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Players Poll taken before 1980-81 season

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Old
09-13-2009, 11:04 AM
  #1
BM67
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Players Poll taken before 1980-81 season

This poll of NHL players was taken for the book NHL The World of Professional Ice Hockey by Jay Greenberg, Frank Orr and Gary Ronberg.

Wayne Gretzky won the most categories, but didn't win as best center. Bobby Clarke won the second most categories.

Best Left Wing 1 Charlie Simmer 2 Steve Shutt 3 Clark Gillies

Best Center 1 Bryan Trottier 2 Marcel Dionne 3 Wayne Gretzky

Best Right Wing 1 Guy Lafleur 2 Mike Bossy 3 Lanny McDonald

Best Defensive Forward 1 Bob Gainey 2 Bobby Clarke 3 Walt Tkaczuk

Best Offensive Defenseman 1 Denis Potvin 2 Borje Salming 3 Larry Robinson

Best Defensive Defenseman 1 Larry Robinson 2 Serge Savard 3 Dave Burrows

Best Cornerman 1 Terry O'Reilly 2 Wayne Cashman 3 Paul Holmgren

Best Goaltender 1 Tony Esposito 2 Don Edwards 3 Mike Palmateer

Player with the Best Hockey Sense
1 Wayne Gretzky 2 Marcel Dionne 3 Ulf Nilsson

Best Fore-checker 1 Bobby Clarke 2 Doug Risebrough 3 Bob Gainey

Best Back-checker 1 Bob Gainey 2 Al MacAdam 3 Bobby Clarke

Best on Face-offs 1 Bobby Clarke 2 Doug Jarvis 3 Phil Esposito

Best Wrist Shot 1 Lanny McDonald 2 Denis Potvin 3 Danny Gare

Best Stickhandler 1 Gil Perreault 2 Marcel Dionne 3 Guy Lafleur

Hardest Hitter 1 Barry Beck 2 Denis Potvin 3 Clark Gillies

Best Slap Shot 1 Reed Larson 2 Larry Robinson 3 Guy Lafleur

Best Linesman John D'Amico, Leon Stickle

Best Referee 1 Wally Harris 2 Bruce Hood 3 Andy Van Hellemond

Best Coach 1 Scotty Bowman 2 Al Arbour 3 Fred Shero

Best General Manager 1 Bill Torrey 2 Lou Nanne 3 Scotty Bowman

Favorite Arena 1 Montreal Forum 2 Maple Leaf Gardens 3 Madison Square Garden

Most Natural Talent 1 Wayne Gretzky 2 Gil Perreault 3 Guy Lafleur

Player Most Valuable to His Team 1 Wayne Gretzky 2 Guy Lafleur 3 Marcel Dionne

Best Young Player (under 23) 1 Wayne Gretzky 2 Ray Bourque 3 Bobby Smith

If You Were Starting An NHL Team From Scratch, Which Current NHL Player Wold You First Select? 1 Wayne Gretzky 2 Guy Lafleur 3 Bryan Trottier

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Old
09-13-2009, 11:10 AM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Interesting that the best ref was Wally 'let everything go' Harris.
Guess the players liked to decide the games themselves back then.

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09-13-2009, 11:28 AM
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JaymzB
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-All of these polls confirm what we all probably knew. Bob Gainey was the best defensive forward of his time. His Selke's aren't simply a product of playing in Montreal.
-Interesting how high Larry Robinson is regarded as a defensive defenceman.

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09-13-2009, 01:11 PM
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seventieslord
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-All of these polls confirm what we all probably knew. Bob Gainey was the best defensive forward of his time. His Selke's aren't simply a product of playing in Montreal.
-Interesting how high Larry Robinson is regarded as a defensive defenceman.
It also shows the players didn't have access to goals against stats for forwards. If they did it is unlikely they'd have chosen Gainey over Clarke or Ramsay.

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09-13-2009, 11:14 PM
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It also shows the players didn't have access to goals against stats for forwards. If they did it is unlikely they'd have chosen Gainey over Clarke or Ramsay.
True, but goals-against stats are corrupted by goaltending, not to mention the other 4 skaters you are playing with.

I saw Gainey play throughout his career and I am very comfortable in saying that he was the finest defensive forward I ever saw...better even than Clarke or Ramsay, who were very good, too.
And, no, I am not a Habs fan...quite the opposite, in fact. I loathed les Canadiens in the seventies.

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Old
09-14-2009, 12:02 AM
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seventieslord
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True, but goals-against stats are corrupted by goaltending, not to mention the other 4 skaters you are playing with.
I definitely agree with that, but it seems to me that Gainey had the advantage in this area during these three players' primes - he had Dryden, Clarke had Parent, Ramsay had Edwards.

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09-14-2009, 12:07 AM
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I definitely agree with that, but it seems to me that Gainey had the advantage in this area during these three players' primes - he had Dryden, Clarke had Parent, Ramsay had Edwards.
And a smaller ice surface at home.

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09-14-2009, 12:11 AM
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seventieslord
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And a smaller ice surface at home.
...the effects of which have not been quantified in any way.

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Old
09-14-2009, 12:27 AM
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...the effects of which have not been quantified in any way.
I would have guessed at some point you would have played hockey. Going by your location that is.

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Old
09-14-2009, 12:35 AM
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It also shows the players didn't have access to goals against stats for forwards. If they did it is unlikely they'd have chosen Gainey over Clarke or Ramsay.
I don't buy it.

Gainey was a much better skater than Clarke and more physical than either Clarke or Ramsay.

He was probably the number 3 forward on the Canadiens after Lafleur and Lemaire in terms of importance to the team's success. An argument could be made that he was #2 in the 78 and 79 seasons. IIRC, only Lafleur saw more ice-time among the forwards than Gainey, as both were frequently double-shifted.

Gainey was a true impact player, despite his non-existant puck skills.

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09-14-2009, 10:59 AM
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seventieslord
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I don't buy it.

Gainey was a much better skater than Clarke and more physical than either Clarke or Ramsay.

He was probably the number 3 forward on the Canadiens after Lafleur and Lemaire in terms of importance to the team's success. An argument could be made that he was #2 in the 78 and 79 seasons. IIRC, only Lafleur saw more ice-time among the forwards than Gainey, as both were frequently double-shifted.

Gainey was a true impact player, despite his non-existant puck skills.
There is no doubt that he is awesome, but I have a feeling that his contributions to 5 Stanley Cups made a greater imapct on his all-time legacy than he truly deserved. The statistics show that he was no better than Clarke or Ramsay at actually keeping the puck out of his net (skills like speed and bodychecking are nice, but the end result matters - did you get scored on or not?) Playing on Montreal gave Gainey a significant advantage in this regard and he still did not distance himself from those two.

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09-14-2009, 11:11 AM
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Surprised to see Serge Savard so high still...

Larry Robinson # 3 offensive d-man and then #1 defensive d-man. Not bad, not bad.

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09-14-2009, 12:05 PM
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I find Wayne winning "Most Natural Talent" to be pretty funny/uninformed.

....he could very well be the most "practiced" player of all time.

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09-14-2009, 12:38 PM
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seventieslord
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I can see that happening, though, after he had played just one full season in the spotlight of the NHL. He had tied for the points lead as an 18-19 year old. Perhaps it wasn't until a few years later that everyone really understood what made him so good (you know, the old "he wasn't the biggest, or fastest player, and he didn't have the hardest shot, but he knew where everyone was on the ice and he could anticipate plays and end up in the same spot as the puck)

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09-14-2009, 01:54 PM
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I find Wayne winning "Most Natural Talent" to be pretty funny/uninformed.

....he could very well be the most "practiced" player of all time.
Isn't that what made him so great? He is both one of the most naturally talented players AND one of the most practiced/dedicated/educated players...

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Old
09-14-2009, 02:21 PM
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Shooting accurately is just as much a skill as shooting hard. When Rod Gilbert asked Rocket Richard what the secret to scoring was, Richard didn't say shooting hard, he said know where the net is.

Knowing when and where to find the open man is just as much a skill as getting open for the shot. Indeed getting in a good position to score does no good unless someone gets the puck to you.

Much like Hasek made fluky save after fluky save, Gretzky had the skill to get lucky an awful lot. Hasek's skills were unorthodox, and Greztky's skills were subtle compared to the boom and flash of others, but they are skills none the less.

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Old
09-14-2009, 02:31 PM
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seventieslord
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I agree, but people tend to look for a big physical package when they talk about "naturally skilled" players, like big, fast, physical guys with a huge shot. Lindros, Lemieux, Orr.

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09-14-2009, 04:10 PM
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Dominik Hasek

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Shooting accurately is just as much a skill as shooting hard. When Rod Gilbert asked Rocket Richard what the secret to scoring was, Richard didn't say shooting hard, he said know where the net is.

Knowing when and where to find the open man is just as much a skill as getting open for the shot. Indeed getting in a good position to score does no good unless someone gets the puck to you.

Much like Hasek made fluky save after fluky save, Gretzky had the skill to get lucky an awful lot. Hasek's skills were unorthodox, and Greztky's skills were subtle compared to the boom and flash of others, but they are skills none the less.
Dominik Hasek had a superior understanding of the geometry of hockey and how it pertained to his position. So the saves were far from fluky. The following thread has some posts by Dr. No which touch this aspect of Hasek's game:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...ht=Jamie+Storr

On the other hand Dominik Hasek's skills are inadequately portrayed by SV% stats, etc.

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Old
09-14-2009, 04:17 PM
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... Wow.

The key thing to remember here is
80-81.

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Old
09-14-2009, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Best Defensive Forward 1 Bob Gainey 2 Bobby Clarke 3 Walt Tkaczuk

Best Fore-checker 1 Bobby Clarke 2 Doug Risebrough 3 Bob Gainey

Best Back-checker 1 Bob Gainey 2 Al MacAdam 3 Bobby Clarke
Hmm, Gainey still flying high and no sign of Ramsay . . .

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It also shows the players didn't have access to goals against stats for forwards. If they did it is unlikely they'd have chosen Gainey over Clarke or Ramsay.
Give it up, man. Stats don't tell the whole story. The players know each other better than anyone else and according to them, Gainey is head and shoulders above Rammer.

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
There is no doubt that he is awesome, but I have a feeling that his contributions to 5 Stanley Cups made a greater imapct on his all-time legacy than he truly deserved. The statistics show that he was no better than Clarke or Ramsay at actually keeping the puck out of his net (skills like speed and bodychecking are nice, but the end result matters - did you get scored on or not?) Playing on Montreal gave Gainey a significant advantage in this regard and he still did not distance himself from those two.
Rubbish. If two guys have the same stats, yet one is clearly a better skater and bodychecker, who are you going to take?

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Old
09-14-2009, 07:00 PM
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seventieslord
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Hmm, Gainey still flying high and no sign of Ramsay . . .


Give it up, man. Stats don't tell the whole story. The players know each other better than anyone else and according to them, Gainey is head and shoulders above Rammer.

stats, yet one is clearly a better skater and bodychecker, who are you going to take?
Rubbish. If two guys have the same
...But they don't have the same stats. Ramsay has a slight defensive edge and a large offensive edge.

It doesn't matter how you do it, it just matters that you do it.

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Old
09-14-2009, 08:14 PM
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seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Hmm, Gainey still flying high and no sign of Ramsay . . .


Give it up, man. Stats don't tell the whole story. The players know each other better than anyone else and according to them, Gainey is head and shoulders above Rammer.


Rubbish. If two guys have the same stats, yet one is clearly a better skater and bodychecker, who are you going to take?
See? I told you I knew what was coming.

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