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The most complete, all around player of all-time

View Poll Results: The most complete, all around player of all-time
Bobby Orr 6 15.79%
Gordie Howe 28 73.68%
Mark Messier 0 0%
Bryan Trottier 1 2.63%
Jean Beliveau 2 5.26%
Stan Mikita 0 0%
still to come............. 0 0%
other 1 2.63%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-23-2013, 03:52 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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The most complete, all around player of all-time

So this isn't a post that will include Gretzky or Lemieux. In fact, it will have some names where you know for sure that they are NOT the greatest player of all-time. That isn't the question though, but who was the best "all around" player to ever play. Big difference. Who was that player that did everything right and did "everything" right as good or better than anyone else?

Gretzky and Lemieux were so far ahead offensively, but they fall behind defensively and in the physical department.

Who is the most rounded player that ever played?

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Old
10-23-2013, 05:25 PM
  #2
Sentinel
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I would say Fedorov, but you said "hitting," so I vote for Trottier.

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Old
10-23-2013, 06:00 PM
  #3
King Forsberg
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I'd say Bobby Clarke deserves a mention.

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Old
10-23-2013, 06:06 PM
  #4
Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Forsberg View Post
I'd say Bobby Clarke deserves a mention.
I thought of him as well. He falls a little short on goal scoring as opposed to the rest of them though. That was the deal breaker for me. But he is probably the next time I would have picked on this poll if I had more names.

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Old
10-23-2013, 06:12 PM
  #5
VanIslander
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Gordie Howe was top-5 in NHL scoring for 20 consecutive seasons and was heralded as the strongest physically, not to mention his defensive abilities, discipline and dominance whenever on the ice in all game situations, including significant penalty kill time. Throughout his career he was the fiercest on the ice but the most gentlemanly off the ice. He was the model of a hockey god.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Bowman
I pick Gordie as my #1 all-time player. He played the longest. He was the toughest player of his era. He was the best offensive player and defensively he was used in all situations. He could play center, right wing, and defense. He could shoot right and he could shoot left. If you could make a mold for a hockey player it would be him. I never thought there was another player close to him."
Quote:
“When I think about players, I consider three ingredients: the head, heart and the feet,” Bowman said. “Some players don’t have any of those, and some players have one or two. But Gordie had all three in high dimensions.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kram, Sports Illustrated, 1967
Despite an even temperament and a real distaste for combat, there is a part of Howe that is calculatingly and primitively savage. He is a punishing artist with a hockey stick, slashing, spearing, tripping and high-sticking his way to a comparative degree of solitude on the ice."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
In 1957, XXXX knocked Howe down with vicious intent. Howe had to be helped to the bench. 10 seasons later in 1967, XXXX(the same player) was playing for Oakland and was defending Howe on a one-on-one rush. Howe took a shot and the follow through of the stick caught XXXX in the throat. XXXX was down on the ice bleeding. Howe mercilessly stood over him and said "Now we're even."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Ronberg, Sports Illustrated, 1968
The aura of health is obvious even to those in the stands, but what they go to see is Howe the goal scorer, flicking his huge wrists with a silken strength, a mongoose quickness. Chicago's XXXXX is famous for a slap shot that has been timed at 118.3 mph. Howe's wrist shot—he doesn't waste time winding up—sizzles in at 114.2 mph. It is the game's most accurate shot, and Howe, the only truly ambidextrous NHL player, can score with equal facility from either side of his body. He uses a 21-ounce stick of Canadian ash with only a slight bend in the blade and an extremely stiff handle. "Give Gordie a stick with an ordinary handle," says Trainer Lefty Wilson, "and he'll break it like a toothpick. He is so strong that when he shoots, that handle bends like a banana."

"Nobody could take better care of himself than Gordie does," says Oakland's XXXXXXX, once a Red Wing roommate of Howe's. "He doesn't smoke, and he won't drink anything stronger than beer. He knows exactly what his body needs and he makes sure it gets it. For Gordie it's always the same: go to bed, get up for the team meeting at noon, eat at 2 o'clock, take a walk, then back to bed until time for the bus to the game."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Lindsay
There are many good players in this league, some truly great ones. In thirteen years, I’ve managed to play against all of them at one time or another. Why then do I pick Gordie as the top?

Well, let me put it this way. In my opinion, Gordie Howe just does things so much better than any other player. On offense, there are few who can come close to him, let alone surpass him. That big guy can do more things with a stick and puck than any man I’ve ever seen. And that shot of his! I’ll tell you, he gets that thing away faster than most people can blink their eyes.

He’s as great a playmaker as he is a scorer, and he’s the second highest scorer in hockey history. Defensively, he’s top too. With that long skating stride of his and his long reach, Gord’s a pretty hard man to get around. He can check with the best of them and his covers don’t score many goals, when he’s on the ice.

Just name me one other team which, like the Red Wings, uses its number one star to kill penalties. Our coach, Jimmy Skinner, often uses Gord in this role, because of his great defensive ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Howe didn't just survive, he was dominant - on the scoring lists, in battles in the corners, on game-winning goals and when the year-end awards were handed out. He was a big man, though by modern standards no behemoth, but what set him apart was his incredible strength.

Though other superstars could be deemed somewhat better scorers, tougher fighters or faster skaters, no player has approached Gordie Howe's sustained level of excellence. Incredibly, Gordie finished in the top 5 in NHL scoring for 20 straight seasons. To endure and excel, Howe needed a unique set of qualities, both physical and mental, and the foundations for his astonishing career were laid in him from an early age.
Here he is as a Bantam 14-year-old player:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
In his prime in the 1950s and 1960s he was routinely described by coaches as the smartest player, the finest passer, the best playmaker and the most unstoppable puck carrier in the game. XXXXX, an opponent of Howe back in the early days, understatedly remarked "Gordie plays a funny kind of game; he doesn't let anyone else touch the puck!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Skinner
“Y’know,” said Jimmy, “I can use the big guy anywhere. At center, on either wing or even on defense if need be. In fact, I believe that if I had to use him on defense, he’d be as good as any defenseman in time. But I’ll tell you the most remarkable thing of all about Gordie. Do you know that, as great and all as he is, Howe will come into the dressing room after he’s had a poor game, which isn’t often, and ask me what he was doing wrong out there. Imagine! Me trying to tell a player of Howe’s unquestioned ability what he’s doing wrong.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Allen
Gordie Howe has to be the greatest Detroit Red Wings player of all-time because he is the greatest NHL player of all-time.

There is ample testimony and evidence to support that verdict, starting with the fact that his nickname is Mr. Hockey. Going back to the 1940s, Howe’s name was synonymous with the Red Wings and the game of hockey. Undoubtedly many people in America in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s didn’t know pucks from polka dots, but they could have told you that Gordie Howe was the league’s best player.

Supporting evidence for how remarkable Howe was during his career:

- Won six Hart trophies and six Art Ross trophies.
- Suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling during the 1950-51 playoffs, and then won the NHL scoring championship in 1951-52.
- Registered 103 points in the season when he turned 40 years old.
- Played in 29 All-Star games in 32 seasons of professional hockey.
- Scored his last NHL goal at age 52, now an age when you can have an AARP membership.
- In 1959, Howe fought and defeated New York Rangers forward Lou Fontinato, who was considered the NHL’s top fighter. Howe won the Hart Trophy that season.
- In the 1960s, it was estimated that Howe’s wrist shot was well over 100 mph.
- In 26 NHL seasons, he played almost 97% of his games during his career. From 1961 to 1970, he missed only two games, even though he played a ruthlessly rough style of play.

Howe had special tricks and he used them all. He could shoot with either hand, and he would often switch just to confuse the goalie. He could bank pucks off Olympia Stadium boards and read the caroms like an expert pool player. Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall recalls that Howe would drive the net with his knee out to beat the defenseman, “and he could shoot with one hand if he needed to.”

He was always faster than he looked. “I watched a lot of good skaters try to catch him from behind and never do it,” Hall of Fame defenseman Bill Gadsby said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Arbour
“It is like a great golfer,” Arbour said. “They swing so nice and easy and they make it seem so simple. You try to duplicate that swing and it’s impossible. No one could do it like Mr. Hockey. No matter what it was, he could do it well, whether it was penalty killing, power play or making passes.”

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Old
10-23-2013, 06:49 PM
  #6
LoPan
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Yeah, I'd have to with Gordie all day on this one.

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10-23-2013, 07:12 PM
  #7
Evincar
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Howe followed closely by Messier.

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Old
10-23-2013, 08:08 PM
  #8
Wrath
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How about defensemen besides Orr? I feel like the likes of Harvey, Bourque, and Potvin in would be good contenders for this, at least arguably on messier's tier.

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10-23-2013, 08:12 PM
  #9
LeBlondeDemon10
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For me, its a tie between Howe and Orr. I voted for Howe though.

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10-23-2013, 09:41 PM
  #10
kmad
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Gordie Howe, but Clarke should be in the poll. His shortfall in goal scoring is far smaller than Beliveau's shortfall in toughness.

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Old
10-23-2013, 09:50 PM
  #11
TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Blazers View Post
Gordie Howe, but Clarke should be in the poll. His shortfall in goal scoring is far smaller than Beliveau's shortfall in toughness.
Beliveau was a pretty tough player, finished 3rd, 7th, and 8th in PIMS before toning it down. 90+ PIMs 3 times.

Clarke on the other hand only broke 30 goals 3 times, topping off at 37, playing his entire career post-expansion.

I don't see how one could possibly include Clarke in this poll, considering goal scoring is (obviously) an important part of hockey.

Anyway like others said, Gordie Howe is an easy choice here. I thought of Bobby Orr briefly, but then decided that durability makes someone "more complete."

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10-23-2013, 10:22 PM
  #12
kmad
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Can't imagine that with Beliveau's reputation as the ultimate gentleman that those penalties were a byproduct of his toughness.

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10-23-2013, 10:35 PM
  #13
Killion
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Best "All Round All Time"?... Red Kelly.

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10-23-2013, 10:36 PM
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Syckle78
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Between Howe and Orr for me. Howe obviously has the longevity. I just don't know how much to value that when considering how different Orr's career may have played out with modern medicine. Obviously Howe didn't either but he never needed like Orr did. I don't know, I have a hard time weighing how much staying around so long us luck vs. some sort of player ability. Meh, I can't choose between them.

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10-23-2013, 10:41 PM
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Syckle78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Best "All Round All Time"?... Red Kelly.
Question for ya if you don't mind. I know you are,well,seasoned and thus around to witness the entirety of Orr's career. Would you say his short career was to due injuries caused by his style of play. Or was it a sort if freak occurrence that lead to an original injury that snowballed?

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10-23-2013, 11:10 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syckle78 View Post
Question for ya if you don't mind. I know you are,well,seasoned and thus around to witness the entirety of Orr's career. Would you say his short career was to due injuries caused by his style of play. Or was it a sort if freak occurrence that lead to an original injury that snowballed?
It was just a perfect storm of several factors really but yes essentially, just the way he played the game. He was vulnerable to low hits and believe me, guys in the league knew it. He had a bad habit of sometimes skating with his head down, at other times trying to power his way through defenders who would adjust and hit him low. He was a left hand shot who led with his left knee but played on right defence so his left knee took all the punishment (something like 13-14 operations on it) when on offence. His right knee throughout his career virtually untouched. He actually got nailed in his rookie season by Marcel Pronovost (one of the greatest checkers to have ever played the game) into the boards, not an open ice hit per se' on that left knee & missed 9 games thereafter, never really fully recovering. Absent that hit, the start of his problems, the imagination just reels at the possibilities. Still though, the old wily vets like Pronovost wouldve figured him out, specifically targeting that lead left knee... cruel I know. But such is the life of a professional athlete.

Its a Jungle out there.

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10-23-2013, 11:40 PM
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Voted Beliveau...Howe should not even be allowed in this poll...

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10-23-2013, 11:47 PM
  #18
Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
Voted Beliveau...Howe should not even be allowed in this poll...
Dunno bout that Cf. Big Jean one of my All Time Favorites but for All Round as a Forward, be it Winger or Center, Im liking Henri Richard or Dave Keon who Id put neck & neck, maybe an edge to Henri. Smaller, more versatile, harder to catch, craftier type of players from that particular era. As I posted up-page though, Im going with Red Kelly. All Star Defenceman & Center / sometimes Winger.

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10-24-2013, 12:26 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Dunno bout that Cf. Big Jean one of my All Time Favorites but for All Round as a Forward, be it Winger or Center, Im liking Henri Richard or Dave Keon who Id put neck & neck, maybe an edge to Henri. Smaller, more versatile, harder to catch, craftier type of players from that particular era. As I posted up-page though, Im going with Red Kelly. All Star Defenceman & Center / sometimes Winger.
Could you elaborate on why you'd choose Kelly over, say, Potvin? The latter was the first D to come to my mind.

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10-24-2013, 12:27 AM
  #20
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Frankie "one eye" McGee IMO, played long time ago, but played defense and scored 14 goals in one game of the Stanley Cup, and was also the highest paid athlete in the world at his time.

63 goals in 22 playoff games.

figured i'd just throw him out there cause i didn't feel like saying fedorov

Edit: didn't realize this included hitting, but this makes an even stronger case for McGee who was one of the toughest guys to play against.

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10-24-2013, 12:49 AM
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Syckle78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
Voted Beliveau...Howe should not even be allowed in this poll...
Why should Howe not be allowed in this poll?

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10-24-2013, 12:51 AM
  #22
Bure All Day
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syckle78 View Post
Why should Howe not be allowed in this poll?
I think the poster is suggesting that it is too obvious Howe is the choice.

Similar to a thread "who is the best point-getter of all time" and including gretzky as a choice

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10-24-2013, 12:53 AM
  #23
Syckle78
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Thanks for the detailed answer,killion. Found the part about leading with the left knee rather interesting and have little doubt it would be targeted. You gotta figure targeting trouble areas is prevalent even today with the rather vague injury reports our out by teams.

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Old
10-24-2013, 12:53 AM
  #24
Ogie Goldthorpe
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Howe... although for peak only, Lindros.

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10-24-2013, 12:57 AM
  #25
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Howe... although for peak only, Lindros.
I'd take Larry Robinson over Lindros for peak.

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