Jean Beliveau vs. Bobby Hull
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09-07-2013, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Both phenomenal athletes and great competitors
But Beliveau easily for me.
One of the best forwards on the planet, and provably highest paid, before he even entered the league at 22 in 1953 (although he broke his ankle and missed much of that first season).
The best player on the Canadiens in their late fifties dynasty, leading them to the 5 straight Cups. Lead them in goals, assists, points, penalty minutes (this was before John Ferguson joined the Canadiens and carried that load).
Most of this dynasty was gone in the early sixties and Beliveau, now early thirties, still kept Montreal at or near the top even while rebuilding at that time. The Hawks had as much depth and more star power. People seem to forget Hull and Mikita were 7 or 8 years younger than Beliveau and closer to their primes when comparing them through the sixties.
Montreal got stronger again through the mid to late sixties but the Hawks had some very good rosters as well. The veteran leadership and playoff savvy of Beliveau and Henri Richard was a huge part of the difference in their success.
Hull was obviously a phenomenal athlete and great competitor, but was not always the best on his team. Mikita had what, 3 Art Ross and 2 Harts in the sixties?
How good did Hull make his line mate Esposito? I think Phil did considerably better immediately after he left for Boston. In fact he outscored Hull every year after that.
You can't go wrong picking either player, but I would say only if you want goals Hull has the edge. Take Beliveau if you want to win playoff series, with his all around game as a centreman and leadership on and off ice.
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