To what extent would a healthy Bobby Orr have affected the '72 Summit Series?
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02-06-2014, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Paul Henderson scores!
Originally Posted by
Paul Henderson was a standout in Junior & with Detroit, part of the Blockbuster Trade that saw Frank Mahovlich heading for Motown, Norm Ullman & Henderson arriving in Leafland. He along with Ullman & then up & coming par excellence skater Ron Ellis formed a very effective line for the Leafs,
Henderson notching 38 goals in 71/72
At Team Canada's Training Camp in scrimmages, he along with Ellis were Centered by Bobby Clarke & were arguably the best line pre-tournament, so they were kept obviously on the team & together. Kinda funny when you think about it as Bobby Clarke has a reputation thats grown over the years & out of all proportion as being a total Monster, sort of Tasmanian Devil of Team Canada 72, certainly the Flyers & the NHL during that era. And here he was Centering A Born Again Christian Choir Boy in Henderson and the totally squeaky clean Ron Ellis who wouldnt say **** if his mouth was full of it.
So no, dont think if were re-jigging the line-up & have a choice to make between Jean Ratelle & Paul Henderson, lines included & Ratelle paired with Gilbert, that I'd drop Henderson in favor of Ratelle/Gilbert & break up the Clarke/Ellis/Henerson trio. The line was dominant against their own in Training Camp, Ellis with speed to burn,
Henderson trickier than 13 miles of bad Muskoka roads
, Clarke an extremely intelligent player & fantastic playmaker, excellent on the draw, scoring threat himself of no small abilities.Younger, faster than Ratelle, meaner than a Junkyard Dog.... and
lookit what Henderson accomplished
? He practically single handedly won not only Game 8, but 2 or 3 others as well scoring critical goals and or assisting on others at key moments. Jesus on the team Man. Giddyup.
Also goes back to the Toronto-Boston-Eagleson-Orr-Mafia dealeo. Eagleson needed Ballard on-side (in order to get him to even allow the Soviets who he absolutely hated to play at the Gardens), so he'd better be picking some Leafs for Team Canada and then some.... the then some consisted of Eagleson & or Hockey Canada I guess but certainly with Eaglesons impetus & desire to please Harold that the Head Scouts for Team Canada were none other than the Leafs Johnny McClellan & Bob Davidson. And my, what a wonderful job of it they did huh? In their defense they only watched them practice & I think maybe play intra-squads, possibly a tune-up or two, while the Russians were permitted the same sending 2 of their Scouts to watch Team Canada practice & play.
Growing up in the Niagara Peninsula, I got to see
of the Toronto Maple Leafs, on TV. From that perspective I developed a respect for what Paul Henderson could do. As I suggested above, to appreciate him today, imagine Michael Grabner with a scoring touch. The big discussion amongst fans of the Leafs, during the late 60s/early 70s, was who was faster, Henderson or the gentleman wearing #14. With that speed, and the ability to score 30 goals, he was someone you'd want on any team, and especially one about to face the Soviets in 1972.
After the Summit Series, Henderson would only play two more injury-shortened seasons with the Leafs, before joining the WHA, and, in doing so, disappearing from sight. Had he had five or six seasons, in the NHL, after the Summit Series, and put up numbers like he had before it, Henderson would today be regarded as a legitimate NHL star.
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