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12-01-2012, 09:47 AM
Dennis Bonvie
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'll try to answer this. First off, I think Hainsworth and Thompson both have a chance of getting my top 4 votes NEXT round, so it's not like I'm calling them crap goalies.

And I do agree that voters seemed more willing to give goalies on weaker teams recognition in the 20s and early 30s than any time afterwards. But even so, the evidence that Hainsworth and Thompson's numbers were partly the product of their teams is pretty strong.


Keep in mind the the unofficial All-Star Teams of the late 20s were voted on by NHL GMs (like the modern Vezina), so they represent the opinions of the men who were paid to be the ultimate judge of talent in the era.

Look at the full voting results for the 1927-8 All Star team:

Goal: Roy Worters, Pit (7-1), George Hainsworth, Mon (1-4), Alec Connell, Ott (1-3), John Ross Roach, Tor (1-1)

There were 10 GMs and they couldn't vote for their own player. Only 1 opposing GM felt Hainsworth was the best goalie in the league and 4 thought he was second best - only 1 more than thought Alec Connell was 2nd best.

1927-28 was Hainsworth's 2nd Vezina in a row (for lowest GAA in the league), setting an NHL record with 1.05. Yet, he barely edged out Alec Connell for 2nd in the perception of the league's GMs.

We don't have full voting results for 1928-29, but it appears Worters was again voted the best goalie in the league, even as Hainsworth broke his own record with a 0.92 GAA in the final season before the forward pass was allowed.

Or you might want to look at Hainsworth's lack of Hart voting in the 3 seasons he led the league in GAA:

1926-27: We have the top 10 in Hart votes and it doesn't include Hainsworth. His teammate, defensive defenseman Herb Gardiner won the Hart. Howie Morenz was 8th.

1927-28: We have the top 6 in Hart voting and it doesn't include Hainsworth (but we do have GM-voted All Star voting this season, see above). Hainsworth's teammate Howie Morenz won the Hart.

1928-29: We have the top 7 in Hart voting and it doesn't include Hainsworth. Hainsworth's teammate, defensive defenseman Sylvio Mantha finished 4th in Hart voting.

Hainsworth was important to his team's GAA. Montreal's GAA went to hell in 1925-26 after Georges Vezina was forced to retire due to illness and recovered as soon as they got Hainsworth for 1926-27. But it appears that people who watched him play didn't consider him the most important part.

Tiny Thompson

1st in GAA and Vezina Trophy but 4th in All Star voting in 1932 is unheard of in the early years. He was a 1st Team All Star twice, but both were in the late 30s when he led the league in GAA over a group of goalies that didn't include a single other Hall of Famer.

And I just can't get over the fact that as soon as Boston replaced Thompson with Brimsek, they immediately went on to win 2 out of 3 Cups.

Edit: Jack Adams was a fan of Thompson, but that quote comes from 1936 and I'm not sure what the competition was then.

This is my current line of thinking.

Were Thompson's teams really that good?

31/32 - 15-21-12 4th in Division
33/34 - 18-25-5 4th in Division
35/36 - 22-20-6 2nd in Division
36/37 - 23-18-7 2nd in Division

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