Just wondering about the general consensus on these two players is. Which had the better career and/or who would you prefer to have on your team? I know they are unrelated, but I thought that they had some similarities career wise. John had a bit more longevity but at their peak both players were consistent 30 to 40 goal scorers (Paul broke the 100 point plateau in 84-85). Both could play with a bit of an edge if necessary. John has a ring though, which along with his longevity might tip the scales in his favor for me.
Yeah, Paul had that big season, but he was very one dimensional. There used to be a guy at the old Winnipeg Arena who would bellow when Big Mac wasn't skating,"Have another cement burger Maclean." I don't recall him creating too many goals. He was more of a finisher, relying on Hawerchuk's pretty passes most of the time. Kind of like Tim Kerr.
Never saw Paul play but these are the types of threads we need. Not the constant Lidstrom vs Bourque or Messier vs whomever. Everyone can find info about those players and it devolves into pointless arguments about which great was greater.
I like reading up on notable players like these two who don't get mentioned much.
Paul MacLean was forced to retire due to a rib injury in 1990-91.
If we look at the years starting with P.MacLean's 81-82 season until then, and compare that to the same stretch by age over J.MacLean's career, we get this.
Paul MacLean played in a much higher scoring era, and benefited from playing with Dale Hawerchuk and later Steve Yzerman. John MacLean benefited from consistently having solid scoring on his team to help him (such a Kirk Muller, Patrik Sundstrom, Pat Verbeek, Brendan Shanahan, Claude Lemieux, Stephane Richer, Alexander Semak, Valeri Zelepukin, Bill Guerin, and Bobby Holik).
Paul beats John soundly in raw points and PPG over that period, and beats him not-so-soundly in adjusted points and PPG. But that's not all, of course. John was better when not scoring, and obviously didn't have his career ended at 32.
I still have to go with Paul MacLean though, if only as a broken tie. A 21.4% career shooting percentage is nothing to sneeze at for a guy who scored goals at a .45 GPG rate (54th all-time).
But neither of these guys was more than a mediocre first liner capable of putting up a stellar year here or there, but not in line with the star wingers.
John for me...a slight edge in prime regular season offense for Paul is not enough to make up for John's pretty clear edges in longevity, playoffs, physicality, and defense.
Pretty much this.
Paul was a good finisher who put up good numbers while playing with a HHOF center in Dale Hawerchuk.
John was a terrific all-around player who put up only slightly inferior numbers while usually being the best player on his line. Or pre 1991 knee injury at least - he was never quite the same player after missing an entire season.