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Round 2, Vote 2 (HFNYR Top NYR Defensemen)

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06-26-2013, 06:16 PM
  #26
Greg02
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Was Pratt ever really a top defenseman for the Rangers? He doesn't win any awards until he goes to Toronto, and it seems like he was overshadowed by Coulter.

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06-27-2013, 12:03 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
Thinking outloud to stimulate the discussion. Ballots can be sent in starting tomorrow, and I won't be around much this weekend so I want to have my own list finalized by Friday.

Tier 1: Gadsby, Heller (alphabetical)
Tier 2: Neilson, Pratt (alphabetical)
Tier 3: Greschner, Seibert, Seiling (alphabetical)

OUT: Beck, Patrick, Maloney

Anyone see any major issues with this? I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do with Greschner and Seibert.
No issues major or otherwise.
Again you want 7 names for 5 slots in order.

Not feeling Gresch in the second 5.
Anyone wanna saying anything more about Heller?

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06-27-2013, 12:04 PM
  #28
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Well he gave Hatfield 2 perfect passes for goals 49 and 50
I give him that with thanks and kudos!

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06-27-2013, 02:40 PM
  #29
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IMHO the Rangers have had two players who were clearly at the top level as NHL defensemen, during their tenure as Rangers (or most of it): Leetch and Park… and I would be inclined to include Ching Johnson in that group as well. After that, the remainder of our candidates fall into a level below. And I don’t see how Greschner doesn’t merit a high position in that remaining group.

There seems to be a contingent among our voters who appreciate the mostly-defensive play of some of our candidates but don’t seem to give enough credit for the offensive defensemen among our candidates. When Greschner was playing, offensive defensemen were in demand and the Rangers particularly needed Greschner’s offense, since the teams were typically otherwise offensively lacking.

How good was Greschner’s offense? Park had been the points leader for defensemen, when he was traded to Boston, into his 8th Ranger season. Greschner surpassed Park’s totals in his 8th Rangers season. Park had double-digit goal totals 5x as a Ranger, Greschner also did it 5x in his first 7 Ranger seasons - and wound up with 8 seasons where he had double digit goals. Greschner had 4 seasons with 20 or more goals. Leetch had 5. Park had 2 as a Ranger and 3 such seasons in his career.

Greschner came into the league as many defensemen did at that time, trying to emulate Orr. His defense was not very good for his first four seasons but that changed when Fred Shero took the helm of the Rangers. Although not a tremendous defensive player at that point, Greschner was adequate defensively. His offense was more than adequate. He was a slick skater with the puck on his stick. I mentioned this before, but per my memory, he had the ability to slow the game down when the puck was on his stick. When Jagr was a Ranger, he also had that gift even though he wasn’t fast. I’m not saying that Greschner was the scorer Jagr was but he had that gift of slowing the game down when he had the puck. Greschner was an exceptional PPQB and also exceptional at rushing the puck. He could take the puck end to end.

He joined the Rangers in 74-75 and set the Rangers Rookie Assist Record with 37 (note, this wasn’t just the record for defensemen, but for all skaters). As I mentioned before, he broke Park’s point record and held it until Leetch.

Injuries limited his production during his final three seasons where he played a more defensive role and helped mentor young players like Leetch. In the 88-89 season , Greschner was +9 and Leetch was +8. Greschner only scored 11 points, while Leetch scored 71! Leetch played in 10 more games.

You get a better idea of how productive Greschner was when you realize he did most of his scoring in 11 seasons, as injuries limited him in 5 seasons. I think that fact alone should erase the notion that Geschner was a compiler. The guy held the points records for Rangers defensemen after basically 11 seasons - only broken by Leetch. That alone should place him in the middle of our Top 10.

He played some forward but that’s been overblown by some. I think the only season where he played a substantial amount of time at forward was when he played the left wing with Nilsson and Hedberg in 80-81. He put up 68 points in 74 games that season (27 goals and 41 assists) but, remember, even when he played forward, he was still playing “defense” as the PP point man – so a good portion of those points were still coming from where he would have been playing as a defensemen.

Greschner had 2 seasons where he was the 3rd leading scorer on the Rangers (not just among defensemen); he was the 4th leading scorer one season; 6th leading scorer in another; and 7th leading scorer in 2 seasons.

Captained the Rangers for one season after taking over the season before when Beck was injured. Gave it up the following season when injuries limited his playing time.

1 All Star Game in 1980.

Heart and soul player. Well-liked and respected by his teammates. Was the co-winner of the Players` Player Award in 1977-78.

He spent his whole career with the Rangers and was a great representative for them in the community, as evidenced by his winning the following awards: Rangers Good Guy Award — 1985-86 and "Crumb Bum" Award (Community Service) — 1984-85.

Greschner’s top offensive seasons:
77-78: 72 points in 78 games
78-79: 53 points in 60 games…with 12 points in 18 playoff games, including 7 goals
80-81: 68 points in 74 games… with 12 points in 14 playoff games
84-85: 45 points in 48 games


Last edited by Chief: 06-27-2013 at 05:47 PM.
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06-27-2013, 02:50 PM
  #30
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Very nice post Chief. Going to take some time to digest it.

One minor nit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
IMHO the Rangers have had two players who were clearly at the top level as NHL defensemen, during their tenure as Rangers (or most of it): Leetch and Park… and I would be inclined to include Ching Johnson in that group as well. After that, the remainder of our candidates fall into a level below.
Gadsby finished 2nd in Norris voting three times as a Ranger. Lost to Doug Harvey twice. He was at the top level of NHL defensemen during his time here, albeit only 7 total seasons. Neilson's voting record is pretty stellar too. Greschner, despite all those points, never really was considered among the better defensemen of his time -- and voters considered both sides of the puck in this era.

If Greschner is in, Seibert and Seiling are definitely out. I'm okay with that. Where do you have Greschner relative to Heller, Pratt, Gadsby and Neilson? Order is as important to me as inclusion.


Last edited by Crease: 06-27-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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06-27-2013, 03:46 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
Very nice post Chief. Going to take some time to digest it.

One minor nit:



Gadsby finished 2nd in Norris voting three times as a Ranger. Lost to Doug Harvey twice. He was at the top level of NHL defensemen during his time here, albeit only 7 total seasons. Neilson's voting record is pretty stellar too. Greschner, despite all those points, never really was considered among the better defensemen of his time -- and voters considered both sides of the puck in this era.

If Greschner is in, Seibert and Seiling are definitely out. I'm okay with that. Where do you have Greschner relative to Heller, Pratt, Gadsby and Neilson? Order is as important to me as inclusion.
Ditto

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06-27-2013, 04:46 PM
  #32
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In addition to what Chief said, and for what it's worth, when you think of the 1980s you think of Greschner. Being the best Ranger of a decade merits a spot in the top 10.

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06-27-2013, 04:58 PM
  #33
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I'm going to go ahead and throw something out there that I anticipate will be an unpopular opinion, but here it goes...

Rod Seiling is, for the most part, not getting enough credit. On my list he is pretty solidly ahead of Barry Beck, James Patrick, and Dave Maloney. And I don't really see any good reason or argument why that shouldn't be the case -- unless you far and away value a defenseman's offense more than their defense (which would possibly put Patrick above Seiling).

He has the longevity. He played with the Rangers for 10 full seasons and 644 games.

He has a SC finals appearance (1972). And two other deep playoff runs which both ended in very close series that went 7 games (1971 and 1974).

Among the players we are currently debating, he was quite possibly the most defensively sound of the group. Plus-minus wasn't tracked for his entire tenure with the Rangers, but for the seven seasons it was, he was a cumulative +208 (in 510 games). That equates to a +0.41 per game. Imagine what his total would be with 3 more seasons, even if at a slightly lower pace.

In the 10 full seasons he played with NYR, the team was consistently in the top of the league for least goals against for most of them (7 of 10). In the 10 seasons that surrounded his time with NYR (the 5 before and the 5 after), the team was in the bottom of the league for goals against for every single one of them. NYR's GAA with Seiling on the team was 2.80 during his career. In the 5 seasons before he was on the team and the 5 seasons after, NYR's GAA was 3.56. Now, obviously there are other factors contributing to these things; Giacomin's time overlapped with Seiling's and the team had an overall better roster. But while Giacomin's time with NYR overlapped with Seiling's -- it isn't exactly like the goalies the team had before and after his time were chumps (Jacques Plante, a prime Gump Worsley who went on to win a few cups after leaving the Rangers, and later, an emerging John Davidson). So I don't think it is a stretch to say Seiling played a pretty significant role in contributing to those defensive numbers.

He was far from an offensive defenseman, but even so his offensive #s aren't bad. 644 games played, 50 goals, 198 assists, for 248 points. That is an average of 0.39 points per game. Not bad for a defenseman.

--

I'll even throw down the hammer and ruffle a few feathers: I think a good argument could be made for Rod Seiling over Jim Neilson (and I loved Neilson). Sorry Chief (the player, and the poster, assuming you chose the name for him).

They played in the same time period on the same team and were on the same pairing for a big chunk of their time in NYR. Neilson, despite potentially having more fluid offensive skills, didn't put up more points on average than Seiling did. Seiling's points per game pace was 0.39. Neilson's was 0.36. And Neilson did that while padding those #s with a good amount more PP time than Seiling. Just 15 percent of Seiling's points (during the time this was tracked) were off the power play. Whereas 27 percent of Neilson's were.

Neilson absolutely played a more physical game than Seiling did. But defensively, Seiling was at least a bit ahead of him in my mind. Seiling was a true stay at home, finesse defender. In the time that it was tracked, Seiling was a +208 in 510 games. Neilson was a +146 in 484 games. Seiling was a +0.41 per game. Neilson was a +0.3 per game.

One of the only other things Neilson has that Seiling doesn't is the 2nd AST. And I'm not sure that's enough to sway me to his side.

Thoughts? If someone wants to go back and debate whether Seiling should even be ahead of Patrick/Beck/Maloney, I'd be happy to; but I figured I'd go straight ahead to the likely controversial opinion first.

--

Right now I have Greschner, Neilson, Seibert, and Seiling vying for my 9 and 10 spots. I originally was pretty high on Seibert at the beginning of this project - primarily because of the SC. But he has been falling recently. Not sure how I feel about him being so high on my list because of his short tenure with NYR - despite the SC he helped bring here.

Also wavering a bit on Heller and Pratt who I assumed would be locks for somewhere between 4 and 8 spots.


Last edited by Richter Scale: 06-27-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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06-27-2013, 05:04 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
In addition to what Chief said, and for what it's worth, when you think of the 1980s you think of Greschner. Being the best Ranger of a decade merits a spot in the top 10.
He was a bright light of hope on some pretty mediocre to bad teams. Being the best player on teams that were pretty bad doesn't say a lot. Not sure I would say it guarantees a top-10 spot.

I agree with a lot of what Chief said... but Gresch's defense is what kills it for me and drops him to the bottom of the top-10 at best, possibly just outside at worst. I can overlook poor defensive play in a defenseman like Leetch when they are just absolutely stellar offensively, played a huge role in winning the team a cup, and won two norris trophies. But Gresch didn't do those things; and while Gresch was certainly very good offensively, he never reached the level where it overshadowed his meh defensive play in my mind.

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06-27-2013, 05:24 PM
  #35
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Rightly or wrongly, I have been skeptical about Gadsby's assist totals as they seemed to increase while with the Rangers in comparison to the majority of the rest of his career. Was it the Rangers goal scorers inflating Gadsby's assist totals? Also, if I'm going to call a defenseman an offensive defenseman, then I want to see more goal-scoring. Gadsby's teams also never made the Finals, which is not entirely his fault, of course, but it's a factor for me. Now don't get me wrong, Gadsby's still comfortably in my Top 10.

I may be treating Gadsby unfairly but I'm not convinced that he deserves to be ahead of Greschner or Heller and Pratt - especially when tenure with the team is considered in Greschner and Heller's cases.

I never saw Neilson play but he leaves me unplussed. In researching him, it seemed like he was rarely the top defenseman on the Rangers and often times he was at least #3 on the depth chart. And I also have a problem with having various defensemen that were on the same team in this ranking (although I've done it with Heller, Pratt and Coulter).

Based on the top 10 I sent Crease for the first round of voting: my bottom five would be:
6) Heller
7) Greschner
8) Pratt
9) Gadsby
10) Seibert


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06-27-2013, 05:31 PM
  #36
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In addition to what Chief said, and for what it's worth, when you think of the 1980s you think of Greschner. Being the best Ranger of a decade merits a spot in the top 10.
Whoa!
Let's not .... do you REALLY think Gresch was our very best during that decade?

That's something we can get back to later as I don't want to take focus away from our immediate objective.

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06-27-2013, 05:35 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
He was a bright light of hope on some pretty mediocre to bad teams. Being the best player on teams that were pretty bad doesn't say a lot. Not sure I would say it guarantees a top-10 spot.
I would disagree as it's not like that's his only claim to fame. Greschner did hold the record for points by a defenseman for the franchise until Leetch came along and he didn't do it in an obscenely long career. His offense was impactful. Maybe you're still annoyed that it was Park's records he broke.


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06-27-2013, 05:39 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I'm going to go ahead and throw something out there that I anticipate will be an unpopular opinion, but here it goes...

Rod Seiling is, for the most part, not getting enough credit. On my list he is pretty solidly ahead of Barry Beck, James Patrick, and Dave Maloney. And I don't really see any good reason or argument why that shouldn't be the case -- unless you far and away value a defenseman's offense more than their defense (which would possibly put Patrick above Seiling).

He has the longevity. He played with the Rangers for 10 full seasons and 644 games.

He has a SC finals appearance (1972). And two other deep playoff runs which both ended in very close series that went 7 games (1971 and 1974).

Among the players we are currently debating, he was quite possibly the most defensively sound of the group. Plus-minus wasn't tracked for his entire tenure with the Rangers, but for the seven seasons it was, he was a cumulative +208 (in 510 games). That equates to a +0.41 per game. Imagine what his total would be with 3 more seasons, even if at a slightly lower pace.

In the 10 full seasons he played with NYR, the team was consistently in the top of the league for least goals against for most of them (7 of 10). In the 10 seasons that surrounded his time with NYR (the 5 before and the 5 after), the team was in the bottom of the league for goals against for every single one of them. NYR's GAA with Seiling on the team was 2.80 during his career. In the 5 seasons before he was on the team and the 5 seasons after, NYR's GAA was 3.56. Now, obviously there are other factors contributing to these things; Giacomin's time overlapped with Seiling's and the team had an overall better roster. But while Giacomin's time with NYR overlapped with Seiling's -- it isn't exactly like the goalies the team had before and after his time were chumps (Jacques Plante, a prime Gump Worsley who went on to win a few cups after leaving the Rangers, and later, an emerging John Davidson). So I don't think it is a stretch to say Seiling played a pretty significant role in contributing to those defensive numbers.

He was far from an offensive defenseman, but even so his offensive #s aren't bad. 644 games played, 50 goals, 198 assists, for 248 points. That is an average of 0.39 points per game. Not bad for a defenseman.

--

I'll even throw down the hammer and ruffle a few feathers: I think a good argument could be made for Rod Seiling over Jim Neilson (and I loved Neilson). Sorry Chief (the player, and the poster, assuming you chose the name for him).

They played in the same time period on the same team and were on the same pairing for a big chunk of their time in NYR. Neilson, despite potentially having more fluid offensive skills, didn't put up more points on average than Seiling did. Seiling's points per game pace was 0.39. Neilson's was 0.36. And Neilson did that while padding those #s with a good amount more PP time than Seiling. Just 15 percent of Seiling's points (during the time this was tracked) were off the power play. Whereas 27 percent of Neilson's were.

Neilson absolutely played a more physical game than Seiling did. But defensively, Seiling was at least a bit ahead of him in my mind. Seiling was a true stay at home, finesse defender. In the time that it was tracked, Seiling was a +208 in 510 games. Neilson was a +146 in 484 games. Seiling was a +0.41 per game. Neilson was a +0.3 per game.

One of the only other things Neilson has that Seiling doesn't is the 2nd AST. And I'm not sure that's enough to sway me to his side.

Thoughts? If someone wants to go back and debate whether Seiling should even be ahead of Patrick/Beck/Maloney, I'd be happy to; but I figured I'd go straight ahead to the likely controversial opinion first.

--

Right now I have Greschner, Neilson, Seibert, and Seiling vying for my 9 and 10 spots. I originally was pretty high on Seibert at the beginning of this project - primarily because of the SC. But he has been falling recently. Not sure how I feel about him being so high on my list because of his short tenure with NYR - despite the SC he helped bring here.

Also wavering a bit on Heller and Pratt who I assumed would be locks for somewhere between 4 and 8 spots.
I'll give him a fresh look, but Seiling was IMO not an elite across the board defensive D.

He was, like Girardi, the league's best at stopping pucks.
We was superior at stick checking and finesse body checking.

He was not otherwise particularly strong.
He was not certain, let alone dominant, let alone exceptional as to taking the body. He could neutralize a HOF like Beliveau but get run over by a less talented freight train on a bad day.


However, in fairness, he was not called upon to do other things that guys like Park did exceptionally well. He was presumably asked to be complementary, and he was.

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06-27-2013, 05:42 PM
  #39
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However, in fairness, he was not called upon to do other things that guys like Park did exceptionally well. He was presumably asked to be complementary, and he was.
FWIW - If a coach thinks you can do more than just be complimentary, he's not going to ask you to just be complimentary.

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06-27-2013, 05:44 PM
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I would disagree but Greschner did hold the record for points by a defenseman for the franchise until Leetch came along and he didn't do it in an obscenely long career. His offense was impactful. Maybe you're still annoyed that it was Park's records he broke.
Would not be the case if that (*^*%((! Cat Francis had not made that stupid deal. Park likely would have remained a Ranger. Gresch would be 2nd pair, less minutes, less scoring, assuming equal-ish time with top lines.

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06-27-2013, 05:58 PM
  #41
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...and I would be remiss if I didn't thank Greschner for dating super-model Carol Alt in her prime and getting to see her sit with her legs crossed in the seats immediately behind one of the nets at every home game



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06-27-2013, 06:42 PM
  #42
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Whoa!
Let's not .... do you REALLY think Gresch was our very best during that decade?

That's something we can get back to later as I don't want to take focus away from our immediate objective.
Immediate objective aside, the 80's was a revolving door of mediocrity. Not saying Greschner was the most talented player who donned blue during that decade but who contributed more to the franchise from 80 to 89? Sandstrom? Beezer?

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06-28-2013, 06:58 AM
  #43
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Was Pratt ever really a top defenseman for the Rangers? He doesn't win any awards until he goes to Toronto, and it seems like he was overshadowed by Coulter.
Pratt's best years were with Toronto, yes.

His time with the Rangers overlapped with Coulter and Heller. The AST voting record played out like this:

1936-37: Heller (6), Coulter (8)
1937-38: Coulter (3)
1938-39: Coulter (3), Heller (7)
1939-40: Coulter (3), Heller (5), Pratt (7)
1940-41: Heller (4), Coulter (8)
1941-42: Coulter (8), Pratt (9), Heller (10)

The voting trend suggests that Heller was, for the most part, the "better" player.

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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I'll even throw down the hammer and ruffle a few feathers: I think a good argument could be made for Rod Seiling over Jim Neilson (and I loved Neilson). Sorry Chief (the player, and the poster, assuming you chose the name for him).

They played in the same time period on the same team and were on the same pairing for a big chunk of their time in NYR. Neilson, despite potentially having more fluid offensive skills, didn't put up more points on average than Seiling did. Seiling's points per game pace was 0.39. Neilson's was 0.36. And Neilson did that while padding those #s with a good amount more PP time than Seiling. Just 15 percent of Seiling's points (during the time this was tracked) were off the power play. Whereas 27 percent of Neilson's were.

Neilson absolutely played a more physical game than Seiling did. But defensively, Seiling was at least a bit ahead of him in my mind. Seiling was a true stay at home, finesse defender. In the time that it was tracked, Seiling was a +208 in 510 games. Neilson was a +146 in 484 games. Seiling was a +0.41 per game. Neilson was a +0.3 per game.

One of the only other things Neilson has that Seiling doesn't is the 2nd AST. And I'm not sure that's enough to sway me to his side.
Going by AST voting, Seiling only had two seasons where he was "better" than Neilson. Neilson had five seasons where he was "better" than Seiling, and a higher peak.

1966-67: Neilson (13)
1967-68: Neilson (4)
1968-69: Neilson (6)
1969-70: Neilson (6), Seiling (19)
1970-71: Neilson (9), Seiling (10)
1971-72: Seiling (9), Neilson (14)
1972-73: Seiling (7)

It could very well be the case that Seiling (and Pratt) played a style that wasn't conducive to getting AST votes, leaving them underrated in the history books. Ultimately it is hard to say.

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Also wavering a bit on Heller and Pratt who I assumed would be locks for somewhere between 4 and 8 spots.
Heller is firmly near the top of this round for me. Pratt, I'm having more trouble placing, especially because I'm trying to find room for Greschner and possibly Seibert. It's funny how different Vote 2 is for defensemen compared to centers. In the centers project, I sort of felt dirty putting some guys in my top 10. Here, someone deserving is going to be left out.

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06-28-2013, 08:51 AM
  #44
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I look at the votes for AST's and other awards in the early days of the NHL with a good amount of skepticism. Case in point: Coulter is 3rd in AST voting in 39-40. That season Pratt and Heller were a defensive pair and they were only on the ice for 17 goals against in 48 regular season games. That Ranger team gave up 77 goals against, which means that the other defensive pair of Coulter and Patrick were on the ice for 60 goals! I'm going to go out on a short limb and say that Heller and Pratt were better defensively than Coulter, that season. Heller and Pratt each provided more offense than Coulter - both in the regular season and the playoffs - in that 39-40 season. So how does Coulter finish ahead of Heller and Pratt in AST voting?

Pratt is lauded as a leader and winner, winning 15 Championships over 26 seasons in hockey (not all NHL, obviously). Guys who are that successful don't win that many Championships by having their teammates carry them.

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06-28-2013, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chief View Post
I look at the votes for AST's and other awards in the early days of the NHL with a good amount of skepticism. Case in point: Coulter is 3rd in AST voting in 39-40. That season Pratt and Heller were a defensive pair and they were only on the ice for 17 goals against in 48 regular season games. That Ranger team gave up 77 goals against, which means that the other defensive pair of Coulter and Patrick were on the ice for 60 goals! I'm going to go out on a short limb and say that Heller and Pratt were better defensively than Coulter, that season. Heller and Pratt each provided more offense than Coulter - both in the regular season and the playoffs - in that 39-40 season. So how does Coulter finish ahead of Heller and Pratt in AST voting?

Pratt is lauded as a leader and winner, winning 15 Championships over 26 seasons in hockey (not all NHL, obviously). Guys who are that successful don't win that many Championships by having their teammates carry them.
Interesting. Then you have Clint Smith, teammate on the 1940 team, saying Art was their best player. Though its not certain if he meant for the 39-40 season, or in general.

Maybe voters heavily weighed intangibles, like Coulter's captainship. Or they could just have been misinformed. It's a shame that the Rangers team awards didn't start until the late 50s. The team MVP award didn't start until 1941, so that doesn't help us either.

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06-28-2013, 12:11 PM
  #46
bernmeister
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Pre final:

6 Bill Gadsby
7 Ott Heller
8 Babe Pratt
9 Earl Seibert
10 Jim Neilson

11 Barry Beck
12 Ron Greschner


do not make the cut:
Dave Maloney
Rod Seiling
James Patrick

I am primarily guided by skill, and effort; some of these I didn't see play, so I could have some of that wrong, to some degree, but you guys have helped (thanks) posting w/solid detail/insights.


Last call for anyone to change my mind...

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06-28-2013, 12:34 PM
  #47
TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
I look at the votes for AST's and other awards in the early days of the NHL with a good amount of skepticism. Case in point: Coulter is 3rd in AST voting in 39-40. That season Pratt and Heller were a defensive pair and they were only on the ice for 17 goals against in 48 regular season games. That Ranger team gave up 77 goals against, which means that the other defensive pair of Coulter and Patrick were on the ice for 60 goals! I'm going to go out on a short limb and say that Heller and Pratt were better defensively than Coulter, that season. Heller and Pratt each provided more offense than Coulter - both in the regular season and the playoffs - in that 39-40 season. So how does Coulter finish ahead of Heller and Pratt in AST voting?

Pratt is lauded as a leader and winner, winning 15 Championships over 26 seasons in hockey (not all NHL, obviously). Guys who are that successful don't win that many Championships by having their teammates carry them.
I've found articles that indicate that at the very end of games, the Rangers were switch up the pairings and put Coulter with Heller, to form a super shut-down pair to close out a lead. Seems like those two were more highly thought of defensively than their partners.

I may or may not dig up links before you guys vote.

For what it's worth, the Patrick - Coulter, Pratt - Heller unit was considered one of the best defenses in the league defensively. Edit, no direct links to articles (getting lazy in my old age), but here's something I previously posted in the ATD:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think I can help a little bit with Ott Heller here, since I've been reading a lot about the late 30s Rangers, as I have several members of the team on mine.

Basically these were their defense pairings:

Muzz Patrick - Art Coulter
Babe Pratt - Ott Heller

When this group of 4 was together, it was considered the best group of shutdown defensemen in the league and the key to the continuing success of the Rangers after the Bread Line retired.

For the last shift of a game, the Rangers would put Ott Heller with Art Coulter to really shut things down, and this pair was considered especially difficult to score on.

My theory as to why Ott Heller received so little All-Star consideration? Eddie Shore owned one of the First-Team spots when this group was in their prime, and Earl Seibert was a permanent fixture on one of the other spots. So there were only 2 spots available for everyone else in the league. And when one of the nods went to a Ranger, it went to Art Coulter, as he was better than Heller.

Basically, Heller never had a shot at getting one of the four All-Star nods as the second best defenseman on his team in an extremely tough era for competition in general. I don't think it's necessarily a coincidence that Heller's one 2nd Team nod was the season after Coulter stopped getting his nods.

Not sure how this affects Heller vs. Neilson vs. Reise, but I think Heller had it particularly tough to get All-Star recognition during his prime.

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06-28-2013, 01:14 PM
  #48
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NHL Coaches Poll Results

TDMM brough up the NHL Coaches Poll in another thread. Hat tip to Canadiens Fan for posting these in HOH. The NHL Coaches Poll was disclosed in the Toronto Star in 1971, 1974, 1976, 1979 and 1984. I'm compiling the full results below, just for kicks. Winners are listed first. Runner-Ups in parenthesis. I bolded players who were Rangers at the time of the poll (note Seiling in 1974). Let me know if I missed any.

1971
Most Underrated Player - Dennis Hull
Best Shot - Bobby Hull (Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Yvan Cournoyer)
Hardest Shot - Bobby Hull (Bobby Orr)
Best Stickhandler - Phil Esposito (Bobby Orr)
Best Penalty Killer - Derek Sanderson (Dave Keon)
Best Skater - Bobby Orr (Dave Keon)
Best Checker - Norm Ullman, Dave Keon tie
Best Referee - Jon Ashley, Art Skov tie
Best on Faceoffs - Derek Sanderson (Stan Mikita)
Best Fighter - John Ferguson (Orland Kurtenbach)
Most Dangerous Near Goal - Phil Esposito
Best Coach - Scotty Bowman (Red Kelly)
Smartest Player - Bobby Orr (Phil Esposito, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau)
Best Bodychecker - Bob Baun, Bob Plager tie
Hardest Worker - Bobby Clarke (Jim Roberts)
Best Defensive Defenceman - Ted Harris, Al Arbour, Bobby Orr tie
Best Goalie - Jacques Plante (Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent, Ed Giacomin, Glenn Hall)
Best Young Player - Gilbert Perreault


1974
Most Underrated Player - Walt Tkachuk (Pit Martin)
Best Shot - Phil Esposito, Rick Martin tie (Bobby Orr, Mickey Redmond)
Hardest Shot - Dennis Hull (Mickey Redmond, Bobby Orr, Rick Martin)
Best Penalty Killer - Bobby Clarke, Walt Tkachuk, Craig Ramsey, Pete Mahovlich tie
Best Skater - Bobby Orr (Yvan Cournoyer)
Best Checker - Bobby Clarke (Jim Roberts, Ed Westfall)
Best Referee - Art Skov (Lloyd Gilmour, Andy Van Hellemond)
Best on Faceoffs - Stan Mikita (Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito)
Best Fighter - Dan Maloney (J. Bob Kelly, Garry Howatt, Dave Schultz, Bob Kelly)
Most Dangerous Near Goal - Phil Esposito (Rick Martin, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Schmautz, Jim Pappin)
Best Coach - Fred Shero, Billy Reay tie
Smartest Player - Stan Mikita (Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito)
Best Bodychecker - Barclay Plager (Bob Plager, Brian Glennie, Doug Jarrett)
Hardest Worker - Bobby Clarke (Walt Tkachuk, Chico Maki)
Best Defensive Defenceman - Bill White (Borje Salming, Jacques Laperriere, Rod Seiling, Dave Burrows)
Best Goalie - Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent tie (Dan Bouchard, Rogie Vachon)
Best Young Player - Gilbert Perreault (Tom Lysiak, Denis Potvin)
Best Playmaker - Stan Mikita (Syl Apps, Bobby Clarke, Bobby Orr, Jean Ratelle)
Most Improved Player - Dick Redmond, Dave Burrows tie (Norm Ullman)
Most Colorful Player - Eddie Shack (Gilbert Perreault, Yvan Cournoyer)
Best 1973-74 Rookie - Denis Potvin (Tom Lysiak, John Davidson, Borje Salming)
Most Valuable Player 1973-74 - Phil Esposito (Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Darryl Sittler)


1976
Most underrated: Curt Bennett
Best Shot: Rick Martin
Hardest Shot: Dennis Hull
Best Stickhandler: Stan Mikita
Best Penalty Killer: Bobby Clarke
Best Skater: Bobby Orr
Fastest Skater: Yvan Cournoyer
Best Checker: Bobby Clarke
Best Referee: Lloyd Gilmour
Best on Faceoffs: Bobby Clarke
Best Fighter: Dan Maloney
Most Dangerous in Goal Area: Rick Martin
Best Coach: Al Arbour
Smartest Player: Stan Mikita
Best Bodychecker: Hilliard Graves
Hardest Worker: Bobby Clarke
Best Defensive Defenceman: Larry Robinson
Best Goalie: Ken Dryden
Best Player under 23 years old: Pierre Larouche
Best Playmaker: Bobby Clarke
Most Improved: Walt McKechnie
Most Colourful: Gil Perreault
Best Rookie: Bryan Trottier
Most Valuable Player: Bobby Clarke
First Player You`d Choose Starting a Team From Scratch: Bobby Clarke


1979
Most Underrated Player - Bob MacMillian (Don Marcotte, Rick Middleton, Dave Taylor, Butch Goring)
Best Shot - Guy Lafleur (Mike Bossy, Lanny MacDonald)
Hardest Shot - Lanny MacDonald (Ian Turnbull, Reed Larson, Barry Beck, Denis Potvin)
Best Stickhandler - Guy Lafleur (Bryan Trottier, Gilbert Perreault)
Best Playmaker - Bryan Trottier (Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Borje Salming)
Best Penalty Killer - Bob Gainey (Craig Ramsey, Don Marcotte, Doug Jarvis)
Best Defensive Forward - Bob Gainey (Don Marcotte, Craig Ramsey)
Best Skater - Guy Lafleur (Borje Salming, Bob Gainey)
Fastest Skater - Guy Lafleur (Dan Labraaten)
Best Referee - John McCauley (Bruce Hood, Andy Van Hellemond)
Best Passer - Bryan Trottier (Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Borje Salming)
Best on Faceoffs - Bobby Clarke (Doug Jarvis, Stan Mikita)
Best Fighter - Stan Jonathan, Barry Beck tie (Willi Plett, Terry O'Reilly, Clark Gillies)
Most Dangerous Near Goal - Mike Bossy (Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur)
Best Coach - Don Cherry (Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour)
Smartest Player - Guy Lafleur (Bryan Trottier, Jean Ratelle, Bobby Clarke, Marcel Dionne)
Best Bodychecker - Denis Potvin (Dan Maloney, Bob Gainey, Terry O'Reilly)
Hardest Worker - Bobby Clarke (Terry O'Reilly)
Toughest Player - Terry O'Reilly (Dave Williams, Barry Beck, Stan Jonathan)
Most Improved Player - John Wensink (Bob MacMillian, Peter Lee, Guy Chouinard)
Most Colorful Player - Guy Lafleur (Terry O'Reilly, Borje Salming, Dave Williams)
Most Natural Ability - Guy Lafleur (Gilbert Perreault, Denis Potvin, Borje Salming)
Best Defensive Defenceman - Larry Robinson (Serge Savard, Borje Salming)
Best Goalie - Ken Dryden (Gerry Cheevers, Mike Palmateer)
Best Young Player - Mike Bossy (Bryan Trottier, Ryan Walter, Barry Beck)
Best Rookie - Ryan Walter (Bobby Smith, Wayne Babych, Glen Hanlon)
Most Valuable Player - Bryan Trottier (Guy Lafleur, Gerry Cheevers, Larry Robinson, Borje Salming)
Starting a team from scratch, First player chosen - Guy Lafleur (Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies)


1984
Most Underrated Player - Barry Pederson (Rick Middleton, Michel Goulet, John Ogrodnick)
Best Shot - Mike Bossy (Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Michel Goulet)
Hardest Shot - Reed Larson (Doug Wilson, Ray Bourque, Rick Vaive)
Best Skater - Paul Coffey (Denis Savard, Rick Middleton, Mike Gartner, Gilbert Perreault)
Fastest Skater - Glenn Anderson (Mike Gartner, Denis Savard)
Best Stickhandler - Wayne Gretzky (Rick Middleton, Denis Savard)
Best Playmaker - Wayne Gretzky
Best Passer - Wayne Gretzky (Barry Pederson, Peter Stastny)
Best Referee - Andy Van Hellemond (Bruce Hood, Kerry Fraser)
Best on Faceoffs - Bryan Trottier (Doug Jarvis, Barry Pederson, Bobby Clarke)
Best Fighter - Dave Semenko (Larry Playfair, Behn Wilson, Clark Gillies)
Most Dangerous Near Goal - Wayne Gretzky (Mike Bossy, Rick Middleton)
Best Coach - Bryan Murray (Al Arbour, Scotty Bowman)
Smartest Player - Wayne Gretzky (Peter Stastny, Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Rick Middleton, Jari Kurri)
Best Penalty Killer - Doug Jarvis (Rick Middleton, Wayne Gretzky)
Best Defensive Forward - Doug Jarvis (Craig Ramsey, Bob Gainey, Rick Middleton, Bryan Trottier, Jari Kurri)
Best Bodychecker - Scott Stevens (Denis Potvin, Dave Langevin, Bob Nystrom, Rod Langway, Stan Smyl)
Hardest Worker - John Tonelli (Bobby Clarke, Terry O'Reilly, Wayne Gretzky, Bryan Trottier, Brian Sutter)
Toughest Player - Brian Sutter (Scott Stevens, Dave Williams, Terry O'Reilly)
Most Improved Player - Tim Kerr (Reggie Lemelin, Scott Stevens)
Most Colorful Player - Wayne Gretzky (Denis Savard, Dave Williams)
Most Natural Ability - Wayne Gretzky (Kent Nilsson, Denis Savard, Rick Middleton, Paul Coffey)
Best Defensive Defenceman - Rod Langway (Mike Ramsay, Ken Morrow)
Best Goalie - Pete Peeters, Billy Smith, Tom Barrasso tie (Reggie Lemelin)
Best Young Player - Steve Yzerman (Tom Barrasso, Patrick Sundstrom, Brian Bellows, Phil Housley, Scott Stevens)
Best 1983-84 Rookie - Steve Yzerman (Tom Barrasso)
Most Valuable Player 1983-84 - Wayne Gretzky (Rod Langway, Rick Middleton)
Starting a team from Scratch, First player chosen - Wayne Gretzky

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06-28-2013, 04:38 PM
  #49
Chief
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I thought I'd share this which I found kind of interesting...not posting this to argue for or against anyone.

In 2000, the Manitoba Hockey Foundation recognized a century of hockey excellence in Manitoba, with its announcement of its Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame All-Star Teams - the “Best”.

1st All-Star Team
Goal - Terry Sawchuk
Defense - Babe Pratt, Jack Stewart
Forwards - Andy Bathgate, Bobby Clarke, Bill Mosienko
Coach - Dick Irvin

2nd All-Star Team
Goal - Chuck Gardiner
Defense - Ching Johnson, Ken Reardon
Forwards - Frank Fredrickson, Bryan Hextall, Reg Leach
Coach - Billy Reay

Player of the Century
Terry Sawchuk
Coach of the Century
Dick Irvin
Referee of the Century
Andy Van Hellemond

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06-28-2013, 04:50 PM
  #50
bernmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
I thought I'd share this which I found kind of interesting...not posting this to argue for or against anyone.

In 2000, the Manitoba Hockey Foundation recognized a century of hockey excellence in Manitoba, with its announcement of its Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame All-Star Teams - the “Best”.

1st All-Star Team
Goal - Terry Sawchuk
Defense - Babe Pratt, Jack Stewart
Forwards - Andy Bathgate, Bobby Clarke, Bill Mosienko
Coach - Dick Irvin

2nd All-Star Team
Goal - Chuck Gardiner
Defense - Ching Johnson, Ken Reardon
Forwards - Frank Fredrickson, Bryan Hextall, Reg Leach
Coach - Billy Reay

Player of the Century
Terry Sawchuk
Coach of the Century
Dick Irvin
Referee of the Century
Andy Van Hellemond

Thanks, but I think since this is region specific, doesn't argue for Pratt ahead of Heller, Gadsby, right?

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