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HOH Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time

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Old
02-21-2012, 09:10 PM
  #151
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by BenchBrawl View Post
What is the next position?

I think Center would be great , or RW.

When are we starting this? I suggest after the ATD winner has been announced.
Sometime during the summer

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02-21-2012, 09:21 PM
  #152
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Originally Posted by YeOldeRyaneClowe View Post
I got 100% on this quiz.

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03-01-2012, 01:31 AM
  #153
Gobo
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No Sergei Zubov?

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03-01-2012, 01:35 AM
  #154
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No Sergei Zubov?
Read the arguments for votes 11 and 12.

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03-01-2012, 06:27 AM
  #155
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would be cool to decide which position we are doing next , I'm anxious to participate in this thing this summer!

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04-09-2012, 05:22 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is the final list of the top defensemen from all of hockey history, as determined by the History of Hockey community at HFBoards:

NOTE: Please report any errors via PM to TheDevilMadeMe

Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time
RankNo.PlayerHeightWeightBornDiedCareerNationality
14Bobby Orr6'0"1991948 1966-1979Canada
22Doug Harvey5'11"190192419891947-1969Canada
377Raymond Bourque6'0"2191960 1979-2001Canada
42Eddie Shore5'11"194190219851924-1944Canada
55Nicklas Lidström6'2"1901970 1991-PresentSweden
65Denis Potvin6'0"2051953 1973-1988Canada
74Leonard "Red" Kelly6'0"1951927 1947-1967Canada
82Viacheslav Fetisov6'1"2151958 1974-1998Russia
919Larry Robinson6'3"2201951 1972-1992Canada
1024Chris Chelios6'1"1901962 1983-2010USA
1122Brad Park6'0"1901948 1968-1985Canada
127Francis "King" Clancy5'7"155190319861921-1937Canada
137Paul Coffey6'0"2001961 1980-2001Canada
143Pierre Pilote5'10"1781931 1955-1969Canada
156Sprague Cleghorn5'10"190189019561910-1928Canada
1617Earl Seibert6'2'198191119901931-1946Canada
177Tim Horton5'10'180193019741949-1974Canada
182Al MacInnis6'2"2041963 1981-2004Canada
194Scott Stevens6'2"2151964 1982-2004Canada
2044Chris Pronger6'6'2201974 1994-PresentCanada
214Bill Gadsby6'0'1801927 1946-1966Canada
2221Börje Salming6'1"1931951 1970-1993Sweden
232Brian Leetch6'0"1851968 1987-2006USA
245Aubrey "Dit" Clapper6'2"195190719781927-1947Canada
256Valeri Vasiliev5'11"1871949 1966-1984Russia
26-T2Mark Howe5'11"1851955 1973-1995USA
26-T11Bill Quackenbush5'11"190192219991942-1956Canada
2818Serge Savard6'3"2101946 1966-1983Canada
295Rod Langway6'3"2181957 1977-1993USA
308Eddie Gerard5'9"168189019371913-1923Canada
312Jack Stewart5'10"190191719831938-1952Canada
325Guy Lapointe6'0"2051948 1968-1984Canada
3327Scott Niedermayer6'1"1941973 1992-2010Canada
343Marcel Pronovost6'0"1901930 1950-1970Canada
35 Lionel Conacher6'2"195190119541925-1937Canada
36 William "Hod" Stuart6'0"190187919071902-1907Canada
373Ivan "Ching" Johnson5'11"210189819791926-1938Canada
382Jacques Laperrière6'2"1901941 1962-1974Canada
397Alexei Kasatonov6'1"2151959 1976–1997Russia
403Jean-Claude Tremblay5'11170193919941960-1979Canada
41 Ernest "Moose" Johnson5'11185189619631905-1931Canada
4233Zdeno Chára6'9"2551977 1998-PresentSlovakia
435Ebbie Goodfellow6'0"175190719851929-1943Canada
444Rob Blake6'4"2201969 1990-2010Canada
453Emile "Butch" Bouchard6'2"2051919 1941-1956Canada
462Carl Brewer5'9"180193820011958-1980Canada
471Albert "Babe" Siebert5'10"182190419391925-1939Canada
48 Georges "Buck" Boucher5'9169189619601915-1932Canada
4917Jan Suchý5'81691944 1963-1983Czech
5055Larry Murphy6'2"2101961 1980-2001Canada
5117Ken Reardon5'10"180192120081940-1950Canada
5210Tom Johnson6'0"180192820071950-1965Canada
53 Lester Patrick6'1"180188319601903-1927Canada
542Art Coulter5'11"185190920001932-1942Canada
5524Doug Wilson6'1"1871957 1977-1993Canada
562Sylvio Mantha5'10"178190219741923-1936Canada
57 Harry Cameron5'10"155189019531912-1926Canada
5860František Pospíšil6'0"1761944 1961-1978Czech
5926Allan Stanley6'1"1701926 1948-1969Canada
60 Harvey Pulford5'11"200187519401893-1908Canada

Links to all the discussion threads that went into making this list:
Round 2 Voting Results
Round 2, Vote 1 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 2 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 3 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 4 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 5 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 6 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 7 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 8 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 9 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 10 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 11 Discussion
Round 2, Vote 12 Discussion

Links to the preliminary discussion threads before voters submitted their lists:
Rules Discussion
Preliminary and General Discussion

Links that explain the creation of the aggregate list that formed the basis of discussion. This data was released at the end of the project:
Round 1 Voting Results (Aggregate List)
Round 1 Screening Process
Participant Survey

Listed here are the individual voting records of all participants:
BiLLY_ShOE1721
Canadiens1958
chaosrevolver
Dave G
Dennis Bonvie
Der Kaiser
Dreakmur
Epsilon
Hardyvan123
Hawkey Town 18
Hockey Outsider
intylerwetrust
JaysCyYoung
McNuts
MXD
overpass
pappyline
reckoning
seventieslord
tarheelhockey
TheDevilMadeMe
tony d
VanIslander
very sad to see that lidstrom still isnt top 3 and hes #2 imo

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05-04-2012, 08:54 AM
  #157
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I think Clapper is far too high. Essentially, he's got 3-4 excellent years as a defenseman, and that's it. I don't think he should be credited for his time at RW as a defenseman at all, simply because he didn't play the same way. He was much faster then, and I doubt he took care of his own zone the way he did as a defenseman. He was essentially a man of two careers. In an all time list, this definitely matters, but strictly from the point of view of him as a defenseman.. I think maybe he should be on the same level as a guy like Eddie Gerard, who had a similar peak as a defenseman.

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05-04-2012, 10:37 PM
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarek View Post
I think Clapper is far too high. Essentially, he's got 3-4 excellent years as a defenseman, and that's it. I don't think he should be credited for his time at RW as a defenseman at all, simply because he didn't play the same way. He was much faster then, and I doubt he took care of his own zone the way he did as a defenseman. He was essentially a man of two careers. In an all time list, this definitely matters, but strictly from the point of view of him as a defenseman.. I think maybe he should be on the same level as a guy like Eddie Gerard, who had a similar peak as a defenseman.
Clapper was 24th and Gerard was 30th which isn't that big of a spread really.

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05-05-2012, 04:30 AM
  #159
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Clapper was 24th and Gerard was 30th which isn't that big of a spread really.
You're right, but I think they should be closer together.. and I'm not convinced, at this point, that he's better than guys like Mark Howe, Bill Quackenbush, or even Valeri Vasiliev.

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05-05-2012, 07:44 AM
  #160
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The beauty of this project is that you can look back on the arguments in each round and see transparently where the rankings came from.

We discussed Clapper pretty intensely in the 4th vote and that thread sheds a lot of light on his placement.

My sense of the argument is that Clapper spent a handful of years as the consensus best defenseman in hockey, and few if any of the modern players ranked after him ever achieved that status. That, combined with his very high level of character and esteem, overcame questions over his longetivity and competition during the defenseman stage of his career.

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05-05-2012, 07:55 AM
  #161
Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarek View Post
I think Clapper is far too high. Essentially, he's got 3-4 excellent years as a defenseman, and that's it. I don't think he should be credited for his time at RW as a defenseman at all, simply because he didn't play the same way. He was much faster then, and I doubt he took care of his own zone the way he did as a defenseman. He was essentially a man of two careers. In an all time list, this definitely matters, but strictly from the point of view of him as a defenseman.. I think maybe he should be on the same level as a guy like Eddie Gerard, who had a similar peak as a defenseman.
"That's it" only because he didn't play the postion until the 2nd half of his career. Its not a stretch to think he may have had a few more excellent years at D if he wasn't busy being an all-star level winger.

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05-06-2012, 12:49 PM
  #162
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niklas lidström shoud be higher

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05-06-2012, 02:20 PM
  #163
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
"That's it" only because he didn't play the postion until the 2nd half of his career. Its not a stretch to think he may have had a few more excellent years at D if he wasn't busy being an all-star level winger.
I am unsure of how you guys rank things in these lists, but these "what-ifs" do not apply in ATDs. His legacy is what he did, not what he might have done. But, again, if you guys take these things into account for this list, that's fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The beauty of this project is that you can look back on the arguments in each round and see transparently where the rankings came from.

We discussed Clapper pretty intensely in the 4th vote and that thread sheds a lot of light on his placement.

My sense of the argument is that Clapper spent a handful of years as the consensus best defenseman in hockey, and few if any of the modern players ranked after him ever achieved that status. That, combined with his very high level of character and esteem, overcame questions over his longetivity and competition during the defenseman stage of his career.
So you think he peaked higher than Eddie Gerard? Honest question, I'm not sure, I don't know that much about Gerard. Basically, the only way you have him higher than Gerard is if you think his non-AST seasons at defense add something substantial to his resume, that he peaked higher than him, and you give some credit for his time at F (or some combination of the 3).

The problem I have with the latter is that Clapper was basically a man of two careers. He converted from a high scoring forward into one of the best defensive defensemen of his time, the only thing from his skillset at forward that really directly transferred to his time as a defenseman was his shot - he lost his speed, and he seemed to focus more on defense. This is basically a tale of two careers.. not unlike many players who extended their careers by accepting different roles.

I'm not really trying to judge the list or the research you guys did or anything like that, I'm just interested in this because I currently have Clapper in an ATD, and he's one of my favorite players as well.. I just do think he's somewhat overrated, based on my readings of him.

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05-06-2012, 02:40 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by jarek View Post
I am unsure of how you guys rank things in these lists, but these "what-ifs" do not apply in ATDs. His legacy is what he did, not what he might have done. But, again, if you guys take these things into account for this list, that's fine.

...

The problem I have with the latter is that Clapper was basically a man of two careers. He converted from a high scoring forward into one of the best defensive defensemen of his time, the only thing from his skillset at forward that really directly transferred to his time as a defenseman was his shot - he lost his speed, and he seemed to focus more on defense. This is basically a tale of two careers.. not unlike many players who extended their careers by accepting different roles.
I think that the positional lists give a more useful picture of who the greatest players in history were if each list is taken to mean "The Greatest players who we are classifying as (x-position)". If we were to debate who the 15th best player overall was, would you rather look at it as "well, it's between Guy Lafleur, the 4th best winger of all time, Stan Mikita, the 5th best centre, or Red Kelly, the 6th best defenseman", or have to bring in the fact that Kelly is "the 8th best defenseman, but hey wait, he's also the 35th best centre! that has to count for something!" Obviously, that's cutting a few corners, but what is a top 60, 70 list if not a product of aggregation?

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05-06-2012, 03:49 PM
  #165
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For Clapper, read the discussions for Votes 4 and 5.

Some of us didn't think it was right to pretend he had poor longevity when he was the first player in history to play in the NHL for 20 years. He was a defenseman in junior, converted to RW because that's what his team needed, then converted back to D, where he had 3 of his 4 best seasons (and some other good ones)

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05-10-2012, 12:51 AM
  #166
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Bobby Orr and Eddie Shore tribute song link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkfJh6s3wGY

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05-10-2012, 02:02 AM
  #167
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarek View Post
I am unsure of how you guys rank things in these lists, but these "what-ifs" do not apply in ATDs. His legacy is what he did, not what he might have done. But, again, if you guys take these things into account for this list, that's fine.



So you think he peaked higher than Eddie Gerard? Honest question, I'm not sure, I don't know that much about Gerard. Basically, the only way you have him higher than Gerard is if you think his non-AST seasons at defense add something substantial to his resume, that he peaked higher than him, and you give some credit for his time at F (or some combination of the 3).

The problem I have with the latter is that Clapper was basically a man of two careers. He converted from a high scoring forward into one of the best defensive defensemen of his time, the only thing from his skillset at forward that really directly transferred to his time as a defenseman was his shot - he lost his speed, and he seemed to focus more on defense. This is basically a tale of two careers.. not unlike many players who extended their careers by accepting different roles.
Well, you're preaching to the choir a bit on this one -- I made much the same argument when he was up for voting. Taking my Round 4, Round 5 and Round 6 votes together, I effectively had the following:

Quackenbush
Gerard
Lapointe
Clapper

The primary reason for my low ranking of Clapper being his lack of tenure at the position. I think his ranking on the list already accounts for at least a substantial minority of voters feeling that way about his career split. In the round that he made the list, 5 of 20 voters would have held him another round... 2 didn't even have him top-10. So there was some substantial support behind him in order to make the list at that stage. To that point, only Sprague Cleghorn had made the list with such a diversity of voter rankings.

All that said, being arugably the best dman in the world is quite an accomplishment, even if it's only for a little while. If you look at him from a more-inclusive point of view regarding the career split, it's not hard to see why he'd be ranked in the same round as Gadsby and Leetch.

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06-14-2012, 12:27 AM
  #168
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Bill White should have been #60 instead of Harvey Pulford.

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06-14-2012, 07:39 AM
  #169
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Bill White should have been #60 instead of Harvey Pulford.
I made an extensive case of why White should not have been in the top 60, especially if a guy like Zubov didn't make it.

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06-14-2012, 07:54 AM
  #170
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Bill White should have been #60 instead of Harvey Pulford.
Why do you feel Bill White was better than Pat Stapleton?

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06-14-2012, 10:01 AM
  #171
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Why do you feel Bill White was better than Pat Stapleton?
from the 2nd last round of discussion:
my concern with Stapleton is, was he even the most valuable player on his pairing while in Chicago? Bill White must have just missed being added to the discussion for this round, because IIRC the two were separated by one spot on a good number of lists, including my own.

From 1968 to 1973, Bill White finished ahead of Stapleton in all-star voting four of six times, despite clearly contributing less offensively. (and, as they say, the voting tends to favour offense)

In total, White had 291 voting points in these years, compared to 190 for Stapleton. White also earned 170 more voting points in the 1974 and 1975 seasons without Stapleton, who had bolted for the WHA. (that is 83-51 if you go by norris voting points, with White earning 44 more after Stapleton left)

From the last round of discussion:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Originally I had Bill White and Pat Stapleton in my top sixty, but I'm not sure why. Do either of them have a case for the top sixty?
I think White certainly does. Last round I pointed out that he was a Bobby Orr away from being a three-time 1st-team all-star. I also demonstrated that he got more all-star and norris voting points than Stapleton on a consistent basis, despite Stapleton being the better player from a "hockey card stats" perspective. The people who watched both of them, saw past offensive stats and considered White better.

White is probably the best defensive defenseman here, with the possible exception of Harvey Pulford. The superlatives used to describe his defensive play are really impressive.

White was a Huge minute muncher for some very strong Chicago teams in the early 70s and the expansion LA Kings before that.

- 1968: an estimated 28.49 minutes per game to lead LA (9th in NHL)
- 1969: an estimated 29.73 minutes per game to lead LA (6th in NHL)
- 1970: an estimated 27.20 minutes per game to lead LA (12th in NHL)
- 1971: an estimated 25.67 minutes per game, 2nd on Chicago behind Stapleton (17th in NHL)
- 1972: an estimated 26.88 minutes per game, 2nd on Chicago behind Stapleton (12th in NHL)
- 1973: an estimated 29.80 minutes per game to lead Chicago, 4 minutes more than Stapleton (3rd in NHL)
- 1974: an estimated 28.39 minutes per game to lead Chicago (4th in NHL)
- 1975: an estimated 27.64 minutes per game, 2nd on Chicago (8th in NHL)
- 1976: an estimated 25.53 minutes per game, 3rd on Chicago (20th in NHL)

White is also the best PK defenseman up for voting, for whom appropriate stats are available (edit: i just realized that only 4 post-expansion NHL defensemen are in this round, so that doesn't say much. but moving up the list the first comparable PK defenseman I see is Jacques Laperriere, whose post-expansion stats are rather impressive but also don't account for his whole career - in other words, White is the best PK defenseman we have considered for this project in weeks). He was on the ice for 65% of his team’s PPGA, and his teams were 12% better than the league average throughout his career. For reference, here are the leaders among post-expansion 500+ GP players in PK usage:

Ed Westfall69%+19%
Don Luce66%+19%
Bill White65%+12%
Bobby Orr63%+24%
Craig Ramsay59%+23%
Ray Bourque58%+12%
John Madden58%+12%
Serge Savard58%+18%
Chris Chelios57%+15%
Bill Hajt57%+23%
Lorne Henning57%+25%
Barry Beck57%-2%

Here is my ATD2010 bio of Bill White. It goes more in-depth about how good Chicago was at killing penalties and how much of that revolved around White. It also shows that in some 1974, 1975 and 1976 polls Bill White was considered by hockey people one of the two best defensive defensemen in the NHL. His flawless, mistake-free game is often mentioned:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=113

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It should be noted that 2 of White's 3 straight 3rd place finishes happened after JC Tremblay and Pat Stapleton jumped to the WHA, so they would no longer be competition for him.
White typically earned more votes than Stapleton, so that is moot. It might actually work the other way, being that we have one (not two) seasons of data showing White performed just as strongly without Stapleton.

In their last season together, White had 112 all-star voting points and Stapleton just 5... and Stapleton didn't miss any time that season.

the jury is out on how much competition Tremblay would have been to White in the 1973 and 1974 seasons. White earned more votes than Tremblay in 1972 despite a much lower point total, and Tremblay was 33 that season and not getting any better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I think White certainly does. Last round I pointed out that he was a Bobby Orr away from being a three-time 1st-team all-star. I also demonstrated that he got more all-star and norris voting points than Stapleton on a consistent basis, despite Stapleton being the better player from a "hockey card stats" perspective. The people who watched both of them, saw past offensive stats and considered White better.
Seventies, thanks for making a great case for White.

One minor point - even without Orr, he would have been a two-time first-team all-star (and a second-team all-star once). I don't think this changes the strength of your argument in any meaningful way.

- 1972: (Orr), Park / White, Stapleton / Tremblay
- 1973: (Orr), Lapointe / Park, White / Laperriere
- 1974: (Orr), Park / White, Ashbee / Lapointe

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06-14-2012, 12:02 PM
  #172
TheDevilMadeMe
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As I think I said in the project, I don't see Bill White separating himself from Fern Flaman or Harry Howell, neither of whom made the list either.

Fern Flaman is a 3 time 1st Team All Star if you remove Doug Harvey, for example.

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06-14-2012, 04:24 PM
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As I think I said in the project, I don't see Bill White separating himself from Fern Flaman or Harry Howell, neither of whom made the list either.

Fern Flaman is a 3 time 1st Team All Star if you remove Doug Harvey, for example.
not the point... he was implying Stapleton was better.. I'm saying he's not.

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06-14-2012, 04:50 PM
  #174
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not the point... he was implying Stapleton was better.. I'm saying he's not.
I was responding to the "Bill White should be on the list" post. IMO, he's likely top 70 (along with Flaman and Howell and maybe Stapleton), but we just ran out of room in the top 60.

I think there's a good chance that the fact that we couldn't tell Flaman, Howell, and White apart is part of the reason why the earlier player Pulford was able to slip into the last position.

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06-14-2012, 05:35 PM
  #175
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I was responding to the "Bill White should be on the list" post. IMO, he's likely top 70 (along with Flaman and Howell and maybe Stapleton), but we just ran out of room in the top 60.

I think there's a good chance that the fact that we couldn't tell Flaman, Howell, and White apart is part of the reason why the earlier player Pulford was able to slip into the last position.
true.

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