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05-16-2005, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I have nothing against defensive players but, I think the voters look at it as they do not contribute to a team as much as a great offensive player. When you think about it, a player that is totally defensive and does not put up big numbers on offense, is really lacking a very important component of the game. A strictly defensive player is missing half his game.

Good offensive players, many times, play good defense as well. So, they are more complete players many times than guys who are strictly defensive or grinders.

That is why I believe a strictly defensive player must be GREAT defensively to be considered. They are missing half their game.

Those are my thoughts.
I can see your points and even agree with some of them. From the beginning all I was saying is that defensive players should get more consideration than they have been getting for some time. Everyone says defense wins cahmpionships, but apparently it doesn't get you into the HHOF.

I disagree that anyone can be taught to play great defense however. Good defense, yes, you're probably right there. But great defence, the kind that can shut down elite forwards is a very rare commodity. There are maybe a handful in the entire league at any one time. That speaks to certain talent for it, a mindset or ability that others do not have. Guys like Stevens, or Guy Carbonneau, or Doug Jarvis.

And the argument can be made that players who sacrifice everything for offense are also lacking a big part of the game. Not so much in the 80s or 90s, but certainly now. Young guys like Kovalchuk and Hemsky find themselves on the bench because of defensive deficiencies. Defensemen like Ozolinsh and Delmore are so one dimensional it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify their icetime. It goes both ways.

In the end I do agree with you in that like any offensive player, a defensive player MUST be great to be considered for the HHOF. I simply wish they had the chance to be considered. But the voting for the Norris and post-season All-Stars are so offensively-oriented that that is very unlikely to happen. I feel the HHOF is missing out on some worthy candidates if nothing else. Maybe if there were two trophies for defencemen (offesnive and defensive) it would give the selection committee more to look at. Certainly the Selkes will help the cases of some forwards.

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