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09-13-2009, 05:56 PM
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Hockey Outsider
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Player Intangibles - resource

Here’s a resource that will hopefully make it easier for us to document and analyze players’ intangibles. Over the past few days, Canadiens Fan has done a great job digging up surveys of NHL coaches from the early 1970s to mid 1980s. In addition, BM67 posted a players' survey from 1981. I wanted to summarize the data and put it all in one place to make it easier to build a case for (or against) a player in future editions of the All-Time Draft and Top 100 project.

I didn't include every category in the surveys CF and BM67 posted, I was mostly interested in the categories that describe specific physical skills ("hardest shot", "fastest skater") or abilities ("best on faceoffs", "best bodychecker"). Here are the results for every player who appears in at least two categories.

If anybody can find similar surveys from this era, let me know.

I've added my thoughts on a few players. Comments are welcome.

BARCLAY PLAGER

Best bodychecker T-1st 1971
Best bodychecker 1st 1974

BARRY BECK

Hardest hitter 1st 1981
Hardest shot 4th 1979
Toughest player 3rd 1979

BARRY PEDERSON

Best on faceoffs 3rd 1984
Best passer 2nd 1984

BILL WHITE

Best defensive defenseman 1st 1974
Best defensive defenseman 2nd 1976

BOB GAINEY

Best backchecker 1st 1981
Best bodychecker 3rd 1979
Best checker 3rd 1976
Best defensive forward 1st 1979
Best defensive forward 1st 1981
Best defensive forward 3rd 1984
Best forechecker 2nd 1981
Best penalty killer 1st 1979
Best skater 3rd 1979

BOBBY CLARKE

Best backchecker 3rd 1981
Best checker 1st 1974
Best checker 1st 1976
Best defensive forward 2nd 1981
Best forechecker 1st 1981
Best on faceoffs 2nd 1974
Best on faceoffs 1st 1976
Best on faceoffs 1st 1979
Best on faceoffs 1st 1981
Best on faceoffs 4th 1984
Best penalty killer T-1st 1974
Best penalty killer 1st 1976
Best playmaker 3rd 1974
Best playmaker 1st 1976
First player to build team around 1st 1976
Hardest worker 1st 1971
Hardest worker 1st 1974
Hardest worker 1st 1976
Hardest worker 1st 1979
Hardest worker 2nd 1984
Smartest player 3rd 1974
Smartest player 2nd 1976
Smartest player 4th 1979

Clarke may have better intangibles than any Hall of Fame player, ever. He was routinely regarded as one of the league's smartest & hardest working players. He was an outstanding playmaker, faceoff winner, checker and penalty killer.

BOBBY HULL

Best shot 1st 1971
Hardest shot 1st 1971

BOBBY ORR

Best defensive defensemen T-1st 1971
Best playmaker 4th 1974
Best playmaker 4th 1976
Best shot 2nd 1971
Best shot 3rd 1974
Best skater 1st 1971
Best skater 1st 1974
Best skater 1st 1976
Best stickhandler 2nd 1971
Fastest skater 3rd 1976
First player to build team around 3rd 1976
Hardest shot 2nd 1971
Hardest shot 3rd 1974
Smartest player 1st 1971
Smartest player 2nd 1974
Smartest player 3rd 1976

Keep in mind that many people voted for Orr in 1976 even though injuries limited him to just 10 games that year. I realize I'm saying nothing new, but Orr had absolutely everything -- speed, stickhandling ability, playmaking ability, shooting ability intelligence, defensive play.

BORJE SALMING

Best defensive defenseman 2nd 1974
Best defensive defenseman 3rd 1979
Best passer 4th 1979
Best playmaker 4th 1979
Best skater 2nd 1979
Most natural ability 4th 1979

BRIAN SUTTER

Hardest worker 6th 1984
Toughest player 1st 1984

BRYAN TROTTIER

Best defensive forward 5th 1984
Best on faceoffs 1st 1984
Best passer 1st 1979
Best playmaker 1st 1979
Best stickhandler 2nd 1979
First player to build team around 2nd 1979
First player to build team around 3rd 1981
Hardest worker 5th 1984
Smartest player 2nd 1979
Smartest player 4th 1984

CLARK GILLIES

First player to build team around 4th 1979
Hardest hitter 3rd 1981

CRAIG RAMSAY

Best checker 4th 1976
Best defensive forward 3rd 1979
Best defensive forward 2nd 1984
Best penalty killer T-1st 1974
Best penalty killer 3rd 1976
Best penalty killer 2nd 1979

DAVE BURROWS

Best defensive defenseman 5th 1974
Best defensive defenseman 4th 1976

DAVE KEON

Best checker T-1st 1971
Best penalty killer 2nd 1971
Best skater 2nd 1971

DAVE "TIGER" WILLIAMS

Toughest player 2nd 1979
Toughest player 3rd 1984

DENIS POTVIN

Best bodychecker 3rd 1976
Best bodychecker 1st 1979
Best bodychecker 2nd 1984
Best defensive defenseman 3rd 1976
Best wrist-shot 2nd 1981
First player to build team around 2nd 1976
First player to build team around 3rd 1979
Hardest hitter 2nd 1981
Hardest shot 5th 1979
Most natural ability 3rd 1979

DENIS SAVARD

Best skater 2nd 1984
Best stickhandler 3rd 1984
Fastest skater 3rd 1984
Most natural ability 3rd 1984

DENNIS HULL

Hardest shot 1st 1974
Hardest shot 1st 1976

It runs in the family.

DEREK SANDERSON

Best on faceoffs 1st 1971
Best penalty killer 1st 1971

DON LUCE

Best checker 5th 1976
Best penalty killer 2nd 1976

DON MARCOTTE

Best defensive forward 2nd 1979
Best penalty killer 3rd 1979

DOUG JARVIS

Best bodychecker 4th 1974
Best defensive forward 1st 1984
Best on faceoffs 3rd 1976
Best on faceoffs 2nd 1979
Best on faceoffs 2nd 1981
Best on faceoffs 2nd 1984
Best penalty killer 4th 1979
Best penalty killer 1st 1984

ED WESTFALL

Best checker 3rd 1974
Best penalty killer 4th 1976

GILBERT PERREAULT

Best skater 2nd 1976
Best skater 5th 1984
Best stickhandler 2nd 1976
Best stickhandler 3rd 1979
Best stickhandler 1st 1981
Fastest skater 4th 1976
Most natural ability 2nd 1979
Most natural talent 2nd 1981

GUY LAFLEUR

Best passer 2nd 1979
Best playmaker 2nd 1979
Best shot 3rd 1976
Best shot 1st 1979
Best skater 1st 1979
Best slapshot 3rd 1981
Best stickhandler 4th 1976
Best stickhandler 1st 1979
Best stickhandler 3rd 1981
Fastest skater 1st 1979
First player to build team around 1st 1979
First player to build team around 2nd 1981
Most dangerous near goal 3rd 1976
Most dangerous near goal 3rd 1979
Most natural ability 1st 1979
Most natural talent 3rd 1981
Smartest player 4th 1976
Smartest player 1st 1979

JARI KURRI

Best defensive forward 6th 1984
Best shot 3rd 1984
Smartest player 6th 1984

JEAN RATELLE

Best playmaker 5th 1974
Smartest player 3rd 1979

JIM ROBERTS

Best checker 2nd 1974
Hardest worker 2nd 1971
Hardest worker 3rd 1976

LANNY MACDONALD

Best shot 3rd 1979
Hardest shot 1st 1979
Best wrist-shot 1st 1981

LARRY ROBINSON

Best bodychecker 2nd 1976
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1976
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1979
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1981
Best slapshot 2nd 1981

It's interesting that Robinson was named the league's best defensive blueliner three times. The consensus here seems to be that Savard was a bit better defensively. Perhaps that perception should change?

MARCEL DIONNE

Best hockey sense 2nd 1981
Best passer 3rd 1979
Best playmaker 2nd 1976
Best playmaker 3rd 1979
Best stickhandler 6th 1976
Best stickhandler 2nd 1981
Fastest skater 2nd 1976
Most dangerous near goal 4th 1976
Most dangerous near goal 2nd 1979
Smartest player 5th 1979

MICKEY REDMOND

Best shot 4th 1974
Best shot 4th 1976
Hardest shot 2nd 1974

MIKE BOSSY

Best shot 2nd 1979
Best shot 1st 1984
Most dangerous near goal 1st 1979
Most dangerous near goal 2nd 1984
Smartest player 3rd 1984

MIKE GARTNER

Best skater 4th 1984
Fastest skater 2nd 1984

PAUL COFFEY

Best skater 1st 1984
Most natural ability 5th 1984

PETE MAHOVLICH

Best penalty killer T-1st 1974
Best stickhandler 5th 1976

PETER STASTNY

Best passer 3rd 1984
Smartest player 2nd 1984

PHIL ESPOSITO

Best on faceoffs 3rd 1974
Best on faceoffs 3rd 1981
Best shot 3rd 1971
Best shot T-1st 1974
Best stickhandler 1st 1971
Most dangerous near goal 1st 1971
Most dangerous near goal 1st 1974
Most dangerous near goal 2nd 1976
Smartest player 2nd 1971
Smartest player 4th 1974

PIERRE LAROUCHE

Best playmaker 5th 1976
Best stickhandler 3rd 1976

REED LARSON

Best slapshot 1st 1981
Hardest shot 3rd 1979
Hardest shot 1st 1984

RICK MARTIN

Best shot T-1st 1974
Best shot 1st 1976
Hardest shot 4th 1974
Hardest shot 2nd 1976
Most dangerous near goal 2nd 1974
Most dangerous near goal 1st 1976

Martin suffered a knee injury in 1980, lost his incredible speed, and never recovered. He was a surefire Hall of Famer, I think. From his rookie season until 1980 he was 4th in the league (behind only Esposito, Dionne and Lafleur) in goal-scoring.

RICK MIDDLETON

Best defensive forward 4th 1984
Best penalty killer 2nd 1984
Best skater 3rd 1984
Best stickhandler 2nd 1984
Most dangerous near goal 3rd 1984
Most natural ability 4th 1984
Smartest player 5th 1984

Middleton was an underrated and under-appreciated complete player.

ROD LANGWAY

Best bodychecker 5th 1984
Best defensive defenseman 1st 1984

SCOTT STEVENS

Best bodychecker 1st 1984
Toughest player 2nd 1984

SERGE SAVARD

Best defensive defenseman 2nd 1979
Best defensive defenseman 2nd 1981

STAN MIKITA

Best on faceoffs 2nd 1971
Best on faceoffs 1st 1974
Best on faceoffs 2nd 1976
Best on faceoffs 3rd 1979
Best playmaker 1st 1974
Best playmaker 3rd 1976
Best stickhandler 1st 1976
Smartest player 1st 1974
Smartest player 1st 1976

TERRY O'REILLY

Best bodychecker 4th 1979
Hardest worker 2nd 1979
Hardest worker 3rd 1984
Toughest player 1st 1979
Toughest player 4th 1984

WALT TKACZUK

Best defensive forward 3rd 1981
Best penalty killer T-1st 1974
Hardest worker 2nd 1974

WAYNE GRETZKY

Best passer 1st 1984
Best hockey sense 1st 1981
Best penalty killer 3rd 1984
Best playmaker 1st 1984
Best shot 2nd 1984
Best stickhandler 1st 1984
First player to build team around 1st 1981
First player to build team around 1st 1984
Hardest worker 4th 1984
Most dangerous near goal 1st 1984
Most natural ability 1st 1984
Most natural talent 1st 1981
Smartest player 1st 1984

Nobody should be surprised to hear the Gretzky was smart and a great playmaker. I find it interesting that the coaches consider Gretzky an elite penalty killer and a hard worker. This is a good argument against the idiotic (but unfortunately common) suggestion that Gretzky was a one-dimensional floater.

YVAN COURNOYER

Best shot 4th 1971
Best skater 2nd 1974
Fastest skater 1st 1976


Last edited by seventieslord: 02-17-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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