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Tony Hand, British hockey's version of Gretzky?

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Old
05-29-2007, 08:29 AM
  #1
beowulf
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Tony Hand, British hockey's version of Gretzky?

Was messing around hockeydb and found this guy. Nice stats.

Tony Hand
Forward
Born Aug 15 1967 -- Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5.10 -- Weight 185

Selected by Edmonton Oilers round 12 #252 overall 1986 NHL Entry Draft

--- Regular Season --- ---- Playoffs ----
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1983-84 Murrayfield Racers BHL 30 52 43 95 28
1984-85 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 72 92 164 36
1985-86 Murrayfield Racers BHL 32 79 85 164 49 -- -- -- -- --
1986-87 Victoria Cougars WHL 3 4 4 8 0 -- -- -- -- --
1986-87 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 105 111 216 86
1987-88 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 81 111 192 54
1988-89 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 86 126 212 57
1989-90 Murrayfield Racers BHL 32 53 91 144 26
1990-91 Murrayfield Racers BHL 34 60 96 156 46
1991-92 Murrayfield Racers BHL 36 60 80 140 46
1992-93 Murrayfield Racers BHL 35 66 119 185 100
1993-94 Murrayfield Racers BHL 44 72 150 222 44
1994-95 Edinburgh Racers BHL 42 71 136 207 28
1995-96 Sheffield Steelers BHL 35 46 77 123 65
1996-97 Sheffield Steelers BISL 41 13 32 45 26
1997-98 Sheffield Steelers BISL 44 14 44 58 18
1998-99 Sheffield Steelers BISL 36 11 27 38 6
1999-00 Ayr Scottish Eagles BISL 40 8 35 43 52 7 0 4 4 0
2000-01 Ayr Scottish Eagles BISL 46 19 36 55 42 7 2 5 7 0
2001-02 Dundee Stars BNL 44 25 79 104 18 10 7 17 24 4
2002-03 Dundee Stars BNL 36 22 58 80 99
2003-04 Edinburgh Capitals BNL 36 21 63 84 38
2004-05 Belfast Giants EIHL 58 20 55 75 94
2005-06 Edinburgh Capitals EIHL 51 16 41 57 4
2006-07 Manchester Phoenix EIHL 57 18 58 76 80

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Old
05-29-2007, 10:33 AM
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GFF
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Indeed. He had a lot of good things said about him when he was drafted and attended the Oilers camp with the likes of Gretzky himself.

Unfortunately he got homesick and wasn't sure if the North American hockey way (with regards to lots of travelling) was for him.

Many people have said he could have played in the NHL. Guess we will never know now, but even at the age of 39 he is one of the standout players in the league.

Quote:
In his autobiography, Hand concedes that this (rejecting a contract to play in the WHL) was perhaps a mistake and that perhaps he should have re-negotiated the offer. In the foreword, (Glenn) Sather expressed his disappointment that "he didn't accept my deal because he could have advanced in North America. His progress would have been celebrated." Indeed, Sather also says "At the training camp I could see that he had a great ability to read the ice and he was the smartest player there other than Wayne Gretzky. he skated well: his intelligence on the ice stood out. he was a real prospect."


Last edited by GFF: 05-29-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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05-30-2007, 03:48 AM
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He is now the player/coach of Manchester Phoenix in the British Elite League. Undoubtedly the greatest British player ever

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05-30-2007, 04:40 AM
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Check out - http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sp...m?id=407772004

Some nice quotes and info on Tony. I have seen Tony play a few times - 1988 to 1995 period - and he defintely has the little something that many of the greats have. How well he would have done in the NHL we will never know.

There was another UK trained player drafted - Colin Shields - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/822484.stm

In Tony's book there is a great quote from Ed Courtenay who played with Tony for a while which puts Tony's skill level in perspective given the level of training, coaching and competition he experienced in the UK. I will try and post the quote if I can find the book.

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05-30-2007, 10:33 AM
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The stats are crazy like 105 goals in 35 games. Either he was so good or the league so bad but when you are average a hat trick every game it is pretty amazing.

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05-30-2007, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
Either he was so good or the league so bad
Until 1996, it was very much a case of both. After that he was still one of the best players in a very good league.

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Old
05-30-2007, 01:24 PM
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There are quite a lot of players from smaller countries who never made it to North America (or didn't want to go) even though they had the skill to succeed. A pity, because it could have done quite a lot for those countries in the hockey world. On the other hand, those countries would have lost something as well.

Still, it shows that pretty much every country developes high-end talents now and then. It's just a matter of finding them / getting them to come over / getting them into the spotlight.

Another one of those players is Germany's "player of the century" Erich Kühnhackl, though his stats - in a better league - aren't nearly as high as Hand's were:

http://www.eurohockey.net/players/sh...i?serial=25233

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05-31-2007, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svgster View Post
Check out - http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sp...m?id=407772004

Some nice quotes and info on Tony. I have seen Tony play a few times - 1988 to 1995 period - and he defintely has the little something that many of the greats have. How well he would have done in the NHL we will never know.

There was another UK trained player drafted - Colin Shields - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/822484.stm

In Tony's book there is a great quote from Ed Courtenay who played with Tony for a while which puts Tony's skill level in perspective given the level of training, coaching and competition he experienced in the UK. I will try and post the quote if I can find the book.

Amazing how different the sports writer describes the game when compared with those in North American. While reading the article it was almost like reading about soccer or cricket lol.

The second BBC article is even funnier as they say the NHL is "one" of the top leagues in the world...I always thought it was the top one but meh

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06-01-2007, 02:53 PM
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The french version is Philippe Bozon.
The guy went though the QMJHL (his best season was 59-52-111 in 65 games), then played some time in St Louis but didn't have much of an impact (40 pts in 140 games).
But he came back to Europe and dominated for a dozen years, winning many championships and scoring titles.
His best season in the french league, he finished with 45-38-83 in 36 games.
His best season in the swiss league was 44-38-82 in 40 games.
He retired in 2005 after a 21 year career with another 1 point per game season in the swiss league (which is a very competitive league).
He's the all time leading scorer for the french NT and he lead them to a quarter final appearence in the 92 Olympics and 95 WC.

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07-01-2007, 03:54 AM
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Oh Tony why oh why did you not accept the oilers offer!

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07-09-2007, 10:43 AM
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By far the best British coached talent. We've had a couple of guys move to North America and benefit from your coaching, Colin Shields was one a few years back and Ben O'Connor did it last year. Tom Duggan led Shattuck's Midget AAA team this year and will play college hockey in the US in 2 years time.

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07-16-2007, 09:00 AM
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Lol

The Britsh league must been real ****ing week to score 105 goals in 35 games

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07-19-2007, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey FAN8888 View Post
The Britsh league must been real ****ing week to score 105 goals in 35 games
Up untill 1990/1 season the British league only allowed 3 foriegn players per team, so that would normally consist of 1 import Defenceman and 2 import forwards, import slots for goalies were a luxury untill 1995 when the import restrictions were lifted and more foriegn players were allowed to play.

So as you can see most of the time he played against British goalies who wern't very good, and mostly self tought as hardly any good goalies came over untill the mid 90s and most of the time he against an inexperianced defence

That said he out scored nearly every Canadien import that came over here

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07-19-2007, 11:59 PM
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222 point in 44 games!!!

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07-20-2007, 01:03 PM
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1994-95 Edinburgh Racers BHL 42 71 136 207 28
1995-96 Sheffield Steelers BHL 35 46 77 123 65
1996-97 Sheffield Steelers BISL 41 13 32 45 26

Wow, that's a pretty sharp decline in production in a short period of time. What happened during these years?

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07-20-2007, 01:04 PM
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Have any of you ever heard of a guy named Darcy Cahil, he played in the BHL for a few years, and also put up some impressive numbers, the reason I ask is because he has been one of my coaches for the last few years. Here is a link to his hockey db page http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...y.php3?pid=776

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07-20-2007, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illogic View Post
1994-95 Edinburgh Racers BHL 42 71 136 207 28
1995-96 Sheffield Steelers BHL 35 46 77 123 65
1996-97 Sheffield Steelers BISL 41 13 32 45 26

Wow, that's a pretty sharp decline in production in a short period of time. What happened during these years?
The league improved in quality a lot. Basically to ECHL standard. Teams brought in a lot more imports, and professional coaches.

Under the 3 import system almost every team had 2 forwards, 1 defenceman. The defenceman averaged something up to 58 minutes per game (really, I'm not kidding). Suddenly teams had 1 great defenceman (at least), 3 or 4 other solid defencemen and two import goalies.

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07-20-2007, 04:59 PM
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illogic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
The league improved in quality a lot. Basically to ECHL standard. Teams brought in a lot more imports, and professional coaches.

Under the 3 import system almost every team had 2 forwards, 1 defenceman. The defenceman averaged something up to 58 minutes per game (really, I'm not kidding). Suddenly teams had 1 great defenceman (at least), 3 or 4 other solid defencemen and two import goalies.

Ahh I see, interesting. So the BHL is now pretty much the same talent level as the ECHL?

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07-20-2007, 05:07 PM
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The standard has declined since then, mainly because the clubs were bankrupting themselves. There's more of an emphasis on local talent now.

Having said that I haven't really followed the ECHL for a few years now, so I couldn't compare them.

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07-22-2007, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyplyr814 View Post
Have any of you ever heard of a guy named Darcy Cahil, he played in the BHL for a few years, and also put up some impressive numbers, the reason I ask is because he has been one of my coaches for the last few years. Here is a link to his hockey db page http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...y.php3?pid=776
Yeah he used to play for the team I supported Humberside Hawks in 1994/95 and 95/96

Usd to be a good stickhandler and useful scorer , has he still got his dodge perm Mullet haircut !

always used to skate with his mouth wide open, and was called Darcy Potato head (like the Mr Potato head off Toy story !)

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07-23-2007, 01:37 AM
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swisdan
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His best season in the swiss league was 44-38-82 in 40 games.
It must be a mistake. Bozon dont' have this stat.

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Old
07-25-2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
The second BBC article is even funnier as they say the NHL is "one" of the top leagues in the world...I always thought it was the top one but meh
Perhaps they were talking about all-sports combined?

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07-26-2007, 08:02 AM
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Top teams in the EIHL in Britain, would maybe, thats maybe be on par with the bottom teams in the ECHL. Thats because we are only allowed to sign 10 imports, the rest have to be British trained players, which is not a bad thing for our local lads. After all you only improve by playing, and not by warming the bench, the top players in our league, maybe earn, more here than they would at home. Its still a pretty good product to watch, after all its hockey,and you cant beat watching your own team.

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12-28-2007, 08:31 PM
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Granlund2Pulkkinen*
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He has 52 points in 35 games this season as a 40 year old... still pretty impressive

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12-29-2007, 04:13 AM
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Perhaps they were talking about all-sports combined?
The BBC and their audience is used to sports like football, rugby, tennis, cricket where there are lots of national leagues or competitions around the world pretty close in quality. From that perspective its unusual to come across American sport where the top league (the NHL) is so much better than any other.

And yes, Hand is still the top British player. This is his retirement year I think, but I hope he decides to keep going because he obviously still has the ability and the longer our young players have to learn from him, the better.

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