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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Gretzky, Orr, Howe or Lemieux- Who revolutionized the game the most?

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01-12-2014, 02:39 PM
  #76
MoreOrr
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If I just add my vote to the Orr list, it probably won't mean much.

But I also agree with those mentioning Roy, though I'd say it was more a goaltending trio: Roy, Hasek, and Brodeur.

Really, since the early years of watching hockey, the two elements that have changed the most are hockey strength at the defensive position and at the goalie position.

Since I'm including 3 goalies, perhaps 3 defensemen could be included as well: Orr, Park, and Robinson. Those were the ones who revolutionized how the position could have a strong effect on the outcome of the game.

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01-12-2014, 02:39 PM
  #77
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Out of Gretzky, Orr, Howe, and Lemieux, it's Orr, pretty easily.

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01-12-2014, 02:44 PM
  #78
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Patrick roy easily, changed the way the position was played and most of all made people realize how important goaltenders are when they were not seen as important as other positions when fighting for the cup. No other player made such an impact on tbe game besides bobby orr

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01-12-2014, 02:45 PM
  #79
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Orr easily. He changed the way that defence men played the game.

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01-12-2014, 02:48 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Without Geoffrion, there are no slapshots.
Without Mikita, there are no curves on sticks.

Are you serious? No one would have thought to slap the puck or figured out curves on sticks make it easier to shoot?

Do i need to remind you people were going out in space at that time? You really think people are that stupid?

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01-12-2014, 02:52 PM
  #81
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Orr and Gretzky gave a 100% every game, you can not say that about Mario, he floated many a night but did become a much better player after playing with Gretzky in the 87 Canada cup. Mario admits ,watching Gretzky prepare and how he approached big games made him a much better and all around player after that.

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01-12-2014, 02:55 PM
  #82
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Definitely Orr

Gretzky just opened more peoples eyes to the sport

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01-12-2014, 04:03 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnrefinedCrude View Post
wrong.

The current tight defensive systems we see from successful teams is a direct result of teams trying to counter the supreme skill of the dynasty era Oilers.

Although Orr opened the possibility of D-men breaking the mold and driving offense, very few players have been able to successfully emulate much of his game.

Though no one has had the relative difference in skill to their contemporaries that Gretz had, so no one can emulate his style (like no one can emulate Orr,) the game has been irrevocably altered by the reaction to his play.
Teams finding ways to neutralize high skill in response to Gretzky has shaped the whole direction of the league for over 2 decades now.
Except that those defensive systems existed long before Gretzky came into the league. The Maple Leafs were using the neutral zone trap heavily back in the 1960s for example: Long before Lemaire brought it to the Devils.

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01-12-2014, 04:24 PM
  #84
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I'd say it's Bobby Orr if I have to choose from those four.

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01-12-2014, 04:39 PM
  #85
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Orr...but Gretzky had the biggest impact on spreading the popularity of the game to different areas of the US

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01-12-2014, 05:01 PM
  #86
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I'm also going to add a write-in for Roy with some help from Allaire.

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01-12-2014, 05:08 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
I'm also going to add a write-in for Roy with some help from Allaire.
I couldn't go that way. Roy was not the first butterfly goalie. Espo and Roy's idol growing up, Dan Bouchard were butterflying long before Roy came along.

It wasn't Roy that revolutionized goaltending, it was the advancements in equipment that did.


Orr did more to revolutionize the game than anyone else.

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01-12-2014, 05:12 PM
  #88
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They changed rules because of The Great One, they expanded to places previously never thought of before as hockey markets because of The Great One, and his influence is still quite prevalent today.

Has to be The Great One.

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01-12-2014, 05:15 PM
  #89
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Orr wasn't the first rushing defenceman in the game. There were plenty in the early days of hockey (Shore, Cleghorn, Cameron, Boucher...). Like someone mentioned, he just made it popular again.

I'd also like to mention Frank Nighbor, the innovator of the poke-check.

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01-12-2014, 05:20 PM
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag68Sid87 View Post
They changed rules because of The Great One, they expanded to places previously never thought of before as hockey markets because of The Great One, and his influence is still quite prevalent today.

Has to be The Great One.
It was not the first time the NHL changed the rules because one team or player was grossly benefiting. Changing a penalty ending after the opposing team scored was made solely because of the Habs in the 50's routinely scoring 2 or 3 times per man advantage.

And there's a difference between revolutionizing the game and expanding the game. Gretzky was no doubt one of, if not the biggest contributors of the latter.

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01-12-2014, 05:50 PM
  #91
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Are we only counting players? Lester Patrick probably revolutionized hockey more than anyone as an executive.

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01-12-2014, 06:12 PM
  #92
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Boy, big Gordie sure isn't getting much love here.

Let me take a shot.

If you look at a "Top 10" list of most games/seasons played, everyone knows that Gordie is #1. Nothing revolutionary there.

But look at the 9 (kind of appropriate) who follow him. Messier, Francis, Recchi, Chelios, Andreychuk, Stevens, Murphy, Bourque, Lidstrom. All started their careers either AFTER Howe retired at the conclusion of the 79-80 season, or had just one season of overlap (eg, Messier in the WHA).

One might argue that Gordie,the 52 year old who played 32 years of pro hockey, ushered in the "age is just a number" era for skaters.
Rather revolutionary.

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01-12-2014, 06:17 PM
  #93
Kyle McMahon
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I wouldn't say any of those players "revolutionized" the game.

Orr re-introduced puck rushing for defenseman after the tactic had been largely dormant for 30-some years. But rushing defensemen were fairly common in the days before forward passing was fully allowed in 1930, Orr certainly didn't invent the strategy.

And I'd argue that Paul Coffey was really the only other defenseman of note after Orr that made rushing the puck to drive the offense the key component to his game. Sure you still see guys doing it today from time to time, but there's no defenseman who's made a prominent career out of it. Defensemen are more free to join a rush when they see fit today, which definitely wasn't the case in the Original Six NHL that Orr stepped into. If you give Orr the credit for that, that's probably the biggest change he brought about.

"Revolution" though? That implies a key change to a fundamental aspect of the game, and a permanent one. If half the defensemen in the league that came after Orr tried to play like him I think you could call it a revolutionary change, but in reality 90% of defensemen today still play with the similar minimal-offense approach of their predecessors.

To expand on the OP:

Mentioned forward passing above. I'm not sure if it was one man's idea or not, but whoever was the driving force behind legalizing forward passing in all three zones revolutionized the game more than anybody else.

Also, I believe it was Pittsburgh Pirates coach Odie Cleghorn that first made line changes on the fly. It's hard to imagine the game today where changes are only made after whistles, although at the time (late 1920's, star players still played the bulk of the minutes anyway) it probably wasn't seen as a major change. Mike Keenan was the first coach, or so I've been told, that utilized the short shift game, bringing it to Philadelphia in the mid 1980s. As in, regular shifts less than a minute long that are the standard today. Up until then, 2 minute shifts or longer were still the norm. By the early 90's that was pretty much unheard of. Cleghorn and Keenan deserve mention in here.

Frank and Lester Patrick introduced numerous innovations to the game in its formative years, perhaps most notably the playoff system (I think this was Frank's idea). I think that was in about 1915. Prior to that, the league champion was simply the first place team after the regular schedule.

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01-12-2014, 06:40 PM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Frank and Lester Patrick introduced numerous innovations to the game in its formative years, perhaps most notably the playoff system (I think this was Frank's idea). I think that was in about 1915. Prior to that, the league champion was simply the first place team after the regular schedule.
Yes, I would say the Patricks have had the greatest impact on the game of hockey overall. In 1911, both brothers went out west and created the PCHA, a rival league to the NHL. Some changes they implemented in their league were and that are still in use today were:

-Goalies were allowed to get down on their knees to make a save. Before this wasn't allowed at all.
-Inventor of the penalty shot, blue line
-Introduction of the forward pass concept
-Numbers were put on player's sweaters to easily identify players
-Crediting of assists

The HHOF website credits both brothers for 22 rule changes still in use today.

I've always thought that Lester Patrick could be inducted into the HHOF 3 times over.

Also, Lester Patrick was one of the first rushing defenceman in the game.

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01-12-2014, 08:12 PM
  #95
Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi Hendrix View Post
Yes, I would say the Patricks have had the greatest impact on the game of hockey overall. In 1911, both brothers went out west and created the PCHA, a rival league to the NHL. Some changes they implemented in their league were and that are still in use today were:

-Goalies were allowed to get down on their knees to make a save. Before this wasn't allowed at all.
-Inventor of the penalty shot, blue line
-Introduction of the forward pass concept
-Numbers were put on player's sweaters to easily identify players
-Crediting of assists

The HHOF website credits both brothers for 22 rule changes still in use today.

I've always thought that Lester Patrick could be inducted into the HHOF 3 times over.

Also, Lester Patrick was one of the first rushing defenceman in the game.
Wasn't aware that they were the guys who came up with that. That's the answer then as far as I'm concerned, if the OP's question is expanded to include anybody. Forward passing is probably the most fundamental change in the history of the game.

You could argue for goalie's being allowed to go down, although that was already happening, you just got penalized for it. And it seems like something that just naturally had to happen sooner or later as better shooting techniques developed. If goalie's weren't allowed to go down today every game would have 15 goals.

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01-12-2014, 08:24 PM
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Without Geoffrion, there are no slapshots.
Without Mikita, there are no curves on sticks.
Agree with you on Mikita & the curved sticks, an innovation stumbled upon entirely by accident however on the slapshot attribution to Boom Boom Geoffrion, not so much.... Cant find it but theres an article floating around somewhere, interview with Glenn Hall discussing the Slap Shot, who had the hardest, heaviest & fastest etc & when did he first encounter it. According to Hall, he first faced it in the minors prior to even playing in the NHL late 40's early 50's before Geoffrion was employing it at all. Also if you google "origin of the slap shot", you'll find several earlier attributions, the earliest Ive seen dating back to 1903 and the old Negro League on the East Coast. Mentioned in a Halifax newspaper that a player by the name of Edwin Martin of the Halifax Eurekas employed the use of the "slap shot".... Geoffrion & Andy Bathgate however certainly took it to a new level, Mikita & Hull into the stratospheres. Absolutely revolutionized the game. In the early 60's, like the Grand Slam Home Run of Hockey. Ballistic missile.

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01-12-2014, 08:36 PM
  #97
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I think this conversation is really between Orr and Gretzky. Howe was great, but was matched equally by Richard at times, outscored by Hull at times and out played by Beliveau/Mikita at times. His legacy is in his longevity, longevity of elite play and all around game. Lemieux was simply great but he did not turn the league on its head like Orr and Gretzky. And I can't really choose between the two. The only argument I might have for Orr is he did it from the blueline. Nobody has ever, past or present, matched Gretzky's vision or anticipation.

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01-13-2014, 04:41 PM
  #98
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Orr changed the game for sure the most out of those four. Agree with what someone else said, Roy could very well be #2 on a list like this because he popularized the butterfly style to what we know today.

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01-13-2014, 07:09 PM
  #99
Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Orr changed the game for sure the most out of those four. Agree with what someone else said, Roy could very well be #2 on a list like this because he popularized the butterfly style to what we know today.
As big a fan of Roy as I am, the following is dead accurate >>>>>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I couldn't go that way. Roy was not the first butterfly goalie. Espo and Roy's idol growing up, Dan Bouchard were butterflying long before Roy came along.

It wasn't Roy that revolutionized goaltending, it was the advancements in equipment that did.

Orr did more to revolutionize the game than anyone else.

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01-13-2014, 09:13 PM
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I couldn't go that way. Roy was not the first butterfly goalie. Espo and Roy's idol growing up, Dan Bouchard were butterflying long before Roy came along.

It wasn't Roy that revolutionized goaltending, it was the advancements in equipment that did.
Yep, agreed. Roy may have popularized the butterfly style. But his biggest impact might have been on the equipment front--trying out bigger pads, tweaking his gear to gain any advantage, wearing that ridiculously oversized jersey to catch pucks, working with Koho to create lighter pads, painting his pads to confuse shooters. It set off the goalie-equipment arms race of the '90s.

In terms of other players who revolutionized the game:

--Cam Neely more or less created the power forward style that was so popular in the '90s and '00s, and set a generation of GMs off looking for the next Neely. Although oddly enough that sort of player is pretty rare nowadays. I'd also give Clark Gillies some credit here.

--Grant Fuhr was very influential on the stickhandling front--he was the first goalie (I think) who would actually help push the play forward and get the attack started. Ron Hextall, too.

--Bill Barber arguably gets credit for making diving a part of hockey. For better or worse.


Last edited by Dissonance: 01-13-2014 at 11:10 PM.
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