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04-29-2011, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
1994 St Louis Post-Dispatch Coaches Poll, in conjunction with Beckett Hockey Magazine.
From the St Louis Post-Dispatch, May 7, 1994.
During the 1993-94 season, we asked the 26 head coaches in the NHL to give us their winner in 13 individual categories.
Coaches could not vote for members of their team.
Every coach participated. One note: The Edmonton answers were supplied by Ted Green before he was relieved as coach by Glen Sather.
1. Brett Hull (15) 2. Al MacInnis (5) 3. (tie) Cam Neely, Mario Lemieux (2).
Others: (1) Mike Gartner, Mario Lemeiux.
The category was for best shot, not necessarily the hardest.
That distinction wasn't necessary with Hull.
"Hardest and most accurate," Toronto's Pat Burns said.
"He puts it where he wants it more times than anyone else," Tampa Bay's Terry Crisp said.
1. Adam Graves (4) 2. (tie) Joe Mullen, Steve Thomas, Keith Tkachuk (2).
Others: (1) Dave Andreychuk, Bob Bassen, Wendel Clark, Ron Francis, Dave Hannan, Dale Hawerchuk, Craig Janney, Curtis Joseph, Kevin Miller, Teppo Numminen, Lyle Odelein, Adam Oates, Paul Ranheim, Mark Recchi, Brendan Shanahan, Brian Skrudland.
With 20 players receiving votes, this was the most far-flung category.
Mullen, the ageless ex-Blues sniper, was named by Scotty Bowman of Detroit and Jim Schoenfeld of Washington.
Shanahan seems overqualified for this list. Burns didn't think so: "People don't talk about him. I love this guy. He does it all - scores, fights, hits, checks. He's a great player."
Pat Quinn of Vancouver chose Janney, and Darryl Sutter of Chicago took Joseph.
Grinders Bassen of Quebec, a former Blues player, and Miller fit the unsung-hero mold.
Blues coach Bob Berry went with Buffalo center Hannan.
1. Sergei Fedorov (10) 2. Pavel Bure (5) 3. (tie) Paul Coffey, Mike Gartner, Mike Modano, Alexander Mogilny (2).
Others: Jaromir Jagr, Nelson Emerson, Phil Housley, Slava Kozlov, Jeremy Roenick.
The vote totals more than 26 because Bowman and the Rangers' Mike Keenan of the Rangers each cast a blanket ballot for the Russian troika of Fedorov, Bure and Mogilny.
Barry Melrose of Los Angeles chose Housley. Berry chose Emerson.
Best Faceoff Man
1. Joel Otto (8) 2. Ron Francis (7) 3. (tie) Doug Gilmour, Eric Lindros, Mark Messier (2).
Others: Guy Carboneau, Travis Green, Kelly Kisio, Craig MacTavish, Adam Oates.
Brian Sutter of Boston and his brother, Darryl, took Gilmour. Jacques Lemaire of New Jersey named Oates.
Berry cast the lone vote for Kisio.
Best Defensive Forward
1. Sergei Fedorov (5) 2. (tie) Guy Carbonneau, Doug Gilmour, Joel Otto, Brian Skrudland (3).
Others: (2) Jari Kurri; (1) Mike Eagles, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Dirk Graham, Adam Graves, Claude LaPointe, Ron Wilson.
Berry took Wilson, who signed with Montreal when the Blues released him last summer.
Jacques Demers of Montreal, Pierre Page of Quebec and Darryl Sutter took Gilmour.
Keenan, who took Graham, participated under protest: "I wish they would recategorize that thing. The player who has the puck should get it. You're not going to score when they have the puck." Then it would go to Fedorov or Wayne Gretzky, he said.
Best Power-Play Point Man
1. (tie) Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis, Brian Leetch (6).
Others: (3) Sergei Zubov; (2) Paul Coffey, Phil Housley; (1) Chris Chelios.
Housley showed well despite missing most of the season with the Blues after being acquired from Winnipeg.
"Winnipeg's power play is not as good this year," Dave King of Calgary said, "and Housley's the reason."
Berry took MacInnis, the Calgary boomer.
Best Penalty Killer
1. Guy Carbonneau (6) 2. (tie) Sergei Fedorov, Adam Graves, Joel Otto (3)
Others: (2) Doug Gilmour, Mark Messier; (1) Ray Bourque, Neal Broten, Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Jarri Kurri, Craig MacTavish, Ron Wilson (1)
Berry chose Carbonneau, the best defensive player of his generation.
Terry Simpson of Philadelphia took Wilson.
Best Shot Blocker
1. Guy Carbonneau (12) 2. Craig Ludwig (4).
Others (1) Garth Butcher, Steve Chaisson, Mike Keane, Craig MacTavish, Craig Muni, Joel Otto, Mike Ramsey, Paul Ranheim, Kjell Samuelsson, Mark Tinordi.
This category was the stumper for most voters.
"That's a lost art," said Crisp, who chose Butcher.
"Carbonneau," King said, "but only because Curt Giles is gone. It's a dying art."
Berry chose Ramsey of Pittsburgh before the playoffs. Otherwise, he might have backed Dallas' Ludwig, who blocked many shots in the Round 1 sweep of the Blues.
Best Power Forward
1. Cam Neely (7) 2. Eric Lindros (6) 3. Brendan Shanahan (4).
Others: (2) Adam Graves, Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier; (1) Wendell Clark, Mike Gartner, Kevin Stevens.
Neely, the big, bad Bruin with a bad knee, astounded many voters with his 50 goals in 49 games.
"On one leg," King said. "He's awesome. He's killed us this year. He got four goals in two games."
Al Arbour of the Islanders said, "On one leg, he's been unbelievable."
Burns again stood up for Shanahan, saying: "Brendan can do it all. Lindros doesn't do it all yet."
Melrose, Quinn and Simpson also backed Shanahan.
Berry - not allowed to choose his player, Shanahan - went with Lindros, the Philadelphia manchild.
Best Defensive Defenseman
1. Ray Bourque (8) 2. Chris Chelios (6) 3. Scott Stevens (4).
Others: (1) Ken Daneyko, Sylvain Lefebvre, Jamie Macoun, Teppo Numminen, Bob Rouse, Kjell Samuelsson, Ulf Samuelsson, Steve Smith.
Finding defensemen who specialize only in defense was a brain teaser.
"Are there any?" Crisp asked.
"Is Larry Robinson still in the league?" asked Berry, who opted for Kjell Samuelsson of Pittsburgh.
Ex-Blues captain Stevens led the Devils in scoring and the NHL with a plus-53 rating. "He's tough one on one," Burns said.
Best Goalie Stickhandler
1. Ron Hextall (21) 2. Tom Barrasso (3).
Others: (1) Dominik Hasek, Kirk MacLean.
In the words of Tampa's Crisp, "That's a walkaway."
He, Berry and nearly every other coach chose the Islanders' Hextall. He sometimes had trouble stopping the puck this season. When he did, he knew what to do with it.
The wandering goalie, who plays like a third defenseman, was the first in NHL history to shoot a puck into the opposite goal.
Schoenfeld said: "Hextall's the most, but not the best. Hasek reads the play well. He really jumps out of the net when the other line's tired. He's alert. He's aware."
Best Goalie Glove Hand
1. Curtis Joseph (17) 2. Patrick Roy (3) 3. Bill Ranford (2).
Others: (1) Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog, Felix Potvin, Mike Vernon.
Joseph almost dominated with his glove the way Hextall did with his stick.
Joseph won with little commentary from the voters. Either a goalie catches the puck or he doesn't. Joseph does. He was flattered at being the coach's choice.
"But you really should have another category for goalies: best at making the second save," Joseph said.
Player You Hate To Play Against
1. (tie) Ray Bourque, Mario Lemieux (3) 2. (tie) Sergei Fedorov, Dale Hunter, Wayne Gretzky (2)
Others: Keith Acton, Chris Chelios, Ron Francis, Doug Gilmour, Curtis Joseph, Darius Kasparaitis, Eric Lindros, Mark Messier, Cam Neely, Adam Oates, Lyle Odelein, Patrick Roy, Ulf Samuelsson, Brendan Shanahan.
With 19 players named, this was the second-most-diverse vote.
They ranged from the ridiculously pesky to the sublimely skilled to the sublimely ridiculous combination of both.
Berry dreads Lemieux because of "his overall skills, and the fact that when he's in the lineup, (the Penguins) win the majority of their games."
The pests surfaced in force.
Crisp chose Acton over Butcher, saying, "They drive you nuts."
The list is a who's who of personal nemeses.
Darryl Sutter took Shanahan, who roughs up his Blackhawks.
Kevin Constantine of San Jose took Joseph, who has baffled his Sharks.
Brian Sutter of Boston picked Samuelsson, whose hit a couple of years ago started Neely's leg problems with the Bruins.
Ottawa's Rick Bowness shudders at the sight of Oates: "He can beat you in a lot of different ways."
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