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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Could Howe have played even longer?

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Old
11-06-2011, 01:41 AM
  #26
seventieslord
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Howe's TOI estimate was 13.13 minutes per game for that season, the vast majority of it at even strength. 9th among Hartford forwards. he actually did pretty well offensively considering the icetime.

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11-07-2011, 12:10 AM
  #27
BobbyAwe
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Saw Gordie play live at the Nassau Coliseum in 1978-80 against the Isles. What I remember distinctly was that, one, he was very slow and, two, that no one touched him. I honestly believe that was out of respect for his legacy and age not that they were afraid of his elbows. That's the way it seemed to me. No, i don't believe he could have played longer as his mobility was seriously degraded.

I remember also that he cussed out every opposing player that came within 5 feet of him throughout the game. We had good seats and you could see him scowling and his mouth going continuously

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11-09-2011, 07:33 PM
  #28
ForsbergForever
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I remember reading it The Rebel League about the WHA that according to Harry Neale, the coach of Hartford at the time, that Howe intended to play the next season (80-81) but that Neale convinced him not to for whatever reason.

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11-09-2011, 07:47 PM
  #29
Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's amazing to me that pre-expansion stars managed to get through their careers without the injury issues of Orr, Lemieux, Gretzky, Lindros, Crosby, etc. Was it just that different of a game?
It was touched on that the respect was there for sure. The speed of the game wasn't as high as today. The size of the players and the equipment was less deadly.

One more thing though, and maybe the most important thing out there is you played the game unless you had a bone sticking out. Love that idea or hate it, but that's how it was back then. I hate to nitpick, but do we not get a little too paranoid nowadays? I mean, James Reimer was hit in the head inadvertently by the smallest player in the NHL and he's still out with a concussion. Crosby? Going on a year without playing a game. He looks good on the ice in practice to me.

How many hockey players in the past have soup for brains now? Barely any unless drugs fried your brain. But from on-ice hits? How many are vegetables? Even the ones that retired due to concussions (both Lindros brothers) have always struck me as the type that can hold a conversation and are still bright. Do we put too much stock into concussions? Have we gone the other way a little much?

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11-10-2011, 09:37 AM
  #30
Sun King
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He could of but he was pretty much done. After a career spanning 5 decades he chose to retire in 79-80 with Hartford playing with his sons which seems appropriate.

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11-10-2011, 02:11 PM
  #31
LeBlondeDemon10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
It was touched on that the respect was there for sure. The speed of the game wasn't as high as today. The size of the players and the equipment was less deadly.

One more thing though, and maybe the most important thing out there is you played the game unless you had a bone sticking out. Love that idea or hate it, but that's how it was back then. I hate to nitpick, but do we not get a little too paranoid nowadays? I mean, James Reimer was hit in the head inadvertently by the smallest player in the NHL and he's still out with a concussion. Crosby? Going on a year without playing a game. He looks good on the ice in practice to me.

How many hockey players in the past have soup for brains now? Barely any unless drugs fried your brain. But from on-ice hits? How many are vegetables? Even the ones that retired due to concussions (both Lindros brothers) have always struck me as the type that can hold a conversation and are still bright. Do we put too much stock into concussions? Have we gone the other way a little much?
Your point is valid Phil, but I think you answered your own question at the beginning of your statement re: speed, size and equipment. If we knew what we know today in past eras certainly players would have been held out of games or told to put helmets on. Reg Fleming, a player from the 60's, who recently died, had his brain analyzed by doctors/researchers and it was found to have experienced significant trauma to the point of permanent swelling. Everything these days is caution first. Kids now don't go outside if its too hot, too cold, too dusty, etc...whereas in our day that never stopped us. Its a different world; more informed and more cautious.

If the NHL would take measures to change the nature of the equipment, I think we would see far less concussions because as someone pointed out, players would be wary of getting hurt themselves if they tried a massive open ice hit at full speed. We then may see a return of the hip check, the equivalent to today's open ice full body hit. I like the speed of the game today, but I also miss a lot about the old game.

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Old
11-10-2011, 02:30 PM
  #32
jkrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
It was touched on that the respect was there for sure. The speed of the game wasn't as high as today. The size of the players and the equipment was less deadly.

One more thing though, and maybe the most important thing out there is you played the game unless you had a bone sticking out. Love that idea or hate it, but that's how it was back then. I hate to nitpick, but do we not get a little too paranoid nowadays? I mean, James Reimer was hit in the head inadvertently by the smallest player in the NHL and he's still out with a concussion. Crosby? Going on a year without playing a game. He looks good on the ice in practice to me.

How many hockey players in the past have soup for brains now? Barely any unless drugs fried your brain. But from on-ice hits? How many are vegetables? Even the ones that retired due to concussions (both Lindros brothers) have always struck me as the type that can hold a conversation and are still bright. Do we put too much stock into concussions? Have we gone the other way a little much?
I have read and know of ex-hockey players from the older days having concussion related symptoms. Being able to hold a conversation and being bright is not actually evidence of not having concussion symptoms.

Most common symptoms after a career are migranes, illness or dizziness. These can turn your life into a living hell so no I dont think they are overly cautious.

The equipment needs to change and go back to the old ones or evolved old ones thats soft.

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Old
11-11-2011, 08:17 PM
  #33
lolwut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's amazing to me that pre-expansion stars managed to get through their careers without the injury issues of Orr, Lemieux, Gretzky, Lindros, Crosby, etc. Was it just that different of a game?
Howe suffered a lacerated eye and minor brain damage after fracturing his skull in his first playoff game. He almost died.

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Old
11-12-2011, 02:03 AM
  #34
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolwut View Post
Howe suffered a lacerated eye and minor brain damage after fracturing his skull in his first playoff game. He almost died.
That was his 27th playoff game.

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Old
11-12-2011, 06:39 AM
  #35
oreillyisgod
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I remember at the time when gordie was still playing with mark and marty, reading an article (SI?) about him. At one point Gordie missed a game or two with some injury while the team was on the road, and the opposition saw the opportunity to take some runs at the boys while dad wasnt around. Gordie was back in the hotel room watching on TV, writing down numbers. Gotta love it.

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