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02-02-2013, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve French View Post
I would totally disagree and say most people do realize how good he was considering he is ranked the 3rd greatest of all time, not exactly underrated, maybe underappreciated
Originally Posted by Merya View Post
Oh c'mon. How is Orr underrated by being rocksolid in the top 4? Orr's peak or prime are below Gretzky no matter how you look at it. Lemieux is debatable. Orr has Howe beaten on peak, but Howe had 10 more years of prime than Orr ever played. My top four is is Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux. On my top 100 players like Lindros, Forsberg and Ovechkin have no place. I value longevity and staying healthy as a very important factor for any employee.

I nominate:

Jere Lehtinen !!!
Teemu Selšnne
Pekka Rautakallio
Reijo RUotsalainen !
Matti Hagman
Raimo Helminen
Ovechkin started his career by being named the best at his position five years in a row. That's a level of dominance that we see from few players whether they play 5 years or 25 years. IMHO he's a top-three LW of all-time.

"Notable" guys I think are notably underrated and haven't been mentioned or were barely mentioned (players who people know, but don't generally get the kind of credit they probably should):

Steve Yzerman
He was, for a three or four year span, considered "on par" with Gretzky and Lemieux. Hard to do, that.

Bernie Nicholls
He has over 1200 points in just over 1100 GP. He played less than 1.5 seasons with Gretzky on a different line; and notably, people don't give Messier a demerit for being Gretzky's 2C. Messier gets the "Oh, he probably would have scored MORE." Nicholls was almost PPG over 1001GP when not Gretzky's teammate, playing from the 80s through the DPE, and changing his role from scoring center to checking center. Guy should be in the Hall and instead his name is tossed around with Blair MacDonald.

Bryan Trottier
I've recently come to this conclusion in other discussions. People, at least on here, seem to consider the Isles dynasty a product of Bossy+Potvin (or sometimes Bossy+Potvin+Smith). Trottier is usually tossed in as an afterthought, and stuff is like "He had a great winger and defenseman playing with him", etc. Like that season he scored over 120 points and getting a 1st team nom while nobody else on the team cleared 100. Or the season he cleared 120, Bossy hit 140+, and Potvin scored 61(?). And those weren't even his best years. His best season saw him winning the Art Ross and Hart trophies and hitting 1st team for the second consecutive season.

Chris Chelios
Look at the Chelios/Leetch/Housley and Chelios/Pronger/Stevens polls. The fact that Leetch and Stevens are getting votes ahead of Chelios is an absolutely insane suggestion to anyone who actually watched them all play during their careers. I'll leave the long-winded argument about that stuff for those threads.

Jari Kurri
Another of the "Played with Gretzky" crowd. He's been mentioned, but I feel it's important to give details. Kurri succeeded with Gretzky for several reasons. He had an excellent shot and could be the triggerman for an amazing playmaker. He was incredible defensively, which meant that a) a slow-skating Gretzky could stay out on the ice longer/go out more often by not tiring himself out on the backcheck as much, and b) Paul Coffey could pinch quite a bit more, with Kurri easily slipping down to cover if necessary. He was excellent as the 1C in LA when Gretzky was injured in 1992-93, and was instrumental in Robitaille's career year. But most importantly in his ability to succeed alongside Gretzky? He could think the game well enough that he didn't get left behind. He knew what Gretzky was going to do. People talk about hockey IQ; Kurri had amazing hockey IQ. A player with all of his physical talents but the hockey IQ of Dion Phaneuf would have been maybe a 30-40 goal scorer on Gretzky's wing. Not a 70-goal scorer.

"Forgotten" guys (I'll go with recent guys) who are underrated and haven't been/were barely mentioned:

Steve Rucchin
Excellent defensive center, good skater, and good physical presence who made it possible for Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya to excel together for many years in Anaheim.

Mattias Norstrom
One of the league's top defensive defensemen for years with the Kings, overshadowed by teammate Rob Blake's offense and physical game, despite his less than stellar defensive game.

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