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

Jere Lehtinen

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03-09-2012, 03:33 AM
  #1
Plural
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Jere Lehtinen

Hi guys!

I am a fellow Fin, so forgive me my bias towards Lehtinen. I wanted to post this thread in to the History section, cause i find that here lies the elite of the HFboards writers. If you want some opinions and answers this is the best place to look for them. Also, Jere has retired so i think it is ok to put a thread about him in here.

So,

i was looking up facts about Jere. I noticed that he does not get a lot of hype around hockey fans (excluding Dallas) which is weird. He has accomplished a lot in his career. Not pointwise, but three awards and internationally he was a beast.

3x Selke trophy winner
World Championship gold Medal
3x World Championship silver medal
Olympic silver medal
Olympic broze medal
World Cup silver medal
Stanley Cup champion

Over 800 games played and over 500 points

This is a resume that i find very impressive, although i am Finnish.

How would you rank Lehtinen among his peers and all time defensive forward?

Was he elite defensive forward, or was he just very good?


Last edited by Plural: 03-09-2012 at 03:38 AM.
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03-09-2012, 03:39 AM
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RabbinsDuck
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Elite.

More underappreciated than he should be today, but most hockey fans that watched in the 90s give him a lot of respect.

He was huge in Dallas' Cup win.

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03-09-2012, 03:50 AM
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begbeee
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The best defensive forward in the NHL for a while who was really skilled and could chip in pretty big amount of offense.
I would call Datsyuk light before Datsyuk.

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03-09-2012, 03:53 AM
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One of the greatest defensive forwards to have ever played.

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03-09-2012, 04:08 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I think his defense is a bit overrated by his Selke Trophies, which are largely a product of being a better goal scorer than the other elite checkers.

I remember when John Madden broke 20 goals, the hype was "he finally scored enough to win the Selke"

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03-09-2012, 04:18 AM
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Plural
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think his defense is a bit overrated by his Selke Trophies, which are largely a product of being a better goal scorer than the other elite checkers.

I remember when John Madden broke 20 goals, the hype was "he finally scored enough to win the Selke"

Was Selke in the late 90´s also depending on your offensive output? I mean, Lehtinen was great defensively, but was he the best for three years? I somehow doubt it.

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03-09-2012, 05:15 AM
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Unfortunately he isn't in the triple gold club.

I would like to see, that he gets a position in the Dallas Stars organisation.

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03-09-2012, 08:01 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
Was Selke in the late 90´s also depending on your offensive output? I mean, Lehtinen was great defensively, but was he the best for three years? I somehow doubt it.
Yeah. That's not to say that Lehtinen wasn't deserving (it didn't go to him as the best scorer who could backcheck like it does some years). But I wouldn't say he was any better or worse defensively than some other guys - his goal scoring is what made him stand out over someone like John Madden, who needed to hit 20 goals to get his shot at the trophy

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03-09-2012, 08:16 AM
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OK, maybe I'm going overboard here, but would he have a shot at the HHOF? It's really a weird case with him. I mean, elite defense that also is a 1st liner ans scores like one (not elite but still 1st line material)

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03-09-2012, 08:52 AM
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OK, maybe I'm going overboard here, but would he have a shot at the HHOF? It's really a weird case with him. I mean, elite defense that also is a 1st liner ans scores like one (not elite but still 1st line material)
No. His defence wasnt such significant that we can build a case for him (i.e. Carbonneau) on defense and his offense wasn't such significant that we can build a case on his two-way play (Hossa, Alfredsson, Elias..).
Not sure if you can understand the point because of my english He was very good at both sides, but historically he didnt do anything significant on neither side.

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03-09-2012, 09:11 AM
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Theokritos
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No. His defence wasnt such significant that we can build a case for him (i.e. Carbonneau) on defense and his offense wasn't such significant that we can build a case on his two-way play (Hossa, Alfredsson, Elias..).
Not sure if you can understand the point because of my english He was very good at both sides, but historically he didnt do anything significant on neither side.
But he was better defensively than Hossa, Alfredsson, Eliáš. His case would not rest on either defence or offense, but on the combination of both: two-way play in the truest sense. You won't find too many forwards in NHL history who played Selke level defence AND put up better scoring numbers than Lehtinen. And of course I'd rather have Lehtinen in the Hall than Peter Bondra.

No, seriously speaking: I'd agree with your "no". Hall of "Very Good" though.

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03-09-2012, 09:38 AM
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But he was better defensively than Hossa, Alfredsson, Eliáš. His case would not rest on either defence or offense, but on the combination of both: two-way play in the truest sense. You won't find too many forwards in NHL history who played Selke level defence AND put up better scoring numbers than Lehtinen. And of course I'd rather have Lehtinen in the Hall than Peter Bondra.

No, seriously speaking: I'd agree with your "no". Hall of "Very Good" though.
Good point. On the other hand was his defense significant better than i.e. Datsyuk's or Gainey's or Carbonneau's one? I would say clear no, maybe comparable, but overall no. (I dont know about Gainey and Carbonneau)
So one would say he could make it by better offensive numbers but they are not there. Datsyuk puts up by far better overall offensive than Lehtinen and he plays better defense.

I dont take your argument that he was better defensively (yes he was) but whole trio is significantly better offensively. Could Lehtinen clear the gap? There ya go - you can compare their defense even if they end short in the end, but you cant compare their offense - those players tear him apart there...

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03-09-2012, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think his defense is a bit overrated by his Selke Trophies, which are largely a product of being a better goal scorer than the other elite checkers.

I remember when John Madden broke 20 goals, the hype was "he finally scored enough to win the Selke"
or kris draper when he scored 20+ goals

it's not a secret guys have to score at least 15-20 goals to be considered for selke, i think the rationale behind it is that if you're not supposed to be a threat offensively at all you can concentrate all your game around defense and by that you'll get an unfair advantage on more "allround" forwards

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03-09-2012, 10:37 AM
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Lehtinen's defensive smarts and checking abilities were nearly unmatched. As stated above, being able to score a bit gets you more attention as there are probably some guys who can check but just don't score, so they go unnoticed. Like the edler posted just above though, to be able to check as well as or better than anyone and STILL put up decent offense though deserves that attention. It's too bad he spent a lot of his career on the shelf or we could be talking HOF. That's one of the differences between him and say a guy like Guy Carbonneau, that and Carbonneau won two more Cup playing with the Habs which will get you extra credit.

A quote from Ken Hitchcock after Lehtinen's retriement -

"In all of the time I coached him, I never once had to speak to him about being ready to play. He was a coach's dream that way. He was gold. You could use him as an example to every other player on the team, because he always worked so hard and always was prepared. He was as good a two-way player as you are ever going to find. He always knew where the puck was and whether or not he could take a chance on it. He always knew where his linemates were and whether he should help out or not. You could put him on any line the whole time I had him, and he automatically made that line better. That's a pretty strong statement about a player.''

He also at one point during his tenure in Dallas referred to Lehtinen as the Stars' best player.


Last edited by tjcurrie: 03-09-2012 at 08:47 PM.
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03-09-2012, 10:52 AM
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NHL players felt he was the most underrated player in the league in 2007.
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=358421

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03-09-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think his defense is a bit overrated by his Selke Trophies, which are largely a product of being a better goal scorer than the other elite checkers.

I remember when John Madden broke 20 goals, the hype was "he finally scored enough to win the Selke"
Quote:
Originally Posted by the edler View Post
or kris draper when he scored 20+ goals

it's not a secret guys have to score at least 15-20 goals to be considered for selke, i think the rationale behind it is that if you're not supposed to be a threat offensively at all you can concentrate all your game around defense and by that you'll get an unfair advantage on more "allround" forwards
not selke related, but the worst example i saw was when derian hatcher scored 30 points and everyone was like, "okay, i guess he can be a norris finalist now." it just seemed so ludicrous that the extra five points made him any different than the defensive beast f the previous three or four years.

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03-09-2012, 02:37 PM
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Statistically, isn't he one of the best defensive forwards of all time? His GA/60 and GA/On vs. Off are ridiculous AFAIR.

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03-09-2012, 04:02 PM
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Jere is the best positional player I have ever seen. He was always in the right spot defensively and it almost seems like you could count the mistakes he made in his entire NHL career on one hand.

He was absolutely ELITE between the bluelines and in the defensive zone. Him and Mo were quite a pair and complemented each other perfectly.

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03-09-2012, 08:05 PM
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One of the best defencive wingers in the history of hockey.
But that won't be enough to get him to HoF.

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03-09-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think his defense is a bit overrated by his Selke Trophies, which are largely a product of being a better goal scorer than the other elite checkers.

I remember when John Madden broke 20 goals, the hype was "he finally scored enough to win the Selke"
Agreed. Selke became a sham for the most part in 1986 with Troy Murray winning, and has stayed that way for the most part since.

If you don't score 20 goals its now pretty much impossible to win the award.

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03-09-2012, 10:21 PM
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He was an absolutely outstanding defensive player, who was also very very good in the offensive zone.

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03-09-2012, 11:50 PM
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ck26
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Jere Lehtinen > Teemu Selanne

From ~1997 onwards, Lehtinen's line was always Dallas's best line. Most of those years, Lehtinen's line was also Modano's line, but post-2005 / 2006, as Modano's game declined, Lehtinen's did not. Whatever trio he was in was always Dallas's most effective trio.

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03-10-2012, 12:32 AM
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Jere Lehtinen > Teemu Selanne
Lehtinen's mother doesn't even believe this.

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