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NYR Top Defensemen of All-Time (Rules & Preliminary Discussion)

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Old
06-04-2013, 03:20 PM
  #76
haohmaru
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Originally Posted by chosen View Post
Did you see Park play?
I did - but mostly as a member of the Bruins.

If Park had the years of service that Leetch did, then I'd put it up for debate. Again, judging solely on his career with the Rangers and Leetch's career as a Ranger, I don't think it's much of a contest. If you want to debate who had the better overall career, then I'd probably lean towards Park but it's close. All of those 2nd place Norris finishes aren't really taking into account that when Orr was no longer an effective player (1975+), Park had another 10 years of his career to win the Norris with no Orr and didn't. Leetch did. Twice.

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06-04-2013, 03:37 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
Some excellent bios put together by our colleagues in the ATD project. Better than any Wikipedia page. They summarize career accolades but even more interesting IMO are the snippets that illuminate their style of play.

Barry Beck
Hy Buller
Art Coulter
Bill Gadsby
Lou Fontinato
Brian Leetch
Brad Park
Doug Harvey
Harry Howell
Jim Neilson
Ching Johnson
Ott Heller
Earl Seibert
Babe Pratt
Leo Reise

In case I missed any, the full list of bios can be found here.
Here's the ATD 2013 updates I haven't added to the master thread yet.

Barry Beck
Art Coulter
Brad Park
Earl Seibert

Buller and Fontinato went undrafted in the ATD and are eligible for the MLD starting at the end of the month. If they get updated profiles during the MLD I'll be sure to pass them along.

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Old
06-04-2013, 03:42 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by haohmaru View Post
I did - but mostly as a member of the Bruins.

If Park had the years of service that Leetch did, then I'd put it up for debate. Again, judging solely on his career with the Rangers and Leetch's career as a Ranger, I don't think it's much of a contest. If you want to debate who had the better overall career, then I'd probably lean towards Park but it's close. All of those 2nd place Norris finishes aren't really taking into account that when Orr was no longer an effective player (1975+), Park had another 10 years of his career to win the Norris with no Orr and didn't. Leetch did. Twice.
The years after Orr were filled with knee injuries for Park, the same thing that cut Orr's career.

Those that didn't see Park cannot understand that Park was a force on D that Leetch never was. Before his knees went he was the most feared checker in the game, at least in my opinion.

He threw a hip check that routinely tossed players crashing to the ice and he was not afraid of anyone. I remember him nailing Howe and Beliveau.

Park was also hindered because in addition to being their best offensive defenseman he often served as an enforcer type. He backed down from no one, once going after the feared Dave Schultz.

I understand picking Leetch over him based on longevity. Aside from that I will go with Park.

By the way, I believe Park was in the Playoffs 22 times.

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06-04-2013, 03:50 PM
  #79
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Yeah, I know Park had shaky knees - but not so much in his earlier years with the Bruins. The guy was definitely top 100 to ever play, in my mind, no question.

Still, no Cups, No Norris', no Calder, no Conn Smythe. Leetch is probably in that top 100 too.

Park is 88 here. Leetch is 72. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/8...istory/page/31

Not that that matters all that much.

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06-04-2013, 04:08 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by haohmaru View Post
I did - but mostly as a member of the Bruins.

If Park had the years of service that Leetch did, then I'd put it up for debate. Again, judging solely on his career with the Rangers and Leetch's career as a Ranger, I don't think it's much of a contest. If you want to debate who had the better overall career, then I'd probably lean towards Park but it's close. All of those 2nd place Norris finishes aren't really taking into account that when Orr was no longer an effective player (1975+), Park had another 10 years of his career to win the Norris with no Orr and didn't. Leetch did. Twice.
Park threw beautiful hip checks and would fight

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06-04-2013, 04:21 PM
  #81
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I was at MSG when Park made his NHL debut and literally saw every game he played as a Ranger. Yes, he was an intimidating physical force (when he first came up we called him "the baby faced killer") and was an outstanding offensive defensemen. But I always had a nagging sense of disappointment with him. Probably undeserved as he always played in the shadow of Orr. But he was our star during the peak of the Francis era teams and for whatever reason (and there were good ones), he never quite pushed us over the top.

So...I'll take Leetch. He got us over the top. Sorta like I'll still take Richter over Lundqvist (I know...just shoot me now and say I should wait for the certainly venomous debate about goalies to come) because of the Cup win. Hey, in the 94 run to the Cup, Leetch was our Orr, performing like a superstar and delivering the goods. Maybe if Park had better knees, played for us longer, did not play in Orr's shadow, and had one at least one Cup for us I'd feel differently. But woulda, shoulda, coulda doesn't make it. Leetch did it.

Sometimes I go back and watch the 94 games and I'm blown away by how good Leetch was.

Nothing against BP, a great HOF player. But I'm staying with Leetch.

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06-04-2013, 04:23 PM
  #82
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Oh and yeah...BP's number should be retired, no doubt.

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06-04-2013, 04:45 PM
  #83
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Park would have players somersaulting through mid-air. The main reason for that is he had a low center of gravity and at least some of the time his hits were real low. Catch them low and lift up--player flies through the air. Had that perfected like no other player before or since. I'm not sure how how hits like that would play out today. The NHL kind of frowns on low hits these days. Park was also a tough guy--without a doubt the toughest guy and best fighter on the Rangers defense. He was however not a great fighter--just good at it. Fearless. He was very good in his own end as well.

Not as good a player as Leetch though--IMO.

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Old
06-04-2013, 04:47 PM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haohmaru View Post
All of those 2nd place Norris finishes aren't really taking into account that when Orr was no longer an effective player (1975+), Park had another 10 years of his career to win the Norris with no Orr and didn't.
The way you're framing this isn't really all that fair to Park. Look at the comparable time in Leetch's career that you are bringing up for Park... did Leetch win any Norris trophies after he was 28? No, and in none of the years that followed was he realistically considered a front-runner for one. Park was traded in 75-76, was 27, and headed toward a decline in the next few seasons. Leetch was certainly still a great defenseman for his final six seasons with NYR, but let's not imply that he won his Norris trophies in that part of his career so as to justify some sort of dig at Park for not picking up a trophy at a similar point in his career. Because neither did.

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Originally Posted by haohmaru View Post
Leetch did. Twice.
Yes, and I love him for it. But had Leetch, in the prime of his career (like Park was in his), been competing with a single defenseman who was as absolutely and consistently dominant as Orr was, he wouldn't have won either Norris. And that aspect of his tenure with the Rangers wouldn't look nearly as impressive as Park's consistent 2nd place Norris voting finishes.

Leetch was only ever a realistic front runner/contender for a Norris in the two years he won (91-92 and 96-97) and maybe in 95-96. Outside of those years, though he got some votes here and there, he wasn't really a part of the conversation. Park was a legitimate challenger in 4 or 5 of his 7 full seasons with the Rangers. Depending upon how you look at it, that is either amazing consistency in terms of elite play and a testament to how good Park was that, after Orr, he largely dominated the field of other dmen, or a lack of other elite competition to push him down the list.


And to touch on the length of tenure argument; it actually makes this chart, which Crease put together, all the more compelling for Park:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
This is a table summarizing Norris Trophy finishes as a New York Ranger.

Name 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th Total
Brian Leetch 2 1 1 2 1 2 86
Brad Park 5 1 1 84
Harry Howell 1 1 2 1 2 1 67
Bill Gadsby 3 1 1 1 64
Jim Neilson 1 1 1 1 36
Doug Harvey 1 1 23
Barry Beck 1 1 1 23
Rod Seiling 1 1 13
Dan Girardi 1 9
Lou Fontinato 1 8
Tim Horton 1 3
Ron Greschner 1 1
That Park, according to the methodology used here, ranked so close to Leetch (in terms of Norris voting) when he had 8 less seasons with NYR than Leetch did to count toward that result, says something to me.


Last edited by Richter Scale: 06-04-2013 at 06:13 PM.
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Old
06-04-2013, 05:36 PM
  #85
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Note that that table gives Park credit for a second place in Norris voting during the trade season where he played only 13 (I think) games for the Rangers, and I believe it also doesn't consider the 94-95 season where Leetch gets no votes because of the modified voting format.

If you take 13 points away from Park, and give a T5 (so another 10 points) to Leetch for '95, then the total becomes 96 for Leetch and 71 for Park, and all of a sudden Park looks a lot closer to Howell than to Leetch.

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06-04-2013, 06:06 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
The way you're framing this isn't really all that fair to Park. Look at the comparable time in Leetch's career that you are bringing up for Park... did Leetch win any Norris trophies after he was 28? No, and in none of the years that followed was he realistically considered a front-runner for one. Park was traded in 75-76, was 27, and headed toward a decline in the next few seasons. Leetch was certainly still a great defenseman for his final six seasons with NYR, but let's not imply that he won his Norris trophies in that part of his career so as to justify some sort of dig at Park for not picking up a trophy at a similar point in his career. Because neither did.
The way I'm framing it? I'm framing it that Leetch won it twice and Park didn't. 2nd place is as meaningless as 5th or 11th. And, for the record, Leetch was 29 when he won his second Norris (born March 3, 1968 and presumably won the award after the 96-97 season ended in June - making him 29). He also played on complete **** teams from 97-98 onward. I can't name many Norris trophy winners that played on complete crap teams. Can you? Leetch had an awesome year in 2000-2001 on a complete crap team. His numbers that year were much better than Scott Stevens (a finalist), his numbers were better than Borque's, and his numbers were better than Lidstrom's. His problem: he played for an awful club (Dale Purinton, Rich Pilon anyone?).


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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
Yes, and I love him for it. But had Leetch, in the prime of his career (like Park was in his), been competing with a single defenseman who was as absolutely and consistently dominant as Orr was, he wouldn't have won either Norris. And that aspect of his tenure with the Rangers wouldn't look nearly as impressive as Park's consistent 2nd place Norris voting finishes.
And I can make the argument that Park never had the year Leetch had in 91-92, with 102 points in 80 games. Best Brad did was 82 in 78. Leetch is one of only 5 D (Orr was one of these), and the only American, to score 100+ points in a season. I can argue Leetch played every regular season game 8 times to Brad's once as a Ranger. I can argue Conn Smythe. I can argue Calder. I can argue hall of famers: Borque, Coffey, Lidstrom, Stevens, Chelios & Pronger.

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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
Leetch was only ever a realistic front runner/contender for a Norris in the two years he won (91-92 and 96-97) and maybe in 95-96. Outside of those years, though he got some votes here and there, he wasn't really a part of the conversation. Park was a legitimate challenger in 4 or 5 of his 7 full seasons with the Rangers. Depending upon how you look at it, that is either amazing consistency in terms of elite play and a testament to how good Park was that, after Park, he largely dominated the field of other dmen, or a lack of other elite competition to push him down the list.
You can't control who the competition is, but you can't really deny that Leetch's best season (102 points) was considerably better than Park's and you really can't say how well Leetch might've fared against those clubs if he was sent back in time. It's something we'll never know. And, like I've said, Leetch should've been a finalist in 2000-01 if it weren't for the crap club he was playing on. If he had that season on the Wings or Avalanche, he probably would've won it again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
That Park, according to the methodology used here, ranked so close to Leetch (in terms of Norris voting) when he had 8 less seasons with NYR than Leetch did to count toward that result, says something to me.
Methodology includes a season where he played the majority of his games for another team.

Bottom line is still the same: Brian Leetch Hardware: 5 Brad Park: 0 no matter how you try to manipulate the numbers. Do you look back fondly on '79 when we finished in 2nd place?

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06-04-2013, 06:08 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Note that that table gives Park credit for a second place in Norris voting during the trade season where he played only 13 (I think) games for the Rangers, and I believe it also doesn't consider the 94-95 season where Leetch gets no votes because of the modified voting format.

If you take 13 points away from Park, and give a T5 (so another 10 points) to Leetch for '95, then the total becomes 96 for Leetch and 71 for Park, and all of a sudden Park looks a lot closer to Howell than to Leetch.
That is true about Park's 5th runner up. Missed that about the table. Good catch!

This is starting to get nit-picky, but I'm not sure it is fair to give Leetch points for getting zero votes in the lockout season just because he was technically a finalist by the way they restructured it. In the end, he still got zero votes! Were there other people who weren't considered "finalists" in the West who would have pushed him down the ranking under normal voting circumstances?

If you exclude those points you added... it would be 86 - 71. Still not as close as it was originally; but a lot closer than you might expect when considering one of those #s includes eight less seasons of consideration.

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06-04-2013, 06:08 PM
  #88
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And of course, the other part of the picture that I think is being ignored in a lot of this debate over Leetch and Park is their relative defensive strength. I've already said this, but Park was a good amount ahead of Leetch in this aspect of his game. I really don't think there is much of an argument to be made there. Other guys who saw him play have already talked about this -- he was defensively sound, an intimidating presence, a good checker, etc.

Leetch, while not bad by any means, didn't have those same kind of tools in his tool box. It is at least a part of why the Beukeboom pairing worked and made sense; what Leetch lacked in physicality, Beukeboom more than made up for... not so much on being defensively sound, though. There were times when that pairing was an absolute nightmare in their own zone.

Here is a look at some relevant defensive stats for Leetch and Park during their time with NYR:

Park:
- 452 GP; +177.
- Had a plus rating in every single one of his 7 full seasons with NYR. 4 of these plus seasons were +15 or above.
- Zero full seasons with minus ratings with NYR.
- Just two seasons below +15.
- Had one season with a ridiculous +62.
- Plus/minus per game: +0.4

- Just 2 seasons in which he was on the ice for more than 100 goals against. All 5 of his other seasons he was on the ice for 70 goals or less. But since the season length was slightly shorter in his era...
- Park was on the ice for an average of 1.17 goals per game.
- If you subtract power play goals against, he was on the ice for 0.94 even strength goals per game.


Leetch:
- 1,129 GP; +24.
- Had a plus rating in 8 of 15 full seasons with NYR. Just 3 of his plus seasons were +15 or above.
- Had 6 minus seasons and one even season. Of these minus seasons, all but one were -15 or worse. (Though, to give context, at least a few of these seasons also came during the dark years...)
- Plus/minus per game: +0.02. But to give a comparable # to Park's, Leetch's first 7 full seasons with NYR (excluding 92-93 injury season and lockout season) his "plus/minus per game" was +0.16.

- Leetch had 11 seasons in which he was on the ice for 110 goals against or more. Of the 6 seasons with NYR that he was on the ice for less than 100 goals, all of them were shortened seasons (whether due to his first season, injury or the lockout). But again, since seasons were different lengths, to provide a decent comparison to Park...
- Leetch was on the ice for an average of 1.46 goals per game. Almost 0.3 goals per game higher than Park. In an 82 game season, that is 25 more goals against. Not an insignificant number.
- If you subtract power play goals against, Leetch closes the gap somewhat, to an average of 1.04 even strength goals per game. 0.1 more than Park.
- To again, look at Leetch's prime to get a decent comparison to Park, if you look at his first 7 full seasons (excluding 92-93 injury season and the lockout season), those #s actually go up slightly. He was on the ice for an average of 1.48 goals per game, of those, 1.04 were even strength goals.



I know plus/minus is a flawed stat in a lot of ways; but a question to ask nonetheless is: Even though Leetch was likely the better offensive talent and scored or contributed to more goals, if he gave up more goals while he was on the ice, does that not detract from him?

--

I completely understand why the defensive part of these guys' games isn't really being discussed a ton. It is hard to make an argument either way when there are a dearth of tangible statistics to back up the point you're making. Or to compare players' defensive attributes in different eras or even to try to describe their game to people who may not have seen them play. But I hope that we find a way to include this part of each players' game in the discussion of the rest of this list as we move forward. It is a big part of why I've been playing devil's advocate to a degree and throwing out arguments against Leetch. If we end up with a list of dmen that is ranked solely based on the offensive side of the puck, I think that will do a great disservice to some of the best dmen that this team had play for it.


In that light, does anyone know of any other stats that have been used or could be used to try to quantify some of this stuff?

I know Crease is looking closely at AST voting; that seems like a good start that could do a decent job at pinpointing some of the elite defensive guys from before all of our times.

Other thoughts I've had for ways to try to quantify some of this stuff (which are, unfortunately, all imperfect in some way or another):

- Plus/minus (only '67 forward)
- Total goals against (and perhaps trying to weight by quality of goalie the team had?)
- Goals against per game / TOI
- Shots against per game / TOI (not recorded officially until '83)
- Hockey reference has a stat called "Defensive Point Shares". It seems a bit contrived, but doesn't seem like an awful place to start.


Last edited by Richter Scale: 06-04-2013 at 06:20 PM.
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06-04-2013, 06:21 PM
  #89
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Looking back retroactively it's nice to wax poetic about a guy finishing 2nd a bunch of times. To me, Leetch's 2 Norris Wins should have a lot more weight than 5x 2nd place. Nobody cares who the runner up is when you're winning the Cup, placing 2nd in the Norris trophy voting, or finishing in 2nd place during the regular season. It's not nearly as important as actually winning the thing and it's not like Leetch was going up against a bunch of slouches when he won the thing.
I would agree with you if Park wasn't finishing 2nd to probably one of the Top 3 players to ever play.

Park had a better all around game than Leetch...Leetch has the edge offensively but Park was no slouch offensively, he played better D, was more physical and fought.

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06-04-2013, 06:25 PM
  #90
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There is nothing wrong with the conversation, but the time to really influence rankings will be in Round 2 of the voting.

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06-04-2013, 06:27 PM
  #91
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I would agree with you if Park wasn't finishing 2nd to probably one of the Top 3 players to ever play.

Park had a better all around game than Leetch...Leetch has the edge offensively but Park was no slouch offensively, he played better D, was more physical and fought.
You certainly can say that. Sure.

Who had a better career as a Ranger? Park, with his 7+ seasons, no Cups, No Norris', No Calder, no Conn Smythe and only one season where he played every game or Leetch, with a Cup, 2 Norris', a Calder, a Conn Smythe, 3 years as a Captain and who knows how many as an alternate, played in every game 8 seasons, etc...

As far as careers as Rangers are concerned, it really isn't close. Take the 2 Norris' away and you still have the Cup and broken curse, you have the Conn Smythe winner delivering that cup with a stupid number of points in the playoffs as a defenseman, and you have a Calder trophy, too. Couple that with a career as a Ranger more than twice Park's, his number in the rafters, and his witty commentary on post game shows (I kid, I kid) and I don't see that they're even comparable. As Rangers

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06-04-2013, 06:31 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I know Crease is looking closely at AST voting; that seems like a good start that could do a decent job at pinpointing some of the elite defensive guys from before all of our times.
Speak of the Devil...

The following table is post-season All-Star finishes as a Ranger. I used TDMM's dataset for the early years in which there was an LD/RD split. His methodology was to give 2 points for each First Team vote and 1 point for an Alt Team vote. (Exactly what Greg suggested above). Excluded are finishes in years where the player did not receive at least 1 First Team vote or 2 Alt Team votes.

Year Player Rank
1966-67 Arnie Brown 11
1968-69 Arnie Brown 18
1969-70 Arnie Brown 20
1937-38 Art Coulter 3
1938-39 Art Coulter 3
1939-40 Art Coulter 3
1935-36 Art Coulter 7
1936-37 Art Coulter 8
1940-41 Art Coulter 8
1941-42 Art Coulter 8
1942-43 Babe Pratt 5
1939-40 Babe Pratt 7
1941-42 Babe Pratt 9
1955-56 Bill Gadsby 2
1957-58 Bill Gadsby 2
1958-59 Bill Gadsby 2
1956-57 Bill Gadsby 4
1959-60 Bill Gadsby 8
1960-61 Bill Gadsby 13
1969-70 Brad Park 2
1971-72 Brad Park 2
1973-74 Brad Park 2
1970-71 Brad Park 3
1972-73 Brad Park 3
1974-75 Brad Park 5
1968-69 Brad Park 14
1991-92 Brian Leetch 1
1995-96 Brian Leetch 3
1990-91 Brian Leetch 4
1993-94 Brian Leetch 4
2000-01 Brian Leetch 5
1988-89 Brian Leetch 7
2001-02 Brian Leetch 7
1998-99 Brian Leetch 8
2003-04 Brian Leetch 11
1996-97 Brian Leetch 1
1927-28 Ching Johnson 2
1931-32 Ching Johnson 1
1932-33 Ching Johnson 2
1933-34 Ching Johnson 3
1930-31 Ching Johnson 4
1935-36 Ching Johnson 6
1978-79 Dave Maloney 16
1961-62 Doug Harvey 1
1962-63 Doug Harvey 10
1934-35 Earl Seibert 2
1933-34 Earl Seibert 4
1935-36 Earl Seibert 4
1931-32 Earl Seibert 7
1932-33 Earl Seibert 10
1947-48 Frank Eddolls 8
1966-67 Harry Howell 2
1963-64 Harry Howell 6
1964-65 Harry Howell 6
1965-66 Harry Howell 6
1955-56 Harry Howell 7
1967-68 Harry Howell 11
1960-61 Harry Howell 15
1962-63 Harry Howell 17
1951-52 Hy Buller 3
1967-68 Jim Neilson 4
1967-68 Jim Neilson 6
1967-68 Jim Neilson 6
1968-69 Jim Neilson 6
1969-70 Jim Neilson 6
1967-68 Jim Neilson 9
1970-71 Jim Neilson 9
1966-67 Jim Neilson 14
1967-68 Jim Neilson 14
1972-73 Jim Neilson 14
1946-47 Neil Colville 6
1947-58 Neil Coville 4
1940-41 Ott Heller 4
1939-40 Ott Heller 5
1936-37 Ott Heller 6
1938-39 Ott Heller 7
1941-42 Ott Heller 10
1972-73 Rod Seiling 7
1971-72 Rod Seiling 9
1970-71 Rod Seiling 10
1969-70 Rod Seiling 17
1977-78 Ron Greschner 15
1978-79 Ron Greschner 17
1980-81 Ron Greschner 20
1979-80 Ron Greschner 24
1970-71 Tim Horton 14


Last edited by Crease: 06-05-2013 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Adding Ching Johnson's 1927-28 season & removed Park's 75-76 partial season
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06-04-2013, 06:34 PM
  #93
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Yeah, I know Park had shaky knees - but not so much in his earlier years with the Bruins. The guy was definitely top 100 to ever play, in my mind, no question.

Still, no Cups, No Norris', no Calder, no Conn Smythe. Leetch is probably in that top 100 too.

Park is 88 here. Leetch is 72. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/8...istory/page/31

Not that that matters all that much.
Jay Wells has a Cup and Brad Park doesn't...

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06-04-2013, 06:37 PM
  #94
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Jay Wells has a Cup and Brad Park doesn't...
And Jay Wells has the Conn Smythe that delivered that Cup, too? Thought not.

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06-04-2013, 06:50 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by NHRangerfan View Post
Jay Wells has a Cup and Brad Park doesn't...
Obviously cups aren't a convincing argument between two players of completely different calibers.

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06-04-2013, 06:55 PM
  #96
bernmeister
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I decided to loosen the player eligibility requirements for the defensemen project. For centers, the initial screen was players with minimum of 75% of games played in a minimum of 4 seasons. We ended up making exceptions and one exception made his way onto the final list. For the defensemen project, we're opening up the ballot to anyone who played a minimum of 1 game in at least 3 seasons for the Rangers. The discussion should sufficiently weed out non-contenders.
Just getting back in here.
Unfortunately, my memory is the late really great Tim Horton finished up w/Rangers, but I think that was only handful of games for one season. Injured, I vaguely remember.

Don't expect I'm wrong, so let me only take opportunity to applaud the man.
What a fab player!!

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06-04-2013, 06:59 PM
  #97
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Some notes regarding the All-Star voting finishes.

- Ching Johnson gets a retro-Norris in 1931-32. He also finished 2nd in voting another season

- Bill Gadsby finishes 2nd overall in voting three times

- In Brad Park's abbreviated season with the Rangers (1975-76), he finished 2nd overall in All-Star voting. In his full seasons with the Rangers, he finished 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 5

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06-04-2013, 07:00 PM
  #98
bernmeister
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I may have overstepped a bit by including him as "elite". Letting the coaching record influence me there. His career as a player was a lot more than the AHL and the Blues though. He was a pretty solid defensive defenseman, and he was on 4 Stanley Cup winning teams (admittedly only played in the playoffs really for 2 of them).

The rest of what you say is pretty fair.


Agreed. Wasn't really trying to say I'm going to consider his time with Boston or Detroit when ranking him (I only brought it up in the other post to demonstrate how the period of time one played expands the list of "elite" competition they played against). And when considering longevity with NYR, Leetch will certainly have the leg up over Park. Just pointing out for those who may be unfamiliar with that era that it wasn't the kind of situation where Park left the team of his own accord.

---

I don't remember who posted this info in the centers project's discussion (bernmeister maybe?), but figured this might be helpful for those looking at the long list and wondering where to start. A book, "100 Ranger Greats," ranks the top 100 Rangers of all time. I think it does a pretty poor job of its overall ranking in some areas and a decent job in others - so I wouldn't rely on it too much. But anywho, here are the relevant names (and their corresponding ranks on that list):

Brian Leetch (1)
Harry Howell (10)
Brad Park (11)
Ron Greschner (12)
Ott Heller (25)
Ching Johnson (28)
Art Coulter (30)
Dave Maloney (34)
Rod Seiling (41)
Jim Neilson (42)
James Patrick (44)
Babe Pratt (47)
Jeff Beukeboom (50)
Carol Vadnais (52)
Allan Stanley (60)
Earl Seibert (61)
Barry Beck (62)
Bill Gadsby (63)
Sergei Zubov (72)
Reijo Ruotsalainen (82)
Tom Laidlaw (87)
Arnie Brown (93)
Lou Fontinato (96)
Mike McEwen (98)
Do not take credit for this.
I posted a comment to the effect I was shocked how high Espo was in the rankings.

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06-04-2013, 07:01 PM
  #99
NHRangerfan
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Obviously cups aren't a convincing argument between two players of completely different calibers.
Cups should never be part of any equation....it's a team game and most especially when it comes to players of earlier era's who were pretty much cattle.

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06-04-2013, 07:05 PM
  #100
bernmeister
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Originally Posted by Chief View Post
Longevity obviously had something to do with it but Greschner retired as the Rangers` all-time leader in points, goals and assists by a defensemen...and he kept those records until Leetch broke them. At least for the time being, I don't see how I can keep him out of my Top 10.
Greschner was good but overrated.
Also he did some games at F, if you are looking at point totals for D.

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