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1986: The Year of the Rookie?

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11-19-2012, 03:04 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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1986: The Year of the Rookie?

will we ever see a playoffs like 1986 again, where so many key roles were played by rookies?

and we're not just talking young players here, but actual rookies.


conn smythe: patrick roy

other habs who played meaningful roles:

claude lemieux (10 goals)
brian skrudland (defensive guy, killed penalties)
mike lalor (5th defenseman, steady defensive guy)
john kordic (6th defenseman, enforcer)

other habs rookies who played most of the regular season but saw their roles significantly decreased in the playoffs:

kjell dahlin (made the all-rookie team, dressed but saw little ice in the playoffs)
stephane richer (ditto)
petr svoboda (fell behind john kordic on the depth chart)



flames:

vernon (took former all-star rejean lemeline's starting goalie job)
joel otto (finally gave them a big strong center to match up with messier)
gary suter (calder winner, only played 10 games due to injury but scored 10 points in them)
neil sheehy (tough guy, played a regular shift on defense)

* brett hull was called up for two playoff games, recording one single shot.



(also, mike ridley, kelly miller, and kjell samuelsson on the rangers; the blues were young but only one rookie playing regular minutes: gino cavallini)



even in a much younger league than the veteran-heavy avs/wings/devils/stars era, will we ever see a finals like that again, with two rookies starting against each other, and key roles (including defensive ones) being played by kids with almost no NHL, let alone playoff, experience?

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11-19-2012, 03:33 PM
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MS
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Philly 1985 was very similar to Montreal 1986, with the Flyers dressing 6 rookies regularly at forward during that run :

Peter Zezel
Murray Craven (I guess technically not a rookie, but only just)
Rick Tocchet
Derrick Smith
Todd Bergen
Dave Brown

And no, I don't think it will ever happen again, really. Was a function of the time - the game was improving exponentially year-on-year during the 1980s and careers were very short with the NHL average age very young. Almost nobody (especially at forward) played past age 30 with any real effect. Almost every team had 3-4 rookies on it every year.

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11-19-2012, 04:01 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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it's interesting that we've seen a huge youth movement since the lockout, with the depth veteran playoff guys you'd trade 2nd and sometimes even 1st rounders for every deadline by and large replaced on playoff roster by younger, usually homegrown players. and still, how often do we see rookies playing significant roles on winning teams?

last year's playoffs had voynov and nolan on the kings (both impressed but neither made or broke their teams), while the devils had henrique, who was very good.

year before had marchand playing a big role on the bruins, with mcquaid playing a regular shift, and seguin impressing in very short spurts. the canucks had no rookies in real roles, unless you count corey schneider's one full game (which in any event was a loss). tanev and cody hodgson played very very little.


point being, we're not trotting out brian skrudland and mike keane in the playoffs every year anymore, but meaningful rookies doing meaningful things are still few and far between. i think the last cup winner where rookies really played a big role was NJ with rafalski, madden, gomez, and white and that was a crazy anomaly with two overage guys who both were older than the entire A line.


but the question i wonder is, was '86 a fluke? or was it the product of a different era? the '85 flyers is an interesting case. in the next couple of years, the flyers would also bring in eklund, hextall, and mellanby. the same guy (keenan) who would later trade young doug weight and tony amonte for tikkanen, matteau, and noonan played plenty of rookies in important roles back in philly.

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11-19-2012, 05:00 PM
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Big Phil
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Overall I think 2006 was a special year. Crosby vs. Ovechkin. Then you had Lundqvist and Phaneuf and let's not forget just how highly regarded Phaneuf was at that time. I guess that one is more a product of the lockout. We might see that same thing with 2014.

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11-19-2012, 05:07 PM
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jkrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Overall I think 2006 was a special year. Crosby vs. Ovechkin. Then you had Lundqvist and Phaneuf and let's not forget just how highly regarded Phaneuf was at that time. I guess that one is more a product of the lockout. We might see that same thing with 2014.
Definitly a product of the lockout but even so it would have been good rookie years.

Id like to highlight the 49 season.

Red Kelly
Fleming Mackell
Doug Harvey
Tod Sloan
Metro Prystai
Pavelich
Tom Johnson
Sandford and Ronty

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11-19-2012, 05:20 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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1993 was a very special year for rookies. selanne, lindros, potvin were the big three. juneau obviously had a lot of success, production-wise. borschevsky and kvartalnov, semak,

and then a bunch of guys who would become very good who did pretty well as rookies: zhamnov, niedermayer, kasparaitis, zhitnik, mceachern, malakhov, tkachuk, kovalev... and further down the line yushkevich, guerin, hamrlik, dmitri mironov, nylander, smehlik, sydor, kravchuk, with impressive partial seasons by ozolinsh, zubov, and irbe.

but other than potvin and zhitnik, none of those guys did anything in the playoffs. mceachern i guess played a decent enough role on the '93 pens, and sydor on the kings, but still the prevailing message then was that if you were hanging your playoff hopes on three rookies like winnipeg did, you were in trouble.

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