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Player with the hardest work ethic?

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09-06-2012, 05:34 PM
  #1
AleksandarN
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Player with the hardest work ethic?

Gretzky. That is the most over looked part of his success. People often use his "god like" ability to see the game ahead of everyone else but forget to mentioned how hard he worked. No one mentions the other skills that helped him become the greatest player of all time. His passing ( tape to tape regardless the opposing players sticks on the ice meant to stop his passes). His ability to land the perfect pass in traffic is almost as important as his ability to see the play unfold in front him before anyone else. Without his ability to make the perfect pass about a third of passes would not be effective. Also his slap shot( his accuracy is legendary ) his lateral movement( the ability to shift gears and go side to side to elude hits) all these skills he worked endlessly on to make him the best player ever. Even Mario credited Gretzky on making him a better player because of how Gretzky worked in the 87 Canada Cup.

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09-07-2012, 04:14 AM
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begbeee
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Enough said.


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09-07-2012, 10:48 AM
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Long Duk Dong
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Gary Roberts, Rod Brind'Amour, Chara. Freaks of conditioning.

Crosby: Sucked at face offs, worked during offseason, got much better. Said he needs to work on his shot. Next year wins the Richard.

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09-07-2012, 10:57 AM
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seventieslord
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this thread really shouldn't have had a question mark on its title, then, should it?

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09-07-2012, 02:50 PM
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TAnnala
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Enough said.

God damn he is ripped! Cant imagine how hard it has to be in front of the net when Chara is protecting it. How do you defend yourself against a monster like that...?

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Old
09-07-2012, 03:17 PM
  #6
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Originally Posted by AleksandarN View Post
Gretzky. That is the most over looked part of his success. People often use his "god like" ability to see the game ahead of everyone else but forget to mentioned how hard he worked. No one mentions the other skills that helped him become the greatest player of all time. His passing ( tape to tape regardless the opposing players sticks on the ice meant to stop his passes). His ability to land the perfect pass in traffic is almost as important as his ability to see the play unfold in front him before anyone else. Without his ability to make the perfect pass about a third of passes would not be effective. Also his slap shot( his accuracy is legendary ) his lateral movement( the ability to shift gears and go side to side to elude hits) all these skills he worked endlessly on to make him the best player ever. Even Mario credited Gretzky on making him a better player because of how Gretzky worked in the 87 Canada Cup.
They're replaying the 87 Canada Cup on NHL Classic or ESPN Classic, not sure which one. I watched the CAN USA and CAN RUS games this week.

Funny thing is I always felt Gretzky floated early in his career. I remember him hovering around centre ice and he always had a huge number of 2on1s on breakaways.

I'm not sure now whether it just SEEMED that way, because of all the chances he generated? OR whether he actually changed his game as he matured.

I know the sweep in '83 was a shocking experience for 99 and that team, they all talk about it to this day. And the Oilers definitely changed as a team, became more responsible defensively, and I could swear Gretzky himself started being more responsible without the puck, positionally.

I also felt Mario floated early in his career.

Watching these guys in the Canada Cup (I think Mario was 23 and Gretzky 28), oh boy.

Gretzky worked his ass off on offense and defense. Mario as well, he was unbelievable, back checking and coming back into the zone.

YET, there's still the offensive chances they create, even against one of the best 5man unit ever - Larionov, Makarov, Krutov, Fetisov, Kasatonov. Incredible.

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09-07-2012, 03:20 PM
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Ian Laperriere?

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09-07-2012, 04:35 PM
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Ian Laperriere?
More so than having the best work ethic I'd classify him as a warrior. Puck to the face and 50 stitches later he's sitting next to you on the bench ready to go.

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09-07-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Long Duk Dong View Post
Gary Roberts, Rod Brind'Amour, Chara. Freaks of conditioning.

Crosby: Sucked at face offs, worked during offseason, got much better. Said he needs to work on his shot. Next year wins the Richard.
Real nice list.

Another guys that deserves some mention is Chelios at the tail end of his career. I can't speak for his earlier/prime days, but during his last handful of years in Detroit he was known for a ridiclous training regime and work ethic.

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09-07-2012, 06:57 PM
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Brian Sutter was the hardest working hockey player that i got to see on a nightly basis. I don't think there has ever been a player who got more out of so little natural talent

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09-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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Henri Richard should be mentioned

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09-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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On the ice, I agree Gretzky had a great work ethic. Bobby Clarke and Stan Smyl are a couple others.

Off ice conditioning, I would say that Gary Roberts and Chelios are two guys renowned for their commitment.

As far as on the ice goes, that is kind of a tricky thing to judge. Generally guys who aren't great skaters appear to be working a lot harder bc their stride isn't smooth. They may not be working any harder though. They just appear as though they are. It can often end up being an unfair comparison for the guy who is a better skater.

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09-07-2012, 07:59 PM
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Surprised no one has mentioned Bobby Clarke yet. He was voted hardest worker by coaches multiple times and many players praised him for his work ethic.

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09-07-2012, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
Brian Sutter was the hardest working hockey player that i got to see on a nightly basis. I don't think there has ever been a player who got more out of so little natural talent
I would agree that he is a great example of such a player. I also put Smyl in that same category. I saw Smyl play a lot more obviously (being a Canuck fan); what he accomplished with pure will and determination was astounding. My favorite players to this day are those Smyl, Sutter, Ruskowski types from that era. Never gave an inch to anyone, and got So much out of so little, while you watched other really skilled players never amount to anything.

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09-07-2012, 08:07 PM
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Surprised no one has mentioned Bobby Clarke yet.
Ha...you are 24 minutes too late my friend!
You're right...in that era he was renowned for his extreme work ethic.
Also remember he was famous for his stall tactics in the face off circle. He was brilliant at that...he would need a new stick, need to fix the tape on his blade, complain to the refs about something, etc...whatever he could do to buy himself some extra time to catch his breath. It was part of the game within the game. It was almost like watching the bad guys on fake wrestling.

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09-07-2012, 08:15 PM
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Omg, no mention of Lidstrom yet, serously?

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09-07-2012, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KingForsberg View Post
Surprised no one has mentioned Bobby Clarke yet. He was voted hardest worker by coaches multiple times and many players praised him for his work ethic.
I agree Clarke was a very hard worker, but again, I wanted to get Henri Richard's name out there

In Larry Robinson's book, he tells a story about how after Philly (led by Bobby Clarke) beat Montreal in Game 1 in the `73 semis, Scotty Bowman pointed at Bobby Clarke then said to Richard simply "He's yours." Richard completely shut down Clarke the rest of the series.

"Henri is always there. Every time I pick up the puck he's coming at me from somewhere. He's been hit quite a few times; by me, by our defense, but he doesn't stop. It's frustrating when you outweigh a guy by 20 pounds, knock him down and he's up and gone before you are." - Bobby Clarke

Another name I would want to see is Doug Gilmour. The talent was lower, but his drive uplifted him far beyond his talent

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09-07-2012, 08:47 PM
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Ominous Grey
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Hardest worker? Best work ethic?





Seriously though, I'll homer vote for Crosby. Saw him benching weights at 2 AM in the Igloo after a game.

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09-07-2012, 09:25 PM
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More so than having the best work ethic I'd classify him as a warrior. Puck to the face and 50 stitches later he's sitting next to you on the bench ready to go.
Try 150+ stitches, six or seven lost teeth and sitting out a period before coming back to play the third. That's insanity. God, I love Lappy.

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09-07-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AleksandarN View Post
Gretzky. That is the most over looked part of his success. People often use his "god like" ability to see the game ahead of everyone else but forget to mentioned how hard he worked. No one mentions the other skills that helped him become the greatest player of all time. His passing ( tape to tape regardless the opposing players sticks on the ice meant to stop his passes). His ability to land the perfect pass in traffic is almost as important as his ability to see the play unfold in front him before anyone else. Without his ability to make the perfect pass about a third of passes would not be effective. Also his slap shot( his accuracy is legendary ) his lateral movement( the ability to shift gears and go side to side to elude hits) all these skills he worked endlessly on to make him the best player ever. Even Mario credited Gretzky on making him a better player because of how Gretzky worked in the 87 Canada Cup.
Do you mean:

1) off-ice training, like nutrition, conditioning, exercise (gym, bike, weights, etc)
Ex. Gary Roberts

2) on-ice work ethic during a game.
Like tireless worker, hard on the puck, battle along the boards, tenacious.
Ex. John Tonelli

3) on-ice but in practice. Working on skating (footwork or stride), shot (speed, accuracy, release, backhand)
Ex. Crosby, Gretzky, most star players work really hard on their game.


These are three unique aspects of "hard work" and you'd probably get different answers for each.

I remember Kevin Weekes, on NHLnetwork, once said the hardest worker off the ice, he'd ever seen was Rick DiPietro. That surprised me, obviously did nothing for him with all the injuries.

Tavares is so incredibly focused on his hockey that he works on all aspects, showing tremendous improvements year over year as well, specifically his skating speed and strength/balance.


Last edited by redbull: 09-08-2012 at 12:46 AM.
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Old
09-07-2012, 11:27 PM
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As nice as it is to work out and do off-ice training the fact is, nobody gets better at hockey by not playing hockey. Gretzky's workouts were all on the ice and that helped his game more than any free weights or 10k run ever could.

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09-07-2012, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Long Duk Dong View Post
Gary Roberts, Rod Brind'Amour, Chara. Freaks of conditioning
ironically, one guy who is sometimes considered a lazy player on the ice had one of the most demanding training regimens off of it. that was pavel bure, whose father was an olympic medalist and who worked pavel and valeri like dogs their entier lives. pavel routinely tested as the strongest canuck, on top of having the best endurance and physical conditioning. the one thing he didn't test at the top of on the team was, funnily enough, speed, which was behind garry valk and later bret hedican. but for a 5'10" kid who was 22 years old to be physically stronger than big huge guys like babych and antoski and linden is ridiculous.

i'll dispense with the shirtless pics but you can find them for yourself if you want.

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09-07-2012, 11:38 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
As nice as it is to work out and do off-ice training the fact is, nobody gets better at hockey by not playing hockey. Gretzky's workouts were all on the ice and that helped his game more than any free weights or 10k run ever could.
i think of gretzky like i think of kobe bryant. just a ridiculous dedication to bettering themselves on the court/ice and true students of the game. i hate kobe the person but begrudgingly respect the hell out of kobe the professional. someone wrote some years ago, when lebron was out "building his brand," kobe spent his summer in the gym developing a low post game to extend his prime. later, after watching an old kobe putting in crazy hours in the gym on the olympic team, while everyone else was out partying and enjoying the olympics, levron started working on adding new dimensions to his game and now look at him, he's playing some of the best basketball we've ever seen. similar to mario and gretzky in '87.

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09-07-2012, 11:55 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i think of gretzky like i think of kobe bryant. just a ridiculous dedication to bettering themselves on the court/ice and true students of the game. i hate kobe the person but begrudgingly respect the hell out of kobe the professional. someone wrote some years ago, when lebron was out "building his brand," kobe spent his summer in the gym developing a low post game to extend his prime. later, after watching an old kobe putting in crazy hours in the gym on the olympic team, while everyone else was out partying and enjoying the olympics, levron started working on adding new dimensions to his game and now look at him, he's playing some of the best basketball we've ever seen. similar to mario and gretzky in '87.
I don't know if this is true or not (though I suspect it is for the most part) but I had a SAT teacher once explain the importance of constant practice for memorization through a Kobe analogy. He said that Shaq might have more physical gifts than Kobe but Kobe will always be remembered as the better player for his work ethic, the example being that Shaq never worked on his free throws but Kobe takes 100 free throws in practice the next day for every one he misses during a game. It really is amazing how much some professionals (athletes or otherwise) push themselves, not just once or over a short duration but every day of their lives.

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09-08-2012, 01:38 AM
  #25
Ogie Goldthorpe
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Bobby Clarke was my first thought... and Smyl my homer thought.

I'd also say that Gilmour in '93 and Linden in '94 looked like zombies who'd been beaten with baseball bats by the time the 3rd (Gilmour) and final (Linden) round of the playoffs happened. Still, both still lead their teams, played in both ends (and the corners) and scored the clutch goals when the counted. It looked like they'd forfeited years off their lives (or careers) to carry their teams as far as they went.

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