NYR Top Defensemen of All-Time (Rules & Preliminary Discussion)
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06-04-2013, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
Originally Posted by
Greschner......probably somewhere 6-10. Its really difficult to access guys from different eras with different styles of play. The first few are easy, after that it gets harder. Personally, I always thought he was a bit overrated and not in the conversation with the best of his era. But that might be timing more than anything else. He came up when the great Francis era teams were on the wane and was perhaps in his prime when we had good teams but were always overshadowed by the Isles and Potvin. But thinking about it, in manynways he was similar to the accepted template for good overall D today, especially those who can make good outlet passes, carry the puck and penetrate the zone. We could certainly use a player of his skills today. There were times I thought he would make a better center than a defenseman and I seem to remember a short-lived experiment when that happened.
I remember the Rangers using Greschner at center at least a couple times and at least one of them was for an extended period. Greschner did very well. I'm not sure how he'd fit into the present game. Skating wise more like a bigger version of Del Zotto--he wasn't the fastest player. He was really slick and smart with the puck though. One of the best stick handlers that I've ever seen--and a very creative passer. He also had some edge to his game and was known for getting under other guy's skin kind of like Avery he was a bit of a smart ass. A decent fighter to good fighter. Definitely one of our top players back then.
Originally Posted by
And, I do want to discuss another guy often forgotten here: Rod Seiling. When the Rangers traded Andy Bathgate to Toronto, they got a whole parcel of younger players in return included young established forward Bob Nevin (later Ranger captain), minor league defenseman Arnie Brown (who was part of our regular dmen in the early years of the Francis era) and Seiling. Seiling was, in many ways, the key player in the trade.
By the way, that trade was one of the first that I can remember that traded vets for prospects: a very common variety of trade now but unusual then.
Seiling was considered to be the top junior player in Canada (no draft in those days but the Leafs owned his rights) and the Rangers getting him was as if they had traded for the #1 draft pick. It took quite a few years for Seiling to establish himself because he was both a forward and a defenseman. It took a bit of time in the minors (brief stints with the Rangers) to work out that he would be better on the blue line.
He established himself as what today would be considered a strong second pair D. People didn't think of dmen in tiers as we do today. He was very consistent averaging about 5G and 30A a year. Not very physical but a strong skater and just dependable and solid. I have a very vivid memory of a game at MSG where Bobby Orr skated into the Ranger zone with a good head of steam, one on one against Rod, and Rod easily rode him off the puck and into the boards.
I'd rank him somewhere 10-20, probably more like 15-20. Because he was such a low key guy, he's kind of been forgotten but still very much remembered and appreciated by me.
Seiling wasn't a guy that was always easy to like. Kind of like his era's version of Rozsival--or a lesser James Patrick. Good player--skill wise. Not very physical. Seemed to be happiest when the limelight was on someone else. Fans did not like him. They wanted more. Rangers fans have a history of jumping all over certain players. He was one of them.
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