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Scotty Bowman's Top 100 Canadian Players

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Old
11-29-2012, 07:21 PM
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
What's Bowman's explanation for ranking Maurice Richard over Lemieux and Gretzky? Also, what's his explanation for ranking Gretzky down in 5th?
Probably that he was more than a hockey player in Montreal. You probably know the story. Yes gretzky is the goat, but Richard was more off the ice.

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11-29-2012, 08:33 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Fred Taylor View Post
1. Bobby Orr
2. Gordie Howe
3. Maurice Richard
4. Mario Lemieux
5. Wayne Gretzky
6. Doug Harvey
7. Eddie Shore
8. Howie Morenz
9. Jean Beliveau
10. Bobby Hull
11. Guy Lafleur
12. Dave Keon
13. Henri Richard
14. Mark Messier
15. Sidney Crosby
16. Raymond Bourque
17. Jacques Plante
18. Frank Mahovlich
19. Terry Sawchuk
20. Serge Savard
21. Denis Potvin
22. Glenn Hall
23. Mike Bossy
24. Dickie Moore
25. Steve Yzerman
26. Brad Park
27. Larry Robinson
28. Bernard Geoffrion
29. Norm Ullman
30. Alex Delvecchio
31. Joe Sakic
32. Bobby Clarke
33. Bob Gainey
34. Scott Niedermayer
35. Elmer Lach
36. Patrick Roy
37. Gilbert Perreault
38. Jacques Lemaire
39. Guy Lapointe
40. Phil Esposito
41. Ted Lindsay
42. Red Kelly
43. Syl Apps
44. Milt Schmidt
45. Johnny Bucyk
46. Marcel Dionne
47. Yvan Cournoyer
48. Martin Brodeur
49. Scott Stevens
50. Cam Neely

I didn't even bother to go through the rest of this list, but the ones in bold have me absolutely puzzled... there's really no justification for having Richard above Lemieux let alone Gretzky. Crosby ahead of Bourque? Roy way down at 36? Cam Neely in the top 50?! Dave Keon at 12!?!

I respect the man, but this is one of the worst lists I've personally ever seen.
complete with the obligatory massive overrating of niedermayer, who is roughly around the 34th best defenseman of all time.

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11-29-2012, 08:41 PM
  #103
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I agree with a lot you have to say but when over 100 thousand people come to see your casket and your funeral is shown on all channels in canada and former Pm's and Premiers go to your funeral well thats what Richard meant to Quebecors.As for Keon there are many historians that will tell you he was the best Maple Leaf ever even though stats don't show it.Bowman has Savard and Park ahead of Robinson that makes you scratch your head.He coached both Savard and Robinson.

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11-29-2012, 09:32 PM
  #104
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Scotty Bowman's List

Away most of the last two days. Saw the top 100 Canadians as named as Scotty Bowman. The list is very easy to understand.

Two main considerations - completeness as a hockey player and defensive abilities. Will explain by focusing on two examples.

The top 5. Not really surprising. Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe as the top 2. Both were complete players, no skill flaws or attitude flaws. Bobby Orr was more complete since he was the better skater. No one since has been able to do what Bobby Orr did on skates. Some may have been flashier but the were not dancers. So Orr over Howe is understandables. Howe was an extremely solid but unspectacular skater.

#'3-5 do the completeness analysis and throw in the ability or willingness to integrate a team. Maurice Richard was the ultimate hate to loose athlete but when Toe Blake became coach, Maurice Richard was able to channel this passion into creating a fully integrated team that produced five consecutive Stanley Cups.

Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky were never able to integrate a team. The team(s) teams had to be built around them.Especially true for Wayne Gretzky who post Edmonton had his own "entourage" of players, coaches and management.

So in terms of completeness Maurice Richard pulls ahead - best skater of the three, Lemieux second. Not one of the three was great defensively but Richard made the greater effort. In terms of integrating a team - big edge to Maurice Richard. Lemieux comes in second.

Bryan Trottier. Suggest checking his record a\against the 1975-76-1978-79 Canadiens and Scotty Bowman who would match mainly the Jarvis line with Doug Jarvis against Trottier. In two playoff series 1976,1977, 11games, Trottier had 5 pts. The check Trottier's regular season record against the Canadiens over the same time frame. Before and after Bossy arrived. Then ask the question. Where was Doug Jarvis ranked?

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11-29-2012, 09:45 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by jack mullet View Post
really...you think someone who has played parts of 7 seasons, won ONE scoring title, is the 15th best player in the entire HISTORY of Canadian hockey? if Sid is 15, then Stamkos should be 16, followed by Taylor Hall in the 20's.....

If Lafleur is 11, then Marcel Dionne should be 10. take the Habs jersey off Lafleur, put him in a Sabres sweater his whole career...is he still 10? Dionne has a better PPG and career stats than Guy, and didn't get to play with hall of famers every night.
This is where Scotty Bowman ranks these players. Obviously he doen't care how long they played or what their stats are or what awards they got. Purely who are the best hockey players.

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11-29-2012, 10:03 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I agree with your point on how Bowman seems to evaluate players.
However, the league never "caught up" with Gretzky. A Gary Suter crosscheck and age dropped him down.
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I don't think you knew Gretzky very well if you think he was going to complain publicly about an injury or a bad back.
He simply was not the same after the Suter hit. Anyone who was watching him saw it.
nuff said about that!

I still marvel how many times posters engage this Gretzky subject and suggest "era" suddenly inflicts upon his unsuspecting ability. That video is hard to watch, he looked more uncomfortable and upset than the McCreary hit. Shame.

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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
I saw alot of those players play and would have ranked them in a different manner, but personally, I can't think of a person in Hockey who's opinion means more to me than Scotty Bowman. It would be pretty arrogant of me to think my eye test is more meaningfull than his. He saw the game and it's players on a different level than anybody who posts here. Although I don't agree with the ranking, I respect it beyond measure.
very well said.

Say what you want about hockey-reference and adjusted stats and eras and whatever. But I think OVERVALUING regular season pts/game, compared to aggregate league scoring, is NO WAY to evaluate players in the same era and even worse across eras.

And I'd trust Scotty Bowman's possibly/likely-biased eyes over stats, eras, etc. Not that I agree with some on the list that I did see play for their whole career.

But there are CLEARLY players on that list that bring far more to the table than scoring. Toews is one, so is Crosby, Wendel Clark. Yes, Trottier is bizarre and I'd love to ask him "why" and I suspect the answer might be a better one than a CORSI rating might tell me.

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11-29-2012, 10:19 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I respect Scotty Bowman to high heaven, but come on. He's not above criticism.
No, no one should be but his list makes my Dman list look good in comparison.

My guess is that he didn't really edit it.

Trottier at 62 is simply indefensible IMO, especially considering some of the lesser two way players ahead of him.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Oh, Gretz was already on the downside of his peak, I'm not debating that but the Suter hit knocked him down sharply and sped up the process greatly.
He simply wasn't the same player after.

Year - Raw PpG - ADJ PpG
84/85 - 2.60 - 2.08
85/86 - 2.69 - 2.13
86/87 - 2.32 - 1.96
87/88 - 2.33 - 1.94
88/89 - 2.15 - 1.78
89/90 - 1.95 - 1.64
90/91 - 2.09 - 1.87
----Suter Hit------
91/92 - 1.64 - 1.46
92/93 - 1.44 - 1.16
93/94 - 1.60 - 1.47
After 86 we see a real dip in .3 PPG in real stats (less in adjusted of course) and then another two seasons around 2.3PPG then a dip to the 2.10 range for 3 seasons before the Suter hit.

For someone who focuses so much on raw stats, how can you not see that pattern?

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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
This just proves that it's pretty damn hard to rank players all by yourself. How long did he sit down to do this list by the way?

My guess Gretzky on 5th is because he wanted Richard up with his comparable Howe and Gretzky with his (Lemieux). Not a big deal really.

I wonder how serious he is with this list and it seems he put emphasis on older players. Maybe its a list to cause a debate? He has always been a little controversial
Hard to say but I doubt that he would seriously defend all of his choices after some 2nd thought.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I don't think you knew Gretzky very well if you think he was going to complain publicly about an injury or a bad back.
He simply was not the same after the Suter hit. Anyone who was watching him saw it.
This is true, Wayne was the true professional, in every way, in his career and no doubt the Suter hit probably affected an already clear trend but it's hard to say to what degree..

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11-29-2012, 10:23 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by jmdubois585 View Post
Probably that he was more than a hockey player in Montreal. You probably know the story. Yes gretzky is the goat, but Richard was more off the ice.
It's true what you say about Richard, man is a legend in Montreal but heck Wayne is a legend in the entire hockey playing world.

No other person on that panel had Wayne below 2nd, putting Wayne at 5th is even worse than the guy who put Orr 2nd in the top 60 Dman project....wait that was me oops.

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11-29-2012, 10:28 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Away most of the last two days. Saw the top 100 Canadians as named as Scotty Bowman. The list is very easy to understand.

Two main considerations - completeness as a hockey player and defensive abilities. Will explain by focusing on two examples.

The top 5. Not really surprising. Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe as the top 2. Both were complete players, no skill flaws or attitude flaws. Bobby Orr was more complete since he was the better skater. No one since has been able to do what Bobby Orr did on skates. Some may have been flashier but the were not dancers. So Orr over Howe is understandables. Howe was an extremely solid but unspectacular skater.

#'3-5 do the completeness analysis and throw in the ability or willingness to integrate a team. Maurice Richard was the ultimate hate to loose athlete but when Toe Blake became coach, Maurice Richard was able to channel this passion into creating a fully integrated team that produced five consecutive Stanley Cups.

Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky were never able to integrate a team. The team(s) teams had to be built around them.Especially true for Wayne Gretzky who post Edmonton had his own "entourage" of players, coaches and management.

So in terms of completeness Maurice Richard pulls ahead - best skater of the three, Lemieux second. Not one of the three was great defensively but Richard made the greater effort. In terms of integrating a team - big edge to Maurice Richard. Lemieux comes in second.

Bryan Trottier. Suggest checking his record a\against the 1975-76-1978-79 Canadiens and Scotty Bowman who would match mainly the Jarvis line with Doug Jarvis against Trottier. In two playoff series 1976,1977, 11games, Trottier had 5 pts. The check Trottier's regular season record against the Canadiens over the same time frame. Before and after Bossy arrived. Then ask the question. Where was Doug Jarvis ranked?

Is that you Scotty Or Maybe Killon is Scotty?

Seriously though to call any player better than Wayne, and especailly Mario is well....easy.

But you say that Wayne couldn't integrate a team? and Mario could?

Fully disagree there Wayne is a born leader and his preparation and manner in the locker room is legendary and fully deserved.

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11-29-2012, 10:33 PM
  #110
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Ever read the SI article in the mid-80's about what went on in the dressing room of the oilers true Wayne was not involved or accused but other players were.No charges were ever laid.We all make mistakes but my point is that the oilers were not squicky and clean.

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11-29-2012, 10:51 PM
  #111
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Ever read the SI article in the mid-80's about what went on in the dressing room of the oilers true Wayne was not involved or accused but other players were.No charges were ever laid.We all make mistakes but my point is that the oilers were not squicky and clean.
No but JD (John Davidson new Columbus head) told a story of Wayne being the only person left on an elevator and a woman got on, Wayne was smart enough to get off and not get caught in any possibility of a controversy.

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11-29-2012, 10:58 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
My guess is that he didn't really edit it.

...

Hard to say but I doubt that he would seriously defend all of his choices after some 2nd thought.
I do think we should at least consider the possibility that he didn't expect this list to be presented as Scotty Bowman's Definitive List of Greatest Players. Quite often publications put together projects like this which are misunderstood by the participants, or not taken seriously. Then all of a sudden you've got people calling him on the floor for ranking Savard over Robinson when he may very well have not even done it intentionally.

I'd really like to give Bowman the benefit of the doubt and believe he wrote this list in between lunch and tee time, viewing it as a fun little survey rather than a serious claim about hockey history.


Last edited by tarheelhockey: 11-29-2012 at 11:06 PM.
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11-29-2012, 10:59 PM
  #113
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That does show character and I know he's been a great role model for canadiens and americans but my point was none of us are perfect .If it is true that Wayne controlled the dressing room well if the sportsIlustrated article is true then Wayne needed to work a little harder.Wayne was clean and it involved other oiler players at the time.They were all the same age and at times they went overboard

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11-29-2012, 11:05 PM
  #114
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Skating

[QUOTE=tarheelhockey;56132813]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
My guess is that he didn't really edit it.

...

Hard to say but I doubt that he would seriously defend all of his choices after some 2nd thought./QUOTE]

I do think we should at least consider the possibility that he didn't expect this list to be presented as Scotty Bowman's Definitive List of Greatest Players. Quite often publications put together projects like this which are misunderstood by the participants, or not taken seriously. Then all of a sudden you've got people calling him on the floor for ranking Savard over Robinson when he may very well have not even done it intentionally.

I'd really like to give Bowman the benefit of the doubt and believe he wrote this list in between lunch and tee time, viewing it as a fun little survey rather than a serious claim about hockey history.
Despite two broken legs and a knee injury Saverd was the better skater - evidenced by his spin move. From Harvey to Orr to Savard.

Robinson was a solid skater in the mold of a forward - which he was in his formative years..

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11-29-2012, 11:08 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post

Despite two broken legs and a knee injury Saverd was the better skater - evidenced by his spin move. From Harvey to Orr to Savard.

Robinson was a solid skater in the mold of a forward - which he was in his formative years..
I didn't mean to suggest that Savard>Robinson is indefensible. It might be Bowman's sincere belief. But it's just as likely that he wasn't intentionally sending a message on that subject when he made the list.

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11-29-2012, 11:09 PM
  #116
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That does show character and I know he's been a great role model for canadiens and americans but my point was none of us are perfect .If it is true that Wayne controlled the dressing room well if the sportsIlustrated article is true then Wayne needed to work a little harder.Wayne was clean and it involved other oiler players at the time.They were all the same age and at times they went overboard
That is the differentiation. A player is not expected to control the dressing room. A great player is expected to be the player leader - Jean Beliveau, George Armstrong.

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11-29-2012, 11:31 PM
  #117
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http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2007...-robinson.html Robinson was a better defensive player than Savard. I would describe him more as a good all around player. I've never seen him described as an "offensive" dman before.
I probably stretched my argument a bit too far to try to understand how Bowman could take Savard over Robinson. Honestly, it is a real head-scratcher. Nonetheless, Bowman coached both men, and for a lengthy period of time, so I'm not inclined to just dismiss his take out of hand.

That being said...


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Originally Posted by mobilus View Post

I think anything after #20 is almost irrelevant in terms of order... you'd just start listing names in the order they come to mind. If I were Bowman I certainly wouldn't spend time dithering over whether someone should be ranked #58 or #73. Kind of surprised Middleton isn't on his list though.
There's probably some truth to this. I doubt that Bowman took days and days of careful thought compiling this list. Like you wrote, he probably just started listing names in the order they came to mind. Bowman may have simply forgot about Trottier until he reached a certain number.

This is why I'm not that concerned about Trottier or Clark.

But I do think that Bowman probably did put a lot of thought into his first 20 or so picks, which is why Gretzky at 5 is certainly intriguing.


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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Seems to like goal scorers over playmakers. I like that.
Agreed.


Quote:

Seems to have disdain for goalies. I don't know enough about them to disdain them, except in rare instances.
Yeah, I think Bowman rates the goalies rather lowly.

Here is where I think his time as a Red Wings coach had a big impact on his thinking.

The Red Wings won cups with just decent No. 1 goalies. Vernon and Osgood weren't bad, but they weren't anything fantastic. And so I can see Bowman coming to the conclusion that the goalie position isn't all that important.


I don't think I agree with that, but I can see why Bowman could quite reasonably think that given his own coaching experience.

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11-29-2012, 11:32 PM
  #118
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Bowman has his goalies...

1. Plante
2. Sawchuk
3. Hall
4. Roy
5. Brodeur
6. Dryden
7. Parent
8. Esposito
9. Bower
10. Worsley
11. Belfour

He's likely not including anyone pre-Sawchuk, so taking that into account, the biggest differences from the current Top Goalies Project on this board appear to be Roy and Belfour

Anyone have any insight as to why Roy is ranked "only" 4th? I know he had a winning playoff record against Bowman's Red Wings while in Colorado.

EDIT: Re: Roy...Maybe "experience bias?" He saw the first three at a younger age when he was not as knowledgeable and couldn't identify weaknesses as well as he could later in his career when he saw Roy.


Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 11-29-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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11-30-2012, 12:01 AM
  #119
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Is that you Scotty. Or Maybe Killon is Scotty?... Seriously though to call any player better than Wayne, and especailly Mario is well....easy. But you say that Wayne couldn't integrate a team? and Mario could? Fully disagree there Wayne is a born leader and his preparation and manner in the locker room is legendary and fully deserved.
Well, now just a minute here Hv. Couple or five months ago, mebbe a year, you thought I was very likely Donald S. Cherry for some reason. Why I have no idea Im sure. Now Im William Scott "Scotty" Bowman, OC?...

see, heres the deal with Wayne Gretzky and why an Old School type might not rank him Best Ever, and in one word; Freakjob.... Guy like that is held more in awe by the players on his own team instead of as some sort of "Leader" per se', as there was practically nothing about the guy that they could possibly emulate.

Not to mention that he was all about offence, nothing gritty about him. Didnt "gut it out" with the "grunts" on the team when required. Lived "apart" in a sort of uneasy & quiet solitude from the team in many respects due to his incredible talents & celebrity. He grew into the Leadership role that was handed to him, sure enough, but as his talent was so ethereal, that Leadership is very difficult to actually quantify. Edmonton had some excellent leaders, and to my mind, it wasnt until he'd moved on to LA, St.Louis & NY that those Leadership qualities really started to shine as he was slowing down as a player, becoming Earthbound like everyone else, more approachable.

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11-30-2012, 12:15 AM
  #120
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Well, now just a minute here Hv. Couple or five months ago, mebbe a year, you thought I was very likely Donald S. Cherry for some reason. Why I have no idea Im sure. Now Im William Scott "Scotty" Bowman, OC?...

see, heres the deal with Wayne Gretzky and why an Old School type might not rank him Best Ever, and in one word; Freakjob.... Guy like that is held more in awe by the players on his own team instead of as some sort of "Leader" per se', as there was practically nothing about the guy that they could possibly emulate.

Not to mention that he was all about offence, nothing gritty about him. Didnt "gut it out" with the "grunts" on the team when required. Lived "apart" in a sort of uneasy & quiet solitude from the team in many respects due to his incredible talents & celebrity. He grew into the Leadership role that was handed to him, sure enough, but as his talent was so ethereal, that Leadership is very difficult to actually quantify. Edmonton had some excellent leaders, and to my mind, it wasnt until he'd moved on to LA, St.Louis & NY that those Leadership qualities really started to shine as he was slowing down as a player, becoming Earthbound like everyone else, more approachable.
Funny that. I thought you were Al Arbour so go figure

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11-30-2012, 02:14 AM
  #121
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Well, now just a minute here Hv. Couple or five months ago, mebbe a year, you thought I was very likely Donald S. Cherry for some reason. Why I have no idea Im sure. Now Im William Scott "Scotty" Bowman, OC?...

see, heres the deal with Wayne Gretzky and why an Old School type might not rank him Best Ever, and in one word; Freakjob.... Guy like that is held more in awe by the players on his own team instead of as some sort of "Leader" per se', as there was practically nothing about the guy that they could possibly emulate.

Not to mention that he was all about offence, nothing gritty about him. Didnt "gut it out" with the "grunts" on the team when required. Lived "apart" in a sort of uneasy & quiet solitude from the team in many respects due to his incredible talents & celebrity. He grew into the Leadership role that was handed to him, sure enough, but as his talent was so ethereal, that Leadership is very difficult to actually quantify. Edmonton had some excellent leaders, and to my mind, it wasnt until he'd moved on to LA, St.Louis & NY that those Leadership qualities really started to shine as he was slowing down as a player, becoming Earthbound like everyone else, more approachable.
It still doesn't explain why Richard would be better than Gretzky. Old school toughness can only take you so far. Gretzky has the scoring titles, the awards, the records, the peer domination, great longevity, multiple championships, some of the greatest playoff performances ever, etc. While Richard does well in some of these categories in his own right, he doesn't measure up to Gretzky in some of the big ones, like peer dominance and the sheer volume of awards/records Gretzky was able to compile over his career.

Also, Lemieux may have been big and strong, but he wasn't really "old school tough" either, nor was he great defensively (worse than Gretzky, IMO). I can't help but feel he was ranked above Gretzky just because Bowman coached him with the Pens.

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11-30-2012, 08:35 AM
  #122
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I know this thread is about Scotty Bowman's list, but another list recently came out that I thought might be of interest to some - I didn't think it warranted an additional thread:

Here are some comments attributed to Red Fisher -- whose eyes have also seen probably more hockey than many on these boards combined:

"“Orr is the best hockey player I have ever seen, offensively and defensively. He was somethin’ else,” Red told me a couple of days ago. “He’d carry the puck all the way to the other blue line and if for some strange reason he lost the puck, he was waiting for you by the time you came to his blue line with the puck. Not only was he the best two-way player, he was also certainly one of the five toughest guys and among the top five fighters in the league when he had to..."

"When people ask me about Orr and what made him so great, all I tell them is that I only saw the guy 14 times a year, plus the playoffs, but he pulled me out of my seat more than any player I ever watched,” added Red, who ranks Gretzky No. 2 and Lemieux No. 3. “I don’t have any beef with anybody who picks Gretzky first or Lemieux second, but as far as I’m concerned, Orr is the best I’ve ever seen and he always will be.”

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/201...dian-athletes/

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11-30-2012, 10:30 AM
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85highlander View Post
nice read, thanks for posting. I do love hearing the way old timers talk about players in their era - pretty fascinating.

I only saw Orr past his prime, hobbling through Chicago. Watching some classic games though, I can completely understand why he's #1 on a lot of lists.

But having seen 99 his whole career, it's really hard to understand FOUR other players in that discussion. I never saw a player so much better than his peers, at every level, from when he was 16 years old playing international hockey, up until the Suter hit.

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11-30-2012, 11:13 AM
  #124
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Really curious where he would have Fedorov. I'd guess, from interviews, he would have Lidstrom just before or just after Harvey.

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11-30-2012, 12:13 PM
  #125
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lol @ Gretzky being 5th

stopped reading there

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