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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Guys who changed their playing style the most?

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04-27-2013, 03:03 PM
  #1
delled
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Guys who changed their playing style the most?

As the title says, I'm interested in players who changed their style to great success. I'd like to add a qualifier though, you can't use their rookie season as your argument, because guys have to iron things out.

So if you could provide examples of players that played a certain definitive way for 2+ years, and whether they had success or not that way, they eventually changed their style (perhaps to adapt to current league trends) and ended up successful anyhow.

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04-27-2013, 03:22 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Stan Mikita

Stan Mikita went from a PIM leader candidate to a Lady Byng candidate at the height of his career.

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04-27-2013, 03:24 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Scott Stevens changed from being a puck rushing defenseman who took care of his own zone to a pure shut down defenseman pretty much over the course of a single season in 1994-95. He was always a hard hitter though.

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04-27-2013, 06:24 PM
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Big Phil
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Red Kelly went from being a defenseman to a forward practically overnight.

I know some people don't want to hear it.............but Matt Cooke is another one

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04-27-2013, 06:33 PM
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Kloparren
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What's exactly the time line for Kelly being a dman or fwd?

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04-27-2013, 06:36 PM
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Most people are probably not aware of it but Bobby Hull was a playmaking centre his first 2 years in the NHL. It was not really until his 5th season that he took off as a goal scorer.

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04-27-2013, 06:39 PM
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jigglysquishy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kloparren View Post
What's exactly the time line for Kelly being a dman or fwd?
He switched when he got traded from Detroit to Toronto. He played the remaining 18 games of the season as a d-man, but they asked him to switch to centre in the off-season.

Wikipedia says it was because of trying to combat playing against Beliveau.

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04-27-2013, 06:45 PM
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yzerman

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04-27-2013, 07:00 PM
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MiamiScreamingEagles
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Depending on the criteria desired, Mark Howe could be an answer when you include his WHA days and also a change of positions.

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04-27-2013, 07:14 PM
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John Belushi
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Joey Juneau went from a 90pt 1st line center to a dependable 2-way 3rd liner for years after he lost his dynamic offensive touch.

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04-27-2013, 08:00 PM
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DisgruntledGoat
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I wonder if Taylor Hall will belong here in a few years.

His first two years, he was a reckless player who put himself in dangerous spots frequently. This year, he's emerged as a more effective, restrained player who dishes it out (Brodin, Clutterbuck) more than he takes it.

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04-27-2013, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
He switched when he got traded from Detroit to Toronto. He played the remaining 18 games of the season as a d-man, but they asked him to switch to centre in the off-season.

Wikipedia says it was because of trying to combat playing against Beliveau.
There is seems to be evidence that Kelly was playing some forward with Detroit in 57ish with a vote for the spot season all star at a forward position.

As to the OP, Mike Modano comes to mind as becoming very defensively responsible later in his career under Hitch, literally a night and day transformation from earlier in his career.

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04-27-2013, 09:21 PM
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There is seems to be evidence that Kelly was playing some forward with Detroit in 57ish with a vote for the spot season all star at a forward position.

As to the OP, Mike Modano comes to mind as becoming very defensively responsible later in his career under Hitch, literally a night and day transformation from earlier in his career.
While I think Modano's defense was overrated due to being linemates with Jere Lehtinen, another player who fits the "good offense, weak defensively" to "strong two-way player" who played at the same time and has a similar timeframe for his transformation is Joe Sakic.

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04-27-2013, 10:05 PM
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Yzerman and Stevens are two good ones.

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04-27-2013, 11:15 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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There is seems to be evidence that Kelly was playing some forward with Detroit in 57ish with a vote for the spot season all star at a forward position.
In 1955-56, Kelly played about 1/4 of the season at LW due to injuries. It's almost certainly why he lost the 1st Team All Star vote at D to Bill Gadsby, while finishing 4th in Hart voting (1st among defensemen).

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04-27-2013, 11:26 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Wasn't Serge Savard more of a rushing defenseman before the two broken legs? Trottier turned himself into a pretty good defensive centerman after his big offensive years. Kind of a combination of choice and what age was dictating.

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04-27-2013, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
In 1955-56, Kelly played about 1/4 of the season at LW due to injuries. It's almost certainly why he lost the 1st Team All Star vote at D to Bill Gadsby, while finishing 4th in Hart voting (1st among defensemen).
This is around the same time that Kelly started slipping in Norris voting, one has to wonder how much the idea of him playing as a LW for that partial seasons lingered on in voters minds or if in fact his play slipped while Harvey's rose.

Kelly's point totals did begin to dip in 57, mainly due to less assists but it's hard to tell if the 56 voting had any lingering affects on the voters perception of Kelly being a Dman.

More than anything else it would be very helpfull if post season award voting had been transparent and their was an individual record over time, with the almost certain more information, on those voting records.

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04-28-2013, 12:22 AM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
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Wasn't Serge Savard more of a rushing defenseman before the two broken legs? Trottier turned himself into a pretty good defensive centerman after his big offensive years. Kind of a combination of choice and what age was dictating.
Yes. Was the Conn Smythe winner in 1969. Had the injuries and came back and played a more stay at home style who was content on letting Robinson carry the puck and have his back. Savard still had very good offensive instincts though and he didn't shy away from jumping into the rush when it was safe. I don't know about Trottier though. He was always great defensively, I just think when his offense dried out he remained serviceable and was able to be a depth player. I'm not sure if he adjusted at all.

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04-28-2013, 01:52 AM
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I know some people don't want to hear it.............but Matt Cooke is another one
He didn't change his playing style he only removed an outlying element, and he also only did it for the best of himself

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04-28-2013, 01:54 AM
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Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Wasn't Serge Savard more of a rushing defenseman before the two broken legs? Trottier turned himself into a pretty good defensive centerman after his big offensive years. Kind of a combination of choice and what age was dictating.
Trotts always was a pretty good defensive center even when he was scoring big. Beast on faceoffs too.

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04-28-2013, 01:55 AM
  #21
Morgoth Bauglir
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Yes. Was the Conn Smythe winner in 1969. Had the injuries and came back and played a more stay at home style who was content on letting Robinson carry the puck and have his back. Savard still had very good offensive instincts though and he didn't shy away from jumping into the rush when it was safe. I don't know about Trottier though. He was always great defensively, I just think when his offense dried out he remained serviceable and was able to be a depth player. I'm not sure if he adjusted at all.
Beat me to it lol

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04-28-2013, 08:27 AM
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BubbaBoot
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Mikita is the most famous of all.

After a great 5 seasons start with the Caps, Bobby Carpenter became a solid two way player with good defensive capabilities after getting his knees trashed, cutting down his speed and lateral mobility. Lasted another dozen years, even had a couple of 25 goal seasons and a Cup to boot.... another case of woulda, coulda, shoulda.

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04-28-2013, 09:06 AM
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Dave Babych. Was an offensive defenseman in the 80's who didn't seem to care much about the defensive zone (used to post horrendous +/- numbers despite being part of playoff-teams), but later turned into a solid rearguard on the Canucks '94 team.

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