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Round 2, Vote 1 (HFNYR Top NYR Defensemen)

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Old
06-21-2013, 02:45 PM
  #51
bernmeister
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I'm fleshing out loud my revised list.

We need to vote for 5:

1 Brad Park
2 Brian Leetch
3 Ching Johnson

4 Art Coulter
5 Bill Gadsby

----------- cutoff

6 Harry Howell
7 Ott Heller
8 Earl Seibert
9 Babe Pratt
10 Ron Greschner

Comments welcome.

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06-21-2013, 03:08 PM
  #52
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Well bern, you know how I feel about the order of your top three. But I'll stop there.

Does anyone want to make a case for Seibert, Heller or Pratt in the top five or six here?

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06-21-2013, 04:48 PM
  #53
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Is anyone concerned about the fact that Gadsby got traded twice?

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06-21-2013, 05:11 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Is anyone concerned about the fact that Gadsby got traded twice?
That was sort of Red Kelly's fault. They acquired Gadsby from Chicago in 1954. Six years later they traded him to Detroit. The initial deal was Gadsby and Eddie Shack for Red Kelly and Billy McNeil but Kelly refused to report and McNeil threatened to retire. The Rangers were awful that year. They later settled on Gadsby for Les Hunt and cash.

Long slumps triggered the original deal. The Rangers lost 10 in a row before beating Detroit, whose winless streak was extended to six games. After the trade was nullified, Gadsby hung around the rest of the season with the Rangers. But he wasn't happy because the attempted trade implied that he was expendable. So Muzz Patrick made the best of a bad situation and completed the transaction with Detroit the the following summer.


Last edited by Crease: 06-21-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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06-21-2013, 05:42 PM
  #55
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Yeah, I knew Red Kelly refused to report, but Les Hunt isn't exactly equal compensation.

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06-21-2013, 06:15 PM
  #56
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Yea that ended up being a terrible return, undisclosed cash aside.

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06-21-2013, 06:20 PM
  #57
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Although apparently part of it was the signing of Doug Harvey made him expendable according to a newspaper article I found, so that kind of makes it better.

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06-21-2013, 10:16 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
I would just like to point out that Brad Park coming in second to ORR in Norris voting, does not mean Park would win the Norris if not for ORR.

We can't assume the voters who voted for Orr would, instead, vote for Park. That might seem more far-fetched when talking about the 1972 or 1974 Norris trophies but in 1971 only 22 votes separated Park from #3 and in 1970, 36 votes separated Park from #3.
You can't assume anything and be positive but there is no logic that without Orr, people who voted Park second would instead vote Park third.

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06-21-2013, 10:27 PM
  #59
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Irrelevant in the context of this discussion, but I just revisited Park's career stats and had forgotten that at the age of 35, with two bum knees, he put up an incredible 53 assists.

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06-21-2013, 11:27 PM
  #60
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Not to beat a dead horse but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
This is not an attempt to show you how much better Johnson was than Park in the regular season. This is an attempt to show you how close they were.

Then when you factor in playoff performance/success and longevity, it tilts clearly in Johnson's favor.
But when you factor in offense, it tilts back in Park’s favor. Park was the far superior all-around player. If you were able to transport Park back in time to Johnson’s era, I don’t believe Park takes a back seat to Johnson at all.

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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Adjust the points, and it becomes 358 for Park as compared to 229 for Johnson. Points have to be adjusted when you're comparing eras like that.
Adjusted points are fine for trying to illustrate how players from a prior era compare against each other with an illustration that modern day fans can understand but using them to compare players from different eras is worthless because you’re just artificially inflating the stats of the player from the lower scoring era.

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Park's offensive superiority should, in my opinion, be viewed within context of the fact that defensemen weren't expected to provide as much offense during Johnson's time.
Although there are a few reasons for the lesser scoring, I think one of them is the lack of skilled defenseman of that era, whether from a talent level or training level. In any event, I believe if players could score at a more prolific pace, they would have. Just look at Eddie Shore. In Shore’s 4 best scoring seasons he scored 31, 31, 33 and 35 points. In Johnson’s 4 best scoring seasons he scored 8, 13, 16 and 17 points.

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The fact of the matter is, Brad Park does not have a season that can match Ching Johnson's 1931-1932 campaign.
And Johnson never had a season like Park’s 1973-74 season, where park scored 82 points in 78 games and 12 points in 13 playoff games…along with a strong physical defensive game.


Last edited by Chief: 06-22-2013 at 01:22 AM.
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06-22-2013, 12:32 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen View Post
...but there is no logic that without Orr, people who voted Park second would instead vote Park third.
Depends on the season.

In 1972, Orr got 204 votes, Park 117 and Bill White 25. With Orr out of the picture, that's 87 votes. Even if they all went to White, he's not passing Park.

In 1971, Orr got 208, Park 57 and Tremblay 35. That's only 22 votes separating 2nd and 3rd place and with 151 votes to spread around, I don't think it's a given Park comes out on top. That year, it was pretty much Orr and a some other guys way down a few levels.

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06-22-2013, 08:25 AM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
And Johnson never had a season like Park’s 1973-74 season, where park scored 82 points in 78 games and 12 points in 13 playoff games…along with a strong physical defensive game.
Johnson also never had a season like Mike Green's 2008-09 season, where Green scored 73 points in 68 games and 9 points in 14 playoff games. But, again, comparing raw numbers across eras is not indicative of who was the better player.

If Johnson stepped into the NHL in 1973, he would be annihilated. He loses his size advantage, he's at least a step slower, and probably spends half his games in the box. Conversely, drop Park into the NHL in 1931 and he skates by everyone while probably being the only player who can take an accurate slapshot. Obviously the game evolves over time. Coaches and training become more advanced. But you cannot discredit someone for being born when they were. The fairest way to compare players across different eras IMO is to compare how they did against their peers.

That being said, no one refutes that Park was a better offensively than Johnson was, even after adjusting for scoring tendencies of their own era. They played two completely different styles.


Last edited by Crease: 06-22-2013 at 08:56 AM.
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06-22-2013, 11:16 AM
  #63
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My main point is one thing Crease brought up - the game evolves over time - and if we're picking the greatest Rangers of all time, I have a hard time placing a tremendous two-way player like Park under a one-dimensional player - even a great one-dimensional player like Johnson. In my opinion Park was the second best defenseman in the NHL for years. Was Johnson that good for the same period of time...and is that a fair comparison since there were so fewer defensemen in the league in Johnson's day?

I went into this valuing Stanley Cups highly since we've had so few as a franchise but I can't just assume Johnson was that much more important to those Cup teams than his teammates.

Since the Stanley Cup playoff set-up has changed over the years, it might have been interesting to look at playoff victories as a gauge of success.

Right now, I want to include Leetch, Park, Johnson, Howell, Greschner, Coulter and Gadsby in my top five...unfortunately, that's two too many.

Two of Howell, Greschner or Gadsby is probably going to be on the outside looking in (on my Top 5).

Howell was a Norris winner - beating out Orr, albeit in Orr's rookie season.
He was named a First Team All-Star in 1967.
Played in 7 All Star Games. His first in 1954 and his last in 1970 - 16 years apart!
When he left the NHL, Howell played more games as a defenseman than anyone else, and remains sixth in all time games played as a defenseman.
He holds the record for most games played in the NHL wearing the same New York Rangers sweater: 1160!
Had he had the Cooks and Boucher, of his day, on his teams would we be looking at a Cup-winning defenseman?

Gadsby named to AST 3 times.
5 time All Star game participant.
7 seasons as a Ranger. Doesn't have the tenure in a Ranger uniform that Gresch or Howell had but the same amount as Park.
Hockey Hall Of Fame inductee.
Although he was productive in the playoffs, his teams only played 16 games in 3 playoff seasons.

Greschner had 16 seasons as a Ranger and NEVER wore another NHL sweater.
Held most scoring records for Rangers defensemen until Leetch came along.
Actually played in two more Ranger playoff games than Leetch.
When you look at the arguments that were made for Tkaczuk, I think a lot of them apply to Greschner, except Gresch was probably the top player at his position on the Rangers for a substantial portion of his tenure as a Ranger.
One All Star Game.
Rangers captain for a year.
Rangers Player's Player Award co-winner in 77-78.


Last edited by Chief: 06-22-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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06-22-2013, 03:07 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen View Post
you can't assume anything and be positive but there is no logic that without orr, people who voted park second would instead vote park third.
thank you!

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06-22-2013, 03:16 PM
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
My main point is one thing Crease brought up - the game evolves over time - and if we're picking the greatest Rangers of all time, I have a hard time placing a tremendous two-way player like Park under a one-dimensional player - even a great one-dimensional player like Johnson. In my opinion Park was the second best defenseman in the NHL for years. Was Johnson that good for the same period of time...and is that a fair comparison since there were so fewer defensemen in the league in Johnson's day?

I went into this valuing Stanley Cups highly since we've had so few as a franchise but I can't just assume Johnson was that much more important to those Cup teams than his teammates.

Since the Stanley Cup playoff set-up has changed over the years, it might have been interesting to look at playoff victories as a gauge of success.

Right now, I want to include Leetch, Park, Johnson, Howell, Greschner, Coulter and Gadsby in my top five...unfortunately, that's two too many.

Two of Howell, Greschner or Gadsby is probably going to be on the outside looking in (on my Top 5).

Howell was a Norris winner - beating out Orr, albeit in Orr's rookie season.
He was named a First Team All-Star in 1967.
Played in 7 All Star Games. His first in 1954 and his last in 1970 - 16 years apart!
When he left the NHL, Howell played more games as a defenseman than anyone else, and remains sixth in all time games played as a defenseman.
He holds the record for most games played in the NHL wearing the same New York Rangers sweater: 1160!
Had he had the Cooks and Boucher, of his day, on his teams would we be looking at a Cup-winning defenseman?

Gadsby named to AST 3 times.
5 time All Star game participant.
7 seasons as a Ranger. Doesn't have the tenure in a Ranger uniform that Gresch or Howell had but the same amount as Park.
Hockey Hall Of Fame inductee.
Although he was productive in the playoffs, his teams only played 16 games in 3 playoff seasons.

Greschner had 16 seasons as a Ranger and NEVER wore another NHL sweater.
Held most scoring records for Rangers defensemen until Leetch came along.
Actually played in two more Ranger playoff games than Leetch.
When you look at the arguments that were made for Tkaczuk, I think a lot of them apply to Greschner, except Gresch was probably the top player at his position on the Rangers for a substantial portion of his tenure as a Ranger.
One All Star Game.
Rangers captain for a year.
Rangers Player's Player Award co-winner in 77-78.
Agree w/much of what you said here.
Except no comparison betw. Tkaczuk and Greschner. Walt was the real deal.

Gresch was good, at times very good. But he was not IMO a better D than WT was a better C, and I'm not sure he was even a better D than Duguay was a better C.

Gresch was genuinely good, but overrated. Also I know at some point they played him as a F.

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06-22-2013, 03:32 PM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmeister View Post
Agree w/much of what you said here.
Except no comparison betw. Tkaczuk and Greschner. Walt was the real deal.

Gresch was good, at times very good. But he was not IMO a better D than WT was a better C, and I'm not sure he was even a better D than Duguay was a better C.

Gresch was genuinely good, but overrated. Also I know at some point they played him as a F.
Agree on Walt over Gresch, but Duguay was one of the worst defensive forwards I ever saw.

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06-22-2013, 11:25 PM
  #67
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Quote:
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Agree on Walt over Gresch, but Duguay was one of the worst defensive forwards I ever saw.
Sure he was no Jan Erixon, but I don't know if I'd go that far.

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06-22-2013, 11:47 PM
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmeister View Post
Also I know at some point they played him as a F.
Greschner didn't play that much forward in his career. I believe he played a lot in 80-81 when he scored 27 goals.

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06-22-2013, 11:48 PM
  #69
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Quote:
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Sure he was no Jan Erixon, but I don't know if I'd go that far.
Or Larry Patey.

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06-23-2013, 11:12 AM
  #70
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If Howell doesn't win a Norris, is he viewed as a better Greschner (defensively focused instead of offensively, of course)? The weird thing about him is normally we try to classify people as longevity or prime type players. Howell has great longevity and a high peak, but the height of winning a Norris is really bleak. Compare that to Gadsby, and you get a number of very good seasons- 3 where he was a top 2 defenseman, and another where he was top 4. But in none of them was he viewed as the best defenseman in the game.

I'm currently inclined to rank Howell over Gadsby, though. Even though Gadsby was the better player as per award voting, it seems to me that the Rangers valued Howell more.

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06-23-2013, 11:21 AM
  #71
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Coulter, by the way, is someone who I think is a very small but still distinct step up from both.

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06-23-2013, 02:53 PM
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmeister View Post
Sure he was no Jan Erixon, but I don't know if I'd go that far.
Check his +/- over the years.

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06-23-2013, 06:29 PM
  #73
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I have been out most of the weekend so I have not had much time to contribute to the discussion.

Greg, I'm right there with you at the moment. There is a small but distinct separation between Coulter and Gadsby. Same longevity and similar peaks but the difference to me is that the Rangers traded away their best defensemen at the time (Seibert) for Coulter and Coulter got the job done captaining that 1940 team to a championship.

I'm also inclined to give Howell the nod over Gadby despite the fact that Gadsby had a higher peak. Just too many years of quality and classy service from Howell.

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06-23-2013, 06:33 PM
  #74
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Also a reminder that Round 2 Vote 1 discussion closes tonight at Midnight. If you haven't already, please PM me your ranked list of the 10 players on this ballot by tomorrow morning at the latest.

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06-23-2013, 06:44 PM
  #75
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Okay, cool. Our metrics have been pretty much matching up the whole way, so if we're both coming to a conclusion independently I'm happy that I'm not doing anything crazy.

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