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Best Defensive Forward Ever

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Old
12-15-2009, 10:07 AM
  #1
Prophecy35
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Best Defensive Forward Ever

I'm not sure if there's a topic already on this, but I was wondering who the best defensive forward of all time is. Ever since the Selke was given out, my top four are Gainey, Carbonneau, Lehtinen, and Peca. If I were to go before the Selke, one name that pops into my head is Claude Provost.

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Old
12-15-2009, 11:15 AM
  #2
seventieslord
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Well, everyone's going to tell you Gainey even though Montreal's goal differential often didn't get any better while he was on the ice. I'm sure he's up there, but he hasn't shown me enough to be declared #1. Here are 10 names that should be near the top of your list:

Bobby Clarke
Frank Nighbor
Craig Ramsay
Claude Provost
Dave Keon
Nick Metz
Marty Pavelich
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Milt Schmidt
Sergei Fedorov
Esa Tikkanen
Bryan Trottier
Don Luce
Alexei Yashin

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Old
12-15-2009, 11:29 AM
  #3
Dreakmur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Well, everyone's going to tell you Gainey even though Montreal's goal differential often didn't get any better while he was on the ice. I'm sure he's up there, but he hasn't shown me enough to be declared #1. Here are 10 names that should be near the top of your list:

Bobby Clarke
Frank Nighbor
Craig Ramsay
Claude Provost
Dave Keon
Nick Metz
Marty Pavelich
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Milt Schmidt
Sergei Fedorov
Esa Tikkanen
Bryan Trottier
Don Luce
Alexei Yashin
I know you didn't just leave out my boy Jack Walker....

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Old
12-15-2009, 11:47 AM
  #4
Padan
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Alexei Yashin
Are you serious?

Good list though.

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Old
12-15-2009, 11:59 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Well, everyone's going to tell you Gainey even though Montreal's goal differential often didn't get any better while he was on the ice. I'm sure he's up there, but he hasn't shown me enough to be declared #1. Here are 10 names that should be near the top of your list:

Bobby Clarke
Frank Nighbor
Craig Ramsay
Claude Provost
Dave Keon
Nick Metz
Marty Pavelich
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Milt Schmidt
Sergei Fedorov
Esa Tikkanen
Bryan Trottier
Don Luce
Alexei Yashin
lol

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Old
12-15-2009, 12:07 PM
  #6
Psycho Papa Joe
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10 Best I've Seen That I can recall:

Carbonneau
Gainey
Clarke
C.Ramsey
Lehtinen
Peca
Tikkanen
Marcotte
Brent Sutter
Trottier

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Old
12-15-2009, 12:35 PM
  #7
seventieslord
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- Yes, I'm serious about Yashin. Watch him play. He's fantastic.

- Yeah, Jack Walker definitely deserves a mention in the above list. Throw in Bob Pulford as well.

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Old
12-15-2009, 12:45 PM
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kmad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Well, everyone's going to tell you Gainey even though Montreal's goal differential often didn't get any better while he was on the ice. I'm sure he's up there, but he hasn't shown me enough to be declared #1. Here are 10 names that should be near the top of your list:

Bobby Clarke
Frank Nighbor
Craig Ramsay
Claude Provost
Dave Keon
Nick Metz
Marty Pavelich
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Milt Schmidt
Sergei Fedorov
Esa Tikkanen
Bryan Trottier
Don Luce
Alexei Yashin
This looks like the kind of list that would have Joe Klukay on it.

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Old
12-15-2009, 12:49 PM
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Dreakmur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
- Yes, I'm serious about Yashin. Watch him play. He's fantastic.

- Yeah, Jack Walker definitely deserves a mention in the above list. Throw in Bob Pulford as well.
Here's my top 10 in no particular order

Bobby Clarke
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Frank Nighbor
Jack Walker
Claude Provost
Milt Schmidt
Bryan Trottier
Craig Ramsay
Dave Keon

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Old
12-15-2009, 01:18 PM
  #10
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Rakovsky View Post
This looks like the kind of list that would have Joe Klukay on it.
Yeah, it does, but I'm not sure he's way up at that level. A guy like Nick Metz, for example, you can find all kinds of good stuff on. Pavelich too. And for Pavelich there is a marked decline in Richard's numbers when he faced him. (same for Provost with Hull and Mahovlich's numbers, big-time)

With any old player, we're just making educated guesses by piecing together what information we have - it's a combination of the eyeball test, quotes, selke voting, GF/GA stats, and their effect on the scoring of the stars they checked. I just don't have enough of that for Klukay. Would it satisfy you if I said he was in the next tier?

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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Here's my top 10 in no particular order

Bobby Clarke
Bob Gainey
Guy Carbonneau
Frank Nighbor
Jack Walker
Claude Provost
Milt Schmidt
Bryan Trottier
Craig Ramsay
Dave Keon
I think Schmidt and Trottier are a step below the others. I'd probably put Metz and Pavelich there instead.

You could almost say there's a dropoff after the elite 8. (the other 8 on your list)

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Old
12-15-2009, 01:48 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I think Schmidt and Trottier are a step below the others. I'd probably put Metz and Pavelich there instead.

You could almost say there's a dropoff after the elite 8. (the other 8 on your list)
Probably a drop after 8th.

I'd say Schmidt, Trottier, Metz, and Pavelich are all similar defensively. I'll take the guys who can do more overall.

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Old
12-15-2009, 01:55 PM
  #12
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Probably a drop after 8th.

I'd say Schmidt, Trottier, Metz, and Pavelich are all similar defensively. I'll take the guys who can do more overall.
Yeah.... BUT we are isolating defense here. Otherwise you may as well drop Gainey right off the list. Just sayin'.

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Old
12-15-2009, 02:15 PM
  #13
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Bobby Clarke, Milt Schmidt, Bryan Trottier and Frank Nighbor are IMO the class of this category. However, if we talk about pure defensive forward, the first name atop of my list his Claude Provost, follow up by Bob Gainey. Guy Carbonneau, Craig Ramsay, Martin Pavelich and Jack Walker are all legitimate answer for the #3 position.

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Old
12-15-2009, 03:03 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yeah.... BUT we are isolating defense here. Otherwise you may as well drop Gainey right off the list. Just sayin'.
Just defense is about even for all 4 of those guys.

Schmidt and Trottier were able to be great defensively while still producing offense. If they focused 100% on defense the way Metz and Pavelich did, they'd be better.

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Old
12-15-2009, 03:19 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
- Yes, I'm serious about Yashin. Watch him play. He's fantastic.

- Yeah, Jack Walker definitely deserves a mention in the above list. Throw in Bob Pulford as well.

Pully is no throw in at all seventies, he had the task of shutting down the oppositions best in the six team league, Hull, Howe and Richards last few years. As you know i saw the majority of his career and he was a better skater than Gainey plus he had better offense.

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Old
12-15-2009, 03:28 PM
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seventieslord
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Pully is no throw in at all seventies, he had the task of shutting down the oppositions best in the six team league, Hull, Howe and Richards last few years. As you know i saw the majority of his career and he was a better skater than Gainey plus he had better offense.
Hey, good to see you here too, buddy.

I know Pulford is great, I didn't mean to make him sound like a throw-in, just that I forgot to mention him the first time around.

Just yesterday I learned Pulford was the NHL's top shorthanded scorer from 55-64 which is pretty impressive when you consider who he went up against.

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Old
12-15-2009, 03:36 PM
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Dave Keon

Gordie Howe

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Old
12-15-2009, 03:58 PM
  #18
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Hmm..Red Kelly? I know I'd easily take him over Gainey or Provost.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:01 PM
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During the 74-75 season Bobby Clarke played 80 games and was on ice for 19 even strength goals against. By comparison, last year's Selke winner Pavel Datsyuk was on ice for 50 even strength goals against.

When Clarke was on the ice, the Flyers outscored their opponents by a 5.2:1 ratio. When he wasn't on the ice, the Flyers outscored their opponents by a 1.5:1 ratio

More information on Clarke's impressive stats in this thread:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=621645

Clarke's defensive excellence gets overlooked because he also scored 116 points that same year. Gainey gets more credit as a defensive forward because he never scored more than 47 points.

I look forward to seeing the cases for why Gainey or Ramsey would be better.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
Hmm..Red Kelly? I know I'd easily take him over Gainey or Provost.
As a defensive forward? Really? Don't think he spent enough time there or did enough to userp those two or anyone on the big lists as far as defense as a forward go.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
As a defensive forward? Really? Don't think he spent enough time there or did enough to userp those two or anyone on the big lists as far as defense as a forward go.
Why not? Kelly was an exceptional defensive player and a very clean player I might add.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
I know you didn't just leave out my boy Jack Walker....
Okay inside joke I assume? Is this the same guy that played a couple of years in the 1920s? Couldn't be any worse than Yashin I guess...............

I guess if you were going to pick a #1 it would be Gainey but no one else has won 4 Selkes so as long as that continues he will have that throne, glamour pick or not. Another one not on here that I thought was good was Steve Kasper. Gretzky has commonly called him the toughest player to play against, high praise.

I put Carboneau just about as good as Gainey though. He might be the best penalty killer of all time and he was just so freaking smart out there.

I like seeing Provost up there. One of the best of all time not in the HHOF. Is best remembered for neutralizing Hull in the 1965 finals

While they are a long ways off I think Datsyuk or Richards can be among these players someday. I've rarely seen a player so dangerous shorthanded as Richards

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:23 PM
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seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
During the 74-75 season Bobby Clarke played 80 games and was on ice for 19 even strength goals against. By comparison, last year's Selke winner Pavel Datsyuk was on ice for 50 even strength goals against.

When Clarke was on the ice, the Flyers outscored their opponents by a 5.2:1 ratio. When he wasn't on the ice, the Flyers outscored their opponents by a 1.5:1 ratio

More information on Clarke's impressive stats in this thread:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=621645

Clarke's defensive excellence gets overlooked because he also scored 116 points that same year. Gainey gets more credit as a defensive forward because he never scored more than 47 points.

I look forward to seeing the cases for why Gainey or Ramsey would be better.
This is the kind of stuff I mean when I say Clarke is arguably the best defensive forward ever.

I think Ramsay is better than Gainey, but it's tough to say either is better than Clarke. Although, both certainly did better than Clarke in Selke voting, and Ramsay's ESGA/GP is even better than Clarke's (Gainey's is close but not quite as good)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
As a defensive forward? Really? Don't think he spent enough time there or did enough to userp those two or anyone on the big lists as far as defense as a forward go.
Punch Imlach's book states that he got Red Kelly specifically because he needed a center who could neutralize big Jean Beliveau.

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Okay inside joke I assume? Is this the same guy that played a couple of years in the 1920s? Couldn't be any worse than Yashin I guess...............
Totally not a joke. I missed Walker the first time, and he should be a member of that "elite 8" we refer to - Gainey, Ramsay, Clarke, Nighbor, Provost, Keon, Carbonneau, and Walker.

The superlatives used regarding Walker's defensive excellence pale only in comparison to those used regarding the great Frank Nighbor. Walker was a very ordinary (below average, actually) offensive player, yet he is in the HHOF solely because of his defense. He shut down Howie Morenz enough for his underdog Victoria squad to take the cup in 1925. He was the master of the hook check, which you'd think would be illegal, but apparently he was rather sneaky because he was also one of the least-penalized playeed of his time.

Walker was a star defensive player (and occasional offensive contributor, particularly in the playoffs) for practically the whole duration of the PCHA's existence. He also won a cup back in 1914 with the Toronto Blueshirts of the NHA. He was nearly 40 when the leagues merged and he came back east to play in the NHL. He didn't just play "a couple of years in the 1920s" - the start of the NHL is not the start of hockey. Or the start of top-level pro hockey... or the start of organized, competitive hockey. Just the start of the NHL.

Join the next all-time draft, Phil. You won't regret it.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:31 PM
  #24
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Okay inside joke I assume? Is this the same guy that played a couple of years in the 1920s? Couldn't be any worse than Yashin I guess...............
Jack Walker may be the #1 defensive player of all time.

He won 3 Cups, and awarded a Retro Conn Smythe for his work shutting down Howie Morenz.

He was awarded 2 Pete Muldoon Trophies, which was a sort of MVP/Leadership award. He was also a 6 x PCHA All-Star.

Ultimate Hockey awarded him 7 Retro Selkes, "Best Defensive Forward" and "Best Shadow" of 1910-19.

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Old
12-15-2009, 04:35 PM
  #25
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Bobby Clarke
Bobby Clarke
Bobby Clarke

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