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Who benefitted most from his line mates?

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01-23-2013, 08:48 PM
  #26
ushvinder
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Not exactly Rob Brown, Kenny Wharram and Paul MacLean is it?



I don't disagree with your Kurri assesment. I still think Kurri is a HHOFer without Gretzky though. He is a guy who flirts with 50 goals and is a strong defensive prescence. Maybe he never reaches 135 points, but 100 point seasons wouldn't be unusual with him.

Trottier had 95 points as a rookie before Bossy was even drafted. Yes, Potvin was there but I don't think you can lead the league in points (1979) and finish 2nd (1978) and be classified as someone worth mentioning on this thread. Bossy was a rookie in 1978 so I don't know how much credit you want to give him. I will say Potvin was the straw that stirred the drink on that team but we are talking about Trottier, Bossy and Potvin here. All three players are HHOFers if they are Hartford Whalers.

Esposito is far too talented and too high on the all-time list to be mentioned here. We went over a lot of things on a fun Esposito thread a while back and I believe Dark Shadows was a poster who constantly eluded to Hodge and Cashman being more of the perfect complementary pieces than Orr. Esposito hit 50 even strength goals twice, so it is obvious this wasn't all Orr.


For me you have to look at a player who isn't a HHOFer without his linemates or a guy who was elevated and just flat out looked out of place. Esposito was by far the best of his linemates. Trottier was as good as Bossy. Kurri...........well, it's Wayne Gretzky for crying out loud!

So for me I'll mention Steve Shutt. It isn't as if he wasn't a fine player in his own right, just can't see him ever making the HHOF if he is a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Trottier can score on his own, but i dont see him reaching those highs in 1978 and 1979 without potvin and bossy aiding him. Potvin himself was one of the best offensive players in those seasons.To me this is what seperates players like bobby hull, sidney crosby and jagr from Trottier, they produce MVP caliber offense by themselves.

I think Bobby Orr would have clicked with any superstar in the 1970's. Esposito can score on his own, but he was aided by orr in 71 and 74, i cant see him reaching 152 and 145 with just hodge and cashman.

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01-23-2013, 09:06 PM
  #27
jigglysquishy
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Bernie Nicholls scored 150 with Gretzky.

The season after he was traded away from Gretzky and his PPG dropped from 1.57 to 1.16. That's a huge drop in one season just by switching linemates.

Rob Brown scored 115 with Lemieux. He had a career high of 47 without Lemieux.

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01-23-2013, 10:14 PM
  #28
Passchendaele
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Gretzky assisted on 364 of Kurri's 601 goals.

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01-23-2013, 10:15 PM
  #29
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Gretzky assisted on 364 of Kurri's 601 goals.
But how often did Kurri sit back in the defensive zone, rather than go on the rush, because he played with Gretzky and Coffey?

I think there is a legit argument that Kurri's Selke record was helped more by playing with Gretzky than his scoring stats.

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01-23-2013, 10:16 PM
  #30
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Recchi, seriously?

In his prime, Recchi usually led his team in scoring - who was pulling his point totals up?

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01-23-2013, 10:23 PM
  #31
thom
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Both Mark Recci and Rob Brown have their jersey number retired for the Kamloops Blazers.Recci will be in the hall of fame Brown has many team records set in the mid-80's he had great hands but his nhl career was curbed due to his skating and his work ethic was said to be less than great.But Brown did play for over 16 yrs in the minors.His father was a legendary gm for Kamloops before every thing crashed.

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01-24-2013, 12:37 AM
  #32
shazariahl
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Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
Blair MacDonald - 46 goals playing with Gretzky in the Oilers first NHL season. He never cracked 20 goals again in the NHL. Glen Sather was quoted saying after trading him to Vancouver, "Even a fire hydrant could score playing with Gretzky."

A news article from 1987 that lists numerous players that benefited playing with Gretzky.
I was going to say Blair MacDonald as well. And though Nichols was a good player in his own right, he'd never even hit 50 goals before in a season. He plays one year with Gretzky and scores 70. Not saying Nichols was bad the way Blair MacDonald was (he was around 100 pts most seasons) but he certainly had a great year that was far above his usual numbers.

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01-24-2013, 07:48 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Sedin and Sedin
Lindros and Leclair
Gretzky and Kurri
Trottier and Bossy
Savard and Larmer
Dionne and Taylor
Amusingly, you fail to mention the worst players on all of these lines. Most notably Charlie Simmer and Clark Gillies, who - without their star linemates - would have done what exactly?

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All very good to great players, but you have to be to stick on a line with a great player for any length of time.
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Except the difference is kurri was 2nd in scoring in 1987, in 1990 he was like 18th in scoring.
Over that four-year span he scored 108, 96, 103, 93. He finished 2nd, 13th, 8th, 19th.

He was 8th in scoring? Without Gretzky? After having been 13th the year before and scoring 7 fewer points? Oh my. Maybe Kurri's actually a great player and not a scrub.

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To be honest though, I think Kurri gets underrated though, especially if you compare him to someone like bryan trottier. If Trottier played with gretzky instead of jari, would he provide an upgrade in offense and defensive abilities, probably not. Trottier should rank higher becuase of his hart trophy, but im not sure he should be 40 spots higher on an all time list, thats a big gap.
Trottier gets underrated in his own right, mainly because of Bossy. People look at Bossy's 50-goal streak. They look at the fact that Bossy was hitting higher numbers later, or remember him being greater more recently. The idea that perhaps Bossy was able to achieve what he did because he played with Potvin and Trottier would be decried as heresy, yet it's ok to suggest that Bossy and Potvin are the real drivers of Trottier's accomplishments.

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Old
01-24-2013, 07:50 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
But how often did Kurri sit back in the defensive zone, rather than go on the rush, because he played with Gretzky and Coffey?

I think there is a legit argument that Kurri's Selke record was helped more by playing with Gretzky than his scoring stats.
So you're saying that we should not give credit to Kurri for playing defensive hockey because the reason he played defensive hockey was that his linemates were irresponsible defensively?


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01-24-2013, 08:18 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
But how often did Kurri sit back in the defensive zone, rather than go on the rush, because he played with Gretzky and Coffey?

I think there is a legit argument that Kurri's Selke record was helped more by playing with Gretzky than his scoring stats.
Oilers... hang back.. in the defensive zone??

I think you must have been watching a different team.

Coffey left Huddy back there holding the fort and besides that they counted on their speed getting back and Fuhr to bail them out.

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01-24-2013, 08:36 AM
  #36
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Oilers... hang back.. in the defensive zone??

I think you must have been watching a different team.

Coffey left Huddy back there holding the fort and besides that they counted on their speed getting back and Fuhr to bail them out.
"Hang back" was a very poor choice of words.

You have seen far more 80s Oilers than I have, but my impression is that when possession was in question, Kurri played farther back than he could have because it gave Gretzky and Coffey the green light to go all out offense. Obviously, he wasn't going to not join a rush if the Oilers had one going.

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01-24-2013, 08:51 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
So you're saying that we should not give credit to Kurri for playing defensive hockey because the reason he played defensive hockey was that his linemates were irresponsible defensively?

i'm saying that Kurri had a chance to be the defensive conscience of the league's marquis player, so that made him very visible. On another team, he would have been counted on to lead the offense.

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01-24-2013, 09:44 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
I was going to say Blair MacDonald as well. And though Nichols was a good player in his own right, he'd never even hit 50 goals before in a season. He plays one year with Gretzky and scores 70. Not saying Nichols was bad the way Blair MacDonald was (he was around 100 pts most seasons) but he certainly had a great year that was far above his usual numbers.
Nicholls is a bit of an odd one for this thread.

He didn't play with Gretzky at even strength; only on the power play. And it's not like he didn't score well over his career; even without his season with Gretzky (80GP, 70-80-150), he scored over 400 goals and over 650 assists for a total . Realistically Nicholls belongs in the Hall of Fame; the guy was often his team's best player, has excellent career numbers both raw and relative to his peers, and had one of the greatest offensive seasons ever. He likely would have been closer to the 110-120 point range if you remove Gretzky from the Kings that season, but that doesn't have a significant overall negative effect on his career - especially compared to the positive effect from taking away the "he was a bad player who looked good next to Gretzky" that happens.

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01-24-2013, 10:07 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
i'm saying that Kurri had a chance to be the defensive conscience of the league's marquis player, so that made him very visible. On another team, he would have been counted on to lead the offense.
You don't score 70 goals by not joining the offensive rush.

Just one example of Kurri "hanging back".


Kurri did so well with Gretzky because he had a great hockey mind, and was able to read the play and knew where Gretzky was going when other players didn't. If he didn't have that, you can probably cut his numbers in half. So while you might argue "That means Kurri gained a ton from Gretzky!" it isn't so clear; Brett Hull was terrible with Gretzky so it's obvious that Gretzky didn't automatically create/improve a goal machine and the other player needed to contribute SOMETHING to the equation. When it came to Hull/Oates, the only work Hull did was getting into shooting position with his stick "unencumbered", and actually shooting. That's it, that's all. Oates did the work of getting the defense off of both himself and Hull, and even while being pressured heavily, double-teamed, and hit he still made incredible passes that Hull could turn into goals. And realistically, most talented scoring wingers could have scored plenty of goals alongside Oates. Where's the proof? Hull scored close to GPG with Oates, but was basically a 50-goal guy in his prime after he was traded. Cam Neely was a good scorer, but when he started playing with Oates he suddenly couldn't NOT score.

Neely is actually a great example of a player who belongs in this thread; his 1993-94 season doesn't happen if not for Oates (and Bourque), and he doesn't get into the HHOF without that 93-94 season.

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01-24-2013, 10:25 AM
  #40
MovesLikeJagr68
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probably one of Mario Lemieux's linemates like Rob Brown.
His name popped up in my head the second I saw this thread.

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01-24-2013, 10:37 AM
  #41
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His name popped up in my head the second I saw this thread.
The funny thing with him is obviously that he was a SCORING-BEAST in the minors for many years. Something in his game was just not up to par for the NHL as time moved along. I still believe something happened in the game in the early nineties that put skilled but in other ways lacking players out of the league. Maybe his speed was'nt enough for his lack of size or something.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 01-24-2013 at 10:46 AM. Reason: tinkering
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01-24-2013, 10:58 AM
  #42
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Gonna have to agree with Kurri. Great hockey mind sure, but his stats and awards were bloated by playing with Gretzky. Not taking anything away from him, but he's one of the guys it would've been interesting to see play with a different team/linemates.

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01-24-2013, 11:39 AM
  #43
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the one who scored the biggest benefits of the Trottier/Bossy tandem was Clark Gillies, I still cant believe he is in the Hall of Fame, a solid player but a HOF'er? i dont think so. and im an Isles fan. hell i was even shocked when they retired his number!

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01-24-2013, 11:40 AM
  #44
pdd
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Originally Posted by ncrunnerrrr View Post
Gonna have to agree with Kurri. Great hockey mind sure, but his stats and awards were bloated by playing with Gretzky. Not taking anything away from him, but he's one of the guys it would've been interesting to see play with a different team/linemates.
How much were Gretzky's stats bloated by playing with Kurri? Gretzky scored over 170 points six times with Kurri, and was on pace for a seventh but missed 16 games injured.

He peaked at 168 without Kurri, and that was when teammate Nicholls (previously mentioned in the thread) hit 150.

And then there's Paul Coffey. Something that has been noted is that Gretzky, Lemieux, and Fedorov all peaked when they played with Coffey. I haven't looked into it, but I wonder how much of an effect Coffey had on Lindros during his time in Philadelphia. It's a very interesting coincidence with the others.

One wonders: if we must attribute some of Kurri's success to Gretzky, why should we not attribute some of Gretzky's success to Kurri? Or to Coffey? Or some of Lemieux's success to Coffey?

Going back to Bryan Trottier, it was suggested that he was a "rider" on Bossy and Potvin. In Trottier's second highest scoring season (129), Potvin barely cleared 60 points. In Trottier's third-best season (123), neither Potvin nor Bossy broke 100.

A player who I think probably falls into this argument but I think is an interesting discussion would be right wing Larry Aurie.

Aurie played with HHOF center Marty Barry for Barry's four years in Detroit. During that time, Barry was top-four in scoring three times and Aurie was top-four twice. Aurie also led the league in goals and was named to the First Team in 1937, an honor he shared with Barry. They also won two Stanley Cups together. It's notable to state that Barry was a far more productive player than Aurie while Barry was in Boston. However, during their four years together Barry was actually outscored by Aurie by four points, 158-154. Furthering that, Aurie's number was officially retired by the club immediately after he retired (he actually ended up returning to play one more game the following season). No action was ever taken or even suggested regarding Barry's, even though the evidence suggests Barry was just as great with the Wings and greater overall.

Did Barry drag Aurie's stats up? Or did playing with Aurie extend Barry's ability to be productive? (see Brett Hull with Mike Modano and Pavel Datsyuk)

When Gordie Howe came to Detroit, people said he might be "the next Larry Aurie". And this was a team that had just suffered the loss of Syd Howe, who retired as the all-time scoring leader.

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Old
01-24-2013, 12:18 PM
  #45
overpass
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
"Hang back" was a very poor choice of words.

You have seen far more 80s Oilers than I have, but my impression is that when possession was in question, Kurri played farther back than he could have because it gave Gretzky and Coffey the green light to go all out offense. Obviously, he wasn't going to not join a rush if the Oilers had one going.
Even if Kurri was the 3rd or 4th player in the rush sometimes, nobody passed to the 3rd or 4th man on the rush like Gretzky. Coffey and Kurri himself could hit the trailer as well.

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01-24-2013, 12:26 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Amusingly, you fail to mention the worst players on all of these lines. Most notably Charlie Simmer and Clark Gillies, who - without their star linemates - would have done what exactly?
The worst players on those lines didn't spend 6-8 years on the line as the duos I named did. In most cases they got a year or two at most. Gillies and Simmer got about 4 years.

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01-24-2013, 12:28 PM
  #47
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The gentleman who said Steve Shutt is correct.Shutt was a hall of famer because of Guy Lafleur.Even Lemaire who became a good 2 way centerman later in his career is a borderline hall of famer.Both were very good nhl'ers but neither were great.
Agree on Shutt, who probably tops out around 40 goals w/out Lafleur, but wholeheartedly disagree on Lemaire. Lemaire's 2nd and 3rd highest scoring seasons are without Lafleur, he's a essentially a point a game before and after centering Lafleur. Lemaire also has very good playoffs in '68 (as a rookie), '71, '73 and '75 and had already won three Cups before Lafleur even entered the league and was a top line player before Lafleur blossomed. Admittedly Lemaire is helped by also playing with Frank Mahovlich, Yvon Cournoyer and Henri Richard as linemates; Lemaire had the skill set to mesh with just about anyone.
A better example would be Pete Mahovlich with his seasons of 73 (career high 36 goals), 117 and 105 pts whilst playing with Lafleur, then never better than 69 pts at any other time in his career. Of course Pete is already a good player before then, given that he was chosen for and played well in the Summit Series.
Keith Acton's even better: a career high 88 pts. centering Lafleur and Shutt, never better than 58 pts. w/out them.

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01-24-2013, 12:42 PM
  #48
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The effect Oates had on Hull is largely overstated. Hull scored 72 goals playing with Peter Zezel. All you had to do in the early 90's was get the puck on Hull's stick. Oates and Hull both saw benefits from playing together.

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01-24-2013, 12:42 PM
  #49
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Like I said Lemaire was a very good player but for me I would never consider him elite

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01-24-2013, 02:42 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Jagorim Jarg View Post
Clark Gillies
Scored 25 goals as a rookie playing with Billy Harris.

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