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12-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Dennis Bonvie
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Well, people at the time saw him retire with both the career GAA record and consecutive shutout streak (still a record) records intact. And while the timing of his induction hints that his illness may have sped up the process, obviously there was an impetus to get him in while he could enjoy the honour (likely) because he was already a "no-brainer" at that point. I think it also bears repeating that he consistently compared favourably with the top goalies in the game both before, during, and after the transition to a forward passing game.

He's an interesting case. Got himself a Stanley Cup fairly early, was named captain of his team the same year Hainsworth was named captain of his (granted, rule at the time stated a captain had to be on the ice at all times), retires, returns and backstops another Cup ("one of the greatest goaltending performances in hockey history"), retires again, comes back and almost backstops another Cup (derailed in the Semis by a Rangers upset)... all from a baseball/football guy who couldn't even skate when convinced to join hockey as a soldier stationed in Kingston.

Hate to keep bringing up (and beating down) Lehman, but I almost like Connell as a candidate more than him. Even with the understanding that the Senators were a good team, and granted the relative lack of media/voting fanfare, Connell posted NHL numbers year after year that compared well with (or bested) guys like Benedict and Hainsworth (and indeed Thompson and Gardiner at other times) - both (all?) of whom I hold in higher regard than Lehman.
Just for the record, I had Connell very high on my original list (27th).

However, since then I have learned that even if you have the all-time very best statistic in a category like Goals Against Average (as Connell has) it really means almost nothing.

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