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Team Canada 1972: Rebuild the "D"

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02-04-2014, 04:50 PM
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IMLACHnME
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Team Canada 1972: Rebuild the "D"

This thread was prompted by the one regarding the impact Bobby Orr might have had, and by the composition of Canada's defense for the coming Olympics.

Apparently, Canada's defense corps was put together with the intention of having an equal number of left- and right-hand d-men. What might Canada's blueline have looked like in 1972, if the folks then in charge had sought the same? If I recall correctly, Bill White was the only defenseman who shot right; not counting Jocelyn Guevremont who didn't play.

Do I need to list right-hand defensemen who were available?

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02-04-2014, 05:52 PM
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Aside from White and Guevremont, there weren't many top RH defencemen available at the time. Keith Magnuson was invited, but was told by the Hawks to use the summer to rehabilitate his knee.

What other options were there? Jim Mckenney? Jean Potvin? It's not realistic to see Sinden benching two of the LH regulars for them.

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02-04-2014, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Aside from White and Guevremont, there weren't many top RH defencemen available at the time. Keith Magnuson was invited, but was told by the Hawks to use the summer to rehabilitate his knee.

What other options were there? Jim Mckenney? Jean Potvin? It's not realistic to see Sinden benching two of the LH regulars for them.
Jim McKenny instead of Gary Bergman? McKenny was a younger d-man with better skating and puck-moving ability.

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02-04-2014, 06:05 PM
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Forget the right hand left hand. Non issue in 72. Top six D men

Orr
Park
Robinson
Lapointe
Tremblay
Stapleton

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02-04-2014, 06:11 PM
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RHS Defensemen

1972 choice of:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...y=games_played

Tim Horton and Terry Harper could have helped more than Don Awrey if their time was managed.

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02-04-2014, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck2010 View Post
Forget the right hand left hand. Non issue in 72. Top six D men

Orr
Park
Robinson
Lapointe
Tremblay
Stapleton
Robinson over Savard in 72? I did not see a 1972 Robinson play but I imagine he was pretty raw. Perhaps some of the older posters can comment on what Robinson was like in 72. In fact, I don't think he had played an NHL game yet when the Summit Series began.

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02-04-2014, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck2010 View Post
Forget the right hand left hand. Non issue in 72. Top six D men

Orr
Park
Robinson
Lapointe
Tremblay
Stapleton
Is that Robinson, Larry? I love him as much as the next guy, but I simply cannot agree that he was one of the "(t)op six D men" in the fall of 1972.

Orr and Tremblay may have been better than any of the right-handers then available, but neither one was on Team Canada.

The point of this thread is to determine what Team Canada's defense would have looked like if it was put together like the one which will be representing Canada at the Olympics.

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02-04-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
1972 choice of:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...y=games_played

Tim Horton and Terry Harper could have helped more than Don Awrey if their time was managed.
Terry Harper is one of the right-handers I had in mind as a replacement for one of the left-handers; Awrey for sure, Bergman possibly. I've already mentioned that I would have used McKenny, if I were determined to have right-handers.

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02-04-2014, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Robinson over Savard in 72? I did not see a 1972 Robinson play but I imagine he was pretty raw. Perhaps some of the older posters can comment on what Robinson was like in 72. In fact, I don't think he had played an NHL game yet when the Summit Series began.
If I recall correctly, Robinson had played a year in Halifax in 1971-72, and, in the fall of '72, was back in Halifax. He would be promoted about half way through the 1972-73 season.

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02-04-2014, 07:03 PM
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Larry Robinson

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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Robinson over Savard in 72? I did not see a 1972 Robinson play but I imagine he was pretty raw. Perhaps some of the older posters can comment on what Robinson was like in 72. In fact, I don't think he had played an NHL game yet when the Summit Series began.
Forward until his last season of junior, drafted as a project. Larry Robinson spent the 1971-72 season learning how to play defense in the AHL. Promoted to the NHL second half of the 1972-73 season.

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02-04-2014, 07:53 PM
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Who else have we got really? Noel Picard? Bob Murdoch? Jimmy Roberts? Darryl Maggs & Gary Doak were Rookies were they not in 71/72? I guess Jim McKenny. Once said "half the game is mental, the other half is being mental". Nicknamed Howie after his resemblance to Cowboy Howie Young. But Im not seeing him in a Team Canada jersey.... I am however seeing him as the Sports Anchor beside Gord Martineau at City TV in Toronto post career for many years. And that just never really jibed with me much either.

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02-04-2014, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
Is that Robinson, Larry? I love him as much as the next guy, but I simply cannot agree that he was one of the "(t)op six D men" in the fall of 1972.

Orr and Tremblay may have been better than any of the right-handers then available, but neither one was on Team Canada.

The point of this thread is to determine what Team Canada's defense would have looked like if it was put together like the one which will be representing Canada at the Olympics.

Apologies guys, I meant Serge Savard and listed Robinson. Savard was at the top of his game Robinson was just a green young buck, Savard for sure.

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02-04-2014, 09:12 PM
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Guy Lapointe had just two NHL seasons under his belt, not a single Norris vote so far, no way he was among the top six in Summer 1972. They didn't even pick him for Team Canada originally. Top six at that point: Orr, Park, Tremblay, Stapleton, White, Savard when healthy.

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02-05-2014, 08:38 AM
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Poor Bob

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Who else have we got really? Noel Picard? Bob Murdoch? Jimmy Roberts? Darryl Maggs & Gary Doak were Rookies were they not in 71/72? I guess Jim McKenny. Once said "half the game is mental, the other half is being mental". Nicknamed Howie after his resemblance to Cowboy Howie Young. But Im not seeing him in a Team Canada jersey.... I am however seeing him as the Sports Anchor beside Gord Martineau at City TV in Toronto post career for many years. And that just never really jibed with me much either.
I see that there's no love for Bob Woytowich here at the History of Hockey. Hope he doesn't visit this thread.

Gary Doak is a guy I would have considered, if I were determined to have right-handed defensemen. He had two partial seasons under his belt before the first expansion, and was something of a regular after that.

Both Bryan Watson and Ron Harris would be considerations, also. Both guys could have made the series unpleasant for the Soviets.

If I were determined, like Steve Yzerman and company, to have both right- and left-handed d-men on the 1972 team, I would add Jim McKenny and Terry Harper, and drop Gary Bergman and either Don Awrey or Rod Seiling. Then, at least I would have McKenny and Harper to go along with Bill White.

It's true that Harper was no spring chicken in the fall of 1972, but he was still younger than Bergman.

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02-05-2014, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Guy Lapointe had just two NHL seasons under his belt, not a single Norris vote so far, no way he was among the top six in Summer 1972. They didn't even pick him for Team Canada originally. Top six at that point: Orr, Park, Tremblay, Stapleton, White, Savard when healthy.
It's nice to see some appreciation of Bill White. After toiling for seven long years in the AHL, five of them with Eddie Shore's Springfield Indians, he finally got his shot at the NHL with the first expansion. In my opinion, during his three seasons with the Kings, he was the best in the West, Carol Vadnais' output in Oakland notwithstanding.

While I was never a fan of the Hawks, I did consider the pair of Pat Stapleton and White to be the best in the NHL.

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02-05-2014, 09:18 AM
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Does anyone know what was going on with Jacques Laperriere during this time?

He was only 31 in 1972.

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02-05-2014, 03:08 PM
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Does anyone know what was going on with Jacques Laperriere during this time?

He was only 31 in 1972.
Laperriere was invited and declined due to the birth of his child.

Craig Wallace

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02-05-2014, 04:29 PM
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One thing the 1972 did better than Yzerman and the braintrust for 2014 was not obsess over right hand and left hand shots. Maybe that wasn't intentional, but Bill White was the only defenseman that shot right. They seemed to have done well without that silly balance. As did the 1976 Canada Cup team (Orr, Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Potvin).

To be honest, other than J-C Tremblay there weren't any other big omissions on defense. Laperierre would have been there of course. But our defense was pretty good still. Orr being in there would have just enhanced it.

Orr-Park
Savard-Lapointe
Tremblay-Bergman
Stapleton-White

I really liked Bergman in that tournament and I wouldn't have replaced him.

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02-05-2014, 05:12 PM
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Odd Obsession

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
One thing the 1972 did better than Yzerman and the braintrust for 2014 was not obsess over right hand and left hand shots. Maybe that wasn't intentional, but Bill White was the only defenseman that shot right. They seemed to have done well without that silly balance. As did the 1976 Canada Cup team (Orr, Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Potvin).

To be honest, other than J-C Tremblay there weren't any other big omissions on defense. Laperierre would have been there of course. But our defense was pretty good still. Orr being in there would have just enhanced it.

Orr-Park
Savard-Lapointe
Tremblay-Bergman
Stapleton-White

I really liked Bergman in that tournament and I wouldn't have replaced him.
That odd obsession is precisely the point of this thread. There has always been an imbalance of many more, and better, defensemen who are left-handed. I wanted visitors to this thread to see how that obsession would have affected the blueline corps in 1972.

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02-05-2014, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
That odd obsession is precisely the point of this thread. There has always been an imbalance of many more, and better, defensemen who are left-handed. I wanted visitors to this thread to see how that obsession would have affected the blueline corps in 1972.
Ya. Then in Game 2 at Maple Leaf Gardens you also had Tony Esposito, a Full Right Goaltender who played a hybrid Butterfly in the net. Deeper. Team Canada got back to basics with a North-South physical game, 9 players who started & played in Game 1 were sat, including the GAG line featuring Ratelle. There is some very valid science & tactical advantage's to using Full Right's on the Blue Line and in the Crease, and like Defenseman, Full Right Goalies and good ones fairly rare. Canada won that game 4-1. The Soviets however did figure out Esposito to a certain degree, though arguably he did outplay Dryden over the series although he didnt get the start in Game 8.

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02-05-2014, 07:21 PM
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Laperriere was invited and declined due to the birth of his child.
More precisely, he originally accepted the invitation and pulled out at the last minute, with training camp already opening, after his wife had given birth to their daughter on August 9th. After conflicting reports it was revealed to be a premature birth, you can imagine the family not feeling very well, so that was the reason Laperrière didn't play.

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02-05-2014, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMLACHnME View Post
That odd obsession is precisely the point of this thread. There has always been an imbalance of many more, and better, defensemen who are left-handed. I wanted visitors to this thread to see how that obsession would have affected the blueline corps in 1972.
Someone mentioned Tim Horton earlier. Horton was at the twilight of his career but I get the feeling he would have been fine in 1972. He was always in incredible shape. But there just weren't many right hand shots on defense that were great at that time. In all honesty, the next great right handed shooting defenseman in the NHL would have been Al MacInnis and Chris Chelios. There was a big gap.

Either way, the defensive corps suffers if they go that route.

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02-08-2014, 08:54 PM
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Gary Bergman surprised a lot of people in that series with his play. As a Red Wing fan I was right on with that. Don't think Gary had a very high opinion of the Soviets lol.

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02-08-2014, 08:58 PM
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Bobby Orr was a left handed shot who always played the right side, and I don't think you move Orr out of his comfort zone

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02-08-2014, 09:21 PM
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Gary Bergman surprised a lot of people in that series with his play. As a Red Wing fan I was right on with that. Don't think Gary had a very high opinion of the Soviets lol.
Ya, quite an interesting life, player was Bergie. Led his Winnipeg Junior club to the Memorial Cup back in the day, and was actually a bit of a rushing defenceman, great wheels, notching some serious points. Was Montreal property late 50's through early 60's when they were riding high so he was down the depth charts in the minors for 4yrs. Detroit grabbed him in the intra-league Draft & he stuck.

Funny story about how in the summer of 1970 he's at home doing whatever, door bell rings, its Ned Harkness, new Coach of the Wings just dropping by unannounced & uninvited. Comes in to talk hockey, proceeds to rearrange all of the furniture in the Bergmans living room in illustrating how he plans to Coach. That chair a Winger, the couch a Defenceman & so on and the Mrs. there having kinipshin fits. House ripped apart.

Bergman said in later years he "knew we were in a lot of trouble that afternoon". Harkness of course the first College Coach to be hired after successes at RPI & Cornell, though why Bruce Norris ever fired Bill Gadsby earlier no idea. Gadsby said there was a large glass of scotch in front of Norris when it went down, no surprise there of course. Detroit didnt recover from the Darkness that was Harkness for over a decade, ownership change, Yzermans arrival.

Gary Bergmans selection to Team Canada was certainly surprising and he did exceed expectations considerably according to Sinden. Picked because he was reliable, steady, a character guy. Didnt go looking for trouble but didnt back away from it either. Dont know exactly what Mikhailov was thinking or doing, but it was he that kicked Gary Bergman quite deliberately with his skate cutting him open. Very nasty. Mikhailov was in many ways the leader of that team much as Esposito was to Canada, just a lot less flamboyant than Phil.

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