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Bernie Nicholls

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Old
01-21-2005, 04:11 AM
  #1
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Bernie Nicholls

Please help me out here. i'd like to learn more about Bernie's career, particularly the portion as a king since I was too young to have seen him in his prime. I am aware of his NYR-EDM trade fiasco, but what kind of player/person was he? His numbers seem rather impressive.

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01-21-2005, 09:30 AM
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Here's a link to his bio at Legends of Hockey.

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01-21-2005, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
Please help me out here. i'd like to learn more about Bernie's career, particularly the portion as a king since I was too young to have seen him in his prime. I am aware of his NYR-EDM trade fiasco, but what kind of player/person was he? His numbers seem rather impressive.

Didn't you start a thread last month arguing Michel Goulet's inclusion in the HHOF should necessitate Nicholls being in as well. Maybe you should have mentioned you hadn't seen him play when you were arguing with us!!

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01-21-2005, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Didn't you start a thread last month arguing Michel Goulet's inclusion in the HHOF should necessitate Nicholls being in as well. Maybe you should have mentioned you hadn't seen him play when you were arguing with us!!
i brought up the two for essentially a statistical comparison. I now recognize how impressive goulet's canada cup invites are, but couldn't (and still don't) understand how despite bernie's impressive #'s that he is not even considered in the same league with goulet (as was agrued by every poster). both seemed to be very threatening offensive players in the early portion of their careers, and then made a commitment to two-way hockey in the waning stages (at least from the tiny bit i have been able to read). seemed like a comparable pair to me.

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01-21-2005, 02:39 PM
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Statistically, they're quite similar.

However, Bernie Nicholls has never won an award while Michel Goulet made the year-end all-star team five times ('83, '84, '86, '87, '88). That's a period of six years where he was considered among the very best LW'ers in hockey. Nicholls was never considered the best at his position. (Not that I'm necessarily saying Goulet was better than Nicholls; just some food for thought).

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01-21-2005, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Statistically, they're quite similar.

However, Bernie Nicholls has never won an award while Michel Goulet made the year-end all-star team five times ('83, '84, '86, '87, '88). That's a period of six years where he was considered among the very best LW'ers in hockey. Nicholls was never considered the best at his position. (Not that I'm necessarily saying Goulet was better than Nicholls; just some food for thought).
gretzky and yzerman, like nicholls, were centers. a bit unfair, if comparing year-end all star teams, don't you think?

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01-21-2005, 04:45 PM
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I agree; certainly Goulet had an easier time due to the fact he was a left-winger. However it's worth pointing out that centers other than Gretzky and Lemieux (examples: Hawerchuk, Trottier, Oates, Messier) made the all-star team during Nicholls' prime. Other centers that didn't make the all-star team (Yzerman and Francis) were also better than Nicholls. Goulet was arguably the best LW during his prime (along with Mess and Robitaille); Nicholls was never at the top, even if you omit Gretzky.

Additionally, Nicholls only placed in the Top 10 in scoring twice ('89 and '90). Goulet placed in the Top 10 four times ('83, '84, '87, '88). Goulet was a top 10 goal-scorer for six straight seasons ('83-'88); Nicholls only made the top ten twice. Goulet has one appearance among the top ten playmakers; Nicholls appears twice.

The point remains that Nicholls was never considered one of the best centers in the league, all-star teams or not. Don't get me wrong, I think he was one of the more interesting players to watch, and he certainly had a great career, but Goulet was far more dominant than Nicholls.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 01-21-2005 at 05:10 PM.
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01-21-2005, 09:08 PM
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Nicholls reminded me of another King - Luc Robitaille. Natural scorer, average size, mediocre skating. Nicholls also had a very chippy side to his play. I think his skating was one reason he didn't play for Canada more internationally.

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01-22-2005, 12:44 AM
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"Pumper" was an above-average scorer until Gretzky came along and got him 50 more goals than he would have gotten alone (1988-89). He never again came close to those numbers. Bernie was a good shooter, a bad skater, and an average playmaker. He in no way compares to Michel Goulet, who was a much better player all the way around. Bernie Nicholls would be like Kevin Stevens, in that he was a threat if he was playing with a player who could get him the puck in the right place at the right time. But without that player, they were not as dangerous.

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01-22-2005, 01:02 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
i brought up the two for essentially a statistical comparison. I now recognize how impressive goulet's canada cup invites are, but couldn't (and still don't) understand how despite bernie's impressive #'s that he is not even considered in the same league with goulet (as was agrued by every poster). both seemed to be very threatening offensive players in the early portion of their careers, and then made a commitment to two-way hockey in the waning stages (at least from the tiny bit i have been able to read). seemed like a comparable pair to me.
Nicholls was never a decent two-way player

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01-23-2005, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggs 10
"Pumper" was an above-average scorer until Gretzky came along and got him 50 more goals than he would have gotten alone (1988-89)
That's wrong. Gretzky only assisted on 40 of Nicholls' 97 goals scored during the year and a half the two played together in Los Angeles. Nicholls also assisted on 21 of Gretzky's goals scored during that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
Nicholls was never a decent two-way player
He certainly played great two-way hockey for the Devils under Jacque Lemaire during part of 1992-93 and all of 1993-94.

It may be of interest to look at Daryl Shilling's Hall of Fame Debate, Part II, which examines players "on the edge." Nicholls was ranked second to Larry Murphy (now in the HHoF) at the time of the report.

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01-23-2005, 11:46 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
That's wrong. Gretzky only assisted on 40 of Nicholls' 97 goals scored during the year and a half the two played together in Los Angeles. Nicholls also assisted on 21 of Gretzky's goals scored during that time.

He certainly played great two-way hockey for the Devils under Jacque Lemaire during part of 1992-93 and all of 1993-94.

It may be of interest to look at Daryl Shilling's Hall of Fame Debate, Part II, which examines players "on the edge." Nicholls was ranked second to Larry Murphy (now in the HHoF) at the time of the report.
IMO "great" is a bit of an overstatement.....I will go along with him playing his role, and in that case played decent two way hockey, something I said he never was earlier.

The problem I have with using "great" is how do you describe players that actually excelled at the two-way game when using "great" to describe the completely average (at best IMO...in regards to Nicholls)

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01-23-2005, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
It may be of interest to look at Daryl Shilling's Hall of Fame Debate, Part II, which examines players "on the edge." Nicholls was ranked second to Larry Murphy (now in the HHoF) at the time of the report.
very interesting. i knew my suggestion was not that far off. i still think bernie, with the help of the hhof's lowered standards, will eventually get in.

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01-23-2005, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
very interesting. i knew my suggestion was not that far off. i still think bernie, with the help of the hhof's lowered standards, will eventually get in.
If you've got yourself excited about Nichols having ANY chance at the HHOF, you are setting yourself up for disappointment... He has ZERO chance.

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01-23-2005, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
If you've got yourself excited about Nichols having ANY chance at the HHOF, you are setting yourself up for disappointment... He has ZERO chance.
i'm not getting excited, but you seem to be. yes, i think he'll make it there eventually. not making post-season allstar teams was easy to understand when looking at his hhof shoe-in competition. regular all-star team inclusions mean nothing since they are fan-voted. was still a team leader in offense late in his career (see time with chicago). snubbed from international competition because of skating issues. frankly, he isn't all that different from robitaille: big offensive #'s and poor skating. robitaille played ONE canada cup and was ineffective, like goulet made countless post season all-star teams b/c of inferior competition at lw as compared to centers (and keep in mind robitaille is my favorite player), and played a small roll on a redwings team to claim a rent-a-cup.

robitaille: hhof
goulet: hhof
nicholls: will take a while, but will be rewarded when competition is recognized

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01-24-2005, 12:12 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
i'm not getting excited, but you seem to be. yes, i think he'll make it there eventually. not making post-season allstar teams was easy to understand when looking at his hhof shoe-in competition. regular all-star team inclusions mean nothing since they are fan-voted. was still a team leader in offense late in his career (see time with chicago). snubbed from international competition because of skating issues. frankly, he isn't all that different from robitaille: big offensive #'s and poor skating. robitaille played ONE canada cup and was ineffective, like goulet made countless post season all-star teams b/c of inferior competition at lw as compared to centers (and keep in mind robitaille is my favorite player), and played a small roll on a redwings team to claim a rent-a-cup.

robitaille: hhof
goulet: hhof
nicholls: will take a while, but will be rewarded when competition is recognized

Some other players you might want to look up: Glen Anderson, Cam Neely, Paul Henderson. None of these players is in the Hall. Bernie Nicholls will never be inducted. That's not an insult to Broadway Bernie, or an attempt to be mean. I was a hockey fan throughout his career, and can say with no hesitation that he isn't getting a sniff. He was good, but nowhere good enough for hockey's highest honor.

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01-24-2005, 12:26 PM
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As long as Bernie Federko is in the HOF, anything can happen.

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01-24-2005, 12:57 PM
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and Clarke Gillies, too, for that matter...

how many players have put together a 70 goal season?

(99, 66, Brett Hull, Esposito, Kurri, Selanne, am i missing someone? Mogilny?)

ah, the sports' pinnacle, the 80s, when guys like Jimmy Carson had 50 goal seasons (i liked Carson)

actually had the opportunity to meet Nicholls (during his stint in NY).
super nice guy, seemed like he was having fun...about an hour after the game ended, he's swaggering on 33rd to a nearby limo, and has a tall, minky babe under each arm (i know the guy is/was married and has family and all...)

Thornton Melon: "i'd like you to meet my two... nieces.."


Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
Please help me out here. i'd like to learn more about Bernie's career, particularly the portion as a king since I was too young to have seen him in his prime. I am aware of his NYR-EDM trade fiasco, but what kind of player/person was he? His numbers seem rather impressive.

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01-24-2005, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Some other players you might want to look up: Glen Anderson, Cam Neely, Paul Henderson. None of these players is in the Hall. Bernie Nicholls will never be inducted. That's not an insult to Broadway Bernie, or an attempt to be mean. I was a hockey fan throughout his career, and can say with no hesitation that he isn't getting a sniff. He was good, but nowhere good enough for hockey's highest honor.
Nicholls has a chance at being inducted. He reached two major scoring plateaus, over 700 assists and over 1,000 points. He is ranked 39th all-time in assists (7and 37th all-time in points (1,209.) He also averaged 1.07 points per game. Granted, he played in an offensive era, but he still has numbers that could get him into the Hockey Hall of Fame by the end of the decade.

Have a look at Daryl Shilling's Hockey Hall of Fame Debate, Part II. Here's the 17th through 21st of Shilling's Hall of Fame Standards. The system uses a statistical model to determine the likelihood of a player gaining induction. Daryl states that 600 is an "HOFS score likely to get a player inducted," and that 800 is the "Average Hall of Famerís HOFS."

Adapted from Daryl Shilling's site, The Hockey Project.
17. Dale Hawerchuk 939
18. Gilbert Perreault 890
19. Larry Murphy 878
20. Denis Savard 847
21. Peter Stastny 831
---------------------
-- Bernie Nicholls 783 (highest eligible player not selected in 2004)
-- Dino Ciccarelli 721 (second highest)
-- Cam Neely 287 (quite a few people argue his case.)
-- Clark Gillies 161 (He is in)

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01-24-2005, 05:32 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (lone)Yashinfan#79
how many players have put together a 70 goal season?

(99, 66, Brett Hull, Esposito, Kurri, Selanne, am i missing someone? Mogilny?)
The following players scored at least 70 goals in a season:

1 Wayne Gretzky -- 1982 -- 92
2 Wayne Gretzky -- 1984 -- 87
3 Brett Hull -- 1991 -- 86
4 Mario Lemieux -- 1989 -- 85
5 Phil Esposito -- 1971 -- 76
6 Teemu Selanne -- 1993 -- 76
7 Alexander Mogilny -- 1993 -- 76
8 Wayne Gretzky -- 1985 -- 73
9 Brett Hull -- 1990 -- 72
10 Wayne Gretzky -- 1983 -- 71
11 Jari Kurri -- 1985 -- 71
12 Brett Hull -- 1992 -- 70
13 Mario Lemieux -- 1988 -- 70
14 Bernie Nicholls -- 1989 -- 70

These numbers are NOT adjusted for the era. When they are, the results are quite different.

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01-24-2005, 07:07 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
i'm not getting excited, but you seem to be. yes, i think he'll make it there eventually. not making post-season allstar teams was easy to understand when looking at his hhof shoe-in competition. regular all-star team inclusions mean nothing since they are fan-voted. was still a team leader in offense late in his career (see time with chicago). snubbed from international competition because of skating issues. frankly, he isn't all that different from robitaille: big offensive #'s and poor skating. robitaille played ONE canada cup and was ineffective, like goulet made countless post season all-star teams b/c of inferior competition at lw as compared to centers (and keep in mind robitaille is my favorite player), and played a small roll on a redwings team to claim a rent-a-cup.

robitaille: hhof
goulet: hhof
nicholls: will take a while, but will be rewarded when competition is recognized

I think that Bernie Nicholls was more comparable to Dino Ciccarelli than Michel Goulet.

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01-25-2005, 12:18 AM
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Some food to chew on...

Mike Gartner (in HHOF) vs Bernie Nicholls (on the outside)

Regular Season (totals per game)
Nicholls: 0.42 goals , 0.64 assists
Gartner: 0.49 goals , 0.44 assists

Post-Season (totals per game)
Nicholls: 0.36 goals , 0.61 assists
Gartner: 0.35 goals , 0.41 assists

Regular Seasons
Nicholls: 18
Gartner: 19

Averages (per regular season)
Nicholls: 63 games = 26 goals , 41 assists = 67 points
Gartner: 75 games = 37 goals , 33 assists = 70 points

Post-Season Totals
Nicholls: 118 games = 42 goals , 72 assists = 114 points
Gartner: 122 games = 43 goals , 50 assists = 93 points

Regular Season Goals
Nicholls: 475
Gartner: 708

Regular Season Assists
Nicholls: 734
Gartner: 627

Regular Season Games
Nicholls: 1127
Gartner: 1432
*Gartner w/ > 300 gms more

Regular Season Points/Game Average
Nicholls: 1.07
Gartner: 0.93

is Nicholls that undeserving still?

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01-25-2005, 02:30 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabres11forever
I think that Bernie Nicholls was more comparable to Dino Ciccarelli than Michel Goulet.
I totally disagree......Dino and Nicholls were completely different types of players....even more tha Nicholls and Goulet

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01-25-2005, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver_made
Mike Gartner (in HHOF) vs Bernie Nicholls (on the outside)

Regular Season (totals per game)
Nicholls: 0.42 goals , 0.64 assists
Gartner: 0.49 goals , 0.44 assists

Post-Season (totals per game)
Nicholls: 0.36 goals , 0.61 assists
Gartner: 0.35 goals , 0.41 assists

Regular Seasons
Nicholls: 18
Gartner: 19

Averages (per regular season)
Nicholls: 63 games = 26 goals , 41 assists = 67 points
Gartner: 75 games = 37 goals , 33 assists = 70 points

Post-Season Totals
Nicholls: 118 games = 42 goals , 72 assists = 114 points
Gartner: 122 games = 43 goals , 50 assists = 93 points

Regular Season Goals
Nicholls: 475
Gartner: 708

Regular Season Assists
Nicholls: 734
Gartner: 627

Regular Season Games
Nicholls: 1127
Gartner: 1432
*Gartner w/ > 300 gms more

Regular Season Points/Game Average
Nicholls: 1.07
Gartner: 0.93

is Nicholls that undeserving still?
Yes.....

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01-25-2005, 03:39 PM
  #25
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Bernies career

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1979-80 Kingston Canadiens OHA 68 36 43 79 85
1980-81 Kingston Canadiens OHL 65 63 89 152 109
1981-82 New-Haven Nighthawks AHL 55 41 30 71 31 -- -- -- -- --
1981-82 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 22 14 18 32 27 10 4 0 4 23
1982-83 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 71 28 22 50 124 -- -- -- -- --
1983-84 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 78 41 54 95 83 -- -- -- -- --
1984-85 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 80 46 54 100 76 3 1 1 2 9
1985-86 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 80 36 61 97 78 -- -- -- -- --
1986-87 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 80 33 48 81 101 5 2 5 7 6
1987-88 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 65 32 46 78 114 5 2 6 8 11
1988-89 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 79 70 80 150 96 11 7 9 16 12
1989-90 Los-Angeles Kings NHL 47 27 48 75 66 -- -- -- -- --
1989-90 New-York Rangers NHL 32 12 25 37 20 10 7 5 12 16
1990-91 New-York Rangers NHL 71 25 48 73 96 5 4 3 7 8
1991-92 New-York Rangers NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
1991-92 Edmonton Oilers NHL 49 20 29 49 60 16 8 11 19 25
1992-93 Edmonton Oilers NHL 46 8 32 40 40 -- -- -- -- --
1992-93 New-Jersey Devils NHL 23 5 15 20 40 5 0 0 0 6
1993-94 New-Jersey Devils NHL 61 19 27 46 86 16 4 9 13 28
1994-95 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 48 22 29 51 32 16 1 11 12 8
1995-96 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 59 19 41 60 60 10 2 7 9 4
1996-97 San Jose Sharks NHL 65 12 33 45 63 -- -- -- -- --
1997-98 San Jose Sharks NHL 60 6 22 28 26 6 0 5 5 8
1998-99 San Jose Sharks NHL 10 0 2 2 4 -- -- -- -- --
NHL Totals 1127 475 734 1209 1292 118 42 72 114 164

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