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09-21-2009, 01:52 PM
seventieslord's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Very fair question. Actually, Delvecchio has an excellent reputation for being a two-way player.
I believe he does as well. But in all my reading and research, the quotes about Ullman's non-scoring skills are much more abundant than those about Delvecchio.

I think hockey sense is the biggest difference for me. Delvecchio might be the smartest forward that we haven't added yet. That includes guys like Lach, Blake, Francis and Doug Bentley, who were all very, very cerebral players.
We weren't around to see these guys play live. Yes, we've all seen a few games on NHL Network and stuff, but can you just watch a handful of black and white games and come to the conclusion that Delvecchio is so much smarter than Ullman?

He's better in the playoffs. He's close to a point-per-game in the playoffs, even though his best days were in the Original 6. And he was much more consistent in the playoffs than Ullman.
This is true. Although Ullman had 4 15-point playoffs to Delvecchio's one, Alex was overall better and more consistent in the postseason.

And Delvecchio probably had one of the most remarkable careers in NHL history. Here's a guy who was a tremendous hockey player for a lot of years in the Original 6. And even though he was a key player almost from the moment he entered the league, he was an offensive catalyst in the show at an age when most former players are well into retirement. He turned 40 midway through his final season. He still managed 71 points in 77 games, and a plus six, for Detroit.
Ullman had similar numbers in his last full great season, at age 38. Is there really much of a difference between the two? He also had a remarkable career in terms of longevity and consistency. Only Howe, Gretzky, and Beliveau have more combined top-10 finishes in goals and assists than Ullman. All top-10 players. (He's tied for 4th with Hull, Esposito, Cook, Jagr, Lemieux, Lindsay, and Dionne, all long since voted in, most in the top-30.)

He's a guy who, if he would have played his peak years after expansion, would have absolutely torn the league apart.
I believe this is true, but couldn't the same be said of Ullman?

Ullman was the better goal-scorer and the more physical player. And if you're one of those who puts more weight on goal-scoring than playmaking, then you might have Ullman ahead. But I regard Delvecchio as the better player.

For what it's worth, I have Sid Abel ahead of Ullman, too.
No doubt that he's a great player too. But Abel's offensive resume, despite being boosted by Howe, is meagre compared to Ullman's. Is his two-way and physical game really enough to make up for that?

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