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06-18-2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
My first reaction was that this is a much stronger list than the centers, with 8 of the 10 being Hall of Famers, but in terms of HHOF, the centers list actually did surprisingly well.
The Rangers are historically deeper at defensemen, no doubt.

Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
I already incited Park vs Leetch in the preliminary round (whoops!), but I'll reiterate my feelings: Leetch should get first place by about the same ratio that Frank Boucher did. Park has a very legitimate place in the conversation for first, but on most lists (that is, by most ways of weighing contributions), Leetch's Norrises, Smythe, and most importantly his longevity will win out. If you value Park's Norris runner-ups to Orr very highly, weigh playoff performances less, and focus more on peak, then you should choose Brad Park. But 16 years is a lot longer than 7, Park had little top end competition outside of Bobby Orr, and he never led us to a cup.
I tend to agree with you. Park's 1971-72 season might be better than anything Leetch ever did as a Ranger, but in terms of longevity and tangible franchise value Leetch wins this contest. I respect the fact that Park could have had four (FOUR!) Norrises as a Ranger in an Orr-less league, but his competition was otherwise weak:

1970 NORRIS: (289)
1. Bobby Orr, Bos 180
2. Brad Park, NYR 58
3. Carl Brewer, Det 22
4. Jacques Laperriere, Mtl 18
5. Jim Neilson, NYR 11

1971 NORRIS: (343)
1. Bobby Orr, Bos 208
2. Brad Park, NYR 57
3. J.C. Tremblay, Mtl 35
4. Pat Stapleton, Chi 23
T5. Bob Baun, Tor 10
T5. Keith Magnuson, Chi 10

1972 NORRIS: (370)
1. Bobby Orr, Bos 204
2. Brad Park, NYR 117
3. Bill White, Chi 25
4. Pat Stapleton, Chi 16
5. J.C. Tremblay, Mtl 8

1974 NORRIS: (399)
1. Bobby Orr, Bos 236
2. Brad Park, NYR 98
3. Bill White, Chi 44
4. Barry Ashbee, Phi 11
5. Borje Salming, Tor 10

In Leetch's Norris years, he beat out the likes of Bourque, Chelios, Lidstrom, Konstantinov and Stevens. Just some food for thought.

And then you have to consider what Leetch and Park brought in the playoffs. This is a table of the top 10 defensemen in NHL history in terms of playoff ppg (minimum 50 gp). If you compare their playoff production to their regular season production, Leetch elevated his game in the playoffs like no other defenseman in NHL history.

Player GP PO PPG RS PPG % Elevation
Bobby Orr 74 1.24 1.39 -10.79
Brian Leetch* 82 1.09 0.87 25.29
Paul Coffey 194 1.01 1.09 -7.34
Paul Reinhart 83 0.93 0.86 8.14
Al MacInnis 177 0.9 0.9 0
Denis Potvin 185 0.89 0.99 -10.1
Raymond Bourque 214 0.84 0.98 -14.29
Doug Wilson 95 0.84 0.81 3.7
Ian Turnbull 55 0.82 0.7 17.14
Brad Park* 64 0.69 0.81 -14.81

*Used Rangers statistics only

Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Some strict orderings that I'm getting from a quick impression:

Coulter > Pratt
Johnson > Seibert, Heller

Howell vs Gadsby should be interesting. How much was Howell's Norris season an anomaly?
I think Johnson is the next best (in other words, #3). Coulter/Howell/Gadsby are all fair game for the top 5 as well, and I'll elaborate later.

Last edited by Crease: 06-18-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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