.... ya, perhaps huh? That wreck of a freight train skating style of his, described by someone as a "big wet lopping Golden Lab tearing across a field in a torrential downpour" seems about right from what I remember. Big, rangy, surprisingly fast & "dashing". No real "danger" per se' offensively but definitely "dangerous" if you had your back to him, in the corners, in front of or behind the net, pretty much anywhere. Shack was the type of guy who would probably during the National Anthems' while whoever is distracted & looking up at the flags fluttering skate over & deliver a hard right to the jaw of the object of his "affections". Wild Man. The Entertainer.
Watching Craig Redmond skate, I never understood how he couldn't make an impact at the NHL level.
Paul Lawless looked like he had everything required to be a front line NHL player...but he did nothing with it.
Jose Charbonneau...I never understood how he couldn't carve out a nice for himself as at LEAST a 3rd line guy. He had good wheels, could shoot the puck, wasn't afraid to get involved physically, but he was nothing more than a fringe NHL'er.
Al Iafrate...he should have been a legit star.
Gary Nylund. Tough kid, who came into the league expected to be able to play at both ends of the rink, but was barely more than a glorified tough guy. He should have had a much better career. Maybe another guy ruined by a Leafs organization that rushed their young d-men too often (Nylund, Benning, Iafrate...and didn't Luke Richardson struggle in TO for awhile?) back then. They probably did the same to the forwards too though, but to a lesser degree.
Speaking of which, didn't Craig Redmond tell the Leafs he was going to refuse to report if they drafted him? He was Eric Lindros before Eric Lindros. They both had meddlesome parent issues too I believe.
I think Al Iafrate was a "legit star" CIP. Human Highlight Reel. He could look and was "dangerous". Serious wheels & he could bury it.... when he was on his game. When he wasnt, looked like he was just out there for a lark or like he was suffering from manic depression which he may well have been doing. Bi-polar. But I wouldnt classify him in the same category with some here as "looking more dangerous on the ice than they were". This was guy had some serious talent & knew how to use it when the spirit moved him. Did he reach his full potential? No. Definitely not. In Toronto, the situation so dysfunctional, everything toxic, he like the rest of them that you mention in most cases as well never did really reach their potentials. It was as if in putting on a Leafs jersey, came with a built in chip on their shoulders. Russ Courtnall to me epitomizes that era. Looked really dangerous out there, but he couldnt close the deal. Fake out all 5 opponents leaving them gasping for air, then the goalie, but rather than burying it just keeps skating with the puck into the corners. Like he was playing his own game of Keepaway. No one ever told him he was supposed to try & score. Used to just drive me nuts watching that guy play... until he winds up in Montreal that is. For John Kordic.... and that guy was dangerous. If someone had ever really taken the time to work with him on his game beyond the fighting, couldve been a serious player.