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

Greatest Hockey Player of All Time?

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Old
02-15-2006, 04:24 PM
  #101
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Bobby Orr was the greatest player ever, period. Gretzky by far had the greatest career a player ever had, but putting all the numbers aside and taking every player that ever played, at their absolute best, Bobby Orr is #1.

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02-15-2006, 04:44 PM
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoses
Fighting is overrated.
Two observations about fighting:

1. Year after year, teams that fight more win less. Obviously there are exceptions, but that's the overall trend.

2. People generally agree that the NHL playoffs are better and more important than the regular season. Fighting drops around 50% from the regular season to the playoffs.

That's not to say that fighting is unnecessary or should be removed. But I agree that it's overrated.

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02-15-2006, 05:17 PM
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Bobby Hull had the greatest shot in the history of the game, and the passion, determination and nose for the net to go with it.

Oh dear. I dont even know how to repond to this. If Jagr had peaked in the 60:s, he would´ve been considred the best player ever, no hesitation. You people seem to think that the oldtimers were some kind of superhumans or gods. They were ordinary folks, mostly amateurs, who didnt practise even close to the ammount it takes to even get in to the NHL, let alone be a star. Hull was great back then, but this is now, and now he wouldnt even make a team in the NHL due to bad conditioning.....to begin with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampe
The players of today are a lot faster, a lot bigger, a lot stronger and a lot more skilled. That's quite a difference to make up for.
.
Too bad people in here are to stubborn to admit this fact. Good post.



Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez

We all acknowledge that players today have massive advantages over players of yesteryear. But once again, that's not the point of this topic.
If we are talking about the greateest player ever, people need to realize that players 50 years ago were alot worse than they are today.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
And finally, as I've mentioned before, a few of the superstar players of the past, given their style of play and if they were given the advantages of the modern players, would still be stars today. Its ridiculous to say otherwise
That´s just the damn point, they didnt have the same advantages, neither physical, nor any other kinds.

Thats just like saying, "if I was 10 times stronger than I am, I´d kick your *** in armwrestling". They didnt have any of the advantages that the players today have, they were smaller, weaker, slower and didnt practise half as much as the pro´s today, and the last facor is, that the opposition is so much better today than it was back then, so players evolves quite a bit only by playing with better players. People back in the 50:s were amateurs, and none of them would stand a chanse against the pro´s today, N-O-N-E OF THEM. Were they as talented? Possibly, but that doesnt translate into skill and performance.

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Old
02-15-2006, 05:29 PM
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshollow
Oh dear. I dont even know how to repond to this. If Jagr had peaked in the 60:s, he would´ve been considred the best player ever, no hesitation. You people seem to think that the oldtimers were some kind of superhumans or gods. They were ordinary folks, mostly amateurs, who didnt practise even close to the ammount it takes to even get in to the NHL, let alone be a star. Hull was great back then, but this is now, and now he wouldnt even make a team in the NHL due to bad conditioning.....to begin with.




Too bad people in here are to stubborn to admit this fact. Good post.





If we are talking about the greateest player ever, people need to realize that players 50 years ago were alot worse than they are today.




That´s just the damn point, they didnt have the same advantages, neither physical, nor any other kinds.

Thats just like saying, "if I was 10 times stronger than I am, I´d kick your *** in armwrestling". They didnt have any of the advantages that the players today have, they were smaller, weaker, slower and didnt practise half as much as the pro´s today, and the last facor is, that the opposition is so much better today than it was back then, so players evolves quite a bit only by playing with better players. People back in the 50:s were amateurs, and none of them would stand a chanse against the pro´s today, N-O-N-E OF THEM. Were they as talented? Possibly, but that doesnt translate into skill and performance.
Bobby Hull had unprecedented velocity, the accuracy and the release. His son Brett had a great shot, Bossy, MacInnis and Iafrate had great shots, but nobody could match Bobby Hull's shot. That's coming from people who played for years, that's coming from insiders who have watched the game for many, many years. While the stories of his shot being recorded at 120 miles per hour may be slightly exaggerated, you'd have a hard time telling his opponents (especially Gerry Cheevers) otherwise.

And nowhere did I say Hull is the best ever. I said he had the greatest shot in the history of the game.


Your ignorance/inability to grasp hockey history/lack of understanding of what makes a player great is disappointing. You don't understand that it's what you can't teach that makes a player great. I can take a kid and teach him how to skate, how to shoot, how to stickhandle. I can't teach him how to be a great leader, how to elevate his play in the more meaningful playoffs, how to be a great goal scorer, how to be a great defensive player, or how to be a winner. Players are born that way.


Last edited by God Bless Canada: 02-15-2006 at 05:48 PM.
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Old
02-15-2006, 05:30 PM
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshollow
People back in the 50:s were amateurs, and none of them would stand a chanse against the pro´s today, N-O-N-E OF THEM. Were they as talented? Possibly, but that doesnt translate into skill and performance.
Not sure if you've said this before, but I'm curious as to what you think about players from around 1980. How would a solid second line player from back then do in today's NHL, and why?

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Old
02-15-2006, 06:29 PM
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshollow
Oh dear. I dont even know how to repond to this. If Jagr had peaked in the 60:s, he would´ve been considred the best player ever, no hesitation. You people seem to think that the oldtimers were some kind of superhumans or gods. They were ordinary folks, mostly amateurs, who didnt practise even close to the ammount it takes to even get in to the NHL, let alone be a star. Hull was great back then, but this is now, and now he wouldnt even make a team in the NHL due to bad conditioning.....to begin with.




Too bad people in here are to stubborn to admit this fact. Good post.





If we are talking about the greateest player ever, people need to realize that players 50 years ago were alot worse than they are today.




That´s just the damn point, they didnt have the same advantages, neither physical, nor any other kinds.

Thats just like saying, "if I was 10 times stronger than I am, I´d kick your *** in armwrestling". They didnt have any of the advantages that the players today have, they were smaller, weaker, slower and didnt practise half as much as the pro´s today, and the last facor is, that the opposition is so much better today than it was back then, so players evolves quite a bit only by playing with better players. People back in the 50:s were amateurs, and none of them would stand a chanse against the pro´s today, N-O-N-E OF THEM. Were they as talented? Possibly, but that doesnt translate into skill and performance.

By your chosen method, progress makes everything else irrelevant. The comparison envisions that if Jagr suited up for the 1962 Bruins, he wouldn't have his own personal trainer,be 6'4" and a curved stick. You compare in relative terms.

Einstein to you would be just another guy with a good head on his shoulders,because he couldn't operate a computer. Is the guy playing in a downtown club a better bluesman than Robert Johnson because Mom bought him lessons and he can play all the chords.

Again, if the history of the game is so easily dismissed,why discuss it ?

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Old
02-15-2006, 11:08 PM
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
By your chosen method, progress makes everything else irrelevant. The comparison envisions that if Jagr suited up for the 1962 Bruins, he wouldn't have his own personal trainer,be 6'4" and a curved stick. You compare in relative terms.

Einstein to you would be just another guy with a good head on his shoulders,because he couldn't operate a computer. Is the guy playing in a downtown club a better bluesman than Robert Johnson because Mom bought him lessons and he can play all the chords.

Again, if the history of the game is so easily dismissed,why discuss it ?


...Because history is irrelevant and not worthy of due respect in the minds of some people, apparently.

As I said before, part of the "Born yesterday, everyday" crowd. Anything that came before them is insignificant, inferior.

Funny, back in the day, when I first started following hockey, I do not remember anyone ripping the Howes, the Richards, the Harveys, the Sawchuks - those that came before our generation.

Instead, we revered them as legends.

Guess the new breed of fan has all the answers about hockey, present and past.


Last edited by Trottier: 02-15-2006 at 11:37 PM.
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Old
02-15-2006, 11:47 PM
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nifty988
Orr, Gretzky, Howe, Mario, Shore, Bourque...in that order...Best player in the last 15 years...very easy..Joe Sakic.
Hasek

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Old
02-16-2006, 08:31 AM
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier


...Because history is irrelevant and not worthy of due respect in the minds of some people, apparently.

As I said before, part of the "Born yesterday, everyday" crowd. Anything that came before them is insignificant, inferior.

Funny, back in the day, when I first started following hockey, I do not remember anyone ripping the Howes, the Richards, the Harveys, the Sawchuks - those that came before our generation.

Instead, we revered them as legends.

Guess the new breed of fan has all the answers about hockey, present and past.
I think we all know that the game and the quality of athletes have changed over the years. Goalies in the old days were save makers as opposed to shot blockers. The puck travels faster than it did, golaies can't make the old split save,so they anticiapte where the puck is going and hope for the best. You can only talk in relative terms. Think of the players that were known for the quality of their slap shot over the years, guys that the crowd would gasp as they wound up. Hull, at the top, there was MacInnis, Iafrate, to an extent Richer. That isn't a factor now,because the game is more about eliminating time and space,making getting a wind up shot away, difficult. You can't take everything in a literal sense. I don't think anyone questions the quality and conditioning of today's athletes, but in comparison, the assumption is that the Howe's and Richard's would now have the same advantages.

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Old
02-16-2006, 09:04 AM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starshollow
Oh dear. I dont even know how to repond to this. If Jagr had peaked in the 60:s, he would´ve been considred the best player ever, no hesitation. You people seem to think that the oldtimers were some kind of superhumans or gods. They were ordinary folks, mostly amateurs, who didnt practise even close to the ammount it takes to even get in to the NHL, let alone be a star. Hull was great back then, but this is now, and now he wouldnt even make a team in the NHL due to bad conditioning.....to begin with.
I don't know why I bother responding to these type of idiotic statements but I guess I can't help myself. Bobby Hull was a genetic freak, with a 1960's style training regime he could dominate the current NHL and be among the very best players. If you had a time machine and brought him to now and gave him 3 months of better training he wouldn't just be among the very best players he would be at the top of the NHL. Bobby was far better than his son and his son had 80 and 70 goal seasons. And think about this. Brett Hull played a good 19 years in the NHL and played until he was 42. And he was still a good player post 35 years old. Look at chubby Brett. How great was his training regime? He got by mostly on pure talent, he surely wasn't doing his utmost to train himself, in fact he likely was one of the modern NHLer's with one of the poorest training regimes but he scored 700+ goals playing in the current era because he was FREAKING TALENTED, beyond belief. His father was even more talented and instead of being fat he was muscled beyond belief for someone who likely barely lifted weights in his life.

To say guys like Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull couldn't even make an NHL team today is beyond ********. A 25-30 year old Bobby Hull would dominate any NHL era even if he did virtually no training and drank beer every night. These guys had the desire and the skill and the physical ability to be the best players today.

As I have said agian, and again on these boards is that the talent difference and the far better NHL players today are seen on the bottom rung of players. There is a much higher level of play by the 3rd and 4th liners and the 2nd and 3rd pairing D-Men than in the past. Though in the original 6 era in the 50's and 60's the NHL was actually quite talented. There were essentially only 100 real NHLers. Sure they all came form Canada but I think the talent level was pretty high.

My point again is that the very best players in any era, especially post WW2 would be great players in any era. Wayne Gretzky as a 19 year old broke every single hockey record that existed and he could probably not bench press 120 pounds. Modern training makes players better but it does so to a limited degree. Magnus Arvedsson was one of the best athletes and best trained players to ever play in the NHL and he is not in the NHL anymore, while guys like Lafleur can dominate while being over a pack a day smoker. There is a reason for that and it is pure tALENT. Talent trumps all. Guys like Gretzky, Hull, Howe, Orr, Esposito, Beliveau, LaFleur, Mikita, Dionne have so much talent they could adapt to any NHL era and be stars. They would learn to adapt in just a few games to any era they were in.

Yeah Jagr would dominate in the 1960's because he is one of these great players I am talking about. He would dominate anytime, anywhere.

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Old
02-16-2006, 01:17 PM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
You can only talk in relative terms.
Agree 100%, as I did with your previous post.

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Old
02-17-2006, 02:47 PM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
By your chosen method, progress makes everything else irrelevant. The comparison envisions that if Jagr suited up for the 1962 Bruins, he wouldn't have his own personal trainer,be 6'4" and a curved stick. You compare in relative terms.

Einstein to you would be just another guy with a good head on his shoulders,because he couldn't operate a computer. Is the guy playing in a downtown club a better bluesman than Robert Johnson because Mom bought him lessons and he can play all the chords.

Again, if the history of the game is so easily dismissed,why discuss it ?
An excellent post.

Here's a slightly different angle than the "time machine" one.... if Bobby Hull had been born in 1986 instead of 1939, and had grown up with access to the training, equipment and coaching that the average 20-year old NHLer has today, it's ludicrous to think that he's be anything but a superstar. A natural goal scorer with a 120 mph slapshot... he'd have 50 goals by the Olympic break, be on the cover of SI and dating Elisha Cuthbert.

Of course, we'd have 1000 "Hull vs. Ovechkin" threads on these boards, but I'd be willing to pay that price

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02-19-2006, 11:40 AM
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiebez
An excellent post.

Here's a slightly different angle than the "time machine" one.... if Bobby Hull had been born in 1986 instead of 1939, and had grown up with access to the training, equipment and coaching that the average 20-year old NHLer has today, it's ludicrous to think that he's be anything but a superstar. A natural goal scorer with a 120 mph slapshot... he'd have 50 goals by the Olympic break, be on the cover of SI and dating Elisha Cuthbert.

Of course, we'd have 1000 "Hull vs. Ovechkin" threads on these boards, but I'd be willing to pay that price
IF Hull were 18 today,we'd be having a Propecia debate. You see him on that commercial ? Brutal.

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Old
02-20-2006, 08:20 PM
  #114
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1. Wayne Gretzky

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Old
02-21-2006, 11:37 PM
  #115
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well, "le mieux" in french means "the best", so therefore, its Lemieux

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02-24-2006, 07:55 PM
  #116
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Been watching hockey for 35 years and the best I ever saw was Orr.

Sure Gretzky was great and put up more points and all but... when you watched them play.

Gretz would float around the offensive blue line and wait for the long feed
and have the puck for a couple of seconds and make a quick pass or
shot. Compared to watching a guy go into the corner behind his net, hustle away
the puck from the other team, suddenly take two strides blowing players like posts,
setting up perfect give-and-goes, shots, or artistic offensive attacks, on the other side of the rink in four seconds. Not forgetting the razzle, dazzle, and spin-o-ramas at the blue line during a power play. Finesse and toughness, never floated, and most gracefull on skates.

Four seasons +80 over, including one at the all time record of +124.

Orr was other worldly.

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02-25-2006, 01:44 AM
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Yeah, Mario would have looked super lined up with Blair McDonald.

Out of curiosity, which high scoring Oilers do you remember Gretzky regularly lining up with, and how would you rate their careers versus Kevin Stevens and Jagr??
not that it matters, but wayne gretzky had messier on his NHL team from the beginning. and kurri was on edmonton for nine years during their glory days, compared to jagr (who was a rookie that played on the 3rd line during pittsburgh's first Cup). kevin stevens, however, was on the pens his 2nd year when they first won the cup, years after lemieux was racking up the points.

the point is, talent wise, gretzky had more surronding him. to suggest less is foolish.

overall, i'd rank wayne first, with mario and bobby orr closely following. whatever order you put them in is probably depending on how old you are, many games you watched and how much you give to the injury factor.

talent wise i'd say lemieux, gretzky, bobby orr and bobby hull.

it's all a matter of opinion (and geography).

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Old
02-25-2006, 02:29 AM
  #118
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Talent surrounding a player is virtually irrelevant.

The GREATS score with any teammates, under any conditions in any situation. I have posted tons of evidence in the past to support this.

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02-25-2006, 02:52 AM
  #119
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The best player I ever saw was Gretzky..followed (closely) by Mario. Bourque is the best D man I ever saw..period. He was like a man against boys. Having said that..I never saw Orr play (just missed him by a couple years), but, I do know this about the great #4... Whenever his name is brought up in these parts, people tend to look solemnly and shake their heads a little whenever discussing Orr. It's almost like they couldn't believe what they saw and can't really put it into words. Bobby Orr= the greatest ever if you live in New England. No debate..No discussion..No second thought. My impression of Orr is that his fans loved him and felt cheated that his career ended too quickly. I remember Bourque's rookie year..and the B's still had Brad Park..and my dad saying how awesome it would have been if Orr were still playing (at age 31 at the time) and what a crying shame it was because that would have been the best defense ever. Oh well..what might have been..Bruins fans have gotten used to that.

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02-25-2006, 10:16 AM
  #120
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If Bobby Hull would have no trouble adapting to any era and dominating any opposition, with or without today's training methods, why was he not quite as great a player as Mario Lemieux? If Wayne Gretzky was so darn good at adapting, why didn't he lead the NHL in points in 1998-99?

The answer is very simple - even Bobby Hull and Wayne Gretzky, like every other human being, had their limits. Hull could not adapt if he was facing a team full of Bobby Orrs.

There is no magical "greatness" or "adaptation" factor that you either have or don't have. It's all about being just a little bit better or worse at something than your opponents. You can't pick a player apart and then show exactly one detail that makes him great or average; hockey is a dynamic sport and it's the overall package that counts. Otherwise, aging would have no effect on a "great" player's performance.

And to those who suggest the difference in player quality only concerns 2nd to 4th liners...IMO, it doesn't. I didn't have an opinion on the matter before seeing the entire the Summit Series, but now I'm convinced that the players (stars or not) have all improved in leaps and bounds over the years.

Again, I really don't see why greatness would have to mean dominating any era there is or will be. Dominating your own is more than enough for me.

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02-25-2006, 10:36 AM
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampe
If Bobby Hull would have no trouble adapting to any era and dominating any opposition, with or without today's training methods, why was he not quite as great a player as Mario Lemieux? If Wayne Gretzky was so darn good at adapting, why didn't he lead the NHL in points in 1998-99?

The answer is very simple - even Bobby Hull and Wayne Gretzky, like every other human being, had their limits. Hull could not adapt if he was facing a team full of Bobby Orrs.

There is no magical "greatness" or "adaptation" factor that you either have or don't have. It's all about being just a little bit better or worse at something than your opponents. You can't pick a player apart and then show exactly one detail that makes him great or average; hockey is a dynamic sport and it's the overall package that counts. Otherwise, aging would have no effect on a "great" player's performance.

And to those who suggest the difference in player quality only concerns 2nd to 4th liners...IMO, it doesn't. I didn't have an opinion on the matter before seeing the entire the Summit Series, but now I'm convinced that the players (stars or not) have all improved in leaps and bounds over the years.

Again, I really don't see why greatness would have to mean dominating any era there is or will be. Dominating your own is more than enough for me.
Agreed. Dominating YOUR OWN era is any man's measure of greatness. Nobody can be expected to dominate 100 years after their death.

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