Top 10 All-time Defensemen
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07-20-2009, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Originally Posted by
I'm not really putting a great emphasis on the awards and trophy voting and you know my preference for the Offensive game. Again, Eddie Shore is enigmatic in that I haven't seen him play at all, and many accounts of him have also not seen him play. The media on him is scarce is well, but from what I have read on him is that he was like a Denis Potvin type Player. I also have read quite a few accounts on Earl Seibert being almost at Shore's level. While there's no doubt in my mind that Shore is the best Defensemen of his era, I believe that he was not the best Player of his time (Howie Morenz, Frank Boucher, and Bill Cook for starters). Of course, the best information I have on it is a few newspaper articles along with stats and awards voting (which almost certainly were held to different standards than those of today) so the opinion is tenuous.
As for the other Defensemen, I'm fairly happy with Coffey's placement because I've seen enough of most of them (except for Doug Harvey and Red Kelly and Bobby Orr but their is still a ton more information about those two). I'm firmly convinced that Coffey was a better Player than Nick Lidstrom or Chris Chelios. Denis Potvin was a close one, I believe I once compared them and gave my reasons why I would take Coffey. Vyacheslav Fetisov though, is the one I recently changed my mind on (I used to slot him before Coffey because I had the impression that Fetisov had a better longevity than Coffey which upon closer examination I'm not as convinced of).
Again, to me, Coffey's play from 1983-1986 is second only to Orr among Defensemen (and not a distant second). Coffey has a great case to be considered as the second best Player behind Gretzky throughout that span and their are several attestations to that (I personally would consider him third after Jari Kurri).
Just some reading on how Coffey was regarded at the time:
Just because something is in print doesn't make it true.
From the first article:
"As an offensive defenseman, the 23-year-old Coffey can be compared to only one man in National Hockey League history -- Bobby Orr."
"But we have to remember one thing," Sather points out. "Orr was 20 years old when he came into the league. Paul is only 23, and he has been in the league for five years."
Orr came into the league at 18, won his first Norris at 19 and at 23 (his 6th season) had 2 Harts & 2 Conn Smythe Trophies.
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