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02-01-2011, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I think the embarassing end of Coffey's career is the biggest reason for this strange perception of him. Articles like this one are much better remembered by most posters around here than the glowing stuff that was printed about Coffey during his prime. I mean...look at this:

Ouch. At it's true: the latter part of Coffey's career was pretty disgraceful, and he was often an ugly player once he lost his wheels. Because he gambled so much, Coffey's recovery speed was a big part of his game. Once that went, he really should have hung 'em up. If Paul had retired after his years in Detroit, I think his reputation around here would be a lot better.

I definitely agree that Coffey needs the right kind of team around him, though. You do need to tweak your style a bit to accomodate what Coffey does best, and maybe that was the problem his ATD teams had in the smaller era when he was always a team's second pick, rather than its first. Here is a good article from 1987 about the Coffey trade to Pittsburgh that shows not only how highly Coffey was thought of, but also the problems he had in integrating with teams that weren't built for his style.

I think that piece puts Coffey's greatness, and the difficulty in accomodating that greatness, pretty well in perspective. Fletcher's quote that Coffey is one of only three impact players in the league (the other two obviously being Gretzky and Lemieux) and then the end of the article about his difficulties in integrating with a terrible Pittsburg all lines up.
I think you're right. The fact that he faded so badly his last few years really tainted people's perception of how amazing he was in his prime.

Kind of like XXXXXXX, everyone remembers the shell and forgets he was not always like that.

You put Coffey with anything resembling an all star center during his prime and then look out.

Last edited by BraveCanadian: 02-01-2011 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Whoops I forgot someone might not have thought of a hart trophy winner
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