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10-31-2012, 05:42 PM
Dennis Bonvie
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Remember this though, the top 10 players who were on the ice for the most goals against are some of the all-time greats. All of them are HHOFers. Larry Robinson of all people is at #14 on that list and we all know the great teams he played on. Lidstrom is #13.

The top 10 goes as follows: Gretzky, Messier, Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Salming, Murphy, Chelios, Francis, Yzerman.

The reasons can vary from loads of ice time to playing on poor teams to playing for 20 years in a higher scoring era. Stevens is considered one of the best defensive defensemen of all-time and playyed the bulk of his career on a defensive team and he's #5. So take a list like this with a grain of salt.

The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.
The problem is that I'm not looking at resumes, I'm looking at players.

When well known hockey people are asked who the best player was they ever saw, no one ever says, "Howe, because he was great for so long." Or Orr was great, but he didn't play long enough." They just tell you the player (or players) they thought were the best. That's how I look at this. There is no set criteria. If its going to be about best career, fine, but that's not stated criteria currently. (or is it?)

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