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Unlikely Conn Smythe winners

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05-09-2013, 12:41 PM
  #1
SnowblindNYR
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Unlikely Conn Smythe winners

Seeing a guy like Brassard step up for the Rangers so far in the playoffs and be the best Ranger in the playoffs got me thinking. Who were some of the most unlikely Conn Smythe winners? I can only think of Claude Lemieux.

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05-09-2013, 01:18 PM
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shadow1
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Cam Ward. Came off the bench in the playoffs as a rookie and dominated.

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05-09-2013, 01:25 PM
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bruins309
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Really not a lot to choose from here.

I'd look at Ken Dryden in 1971 since he was in the AHL most of the season. It did lead to the weird thing where he won the Conn Smythe and THEN won the Calder the next season. Highly unlikely to happen again.

Another candidate would be Mike Vernon in 1997 because if you think of the 1997 Red Wings, you'd probably go through about 8-10 guys before you would even think about Vernon and Osgood at that time.

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05-09-2013, 03:24 PM
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Darth Yoda
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Bob Gainey i dont think anyone would have bet on beforehand, since defensive only forwards simply dont get it. But what it took obviously was for him to also produce at a very un-Gainey-like rate.

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05-09-2013, 03:58 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Would like to hear from some of our older posters on this, but I have a feeling Serge Savard in 69' may be worth mentioning.


Butch Goring is another.

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05-09-2013, 04:27 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Going into the playoffs, I don't think anyone in the entire world would have guessed Cam Ward as a Smythe winner. You could have given everyone 20 guesses and he still wouldn't have come up. A total out-of-left-field story.

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05-09-2013, 04:32 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Patrick Roy definitely shocked the hockey world in 86. Very similar to Dryden's run.

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05-10-2013, 12:02 AM
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Big Phil
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Will agree with Vernon here since the Wings before 1997 were always the team that could never get over the hump. The big talk that season was a potential Colorado/Philly match up. Even then, on the Wings you'd have picked Yzerman, Fedorov, Shanahan at the very least ahead of Vernon for a potential Smythe. Vernon was on the back nine of his career and the idea was that goaltending was the Wings' weakness going into the playoffs.

I was going to say Scott Niedermayer in 2007. But it got me thinking, as poor of a choice as I think that was eventually, the truth is there would be a lot of people who would have had him on their lists. Anaheim didn't exactly come out of left field, they were an emerging team very capable of winning. So the two best players on a very elite team were Pronger and Nieds. So I don't think people would have scoffed at the idea in the beginning of the playoffs.

How about Bill Ranford in 1990? First of all, you'd have to get past the idea that the Oilers can win without Gretzky. Secondly, if the Oilers can somehow win you would fully expect Messier to be the likely winner and not this new goalie just filling in for Fuhr.

Maybe not too crazy of an idea but perhaps Reggie Leach in 1976? Not that the Flyers winning the Cup wasn't a good possibility, because it was, but Parent, Clarke and maybe even Barber would be more likely choices on the Flyers.

Giguere just might win this one though, just like Dryden in 1971. In what universe did anyone think he had a chance?

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05-10-2013, 12:28 AM
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Kyle McMahon
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It's gotta be Cam Ward. Even Ken Dryden was still the team's starter to open the playoffs. Ward was a backup with no indication he would even see the ice until Gerber crapped the bed. Heck, I was still stunned after they announced him the winner as I felt Brind'Amour should have won the award.

Giguere certainly came out of nowhere, but if you were to know beforehand that Anaheim was going to upset their way to the final presumably he'd be your first guess at who the hero was. Roy in '86 is probably a similar case.

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05-10-2013, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I was going to say Scott Niedermayer in 2007. But it got me thinking, as poor of a choice as I think that was eventually, the truth is there would be a lot of people who would have had him on their lists. Anaheim didn't exactly come out of left field, they were an emerging team very capable of winning. So the two best players on a very elite team were Pronger and Nieds. So I don't think people would have scoffed at the idea in the beginning of the playoffs.
I think more people had Niedermayer as their Conn Smythe pick in October than they did in June.

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05-10-2013, 10:40 AM
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yave1964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
It's gotta be Cam Ward. Even Ken Dryden was still the team's starter to open the playoffs. Ward was a backup with no indication he would even see the ice until Gerber crapped the bed. Heck, I was still stunned after they announced him the winner as I felt Brind'Amour should have won the award.

Giguere certainly came out of nowhere, but if you were to know beforehand that Anaheim was going to upset their way to the final presumably he'd be your first guess at who the hero was. Roy in '86 is probably a similar case.
You stole my thunder, Ward was not even expected to play in the post season, he came out of nowhere. Vernon would be my second choice.

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