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04-17-2012, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Aside to this series:

I haven't had a lot of time to finish the 1923 Cup thread yet (I'm trying hard to do it right, and that means researching the PCHA championship series, as well), but what I've found from the finals of that year seems to indicate that Joe Simpson was, in fact very good at his peak.

It takes a bit of work to find the whole articles, but they're there. This was in the year when Lalonde called him the best player in the world. I had never taken that claim very seriously, but when you see the praise of him in this series (also from the Ottawa paper), it starts to look like a more serious claim. It's hard to say just how long Simpson's peak really was - maybe just 3-4 seasons - but he absolutely seems to have been an elite player at his peak, and seems to have been a well-rounded player, as well. He wasn't big, but he seems to have been good defensively, and it looks like he could pass as well as shoot, skate and stickhandle. I almost certainly underrated him earlier when I put him in the category of the fringe #3/4 defensemen. Indeed, he may be more on the level of a guy like Lester Patrick.
I posted several quotes from the 1923 Cup finals in my Simpson bio last ATD.

I think Simpson definitely had a case for being the best in the world, although it was harder to decide that claim when the east/west divide meant that few people got to see all the players.

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