Thread: Bryan Trottier
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08-27-2010, 04:17 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Giving Guy Lafleur credit for Steve Shutt's success is absolute nonsense. During the first round of the 1974 playoffs against the New York Rangers, Scotty Bowman put together a line which had Henri Richard at center, Steve Shutt at LW, Claude Larose at RW although Cournoyer would double shift at times. Guy Lafleur - third year in the league, was basically the 10th or 11th forward:

The results are available for all to see in the playoff section of the above. Shutt lead the Canadiens in scoring while old Henri Richard was 3rd. Guy Lafleur contributed 1 assist in 6 games, game 6 playing with Richard and Shutt. Boxscores available via the HSP.

Basically this was Steve Shutt's break thru moment. Also playing with Henri Richard he quickly learned about effort, defense and the proper way of playing hockey. Other than one assist Guy Lafleur contributed very little to the emergence of Steve Shutt.
The Habs also got removed in the first round by NYR in 6 games. A rather small sample to go by even if Shutt did play well. But it's funny how you stop right at 1974. With Lafleur, Shutt had a 60, 49, 47 and 45 goal season. Plus he peaked at 105 points in 1977. We don't have any evidence of how Shutt would have fared in his prime without Lafleur but there is clear evidence that once Lafleur's gave started to slip away after 1980 that Shutt's production did likewise. He was 28 years old, not old. Shutt was a fine player in his own right and I have never had a problem with him being in the HHOF but he did hit the jackpot.

So the two main influences in Steve Shutt's NHL career were two centers - Henri Richard and Jacques Lemaire supported by the BIG 3 on defense who appreciated how his little game facilitated the transition and puck movement. Replace Guy Lafleur with a healthy Yvan Cournoyer and Steve Shutt also makes the HHOF.
So an aging Cournoyer who is in his 30s by now would have made as big of an impact on Shutt as Lafleur? This is not possible. Cournoyer again is a guy I promote as a legit HHOFer but even in his prime he was never Lafleur. Maybe 1972 is his best year, but even then he's miles behind Lafleur in his prime, he just is. But you think an even older Cournoyer makes a bigger impact on Shutt if he replaces Lafleur in the latter part of the 1970s? Come on. Healthy or not Cournoyer was never Guy Lafleur.

Last edited by Big Phil: 08-27-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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