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Which player had the best skillset in their prime?

View Poll Results: Player with the best skillset
Mario Lemieux 46 34.59%
Wayne Gretzky 50 37.59%
Sergei Fedorov 17 12.78%
Peter Forsberg 1 0.75%
Eric Lindros 5 3.76%
Pavel Bure 5 3.76%
Sidney Crosby 1 0.75%
Alexei Kovalev 2 1.50%
Jaromir Jagr 5 3.76%
Alex Ovechkin 1 0.75%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-20-2013, 07:40 AM
  #176
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Mario too me was the most talented player I ever saw. The best puckhandler, and best 1 on 1 player. Also had one of the hardest and most accurate shots, and his speed and skating was very deceptive. His playmaking and passing skills were just a shade under Gretzky I think, but I think Lemieux was the greatest long-range passer, and best power play player of all-time. Wayne Gretzky is a very close 2nd

Who the heck voted for Ovechkin? Shouldn't even be on the list

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03-20-2013, 10:27 AM
  #177
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Yep, that's about as much as I needed to read.
Well do you seriously think that I'd expect you to address the post?

If I said the sun was coming up tomorrow you would say otherwise.

Hockey is 1st and foremost about winning games right?

It's reasonable to suggest that Fedorov did as much as win in that regard.

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03-20-2013, 10:36 AM
  #178
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Well, you can actually teach speed and hon your reflexes but your general point is correct. You are still "capped" by your genetic makeup.
Yes!!! "hon" is the word. After I logged off last night, that is exactly what I wanted to say but I was done "interneting" and reading about the Red Wings.

So, to further this, you can teach techniques that will make you faster, you can not teach the actual act of speed.

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03-20-2013, 11:04 AM
  #179
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post


Fedorov had a 100+mph shot. Gretzky never came close to that. Despite being slightly bigger, Gretzky's shot wasn't even as hard as Yzerman's. Modano was about the same size as Gretzky and had a shot not far off Fedorov's level (clocked in the high 90s).
Gretzky - 6,1 185

Modano - 6,3 210

Yzerman - 5,11 185

Fedorov - 6,2 206

For starters, Modano is not the same size as Gretzky, Modano is much much bigger and for that matter so is Fedorov. So, whatever you're pushing, you have your numbers wrong again. Not the first time I have caught you fudging facts/stats while making a point in Fedorov's favor.

It is VERY debatable who had the better/faster slapper Yzerman or Gretzky. Both had very good slappers, probably about equal. And not much worse than Fedorov's, not sure why you are saying this.

And so damn what, that Fedorov had a faster slapper? Having that harder slapper sure didn't translate into a damn thing because he is no where close to having the offense of Wayne or Yzerman. Gretzky just about TRIPLED the amount of points that St Sergei had and Yzerman almost doubled him.

Fedorov isn't even on those two players offensive stratospheres and even Modano has more points/goals.

So, what did having that 100 MPH slapper do for Fedorov in comparison to these other players you mentioned? Not much!

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03-20-2013, 11:11 AM
  #180
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As soon as I saw that hockey sense and passing and playmaking were included as skills to consider, I picked Gretzky.
Agreed. I feel like this poll was too broadly defined; there's so much listed to consider that it may as well just be asking to pick "best player".

I think that Lemieux and Jagr were more physically talented than Gretzky, but he made it up (and then some, obviously) with hockey sense and intelligence.

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03-20-2013, 11:48 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
So, what did having that 100 MPH slapper do for Fedorov in comparison to these other players you mentioned? Not much!
483 goals is a lot; particularly if you search among the 47 names above him all-time for someone that you consider anywhere near the same ballpark defensively, and even more so when you realize that he averaged 12 goals/year more than the next highest scoring Red Wing of the entire 90s, and doubled the point scoring in a Red Wings jersey of any of his famous linemates over the decade. These guys (Gretz, Lemieux, etc) trump Fedorov offensively obviously, and thus "overall", but again, look through those 47 names for all the Selke winners. How can we compare raw offensive output when the scoring environment around these guys was so different?

'90/91-'99/00:
Yzerman: 336 goals
Fedorov: 301 goals (Yzerman -10%)
Kozlov: 182 goals (Fedorov -40%) *Played entire decade with Red Wings
Sheppard: 152 goals (Fedorov -50%) *only 5/10 seasons with Red Wings
Shanahan: 146 goals (Fedorov -51%) *only 4/10 seasons with Red Wings, 309 goals over his 9 years there
etc.

Additionally,
Yzerman: 870 points
Fedorov: 734 points (Yzerman -16%)
[Lidstrom: 496 points (Fedorov -32%)] *defenseman obviously
Kozlov: 377 points (Fedorov -49%)
Larionov: 282 points (Fedorov -62%) *only 5/10 seasons with Red Wings
etc.

Gretzky and Messier (the "1-2 punch" against which any top 2 centres from any decade are measured, essentially) don't even stand out from their highest scoring teammates to that degree during the '80s, which I consider food for thought:

'80/81-'89/90:
Gretzky: 532 goals
Kurri: 474 goals (Gretzky -11%)
Anderson: 389 goals (Gretzky -27%)
Messier: 368 goals (Gretzky -31%)
etc.

and

Gretzky: 1532 points
Kurri: 1043 points (Gretzky -32%)
Messier: 937 points (Gretzky -39%)
Anderson: 841 points (Gretzky -45%)
etc.

And again, find enough Selkes to match with the 3 combined that Yzerman and Fedorov collected over the decade while still scoring the vast, vast majority of their team's points. The consecutive Cups it produced is hard enough to find/replicate as it is.

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03-20-2013, 11:51 AM
  #182
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What is it with you guys and the Selke?

I appreciate all your research, but please stop trying to push that non-sense Selke down my throat. It does not go to the best defensive forward, it goes to the forward with a lot of points that plays very good defense.

Selke = fluff

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03-20-2013, 12:10 PM
  #183
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
What is it with you guys and the Selke?

I appreciate all your research, but please stop trying to push that non-sense Selke down my throat. It does not go to the best defensive forward, it goes to the forward with a lot of points that plays very good defense.

Selke = fluff
Except for the fact that the Selke usually implies a sacrifice on the offensive side in order to be recognized for an "acceptable amount of defense", if you prefer. In recent history the Red Wings have produce 3 of the poster boys for bucking this trend more than others, in Yzerman, Fedorov, and Datsyuk, and they deserve all the credit they get from it, imo, based in no small part on the Cup rings they have collected between them as a result as the offensive AND defensive leaders of their respective squads.

Call it fluff if you wish, but guys like Messier and Modano never even ended up with a single one for all their perceived defensive prowess, despite having had longer careers/primes than most players from the era by comparison. It doesn't have to mean much to you, as long as you recognize that it does have significant value - at least enough to bother selecting candidates, collecting ballots, and awarding a trophy every year, in any event.

And when you're widely recognized as making more sacrifices to your offensive numbers in the name of team defense than the next guys, and you still blow your teammates out of the water in point scoring, the value "doubles". Look at the recognition Gilmour gets for '92/93. Rod the Bod didn't quite technically do that in '05/06 (1 less point than Whitney), but the combination of defense and offense provided to that 'Canes team, at age 36 no less, was also impressive. Too bad it wasn't part of a similarly successful team formula.


Last edited by Ohashi_Jouzu: 03-20-2013 at 12:16 PM.
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Old
03-20-2013, 12:25 PM
  #184
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Randy Johnson's pitching speed comes, largely, from his size (6'10", 225). Same with Justin Verlander (6'5", 225).

It's the Eric Lindros situation. Johnson and Verlander both have/had a high level of skill when compared to other major league pitchers. But their size is what gave them the ability to dominate. At the same time, that they were able to finesse their hulking frames into a 100+mph fastball is a clear example of why it's a skill.

No. Maybe it's not a skill level everyone can achieve. But it's not achievable without skillfully using what is given to you.

Fedorov had a 100+mph shot. Gretzky never came close to that. Despite being slightly bigger, Gretzky's shot wasn't even as hard as Yzerman's. Modano was about the same size as Gretzky and had a shot not far off Fedorov's level (clocked in the high 90s).
Someone please explain physiology this man ^^^^^

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03-20-2013, 02:18 PM
  #185
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
Gretzky - 6,1 185

Modano - 6,3 210
Modano was often listed at 6'2" and 180-190 or so in the mid 90s. He was 175 in his draft year. He was first clocked with a 90+ shot in the early 90s, when he was scoring 50 goals. Maybe he put on some muscle, but that doesn't negate my point.

Yzerman - 5,11 185

Quote:
Fedorov - 6,2 206
Like Modano, Fedorov was also listed at 185-195 often during the 90s. I wonder if it's that the guys put on weight/muscle or if they are simply listed as bigger (how tall IS Daniel Briere?).

For starters, Modano is not the same size as Gretzky, Modano is much much bigger and for that matter so is Fedorov. So, whatever you're pushing, you have your numbers wrong again. Not the first time I have caught you fudging facts/stats while making a point in Fedorov's favor.
[/quote]

Ah yes. The listed height/weight that shows up differently in three different places. But it's ME that's fudging it.

And please, tell me what stats/facts I am fudging with regards to Fedorov. As opposed to simply worshipping "should have been 10-time Selke winner" Steve Kasper.

Quote:
It is VERY debatable who had the better/faster slapper Yzerman or Gretzky. Both had very good slappers, probably about equal. And not much worse than Fedorov's, not sure why you are saying this.
Gretzky's was most definitely weaker than Yzerman's. Less accurate, I don't think so. Less utilized? Most definitely. Yzerman scored 100-200 (maybe more) on slappers from 40+ feet that just plain beat the goalie with no screen. Gretzky, in the same situation (at range, no screen) almost always used his wrister. Mainly because Gretzky's wrister was so superior to his slapper; I'd probably place him even with Yzerman for power on the wrister and ahead on accuracy; I think Yzerman would have scored a significantly higher number of goals and points if he had had a Coffey and/or Kurri to draw some of the defensive attention away. I'm not saying Yzerman was better than Gretzky; just that I think the goal gap in their respective primes is greater than the actual goal scoring ability gap, specifically. Giving Yzerman a "Stamkos/St.Louis" situation would have been ideal for his goal scoring; unfortunately the Wings didn't go out and get a skilled playmaker (Mats Naslund, maybe?) to play on Yzerman's wing. Or, alternatively, a LEGIT goal scorer. I mean... Ciccarelli was the first real attempt, and he wasn't that good. Sheppard clicked after he was actually put with Yzerman, but that was at the end of Yzerman's prime and he was shipped out soon afterwards anyway.

Quote:
And so damn what, that Fedorov had a faster slapper? Having that harder slapper sure didn't translate into a damn thing because he is no where close to having the offense of Wayne or Yzerman. Gretzky just about TRIPLED the amount of points that St Sergei had and Yzerman almost doubled him.
I didn't claim it made him a better scorer. Having a harder and/or better shot isn't the same thing as being an incredible scorer. Note: overall shot should not be judged by points, although raw passing ability (when separated from playmaking skill) and wrist shot specifically are almost entirely the same skill.

Quote:
Fedorov isn't even on those two players offensive stratospheres and even Modano has more points/goals.

So, what did having that 100 MPH slapper do for Fedorov in comparison to these other players you mentioned? Not much!
Power is not everything. I never claimed it was. Yzerman used his slapshot far more often than Fedorov did even when they played together, and probably scored more goals that way as a percentage of slapshots taken. I'd bet Fedorov made more forwards and defensemen sore, though. Maybe even broke a goalie or two's fingers if it hit the glove just right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Except for the fact that the Selke usually implies a sacrifice on the offensive side in order to be recognized for an "acceptable amount of defense", if you prefer. In recent history the Red Wings have produce 3 of the poster boys for bucking this trend more than others, in Yzerman, Fedorov, and Datsyuk, and they deserve all the credit they get from it, imo, based in no small part on the Cup rings they have collected between them as a result as the offensive AND defensive leaders of their respective squads.
IMO, and I am by no means the only one with this opinion, Zetterberg deserves at least as much credit as the other three for sacrificing his own offense for defense. I am still stunned he didn't win the Selke in any of 2008-2011; he should have won the first three and he was top-ten in scoring in the fourth after two years of not being top ten.

Quote:
Call it fluff if you wish, but guys like Messier and Modano never even ended up with a single one for all their perceived defensive prowess, despite having had longer careers/primes than most players from the era by comparison. It doesn't have to mean much to you, as long as you recognize that it does have significant value - at least enough to bother selecting candidates, collecting ballots, and awarding a trophy every year, in any event.

And when you're widely recognized as making more sacrifices to your offensive numbers in the name of team defense than the next guys, and you still blow your teammates out of the water in point scoring, the value "doubles". Look at the recognition Gilmour gets for '92/93. Rod the Bod didn't quite technically do that in '05/06 (1 less point than Whitney), but the combination of defense and offense provided to that 'Canes team, at age 36 no less, was also impressive. Too bad it wasn't part of a similarly successful team formula.
Gilmour's recognition is more of the "offensive forward with a pretty good defensive game" that has people disenchant with the trophy. He generally received recognition as a pretty good two-way forward, then had an explosion offensively due to power play success (his even strength numbers were pretty similar to other years, despite the nature of the season with regard to high scorers) and he gets the Selke over guys like Poulin (2nd), Otto (3rd), Fedorov (4th, most 1st votes the previous year), and Carbonneau (reigning winner, played 61 games). Gilmour second and Graves 5th the next year I attribute again to offensive peak; they were both good defensively, but there's no way Gilmour should have beaten Skrudland and Carbo, nor Graves been as high as he was.

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03-21-2013, 02:25 AM
  #186
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If we look at this in Star Trek terms, Lemieux = the Gorn captain whereas Gretzky = Kirk and we know who won that contest.

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03-21-2013, 08:28 AM
  #187
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Originally Posted by dennilfloss View Post
If we look at this in Star Trek terms, Lemieux = the Gorn captain whereas Gretzky = Kirk and we know who won that contest.
Gretzky is Spock. Yzerman is Kirk.

And Datsyuk is Chekov.

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03-21-2013, 08:56 AM
  #188
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LOL. okay who voted for Kovalev... I must know!

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03-21-2013, 09:35 AM
  #189
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Eric Lindros because he could do it all.

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03-21-2013, 11:08 AM
  #190
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Originally Posted by Oscar Acosta View Post
Eric Lindros because he could do it all.
Lindros vs. Fedorov is an interesting comparison.

Fedorov easily wins the skating and defense competition. Lindros was the better goal scorer and the more dominant physical player.

However, I find it difficult to vote for Lindros for one simple reason; Mario Lemieux.

Lindros was, overall, better defensively and more aggressive physically than Lemieux. But there is not a single other aspect mentioned by the OP that Lemieux does not have the advantage in; sometimes by a ridiculous amount. And when it comes to physical domination, it's inaccurate to state Lemieux (or Fedorov/Jagr, for that matter, but especially Lemieux) was not physically dominant. Despite not generally initiating contact or fighting much, Lemieux is arguably the most physically dominant player of the post-expansion era. With regards to physical dominance simply for offensive purposes, the "arguably" can be dropped.

And the only real argument Lindros has to be placed ahead of Fedorov is his physical dominance; meaning he has to instead contend with the virtually unstoppable Lemieux.


The goal at 3:48 is a good example of the kind of thing I'm talking about with Lemieux's strength. And of course there are all of the ones showcasing his skills.

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03-21-2013, 01:03 PM
  #191
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Lindros vs. Fedorov is an interesting comparison.

Fedorov easily wins the skating and defense competition. Lindros was the better goal scorer and the more dominant physical player.

However, I find it difficult to vote for Lindros for one simple reason; Mario Lemieux.

Lindros was, overall, better defensively and more aggressive physically than Lemieux. But there is not a single other aspect mentioned by the OP that Lemieux does not have the advantage in; sometimes by a ridiculous amount. And when it comes to physical domination, it's inaccurate to state Lemieux (or Fedorov/Jagr, for that matter, but especially Lemieux) was not physically dominant. Despite not generally initiating contact or fighting much, Lemieux is arguably the most physically dominant player of the post-expansion era. With regards to physical dominance simply for offensive purposes, the "arguably" can be dropped.

And the only real argument Lindros has to be placed ahead of Fedorov is his physical dominance; meaning he has to instead contend with the virtually unstoppable Lemieux.


The goal at 3:48 is a good example of the kind of thing I'm talking about with Lemieux's strength. And of course there are all of the ones showcasing his skills.
Really? That's your argument?
That Fedorov is better than Lindros because Lindros most likely wouldn't have been able to contain one of, if not THE most physically un-containable players in the history of the game???

That's some logic there

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03-21-2013, 01:16 PM
  #192
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Really? That's your argument?
That Fedorov is better than Lindros because Lindros most likely wouldn't have been able to contain one of, if not THE most physically un-containable players in the history of the game???

That's some logic there
Where did I say Lindros wouldn't be able to contain Lemieux (outside of saying Lemieux was virtually unstoppable).

I said that if you use Lindros' physical strength and size as your argument for why he has a better skill set than Fedorov, then you have to deal with Lindros vs. Lemieux as a COMPARISON.

Which Lindros does not win; he was not better enough defensively to make up for Lemieux's advantages in everything that has to do with offense.

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03-22-2013, 06:58 PM
  #193
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Gee, a limited selection of odd entrants, but, of those listed:

Skating: Bure
overall shooting ability: Jagr
hockey sense: Gretzky
passing: Gretzky
playmaking: Gretzky
puck control: Lemieux or Forsberg
checking: Fedorov

No one else is tops in multiple categories, so Gretz gets my vote.
If there is one player who was better at puck control than even Lemieux was, it was most likely Jagr.

Jagr was Forsberg with more size, reach and strength when it came to holding on to the puck. Heck he's 41 years old and still is top 5 in that category in today's NHL.

As for skating, I would say a prime Fedorov and a prime Jagr were as good as Bure. Bure was fast but for instance Jagr was a perfect skater, he had both the speed and power to bully his way through defenders.

As one expert once stated, "trying to stop Jagr in his prime was like trying to stop a tank with dental floss".


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03-22-2013, 07:51 PM
  #194
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This was rather brilliant description of the legendary Sergei Fedorov.
Just add "Plastic toolbox" to the list which got worn pretty fast.

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03-22-2013, 09:04 PM
  #195
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No doubt Lemieux. Gretzky fans are groupies. 99 had the passing and anticipation but 66 was not far behind. Lemieux physical edge and goal scoring makes up for this.
Lemieux was also a better puck handler / dangle master and his wrist shot was clearly superior, but whatever. Gretzky wins every poll here, no matter what

Gretzky was the best playmaker, but above all he was the most determined and the most competitive of the superstars. He used his potential more wisely than others. That's why he had the best results, not because he had a better physical skillset than Lemieux, Jagr or Fedorov.

edit: voted for Lemieux.


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03-22-2013, 09:46 PM
  #196
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By broadening the definition of "skillset" to include things like "hockey sense" and "playmaking", essentially you're asking "Who is the most complete hockey player?" A player could be the best skater, shooter, and have insane puck control, but if he's stupid out there on the ice, it's wasted. Conversely, you have a guy like Gretzky who's hockey sense and ability to avoid contact was off the charts and was blessed with other non-skill factors (having quality teamates to pass to and make plays with, for instance) that trump any dimensional shortcomings that make him not the most complete player that ever lived, but "simply" the best scorer.


Anyway, I believe if you consider ALL the attributes you've listed as essential to the question, all roads lead to Orr on this one (he even gets bonus skillset points for being able to fight better than anyone on your list). But Orr isn't on the list so....

Basically, you're looking for the most complete player limited to this sampling of forwards , the one with the highest combined ceiling considering all attributes. If you don't dwell on what attribute is most important and give equal weight to things like checking, especially in the defensive zone, that obviously reduces the score of Gretzky (and also to Lemieux, although to lesser degree) for the purpose of the poll.

I dunno, without a Trottier or Messier on there it's really hard to decide. Federov? Crosby? I voted for Lemieux because he at least was seen throwing checks in the offensive zone if not the defensive one, and he had everything else in spades.

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03-23-2013, 10:21 AM
  #197
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Originally Posted by NorthStar4Canes View Post
By broadening the definition of "skillset" to include things like "hockey sense" and "playmaking", essentially you're asking "Who is the most complete hockey player?" A player could be the best skater, shooter, and have insane puck control, but if he's stupid out there on the ice, it's wasted. Conversely, you have a guy like Gretzky who's hockey sense and ability to avoid contact was off the charts and was blessed with other non-skill factors (having quality teamates to pass to and make plays with, for instance) that trump any dimensional shortcomings that make him not the most complete player that ever lived, but "simply" the best scorer.


Anyway, I believe if you consider ALL the attributes you've listed as essential to the question, all roads lead to Orr on this one (he even gets bonus skillset points for being able to fight better than anyone on your list). But Orr isn't on the list so....

Basically, you're looking for the most complete player limited to this sampling of forwards , the one with the highest combined ceiling considering all attributes. If you don't dwell on what attribute is most important and give equal weight to things like checking, especially in the defensive zone, that obviously reduces the score of Gretzky (and also to Lemieux, although to lesser degree) for the purpose of the poll.

I dunno, without a Trottier or Messier on there it's really hard to decide. Federov? Crosby? I voted for Lemieux because he at least was seen throwing checks in the offensive zone if not the defensive one, and he had everything else in spades.
I am going to get buried for this answer but I have always been told/read by NHL scouts that Cam Neely was the "complete hockey player". Complete does not mean most or best skilled, just well rounded. May not have had the best tools but had a tool in every slot.

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03-23-2013, 03:14 PM
  #198
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
I am going to get buried for this answer but I have always been told/read by NHL scouts that Cam Neely was the "complete hockey player". Complete does not mean most or best skilled, just well rounded. May not have had the best tools but had a tool in every slot.
I loved Neely, but let me be the first to throw a shovel full.

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03-23-2013, 04:10 PM
  #199
Rhiessan71
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I loved Neely, but let me be the first to throw a shovel full.

Yeah, I don't think I would so far as to say he was the complete hockey player but he was pretty close to perfect in a power forward.

Gimme a line with Mess at center, Howe on the left, Cam on the right and just sit back and enjoy the destruction.

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03-23-2013, 04:34 PM
  #200
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I loved Neely, but let me be the first to throw a shovel full.
God, I really don't want to do this but...here we go

Is not a power forward a "complete player" by definition or by default? Because every definition of power forward I have ever read has always used the term.

Quote:
Power Forward: Possessing both physical size and offensive ability, power forwards are also often referred to as the 'complete' hockey player.

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