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10-17-2012, 02:36 PM
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How's the thesis?
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Oh you guys just KNEW I was going to chime in on this one eventually.

Originally Posted by Puckgenius View Post
Who was better in their prime?
Gilmour. I will say though on Francis's side that we don't know just how good he could have been in his prime with good but not elite support if they had kept that team together (Sanderson, Cassels, Verbeek, Nylander, Nikolishin, Holik, etc.) as he did have his fair share of strong seasons in Hartford before being moved to Pittsburgh, where that offense allowed him to increase his point totals in a huge way. I don't think it would have equaled Doug's prime though.

Who had the better career?
Hard to say really, both won the Cup, both have had excellent seasons captaining underdog teams, etc. I'll give the edge to Francis here due to his freakish longevity and the fact that he was arguably just as good if not better at age 38 (01-02 season) then he was at 23. He really never had a lull in his career, basically every year he played until his final one was his "prime" which is basically unheard of.

Who was better offensively?
Over the entirety of their careers, I think Francis might get the edge there if only very slightly. But at their best it was Gilmour.

Who as better defensively?
Basically a wash, both were borderline elite two-way players. Not quite that Bobby Clarke level but when both were in their primes they were amazing, and to think we had Fedorov, Brind'Amour, and a few others doing many of the same things at the same time as them. Talk about a fantastic era for two-way forwards.

so, in conclusion, edge Gilmour, but it's fairly close.

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