Round 2, Vote 1 (HFNYR Top NYR Wingers All-Time)
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01-09-2014, 11:02 PM
Take the damn deal
Join Date: Jun 2011
Originally Posted by
I don't believe Hextall belongs in the rarified air at the top of this list. I will try and compile stats later but my memory of looking over his stats earlier was that as clutch as he might have been in 1940, he might have actually been more fortunate than clutch -at least if you go by the rest of his playoff resume. My memory is that there were quite a few playoffs where Hextall was a no-show - 0 goals, 1 assist and a quick exit after 3 games. I also believe that for as much as perhaps half of his Ranger career, he was not the best Ranger winger on his teams. I can't place him on the same level as Cook, Bathgate and Gilbert when his time as top Ranger winger might have been 5 seasons and maybe fewer. More to come.
When I first started looking at this, it was clear that Bathgate, Gilbert and Cook were the top 3, not necessarily in that order. so I went about defining a criteria to rank them.
The key question was how much weight to give to winning a cup? Given the dearth of cups this team has won, it became clear in my mind that it needs to be considered substantially. Partially due to that, Cook got the nod as the clear #1.
From pure production and skills, Bathgate and Gilbert should be ranked ahead of Hextall, but I kept running into the same cup winning issue with Hextall.
He kept coming up in the top 3.
I completely understand that it is not a popular position, most of the sites did not have him in their top 10, but I could not ignore my own criteria.
Bathgate (0.91 PPG) and Gilbert (0.95 PPG) had pretty similar production to each other, they were both prolific scorers and they both had early injuries. Like I said earlier, it's sad that we will never know how good Bathgate could have really been without the metal plate. Same thing would apply to Gilbert about his back. But they never won the cup with the Rangers.
I grant you the argument about the playoffs, Gilbert and Bathgate were more productive at double the pace. But he did win the cup.
Did I put too much weight on winning the cup? That could be.
Hextall was not as prolific scorer, but he was not too shabby (0.8 PPG)
He led the league in scoring in 39-40 and 40-41. Was the Art Ross winner in 41-42. On 4 other occasions he was top 10 in scoring, 4 All star selections.
He scored 20 goals in 7 consecutive seasons back in the days of 48 game seasons.
He was considered the dominant RW of his era.
All those accolades are nothing to sneeze at.
And yes there was that SC OT GWG on the road, the last SC the Rangers would win for 54 years.
He was also a hard hitter, which a style I enjoy watching.
Herb Goren, a long time reporter for the New York Sun once said "He was the hardest bodychecking forward I had seen in more than forty years of watching hockey."
Finally Hextall's career was cut short by the war, he lost a couple years in his prime age serving in the canadian army.
To summarize, I completely understand if you don't have him ranked higher, but I strongly disagree that he doesn't belong in the discussion.
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