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06-04-2013, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
The way you're framing this isn't really all that fair to Park. Look at the comparable time in Leetch's career that you are bringing up for Park... did Leetch win any Norris trophies after he was 28? No, and in none of the years that followed was he realistically considered a front-runner for one. Park was traded in 75-76, was 27, and headed toward a decline in the next few seasons. Leetch was certainly still a great defenseman for his final six seasons with NYR, but let's not imply that he won his Norris trophies in that part of his career so as to justify some sort of dig at Park for not picking up a trophy at a similar point in his career. Because neither did.
The way I'm framing it? I'm framing it that Leetch won it twice and Park didn't. 2nd place is as meaningless as 5th or 11th. And, for the record, Leetch was 29 when he won his second Norris (born March 3, 1968 and presumably won the award after the 96-97 season ended in June - making him 29). He also played on complete **** teams from 97-98 onward. I can't name many Norris trophy winners that played on complete crap teams. Can you? Leetch had an awesome year in 2000-2001 on a complete crap team. His numbers that year were much better than Scott Stevens (a finalist), his numbers were better than Borque's, and his numbers were better than Lidstrom's. His problem: he played for an awful club (Dale Purinton, Rich Pilon anyone?).

Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
Yes, and I love him for it. But had Leetch, in the prime of his career (like Park was in his), been competing with a single defenseman who was as absolutely and consistently dominant as Orr was, he wouldn't have won either Norris. And that aspect of his tenure with the Rangers wouldn't look nearly as impressive as Park's consistent 2nd place Norris voting finishes.
And I can make the argument that Park never had the year Leetch had in 91-92, with 102 points in 80 games. Best Brad did was 82 in 78. Leetch is one of only 5 D (Orr was one of these), and the only American, to score 100+ points in a season. I can argue Leetch played every regular season game 8 times to Brad's once as a Ranger. I can argue Conn Smythe. I can argue Calder. I can argue hall of famers: Borque, Coffey, Lidstrom, Stevens, Chelios & Pronger.

Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
Leetch was only ever a realistic front runner/contender for a Norris in the two years he won (91-92 and 96-97) and maybe in 95-96. Outside of those years, though he got some votes here and there, he wasn't really a part of the conversation. Park was a legitimate challenger in 4 or 5 of his 7 full seasons with the Rangers. Depending upon how you look at it, that is either amazing consistency in terms of elite play and a testament to how good Park was that, after Park, he largely dominated the field of other dmen, or a lack of other elite competition to push him down the list.
You can't control who the competition is, but you can't really deny that Leetch's best season (102 points) was considerably better than Park's and you really can't say how well Leetch might've fared against those clubs if he was sent back in time. It's something we'll never know. And, like I've said, Leetch should've been a finalist in 2000-01 if it weren't for the crap club he was playing on. If he had that season on the Wings or Avalanche, he probably would've won it again.

Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
That Park, according to the methodology used here, ranked so close to Leetch (in terms of Norris voting) when he had 8 less seasons with NYR than Leetch did to count toward that result, says something to me.
Methodology includes a season where he played the majority of his games for another team.

Bottom line is still the same: Brian Leetch Hardware: 5 Brad Park: 0 no matter how you try to manipulate the numbers. Do you look back fondly on '79 when we finished in 2nd place?

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