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03-07-2013, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Leetch was a better player than Park--maybe not by much but still better IMO. That being said Park was an extraordinarily good defenseman and second best of his era behind Orr. IMO I'd rate Bobby Orr above Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby, Messier etc. etc. Park was a great player but Orr's game was much more dynamic than his.

There were things about Brad's game that were very underrated though. He was not particularly big but he was very physical and a good fighter. He was a heart and soul player as well. He used to kill people with his hip check. They'd go somersaulting through the air. He was a really rounded player with a very good offensive game. Great puck skills--Chadwick used to say he could stickhandle in a telephone booth.

Denis Potvin came along and supplanted him as No. 2 and when Orr had to quit Potvin became the best d-man. I never liked Potvin by the way--and not just because of Nilsson. A bit of a primadonna like Mario Lemieux. He still is--a terrible homer of a color hockey analyst. Then Paul Coffey came along--more like Erik Karlsson these days--more about offense than defense but with the team the Oilers had that was just perfect.
For the reasons you mentioned, Park, to me, was the better player. Park was his equal offensively, and as you pointed out, he was an incredibly tough defenseman. If there had been no Orr, Park would have been a god in Rangers lore.

And yes, Orr was definitely the best player I ever saw. He controlled games by himself. Lots of great quotes about him but the best was Bobby Hull. After the first period Hull played against Orr, as he was leaving the ice, he said to the ref that next period they will need two pucks, one for Orr and one for the rest of the players.

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