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04-03-2013, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
Joe Primeau had 3 real "big" offensive seasons, and Conacher led the league in goals in every one of them(1931, 1932, 1934). But he still led the league in goals twice in 1935 and 1936 when Primeau's play began to fall off. The first in goals in 1936 appears especially impressive because Primeau had 17 points in 45 games and Busher Jackson had just 22 points in 44 games. But, the 1936 season does coincide with Bill Thoms' big year offensively, and I can't help but think maybe he moved to the top line alongside Conacher that year. It seems like his best years were Primeau's best years, but doesn't appear to have been incapable without him.
Yes, in 1935-36, it appears that Thoms centered Conacher.

Here's one of the quotes I was looking for, funny enough from your own Joe Primeau bio:

Originally Posted by Conn Smythe
I could have found lots of guys to go with Joe Primeau, but he was the only centre who could make Conacher and Jackson click.

These are from the HOH Top 100 project in 2008:

Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Just a note about Conacher: In Frank Selke's autobiography (which I recently bought at a used book store for $1), while he has plenty of compliments for Conacher, he describes Joe Primeau as being the real workhouse of the Kid Line. Basically he says that Primeau was a master at drawing away the two defencemen then passing the puck to Conacher or Jackson for an easy shot on goal.

I just thought it was interesting that since there was so much talk earlier in the voting about players like Esposito or Bossy having their goal totals boosted by their teammates, that maybe it applies to Conacher. After Primeau left the game, Conacher's numbers did take a nosedive.
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Conacher's production dropped more from injuries, than from a change in linemates. He played only 34 games over the next two seasons after Primeau left. Being a crease crasher when the nets didn't move was not good for your health.

Over the 7 seasons the Kid Line was together, Conacher only once played more games than Primeau, but Primeau only once out scored Conacher in points. In Primeau's last year, Conacher had more goals than Primeau had points.

Primeau might have been the key guy on the line, much like Olmstead was said to be the key guy on the top line in Montreal for much of the 50s, it is Conacher's health that was the main factor when the Kid Line struggled to produce in the playoffs. The Kid Line produced more points in the Final in Toronto's one Cup win than they did in their 3 Finals losses combined (16 to 9).
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I seem to remember Conn Smythe saying basically the same thing in his autobiography.

Maybe Frank Selke and Conn Smythe were talking about Primeau's defensive ability being key to the line, so his linemates could cheat (Jackson was a notoriously poor defensive player and I doubt Charlie Conacher was much better). In that case, Ted Kennedy brings more than enough to the table. On the other hand, if they meant that Primeau's playmaking was key to the line, then I don't think Ted Kennedy is really the best fit.

Regardless, given Charlie Conacher's rather extreme goals to assists ratio (even for the era), I think getting him a more natural playmaking C would have been a better fit.

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