One factor that carries weight with me is when a Rangers player sets a Rangers record. Doing something that hasn’t been done before in the history of the franchise, like having the most goals, assists or points whether in a season or a Ranger career, is a major accomplishment and I think those players deserve the recognition. It's like when people give the edge to a player who helped win a Cup over a player who didn't - the accomplishment is indisputable. That’s why Rod Gilbert is in my Top 3 with his Ranger-leading career point total. It’s also why I have Graves and Jagr rated higher than most seem to. I had Graves at #4 and Jagr at #5 in my initial Top 20. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep them there but I think there are justifications for both - especially Graves.
I think it's easy to get caught up in the “class act” and “great character” stuff when it comes to Gravey - and he has all of those good qualities in spades - but I think sometimes, that stuff overshadows how great a player he was.
Did you know that among Ranger wingers:
Graves is the #2 leading goal scorer with 280 goals.
He is #5 in career points with 507.
He is #7 in career assists with 227.
Graves was very productive in the playoffs as well. He had 10 goals and 17 points in the 23 game Stanley Cup run. He also had 5 goals and 8 points in 10 games in 91-92; 8 points in 10 games in 94-95; and 7 goals in 10 games in 95-96.
He set the Ranger goal scoring record at 52, which was only broken by Jagr...but he wasn't a one-trick pony. He had 3 other seasons with over 30 goals and 4 others with over 20. Those seasons result in an average of 32 goals over 8 seasons. That's an impressive total.
And all the while Graves played a diligent defensive game, and a physical style, and he dropped the gloves when necessary, usually in defense of a teammate, and I can't remember anyone ever talking about Graves not putting in the effort.
#9 had 9 seasons where he was one of the best power forwards in the game. He might be the best power forward winger in Rangers history.
MAJOR NHL AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS WITH RANGERS
Masterton Trophy — 2000-01
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Community Service) — 1993-94
NHL Second All-Star Team — 1993-94
NHL All-Star Game — 1994
RANGERS TEAM AWARDS
Rangers MVP — 1992-93, 1993-94
Players` Player Award — 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1998-99
Boucher Trophy (Most Popular) — 1993-94
Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award — 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1998-99, 1999-00
Rangers Fan Club Ceil Saidel Award (Dedication) — 1994-95 (inaugural winner), 1995-96 (co-winner), 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01
Rangers Good Guy Award — 1992-93
"Crumb Bum" Award (Community Service) — 1992-93
RANGERS TEAM LEADER **Most goals — 1993-94, 1994-95, 1997-98 (tie), 1998-99 (I'll admit, I did not remember he led the team in goal-scoring that many times.)
Most playoff goals — 1996
I think Graves would have helped any team he was on in any era.
For what it's worth, this is point finishes on their teams. Basically, how important the player was to his team from a purely offensive standpoint:
2, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 17
2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 9
1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7
1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9
3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9
1, 1, 1
Dillon, Patrick and Bun Cook are easy to compare since their careers overlap significantly. It's harder to place Jagr, Graves and Hadfield.
I personally haven't talked much about Hadfield because I didn't see him in contention for the 5th spot on my ballot. I still don't. If the knock on Bun Cook was that he was the third best player on his teams, then what does that mean for Hadfield? Does his defense make up for it?
I have Dillon #5. I feel comfortable saying that I like Dillon over Bun Cook and Bun Cook over Lynn Patrick. The issue is where Jagr Graves and Hadfield all fit in. I anticipate Round 2 Vote 2 to be a very lively discussion because there are many ways to skin this cat.
I appreciate the additional info but when I look at wingers, I want to see goals (assists being more important for grading centers). I guess I'm old school. Anyway, those rankings would look different if ranking goals and not points. Graves would have 4 #1's in front of his name.