points.
The fourth line
LW Harold “Baldy” Cotton
- If we consider all the players mentioned in this thread as draft picks, then Baldy Cotton is roughly the 1400th pick in the draft. That would make him the steal of the draft, it’s safe to say. I’m kinda embarrassed to have forgotten about this founding Maple Leaf for so long. How obscene has his overlooking been? In the beautifully done book “Maple Leaf Legends”, Cotton is one of 90 Leaf figures from the 20’s to 2004 profiled, but one of only three (along with Gary Leeman and Todd Gill) not yet drafted/mentioned. In Mike Leonetti’s “Maple Leafs Top 100”, Cotton (#68) is one of five top-100 members not yet selected/mentioned, the others being Leeman (63), Bill Derlago (75), Gill (84), and Brian Glennie (93). Cotton scored 101 goals and 204 points in 503 games. This makes him
the 30th-highest scoring player during his career
, and all the rest of the top-43 on that list have been selected. He was once in the top-15 in goals, and also was 7th in assists in 1931, and was in the top-20 another time. He also had a very respectable 13 points in 43 playoff games during those low scoring playoffs of the 30s. He won one cup in two trips to the finals with the Leafs. Those are pretty good offensive credentials at this point. But his true value is in his overall play, his 4th line mentality. Here’s what it says about him in “Legends”:
”Smythe willingly paid the high figure because he was sure he was getting a gutsy player… he made a strong contribution as a persistent checker and solid penalty killer…although he was 5’10” and only 155 pounds, he was fearless and very willing to mix it up. He hurled his body around the ice and took plenty of spills as a result. On one occasion he got carried away and challenged referee Cooper Smeaton to a fight, but was talked out of it. Another time, when Cotton learned that a Leafs-Bruins playoff game was going to be stopped because no one could score, he blurted out, ‘Nobody is going to call this game!’ That was the spirit Smythe was looking for when he acquired the feisty Cotton…”
He was a great locker room guy, too, according to “The Leafs: the First 50 Years” :
His infectious sense of humour is still remembered by all who met him.
I would not hesitate to make Cotton a 3rd or 4th liner in an MLD.
C/LW/RW Jiri Hrdina
- Hrdina didn’t get to the NHL full-time until he was 30, but he had already represented the Czechs in nine international tournaments (he would represent them in one more), winning a gold, three silvers, and a bronze. He scored 43 points in 60 games in these tournaments. He also finished 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th in the Czech league in scoring during this time. When he got to the NHL, he managed to score 130 points in 250 games, quite respectable for a 30-year old coming over from Europe. In fact, you might be surprised to hear that Hrdina was 11th in
scoring by players 31 and older during his time in the NHL.
Mullen, Stastny, Makarov, Wilson, Taylor, Tonelli, Gartner, Smail, Trottier, and Federko topped him. But his true value is in his overall ability and versatility. He was a center in the NHL, a RW in Sparta, and a LW for the Czech Nationals. He had the talent to play a scoring role, but the defensive acumen and attitude to be merely a bit part in a winning machine, as he was in three Stanley Cup wins in 1989, 1991, and 1992. From LOH.net:
” Joining the NHL at the age of 30, Jiri Hrdina could hardly expect to become a star. The best he could do was to play in such a way as to please himself and his club…In Calgary and later in Pittsburgh, he was not among the key figures on the team. He was biding his time as an underrated defensive forward. But he did work successfully with some of the young Czech players who needed guidance. In the summer of 1990 the Penguins drafted a young man by the name of Jaromir Jagr in the first round. Jagr was 18 and felt quite lost in his new environment. Hrdina the experienced compatriot stuck by him to get him through the worst of it… In 1991 and 1992 when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup title twice, the team was being pulled along by Mario Lemieux. But Jiri Hrdina was once again an integral part of the lineup. For a while it seemed that any NHL team who hired him was assured of a Stanley Cup victory.”
From Kings Of the Ice:
”Everything that he achieved was from his own hard work.”
RW/LW Colin Patterson
- A fine defensive player who could also chip in on offense. I’m pretty sure he was a real-life linemate of Hrdina’s for a couple of seasons. Interestingly, he played one more game and scored one more point than his fantasy linemate on the left side, Baldy Cotton. (205 in 504) He was a Selke finalist in 1989, when he posted 38 points and a +44, which was 3rd in the league. He followed this up with a Cup win in the playoffs, finishing 7th on the Flames with 13 points and 3rd with a very impressive +10 rating. Two years earlier his defensive excellence was recognized again when he was 12th in Selke voting. Patterson made the playoffs every season and played a ton of playoff games for just a 9-year career – 85 in total – and he scored 29 points, helping his teams advance past the first round five times. Aside from his 1989 Cup win, he went to the Finals with the Flames in 1986. LOH.net says,
” he established himself as a defensive specialist…rarely strayed from his defensive role”
. Any championship team needs a couple honest, conscientious players like Patterson.
Last edited by seventieslord: 04-18-2009 at
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