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Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Defensemen)

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Old
12-04-2011, 09:48 PM
  #251
overpass
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
No i was fully alive back then, lidstrom had the reputation as top shutdown defenseman, and your numbers wont change that. If pronger was so great at his peak, we wouldnt be comparing him to the likes of horton and gadsby. You are simply overrating pronger's shutdown skills, he was easily beat by players who were faster and more mobile.

Why do i need evidence, i saw them play many times and his norris years are obviously what gives him the reputation as being better defensively than the likes of bourque, chelios, potvin, etc. You are trying to suggest that pronger of all people was his equal defensively. Lidstrom didnt get many first place votes for the norris in 1999, despite putting up similar numbers to maccinnis, despite spending more time facing far more time in shutdown situations.

Tell me then, what were lidstrom's best years 'defensively'. Whenever bourque vs lidstrom debates come up, its lidstrom that gets the defensive edge. His 2003 season was every bit as good as pronger's hart and his 2006/2008 seasons were likely better. he just wont get a hart because he plays for detriot.
Why do you think Pronger was a strong 3rd in Norris voting in 1997/98?

Background: Most voters had Blake, Lidstrom, and Pronger in their top 3. Voting points were 401 for Blake, 369 for Lidstrom, 316 for Pronger. And yet Pronger only had 36 points, compared to 50 points for Blake and 59 points for Lidstrom. (Mostly because he played on the 2nd PP unit that season, behind MacInnis and Steve Duchesne.)

So again, if Pronger was well behind Lidstrom and Blake offensively, and he was "easily beaten", why did he receive so many Norris votes in that season? And why did Joel Quenneville play him in more non-PP minutes than any other skater that season?

In Pronger's Hart season of 1999-2000, this stat was frequently quoted toward the end of the season: Pronger had held the top 5 scorers in the league (Jagr, Bure, Recchi, Nolan, Amonte) to zero even-strength points in 14 games against St. Louis. How did the Blues manage to do that with an "easily beaten" Pronger as their shutdown defenceman?

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
So if he finds some scribe that thinks that way his argument or opinion has more merit?

Ushvinder presents a pretty decent argument here why can't people look at it on it's merits alone?

Actually unless we ask every single voter what went through their process it's all really speculation isn't it?

We have the fact that Pronger won the Norris that year as for the reasons why over Lidstrom that's open to speculation and we should be able to look at some of the data ourselves and come to some sort of conclusion if the argument has any weight or not.
Ushvinder's argument is pure revisionist history. He's looking at his perception of the general opinion of the defensive skill of players over their career, and projecting that back to individual seasons. And he's completely discarding contemporary opinion in the process.

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12-04-2011, 09:55 PM
  #252
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Why do you think Pronger was a strong 3rd in Norris voting in 1997/98?

Background: Most voters had Blake, Lidstrom, and Pronger in their top 3. Voting points were 401 for Blake, 369 for Lidstrom, 316 for Pronger. And yet Pronger only had 36 points, compared to 50 points for Blake and 59 points for Lidstrom. (Mostly because he played on the 2nd PP unit that season, behind MacInnis and Steve Duchesne.)

So again, if Pronger was well behind Lidstrom and Blake offensively, and he was "easily beaten", why did he receive so many Norris votes in that season? And why did Joel Quenneville play him in more non-PP minutes than any other skater that season?

In Pronger's Hart season of 1999-2000, this stat was frequently quoted toward the end of the season: Pronger had held the top 5 scorers in the league (Jagr, Bure, Recchi, Nolan, Amonte) to zero even-strength points in 14 games against St. Louis. How did the Blues manage to do that with an "easily beaten" Pronger as their shutdown defenceman?



Ushvinder's argument is pure revisionist history. He's looking at his perception of the general opinion of the defensive skill of players over their career, and projecting that back to individual seasons. And he's completely discarding contemporary opinion in the process.
You dont seem to think that an anti-euro bias occured in awards voting back then? Unless you actually think mike vernon outperformed fedorov to earn his smythe.

In 1998, adam foote and derian hatcher were every bit as good defensively. I remembered that season, those two were constantly in the conversation for top defensive d-man. Teppo Numminen was every bit as good as pronger in 1998, he just didnt get the recognition. 1998 was the perfect example of canadian bias, blake wasnt the best defenseman, lol. Regardless, Lidstrom was the one who showed up in the playoffs.

So you are saying i am nitpicking seasons, well then tell me, why is lidstrom always seen as better defensively than bourque, chelios, potvin? Which seasons propelled him to the elite status of shutdown defenseman. 2000-2003 and 2007 was his peak defensively, it would be foolish to argue otherwise.

Your argument for determining effectiveness in defense is also flawed. So if lidstrom outperforms rafalski for an entire game, yet the opposition scores when lidstrom is on the ice, does that make rafalski more effective? Random stats like this are flawed. Hell Lidstrom had his best plus/minus in 1994, no one was screaming him as the top defensive defensman of that season.

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12-04-2011, 10:21 PM
  #253
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
You dont seem to think that an anti-euro bias occured in awards voting back then? Unless you actually think mike vernon outperformed fedorov to earn his smythe.

In 1998, adam foote and derian hatcher were every bit as good defensively. I remembered that season, those two were constantly in the conversation for top defensive d-man. Teppo Numminen was every bit as good as pronger in 1998, he just didnt get the recognition. 1998 was the perfect example of canadian bias, blake wasnt the best defenseman, lol. Regardless, Lidstrom was the one who showed up in the playoffs.

So you are saying i am nitpicking seasons, well then tell me, why is lidstrom always seen as better defensively than bourque, chelios, potvin? Which seasons propelled him to the elite status of shutdown defenseman. 2000-2003 and 2007 was his peak defensively, it would be foolish to argue otherwise.

Your argument for determining effectiveness in defense is also flawed. So if lidstrom outperforms rafalski for an entire game, yet the opposition scores when lidstrom is on the ice, does that make rafalski more effective? Random stats like this are flawed. Hell Lidstrom had his best plus/minus in 1994, no one was screaming him as the top defensive defensman of that season.
I'm really not interested in getting in-depth on Lidstrom's career here. He's not the topic of this thread.

I don't know about an anti-euro "bias". I'd take Fedorov over Vernon, but I'm not a fan of calling bias when I disagree with the conclusions of people with better knowledge of the situation. (Like people playing, coaching, and covering the NHL in 1998, as opposed to little ushvinder watching on TV.)

I think there's an anti-tall bias with a lot of of hockey fans, including these boards. You see it in Chara discussions all the time. People hammer on his lack of quickness in open ice and lack of agility, but don't appreciate how his reach and strength takes away space from the other team and changes the game. If your first reaction on Pronger's defensive play is that he gets beaten by faster players, I suspect you also fail to appreciate the impact that a huge defenceman can have. Both in the dead puck era and today.

I'm not just talking about plus-minus when it comes to defensive play, either. I'm talking about contemporary opinion of Pronger's play. As implied through awards voting, and direct quotes from players and coaches at the time.

I do think the fact that Pronger had very high plus-minus numbers over several years while playing huge minutes, matching up against the opponent's best defenders, and paired with a series of journeymen is a strong argument in his favour. But the numbers aren't just some random fluke. Contemporary opinion (as opposed to revisionist opinion) agrees.

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12-04-2011, 10:32 PM
  #254
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I'm really not interested in getting in-depth on Lidstrom's career here. He's not the topic of this thread.

I don't know about an anti-euro "bias". I'd take Fedorov over Vernon, but I'm not a fan of calling bias when I disagree with the conclusions of people with better knowledge of the situation. (Like people playing, coaching, and covering the NHL in 1998, as opposed to little ushvinder watching on TV.)

I think there's an anti-tall bias with a lot of of hockey fans, including these boards. You see it in Chara discussions all the time. People hammer on his lack of quickness in open ice and lack of agility, but don't appreciate how his reach and strength takes away space from the other team and changes the game. If your first reaction on Pronger's defensive play is that he gets beaten by faster players, I suspect you also fail to appreciate the impact that a huge defenceman can have. Both in the dead puck era and today.

I'm not just talking about plus-minus when it comes to defensive play, either. I'm talking about contemporary opinion of Pronger's play. As implied through awards voting, and direct quotes from players and coaches at the time.

I do think the fact that Pronger had very high plus-minus numbers over several years while playing huge minutes, matching up against the opponent's best defenders, and paired with a series of journeymen is a strong argument in his favour. But the numbers aren't just some random fluke. Contemporary opinion (as opposed to revisionist opinion) agrees.
Well what I am telling you is that lidstrom was not appreciated as much back then and it took longer to fully appreciate him. Just look at 1997 for example, hes 6th in norris voting, despite scoring twice as many points as stevens and vlad. He did not have that crowd pleasing style where he was dishing out rock em sock em hits, therefore voters didnt recgnize him as much. Objectively, he should have been a second team all star in 1996 and 1997. Regardless, in the playoffs he shutdown the golden boy lindros, not vlad.

In 1999 and 2000, macciniis and pronger basically got all the 1st place norris votes, do you really think they were decisevly better, or lidstrom`s play was not appreciated, i think its the latter. Rabbinsduck is even conforming pronger was not on his level in 2000.

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12-04-2011, 11:29 PM
  #255
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Well what I am telling you is that lidstrom was not appreciated as much back then and it took longer to fully appreciate him. Just look at 1997 for example, hes 6th in norris voting, despite scoring twice as many points as stevens and vlad. He did not have that crowd pleasing style where he was dishing out rock em sock em hits, therefore voters didnt recgnize him as much. Objectively, he should have been a second team all star in 1996 and 1997. Regardless, in the playoffs he shutdown the golden boy lindros, not vlad.

In 1999 and 2000, macciniis and pronger basically got all the 1st place norris votes, do you really think they were decisevly better, or lidstrom`s play was not appreciated, i think its the latter. Rabbinsduck is even conforming pronger was not on his level in 2000.
I suppose I am biased, but the Wings beat Pronger and the Blues like 4 times in the post-season Pre-lockout and never lost. Pronger was not a shutdown defender. I think Pronger was much better defensively post-lockout than he ever was Pre-lockout... he was so much smarter and was not running around like a chicken with its head cut off - which often described his play. I was more concerned with who Pronger might injure than his ability to stop our forwards.

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12-05-2011, 12:03 AM
  #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Why do you think Pronger was a strong 3rd in Norris voting in 1997/98?

Background: Most voters had Blake, Lidstrom, and Pronger in their top 3. Voting points were 401 for Blake, 369 for Lidstrom, 316 for Pronger. And yet Pronger only had 36 points, compared to 50 points for Blake and 59 points for Lidstrom. (Mostly because he played on the 2nd PP unit that season, behind MacInnis and Steve Duchesne.)

So again, if Pronger was well behind Lidstrom and Blake offensively, and he was "easily beaten", why did he receive so many Norris votes in that season? And why did Joel Quenneville play him in more non-PP minutes than any other skater that season?

In Pronger's Hart season of 1999-2000, this stat was frequently quoted toward the end of the season: Pronger had held the top 5 scorers in the league (Jagr, Bure, Recchi, Nolan, Amonte) to zero even-strength points in 14 games against St. Louis. How did the Blues manage to do that with an "easily beaten" Pronger as their shutdown defenceman?



Ushvinder's argument is pure revisionist history. He's looking at his perception of the general opinion of the defensive skill of players over their career, and projecting that back to individual seasons. And he's completely discarding contemporary opinion in the process.
I want to keep this on topic and towards Pronger.

There is reasonable doubt whether or not he was actually the best Dman in the NHL in 00 when he won his Norris.

There are for various reasons certain players that gain momentum throughout the year and are "hyped" and let's face the facts here does anyone actually know how much attention the voters actually take in making their picks?

I mean do they go back and watch many complete games or do they follow the herd in media reports and talking to other voters?

As other have noted there was a tendency for Stevens to receive less votes as he became more defensive and less offensive for example.

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12-05-2011, 01:31 AM
  #257
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I'm seeing a lot of "so and so had more points and the other guy wasn't THAT much better defensively, so he was better overall".... do you think it is really that easy to boil down? We're talking about defensemen. Defending has always been their primary focus. Save arguments like the above for the forwards, where scoring is actually what makes them great, and things like defensive ability break ties between the guys who are close.

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12-05-2011, 01:40 AM
  #258
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Yes - Bobby Orr, Serge Savard, Brad Park. Three contemporaries. Savard returned to play on a leg held together with surgical screws. The with/without he had on his team is impressive. Brad Park soldiered thru various knee injuries yet they do not get consideration that others do. Orr- deservedly gets consideration, Brian Leetch does not.
Ok, complete this sentence three times. "(Savard/Park/Leetch) was actually about as talented as ______ and should be ranked as highly, but because of his limiting injury that you people aren't considering, you are ranking him about __ spots lower than he deserves."

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12-05-2011, 03:17 AM
  #259
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Just came back from business trip tonight, looks like I have a lot to catch up on! Will try to read the discussion before Wednesday, if not I'll refrain from voting.

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12-05-2011, 05:34 AM
  #260
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Going a little further with the idea that Leetch struggled to adjust to changes in the NHL game in the dead puck era: How did other players adapt to changes in the game?

Scott Stevens thrived as the game tightened up in the dead puck era. So did Al MacInnis. (Although it may not be entirely fair to credit Stevens with this over Leetch, as Leetch peaked earlier in his career and Stevens peaked late.)
Chris Pronger transitioned smoothly into the post-lockout NHL.
Tim Horton certainly adjusted to any changes that took place over his career, although I can't say what those would be. So did Dit Clapper.
Earl Seibert retired from the NHL at age 34, not long after the red line was introduced. Did he have trouble adjusting?
Not sure what to say about Gadsby, Salming, Savard, or Vasiliev.
Regarding Salming, one could propose that Salming made the greatest adjustment of all when he moved from Brynäs IF to Toronto Maple Leafs. New nation. New language. New environment (Toronto is a huge city compared to Gävle, and especially to his hometown Kiruna). New league. New rules. And very much questioned whether he would hold up to the NHL standard or not. Yet he was a nearly instant success. Over his career he was a constant performer in the SEL, NHL and on the international scene.

I think his decline in the 1980s is a combination of him getting older and all the injuries taking their toll. Despite that he actually played professional hockey until he turned 42.

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12-05-2011, 06:47 AM
  #261
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Regarding Salming, one could propose that Salming made the greatest adjustment of all when he moved from Brynäs IF to Toronto Maple Leafs. New nation. New language. New environment (Toronto is a huge city compared to Gävle, and especially to his hometown Kiruna). New league. New rules. And very much questioned whether he would hold up to the NHL standard or not. Yet he was a nearly instant success. Over his career he was a constant performer in the SEL, NHL and on the international scene.

I think his decline in the 1980s is a combination of him getting older and all the injuries taking their toll. Despite that he actually played professional hockey until he turned 42.
Not only getting older and injuries but also playing 40 minutes per game for Tre Kronor.

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12-05-2011, 10:54 AM
  #262
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Pronger definitely got a lot of hype for the Norris in both 2001 and 2007 before injuries. In 2001, he was the defending Hart winner and in 2007, he had just had his awesome performance for Edmonton in the playoffs and seemed to be carrying the momentum to his new team.

Doesn't necessarily mean he would have won, but does it really matter? This is the top 60 defensemen of all-time, not top 60 trophy cases. Trophies are evidence of greatness, but they aren't the only thing we should be taking into account. Playing at a Norris-calibre level could be just as good as actually winning it, right?


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12-05-2011, 01:55 PM
  #263
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Scott Stevens in the 1995 playoffs

Stevens won the Conn Smythe in 2000, but I dont' think anyone would have batted an eye if he had won it in 1995. (I think he should have won it both seasons, and I'm not the only one). I feel his dominant performance in 1995 has been somewhat forgotten, so I went to google archives:

Quote:
He was shadowing Eric Lindros, and at one point Lindros caught Stevens near the boards and pummeled him, drawing blood from a cut under his eye.

"Do you know what he did?" asked teammate Ken Daneyko. "He laughed. Laughed. It sent a message to everyone that we were getting to Philadelphia but they werne't getting to us. If that had happened a year or two ago, Scott would have spent the next period and a half chasing Lindros trying to retaliate.
Devilish Stevens Plays the Big Hits, Toledo Blade, June 23, 1995

Quote:
The Red Wings finally got away from Chris Chelios and the Blackhawks. Now they face Scott Stevens and the Devils.

Stevens hits hard and often, makes few mistakes and knows how to take opposing forwards off their game. Just ask Eric Lindros. No doubt Stevens will be on the ice every time Sergei Fedorov hops over the boards - as will pesky forward Claude Lemieux. They'll find out what the Hawks found out in the conference finals: You can shut down Fedorov and Slava Kozlov much of the time, but not all the time
...
Beyond Stevens, the Devil's defense is average. Scott Niedermayer is a smooth skater and passer, but don't confuse him with Paul Coffey. Bruce Drive... and Ken Daneyko are solid if unspectacular. Tommy Albelin and Shawn Chambers are the other Devils defensemen.
The paper gave the Red Wings the edge in forwards, overall defense, goaltending, and coaching and gave the Devils the edge in special teams. Oops (Devils swept the Wings 4-0, and yes, the Neutral Zone Trap did have something to do with it)

Red Wings vs. Devils, Stanley Cup Winner to Be..., The News, June 17, 1995

Quote:
Back when the Devils won the 1995 cup, Stevens not only jolted Slava Kozlov, but on hearing growls from the Detroit Red Wings' bench, he also stared at their captain, Steve Yzerman, and hissed, ''You're next.''
NY Times, April 26, 2001

Quote:
Right now, the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy...: Forward Claude Lemieux, goaltender Martin Brodeur, and defenseman Scott Stevens, all of the New Jersey Devils.

Lemieux has a playoff leading 13 goals, Brodeur's 1.65 goals-against average led all goaltenders and Stevens has been a defensive stalwart for the Devils throughout the players
Three of a Kind, Record-Journal, Jun 24, 1995 (when the Devils had a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals).

Quote:
There is a large segment of Devils followers that believes that Stevens should have been the postseason most valuable player in 1995, when the Devils captured their first Stanley Cup in 1995. Instead, the Conn Smythe trophy went to Claude Lemieux, who scored 13 goals in the postseason.
...
Players such as Ken Daneyko and Bobby Holik said that the turning point in sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in the 1995 finals was the crunching hit Stevens delivered on Slava Kozlov in Game 2.
NY Times, June 9, 2000


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12-05-2011, 06:39 PM
  #264
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Pre-Voting Observations

Vote will be submitted shortly!

Observations (all according to my list...)

- Earl Seibert runs with the first place in this one. Basically have a better resume than anybody else, plus, he had the detriment of spending most of his career in the obscurity - only Vasiliev benefitted from less exposure than he did. Arguably had the better playoff run in 1938 of any D-Men until Havey's late '50ies run, with the worst ever team to win the Cup to boot. His point totals actually increased after the red line, but it was during the WWII, and was at the twilight of his career anyways. So, A for adaptability of the game.

- This is the round were many more recent D-Mens will get in. McInnis, Pronger and Stevens all getting in this round. Not exactly in that order.

- Second tier a bit hard to determine, as it's made up of guys that are in a way similar... but in another way extremely different (that tier is made up Salming, Gadsby, Vasiliev. Savard ... well, not sure he belongs there, but it's not like he had a chance of getting in anyways). Luckily, the gap between 6th and 8th isn't likely to make or break one's candidature. Either way, if they don't get in, their case might be reviewed a bit more in depth.

- Savard sticks out like a sore thumb. Not that he's below everyone, but he's certainly below every player to whom he can somewhat be compared to (Stevens, Horton).

- Highest guy still up for voting (according to my list, which is obviously not perfect) ... is ranked #21. The next guys are #22, #25 (in retrospective, this one was a mistake) and then #27 (...and so on). I suspect that player #21 will be available (he'd probably rank 5th or 6th out of 12th in this round, if he would have been available), but #22 is a real tossup. In other words, three or four of the guys that are not making this round will find a way in my Top-5 next round.

- Going back to my list : Salming made QUITE a leap lately (over Savard and Clapper)

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12-05-2011, 08:13 PM
  #265
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I still don't know what to do about Clapper, heh.

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12-05-2011, 10:35 PM
  #266
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It's worth remembering that Clapper was the first living player inducted into the Hall of Fame, almost immediately after he retired.

Yes, it was somewhat controversial at the time that he was honoured before Eddie Shore. Yes, he was probably honoured in part because he was so popular, and everybody liked him. And yes, much of his career was spent at forward and we may disagree on how to view that. But it's still very impressive, and indicates the amount of respect he had from everyone in the hockey world.

On a general note, I found this bit in the Montreal Gazette, from 1947, while looking for info on Clapper. People are still making the same points today...


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12-05-2011, 10:52 PM
  #267
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
It's worth remembering that Clapper was the first living player inducted into the Hall of Fame, almost immediately after he retired.

Yes, it was somewhat controversial at the time that he was honoured before Eddie Shore. Yes, he was probably honoured in part because he was so popular, and everybody liked him. And yes, much of his career was spent at forward and we may disagree on how to view that. But it's still very impressive, and indicates the amount of respect he had from everyone in the hockey world.

On a general note, I found this bit in the Montreal Gazette, from 1947, while looking for info on Clapper. People are still making the same points today...

Any links to articles on how it was controversial at the time for Clapper to be inducted before Shore? (I don't doubt you, just curious)

You forgot one thing - the fact that Clapper was the first player to play more than 20 years in the NHL was a huge factor - especially since he overcame and played through many injuries along the way. He also adapted his game (including position) to whatever his team needed along the way. All of this was to his credit as a hockey player and all of it was important to the HHOF, which used to take the "character" part of the induction criteria seriously. I just don't know how to credit him for it here. Do we credit him with having unprecedented longevity when almost half of that was spent as a forward?


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12-05-2011, 11:04 PM
  #268
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Any links to articles on how it was controversial at the time for Clapper to be inducted before Shore? (I don't doubt you, just curious)

You forgot one thing - the fact that Clapper was the first player to play more than 20 years in the NHL was a huge factor - especially since he overcame and played through many injuries along the way. He also adapted his game (including position) to whatever his team needed along the way. All of this was to his credit as a hockey player and all of it was important to the HHOF, which used to take the "character" part of the induction criteria seriously. I just don't know how to credit him for it here. Do we credit him with having unprecedented longevity when almost half of that was spent as a forward?
That...
And I suspect that the fact Clapper was an well-respected player certainly played in the balance.

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12-05-2011, 11:40 PM
  #269
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Back when the Devils won the 1995 cup, Stevens not only jolted Slava Kozlov, but on hearing growls from the Detroit Red Wings' bench, he also stared at their captain, Steve Yzerman, and hissed, ''You're next.''
That's one of the iconic playoff moments of my life. The kind of moment that needs to be in the HNIC opening theme for playoff games. right there with:

- Gilmour's OT goal
- Roy's wink
- Fleury's last second save
- Tim Thomas' "nice try, but you ain't gettin' to me" smile and chin point
- Kariya's game 6 goal
- Yzerman's game 7 2OT goal and leaping celebration
- Lemieux's goal against Minnesota
- The Lecavalier/Iginla fight

I am probably missing a few. but yeah, Stevens and his crazy eyes are right up there.

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12-06-2011, 12:15 AM
  #270
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
That's one of the iconic playoff moments of my life. The kind of moment that needs to be in the HNIC opening theme for playoff games. right there with:

- Gilmour's OT goal
- Roy's wink
- Fleury's last second save
- Tim Thomas' "nice try, but you ain't gettin' to me" smile and chin point
- Kariya's game 6 goal
- Yzerman's game 7 2OT goal and leaping celebration
- Lemieux's goal against Minnesota
- The Lecavalier/Iginla fight

I am probably missing a few. but yeah, Stevens and his crazy eyes are right up there.
all of those are squarely in my era of hockey viewing. i would add theo fleury sliding down the the ice on his knees after his game 6 OT goal against edmonton.

but thinking back, so many of my most indelible playoff memories involve scott stevens. kozlov, lindros, francis, kariya, threatening yzerman, stevens talking about lindros and almost in tears. is there another player from 1990 forward who has given us so many iconic moments that we can all picture in our heads without having to think about it?

even patrick roy, the only ones i can think of on the same level that don't include him raising the cup (and of course stevens has those too) is the wink, the roenick press conference, and the statue of liberty gaffe.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
He was shadowing Eric Lindros, and at one point Lindros caught Stevens near the boards and pummeled him, drawing blood from a cut under his eye.

"Do you know what he did?" asked teammate Ken Daneyko. "He laughed. Laughed. It sent a message to everyone that we were getting to Philadelphia but they werne't getting to us. If that had happened a year or two ago, Scott would have spent the next period and a half chasing Lindros trying to retaliate.
i've never heard that one before. but a great story, and goes exactly with how i remember stevens' devils career. one thing i always noticed is that he was very communicative while on the ice. always winking at guys or giving them menacing stares, and he always seemed to be yelling something... whether it was to his teammates like an on-ice coach or to intimidate his opponents, i have no idea.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
... Tommy Albelin and Shawn Chambers are the other Devils defensemen.
that made me laugh.

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12-06-2011, 10:08 AM
  #271
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Talent

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Ok, complete this sentence three times. "(Savard/Park/Leetch) was actually about as talented as ______ and should be ranked as highly, but because of his limiting injury that you people aren't considering, you are ranking him about __ spots lower than he deserves."
In terms of talent entering the NHL start with Lidstrom and work your way down.

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12-06-2011, 10:18 AM
  #272
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I still don't know what to do about Clapper, heh.
After chewing on it for a few days, I think I'm going to hold off on Clapper for at least a couple more rounds. I was bagging on him a little too hard earlier -- overlooking his Hart record and extremely strong intangibles -- but he just doesn't fit with this group of career-long defensemen.

In terms of what he did as a defenseman, Clapper seems closer to Quackenbush than to Leetch (just to throw 2 names out there as landmarks). His "extra credit" for time as a forward and high esteem in the hockey community bumps him up a bit, but not all the way into the top-20. I'm thinking he should land somewhere around 30-35.

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12-06-2011, 12:55 PM
  #273
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Any links to articles on how it was controversial at the time for Clapper to be inducted before Shore? (I don't doubt you, just curious)

You forgot one thing - the fact that Clapper was the first player to play more than 20 years in the NHL was a huge factor - especially since he overcame and played through many injuries along the way. He also adapted his game (including position) to whatever his team needed along the way. All of this was to his credit as a hockey player and all of it was important to the HHOF, which used to take the "character" part of the induction criteria seriously. I just don't know how to credit him for it here. Do we credit him with having unprecedented longevity when almost half of that was spent as a forward?
From "Eddie Shore and that Old-Time Hockey" by C. Michael Hiam.
Quote:
In 1947, Shore was inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and like everything else when it came to Shore and the Bruins, the process had been contentious. Art Ross was a member of the NHL Board of Governors, and he recommended that Dit Clapper be added to the Hall, and in short order Clapper was voted in as its first living member. Bruins fans were, naturally, thrilled, but one pedestrian on Boston's Washington Street wanted to know, "Why are they keeping Shore out of it?" Shore was asked about this by a reporter. "I guess I don't belong in it," Shore deadpanned. "Possibly the ability wasn't there." In Boston, there was a storm of protest and renewed anger at Ross, and within weeks, Shore received a message from Weston Adams congratulating him on his induction and inviting him to a special ceremony at the Garden, where Bruins jersey Number 2 would be sent to the rafters and would never come down.
Regarding the character aspect, Clapper was also the consummate gentleman. Friendly with reporters, shook hands with referees before the game, etc. Everyone loved him.

From Joe Pelletier's profile of Clapper:
Quote:
The Hockey News wrote the following in 1948: "Clapper had a simple creed - he fought his heart out, bounced players around and took the same kind of punishment he dished out. Once the game was over, however, he forgot it all and never held a grudge. That's what made him so popular with other players and fans throughout the entire NHL circuit.
Quote:
Once called "the Jean Beliveau of his day" by the Canadian Press, Clapper would be compared to Wayne Gretzky today at least for his off ice attributes. Clapper was a handsome man, always dressed with great care and detail, exuding class. His natural charisma made him well liked by fans and media everywhere, not just in Boston.
Regarding Clapper's status as a defenceman, it's interesting that he played defence as a junior, and was converted to forward by the Bruins.

Boston Daily Globe, Feb 18, 1927 (Preview only):
Quote:
Tigers Lose the Lead in Canadian-American Hockey League

...Dit Clapper, the clever defense player, had to retire when the injury he...
The Telegraph, Nov 9, 1927:
Quote:
For replacements, however, the Bruins have an abundance of promising material, however, in Fred Gordon and Harry Connor, wingmen; Nobby Clark, Dit Clapper, and Norman Gaynor, defense men; and Lolo Couture and Martin Lauder, centers. Clapper is already a favorite with Boston fans, having played a brilliant game for the Boston Tigers in the American league last season.
Providence News, Mar 27, 1928:
Quote:
Clapper, who was a defense man for the Tigers, has been converted into a wingman by Manager Ross and his playing has resulted in many Bruins goals.
You could look at Clapper as a defenceman who was switched to forward for a few seasons before switching back, rather than as a forward who was switched to defence later in his career.

I'm inclined to rank Clapper highly this round. His peak came as a defenceman. And his lack of longevity as a defenceman is not because of any failings he had. It's because Boston had Eddie Shore and Lionel Hitchman at defence and needed a right winger. And Clapper was "amazingly fast on skates and had the swiftest, most bullet-like shot in hockey; a shot so blindingly fast that the puck was in the net long before goalies knew what had happened," (Hiam) so he was also a good fit at forward.


Last edited by overpass: 12-06-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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12-06-2011, 02:04 PM
  #274
tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
You could look at Clapper as a defenceman who was switched to forward for a few seasons before switching back, rather than as a forward who was switched to defence later in his career.
By "a few seasons" you mean 10 seasons, over half his career.

Quote:
I'm inclined to rank Clapper highly this round. His peak came as a defenceman.
This is what's maddening about Clapper. I'm inclined to rank him low (off the board, really) because I see him as a forward who ended up converting to defense when he slowed down a bit. And while he certainly had his peak in terms of awards voting at defense, that was also fairly heavily influenced by the fact that it took place in the run-up to WWII and after a full decade of distinguished play at forward in which Clapper ingratiated himself to nearly everyone. Put him at defense 10 years earlier or 10 years later and he'd be no better than the 3rd best defenseman in the league... Hart votes would be out of the question.

Let's say we cut off Clapper's forward career. Here's his profile as a defenseman:
1939 - First All-Star, Left Defense (Shore wins the most D votes by a landslide); wins Cup with 1 assist in 12 games.
1940 - 3rd place Hart finish behind D Ebbie Goodfellow and C Syl Apps; First All-Star, Right Defense (beat Goodfellow for the most D votes)
1941 - 2nd place Hart finish behind teammate Bill Cowley; First All-Star, Right Defense (beat Wally Stanowski for the most D votes); wins Cup with 5 assists in 11 games.
1942 - Distant 2nd place for First All-Star, Right Defense behind Earl Seibert; receives a couple of votes for the alternate team but doesn't come close to Pat Egan or Bucko McDonald
1943 - A scattered handful of All-Star votes.
1944 - 4th place finish in All-Star voting, with Seibert, Babe Pratt and Butch Bouchard well ahead.
1945 - 9th place finish in All-Star voting.

Over his career as a defenseman (and, to be fair, excluding his shortened final season) he was 3rd in goals among defensemen (61) to Babe Pratt (70) and Flash Hollett (110) and also 3rd in points (191/267/258, respectively). If you look at his goals-per-game and points-per-game numbers, he ranks 7th and 6th respectively. To me, it's pretty questionable whether he was actually better as a hockey player during this period than when he was a forward. Better as a leader, almost certainly, and that's likely a large part of why he got so many Hart votes.

Bearing in mind those numbers and award votes are taking place during an historically weak period, I just don't see that as a top-20 resume. Not unless we're giving him a lot of credit for intangibles such as leadership and character, as well as taking his time at forward to be equal to other candidates' time at defense. Seibert has a better track record during nearly the exact same timeframe, intangible factors excluded.

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12-06-2011, 03:32 PM
  #275
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Strange to see Clapper being knocked for having leadership and character, I guess there goes much of the case for Stevens being on the list.

Here's a quote from Bobby Bauer talking about Clapper - "He was so very good in so many ways, but he stood out for one thing. He made so few mistakes." - I believe this came from him talking about how Clapper took the young Kraut Line under his wing when they got to Boston.

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