I just can't rank Kelly over Harvey, when the consensus among people who saw both seems to be that Harvey was better, right?
Well, I unfortunately have no memory of seeing Doug Harvey play, not even when he came out of retirement at 44 or whatever it was, and obviously well past it by that stage. Overall though, I think it might well be debatable TDMM. Good arguments made for Red. Kelly was an AllStar Defenceman all through the 50's, converted to a forward in Toronto and an excellent defensive one at that, pretty much proto-typical and again, AllStar, big contributor to the Leafs multiple StanleyCups as you & everyone else well knows. All that being said, and Kelly I did see, still sticking with Harvey@5th Best, Kelly down the line. Harvey was an influential, seminal player in the games development, a Superstar, bridge between Shore & Orr. Least ways thats how I read it.
I think that Bossy always gets shorted on these but he's probably closer to top 10.
4 Stanley cups, Conn Smythe, Calder, 3 Lady Byng, 5 first team, 3 second team and...
9 straight 50 goal seasons ?!?!?!?!?
I like Richard in this spot,and always have. I realize some other guys have better statistical arguments, but Richard may be as good a clutch player as there ever was, and in a sport so big on intangibles, he's got pretty sterling credentials there, too.
Hasek and Jagr aren't in my top ten. Yzerman and Sakic aren't in my top twenty. I haven't yet given a lot of thought where Lidstrom ranks (I feel some time needs to pass to put his career in perspective) but he's more likely in the 15-20 range.
Not ranking them, just sharing my memories of some of the legends being mentioned:
Bobby Hull: The first game I ever went to was at the Montreal Forum in the late 60s, with the Hawks as the visitors. Hull was an absolute bull, probably the strongest guy on the ice, with a combination of speed and strength that was beyond anyone in the league. Unmatched physical presence. And what a friggin' slapshot!
Bobby Orr: I was too young to appreciate the intelligence of his game, but I remember watching his unbelievable rushes and puck control on TV. Also remember Larry Robinson laying a massive hip check on Orr when I was at the Forum.
Jean Beliveau: Saw him at the tail-end of his career, so I didn't see the speed and dominance in his prime. But he was always the team's icon, its face and undisputed leader. Everybody loved the guy then, as they do now. Met him in person about 15 years ago - gave me a nice smile and was as gracious as you'd imagine he'd be.
Guy Lafleur: My first poster in my bedroom was Lafleur as a rookie, wearing a temporary number on his uniform. I was lucky enough to see him through his career, taking the bus downtown to the Forum dozens of times. $7 bought us standing-room tickets that were always available, letting me and my friends hang out in the upper corridors and watch the 70s Habs make history. Lafleur was fast, lithe and deadly, with that flowing hair that - like Hull - made him visually appealing.
I've seen him at a few functions over the years. Weird that this towering hockey icon is about my height.