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Famous "What Ifs" in hockey history

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Old
01-20-2012, 08:23 AM
  #76
Psycho Papa Joe
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
From everything I have read about it, that meeting was more about Pollock letting his people have their say and discuss how they might be able to pull off the 1-2 you're talking about.
And it wasn't that the other guys in the room didn't support getting Dionne, they didn't support what it was going to take and that to this day, no one will name names

Either way, Lafleur was going to be a Hab as far as Sam was concerned.
I have read that there was some wavering between Dionne and Lafleur and Pollock's solution to those wavering was to try to get both. It was a case of Lafleur being everything they thought we would be, but Dionne becoming better than people had anticipated creating some doubt on who would ultimately be the better choice. Can't find a good source for it though.

BTW, in this article, Bowman does name names:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/article777296.ece

Quote:
"Then he excused himself and made a call to Ned Harkness, in Detroit, to propose a trade. The Canadiens had just won the Stanley Cup in '71 and Sam offered Detroit Phil Myre, plus either Terry Harper or J. C. Tremblay and something else, to get the second pick. And Detroit was going to do it, because they were going to get three players who could help them.
Wonder what the something else was?

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01-20-2012, 08:50 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Tetriser View Post
Not as big as many of the the ones already posted but; what if Roloson didn't get injured in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals? Would the Oilers have won the cup? As an Oiler fan this one will always stick with me.
Probably not, aside from Game 2 the Oilers goaltending was solid throughout that series, in fact aside from Game 2 Roloson in Game 1 was arguably their worst goaltending performance of the series. The Oilers loss was due to not being able to score on the Canes in their losses (2 goals in their other 3 games). So unless Roloson was able to pitch a shutout in either Game 4 or Game 7, the Canes win the cup.

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Old
01-20-2012, 09:50 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
What would have stopped the accident in 1997?
Just a what if scenario, but if they had won in 96, maybe they don't win in '97 and even if they did they probably wouldn't have lived the exact same way day in and day out with all the same choice doing all the same activities.

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Old
01-20-2012, 10:44 AM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Bexlyspeed View Post
I say he flops and his image is tarnished. he was "drafted" what? 12 years after the summit series?
Tretiak was drafted in 1983, a couple months after pitching a 5-0 shutout of the Canadiens in the 83 Super Series, a performance that got him a standing ovation from the Forum. A couple years after the 81 Canada Cup, where he posted a 1.33 GAA and .947 SV% and was named Tournament MVP.

If you really think his reputation is built on one series you are sorely mistaken.


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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Absolutely not true!
Sam had his eye on Lafleur from day 1!

This is Sam freakin Pollock we're talking about here, arguably the greatest GM in history! That guy was planning moves 4 years in advance.
This is the guy that would of stolen Gretzky out of the draft, from a deal he made 3 years previously, if Gretzky hadn't of been on a personal services contract with Pocklington and thereby ineligible for the '79 draft.
(Another pretty big what if to add to the list eh)

Every book I have on Pollock, says the same thing, he wanted Lafleur period! He made that decision a full 2 years before and never wavered.
Todd Denault's book on the Canadiens and the Red Army of the 70s says different. Ruel was the man who was all over Lafleur, Pollock was unconvinced, primarily because he never seemed to see Lafleur playing well. Eventually Ruel convinced him to give Lafleur one last chance. Pollock goes into the Colisee totally inconspicuously (Denault didn't say this but you can imagine a hat and sunglasses) and watches Lafleur without Lafleur being tipped off beforehand that Pollock was there. Lafleur was magic and Pollock is convinced.

Of course Dionne was a can't miss, and back in those days teams simply didn't value their draft picks, so if he could have swung both then why the heck not?

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Old
01-20-2012, 01:27 PM
  #80
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The WHA.

Recently finished "The Rogue League".....and I couldn't help wondering, "what if?"

Changed the salary structure, hastened free agency, blew away the owner's monopolistic stranglehold over the players, hastened expansionism, opened up some of the rules and made the game a little more freewheeling, etc....

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Old
01-20-2012, 02:16 PM
  #81
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Im thinking Pronger might deserve a mention. This latest concussion obviously comes at a time when hes winding up his career but the guy has had so many injury problems throughout his career that have at times prevented him from getting the recognition he deserves as pretty close to right up there with Lidstrom as the best defenseman in the league for the last 10-15 years. He doesnt have much award recognition for someone of his status outside of that Hart which was ironically probably undeserved. Prime example why awards can be very misleading.

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Old
01-20-2012, 02:37 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by toob View Post
Im thinking Pronger might deserve a mention. This latest concussion obviously comes at a time when hes winding up his career but the guy has had so many injury problems throughout his career that have at times prevented him from getting the recognition he deserves as pretty close to right up there with Lidstrom as the best defenseman in the league for the last 10-15 years. He doesnt have much award recognition for someone of his status outside of that Hart which was ironically probably undeserved. Prime example why awards can be very misleading.
What if Pronger was not an alcoholic?

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Old
01-20-2012, 03:18 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Hobnobs View Post
I thought of Luc Bourdon when I read this. I guess you are thinking of George Pelawa?
Yea that's the guy.

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01-20-2012, 08:21 PM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
The WHA. Recently finished "The Rogue League".....and I couldn't help wondering, "what if?"
Was recently in a Chapters, almost bought it but didnt because I thought "what if its just another piece of crap like In Search of Bobby Orr"?. I couldnt possibly return it after lickin all the pages to see what flavor Kool-Aide they taste like Bubba...

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What if Pronger was not an alcoholic?
Haha... Mainlines Rattlesnake Venom in order to crack a smile, have a pleasant thought.

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Old
01-21-2012, 01:22 PM
  #85
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I always wonder about Bobby Orr. If his career had not been cut short, where would he be in alltime points and would he be classified as better than Gretz?

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01-21-2012, 03:26 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by mapes View Post
I always wonder about Bobby Orr. If his career had not been cut short, where would he be in alltime points and would he be classified as better than Gretz?
From a groin injury in his last season with Oshawa limiting his playing time & effectiveness in the Memorial Cup, to a Marcel Pronovost check during his first season in the NHL that caused knee damage which got a whole lot worse as time went on, his actual minutes were in fact limited even during his so called "best years". I dont know that he was actually ever running on all cylinders, at 110%. So, in addition to having a short, injury plagued career, theres also the little matter of position when comparing Orr to Gretzky, not to mention the polar opposites between the two in terms of physicality.

Early, when he was still playing for the Parry Sound Shamrocks, scouts would describe Orr as a cross between Eddie Shore & Doug Harvey. When Gretzky at 10 was playing for the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers registering 378 goals and about 170 assists in one season as a lithe, 65lbs soaking wet tadpole, no comparisons were even remotely possible. Total Freak Show. The absolute antithesis of a hard nosed hockey player who like Orr came along at just the right time. They both transformed & transcended the game throughout their careers & in Orrs case in helping to take down Eagleson & exposing the NHL Pension for the fraud it was, post career.

When we talk about or vote for "Best Ever", once you hit those 2 names its really a case of 1A & 1B, followed by Lemieux (Claude of course), Hull, Richard et al, at least thats my take on it. There are things I dont like about Wayne Gretzky quite frankly, character issues, whereas I have no problems with Orr in any department....

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01-21-2012, 05:01 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Was recently in a Chapters, almost bought it but didnt because I thought "what if its just another piece of crap like In Search of Bobby Orr"?. I couldnt possibly return it after lickin all the pages to see what flavor Kool-Aide they taste like Bubba...
I like the rose-colored Kool-Aide meself......

No, it's not a bad read, pretty good overview, decent interviews, some conjecture and not too terribly thick so a dunderhead like me can read it without getting a headache.

Almost as good as "Loose Balls" (about the ABA) and a fair amount of behind the scenes stuff I didn't know about.

A good waste of time.....

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Old
01-21-2012, 07:23 PM
  #88
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What if the Oilers were bought in 87, and never traded Paul Coffey or any of the core? Gretzky gets two or three more 200 point seasons in 87, 88, and 89, and probably 4 more Cups. He finishes with 3500 career points, and 1000 goals. The sunbelt teams do not exist.

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Old
01-21-2012, 07:55 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
No, it's not a bad read, pretty good overview, decent interviews, some conjecture and not too terribly thick so a dunderhead like me can read it without getting a headache. A good waste of time.....
Thanks for the review. I'll give it a go.

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What if the Oilers were bought in 87...
... or sold to Houston in 97. The original Flames sold to actor Glenn Ford in Atlanta instead of Calgary.

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01-21-2012, 08:16 PM
  #90
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A bit off topic, but how was it that Dick Gamble wound up in the AHL for so many years?. He was an All Star with the Habs, got injured, went to Chicago for awhile & then back to Montreal; from there to QC with Imlachs' Aces, then a brilliant career in the AHL, finishing up as Player/Coach with the Amerks. I think he ranks something like 3rd or 4th on the All Time Scoring Leaders List in the AHL, multiple All Star selections for over 10yrs etc etc etc. Was it his size?. Or was he just happy living & playing in Rochester?....
I wonder also why a guy like Dick Gamble didn't make it. I notice he did play 3 games with Imlach's Leafs in the mid 60's. Punch was famous for giving career minor leaguers a chance so maybe Gamble's game lacked something.

There are others like him. Larry Wilson & Pete Conacher put up decent numbers in the NHL but were soon career AHL players. Successful minor leaguers like Willy Marshall, Guyle Fielder, Fred Glover never made it. In some cases maybe they were happier in the minors. Or maybe they just got buried there as NHL teams could do that in those days. Interesting topic.

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01-21-2012, 09:06 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
I wonder also why a guy like Dick Gamble didn't make it. I notice he did play 3 games with Imlach's Leafs in the mid 60's. Punch was famous for giving career minor leaguers a chance so maybe Gamble's game lacked something.

There are others like him. Larry Wilson & Pete Conacher put up decent numbers in the NHL but were soon career AHL players. Successful minor leaguers like Willy Marshall, Guyle Fielder, Fred Glover never made it. In some cases maybe they were happier in the minors. Or maybe they just got buried there as NHL teams could do that in those days. Interesting topic.
Maybe we should start a thread on it;
"Career Minor Leaguers' during the O6 era & What If?"...
or "What Happened There?".

... and ya, Gamble won a Cup with the Habs, played on Elmer Lachs' line for awhile, went on to have a very impressive AHL career. Glover in Cleveland as you note, Fielder etc... I didnt realize he'd played 2 games in 65-66 and 1 in 66-67 for the Leafs, so I suspect as well that Imlach relied on him in Rochester with the prospects & probably thought pretty highly of him. Hard not to based on what Ive read about the guy, the records he set etc. According to a couple of posters here, he was simply displaced by far superior talent. I wonder though why he wasnt traded to have-nots, say Boston or the Rangers?...

My knowledge of the AHL/IHL & other minor leagues of the era is limited, a discussion of the subject most welcome as I think it would shed a lot of light on contemporaneous events at the NHL level of the time period, 49-50 to about 1972. I guess the problem is that documentation is spotty at best, hard to get a handle on things....


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01-21-2012, 11:05 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Maybe we should start a thread on it;
"Career Minor Leaguers' during the O6 era & What If?"...
or "What Happened There?".
Good idea...there were a lot of guys who didn't get a chance until late in their careers, (Johnny Bower was in the AHL for 7 years until he got his NHL chance at age 29) and there was a lot of guys languishing in the minors who seemed to flourish and extend their careers after expansion, (Bill White, JP Parise, etc...).

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Old
01-21-2012, 11:44 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
...and there was a lot of guys languishing in the minors who seemed to flourish and extend their careers after expansion, (Bill White, JP Parise, etc...).
... ya, thats an interesting aspect to it as well. Players who either voluntarily wound down their careers or were forced to do so for varying reasons by their NHL clubs, many still with plenty of gas in the tank & mileage available. Certainly a very colorful cast of characters to put it mildly...

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01-24-2012, 01:09 PM
  #94
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What if the Thrashers had drafted one of the Sedins instead of Stefan

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01-24-2012, 08:36 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by 99 Problems View Post
What if the Thrashers had drafted one of the Sedins instead of Stefan
Sadly, pathetically, disgustingly & disgracefully Don Waddell could've had the first 3 picks of every draft year over the past decade & still wouldve' messed it up. What if the NHL in 1979-80 had actually put their foot down & demanded the Flames be sold to actor Glenn Ford instead of the notorious Nelson Skalbania & interests in Calgary?. If Ted Turner had never sold the Thrashers?. If the NHL had smartened up a lot earlier, cottoned on to & straightened out ASG & its Long Con, stripping them of the franchise and worse?.

... and what wouldve happened had Davy Jones & not Michael Crawford won the lead role in Some Mothers Do Ave em'?. Would the Monkees' have been as successful?. Would Some Mothers' have been such a blast?. I doubt it.


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01-25-2012, 01:40 AM
  #96
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Sadly, pathetically, disgustingly & disgracefully Don Waddell could've had the first 3 picks of every draft year over the past decade & still wouldve' messed it up. What if the NHL in 1979-80 had actually put their foot down & demanded the Flames be sold to actor Glenn Ford instead of the notorious Nelson Skalbania & interests in Calgary?. If Ted Turner had never sold the Thrashers?. If the NHL had smartened up a lot earlier, cottoned on to & straightened out ASG & its Long Con, stripping them of the franchise and worse?.

... and what wouldve happened had Davy Jones & not Michael Crawford won the lead role in Some Mothers Do Ave em'?. Would the Monkees' have been as successful?. Would Some Mothers' have been such a blast?. I doubt it.
Lets not even think about a world where the Monkees were not as big as they were...

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Old
01-25-2012, 11:43 AM
  #97
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What if Bobby Hull didn't jump to the WHA in 1972? Would the Hawks have defeated the Habs iin the 1973 SCF?

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01-25-2012, 12:16 PM
  #98
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If the Pens hadn't choked a Pens vs Avalanche Stanley Cup in 96 would have been EPIC

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01-25-2012, 05:58 PM
  #99
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What if New Jersey blew the '95 East Finals to Philly and we got a Flyers-Red Wings Stanley Cup Finals two years early?

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01-26-2012, 12:27 AM
  #100
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What if Bobby Hull didn't jump to the WHA in 1972? Would the Hawks have defeated the Habs iin the 1973 SCF?
Nah, because then Rejean Houle would've still been on the Habs to check Hull.

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