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Rick Middleton or Rod Brind'Amour?

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Old
11-12-2011, 07:42 PM
  #1
kmad
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Rick Middleton or Rod Brind'Amour?

Better all-time player?

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11-12-2011, 08:31 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Middleton IMO an excellent 2 way winger with better scoring instincts and offensive ability than Rod.

The chemistry with Rick and Barry Pederson was 2nd only to Wayne and Juri at the time.

One can only wonder at his legacy and the Bruins fortunes but for that tumor.

I know the Bruins got Neely for a post surgery Pederson but they would have been in much better shape with a healthy Pederson and the 1-2 punch he had with Rick.

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11-13-2011, 09:24 AM
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Midnight Oil
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I'd take Rod Brind'Amour. Very underrated player.

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11-13-2011, 07:08 PM
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Big Phil
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Not sure why anyone would take BrindAmour and I would love to hear the justification for it. Look, I loved Rod when he played. He was a quiet and efficient player. But as time has gone by he has fallen into the Joe Nieuwendyk syndrome. He has become a player who has seemingly gotten better since his retirement. We saw the mistake being made to induct Nieuwendyk (thank you media) but Rod is a guy who gets overrated too.

The answer for me is Middleton. He was better offensively, at least as good defensively, better goal scorer, at least as good as a passer. Better overall game, more feared during his time, more revered during his time, has a playoff (1983) as good as even when BrindAmour won the Cup. Isn't any worse in the playoffs than BrindAmour.

Lastly, is a guy many of us, including me, can make a good claim for being a legit HHOFer.

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11-13-2011, 07:24 PM
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Psycho Papa Joe
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Middleton. IMO one of the best players not in the HOF.

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11-13-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
The chemistry with Rick and Barry Pederson was 2nd only to Wayne and Juri at the time.
I think I'd put Trots/Bossy ahead of them as well, but you're right, they did have great chemistry.

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11-13-2011, 08:08 PM
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I’m not a huge Brind’Amour fan but in this case I’d certainly say he had the better career.

Perception will be that Middleton was better offensively, but when you look at their 6 best offensive seasons (a timeframe that favours Middleton who only had 6 quality seasons) the edge is clearly in favour of Brind’Amour:

Middleton
83
79
77
77
73
68

Brind’Amour
88
85
84
84
83
69

And then of course you have longevity of excellence – Middleton was a top player for 6 years, Brind’Amour was a top player for 12-14 over a stretch of 16 years. Much higher career value for Brind’Amour.

And Brind’Amour captained a Cup champion which Middleton obviously did not.

In terms of peak value they’re quite similar and you could make an argument for Middleton, but when you look at their careers as a whole, Brind’Amour is easily superior.

Middleton defines ‘Hall of Very Good’ to me – no awards, one 2nd team All-Star nod, no Cups, didn’t clear 1000 points in a hugely favourable era, didn’t finish higher than 10th in league scoring. Nice player … not a great one. Not that Brind’Amour is either.

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Old
11-13-2011, 08:39 PM
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I'm leaning towards Rod. Middleton is clearly the better goal scorer, but I think Brind'Amour gets edge defensively (even if I think he's slightly overrated). Also, Rod was a very good faceoff guy, which may be cheating since Middleton was a winger, but I'm still counting it.


Last edited by blogofmike: 11-13-2011 at 08:40 PM. Reason: remove quote
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Old
11-13-2011, 09:25 PM
  #9
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From what I've read and heard, Middleton was Bossy-esque before his injury.

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Old
11-14-2011, 12:29 AM
  #10
Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
I think I'd put Trots/Bossy ahead of them as well, but you're right, they did have great chemistry.
Definitely and I was going off the top of my head and had Bossy being injured earlier, which he was not.

A lot of people in Vancouver hated the Pederson-Neely move as most had forgotten how good Pederson looked in his 1st game in Vancouver and looked like a future star.

Unfortunately he was never the same after surgery and the Canucks never really had anyone who could play with Pederson either.

The Bruins really had some terrible luck with medical problems in the early 80's.

as Phil notes there is a strong case for Middleton for the HHOF.

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11-14-2011, 05:37 AM
  #11
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I also feel that Brindamour gets hurt for playing in the dead puck era on a team with no premier talent in the Hurricanes.

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11-14-2011, 07:56 AM
  #12
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For me, being a prejudiced Bruins fan, Middleton's career is quite similiar to Bill Barber and Lanny Mcdonald.

Same basic eras, peaks (except for McDonald's 66 goal season), and career numbers.

In his prime, Middleton was by far the most dangerous goal scorer that Boston dressed, killed penalties, had great hockey smarts, and despite not being Cournoyer on skates, was one of the most dazzling one on one players of his era.

Lacking that shiny ring must carry huge weight.

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11-14-2011, 11:32 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
I think I'd put Trots/Bossy ahead of them as well, but you're right, they did have great chemistry.
Yea but the Stastnys beat them all.

Peter Stastny was second league scorer all throughout the 80s after Gretzky.

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11-14-2011, 04:35 PM
  #14
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Jtown View Post
I also feel that Brindamour gets hurt for playing in the dead puck era on a team with no premier talent in the Hurricanes.
BrindAmour played on the Flyers up until 2000. Lots and lots of talent there in the 1990s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
Perception will be that Middleton was better offensively, but when you look at their 6 best offensive seasons (a timeframe that favours Middleton who only had 6 quality seasons) the edge is clearly in favour of Brind’Amour:

Middleton
83
79
77
77
73
68

Brind’Amour
88
85
84
84
83
69

And then of course you have longevity of excellence – Middleton was a top player for 6 years, Brind’Amour was a top player for 12-14 over a stretch of 16 years. Much higher career value for Brind’Amour.
How was he a top player for 16 years? BrindAmour had some low card years in the prime of his career with some shoddy point totals. He was virtually never a great player the last 10 years of his career. He had the blip in 2006 which helps him in these debates, but he was far removed from an elite player. In fact, was he ever elite? We know Middleton was, but I really can't say BrindAmour was for sure.

BrindAmour was way below a point per game. I mean WAY below. 1184 points in 1484 games is not HHOF worth regardless of a dead puck era. He was also never a threat to win the Hart, not even close. Middleton finished 4th and 8th in his career.

BrindAmour finished 13th and 14th in scoring while Middleton cracked the top 10 twice.

His playoff portfolio is not any better than Middleton's.

Middleton finished top 10 in goals three times. BrindAmour - once.

Very little doubt who was the more offensive player.

Quote:
And Brind’Amour captained a Cup champion which Middleton obviously did not.
It would have to be the Andreychuk syndrome that would get BrindAmour into the Hall of Fame. That's his only shot. And that doesn't make it right either. We tend to inflate the legends of these players when one of them wins that elusive Cup at the end of their career. Look, I'm glad BrindAmour won it, I liked him as a player, but the Canes don't win it without Eric Staal and Cam Ward first and foremost. BrindAmour did a nice job that postseason, but you'd be rewarding him on sentiment if you let him in the HHOF.

Put it another way, there are a couple of times that Middleton would have been the Bruins best player if they won the Cup. 1979 and 1983 were years that the team went deep and he was the best Bruin. Should we penalize him just because his team fell short and the 2006 Canes (one of the worst teams to win the Cup) ended up winning? That shouldn't be the deal breaker there because BrindAmour was not the best Cane that spring.

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11-14-2011, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
How was he a top player for 16 years? BrindAmour had some low card years in the prime of his career with some shoddy point totals. He was virtually never a great player the last 10 years of his career. He had the blip in 2006 which helps him in these debates, but he was far removed from an elite player. In fact, was he ever elite? We know Middleton was, but I really can't say BrindAmour was for sure.
I said for 12-14 of 16 years. Probably 12. He had some down years but was a top-notch two-way center for a very long time.

And he was *clearly* an elite player from 2005-2007. These were the best two years of his career. He was arguably the best two-way center in the sport for those two seasons - scoring 80 points while winning back-to-back Selkes and captaining a team the the Cup.

How is finishing 10th in scoring with 83 adjusted points 'elite' but finishing 13th in scoring with 88 adjusted points while playing Selke-calibre defense 'not elite'?

To me, this is just nostalgia for an older player in Middleton over a recent guy, and being swayed by gaudy 1980s numbers that everyone was putting up at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
BrindAmour was way below a point per game. I mean WAY below. 1184 points in 1484 games is not HHOF worth regardless of a dead puck era. He was also never a threat to win the Hart, not even close. Middleton finished 4th and 8th in his career.

BrindAmour finished 13th and 14th in scoring while Middleton cracked the top 10 twice.

His playoff portfolio is not any better than Middleton's.

Middleton finished top 10 in goals three times. BrindAmour - once.

Very little doubt who was the more offensive player.
Using points/game to compare a 1980s player to a dead puck era player is ridiculous. In terms of adjusted points, Middleton is at 807 in 1005 games so he's well below a point/game too.

Middleton is slightly ahead of Brind'Amour in terms of peak scoring in terms of league placings, but slightly behind in terms of adjusted points. There is not much difference there, at all.

Aside from the fact that Brind'Amour maintained his level of play for much longer and was a much better defensive player.

And yes, Brind'Amour's playoff resume is better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
It would have to be the Andreychuk syndrome that would get BrindAmour into the Hall of Fame. That's his only shot. And that doesn't make it right either. We tend to inflate the legends of these players when one of them wins that elusive Cup at the end of their career. Look, I'm glad BrindAmour won it, I liked him as a player, but the Canes don't win it without Eric Staal and Cam Ward first and foremost. BrindAmour did a nice job that postseason, but you'd be rewarding him on sentiment if you let him in the HHOF.

Put it another way, there are a couple of times that Middleton would have been the Bruins best player if they won the Cup. 1979 and 1983 were years that the team went deep and he was the best Bruin. Should we penalize him just because his team fell short and the 2006 Canes (one of the worst teams to win the Cup) ended up winning? That shouldn't be the deal breaker there because BrindAmour was not the best Cane that spring.
Brind'Amour was miles better than Andreychuk and the roles they played on Cup winners weren't even comparable. And I'd definitely argue that Brind'Amour was the most important player on the 2006 Canes - he was the engine that made that team go, and was leading the team in icetime as a forward which is almost unheard-of.

And for the record, I'm not saying Brind'Amour should go into the HHOF - hell, I'm usually in the anti-Brind'Amour group when discussions of his career come up. But I'd definitely put him in there before Middleton, who simply doesn't belong at all.

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Old
11-14-2011, 06:17 PM
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Rick Middleton.

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11-14-2011, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
And he was *clearly* an elite player from 2005-2007. These were the best two years of his career. He was arguably the best two-way center in the sport for those two seasons - scoring 80 points while winning back-to-back Selkes and captaining a team the the Cup.
Perhaps. Staal finished 4th in Hart voting in 2006 with BrindAmour finishing 10th. In 2007 he wasn't even among the top 25. Is that elite? Maybe 2006 was somewhat of an elite year for him overall. But I don't see how it pushes him over the top in an otherwise "very good" career.

Quote:
How is finishing 10th in scoring with 83 adjusted points 'elite' but finishing 13th in scoring with 88 adjusted points while playing Selke-calibre defense 'not elite'?
Because I largely ignore "adjusted" stats. They are a flawed method. If you really want to see how a player was revered and compared to his peers during his playing days you see how he compared in the scoring races/hart races of his contemporaries. No doubt about it, Middleton beats him out there.

Plus you can almost call their defense a wash. I wouldn't be worried to have either one of them on my team in a tight game.


Quote:
Aside from the fact that Brind'Amour maintained his level of play for much longer and was a much better defensive player.
Middleton always got Selke votes and finished as high as 4th in a year where he scored 51 goals.

Quote:
And yes, Brind'Amour's playoff resume is better.
I don't think it is.

Middleton - 114 games 100 points = 0.87 PPG
BrindAmour - 159 games 111 points = 0.69 PPG

Both played in three Cup finals. Brindy won the only Cup.

Best playoff year between the two of them? 1983 for Middleton. Had more points in one series than BrindAmour did in the entire 2006 playoffs. Just saying.

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Old
11-14-2011, 09:06 PM
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There's not very many captains not in the Hall of Fame. Brind'Amour and Martin St. Louis will both be in the Hall of Fame because they're essentially pioneers of hockey in the South. He was also the real captain of those Flyers teams, Lindros just wore the C.

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11-14-2011, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Perhaps. Staal finished 4th in Hart voting in 2006 with BrindAmour finishing 10th. In 2007 he wasn't even among the top 25. Is that elite? Maybe 2006 was somewhat of an elite year for him overall. But I don't see how it pushes him over the top in an otherwise "very good" career.
A guy finishing top-15 in league scoring while winning the Selke is ‘elite’. Especially when you factor in his 2006 playoff performance.

Hart voting is notoriously haywire outside of the top few guys.

And I’m not saying it puts him ‘over the top’ – just that he’s better than Middleton … a guy with 0 Cups, 800 adjusted points, 1 post-season All-Star selection, and who plateaued at 10th in league scoring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Because I largely ignore "adjusted" stats. They are a flawed method. If you really want to see how a player was revered and compared to his peers during his playing days you see how he compared in the scoring races/hart races of his contemporaries. No doubt about it, Middleton beats him out there.
Sorry, but ignoring adjusted stats is ridiculous. For players post-1970, they’re by far the best method of statistical comparison and while not 100% perfect they’re pretty damned good.

And in any case, in terms of scoring races we’re talking a peak of 10th vs. a peak of 13th. Very limited difference, especially when factoring in Brind’Amour’s superior all-around game.

You’re also ignoring the fact that Brind’Amour’s peak was much, much longer. I don’t debate that their peak value could be considered a toss-up but when you look at the bigger picture Brind’Amour has to be rated ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Plus you can almost call their defense a wash. I wouldn't be worried to have either one of them on my team in a tight game.

Middleton always got Selke votes and finished as high as 4th in a year where he scored 51 goals.
Comparing the defensive play and Selke results of Brind’Amour and Middleton is like comparing Jere Lehtinen and Matt Cooke – a multiple Selke winner vs. a guy who was top-5 once.

Middleton was no slouch, but Brind’Amour was one of the best defensive forwards/faceoff guys in the league and should be considered easily superior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
I don't think it is.

Middleton - 114 games 100 points = 0.87 PPG
BrindAmour - 159 games 111 points = 0.69 PPG

Both played in three Cup finals. Brindy won the only Cup.

Best playoff year between the two of them? 1983 for Middleton. Had more points in one series than BrindAmour did in the entire 2006 playoffs. Just saying.
Again, era. Scoring 33 points in 17 games in 2006 was no longer possible. Middleton had that one brilliant year (especially the series against Buffalo where he had something like 20 points in 7 games) but other than that was pretty mediocre in the postseason.

And again, Brind’Amour did more things besides scoring. His playoffs in 1997 and 2006 were in the Conn Smythe realm (top 3 or 4 guys both years), something Middleton never approached.

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11-14-2011, 10:36 PM
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And again, Brind’Amour did more things besides scoring. His playoffs in 1997 and 2006 were in the Conn Smythe realm (top 3 or 4 guys both years), something Middleton never approached.
I still think he should have won the Smythe in 2006.

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11-15-2011, 05:22 AM
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Comparing the defensive play and Selke results of Brind’Amour and Middleton is like comparing Jere Lehtinen and Matt Cooke – a multiple Selke winner vs. a guy who was top-5 once.
In fairness, when Middleton was at his defensive peak, the Selke went to the best defensive forward. When Brind'Amour was at his defensive peak, it went to the scoring forward who played the best defense. I'd take their respective results in Selke voting with a grain of salt given the changing voting patterns since the late 70's/early 80's.

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11-15-2011, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Not sure why anyone would take BrindAmour and I would love to hear the justification for it. Look, I loved Rod when he played. He was a quiet and efficient player. But as time has gone by he has fallen into the Joe Nieuwendyk syndrome. He has become a player who has seemingly gotten better since his retirement. We saw the mistake being made to induct Nieuwendyk (thank you media) but Rod is a guy who gets overrated too.
Having seen it up close, Brind'Amour had a quality of being THE man on his team later in his career that Nieuwendyk (and Middleton for that matter) never really had. I perceive Nieuwendyk as a high-end support player, Conn Smythe be damned. Brind'Amour by the end of his career was the central figure on a very good team.

That said, I don't necessarily rank him over Middleton or Nieuwendyk for that reason. But I do think he's a slightly different animal based on what he became here in Raleigh. He was not that far away from iconic, franchise player status.

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11-15-2011, 02:11 PM
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Having seen it up close, Brind'Amour had a quality of being THE man on his team later in his career that Nieuwendyk (and Middleton for that matter) never really had. I perceive Nieuwendyk as a high-end support player, Conn Smythe be damned. Brind'Amour by the end of his career was the central figure on a very good team.

That said, I don't necessarily rank him over Middleton or Nieuwendyk for that reason. But I do think he's a slightly different animal based on what he became here in Raleigh. He was not that far away from iconic, franchise player status.
Where was I when Carolina was considered a "very good team". The proof is in the pudding here. In 2002 they somehow reach the final. The "man" on that team was Ron Francis, in the regular season and in the postseason. Maybe even Jeff O'Neill is ahead of BrindAmour at that time.

In 2006 they win the Cup. Staal is clearly their best player. Ward wins the Conn Smythe. Staal finishes 4th in Hart voting.

In 2009 Staal is again the man on Carolina - by far. BrindAmour is on a sharp decline by now.

That's it. These are the playoff years for BrindAmour in the back nine of his career. Saying he was the "man" on Carolina is like saying Rick Nash is "the man" in Columbus. Carolina has had really bad teams for a long time save for blip years that were out of the ordinary.

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Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
There's not very many captains not in the Hall of Fame. Brind'Amour and Martin St. Louis will both be in the Hall of Fame because they're essentially pioneers of hockey in the South. He was also the real captain of those Flyers teams, Lindros just wore the C.
If being a captain is what gets you into the HHOF then when does Kelly Buchberger expect a call? Unless you mean captains of a Cup winner. If so then when does Derian Hatcher expect a call?

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Sorry, but ignoring adjusted stats is ridiculous. For players post-1970, they’re by far the best method of statistical comparison and while not 100% perfect they’re pretty damned good.
The fool proof way of evaluating how a player performed vs. his peers is by seeing how they fared AGAINST their peers at the time. Who was more revered in their time, Middleton or BrindAmour? Hart voting, eyewitness accounts and scoring race finishes are a testament to this. Adjusted stats are flawed because it will constantly downgrade the player from a higher scoring era.


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You’re also ignoring the fact that Brind’Amour’s peak was much, much longer. I don’t debate that their peak value could be considered a toss-up but when you look at the bigger picture Brind’Amour has to be rated ahead.
Not sure how much "longer" it would have been. Maybe by a year or two and then the out of the blue 2006 season. But how high was their ceiling? Middleton clearly beats BrindAmour on that one. No one would pass up a prime Middleton for a prime BrindAmour.

Also, saying he "only" had one all-star selection at right wing needs to be used in context. Let's look at the intense competition of the right wing position from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s. Lafleur, Bossy and Kurri. Pretty tough competition.

Think about this for a second. We witnessed both players in their primes and both of them played for Canada at the major international tournaments. BrindAmour played in the 1996 World Cup and 1998 Olympics. Middleton played in the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cups. In the 1984 Canada Cup he had 8 points in 7 games and was Gretzky's right winger. Not Bossy. Not Anderson. Not Gartner. When was there a time when BrindAmour was revered high enough in either of his tournaments to be paired with the greatest player in the world?


Last edited by Big Phil: 11-15-2011 at 02:25 PM.
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Old
11-15-2011, 02:27 PM
  #25
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Another thing to take into consideration here. BrindAmour did not register a 1st or 2nd all-star selection at center. That's fine, neither did Peter Stastny. But that isn't the issue. He never got a single vote in his career. Not one. He wasn't even considered in one season among the top 5 or 10 players at his POSITION. Think about that for a second.

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