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Ted Lindsay by today's standards

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Old
03-26-2010, 04:47 PM
  #1
BostonAJ
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Ted Lindsay by today's standards

Terrible Ted - Ultratalented cheap shot artist or old school, hard hockey superstar?

Many of us modern hockey fans (who have never seen Lindsay play) will hear his name and imagine a star player who was tough as nails, and maybe threw a few questionable checks in his day, but generally just an old school, hard hockey legend. Perhaps similar in style to Scott Stevens. But upon further review, this image may be fanciful.

The truth is he was a really, really dirty hockey player. He was directly responsible for the NHL's introduction of elbowing and kneeing penalties. Kneeing players. He was kneeing players so often and so maliciously that the league deemed it necessary to create a rule against it. He received over 400 stitches to his face during his career. He earned the nicknames Terrible Ted and Scarface.

With today's technology, with every fan being able to see any game at any time, with ESPN and TSN, with Youtube, with message boards where we fans can communicate worldwide at the press of a button, I'm wondering if Ted would maintain the same legacy. Rather than a Scott Stevens playing LW type, I'm now envisioning an Alexander Ovechkin/Chris Simon hybrid. Again, I've never seen him play and still consider myself in the minor leagues amongst hockey historians, so I'm looking for input.

One thing I am certain of is that none of the dirtiest modern hockey plays are new under the hockey sun. Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Eddie Shore, and Sprague Cleghorn all made frequent plays that would cause the main board to blow up in protest.

Frequent opponent Howie Meeker on Ted Lindsay...
"I hated that S.O.B"

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03-27-2010, 09:19 AM
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When Howie Meeker says that he hated somebody (he says it about a few folks) there's usually a large measure of respect in the use of the term.

Lindsay was definitely an old school, hardboiled hockey superstar. I think of him as a much more talented Bobby Clarke type but who did not need the rest of the roster to finish what he started. His leadership extended beyond the ice too.

Was there a more unlikely fellow to rally the other NHLers in an attempt to get a better deal for all? Ted Lindsay, one of the league's superstars and best-paid players and also a successful businessman in his off-hours, did not stand to gain personally in any way from the proposed association. Many of today's players could use a little of his Lindsay's integrity

Johnny Wilson and Bill Dineen, both guys who went on to just about everything there is to do in the hockey world, have mentioned how he took them out to dinner during their early days with the Red Wings and made sure they felt that they were full members of the team.

Sprague Cleghorn belongs on a list of his own as far a dirty play goes. You can make the argument that he was certifiable and it probably would have served the game better if he had been banned for life or locked up.

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03-27-2010, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
When Howie Meeker says that he hated somebody (he says it about a few folks) there's usually a large measure of respect in the use of the term.

Lindsay was definitely an old school, hardboiled hockey superstar. I think of him as a much more talented Bobby Clarke type but who did not need the rest of the roster to finish what he started. His leadership extended beyond the ice too.
Exactly. Lindsay answered the bell when he went too far. This is a knock I have against a lot of players. Clarke, Ovechkin, Samuelsson etc. all were/are players you want on your team. None of them are guys who have been held accountable for their actions. Lindsay didn't care. He fought and the guy was 5'8".

He is an all-time great that stopped at nothing to win the game. Kind of like another version of the Rocket. It is no coincidence that the Wings never won another Cup without Terrible Ted. You can't replace his heart. Yes he delivered some cheap shots. I think he would still be loved in todays NHL. Ovechkin is beloved for the most part and even those that hate him still respect his passion for the game. I do, and the only knock I have on him is that he never fights for his cheap shots. Other than that he's a guy that has room on the ice. Lindsay did too. Messier is another good example.

Off the ice, Lindsay is a guy that was terribly shunned by the NHL owners in 1957. Even the players turned on him, although they had been brainwashed. Jack Adams is always at the top of my list as an owner who had a dynasty and just ruined it based on pure ego. A message to Alexei Yashin, Daniel Briere, Wade Redden, Brad Richards, Bobby Holik and other extremely overpaid NHL players past and present: When you get a chance, thank Ted Lindsay.

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03-27-2010, 06:43 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Was Lindsay really more talented than Bobby Clarke?

And not to rag on Ted, but when you say "the Wings never won without Ted," well, they also never won without Red Kelly, either.

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03-27-2010, 07:18 PM
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. Jack Adams is always at the top of my list as an owner who had a dynasty and just ruined it based on pure ego.
Adams was a GM not an owner but your point still holds

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03-27-2010, 07:39 PM
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Ted Lindsay and Winning

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Was Lindsay really more talented than Bobby Clarke?

And not to rag on Ted, but when you say "the Wings never won without Ted," well, they also never won without Red Kelly, either.
Overlooking the 1964-65 season when Ted Lindsay came out of retirement to help the Red Wings to a surprise first place regular season finish, their only first place finish after the 1956-57 season, Lindsay's last in Detroit before being traded to Chicago.

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03-27-2010, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Overlooking the 1964-65 season when Ted Lindsay came out of retirement to help the Red Wings to a surprise first place regular season finish, their only first place finish after the 1956-57 season, Lindsay's last in Detroit before being traded to Chicago.
overlooking the 59-60 season when he scored a grand total of 7 goals for the Blackhawks & then retired. Hawks won the cup in 61 without Ted. IMO, his leadership abilities are way over rated.

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03-27-2010, 08:19 PM
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Was Lindsay really more talented than Bobby Clarke?
No, he wasn't.

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03-27-2010, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
overlooking the 59-60 season when he scored a grand total of 7 goals for the Blackhawks & then retired. Hawks won the cup in 61 without Ted. IMO, his leadership abilities are way over rated.
I'm glad to hear it from someone who actually saw Ted play.

I've read a fair amount about the Red Wings dynasty and looked at Hart voting from the time period. And I really think Gordie Howe and Red Kelly were the straws that stirred the team's drink. And Terry Sawchuk was probably more important than Ted.

In the early years of the dynasty, Sid Abel was the leader, not Ted. He's the guy whose leadership Gordie Howe raved about.

That's the thing - you really can't look to the departure of Ted Lindsay as the turning point. Red Kelly, Terry Sawchuk (though they got him back), Tommy Ivan, and a lot of role players were all sent packing within a short period of time.

Ted is undoubtedly an all time great, but this "more talented than Clarke" business is going too far in all likelihood.


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03-27-2010, 10:15 PM
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Well, Ted Lindsey led the league in scoring, which is something Clarke never did.

Lindsey's actually the only player to have led the league in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.

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03-28-2010, 02:48 AM
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One thing to remember is players will fit the zeitgeist of the day. An envelope pusher is an envelope pusher, but where the envelope is will determine how they push it.

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03-28-2010, 04:22 AM
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Well, Ted Lindsey led the league in scoring, which is something Clarke never did.
... and Clarke won 3 Hart Trophies to Lindsay's none.

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03-28-2010, 11:38 AM
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Adams was a GM not an owner but your point still holds
you know what I meant..............

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03-28-2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Was Lindsay really more talented than Bobby Clarke?

And not to rag on Ted, but when you say "the Wings never won without Ted," well, they also never won without Red Kelly, either.
Kelly was traded in 1960. Lindsay in 1957. It was more of an immediate drop when Ted left. Put it this way, I have always looked at it this way. As great as Howe and Gretzky were they never won without Lindsay and Messier. Now I don't want to look into it too much since Howe > Lindsay and Gretzky > Messier, but there were some intangibles these guys brought to the table that were sorely missed when they left.

The Wings also never won with Hall after Sawchuk left (briefly) and when he returned the team was a different make up especially with losing Lindsay. So it wasn't ALL about Lindsay being gone but without a doubt that was a loss the Wings never recovered from IMO

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03-28-2010, 12:52 PM
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Lindsay is closer to 160cm than he is to 170. He was still great player though.

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03-28-2010, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Kelly was traded in 1960. Lindsay in 1957. It was more of an immediate drop when Ted left. Put it this way, I have always looked at it this way. As great as Howe and Gretzky were they never won without Lindsay and Messier. Now I don't want to look into it too much since Howe > Lindsay and Gretzky > Messier, but there were some intangibles these guys brought to the table that were sorely missed when they left.

The Wings also never won with Hall after Sawchuk left (briefly) and when he returned the team was a different make up especially with losing Lindsay. So it wasn't ALL about Lindsay being gone but without a doubt that was a loss the Wings never recovered from IMO
The wings had kind of been falling anyway. Habs had won the cup in 55-56 & 56-57. Ted had a great year in 56-57 yet Wings were beat by boston in the semis. In his first year with Chicago, Ted dropped from 85 points to 39 & the Hawks missed the playoffs so maybe Adams was right. Ted had a bit of a rebirth the next year on a line with Sloan & litzenberger and then dropped to 26 points in his final Hawks season.

It looks like ted was pretty much finished after 56-57.

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03-28-2010, 09:49 PM
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The wings had kind of been falling anyway. Habs had won the cup in 55-56 & 56-57. Ted had a great year in 56-57 yet Wings were beat by boston in the semis. In his first year with Chicago, Ted dropped from 85 points to 39 & the Hawks missed the playoffs so maybe Adams was right. Ted had a bit of a rebirth the next year on a line with Sloan & litzenberger and then dropped to 26 points in his final Hawks season.

It looks like ted was pretty much finished after 56-57.
I'd accept that if that were the true reason he was traded. But Adams didn't just trade a guy who was on the decline. He traded a guy who was causing "trouble" by having the audacity to start a union.

Suffice to say, the Habs dynasty of the 1950s was inevitable anyways

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03-28-2010, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonAJ View Post
Terrible Ted - Ultratalented cheap shot artist or old school, hard hockey superstar?
I don't see much difference in the two options. Like Nalyd said, players play in the era in which they play; certain guys will push the envelope wherever exactly that envelope is. But "pushing the envelope" isn't an accident -- it's not like Ted Lindsay (or Bobby Clarke or -- let's downgrade -- Sean Avery) was genetically pre-dispositioned to throw elbows and knee people. Playing hockey that way is a conscious decision that people make in order to influence the behavior of opponents.

I don't have science to back it up, but common sense suggests a forward who knows Scott Stevens is on the ice is more likely to chip the puck in instead of trying to skate with it, and he's going to extra-careful to avoid getting hit, potentially giving up on a play. For years, I had nightmares about Bryan Marchment cheap-shotting my beloved Dallas Stars stars, a nightmare that came to fruition multiple times and arguably cost us a Stanley Cup. Fact is, knowing a guy like that was following you into the boards, potentially with a target on your knee -- was going to make you less reluctant to out-race him to a loose puck.

If Lindsay was a cheap shot artist, he was playing in the same league as everybody else in his day. If he was the only one who thought to play dirty, then congratulate him for being a genius in a league of idiots. But we're talking about a guy who won an Art Ross trophy by 10 clear points over his more-famous linemate and finished top 10 a bunch of times. Lindsay used intimidation to great effect, but he fought quite a bit too, and backed it all up with scoring.

More than just a cheap-shot artist.

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03-29-2010, 11:29 AM
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Sprague Cleghorn belongs on a list of his own as far a dirty play goes. You can make the argument that he was certifiable and it probably would have served the game better if he had been banned for life or locked up.
Sprague was dirty, but he was in no way in a class of his own.

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One thing to remember is players will fit the zeitgeist of the day. An envelope pusher is an envelope pusher, but where the envelope is will determine how they push it.
Well-said.

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03-29-2010, 06:52 PM
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[QUOTE=seventieslord;24797616]Sprague was dirty, but he was in no way in a class of his own.

Here's Joe Pelletier on Cleghorn
http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2007...-cleghorn.html

And some other guy
http://www.insidehockey.com/columns/2086

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03-29-2010, 07:12 PM
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i have only seen a small amount of video of lindsay. only enough to say what everyone already knows.

good skater, skilled with the puck, very feisty and tenacious.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
overlooking the 59-60 season when he scored a grand total of 7 goals for the Blackhawks & then retired. Hawks won the cup in 61 without Ted. IMO, his leadership abilities are way over rated.
i think rookie roger crozier was probably more important to DRW's '65 season. he allowed the fewest goals in '65 and won the smythe in '66. but missed much of the next several seasons b/c of health problems.

ullman also had his best offensive season in '65. outscored howe and led the league in goals.

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03-29-2010, 11:36 PM
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[QUOTE=justsomeguy;24805930]
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Sprague was dirty, but he was in no way in a class of his own.

Here's Joe Pelletier on Cleghorn
http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2007...-cleghorn.html

And some other guy
http://www.insidehockey.com/columns/2086
I've also done a considerable amount of research on Cleghorn and I maintain that he's not in some "special class" ahead of Joe Hall, Eddie Shore, Ted Lindsay, and Bobby Clarke. He's at the same level.

http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=2...7&postcount=49

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04-02-2010, 01:31 AM
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If you look at Lindsay's career there seems to be a connection between his aggressive play and his success as a player. In his first three years his penalty totals were not that high.

44/45 43 minutes in 45 games
45/46 14 minutes in 47 games
46/47 57 minutes in 59 games

In 47/48 his penalty total jumped to 95 minutes in 60 games. He led the league in goals that year and made his first of eight first All-Star teams and the Wings went from 55 to 72 points. The next year he missed 10 games but still finished fourth in scoring and made the second All-Star team. That year he had 97 minutes in penalties in 50 games.

In 49/50 his penalty total went up to 141 minutes in 69 games and he led the league in scoring. He made the first All-Star team every year from 49/50 to 56/57 except for 54/55 when he missed 21 games. Every year that he was an All-Star he also finished in the top five in penalty minutes except for 56/57 and even then he had over a hundred minutes.

I don't know all the details of Lindsay's life but I wonder if he made a decision to play more aggressively after his third season. The NHL was pretty nasty in those days and Lindsay wasn't a big man so he may have adopted a kill or be killed attitude in order to remain in the league and to be successful. It does seem that he was a better player after he became meaner on the ice and he was a major contributor to Detroit's success in the 1950's.

On another note the person who started the thread said "The truth is he was a really, really dirty hockey player. He was directly responsible for the NHL's introduction of elbowing and kneeing penalties."

I can't comment on kneeing or when it became a penalty but I do have a copy of the 1945/46 NHL rulebook.

Rule 51. Elbowing

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow in such manner as to in any way foul an opponent.

It's very unlikely Lindsay was responsible for the elbowing rule.

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04-02-2010, 07:32 AM
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Coaching Change

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Originally Posted by eastcoaster View Post
If you look at Lindsay's career there seems to be a connection between his aggressive play and his success as a player. In his first three years his penalty totals were not that high.

44/45 43 minutes in 45 games
45/46 14 minutes in 47 games
46/47 57 minutes in 59 games

In 47/48 his penalty total jumped to 95 minutes in 60 games. He led the league in goals that year and made his first of eight first All-Star teams and the Wings went from 55 to 72 points. The next year he missed 10 games but still finished fourth in scoring and made the second All-Star team. That year he had 97 minutes in penalties in 50 games.

In 49/50 his penalty total went up to 141 minutes in 69 games and he led the league in scoring. He made the first All-Star team every year from 49/50 to 56/57 except for 54/55 when he missed 21 games. Every year that he was an All-Star he also finished in the top five in penalty minutes except for 56/57 and even then he had over a hundred minutes.

I don't know all the details of Lindsay's life but I wonder if he made a decision to play more aggressively after his third season. The NHL was pretty nasty in those days and Lindsay wasn't a big man so he may have adopted a kill or be killed attitude in order to remain in the league and to be successful. It does seem that he was a better player after he became meaner on the ice and he was a major contributor to Detroit's success in the 1950's.

On another note the person who started the thread said "The truth is he was a really, really dirty hockey player. He was directly responsible for the NHL's introduction of elbowing and kneeing penalties."

I can't comment on kneeing or when it became a penalty but I do have a copy of the 1945/46 NHL rulebook.

Rule 51. Elbowing

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who uses his elbow in such manner as to in any way foul an opponent.

It's very unlikely Lindsay was responsible for the elbowing rule.
After the 1946-47 season Tommy Ivan replaced Jack Adams as coach of the Red Wings. Starting with the 1947-48 season the Howe/Lindsay/Abel line saw increased ice time while the Red Wings penalty minute totals also increased, app 10%. Factor in that Lindsay had made the NHL while 19, junior eligible and the normal physical maturation process and you have a good picture why his penalty minutes increased.

Similar to Bobby Clarke - dramatic increase in penalty minutes after four seasons. Also Stan Mikita had an interesting penalty curve. Appreciable drop seasons three and four with Rudy Pilous followed by a very significant increase the first two years with Billy Reay.

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04-02-2010, 08:41 AM
  #25
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... and Clarke won 3 Hart Trophies to Lindsay's none.
This is true. I think Clarke was just as talented as Lindsay. Both were excellent leaders and players.

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