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Jean Beliveau vs. Bobby Hull

View Poll Results: Jean Beliveau or Bobby Hull?
Hull 54 40.60%
Beliveau 79 59.40%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
04-26-2012, 08:00 PM
  #26
Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Agreed.... But I also think most 30 or 40 year olds at the time would also have considered Hull superior.
For sure... some things in life however we just drive right bye without really noticing or perhaps if we do, not appreciating as much as we should, in this case blinded by the flashier, higher goal scoring & far more powerful machine in Hull. Only by looking through the rear-view mirror with experience & wisdom on ones side can the individual determine for themselves which "type" of player they'd consider "better" within the context of a "team" situation & scenario. I picked Beliveau as he to me was a consummate "team" player, while Hull, with all of the notoriety & garlands, much more a one man band in many respects. With that kind of adulation, expectations, life can be difficult, and we know Bobby had his problems in dealing with it at all, whereas Beliveau was much more temporal, of this earth, a Yeoman in the Army of the Blue-Blanc-Rouge yes, but also its leader & fearless Capitain'.


Last edited by Killion: 04-26-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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04-26-2012, 08:56 PM
  #27
LeBlondeDemon10
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I chose Hull because he was so dynamic and set new standards for goal scoring. He is one of a few players in NHL history to raise the bar. However, if I were starting a team I'd go with Beliveau. He just brings so much more to a team. Leadership, a calming demeanor, size, elegance, class, a scoring touch and exceptional playmaking.

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04-26-2012, 10:19 PM
  #28
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Close to it but on the Canadiens he would always be behind Henri Richard in this regard. Better on faceoffs,more geometric defensively than Henri Richard who relied more on quickness and speed plus leveraging.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya, very true. Beliveau of course had a size advantage over Henri, wasnt close to being the same hair-pin type skater, much more "loping", played the angles defensively forcing incoming wide, stood them up & if back deep never afraid to block a shot.

Richard was smaller, quicker, "crafty" and in Junior a goal scorer with 53 & 33 in 2yrs with the Jr. Canadiens. In the NHL however, he wasnt really able to "close the deal" quite so much, instead, leading the league in assists while playing a defensive role against the oppositions top lines.

Quite a feat really when you consider his size disadvantage against a Bobby Hull for example. Perhaps the most pronounced commonality between Beliveau & Richard was in their abilities to retain their composure. Never panicked, got caught, or if they did, wouldnt get fooled again. Consistency, intelligence, both had Class to burn, Henri in particular always well worth the price of admission, Beliveau somewhat more under-stated.
thanks for the insight. always nice to get a first-hand perspective.

on the comparison in this thread, i am starting to wonder whether i am fetishizing the best player on two dynasties thing. i mean, it is amazing. but it is starting to smell a little like nieuwendyk's three cups with three teams, though only very very faintly.

i wonder if this might be something like a messier vs. lemieux comparison, only closer obviously. one guy just passes the eye test as clearly the better player, despite the other guy's accolades, leadership, championships, etc.

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04-26-2012, 10:26 PM
  #29
lolwut
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They are close but I find Hulls 2 extra scoring titles and clear goal scoring advantage to much to overcome. Hull set new bench marks for goal scoring. He has a strong case for being the best goal scorer ever.

Hull
Art Ross- 3
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-11
Goal scoring title- 7
Top five in goals- 12
Hart -2
Conn Smythe- ? Didn’t exist in 1961

Beliveau
Art Ross- 1
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-12
Goal scoring title- 2
Top five in goals- 7
Hart -2
Conn Smythe-1


Last edited by lolwut: 05-07-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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04-29-2012, 01:11 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolwut View Post
They are close but I find Hulls 2 extra scoring titles and clear goal scoring advantage to much to overcome. Hull set new bench marks for goal scoring.

Hull
Art Ross- 3
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-11
Goal scoring title- 7
Top five in goals- 12
Hart -1
Conn Smythe- ? Didn’t exist in 1961

Beliveau
Art Ross- 1
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-12
Goal scoring title- 2
Top five in goals- 7
Hart -2
Conn Smythe-1
It's unfortunate that we don't have the data necessary to calculate adjusted plus-minus for these players. It would help in determining if (and how much) Beliveau sacrificed offense for defense, and vice versa for Hull. Both would have difficult comparisons, Beliveau playing for dynasties for most of his career and Hull having Mikita on another line.

I think the individual data clearly gives Hull an edge, but it's tough to overlook Beliveau's versatility and central role on two dynasties. Both playing after expansion (and Hull in the WHA) muddles much of the comparison a bit.

There also may be no "one right answer." It could be the case that for great teams, the more valuable player may have tended to be Beliveau, while for good/mediocre/poor teams, the more valuable player may have tended to be Hull. Would that make Believau the better player, because he would be more valuable to the best team, or would that make Hull the more valuable player, because he would be more valuable to more teams?

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04-29-2012, 08:11 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
my first reaction is to go with beliveau. by reputation, he is the most complete center there ever was. greatest leader in hockey history, won goal scoring titles, assist titles, hart trophies, was the best player on two dynasties. big huge guy, took on challengers early on and was mostly left alone after that.

but my question is, how was he defensively? again, by reputation beliveau was good. but was he selke good, or close to it?

because i also remember reading that bobby hull used his speed and strength to neutralize beliveau the year the hawks won the cup. on the other hand, hull's hawks certainly lost to beliveau's habs in the playoffs more often than they won.
they have several of his full games on nhl.com you can check him out for yourself. plenty of hull stuff too.

hull destroys him when it comes to goal scoring but I have a feeling that hull piled up an insane amount of ice time back in the day...


Last edited by ot92s: 04-29-2012 at 08:20 AM.
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04-29-2012, 09:45 AM
  #32
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Beliveau's accomplishments rate higher on my "greatness" list, but I'd rather have Hull if we're drafting out teams for a pickup game.

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04-29-2012, 07:05 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I think the individual data clearly gives Hull an edge, but it's tough to overlook Beliveau's versatility and central role on two dynasties. Both playing after expansion (and Hull in the WHA) muddles much of the comparison a bit.
I didn't include Hulls accomplishments from the WHA in the comparison if that's what you are referring to. Hull was still a elite player when he left for the WHA. If he stays it only strengthens his case.

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04-29-2012, 11:26 PM
  #34
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by ot92s View Post
they have several of his full games on nhl.com you can check him out for yourself. plenty of hull stuff too.

hull destroys him when it comes to goal scoring but I have a feeling that hull piled up an insane amount of ice time back in the day...
thanks. what a treat that will be.

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04-30-2012, 12:03 AM
  #35
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Beliveau's accomplishments rate higher on my "greatness" list, but I'd rather have Hull if we're drafting out teams for a pickup game.
... yep, what I said earlier, and Id grab his brother as well. Combination amusing "Lurch" like skating and a shot that not even Dennis knew where it might be headed... youd hear it though. The puck ricocheting off the steel or wood roof trusses holding up the roof, turning the odd seat back into kindling in the upper balconies at either end of the arena.

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05-07-2012, 08:00 AM
  #36
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I remember as a kid, pre-Gretzky that Howe was considered the best forward ever and Hull was 2nd with Richard 3rd by most hockey people. The memories of those players was a lot fresher back then so I'm wondering if the elevation of Beliveau into that group might be revisionist. Basically has he risen up the rankings because of the classy gentleman he developed into post-retirement.
Right on. In my opinion, revisionism without any substance is becoming the norm in this forum.

I have Hull as the 5th best player with Beliveau, Shore, Harvey, Richard being in a grouping a step or 2 below. Using the eye test and the goal scoring criterion, Hull is way ahead. In some of the other aspects of their game, Beliveau is closer and there may be arguments to rank Beliveau slightly ahead but I don’t see it.

Here are some of the arguments that have been made in favor of Beliveau in this thread.

Cup Counting. Meaningless. Cups are won by teams not individuals. Playoff performance is what matters. Playoff PPG for Hull & Beliveau is virtually identical. Also it usually ignored that Hull won a few WHA cups.

Beliveau made his teammates better. Hull didn’t. This is far fetched. IMO it is the opposite. You could argue that Beliveau’s teammates made him better. It had to help him to step into the NHL as a mature player and immediately be teamed up with star players like Geoffrion, Moore, Olmstead etc. Meanwhile, Hull was playing on a lines with the likes of Murray Balfour, Red Hay, Chico Maki, Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson. All of whom had the best years of their careers playing on a line with Hull. I would also argue that Hull made Espo a better player. Espo had a difficult time making the Hawks and was floundering until they put him on the Hull line in his first full season. Guess what, Espo finished top 10 in scoring.

Playmaking. Pretty close, IMO. It is a question of focus. Hull focused on goal scoring which makes sense since he was the best goal scorer that ever laced them up. Beliveau focused more on assists which also makes sense when you have someone like Geoffrion on your wing. An interesting comparison is to look at the 15 years they played in the NHl at the same time. In 7 of those years Beliveau came out on top in assists. Seven times, Hull had the most assists. The other year they tied. I know there are extenuating circumstances here--difference in age, injuries, Hull coming in as a teenager etc. However, the point is, Beliveau is usually considered the better playmaker but he certainly didn’t blow Hull away in this area. I will let Beliveau have the last word here. This is from his autoboigraphy. “Having started his career as a centre, he (Hull) was an excellent playmaker, apt to put a beautiful pass on a linemates stick at the very moment when an opposition winger and 2 defensemen converged on him.”

Checking. Both were decent checkers but I would give the edge to Hull. Hull killed penalties regularly in his prime. I don’t remember Beliveau ever doing so which allowed him to focus more on offense. Montreal was a deeper team so they didn’t need to depend on their superstars to kill penalties. Both were physical players but Hull gave more punishing bodychecks. In the 76 Canada cup, Hull took Salming’s game away by dishing out punishing but clean bodychecks. Also, Hull was regularly matched up against Howe in the playoffs.

Here is a clip from the 76 Canada cup that illustrates Hull's all round play. Hull back checks and knocks the player off the puck. He then leads the rush back up ice and lays a perfect pass on Perreault's stick who scores. Note that Hull was 37 at the time which gives every indication that he still would have been one of the best in the NHL at that age.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euEwsx_eVZ0


Last edited by pappyline: 05-07-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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05-07-2012, 09:58 AM
  #37
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I remember as a kid, pre-Gretzky that Howe was considered the best forward ever and Hull was 2nd with Richard 3rd by most hockey people.
not to nitpick, but isn't Hull over Richard revisionism too? The "establishment" seems to think that Richard belongs over Hull, based on what I've seen from lists put together over the years. I'm not saying I agree, mind you, but that's how I remember it growing up. It was Gretzky, Howe, eventually Lemieux joined that group, and right behind them it was the Rocket.

Now we are insightful enough to put Hull ahead of Richard where he belongs, but that is really revisionism, and that doesn't have to be a dirty word. And if we can do that, why is Beliveau over Hull such heresy?

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05-07-2012, 10:01 AM
  #38
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... And if we can do that, why is Beliveau over Hull such heresy?
Because Hull was a better hockey player.

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05-07-2012, 10:07 AM
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Because Hull was a better hockey player.
Thank you. Beat me to it.

Regarding Hull versus Richard. Most people had Hull ahead unless seventieslord is referring to the Hockey News list which had Hull behind Richard, Beliveau and Harvey but most everyone agrees that list wasn't very good. Too much cup counting.

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05-07-2012, 10:13 AM
  #40
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not to nitpick, but isn't Hull over Richard revisionism too? The "establishment" seems to think that Richard belongs over Hull, based on what I've seen from lists put together over the years. I'm not saying I agree, mind you, but that's how I remember it growing up. It was Gretzky, Howe, eventually Lemieux joined that group, and right behind them it was the Rocket.

Now we are insightful enough to put Hull ahead of Richard where he belongs, but that is really revisionism, and that doesn't have to be a dirty word. And if we can do that, why is Beliveau over Hull such heresy?
From what I saw of the "establishment" and the older posters outside of hfboards, Howe vs Richard waa debated more than Richard vs Beliveau or Hull. I don't live in Canada though, my info was mostly from TV and the early Internet.

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05-07-2012, 11:41 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
From what I saw of the "establishment" and the older posters outside of hfboards, Howe vs Richard waa debated more than Richard vs Beliveau or Hull. I don't live in Canada though, my info was mostly from TV and the early Internet.

Well, I grow'd up in Canada during the last years of the "Golden Era", and unfortunately I never actually saw Richard playing during his peak seasons so beyond the anecdotal, the stats, old game footage, contemporaneous media reports, books etc, I cant even include him in my wholly subjective rankings of "all time bests", while comparing Beliveau to Hull in terms of actual individual hockey talents isnt even a contest. Hull would win that one hands down simply because he was a lot more powerful physically, faster, harder, heavier & deadlier shot. Beliveaus' game was much softer, much more one of finesse.

As I stated earlier, from a "team" perspective Beliveau was clearly in a league & class of his own and therefore if you were building a squad of more mortal talents Id be picking JB over BH. If I could pick-off players from various eras' through time travel however, an All Time All Star Squad, Hull would be selected ahead of Beliveau. Context, time & place however forbids such flights of fancy. Indeed, my Top 3 of All Time would be Orr, Lemieux & Hull, Mario's game much closer to Beliveaus than Hull's. (note; I preclude Gretzky from every conversation on the matter. ).

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05-07-2012, 11:43 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
From what I saw of the "establishment" and the older posters outside of hfboards, Howe vs Richard waa debated more than Richard vs Beliveau or Hull. I don't live in Canada though, my info was mostly from TV and the early Internet.
Howe/Richard was certainly debated during the early part of Howe's career when they were contemporaries but by 1960 or so, I don't think Richard over Howe had much support.

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05-07-2012, 01:31 PM
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From what I saw of the "establishment" and the older posters outside of hfboards, Howe vs Richard waa debated more than Richard vs Beliveau or Hull. I don't live in Canada though, my info was mostly from TV and the early Internet.
This is how I remember it.

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05-07-2012, 01:36 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by lolwut View Post
They are close but I find Hulls 2 extra scoring titles and clear goal scoring advantage to much to overcome. Hull set new bench marks for goal scoring.

Hull
Art Ross- 3
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-11
Goal scoring title- 7
Top five in goals- 12
Hart -1
Conn Smythe- ? Didnít exist in 1961

Beliveau
Art Ross- 1
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-12
Goal scoring title- 2
Top five in goals- 7
Hart -2
Conn Smythe-1
hull had 2 Harts plus a couple of WHA mvps

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05-07-2012, 02:04 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by lolwut View Post
They are close but I find Hulls 2 extra scoring titles and clear goal scoring advantage to much to overcome. Hull set new bench marks for goal scoring.

Hull
Art Ross- 3
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-11
Goal scoring title- 7
Top five in goals- 12
Hart -1
Conn Smythe- ? Didn’t exist in 1961

Beliveau
Art Ross- 1
Top 5 in points -8
Top 10 in points-12
Goal scoring title- 2
Top five in goals- 7
Hart -2
Conn Smythe-1
I'll add to the Conn Smythe part...

In addition to the actual Conn Smythe he won, Beliveau was awarded 1 retro Conn Smythe for 1956 when that project was done. That same study awarded the Smythe to Pierre Pilote for the 1961 playoffs, which is probably one of the easier ones to pick...he led the Hawks in scoring as their #1 defenseman and tied Gordie Howe for most playoff points overall. That being said, Hull was only a single point behind those two.

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05-07-2012, 02:56 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
I'll add to the Conn Smythe part...

In addition to the actual Conn Smythe he won, Beliveau was awarded 1 retro Conn Smythe for 1956 when that project was done. That same study awarded the Smythe to Pierre Pilote for the 1961 playoffs, which is probably one of the easier ones to pick...he led the Hawks in scoring as their #1 defenseman and tied Gordie Howe for most playoff points overall. That being said, Hull was only a single point behind those two.
I have a dvd documentary of the 61 cup win. On it is a post game interview with Punch Imlach who had this to say:

"if I had to pick one man who was responsible for Chicago winning, it was Bobby Hull. Bobby was the driving force behind the whole team"

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09-07-2013, 08:58 AM
  #47
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Why does Bobby Hull get so much credit for his WHA numbers?

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09-07-2013, 09:26 AM
  #48
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I started following hockey when Beliveau was 38 so didn't get to see him in his prime. Hull was always larger than life, iconic like Mickey Mantle. So the Golden Jet got my vote.

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09-07-2013, 09:38 AM
  #49
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Why does Bobby Hull get so much credit for his WHA numbers?
He does?

I never got that impression.

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09-07-2013, 12:10 PM
  #50
pappyline
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He does?

I never got that impression.
Me too. He seems to get little if any credit for his WHA accomplishments. Despite the fact that:

-He practically carried the league on his back and by doing so increased NHL salaries.
-Proved that he could win cup championships if on the right team.
-revolutionized the game with Hedberg & Nilsson with their blending of the North American and European style of play. Glen Sather had more than a little success with Edmonton by adopting the Winnipeg style of play.

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