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02-01-2013, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
This reminds us, though, that the moniker "Peerless Frank" is a rather special sort of nickname. It seems to have been an early version of Gretzky's "The Great One" nickname - a way of stating that one player is head and shoulders above the rest. As much as we have revised our opinions on Frank Nighbor, I wonder if we do not underrate him still. He was quite clearly the titan of hockey's first 40 years.
I agree that Nighbor may still be underrated here. Nighbor was the second pick on my board in ATD 2011 at pick 30 and he was the second pick on my board here at pick 25.

It's funny because he's almost certainly rated more highly here than anywhere else in 2012. Ottawa really fell off the hockey map after the Senators left, and at some point Nighbor had no supporters left to remind people how great he was.

The 1927-28 all-star voting by managers is interesting. I posted it here some time ago. Three managers* put Frank Nighbor at centre of their first all-star team - this after a season in which he had scored 13 points at the age of 35. Howie Morenz was obviously the best forward in the league, as he won the scoring race by over 25% and received the other seven first-team votes at centre.

What were these three managers thinking, putting Nighbor at centre? All three of them put Morenz at LW of their first team all-star team. It seems that these managers were selecting their all-star team with a focus on team, and were putting together the best six-player unit. And they thought a 35-year-old Frank Nighbor, who was the lowest scoring regular on his team, was still the player to centre that unit. Morenz could play on his wing.

*The ten managers were Cecil Hart, Eddie Gerard, Dave Gill, Connie Smythe, Shorty Green, Art Ross, Lester Patrick, Jack Adams, Odie Cleghorn, Hugh Lehman.

Edit: Given the discussion over Hooley Smith's effectiveness at RW it's interesting to see that two managers picked him over Bill Cook for their first team RW in 1927-28. The article says "Though playing center after after Eddie Gerard shook up his lineup, Smith, christened Reginald J., is really a right winger and there he is on the all-star six."

Last edited by overpass; 02-01-2013 at 10:39 PM..
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