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"A Century of Hockey Heroes" -- a pseudo- Top-100 List

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12-16-2012, 09:00 PM
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tarheelhockey
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"A Century of Hockey Heroes" -- a pseudo- Top-100 List

This book was published by the NHL in 1999 and appears to be aimed at an audience around age 12 or so. It contains a 2-page spread on each of 100 historic players, with a basic bio in addition to photos, stats and the like. I picked it up secondhand for $4.

The authors are James Duplacey, former HHOF curator, and Eric Zweig, a familiar name in hockey history authorship. Forward is by Gary Bettman.

Now, obviously this isn't a rigorously academic top-100 list as it's aimed at introducing young fans to the history of the game. But it does serve as a sort of statement on who the league quasi-officially deemed the top 100 most meaningful, important players as of 1999. The list is in alpha order, so there's no controversy over the order, but there's certainly room for debate over who made the cut. I think it's particularly interesting that the list contains significant representation from the early era and non-NHL Europeans. The introduction mentions that the list is based on the 20th Century only, so keep that in mind if you're missing someone really early.

Syl Apps
Hobey Baker
Andy Bathgate
Jean Beliveau
Clint Benedict
Doug Bentley
Max Bentley
Vsevolod Bobrov
Mike Bossy
Frank Boucher
Raymond Bourque
Turk Broda
Pavel Bure
Chris Chelios
King Clancy
Dit Clapper
Bobby Clarke
Paul Coffey
Charlie Conacher
Bill Cook
Yvan Cournoyer
Bill Cowley
Cy Denneny
Marcel Dionne
Ken Dryden
Bill Durnan
Babe Dye
Phil Esposito
Viacheslav Fetisov
Anatoli Firsov
Peter Forsberg
Ron Francis
Bob Gainey
Mike Gartner
Bernie Geoffrion
Michel Goulet
Wayne Gretzky
George Hainsworth
Glenn Hall
Doug Harvey
Dominik Hasek
Bryan Hextall
Jiri Holocek
Tim Horton
Gordie Howe
Bobby Hull
Brett Hull
Jaromir Jagr
Tumba Johansson
Aurel Joliat
Paul Kariya
Red Kelly
Teeder Kennedy
Valeri Kharlamov
Jari Kurri
Elmer Lach
Guy Lafleur
Newsy Lalonde
John Leclair
Mario Lemieux
Eric Lindros
Ted Lindsay
Al MacInnis
Frank Mahovlich
Joe Malone
Alexander Maltsev
Frank McGee
Mark Messier
Stan Mikita
Mike Modano
Dickie Moore
Howie Morenz
Vaclav Nedomansky
Frank Nighbor
Bobby Orr
Brad Park
Lester Patrick
Jacques Plante
Denis Potvin
Henri Richard
Maurice Richard
Larry Robinson
Art Ross
Patrick Roy
Joe Sakic
Denis Savard
Terry Sawchuk
Milt Schmidt
Teemu Selanne
Eddie Shore
Darryl Sittler
Peter Stastny
Nels Stewart
Mats Sundin
Cyclone Taylor
Vladislav Tretiak
Bryan Trottier
Valeri Vasiliev
Georges Vezina
Steve Yzerman

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12-16-2012, 09:09 PM
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Hardyvan123
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At a quick glance it looks better than every list in that recent magazine we ahve been talking about.

Is Jacques Lemaire the "best guy" not named?

1st guy that stood out off the top of my head for only the 20th Century.

Also was the cutoff 99 or 00?

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12-16-2012, 09:14 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Frank Brimsek, Dave Keon, Boris Mikhailov, Sergei Makarov, Borje Salming, and Serge Savard were missing names that jumped out at me. Not bad compared to some other lists though.


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12-16-2012, 09:14 PM
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looks good to me. Salming jumps out as missing.... I'm sure there are more.

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12-16-2012, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Borje Salming, Dave Keon, Serge Savard, Scott Stevens, Brian Leetch and Igor Larionov were missing names that jumped out at me
oooooh, good work. That trumps my simple "Salming"

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12-16-2012, 09:16 PM
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Makarov

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12-16-2012, 09:17 PM
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no Brodeur. Really reminds me how his stock went up after Hasek faded.

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12-16-2012, 09:21 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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oooooh, good work. That trumps my simple "Salming"
I edited out Leetch, Stevens, and Larionov thinking they may have been left off just because their careers weren't over...Fedorov would be another. Added Makarov and Mikhailov

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12-16-2012, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Frank Brimsek, Dave Keon, Boris Mikhailov, Sergei Makarov, Borje Salming, and Serge Savard were missing names that jumped out at me. Not bad compared to some other lists though.
Sergie is a huge omission IMO given the other russian guys and on the list.

Savard never really got the hardware and Salming played on bad teams but all 3 should be on the list IMO.

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12-16-2012, 09:28 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Looking at it the other way, there's not really anyone that's completely out of place on the list. Even if some of the guys aren't Top 100 players, they are important to the game in their own right, like Hobey Baker, Art Ross, Tumba Johansson, Vsevolod Bobrov, Mike Gartner (he's probably the most "average" guy on there).

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12-16-2012, 09:34 PM
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no Brodeur. Really reminds me how his stock went up after Hasek faded.
I think winning his 2nd and 3rd Cup and first 4 Vezinas had more to do with it than Hasek fading

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12-16-2012, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Looking at it the other way, there's not really anyone that's completely out of place on the list. Even if some of the guys aren't Top 100 players, they are important to the game in their own right, like Hobey Baker, Art Ross, Tumba Johansson, Vsevolod Bobrov, Mike Gartner (he's probably the most "average" guy on there).
glad to see Tumba on here. He's actually the first guy I looked for. Sweden was something of an actual powerhouse for a while, which gets lost in history, and it reads like he was the number one reason.


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12-16-2012, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Looking at it the other way, there's not really anyone that's completely out of place on the list. Even if some of the guys aren't Top 100 players, they are important to the game in their own right, like Hobey Baker, Art Ross, Tumba Johansson, Vsevolod Bobrov, Mike Gartner (he's probably the most "average" guy on there).
We will agree to disagree but there is way too much "what if" for Hobey baker to be on this list IMO.

We only have 5 seasons for him after high school and it's debatable what kind of competition Princeton had in the Ivy college league at that time.

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12-16-2012, 10:30 PM
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I somehow like that list. Just a quick glance over the names, and they all exemplified something. No complicated breaking down of stats (not that I have anything against stats). Just names that are in your head and always come up.

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12-16-2012, 10:45 PM
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I edited out Leetch, Stevens, and Larionov thinking they may have been left off just because their careers weren't over...Fedorov would be another. Added Makarov and Mikhailov
They included Kariya, Leclair, Bure, and Selanne though.

And Larionov's career was almost over in 1999; he played his prime with the Russian team and then played some good years with Vancouver before making his way to Detroit via San Jose.

Fedorov had a Hart (first Euro), two Selkes (first Euro), a first-team selection (first Euro center), an NHL-record four straight 20+point playoff seasons, two Cups (soon to be three), and was 274-398-674 in 604, compared to Kariya (168-210-378 in 302), Bure (267-227-494 in 439) and Leclair (269-269-538 in 583). Selanne had a legitimate offensive edge (313-331-644 in 485) but Kariya's sample size was much smaller, Bure's offense was right on par with defensive center Fedorov's, and Leclair was simply way behind - no amount of toughness makes up the gap between Leclair and Fedorov.

There's no reason to leave him off if you have those guys on.

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12-16-2012, 10:56 PM
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Also was the cutoff 99 or 00?
It was published in '99.

One intriguing omission, considering the timing: Eric Lindros. Forsberg is there (that's the 1999 Forsberg), Leclair is there, Kariya is there. But no Lindros.

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12-16-2012, 11:14 PM
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It was published in '99.

One intriguing omission, considering the timing: Eric Lindros. Forsberg is there (that's the 1999 Forsberg), Leclair is there, Kariya is there. But no Lindros.
Check again

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12-16-2012, 11:21 PM
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We will agree to disagree but there is way too much "what if" for Hobey baker to be on this list IMO.

We only have 5 seasons for him after high school and it's debatable what kind of competition Princeton had in the Ivy college league at that time.
Agree if you are talking about his ability, but that's not what I meant, I said he was deserved because of his importance to the game. Regardless of what level he accomplished it at, he was the first American to become a star/famous from playing hockey, and that is important to the history of the game. Supported by his induction in the first ever HHOF class.

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12-16-2012, 11:26 PM
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Check again
Oh jeez. And I typed the OP list too. That's


So... ummm... yeah. There's Lindros.

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12-16-2012, 11:27 PM
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They included Kariya, Leclair, Bure, and Selanne though.

And Larionov's career was almost over in 1999; he played his prime with the Russian team and then played some good years with Vancouver before making his way to Detroit via San Jose.

Fedorov had a Hart (first Euro), two Selkes (first Euro), a first-team selection (first Euro center), an NHL-record four straight 20+point playoff seasons, two Cups (soon to be three), and was 274-398-674 in 604, compared to Kariya (168-210-378 in 302), Bure (267-227-494 in 439) and Leclair (269-269-538 in 583). Selanne had a legitimate offensive edge (313-331-644 in 485) but Kariya's sample size was much smaller, Bure's offense was right on par with defensive center Fedorov's, and Leclair was simply way behind - no amount of toughness makes up the gap between Leclair and Fedorov.

There's no reason to leave him off if you have those guys on.
Agree, the only thing I can think of is that the guys who did make the list were probably extremely popular at the time of the book release (so including them would help sell books). Some of the guys I mentioned (although not all), had already passed their peaks.

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12-16-2012, 11:41 PM
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Leclair is the one I don't quite get. Even back in 1999 I didn't think of him as being better than Fedorov, and he surely wasn't as important as Salming.

Kariya, Lindros, Bure... not the greatest selections in hindsight, but they make sense in a 1999 frame of reference. Gartner retired the previous year and was riding the HHOF hype train. But Leclair... I dunno, that one really sticks out to me.

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12-16-2012, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Leclair is the one I don't quite get. Even back in 1999 I didn't think of him as being better than Fedorov, and he surely wasn't as important as Salming.

Kariya, Lindros, Bure... not the greatest selections in hindsight, but they make sense in a 1999 frame of reference. Gartner retired the previous year and was riding the HHOF hype train. But Leclair... I dunno, that one really sticks out to me.
It probably had a lot to do with what LeClair did in the years right before the book was written. Named to the first or 2nd AS team LW 5 years in a row going in, and 10th, 5th, 3rd, 3rd, and 5th in goals in the league in the five years before the book was written.

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12-16-2012, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Leclair is the one I don't quite get. Even back in 1999 I didn't think of him as being better than Fedorov, and he surely wasn't as important as Salming.
I don't know... that guy was coming off of four-and-a-half years in Philadelphia of burying the puck like a madman. If it's 1999, I put him on the list, because I assume he's good for 500 Goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
It probably had a lot to do with what LeClair did in the years right before the book was written. Named to the first or 2nd AS team LW 5 years in a row going in, and 10th, 5th, 3rd, 3rd, and 5th in goals in the league in the five years before the book was written.
Cumulatively, I know he's tops in the league in those five years.

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12-16-2012, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
We will agree to disagree but there is way too much "what if" for Hobey baker to be on this list IMO.

We only have 5 seasons for him after high school and it's debatable what kind of competition Princeton had in the Ivy college league at that time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Agree if you are talking about his ability, but that's not what I meant, I said he was deserved because of his importance to the game. Regardless of what level he accomplished it at, he was the first American to become a star/famous from playing hockey, and that is important to the history of the game. Supported by his induction in the first ever HHOF class.
Baker absolutely needs to be on a list of he 100 most historically significant players of all time (which is what this one is), as does Bobrov. I wouldn't have either on a list of the 100 best players of all time.

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12-17-2012, 12:02 AM
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I don't know... that guy was coming off of four-and-a-half years in Philadelphia of burying the puck like a madman. If it's 1999, I put him on the list, because I assume he's good for 500 Goals.
Ahead of Fedorov, though? A Hart, two Selkes, a key player on two Cups, had just won silver in Nagano, and a major cog in the famous Russian Five unit... to me, even at the time, Leclair was not on Fedorov's level as a hockey player.

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