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The Edgar Laprade mystery.

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Old
03-02-2012, 01:40 PM
  #1
Passchendaele
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The Edgar Laprade mystery.

So out of curiosity, I was taking a peek at previous Calder Trophy winners and ended up on his page. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

So I asked myself. How? Why? Is there something most people don't know about him, or something?

- No major individual award. (A Calder and a Lady Byng)
- No Stanley Cup
- Finished third in assists once. No top-ten finishes anywhere else.

What's the story behind Laprade's induction?

On paper, it certainly looks like one of the weakest selections by the commitee.

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03-02-2012, 01:55 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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He's definitely one of the weaker selections, though I prefer him to Dick Duff. First off, he was one of the better defensive forwards of his era, so he's more than his relatively unimpressive numbers.

He was probably the best player on the Rangers for a few years back when there were only 6 teams - he won Team MVP twice. While his numbers are weak leaguewide, he was always among the top scorers of that awful Rangers team. I think it meant something to be the MVP of a team when there were only 6 of them - even if that team was a bottom feeder.

He's also probably the last North American player to get serious credit for non-NHL accomplishments. Credited with outplaying Milt Schmidt and the Kraut Line head to head in the Allan Cup playoffs during World War 2. The Krauts were the premiere line in the NHL and all left the league in their primes to join the war effort (and were allowed to compete for the Allan Cup while in the military).

It's a fairly unique resume and one that somehow appealed to the veterans committee

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03-02-2012, 02:00 PM
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I have him in the current All Time Draft as a third line center. Here's a profile of him:

Edgar Laprade

Credit to Dreakmur for the majority of this profile. Credit to BM67 for many of the newspaper clippings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
A tremendous playmaking center and smooth skater, Edgar Laprade was one of the NHL's best forwards during the late 1940s. Blessed with exceptional lateral mobility and an effortless skating style, he was a brilliant penalty killer and determined checker. Laprade could also score and was one of the league's most dangerous skaters on the counterattack. Unfortunately, many of his exploits took place when he played for a New York Rangers franchise that was in decline.

…

Laprade was worth the wait and was quickly nicknamed "Beaver" by his colleagues as a tribute to his industrious work ethic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shea
An outstanding playmaker, Edgar Laprade was the National Hockey League's premier checking centres during an era when defensive forwards were overshadowed by the exploits of the goal scorers.

….

An outstanding skater and brilliant playmaker, Edgar Laprade was one of the few bright spots on the New York Rangers during a decade of consistent losing seasons. He proved to be an excellent penalty killer and dogged checker. But the two-way centre could also score, contributing 108 goals and 172 assists for 280 points in 500 regular season games, a milestone that only four previous Rangers had reached. In 1982, Edgar was elected to the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, honoured a second time the next year when his Allan Cup-winning Port Arthur Bearcats of 1939 were inducted as a team. In 1993, the Hockey Hall of Fame recognized his extraordinary contributions when they elected Edgar Laprade as an Honoured Member in the Veterans' Category.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Known as "Beaver" because of his hustle and work ethic on the ice, Laprade was known as a aggressive but very clean player. Twice he went the entire season without recording a single penalty minute, and only had 42 PIM in in his 500 NHL game career. He was also known as a play making center with great speed and athleticism. He was a tremendous defensive player as well, making him one of the greatest two way centers in NHL history. A strong back checker and prolific penalty killer, Laprade perfected the "poke check" as an effective strategy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Edgar Laprade was one of the New York Ranger's best players during one of the franchise's darker periods. He was a play-maker whose effortless skating style enabled him to rag the puck like a little wizard. He back-checked tirelessly and was a stellar face-off man, making him quite valuable to the Rangers in short-handed situations. And Laprade was as clean as he was effective. In fact, there were three seasons where he was not penalized at all!

Awards and Achievements:
Hockey Hall of Fame (1993)

Lady Byng Winner (1950)
4 x NHL All-Star (1947, 1948, 1949, 1950)

Hart voting – 6th(1950)
Lady Byng voting – 1st(1950), 3rd(1946), 4th(1947), 4th(1948), 5th(1949)

Quote:
In 1950, Laprade was very close to being a 2nd Team All Star at Center. He actually got a single first place vote and one more top 3 vote than Ted Kennedy:

CENTER: (50/54, 6-6-2) Sid Abel, Det 21 (3-2-0); Ted Kennedy, Tor 16 (2-2-0); Edgar Laprade, NYR 13 (1-2-2); Metro Prystai, Chi; Milt Schmidt, Bos
Quote:
RANGERS TEAM AWARDS
Rangers MVP -- 1948-49 (co-winner), 1949-50
Boucher Trophy (Most Popular) -- 1954-55

RANGERS TEAM LEADER
Most points -- 1949-50
Most goals -- 1948-49, 1949-50
Most assists --1946-47
Most playoff points -- 1948 (tie)
Most playoff assists -- 1948 (tie)
http://rangers.nhl.com/club/atrplayer.htm?id=8447326

Allan Cup Winner (1939)
2 x Thunder Bay Senior League MVP (1939, 1941)
2 x Thunder Bay Senior League Scoring Leader (1941, 1942)

Scoring:
Points – 12th(1948), 17th(1950), 19th(1946), 20th(1947)
Goals – 12th(1950), 19th(1949)
Assists – 3rd(1948), 12th(1947), 13th(1952), 14th(1946)

From 1946 to 1952, Laprade was 13th in Points and 10th in Assists

Play-off Scoring:
Play-off Points – 5th(1950), 10th(1948)
Play-off Goals – 8th(1950)
Play-off Assists – 3rd(1950), 6th(1948)

From 1948 to 1950, Laprade was 6th in Points and 4th in Assists.

Pre-NHL Career:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
He didn't turn pro until he was 26. He served several years in the military during WWII, but before that he was a big part of a powerful Port Arthur team that challenged regularly for the Allen Cup, winning it in 39. The Allen Cup was a big deal back then, and that has to weigh in his favour as well.
Edgar Laprade went head to head against the Kraut Line in the 1942 Allan Cup finals, only a few months after the Krauts left the NHL in the middle of the 1941-42 season:

Edgar Laprade Is Sensational

Quote:
Makes even Kraut Line look amateurish as he sparks Port Arthur
Edgar Laprade Sparks Ports To 4-3 Win Over Flyers

Quote:
Edgar Laprade emerges as the game-winning factor. His leadership in the third period after a fluky goal tied the score was of a nature seldom seen in hockey, amateur or professional. He dominated the game while Port Arthur was building its third-period lead. He dominated the back-checking which held the lead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Windsor Daily Star – April 23, 1942
He’s a Two-Way Marvel

Smallest of the famous hockey Laprades, Edgar fought like a bulldog on defense and sped like a greyhound on attack. He made plays on Port Arthur’s first two goals, which brought the Bearcats from behind into a lead they never relinquished.

….

He Has Krauts Flustered

His check was Milt Schmidt, considered one of the finest professional centers in the game when he played for the Boston Bruins. Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart were on the opposition wings. But after four minutes of the third period these former great professionals were as flustered as ordinary amateurs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Calgary Herald – April 23, 1942
Edgar Laprade emerges as the game-winning factor. His leadership in the third period after a fluky goal tied the score was of a nature seldom seen in hockey, amateur or professional. He dominated the game while Port Arthur was building its third-period lead. He dominated the back-checking which held the lead.
Edgar Laprade in the 1950 season and playoffs.

The Calgary Herald - March 15, 1950

Quote:
Rangers will have their spark-plug, Edgar Laprade, back in action. Laprade, who missed eight of the Blueshirts' last nine games because of a knee injury, couldn't return at a better time. The Rangers played like minor leaguers while absorbing defeats in their last two games.
Ludington Daily News - April 14, 1950

Quote:
Laprade, who has a bum knee as the result of an accident the last week of the Nation Hockey League season and who has been bothered by recurring groin injury, notched two third period goals to break a 1-1 tie and trounce the Red Wings.

Laprade led rush after rush on Harry Lumley in the Detroit nets, beat him twice and broke up numerous Red Wing rushes with his sweeping checks.
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - April 15, 1950

Quote:
New York hopes of a cup win were stirred anew by the brilliant showing of Edgar Laprade in Thursday night's game. The brilliant centre - he's been called 50 percent of the team - found the scoring range for the first time in the playoffs, getting the winning goal and the clincher. The light-hitting, wide-open game was right to his liking.

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03-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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I've always likened him to being the worst induction. Worse than Duff, worse than Nieuwendyk, worse than Gillies. Another knock on him was his career longevity, it was awful, even for his era. There is a very good reason why the veteran's committee is no longer.

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03-02-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I've always likened him to being the worst induction. Worse than Duff, worse than Nieuwendyk, worse than Gillies. Another knock on him was his career longevity, it was awful, even for his era. There is a very good reason why the veteran's committee is no longer.
The only thing Gillies and Duff have over Laprade are Cups as role players, kind of hard for him to get as a top player on a terrible team.

You're knocking his longevity, but it only looks bad because of World War 2. He played in the NHL until 35 years old. He didn't join the NHL until 1945-46 at the age of 26 when the war was over. He won the Calder that year. In 1942 at the age of 22, he outplayed prime Milt Schmidt head to head for the Allen Cup.

I would take Nieuwendyk over Laprade, so it's not like I think he was a strong induction.

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03-02-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The only thing Gillies and Duff have over Laprade are Cups as role players, kind of hard for him to get as a top player on a terrible team.

You're knocking his longevity, but it only looks bad because of World War 2. He played in the NHL until 35 years old. He didn't join the NHL until 1945-46 at the age of 26 when the war was over. He won the Calder that year. In 1942 at the age of 22, he outplayed prime Milt Schmidt head to head for the Allen Cup.

I would take Nieuwendyk over Laprade, so it's not like I think he was a strong induction.
Yeah so? You can't reward a guy for time he never had. Broda, Schmidt, Apps, Bentley Brothers, etc., among others are who missed time to fight in the war. Their careers would be stronger had they not had to leave, but they did, so be it. Laprade shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt either. He wasn't playing, he was fighting the Nazis, God Bless him, but I can't give him brownie points for years he missed. If that's the case then Crosby wins the Hart Trophy in 2011.

And the Allen Cup? Hmmm. Yeah you know you've got to be fishing in order to dig that up. Good for him and all but that shouldn't hold any water. If John Tonelli can't get into the HHOF for being the Canada Cup MVP in 1984..........

And Laprade peaked at 12th in scoring. Then 17th. Then 20th. What even brought his name up in 1993 when he got inducted? I don't know.

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03-02-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yeah so? You can't reward a guy for time he never had. Broda, Schmidt, Apps, Bentley Brothers, etc., among others are who missed time to fight in the war. Their careers would be stronger had they not had to leave, but they did, so be it. Laprade shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt either. He wasn't playing, he was fighting the Nazis, God Bless him, but I can't give him brownie points for years he missed. If that's the case then Crosby wins the Hart Trophy in 2011.

And the Allen Cup? Hmmm. Yeah you know you've got to be fishing in order to dig that up. Good for him and all but that shouldn't hold any water. If John Tonelli can't get into the HHOF for being the Canada Cup MVP in 1984..........

And Laprade peaked at 12th in scoring. Then 17th. Then 20th. What even brought his name up in 1993 when he got inducted? I don't know.
Out of 116 players who scored even a single point in that 06 year.

The modern guys get criticized for being around the 25 range (the Sundin thread comes to mind).

Even if Laparde is the best defensive player of all time (or in the top 1% of such players) and has an better playoff resume I'm not sure he is a HHOF guy.

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03-03-2012, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Out of 116 players who scored even a single point in that 06 year.

The modern guys get criticized for being around the 25 range (the Sundin thread comes to mind).

Even if Laparde is the best defensive player of all time (or in the top 1% of such players) and has an better playoff resume I'm not sure he is a HHOF guy.
Yeah, and at least Sundin peaked at a much higher level than Laprade did. Sundin was 4th in points and finished 2nd in goals once. Plus the consistency issue and longevity. I just don't see it with Laprade. Should he be in and a guy like Sid Smith not be if we are going to use those standards?

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03-03-2012, 06:43 AM
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- No major individual award. (A Calder and a Lady Byng)

That says it all. The Lady Byng was a major award when he won it. As was the Allan Cup.

The Allan Cup winner would be Team Canada at the Olympics. Cowley, Durnan, Laprade and several other HHoF members came to the NHL after playing for Allan Cup winners.

They may not be regarded as much today, but they certainly were back then.

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03-03-2012, 07:00 AM
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My biggest problem with a guy like Laprade is that no modern player would even get faint consideration with a resume like he has in this day and age. On the poll board, someone asked if Jason Arnott is a HOFer, and we all pretty much laughed at it and explained why he's not even close. Does Laprade really have a substantively better HOF resume than Jason Arnott?

That being said, I still maintain that Leo Boivin is by far the worst "modern" (as in played post-WW2) inductee, given how far behind the standard set for the typical HOF defenseman he is. Other than nostalgia for O6 players, I can't see a good reason for him to be in the HOF and Kevin Lowe, Brad McCrimmon, Ulf Samuelsson, Derian Hatcher, and Adam Foote (just to name 5) not to be.

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03-04-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
So out of curiosity, I was taking a peek at previous Calder Trophy winners and ended up on his page. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.

So I asked myself. How? Why? Is there something most people don't know about him, or something?

- No major individual award. (A Calder and a Lady Byng)
- No Stanley Cup
- Finished third in assists once. No top-ten finishes anywhere else.

What's the story behind Laprade's induction?

On paper, it certainly looks like one of the weakest selections by the commitee.

wasn't he a veterans committee pick?

if so the bar is lower

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03-04-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogEatDog View Post
wasn't he a veterans committee pick?

if so the bar is lower
There should be the same bar for everyone, the veterans committee in baseball is also a joke.

The bar for current MLB players is much higher than for hockey players and it's a joke considerign how many guys got in the back door.

Bill James has a great read on it in The politics of Glory which I believe was re released under a different title.

The current max of 4 guys per year is already creating a huge backlog of many guys who deserve to be in the hall never mind the dozens who have better resumes than Laprade.

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03-05-2012, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
There should be the same bar for everyone, the veterans committee in baseball is also a joke.

The bar for current MLB players is much higher than for hockey players and it's a joke considerign how many guys got in the back door.

Bill James has a great read on it in The politics of Glory which I believe was re released under a different title.

The current max of 4 guys per year is already creating a huge backlog of many guys who deserve to be in the hall never mind the dozens who have better resumes than Laprade.
the vet catagory was invented for a reason. The fact not many people on this board were alive when Laprade played means that not many people here can actual talk about how good of a player he was.

I agree 100% that it should be tougher to get into the hall of fame--for me the NHL hall of shame is a joke

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03-06-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yeah so? You can't reward a guy for time he never had. Broda, Schmidt, Apps, Bentley Brothers, etc., among others are who missed time to fight in the war. Their careers would be stronger had they not had to leave, but they did, so be it. Laprade shouldn't get the benefit of the doubt either. He wasn't playing, he was fighting the Nazis, God Bless him, but I can't give him brownie points for years he missed. If that's the case then Crosby wins the Hart Trophy in 2011.
This might be your opinion, but it is definitely a minority one when it comes to hockey historians. THN ranked Milt Schmidt the 28th best player of all time. This board has ranked him 31st and 34th. There is absolutely no way to justify that high ranking if you give him zero credit for the World War 2 years. The line of thought is simple - it wasn't Schmidt's fault that a World War broke out and not playing during the war has nothing to do with any attribute he had as a hockey player (unlike getting injured). Most of us are in the business of determining how good a player was, not how many seasons he accumulated.

Quote:
And the Allen Cup? Hmmm. Yeah you know you've got to be fishing in order to dig that up. Good for him and all but that shouldn't hold any water. If John Tonelli can't get into the HHOF for being the Canada Cup MVP in 1984..........
The Allan Cup was brought up to show that you are wrong when you say Laprade had poor longevity. He was a very good player several years before he joined the NHL - good enough to outplay the best player in the NHL in a single playoff series at least. He retired at the age of 35 - not bad. He got a late start because of the war, not because he was not good enough for the NHL.

Quote:
And Laprade peaked at 12th in scoring. Then 17th. Then 20th. What even brought his name up in 1993 when he got inducted? I don't know.
I am incredibly curious what brought his name up in 1993. Dick Duff was the only player to play through the entire Canadiens and Leafs dynasties, so it's obvious why he would have been brought up.

For the record, Dick Duff never finished top 10 in scoring either, despite playing with far superior linemates to Laprade.

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