Messier vs. Esposito
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12-09-2012, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Originally Posted by
Janney? That is clear evidence you value style over substance. Actual production always trumps prettiness. I use precise context. Style is worthless, production is everything. When a pretty goal or assist counts 2 on the scoreboard, then style will matter, until then it is just something to fill up the highlight shows. Substance wins games, style does not. Substance builds great careers, style does not - just ask Linus Omark.
1 Wayne Gretzky
2 Gordie Howe
3 Adam Oates
4 Frank Boucher
5 Mario Lemieux
6 Andy Bathgate
7 Phil Esposito
8 Stan Mikita
9 Bobby Orr
10 Bill Cowley
11 Jean Beliveau
12 Jaromir Jagr
13 Elmer Lach
14 Ted Lindsay
15 Joe Thornton
16 Paul Coffey
17 Marcel Dionne
18 Guy Lafleur
19 Bryan Trottier
20 Bobby Clarke
Surprised Thornton is so low on the list. Lead the NHL in assists 3 consecutive seasons. Sometimes by large margins. Was runner up 2 more times, 3rd another time and top 10 two more times after that....
Orr being so low is truly perplexing.
I made this list awhile back.
#1 Wayne Gretzky: No real need to elaborate. The undisputed greatest playmaker ever to play the game. 16 time assist leader. The guy had eyes in the back of his head, and could read a play like no other. Only 11 players in NHL history have hit 90 assists, only 5 players more than once. Wayne did it 13 times himself. A few more probably could have if era is taken into account, but nonetheless, it is remarkable.
#2 Gordie Howe: A 3 time assist leader, but a 14 time top 5 assist man in his career, and a 22 time top 10 assist man. A few Others had a slightly better playmaking peak, but his sheer consistency and longevity is overwhelming against most.
#3 Mario Lemieux: A 3 time assist leader, 3 time Runner up, and 9 time top 4 assist man. Had the misfortune of playing his prime against the greatest playmaker of all time. Removing Gretzky from the equation would give Lemieux 6 assist titles. He is the only person other than Gretzky to score 90 points more than twice(5 times), and 3 of those 90 assists came with some pretty bad linemates. He holds the second best assist per game ratio ever. 1033 assists in 915 games despite his many health/physical problems faced(He was 4th in assists in 92-93 only 6 assists from #1, despite missing 24 games to cancer).
#4A Adam Oates: A 3 time assist leader, 2 time Runner up and a 12 time top 7 playmaker. 1079 assists in 1337 games. Remove Gretzky from the equation and he is a 4 time leader. His longevity and consistency is notable to give him an argument for #3 spot, but Lemieux's peak beats the slight longevity lead.
#4B Bobby Orr:If we were judging on peak only basis, then Orr would certainly be fighting for #2 with Lemieux. 5 Time assist leader, once a runner up. The man was a wizard. Longevity will always be a problem in his regard though.
#6 Frank Boucher: a 3 time assist leader, 4 time runner up and 9 time top 6 assist man. A key member of the bread line with the Cook brothers. I know less of Boucher than the others, but his numbers and his legend speak for themselves. In fact, he may need to move up the list.
#7 Stan Mikita: 3 Consecutive Assist titles(A rare feat), 3 Runner ups, and 10 times in the top 8 for assists. Him and Hull did not even play on the same line!
#8 Andy Bathgate: Some may disagree with me here, but the man was incredible on a pretty bad team. 2 assist titles, 4 Runner ups and 9 times in the top 4 for assists.
#9 Jaromir Jagr: 3 time Assist leader(all in years after Lemieux retired) and top 3 six times along with 9 top 7 finishes and 10 top 9 finishes. Cannot be ignored.
#10 Joe Thornton: Strange to have him in this early. Already owns 3 consecutive assist titles(A rare feat), but even more rare, is one of 5 players ever to score 90 assists, and is one of 3 ever to score 90 assists back to back(Lemieux and Gretzky being the other 2). Other than those feats, he was Runner up in assists another year, and 3rd in yet another. Currently 2nd this season, and closing the gap to 1st fast.
I devalue War years enough that his 3 assist titles and 8 times in the top 10 fall short) He had a few great years outside the war years, but I feel his war year best would have been a bit lower in a non-diluted league.
Elmer Lach: Same as Cowley, although in all fairness, he proved himself by having some top notch assist years after 1947. The problem is, his best fell below others after the war years except for 1 year.
Even if you do not devalue war years, the guys above them have better resume's.
Ted Lindsay: His 2 Assist titles, 6 times in the top 4 and 8 top 10 finishes are worthy of song.
Peter Forsberg: Injuries robbed his career of what could have been.
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