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06-21-2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
By the way, is anyone seriously considering Heller, Seibert, Pratt, or Greschner for a top five spot? If not, I think we should put those four names to the side for now and start shifting the focus of the discussion towards how to rank Coulter, Gadsby, and Howell. Tomorrow I'll try to post my thoughts on Gadsby vs. Howell in particular.
This should be a priority at this point, given that ballots are due in 48 hours or so.

Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
What are peoples thoughts on Howell? I originally had him at 3, however he's likely to drop at least one spot in a swap with Johnston.

Where do others have him? Does the length of his career keep him in your top 5 (assuming he was there in the first place), or does the higher peaks of others push him down the list?
Ultimately it's going to come down to how much you value longevity. Coulter and Gadsby have higher peaks, absolutely.

Here's my breakdown:

BILL GADSBY Postseason All-Star Results
Year Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1955-56 2 Harvey (177) Gadsby (116) Kelly (114) Johnson (81)
1956-57 4 Harvey (172) Kelly (98) Flaman (79) Gadsby (77)
1957-58 2 Harvey (180) Gadsby (168) Flaman (54) Pronovost (46)
1958-59 2 Johnson (139) Gadsby (106) Pronovost (95) Harvey (92)
1959-60 8
1960-61 13  
Seasons: 6.5
Games Played: 457
Adjusted Points: 68 - 258 - 326

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix May 9, 1966
In November, 1954, he was traded to the Rangers. They weren't much of an improvement on his earlier company, but in a New York uniform he blossomed into one of the great defensemen of his time. The only rearguard who was consistenly rated better was Doug Harvey of Montreal.
USA Today June 7, 2002
Think of great shot blockers and Bill Gadsby, Al Arbour, Mike Ramsey, Dave Lewis, Ken Morrow and Guy Carbonneau come quickly to mind.
Legends of Hockey
Although he played in an era of defensive hockey, Gadsby set a record for assists by defensemen with 46 in 1958-59.
* For four Rangers seasons, Gadsby went toe-to-toe in All-Star voting with Doug Harvey, Red Kelly, Marcel Pronovost and Tom Johnson. Keep in mind that they were all about the same age. That is exceptional company for Gadsby to be in.
* Gadsby's single-season assists by a defenseman record stood for 10 years until Stapleton broke it. Stapleton had 6 more games to do it.
* Superb shot-blocker, sprinkling in an above-average (at the time) offensive game. Overall, a very well-rounded defensemen.

ART COULTER Postseason All-Star Results
Year Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1935-36 7
1936-37 8
1937-38 3 Shore (23) Siebert (23) Coulter (8) Seibert (3)
1938-39 3 Shore (23) Clapper (7) Coulter (6) Seibert (4)
1939-40 3 Clapper (16) Goodfellow (15) Coulter (8) Seibert (7)
1940-41 8
1941-42 8
Seasons: 6.5
Games Played: 287
Adjusted Points: 29 - 117 - 146

Legends of Hockey
Coulter was placed on the NHL second all-star team in 1935 but found himself traded to the Rangers for Earl Seibert midway through the next season. His solid defensive play and competitive zeal pleased the New York management and fans. Prior to the 1937-38 season, Coulter succeeded Bill Cook as captain and was selected to the second all-star team three straight years beginning in 1938. In 1939 he took part in the Babe Siebert Memorial Game and the next year he helped the Blueshirts win their third Stanley Cup. Coulter set a career high with 19 points the following season and was one of the most popular players on Manhattan.
Clint Smith, Teammate on the 1940 Stanley Cup team
Art Coulter was our best player. He was a leader, like what you have now in Mark Messier. He could really carry the puck. But he had to head-ma the puck. That's the way we played.
Frank Boucher, Coach
He was a superb ice general. He lent strength to our smaller players, always on the spot if opposing players tried to intimidate them, responding beautifully to new responsibilities. He was a well set up fellow, quite tall, very muscular without an ounce of fat.
* Coulter was a clear and distinct step down from Shore and Clapper during his era. That said, he was atop the next tier of defensemen. In terms of peak, I have to give the edge to Gadsby here.
* Rangers captain from 1937-42, including a Stanley Cup Championship team. This is a significant component of Coulter's resume and something Gadsby can't compare to.
* The Coulter/Seibert trade sounded like a very big deal at the time. Seibert was a stalwart for the Rangers, as Coulter was for the Blackhawks. They were swapped, and Coulter went on to captain the Rangers to a championship.

HARRY HOWELL Postseason All-Star Results
Year Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1955-56 7
1960-61 15
1962-63 17
1963-64 6
1964-65 6
1965-66 6
1966-67 2 Pilote (156) Howell (147) Horton (94) Orr (89)
1967-68 11
Seasons: 17
Games Played: 1160
Adjusted Points: 91 - 302 - 393

Carol Vadnais
He was a great veteran. I always wondered what was so great about him, but you had to play with him to see what a great skater he was.
Muzz Patrick had a policy to build up the Rangers who don't get much ink and talk down those who do. But he had this to say in 1956:
Gadsby is a good offensive defensemen. But the key man on our defense is Harry Howell. He's the solid guy.
The Rangers, the Bruins, and the End of an Era
Harry was great. All the young defensemen I had, Jimmy Neilson, Rod Seiling, Arnie Brown. I always put them with Harry Howell. He was not only a teammate, he was like a coach on the ice with them. He broke in all the young guys.
* Rangers captain 1955-1957. In terms of intangibles, I would probably rank Howell slightly ahead of Coulter and significantly ahead of Gadsby.
* Foremost a defensive-defenseman. Won the Norris in 1966-67 during a breakout year offensively. That said, he finished behind Pierre Pilote in postseason all-star voting the same year. I have him below both Gadsby and Coulter in terms of peak and prime value.
* Longevity is a huge aspect of his resume. He was an 17 year ironman for the Rangers. Gadsby and Coulter don't compare.
* By many accounts, a classy player and a true gentleman of the game.


Using my very sophisticated arrow system:

PEAK/PRIME: Gadsby > Coulter >> Howell
LONGEVITY: Howell >>> Gadsby = Coulter
VALUE TO FRANCHISE: Coulter > Howell = Gadsby

I tend to weigh playoffs and quality of Ranger peak/prime more than longevity, unless we're talking about someone with very short stint, like Gretzky. Gadsby and Coulter were not hired mercenaries here for just a couple of seasons. And while Howell was very very good for very very long, Gadsby and Coulter were exceptional hockey players. I think Coulter captaining the team to a Cup puts him slightly ahead of Gadsby in my book. My ranking at the moment is:


Last edited by Crease: 06-21-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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