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Bryan Trottier

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Old
08-25-2010, 04:08 AM
  #26
ushvinder
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
I'm not arguing his alltime ranking. And forget about this particular player.

I remain amazed however, how you and a few others (though thankfully not on the HOH board) seemingly diminish the importance of anything that occurs on the ice outside of goals and assists. The traits I listed in my previous post are not "intangibles" (A pejorative word, apparently, among Nuu NHL fan.) They are imortant attributes of a hockey player. The things that lead up, and allow, all those shiny goals and assists to be produced.

If they were not that important, then Marcel Dionne, who tabulated more points than Trottier could be considered a superior player. No one possessing a single brain cell would make that argument, of course.

Look, use whatever metrics you wish to judge players, no one is stopping you. But the idea of viewing Bryan Trottier strictly through point totals and dismissing the rest of his game as "intangibles" MISSES ENTIRELY why he was great. Don't take my word for it, ask anyone else who watched him. Same thing would apply to Bobby Clarke, among several other uniqe greats - they put up GREAT numbers...but their games were so much more than that. That may not mean much to you and that's fine; it does to some of us.
Okay, by that logic, why is Trottier always ranked below esposito and jagr? Those two brought nothing else to the table other than offense?

I never said trottier is weak offensively. I said compared to others in the top 30, him, clarke and messier are significantly weaker on the offensive side and they are. Within two seasons, crosby will already surpass these guys in terms of top 10 finishes.

I have no problem with Trottier being ranked in the 26th-35th positions. However, he doesn't belong in the top 25 because all of those players in the top 25 had better careers. Except maybe Lafluer and Bobby Clarke, those two would be the only ones that I would possibly move out of the top 25 in favour of either newsy lalonde or broduer.


Last edited by ushvinder: 08-25-2010 at 04:14 AM.
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08-25-2010, 04:14 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Okay, by that logic, why is Trottier always ranked below esposito and jagr? Those two brought nothing else to the table other than offense?
Esposito actually was a very complete hockey player - and a prolific scorer.

Jagr was quite possibly one of the top ten offensive talents ever. My own opinion - and that's all it is - when it comes to certain (very, very rare) players is that they are so exceptional in a single aspect that it renders the rest of their game unimportant.

The best examples, of course, are #99 and #66. I think that is the case with Jagr. If your point is that Trottier's offense did not match up Jagr's, no disagreement there. But "weak"? Yikes.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I apologize if it looked like I was trying to imply that Trottier was a product of Bossy; I meant nothing of the sort. I was implying that perhaps Potvin had a greater effect on the production of his teammates than Trottier did.
No need to apologize. It's just opinion. No right or wrong. And I could make a very good case for Potvin, too; he controlled the game from the blueline and was a force on "both sides" of the puck. As great as those NYI teams were, they do not win Cups without any of the big three.


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08-25-2010, 04:32 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Potvin was injured much of the 1979-80 regular season. The team struggled. But that's a very narrow telling of the story. For that Isles team was coming off the hangover of two straight springs when they exited early, after superb regular seasons. (Some say they "choked".) Likewise, they were, until March of 1980 (enter Goring), a team with a huge hole at #2 center behind Trottier. Not to mention, when Potvin returned in February of that year, Ken Morrow joined the Isles (exact same game, a Saturday afternoon loss at NVMC to the then-lowly Wings) as well.

In no way is that meant to suggest that Denis Potvin was not a critical - or even the most critical - piece of that team. (He certainly was the linchpin of NYI moving rapidly from bottom feeder expansion team its first two years to perennial contender through the '70s and dynasty come the '80s.)

But the "games missed" line, as recited here on occasion, is incomplete, per the explanation above.



This is another slanted (incomplete) story and I'll tell you why. Not disputing Bossy's output that season. But then what about Trottier's numbers pre-Bossy? As in: 1975-76 and 1976-77. Seem to recall he did quite well without him, too. (And he ALWAYS made those around him better; Bossy considers him the best passer of all-time.)



I respct DS's opinion as much as anyone's here. But to respond to your last sentence, yes, it was rare at the time. Check out the Hart Trophy voting during those years, as just one example. Likewise, Trottier as late as 1981 (when Gretzky was already circling the competition in scoring) was still being voted by coaches as the most complete player in the game.

In today's Nuu NHL, where offensive stat totals alone often determine who's the "bestest" in the number-riddled minds of some reporters and fans, that label - "most complete" - likely does not have as much weight. (Just go to the main board and read pages worth of BS about how J. Toews is "overrrated!" )

But it did then, rest assured.
OT but Toews is clearly overrated by some. and clearly underrated by others. the problem with the internet is that there are very rarely cerefully weighed opinions since interactions are more often in forms of debates than discussions (no matter the name of the forums (though I will say its better in these parts)). Just as in politics or in court you will get one-sided hyperbole and there is really nothing you can do about it.

but if you read both sides with an open mind you might get an OK picture. some think Toews is equal in value to Crosby and better than Ovie (Conn Smythe, Gold, rabaraba). some to Nick Antropov (never 70 points, to much money, rabaraba). I think the answer is somewhere in between.

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08-25-2010, 04:39 AM
  #29
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OT but Toews is clearly overrated by some. underrated by others. the problem with the internet is that there are very rarely cerefully weighed opinions since interactions are more often in forms of debates than discussions....
Good points, about both how Toews is viewed...and the nature of internet "interaction". (The latter often being frustrating.)

I should have been clearer. Those who consider Toews "overrated" with almost no exceptions, point exclusively to his lesser point totals, in comparison to other players AND SIMULTANEOUSLY dimiss the other, multiple dimensions of his game that he brings to the ice nightly.

It's the terms of the discussion (about Toews) to which I was alluding.

And frankly, I do not consider such subjective. It's pretty basic stuff, if you ask me - if you evaluate a hockey player, you do so in his entirety, not just based on how many "home runs and RBIs" he registered.

It's the difference between having a hockey conversation and a fantasy league conversation. I'll admit, I come to this board for the former.

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08-25-2010, 04:50 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Potvin was injured much of the 1979-80 regular season. The team struggled. But that's a very narrow telling of the story. For that Isles team was coming off the hangover of two straight springs when they exited early, after superb regular seasons. (Some say they "choked".) Likewise, they were, until March of 1980 (enter Goring), a team with a huge hole at #2 center behind Trottier. Not to mention, when Potvin returned in February of that year, Ken Morrow joined the Isles (exact same game, a Saturday afternoon loss at NVMC to the then-lowly Wings) as well.

In no way is that meant to suggest that Denis Potvin was not a critical - or even the most critical - piece of that team. (He certainly was the linchpin of NYI moving rapidly from bottom feeder expansion team its first two years to perennial contender through the '70s and dynasty come the '80s.)

But the "games missed" line, as recited here on occasion, is incomplete, per the explanation above.
To expand upon the point about the effect of Potvin's absence relative to the Islanders' growing pains in 79/80, here's a link from the SI Vault that addresses these matters. The article talks about the a "leadership void" in the team and points out that early in the season, the team enjoyed a better run without Potvin than with him.

I'm not seeking to diminish Potvin either, rather to emphasise that before the avalanche of Cups, he had his doubters too.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...6404/index.htm


Last edited by Stray Wasp: 08-25-2010 at 04:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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08-25-2010, 08:24 AM
  #31
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Trottier was done by 31-32 years old offensively at the most. Was that rare? No, not among the normal player. But the elite? Well it is a noticeable drop off for Trottier, but like someone said those long springs took a toll on his body and I don't think he should get penalized all that badly for not sustaining his offense longer considering he adjusted his game to his environment.
Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.

Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.

How many players have a peak that has more than 6 career years, anyways? Not too damn many.

I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.

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08-25-2010, 09:02 AM
  #32
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Effort and Attitude

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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Esposito actually was a very complete hockey player - and a prolific scorer.

Jagr was quite possibly one of the top ten offensive talents ever. My own opinion - and that's all it is - when it comes to certain (very, very rare) players is that they are so exceptional in a single aspect that it renders the rest of their game unimportant.

The best examples, of course, are #99 and #66. I think that is the case with Jagr. If your point is that Trottier's offense did not match up Jagr's, no disagreement there. But "weak"? Yikes.




No need to apologize. It's just opinion. No right or wrong. And I could make a very good case for Potvin, too; he controlled the game from the blueline and was a force on "both sides" of the puck. As great as those NYI teams were, they do not win Cups without any of the big three.
Excellent point that must be viewed within the context of each player and team.

Still comes down to how that exceptional offensive talent integrates a team and the resulting effort and attitude.

Mike Bossy would fit the exceptional offensive talent mold but his overall work ethic and mindset was such that he did his best at contributing to the defensive side of the game and the various other team elements. Guy Lafleur would fit the exceptional offensive talent mold as well but his overall work ethic and ego was such that the defensive side of the game and the various other team elements were for the peons and as such beneath him. When his offensive skills started to slip due to injury and age he became a negative to the team.

Team elements include how a player practices, providing teammates with opportunities for learning and developmental experiences. Leading by example, facilitating as opposed to obstructing coaching efforts, sharing as opposed to always taking, etc.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-25-2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: addition
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08-25-2010, 09:04 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
I believe Trottier gets "penalized" for the great TEAM he was part of. No doubt that Isles team was among the best teams ever and the fact they had three players (Trottier, Bossy, Potvin) that you can easily make the case were "the most important" to that team - each of their individual value is diminished in some way. It's unfortunate.

I'm guilty of penalizing Messier for his contributions to the dynasty Oilers as well. At the time, I felt Messier was hardly a critical factor on that team, especially before 1983. I saw a different Messier once he left that shadow and became his own leader and champion.

In Trottier's case, it's definitely a factor IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
To expand upon the point about the effect of Potvin's absence relative to the Islanders' growing pains in 79/80, here's a link from the SI Vault that addresses these matters. The article talks about the a "leadership void" in the team and points out that early in the season, the team enjoyed a better run without Potvin than with him.

I'm not seeking to diminish Potvin either, rather to emphasise that before the avalanche of Cups, he had his doubters too.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...6404/index.htm
Hard to fathom now....it's not unlike Yzerman's leadership that was questioned before Detroit got really good and started winning in the playoffs. The "choking" moniker seems like a distant memory or a joke at this stage but before the first cup, it was there.

Similar to how the young caps are seen now. Ovechkin questioned for his play in big games.

I find it funny how you have the polarized opinions on this board (as pulppe pointed out earlier) on Ovechkin, Semin and the Caps in general yet few are able to discuss objectively on the topic. I get attacked at suggesting Ovechkin/Semin have much to prove and I'm thrown back stat after stat of how they are awesome playoff players - ignoring the point altogether. frustrating, for sure.

There's a tangible and distinct different between Marcel Dionne, Gilbert Perreault, Dale Hawerchuk AND Bryan Trottier, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman - team success and championship rings. The ability to elevate your play, your teammates, your team to playoff success goes far beyond pts/game /shift adjusted for eras, shots/game and linemate/injury whining. No small point.

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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Esposito actually was a very complete hockey player - and a prolific scorer.

Jagr was quite possibly one of the top ten offensive talents ever. My own opinion - and that's all it is - when it comes to certain (very, very rare) players is that they are so exceptional in a single aspect that it renders the rest of their game unimportant.

The best examples, of course, are #99 and #66. I think that is the case with Jagr. If your point is that Trottier's offense did not match up Jagr's, no disagreement there. But "weak"? Yikes.
I wouldn't rank Jagr that high. For me, it's 99 and 66 and nobody close.

That "best at one dimension" argument is perfectly valid. But let's be careful where we draw that line.

I could easily argue that Bossy was much better at scoring goals, relative to the best goal scorers in hockey history (especially in the post-season) MORE THAN Trottier was better as an all-around center or than Potvin was better than any great defenseman.

But that's not fair to Trottier and Potvin since their value as ALL-AROUND hockey players should not and cannot be ignored in terms of their value to the team.


Last edited by redbull: 08-25-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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08-25-2010, 09:13 AM
  #34
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Trottier was one of the game's great players, and I don't believe that lofty status is in dispute, OP.

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08-25-2010, 09:15 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by redbull View Post
I believe Trottier gets "penalized" for the great TEAM he was part of. No doubt that Isles team was among the best teams ever and the fact they had three players (Trottier, Bossy, Potvin) that you can easily make the case were "the most important" to that team - each of their individual value is diminished in some way. It's unfortunate.
I can understand that because it is always difficult to separate individual contribution towards the success of a team.. but who do we consider a better player than Trottier that was not on a great team at least some of their careers?

Which of them did not have top notch help?

Looking at the list of players ahead of him on the HOH List for example, I don't see any off hand.

Messier is an example of a guy who got out of the shadow of Gretzky and really made his own name on that last cup in Edmonton and the one in New York. But even if you say he was the best player on those two teams.. he still had tons of great help.

No matter who you are you can't win a Stanley Cup on your own.

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08-25-2010, 11:09 AM
  #36
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Bryan Trottier is very underated,one of the best two way players of all time,and man that guy could hit hard.

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08-25-2010, 11:16 AM
  #37
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Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.

Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.

How many players have a peak that has more than 6 career years, anyways? Not too damn many.

I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
Goals-per-game did rise dramatically between 1977-78 and 1981-82. In just 4 years, average goals per came increased from about 6.5 to 8!

http://www.dropyourgloves.com/Stat/LeagueGoals.aspx

But Trottier's best two regular seasons were in 77-78 and 78-79, before the scoring got really crazy.

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08-25-2010, 12:34 PM
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Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.

Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.

How many players have a peak that has more than 6 career years, anyways? Not too damn many.

I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
I agree. I'd be all for him being top 20. I do think he was better than some of the players ranked ahead of him here. With that said, if Trottier deserves top 20, I think Forsberg deserves to be top 50 atleast.

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08-25-2010, 02:48 PM
  #39
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If I built a team and could pick any player from any time in their prime, there is noone I'd rather have as my no.1 center for a playoff series.

Yes, I'd take Trottier ahead of Gretzky in a 7 game playoff series.

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08-25-2010, 02:51 PM
  #40
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I wouldn't rank Jagr that high. For me, it's 99 and 66 and nobody close.
Among forwards, I agree entirely. And have stated as much for year here. I don't even include #66 and #99 in many discussions like this. For they transcend the expectations/defintion of "a hockey player" as we know it. Seriously.

I was trying to explain to the poster why Jagr would be ranked as high as he is, if in fact, factors other than pure offensive skills should matter.

Quote:
That "best at one dimension" argument is perfectly valid. But let's be careful where we draw that line.
You are preaching to the choir. You see it daily acorss HF, where a player's lousy play away from the puck is passed off as immaterial because "he can get you 20 goals and 50 points and we need offense!"

Yipee!

Missing the forest for the trees, fantasy league style.

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08-25-2010, 03:28 PM
  #41
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Good points, about both how Toews is viewed...and the nature of internet "interaction". (The latter often being frustrating.)

I should have been clearer. Those who consider Toews "overrated" with almost no exceptions, point exclusively to his lesser point totals, in comparison to other players AND SIMULTANEOUSLY dimiss the other, multiple dimensions of his game that he brings to the ice nightly.

It's the terms of the discussion (about Toews) to which I was alluding.

And frankly, I do not consider such subjective. It's pretty basic stuff, if you ask me - if you evaluate a hockey player, you do so in his entirety, not just based on how many "home runs and RBIs" he registered.

It's the difference between having a hockey conversation and a fantasy league conversation. I'll admit, I come to this board for the former.
Not to hijack this Trottier thread, but we all know Toews has never scored more than 69 points in a season and while he isn't in Crosby or Ovechkin or even Malkin's league the truth is because of what else he brings to the table in terms of being a very flawless hockey player (reminds me of Keon in the way that he never seems to have a bad game even if he didn't have a GREAT game, or make glaring mistakes). Not to mention his uncanny knack at such a young age for scoring goals at the right time. Look at the Olympics, I nearly hit the roof when he scored the first goal in the Gold medal game and you got the feeling a guy like him would do that. And we all saw his 2010 playoffs. Bottom line is, the kid could play on my team anyday and I'll forgive him as a 22 year old for not scoring 70 points yet. That offense will come my friends.

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08-25-2010, 03:47 PM
  #42
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Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.
It is still pretty good.

Quote:
Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.
Well, being one of those guys that would probably rate Lafleur higher than Trottier I'll try my best to answer it. Raw numbers are in Lafleur's favour for that 6 year peak but it goes beyond that.

top 10 finishes best 6 years:
Lafleur - 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4

Trottier - 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12

Lafleur 3 Art Ross
Trottier 1 Art Ross

Lafleur 2 Harts
Trottier 1 Hart

Both won 4 Cups but Lafleur was the best player in the world and on his team when he did this. Trottier was not the best player in the world when the Isles had their dynasty. I prefer Potvin (just barely) on the Isles dynasty so he's certainly in the running for 2nd IMO.

So despite the advantage Trottier had with defense, physical play etc. it just isn't right to suggest Trottier had a better prime. Lafleur was the toast of the NHL, he won scoring titles, he won MVPs, he won the Conn Smythe and could have won three to be honest. He was as clutch as they came in every darn Cup he played in on that dynasty. That makes up for the fact that he was nothing special defensively because the way I look at it, Lafleur falls into the category of a player who was the focus of everyone else when he was on the ice. There are precious few players you would say this about, today Ovechkin is a good example perhaps or Sid. So even when you go beyond the numbers you can just see the dominance that Lafleur had over the NHL during that time, he was peerless and I don't think there was ever a time when Trottier was peerless to the NHL. So that's why I rate Lafleur higher, that ridiculous peak! Now compare them solely OUTSIDE of their peaks and it's a clear edge for Trottier IMO


Quote:
I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
To be fair, there are people, including yours truly who penalize Lafleur for his drop off injuries or not. And you know what? They should too. I give Trottier full marks for changing his game to fit the Penguins championship teams but like someone said before a guy like Sakic is often rated higher because at the same age when Trottier was tailing off Sakic was leading the playoffs in scoring en route to a Cup. But we all know the kind of player Trottier was in his prime, he was lethal and could beat you in so many ways. That's really the best way to describe the guy, he could beat you in any style of game. So I don't think he gets underrated among the historians at all.

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08-25-2010, 04:04 PM
  #43
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So despite the advantage Trottier had with defense, physical play etc. it just isn't right to suggest Trottier had a better prime. Lafleur was the toast of the NHL, he won scoring titles, he won MVPs, he won the Conn Smythe and could have won three to be honest. He was as clutch as they came in every darn Cup he played in on that dynasty. That makes up for the fact that he was nothing special defensively because the way I look at it,
This is the part that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

The reason that Lafleur was the toast of the NHL is because he was a top scorer, and he was flashy and exciting to watch. That doesn't necessarily mean he got better results in games than Trottier.

Trottier was close offensively to Lafleur at his best(Lafleurs best season in 76-77 is 136 points , Trottiers best season 78-79 134 points).

Lafleur brings nothing else to the table.

Trottier adds in a ton of other elements that Lafleur never even attempted let alone excelled at.

Trottier was as clutch as they come too. He scored a lot more than Lafleur during his 4 cup wins and added in all the physical and defensive play on top.


Damn it always seems like I am beating up on poor Guy.. I really don't mean to!

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08-25-2010, 04:13 PM
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So despite the advantage Trottier had with defense, physical play etc. it just isn't right to suggest Trottier had a better prime. Lafleur was the toast of the NHL, he won scoring titles, he won MVPs, he won the Conn Smythe and could have won three to be honest. He was as clutch as they came in every darn Cup he played in on that dynasty. That makes up for the fact that he was nothing special defensively because the way I look at it, Lafleur falls into the category of a player who was the focus of everyone else when he was on the ice. There are precious few players you would say this about, today Ovechkin is a good example perhaps or Sid. So even when you go beyond the numbers you can just see the dominance that Lafleur had over the NHL during that time, he was peerless and I don't think there was ever a time when Trottier was peerless to the NHL. So that's why I rate Lafleur higher, that ridiculous peak! Now compare them solely OUTSIDE of their peaks and it's a clear edge for Trottier IMO
But during Trottier's peak, he had to compete against the high-powered Oilers and stop players like Gretzky, Coffey, Messier, Kurri - that's something Lafleur never had to face in his prime.

I don't want to downplay Lafleur's impact on the NHL, the Canadiens and diminish his accomplishments - but the fact that Lafleur was arguably the best player in hockey at the time is almost a reason why Trottier's accomplishments are that much more impressive.

Trottier's performance in the playoffs against that level of competition is extremely underrated.

While Lafleur was the toast of the NHL in his prime....Gretzky (and the Oilers) were the toast of the NHL in Trottier's prime. Trottier should not be penalized for this - quite the contrary, he should be recognized for this (Bossy as well)

It's one thing to lead your team to a cup when you face-off against Mike Richards (no offense to Richards - another player who's much better than stats could ever show) but lining up against a 200 point player, and supporting cast, raises the stakes and can be insurmountable by many elite hockey players. That context is very significant.

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Not to hijack this Trottier thread, but we all know Toews has never scored more than 69 points in a season and while he isn't in Crosby or Ovechkin or even Malkin's league the truth is because of what else he brings to the table in terms of being a very flawless hockey player (reminds me of Keon in the way that he never seems to have a bad game even if he didn't have a GREAT game, or make glaring mistakes). Not to mention his uncanny knack at such a young age for scoring goals at the right time. Look at the Olympics, I nearly hit the roof when he scored the first goal in the Gold medal game and you got the feeling a guy like him would do that. And we all saw his 2010 playoffs. Bottom line is, the kid could play on my team anyday and I'll forgive him as a 22 year old for not scoring 70 points yet. That offense will come my friends.
I've tried making this point in other threads - still tough to get through to people! Are Nik Antropov's 67 points in Atlanta the same as Toews in Chicago? Are they "equal" in ANY POSSIBLE WAY?

Although it's hard to quantify that difference with a number or any kind of metric, they are vastly different players that bring completely different attributes to a team. Is Paul Stastny better than Toews? Would Chicago trade Toews for Semin, who scored 40 goals and 84 points?

The fact he was named captain so young (not unlike Sid), the fact he was SELECTED to the Olympic team, the fact he scored some big goals, the fact he ended up winning a cup, Conn Smythe at that age is an incredible accomplishment on so many levels outside the scoresheet.
---

Interesting you use the term "never seems to have a bad game" - I heard Denis Potvin (or maybe Billy Smith - damn memory!) make that comment about Mike Bossy in his HHOF video tribute. Bossy was consistent in effort and output game after game for his whole career. Consistency is something coaches love, fans (typically) underestimate and rarely found in a young player.

In an era where Linus Omark has a following on HF (thanks to shootouts and Youtube) and, at the same age as Toews, is treated by some as the next great NHL star is embarrassing. Real accomplishments at these young ages (Sid, Toews) are so incredibly rare. To reduce arguments to numbers misses the point entirely IMO.

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08-25-2010, 04:41 PM
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Trottier was a great player. HE was among the league elite for several years. Some people have criticized his early decline but he played in an era where players routinley had their best years done and over with by 28.

Players like Yzerman, Messier and Sakic have also had the benifit of extended carreers due to changes in personal training, equipment and advances in medicine.

On a 1980-2000 all-time team Trottier is my 3rd-4th Center. #1 and 2 go ofcourse to 99and 66, and depending on my mood that day, Lindros or Messier might bump him out of the #3 spot.

The point is he is an all-time elite player. One of the best all-round players in the game due to how effective he was on both sides of the puck.

As for his all-time ranking, I think after the top 10-15 it is really a matter of personal preference. The top 4 are set. There is are decent arguments for the order of 5-7, but after that it starts getting tough. Out of the 9000 or so players who have played the game at the highest level to be mentioned anywhere in the top 50 or 100 is a testiment as too how good theplayer must have been. Think of it this way; IF 9000 players have played in the NHL, being in the top 90 would put you in the top 1% of every player who has ever played. Trottier is in that 1% for sure!

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08-25-2010, 06:51 PM
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Even if you concede the point that he dropped off a little early.. his offensive peak still stands up with pretty much anyone.

Lafleur whom everyone here seems to agree had a fantastic offensive peak had in his top 6 seasons 327 goals, 439 assists and 766 points.

Trottier in his top 6 seasons had 256 goals 448 assists for 704 points.

Now obviously Lafleur peaked higher, especially as a goal scorer, but he gets all kinds of credit for that short but wonderful peak. And please don't roll out the different era argument when their career years mostly overlap.

Trottier is within hailing distance of that same peak for points, adds every other hockey skill you can think of at an excellent level and gets put down for having the short peak.

How many players have a peak that has more than 6 career years, anyways? Not too damn many.

I just don't get why there seems to be a double standard for Trottier. Again, I don't see how he can really move up the HOH list against that competition because he is already quite high.. although I think the case could be made. I am just trying to understand why he seems to get so little appreciation in general.
I was actually compelled by this, to the point where I was ready to start to wonder why Lafleur would even be ranked ahead of Trottier. After all, Lafleur did nothing outside of his six years, and Trottier did.... well, something at least.

But TDMM correctly pointed out that scoring changed by about 20% during that time, and it all makes sense again. Trots wasn't just a few percent behind Lafleur offensively.

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08-25-2010, 07:45 PM
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I was actually compelled by this, to the point where I was ready to start to wonder why Lafleur would even be ranked ahead of Trottier. After all, Lafleur did nothing outside of his six years, and Trottier did.... well, something at least.

But TDMM correctly pointed out that scoring changed by about 20% during that time, and it all makes sense again. Trots wasn't just a few percent behind Lafleur offensively.
You guys explain away way too much with that crutch. Trying to mash prickly facts into a dogma.

Lafleurs best seasons: 74-75 to 79-80

Trottiers best seasons: 77-78 to 81-82, and 84.

For those that are challenged that means that 3 of their career years overlapped.

Trottier won his Art Ross with a prime Lafleur as his competition (1 point behind Dionne in 3rd place that year). Lafleur also won an Art Ross where Trottier came 2nd. In the third overlapping season Lafleur was 3rd in scoring and Trottier 6th (this is the biggest gap).

Lafleurs best season of 136 points comes on a team with 385 goals for in a league with an average of 6.64 goals per game.

Trottiers best season of 134 points comes on a team with 358 goals for in a league with an average of 7.00 goals for per game.

20% difference in league scoring isn't even in the ballpark when you are comparing absolute peaks. We're talking more about 5% between their two best seasons and that is penalizing Trottier 5% for being on a team that scored 27 less goals. Even if you do that ridiculous exercise Trottier is 127 points to Lafleurs 136 at their absolute peaks offensively.

You could say that Trottier's 82 and 84 seasons benefitted from some higher average scoring but even if you just plain throw those away.. at the very top of their games Trottier is competing with Lafleur offensively for production (obviously lacking in the flair department in comparison) and if that is the case.. he demolishes Lafleur overall as a player at their peaks.

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08-25-2010, 07:52 PM
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...Consistency is something coaches love, fans (typically) underestimate and rarely found in a young player.

In an era where Linus Omark has a following on HF (thanks to shootouts and Youtube) and, at the same age as Toews, is treated by some as the next great NHL star is embarrassing. Real accomplishments at these young ages (Sid, Toews) are so incredibly rare. To reduce arguments to numbers misses the point entirely IMO.
More insight packed into a couple of sentences (and your entire post) than one often reads in an entire month elsewhere on this board.

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08-25-2010, 08:39 PM
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The reason that Lafleur was the toast of the NHL is because he was a top scorer, and he was flashy and exciting to watch. That doesn't necessarily mean he got better results in games than Trottier.
Oh boy, you know when you are in a debate and you hate going against a player you admire and respect? This is the case. I love Trottier and in his prime he was magnificent, case closed. But I think Lafleur was a little bit better than flashy and exciting. He was those things for sure, but he often never gets enough credit for his playmaking. We all know his goal scoring was pretty much the best in his era (gotta give Lafleur the edge over Trotts there obviously) but he was an elite playmaker. How many guys are responsible for pretty much singlehandidly getting a guy into the HHOF? This is Steve Shutt we are talking about.


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Trottier was as clutch as they come too. He scored a lot more than Lafleur during his 4 cup wins and added in all the physical and defensive play on top.
You have to also take into consideration that Trottier had an extra round of playoffs than Lafleur which started in 1980, the first year of the Isles dynasty. But in an overall ranking between the two players we can look at it this way. Where did they rank in playoff scoring in their 4 year dynasty?

Lafleur - 1, 1, 2, 3
Trottier - 1, 1, 3, (outside the top 10)

As far as being more central to that dynasty there is without a doubt no one more important than Lafleur hands down. While Trottier would likely get 2nd or 3rd at the worst (nothing wrong with that of course). I don't know, a prime vs. prime I still take the dominance of Lafleur

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08-25-2010, 09:00 PM
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I love Trottier and in his prime he was magnificent, case closed. But I think Lafleur was a little bit better than flashy and exciting. He was those things for sure, but he often never gets enough credit for his playmaking. We all know his goal scoring was pretty much the best in his era (gotta give Lafleur the edge over Trotts there obviously) but he was an elite playmaker. How many guys are responsible for pretty much singlehandidly getting a guy into the HHOF? This is Steve Shutt we are talking about.
For sure Lafleur was flashier and more exciting, a better goal scorer and definitely they were both among the best playmakers at the time.

I'm not really arguing that Trottier was better than Lafleur offensively.. I'm just saying that even if he is just keeping up offensively he pretty much by default is better overall. Unless you value an extra 5-20 points a season more than all the things Trottier did night in and night out that don't necessarily show on the scoreboard.

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You have to also take into consideration that Trottier had an extra round of playoffs than Lafleur which started in 1980, the first year of the Isles dynasty.
That is true I totally forgot about the extra round.


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Lafleur - 1, 1, 2, 3
Trottier - 1, 1, 3, (outside the top 10)

As far as being more central to that dynasty there is without a doubt no one more important than Lafleur hands down. While Trottier would likely get 2nd or 3rd at the worst (nothing wrong with that of course). I don't know, a prime vs. prime I still take the dominance of Lafleur
Again though, the fact that Trottier is competitive with 2 firsts and a 3rd offensively means he is competing on the offensive side of the game with Lafleur as far as finishes go in 3/4 of their respective cup winning seasons.

Lafleur is better overall as an offensive player without question, but is it enough to overcome Trottier being outstanding defensively, winning faceoffs and a being a physically imposing player at the same time?

Also I agree that Lafleur is an easier choice as the best player on his dynasty squad but lets not forget that Dryden, Lemaire and the big 3 among others are no slouches either. And I think a convincing argument could be made for Trottier just the same.. even though I feel Potvin was most likely the guy for the Isles, personally.

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