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1971 draft

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Old
12-18-2012, 06:17 PM
  #1
57special
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1971 draft

Knowing what you know today, who would you draft were you transported back then and made Gm with the first overall pick? Lafleur was picked first, Dionne second, and Robinson 20th, among others.

I'd pick Robinson.

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12-18-2012, 07:30 PM
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Killion
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Not I, no, Id have picked Lafleur for sure if I had it, no question, hands down, dont even have to think about that one.... there were 4 Defenceman taken ahead of Robinson in 71, Jocelyn Guevremont, Ron Jones, Ken Baird & Steve Durbano. At Minimum I'd have taken Robinson over any of those guys, third pick behind Guy & Dionne though. Also in that draft you had Terry O'Reilly, Rick Martin & Craig Ramsay.

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12-18-2012, 07:51 PM
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1971 Larry Robinson

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Not I, no, Id have picked Lafleur for sure if I had it, no question, hands down, dont even have to think about that one.... there were 4 Defenceman taken ahead of Robinson in 71, Jocelyn Guevremont, Ron Jones, Ken Baird & Steve Durbano. At Minimum I'd have taken Robinson over any of those guys, third pick behind Guy & Dionne though. Also in that draft you had Terry O'Reilly, Rick Martin & Craig Ramsay.
1971 Larry Robinson had played one season on defence in junior. Previously he was a forward. Took three - four seasons before it became clear that he could play defence at the NHL level.

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12-18-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Not I, no, Id have picked Lafleur for sure if I had it, no question, hands down, dont even have to think about that one.... there were 4 Defenceman taken ahead of Robinson in 71, Jocelyn Guevremont, Ron Jones, Ken Baird & Steve Durbano. At Minimum I'd have taken Robinson over any of those guys, third pick behind Guy & Dionne though. Also in that draft you had Terry O'Reilly, Rick Martin & Craig Ramsay.
I agree Guy and Marcel were clearly the cream of teh crop in thsi draft.

What Robinson turned into wasn't clear at all at teh 71 draft and in fact he spent 1 and 1/2 seasons in the AHL before making that great habs team.

What becomes of Robinson if the seals never trade that pick and take Robinson (something they never would have done anyways with Guy and Marcel there)?

Pretty sure he would have be ruined by being rushed IMO.

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12-18-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I agree Guy and Marcel were clearly the cream of teh crop in thsi draft.

What Robinson turned into wasn't clear at all at teh 71 draft and in fact he spent 1 and 1/2 seasons in the AHL before making that great habs team.

What becomes of Robinson if the seals never trade that pick and take Robinson (something they never would have done anyways with Guy and Marcel there)?

Pretty sure he would have be ruined by being rushed IMO.
Carol Vadnais becomes something a little better than Christian Ehrhoff to Sandis Ozolinsh area. While Larry Robinson turns into something in the Bert Olmstead / Henrik Zetterberg area. He says assuredly for no particular reason at all.

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12-18-2012, 08:47 PM
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Pretty sure he would have be ruined by being rushed IMO.
Ya, and as C58 alludes to as well, Larry needed some serious grooming, which he received of course in Nova Scotia & with the Habs themselves. It took him a few seasons, ascending progressively, time & patience. Unlikely he'd have been given that time nor really did the conditions even exist elsewhere conducive to nurturing his eventual All Star status.

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12-18-2012, 09:04 PM
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Lafleur. My question is, and I direct this to the guys that saw early Lafleur (I saw later Lafleur 1978 and onwards), does he benefit more from a stint in the AHL, going to a weaker team where he gets more icetime, or was he handled the best way possible?

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12-18-2012, 09:11 PM
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Guy Lafleur

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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Lafleur. My question is, and I direct this to the guys that saw early Lafleur (I saw later Lafleur 1978 and onwards), does he benefit more from a stint in the AHL, going to a weaker team where he gets more icetime, or was he handled the best way possible?
First saw Guy Lafleur at a bantam tournament. Marcel Dionne's team was there as well.

He was handled as best as could be expected. Lafleur was never a listener so the AHL option would not have worked well. The approach Bowman took was the best alternative.

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12-18-2012, 09:21 PM
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Remember, part of the question was that you would have 2012 knowledge back in 1971. As great as Lafleur was, he really only had 6 peak years. He was slow to go at first, and started to get injured later on. Robinson was never as good as Lafleur during his best years (damn close), but he played at a high level for a lot longer.

Don't know as much about Dionne. I think I saw him live only once. He looked really good, but not electric like Lafleur at his best. FYI, I saw Lafleur and Robinson play dozens of times during the 70's.

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12-18-2012, 09:42 PM
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Difference

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Originally Posted by 57special View Post
Remember, part of the question was that you would have 2012 knowledge back in 1971. As great as Lafleur was, he really only had 6 peak years. He was slow to go at first, and started to get injured later on. Robinson was never as good as Lafleur during his best years (damn close), but he played at a high level for a lot longer.

Don't know as much about Dionne. I think I saw him live only once. He looked really good, but not electric like Lafleur at his best. FYI, I saw Lafleur and Robinson play dozens of times during the 70's.
Lafleur was talented but unpredictable from Bantam onwards. Dionne was talented but predictable from Bantam onwards. Robinson post junior was still a work in progress.

Looking back from 2012 does not change this.

The only thing that a retrospective look ads is the possibility that Marcel Dionne would have been more effective as a winger. For a center Dionne had neither the inclination or skill set for defensive responsibilities.

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12-18-2012, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Lafleur. My question is, and I direct this to the guys that saw early Lafleur (I saw later Lafleur 1978 and onwards), does he benefit more from a stint in the AHL, going to a weaker team where he gets more icetime, or was he handled the best way possible?
Oh, he was absolutely handled the best way possible insofar as I can remember. He was born to wear the bleu-blanc-rouge and game-ready right out of Junior. Beyond talented, incredible skater, extremely confident. Far lesser players, even in the preceding 06 era stepped into the NHL from Major Junior. There would be no holding Lafleur back. Far too valuable an asset to "season" in the minors. He was already head & shoulders better than most of the league even as a rookie. That guy played the game with tremendous grace & elan. Got you outta yer seat.

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12-18-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
First saw Guy Lafleur at a bantam tournament. Marcel Dionne's team was there as well.

He was handled as best as could be expected. Lafleur was never a listener so the AHL option would not have worked well. The approach Bowman took was the best alternative.
was there any difference in terms of the two guys at that tourney?

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12-19-2012, 06:04 AM
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I think the habs only regret regarding the 1971 draft is not making that deal for the #2 pick that they had on the table just prior to the draft.

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12-19-2012, 06:13 AM
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I think the habs only regret regarding the 1971 draft is not making that deal for the #2 pick that they had on the table just prior to the draft.
which was?

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12-19-2012, 06:23 AM
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which was?
Scotty Bowman discusses it in this article:

http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/20...-and-mail.html

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12-19-2012, 06:36 AM
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Difference

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
was there any difference in terms of the two guys at that tourney?
Lafleur was a slightly better skater, more instinctive, unpredictable.

Issue at that time was how they would develop, 14 year olds are not fully mature.

Also the way hockey was structured in the mid sixties, small town and mid-sized teams had filler players. So the question of level of competition during the season and ability to compete at the elite level was at hand.

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12-19-2012, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Scotty Bowman discusses it in this article:

http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/20...-and-mail.html
The fact that Detroit even considered this offer goes to show how lousy of an organization it would be throughout the 70's.

A 32 year old Tremblay or a 31 year old Harper and Phil Myre plus something else would have been a joke.

Myre, even at the time wasn't all that much better than jimmy Rutherford who was Detroit's young goalie at the time.

Unless the something else was a substantial younger piece (Tardif or Houle) the fact that Detroit even considered it was completely foolish.

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12-19-2012, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
The fact that Detroit even considered this offer goes to show how lousy of an organization it would be throughout the 70's.

A 32 year old Tremblay or a 31 year old Harper and Phil Myre plus something else would have been a joke.

Myre, even at the time wasn't all that much better than jimmy Rutherford who was Detroit's young goalie at the time.

Unless the something else was a substantial younger piece (Tardif or Houle) the fact that Detroit even considered it was completely foolish.
Another source I read indicated the Goalie in question was actually Vachon and that it was both Harper and Tremblay. But Bowman was an eyewitness, so I'll go with his account.

There was obviously a reason the Hab brass didn't okay the deal, so I'd imagine the package might have been better than what was presented in the article. You'd think, at a minimum, the Wings would want a center or high scoring winger included in the package.

The trade the Wings would eventually make to deal Dionne, already an established star, to the Kings wasn't that great either, and ironically included Harper (Dionne and Bart Crashley for Dan Maloney, Terry Harper and Los Angeles' 2nd round choice). Apparantly the Habs were also interested, but balked at the asking price of Ken Dryden.


Last edited by Psycho Papa Joe: 12-19-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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12-19-2012, 08:45 AM
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Agree with Montreal here, Lafluer was the right choice.

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12-19-2012, 09:07 AM
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I've never really accepted that Lafleur's first three seasons were that bad.

They only seem bad or at least mediocre due to two reasons:

The great junior numbers that he put up (did anyone really expect him to immediately score in the NHL like he did with the Quebec Remparts?)

Montreal's cultural desire and need to immediately replace the retired Beliveau with another Quebecois star.

During his first three seasons in the NHL, Lalfeur finished 6th, 4th and 6th in goal scoring for Montreal ---- in each season three players on the team that topped him all ended up in the hall of fame (Cournoyer, Lemaire, Frank Mahovlich.)

Placing Lafleur in the AHL for seasoning never would have gave him with the challenges that those three years provided. Not just on the ice, but off.

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12-19-2012, 10:16 AM
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Unless the something else was a substantial younger piece (Tardif or Houle) the fact that Detroit even considered it was completely foolish.
That era's often referred to as the Darkness with (Ned) Harkness, a highly successful NCAA Coach/GM at Cornell & formerly RPI, a controversial move at that time (no NHL, minor pro or Major Jr. experience). He replaced the very popular Sid Abel as Coach, alienated the core older players, lost them & games by the score, relieved of duty then bizarrely promoted to GM where over the course of about 3 seasons did a real number on the organization. This precipitated the obviously premature retirement of Gordie Howe, all kinds of nonsensical signings & trades, the enforcement of no-joy hockey & Dickensian rule. Bruce Norris was in full swing at that time of course, messing around in London with the Lions, well along the road to destroying his liver. Booze & Broads Baby. Full speed ahead. It took Detroit over a decade to recover from Harknesses' meddling & Bruce Norris's apathy about anything ice related unless it came in a glass, really until Yzermans arrival.

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12-21-2012, 07:27 PM
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I just remember the 1971 season held unbelievable expectations for Lafleur, to almost immediately make an impact in the NHL after scoring 130 goals in last junior year.
That placed an tremendous burden and attention on a young kid. In all my years, Lafleur probably had more expectations than any player in first year.

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12-22-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Another source I read indicated the Goalie in question was actually Vachon and that it was both Harper and Tremblay. But Bowman was an eyewitness, so I'll go with his account.

There was obviously a reason the Hab brass didn't okay the deal, so I'd imagine the package might have been better than what was presented in the article. You'd think, at a minimum, the Wings would want a center or high scoring winger included in the package.

The trade the Wings would eventually make to deal Dionne, already an established star, to the Kings wasn't that great either, and ironically included Harper (Dionne and Bart Crashley for Dan Maloney, Terry Harper and Los Angeles' 2nd round choice). Apparantly the Habs were also interested, but balked at the asking price of Ken Dryden.
Yes it is ironic that the Kings included Harper (who was a plus 6 on a team with a combined minus 183 but was 36 years old) in that lopsided trade, which went to show how inept the Red Wings management was at the time but Maloney aged 24 was a fairly valuable commodity in the mid 70's broad street bullies NHL and was a very good top line player (on non contending teams) until injuries set in, which for the Red Wings was 1 and 1/2 seasons.

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12-22-2012, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockeynomad View Post
I just remember the 1971 season held unbelievable expectations for Lafleur, to almost immediately make an impact in the NHL after scoring 130 goals in last junior year.
That placed an tremendous burden and attention on a young kid. In all my years, Lafleur probably had more expectations than any player in first year.
One can only imagine how the HF Boards, if they had been around back then, would have been ablaze with the Lafleur hype machine and then talks of him being a bust before the hype machine rolled up again in his 4th year.

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12-24-2012, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Scotty Bowman discusses it in this article:

http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/20...-and-mail.html
Great link...I never knew this before. Stupid decision by Pollock. Nice read on the Savard one also. Combine these with Geoffrion over Bossy...Pollock made as many good moves as he did bad ones.

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