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Lindros: Could have been "The Next One?"

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07-15-2011, 11:08 AM
  #51
redbull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Dancer View Post

Assume Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Eric Lindros were all being drafted into the NHL the same year. Based solely on their junior stats and ignoring (it's hard to do) what they later accomplished in the NHL. Who would draft #1, #2 and # 3?
this needs its own thread!

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see 99 go 3rd!

I'd guess Mario 1st, Lindros 2nd and then Gretzky. Without looking at any of the numbers but just based on memory and hype at the time. I know Howie Meeker (among others) had stated at the time (and for years after) that Gretzky wouldn't be able to play in the NHL, he was too small/frail - he'd get killed.

Mario averaged 4pts a game, like 280pts or so in his draft year. Completely disgusting. I used to watch french-language highlights on local TV, very rare at the time, he was beyond belief for that league

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07-15-2011, 11:16 AM
  #52
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Wasn't the draft age still 18 then? I'm pretty sure Lemieux would have been drafted in 83 had he been born a month earlier.

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07-15-2011, 11:26 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Infinite Vision View Post
Wasn't the draft age still 18 then? I'm pretty sure Lemieux would have been drafted in 83 had he been born a month earlier.
Yeah it was actually, 1980 they changed it to 18 not 19 like I thought.

Either way, we still only have Gretzky's 16 year old junior year to go by.

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07-15-2011, 11:51 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by redbull View Post
Mario averaged 4pts a game, like 280pts or so in his draft year. Completely disgusting. I used to watch french-language highlights on local TV, very rare at the time, he was beyond belief for that league
Yeah, Lemieux got a bit of hype. Just a little.


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07-15-2011, 02:55 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by ozzie View Post
Hey while he didn't keep his head up. I still am of the opinion that the NHL failed to protect its stars in the 90's and during the dead puck era.

The image they started to present and compete with was much like MLB, when Sosa and Mcgquire were chasing records. Big cartoon invincible men on steroids, almost comic book type marketing.

I think the NHL got caught up in that fantasy somewhat, they wanted big men, big hockey, trapping hockey. Rough and tumble hard knocks. It might not have been as bad as say the 70's? ( i was to young to know). Lindros was the perfect front man for the image they tried to establish, maybe it was because of him or the Devils? who knows.

In the end I believe they failed to protect their bread and butter players. From the Suter hits on Gretzky, again to Kariya, to Stevens on Lindros and Kariya. NHL started to believe their players were super human.

That culture that became acceptable has no place in todays game and the league is somewhat more pro-active protecting their star players. Still not perfect.

Much as I liked Stevens, I still think he got caught up in the freight train type hits. He started to get carried away and started targetting people. His team steered players into his tracks. Maybe he didn't intend to cause so much injuries, maybe he did. I like to believe he started to believe the image of Supermen in the NHL and no one was getting seriously hurt.

Unfortunately for Lindros, Kariya and others it was to late.

The idea of finish your checks has long since been forgotten and transformed into running over people well beyond its meaning. but that is a different topic.

As a fan I feel robbed of never seeing Lindros become what he should have been. A winner and a legend.

It is amazing that in 2011 the NHL is still trying to play catch-up and acknowledge that the reality is that the players and equipment and the danger to them is much different than in 1970 or before.

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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Why should NHL give special treatment to anyone? They didn't protect any player during the dead puck era and yet some was better than Lindros. It's about playstyle and smarts, not who was getting protected by the league. Look at how Lemieux was treated before the dead puck era (and during it) and still out performed Lindros.
Football is very good at protecting it's star players, particularly QB's and WR's, the bottom line is that Gary Bettman has shown very little leadership in this department.

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Originally Posted by lextune View Post
This says it all....

....and the league is still cursed with the problem of predatory players like Cooke and others.
Gary Bettman, okay and maybe Don Cherry too but the latter is a personality and in the entertainment department and doesn't have the responsibility that Bettman has.

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07-15-2011, 03:01 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Dancer View Post

Assume Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Eric Lindros were all being drafted into the NHL the same year. Based solely on their junior stats and ignoring (it's hard to do) what they later accomplished in the NHL. Who would draft #1, #2 and # 3?
1. Mario Lemieux
2. Eric Lindros
3. Wayne Gretzky

You can debate between the first two, but I think Gretzky definitely goes third. His lack of size was seen as a question mark, a "problem." the other two didn't have.

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07-15-2011, 03:03 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
There'll always be hits like that, but I was talking more in terms of actually defending him rather than trying to take his head off. Back then, a smaller defenseman could get away with wrapping him up in the corner or putting their stick in his midsection on the way to the net. Under the current rules, a 5'11" defenseman would need Lidstrom-esque perfect positioning and stick play to have a chance at stopping Lindros below the circles. Engaging him physically would be almost comical.
I honestly think it could go the other way. Under the old rules, Lindros could physically brutalize smaller defensemen in ways that would be illegal now.

Lindros also didn't have the speed to really take advantage of the new no-obstruction rules. In my opinion, guys like Lindros, Forsberg, and Jagr were tailor-made to playing in the dead puck era. A small, fast, shifty guy like Sakic would benefit more from post-lockout hockey IMO.

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07-15-2011, 03:12 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Agree with most of what you said, until you said Lindros had Ovechkin's goal scorer ability. Lindros wasn't close to Ovechkin as a goal scorer.
I agree that AO is a better goal scorer but the gap might not be as large as some put it.

Top 10 in GPG

AO 1,1,1,5,5

Eric 3,4,6,6,6,6,8,10

It also remains to be seen if the league has "adjusted to AO if there is a lingering injury issue. Let's all hope that if it is injury that he regains full health and continues to be a star player.

When we take playoffs into the equation however the gap does widen as AO has been a great scorer with 25 goals in 37 games.

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07-15-2011, 03:22 PM
  #59
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I don't think that Lindros had the natural pure talent that Lemieux and Gretzky had, don't get me wrong he was talented but not nearly as much as people think. Look how he use to stickhandle the puck for instance, it was like he was handling a live grenade. He just used his big body to power through players and hit like crazy and that type of game led to his downfall, even without the concussions and injuries, I don't think he would of been considered to be a top 5 player of all time like Lemieux or Gretzky. And besides, part of being a good hockey player is having good on ice awareness and to keep your head up and to check at calculated times, he went overboard on the physical aspect of the game. So these "what if's" don't apply to Lindros like they apply to Lemieux because Lemieux's problems were not on ice related, they were off ice problems like back problems and cancer. The way Lindros played directly led to his downfall.

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07-15-2011, 03:58 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
1. Mario Lemieux
2. Eric Lindros
3. Wayne Gretzky

You can debate between the first two, but I think Gretzky definitely goes third. His lack of size was seen as a question mark, a "problem." the other two didn't have.
I also agree here, taking them purely how they were out of JR they would go like that with maybe Eric going number 1. NHL scouts always have and will continue for some time to come to put a premium on size and physical attributes for better or worse.

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07-15-2011, 04:55 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I also agree here, taking them purely how they were out of JR they would go like that with maybe Eric going number 1. NHL scouts always have and will continue for some time to come to put a premium on size and physical attributes for better or worse.

...and whoever had the 3rd pick would of gotten the deal of the century.
As crazy as it sounds, they would of gotten a player that almost played as many games and scored almost 300 more points as the #1 and #2 picks combined heh.

Then again, who says Wayne wouldn't of put up 300-400 points in his second year of Junior and maybe size wouldn't of been quite as big of a factor
I mean hell, Wayne put up at 16 what Mario didn't put up till he was a 17 year old.

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07-15-2011, 07:30 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
...and whoever had the 3rd pick would of gotten the deal of the century.
As crazy as it sounds, they would of gotten a player that almost played as many games and scored almost 300 more points as the #1 and #2 picks combined heh.

Then again, who says Wayne wouldn't of put up 300-400 points in his second year of Junior and maybe size wouldn't of been quite as big of a factor
I mean hell, Wayne put up at 16 what Mario didn't put up till he was a 17 year old.
We all know who the better player turned out to be but coming out of JR and judging all 3 players at the same age in their developments, the scouts would have gone with the 2 bigger guys, although I'm sure some would have taken Wayne but they would have been the minority.

We have comparable stats for all 3 at age 17, the year before their draft years, including regular season, playoffs and WJC. all 3 are pretty comparable in their stats except Mario who didn't dominate as much at the WJC

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07-15-2011, 08:48 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
We all know who the better player turned out to be but coming out of JR and judging all 3 players at the same age in their developments, the scouts would have gone with the 2 bigger guys, although I'm sure some would have taken Wayne but they would have been the minority.

We have comparable stats for all 3 at age 17, the year before their draft years, including regular season, playoffs and WJC. all 3 are pretty comparable in their stats except Mario who didn't dominate as much at the WJC
No we don't! Gretzky's junior stats and WJC numbers were all at age 16 not 17. We have no Junior stats for Gretzky at 17.
Gretzky's year before what would of been his draft year was spent completely in the WHA and he didn't even play in the WJC at 17.

Just to refresh what each did at 16 years old

Gretzky OHL: 63GP 182 points, WJC: 6GP 17 points
Lemieux QMJHL: 64GP 96 points, WJC: Did not play
Lindros OHL: 25GP 36 points, WJC: 7GP 4 points


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07-15-2011, 10:37 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
No we don't! Gretzky's junior stats and WJC numbers were all at age 16 not 17. We have no Junior stats for Gretzky at 17.
Gretzky's year before what would of been his draft year was spent completely in the WHA and he didn't even play in the WJC at 17.

Just to refresh what each did at 16 years old

Gretzky OHL: 63GP 182 points, WJC: 6GP 17 points
Lemieux QMJHL: 64GP 96 points, WJC: Did not play
Lindros OHL: 25GP 36 points, WJC: 7GP 4 points
I took the ages from hockey reference.com do they have the ages wrong?

I checked their criteria and it's the age of a player on Feb 1 of a season (which is a weird cutoff, why not Jan 1st or at the start of a season or the end of it?)


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07-15-2011, 10:52 PM
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I took the ages from hockey reference.com do they have the ages wrong?
Yep.
Figure it out for yourself, Gretz was born Jan 26 1961, the WJC he was in was at the end of '77 through the beginning of '78. He was obviously 16. This was also his only year of Junior with Sault Ste. Marie. (Well technically that isn't true either, he played 3 games the year before after he turned 16 but the reality is, that was his 15 year old year).
He then played in the WHA at the age of 17 instead of Junior and under normal circumstances he wouldn't of been eligible for the NHL until the next year, 1979 when he turned 18.

This is why I always get confused when people constantly try and use Gretzky's 137 point season against Crosby's 120 point season. It's bull****.
That was Sid's second possible year that he could of been in the NHL, Gretzky's second possible year, he scored 164 points.
Sid fanboi's at work, no doubt.


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07-16-2011, 12:50 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
No we don't! Gretzky's junior stats and WJC numbers were all at age 16 not 17. We have no Junior stats for Gretzky at 17.
Gretzky's year before what would of been his draft year was spent completely in the WHA and he didn't even play in the WJC at 17.

Just to refresh what each did at 16 years old

Gretzky OHL: 63GP 182 points, WJC: 6GP 17 points
Lemieux QMJHL: 64GP 96 points, WJC: Did not play
Lindros OHL: 25GP 36 points, WJC: 7GP 4 points
Gretzky's numbers at every level are simply astounding.

From '82 - '87, Gretzky's prime years, he scored 1219 pts, next highest was Mike Bossy at just 698.

There are only 7 other players (2 of those, teammates Coffey and Kurri) that Gretzky didn't at least DOUBLE. To outscore the best of the rest by over 500pts in just 6 years is incomprehensible.

782 assists, almost 100 more than Bossy had total points.

A combined +456, next highest, +279.

I'm a huge Crosby fan but there's absolutely zero comparison to Gretzky in terms of dominance and production.

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07-16-2011, 01:21 AM
  #67
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
1. Mario Lemieux
2. Eric Lindros
3. Wayne Gretzky

You can debate between the first two, but I think Gretzky definitely goes third. His lack of size was seen as a question mark, a "problem." the other two didn't have.
Disagree that Gretzky's size was seen as a potential "problem" or "question mark". Don't remember anything about that, and he dominated teams full of bigger players all the way to cracking the WHA/NHL. But you're possibly right in that the size may very well have put the other two above him in the end. Definitely a significant tiebreaker, given the talent all three had displayed by the time their respective drafts came along.

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Originally Posted by Countdowntoimpact View Post
I don't think that Lindros had the natural pure talent that Lemieux and Gretzky had, don't get me wrong he was talented but not nearly as much as people think. Look how he use to stickhandle the puck for instance, it was like he was handling a live grenade. He just used his big body to power through players and hit like crazy and that type of game led to his downfall, even without the concussions and injuries, I don't think he would of been considered to be a top 5 player of all time like Lemieux or Gretzky. And besides, part of being a good hockey player is having good on ice awareness and to keep your head up and to check at calculated times, he went overboard on the physical aspect of the game. So these "what if's" don't apply to Lindros like they apply to Lemieux because Lemieux's problems were not on ice related, they were off ice problems like back problems and cancer. The way Lindros played directly led to his downfall.
Particularly disagree with the bolded part. Lindros could toe drag in traffic as well as Forsberg could have ever hoped to, for example, and his subtle backhand dishes (also in traffic) to streaking open linemates remain underrated to this day.

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07-16-2011, 03:01 AM
  #68
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Disagree that Gretzky's size was seen as a potential "problem" or "question mark". Don't remember anything about that, and he dominated teams full of bigger players all the way to cracking the WHA/NHL. But you're possibly right in that the size may very well have put the other two above him in the end. Definitely a significant tiebreaker, given the talent all three had displayed by the time their respective drafts came along.
It was actually.
Every time you turned around, some "expert" was talking about him surviving in the NHL or being able to make it through a full season on his skinny frame.
Gretzky shut a lot of them up after his first season and then all but punched the remaining square in their faces with his 2nd and 3rd seasons.

Have to remember, a lot of NHL people were none too happy when Wayne skipped his second year of Junior and played in the WHA instead.
Don't be fooled over how malicious some of these folks could be. These are the same ones that kept Bobby Hull out of the '72 Summit series because he went to the WHA.

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07-16-2011, 03:43 AM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
It was actually.
Every time you turned around, some "expert" was talking about him surviving in the NHL or being able to make it through a full season on his skinny frame.
Gretzky shut a lot of them up after his first season and then all but punched the remaining square in their faces with his 2nd and 3rd seasons.

Have to remember, a lot of NHL people were none too happy when Wayne skipped his second year of Junior and played in the WHA instead.
Don't be fooled over how malicious some of these folks could be. These are the same ones that kept Bobby Hull out of the '72 Summit series because he went to the WHA.
I'll have to take your word for it, having been born mere minutes before the best team ever won the Cup in '77 . Everything I've come across since I started following hockey like crazy at a young age points to that era as one where there was little question as to whether or not ridiculously high production in junior would ever translate to NHL success, and certainly not much (if anything) has survived (even NHL commentary in said era's game coverage that I've hunted, watched, and studied like mad) suggesting that anyone doubted Gretzky at that transitional age; be it on ground of size or otherwise.

Having said that, I, too, have come across plenty of opinion on Wayne's "early" jump to the WHA. Surprised that I don't associate any of that with any immdediate recall surrounding doubts about his size. I regularly partake in the sweet leaf, though, so there's plenty of margin for error on my part, lol.

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07-16-2011, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
I'll have to take your word for it, having been born mere minutes before the best team ever won the Cup in '77 . Everything I've come across since I started following hockey like crazy at a young age points to that era as one where there was little question as to whether or not ridiculously high production in junior would ever translate to NHL success, and certainly not much (if anything) has survived (even NHL commentary in said era's game coverage that I've hunted, watched, and studied like mad) suggesting that anyone doubted Gretzky at that transitional age; be it on ground of size or otherwise.

Having said that, I, too, have come across plenty of opinion on Wayne's "early" jump to the WHA. Surprised that I don't associate any of that with any immdediate recall surrounding doubts about his size. I regularly partake in the sweet leaf, though, so there's plenty of margin for error on my part, lol.
I was only like 10 at the time but I remember all the talk and they were still talking about it, as in how wrong so many people were, right into highschool.

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