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03-25-2013, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I agree with you, but we also have to take into account that "physicality" in the sense that it was meant in Smith's day is not entirely similar to what we would think of in a modern sense, and specifically involved a lot more fighting and stickwork than is present (or legal) in the game today. I think we should probably give players like Smith the benefit of the doubt in this setting, but it is easy to go too far, and make them into something that they quite possibly were not - another example, perhaps, of the "decadence" of some forms of ATD historiography.
I agree that we can't project a guy like Alf Smith into a better boardman than Wayne Cashman. In my opinion, Alf Smith was one of the best puck-winners types of his era. That doesn't put him among the very elite of the ATD. Guys like Wayne Cashman or Bert Olmstead are going to be the best of the best, but that doesn't mean Alf Smith is no good.

Something as abstract as puck-winning is something I'm not sure we can rank players exactly. This is something I personally break into tiers. The Cashmans and Olmsteads of the world go in the top tier, and I would call them all comparable. In my opinion, Smith is not in that top tier. Depending on how you want to break down the tiers, I think he would be in the 2nd or 3rd tier of puck-winners.

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