Which player had the best skillset in their prime?
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03-18-2013, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
..interesting to wonder the same thing about gretzky in the 06, even if most of us agree he would have destroyed the league if given a shot.
Ya, good point and comparison between those two, Henri Richard & Gretzky. I'd not actually heard that before, that perhaps some nepotism was involved in his getting a shot with the Habs. I know he was a high flying high scoring Jr. with the Nationales' & Junior Canadiens. Amusing stories of how in his first year playing the wing on a line with Olmstead he was all over the ice. Bert yelling at him to stick to his lanes, Henri either ignoring him or just not understanding, his english not the greatest. But sure, smallish size even for that era, great set of wheels, hockey smarts.
Likely with Gretzky had he somehow become property of Montreal its very probable he'd have played in the NHL, though with any of the other clubs, hard to say. Maybe the Rangers as well, seeing him as a novelty act to some extent. That club through the late 50's & early 60's not as regimented as say a Chicago or Toronto, Detroit. He certainly wouldve drawn the attention of the Scouts in the 50's as an amateur in Brantford with the kinds of numbers he was putting up. The Leafs sat on their hands over Orr & several others so Im not confident they'd have tried to sign him. Certainly under Conn Smythe, Hap Day etc likely wouldnt have been impressed. Flash in the pan, not big enough etc, scooped by someone else while waiting. There were some arcane territorial claims amongst the 6 clubs throughout Ontario. No idea where Brantford mightve fallen in that regard. And so ya, fun to contemplate, imagine.
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