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What if...Gordie Howe played for Montreal?

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04-28-2013, 11:04 PM
  #1
ForsbergForever
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What if...Gordie Howe played for Montreal?

http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Howe-Could-You

As this article states, it almost happened. So if not for Habs GM Frank Selke's overwhelming respect for his colleague, Howe might have begun his NHL career much differently. What would the ramifications for the history of the league and Howe's legacy have been? Imagine having both Maurice Richard and Howe on the right wing...would that have made Montreal unbeatable?

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04-28-2013, 11:17 PM
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tombombadil
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i'm not incredibly knowledgeable about 50's hockey, but ya, i bet they win nearly every Cup.

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04-28-2013, 11:50 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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howe, rocket, boom boom. a ridiculous 1-2-3 punch at RW. add beliveau and moore and that's every rocket richard trophy from 50-59, with boom boom winning another one in 61 and gordie in 63.

also, eight straight art rosses.

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04-29-2013, 12:10 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Montreal went to the Stanley Cup finals 10 straight years from 1951 to 1960. They won Cups in 1953 and 1956-1960.

Detroit won the 1950 Cup after Howe got injured, so they probably still win that one. Toronto beats Montreal in 1951 - does Gordie Howe make a difference? Maybe.

Detroit wins the 1952, 1954, and 1955 Cups and by this point Gordie Howe is in his prime. Put Howe on Montreal? I think there's a good chance Montreal wins 9 straight Cups between 1952 and 1960. They might even win 1951 too; hard to tell.

This is assuming Montreal finds room for all of Maurice Richard, Bernard Geoffrion, and Gordie Howe in the lineup. They pretty much have to move one of them to a different position at that point. Which one is most likely to move? Not the Rocket, he was an established star already.

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04-29-2013, 12:26 AM
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EagleBelfour
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Never heard of that story before. Mind blowing to even imagine. Honestly, how can you stop a lineup like that on a regular basis, at least enough time to win a 4-7? Just take the 1955-56 Montreal Canadiens edition:

Bert Olmstead - Jean Béliveau - Bernard Geoffrion
Dickie Moore - Henri Richard - Maurice Richard
Floyd Curry - Ken Mosdell - Claude Provost

Doug Harvey - Jean-Guy Talbot
Tom Johnson - Dollard St-Laurent

Jacques Plante


Then add Gordie Howe. Afterwards, trade Bernard Geoffrion, coming off an Art Ross winning season at 24 years of age, for a star defenceman. Let's say Red Kelly, as the Detroit Red Wings are in need of a star RW. Then you get:


Bert Olmstead - Jean Béliveau - Gordie Howe
Dickie Moore - Henri Richard - Maurice Richard
Floyd Curry - Ken Mosdell - Claude Provost

Doug Harvey - Jean-Guy Talbot
Red Kelly - Tom Johnson

Jacques Plante


... How many games a healthy lineup like this one realistically lose? 4-to 6 games?


Last edited by EagleBelfour: 04-29-2013 at 12:35 AM.
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04-29-2013, 12:33 AM
  #6
TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleBelfour View Post
Never heard of that story before. Mind blowing to even imagine. Honestly, how can you stop a lineup like that on a regular basis, at least enough time to win a 4-7? Just take the 1955-56 Montreal Canadiens edition:

Bert Olmstead - Jean Béliveau - Gordie Howe
Dickie Moore - Henri Richard - Maurice Richard
Floyd Curry - Ken Mosdell - Claude Provost

Doug Harvey - Jean-Guy Talbot
Tom Johnson - Dollard St-Laurent

Jacques Plante


... How many games a healthy lineup like this one realistically lose? 6-to-8 games? If even.
And you have to assume Bernard Geoffrion is in the lineup, or traded for a defenseman.

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04-29-2013, 01:01 AM
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ForsbergForever
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
And you have to assume Bernard Geoffrion is in the lineup, or traded for a defenseman.
And if we're going this far, what about a world in which the Habs treat Teeder Kennedy a little better and thus ends up sticking with Montreal instead of being traded to the Leafs for Frank Eddolls?

A circa 1958 line-up?

Kennedy-Beliveau-Howe
Moore-Olmstead-Richard
Curry-Mosdell-Provost

Harvey-Johnson
(Kelly?)-Talbot

Plante

Alternate history sure is a scary thing...

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04-29-2013, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Montreal went to the Stanley Cup finals 10 straight years from 1951 to 1960. They won Cups in 1953 and 1956-1960.

Detroit won the 1950 Cup after Howe got injured, so they probably still win that one. Toronto beats Montreal in 1951 - does Gordie Howe make a difference? Maybe.

Detroit wins the 1952, 1954, and 1955 Cups and by this point Gordie Howe is in his prime. Put Howe on Montreal? I think there's a good chance Montreal wins 9 straight Cups between 1952 and 1960. They might even win 1951 too; hard to tell.

This is assuming Montreal finds room for all of Maurice Richard, Bernard Geoffrion, and Gordie Howe in the lineup. They pretty much have to move one of them to a different position at that point. Which one is most likely to move? Not the Rocket, he was an established star already.
Howe being ambidextrous, I bet he could have played both wings.

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04-29-2013, 01:25 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Eisen View Post
Howe being ambidextrous, I bet he could have played both wings.
Good point. In Detroit, the established star was Ted Lindsay on left wing.

God, imagine this lineup:

Gordie Howe - Jean Beliveau - Bernard Geoffrion
Dickie Moore - Henri Richard - Maurice Richard
Bert Olmstead - Ken Mosdell - Claude Provost

Dollard St. Laurent - Doug Harvey
Jean-Guy Talbot - Tom Johnson

Jacques Plante

Sorry Floyd Curry, but there's no room for you.

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04-29-2013, 01:32 AM
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Eisen
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Good point. In Detroit, the established star was Ted Lindsay on left wing.

God, imagine this lineup:

Gordie Howe - Jean Beliveau - Bernard Geoffrion
Dickie Moore - Henri Richard - Maurice Richard
Bert Olmstead - Ken Mosdell - Claude Provost

Dollard St. Laurent - Doug Harvey
Jean-Guy Talbot - Tom Johnson

Jacques Plante

Sorry Floyd Curry, but there's no room for you.
Best forward group of the last and probably the next century.

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04-30-2013, 03:26 PM
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You have to remember too, up until 1954 they've still got Elmer Lach. I suppose Detroit wins in 1950 still. 1951 was 5 overtime games between Montreal and Toronto. Leafs win in 5. Howe incredibly never scored a playoff overtime goal in his life, but with his prescence do the games even get that far? 1952 Howe isn't on the Red Wings. However, Sawchuk played out of this world, that is the only wild card there. I say guaranteed they win the Cup from 1953-'60. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say 1951 and 1952 also. Plus Lindsay arguably doesn't win the Ross in 1950. Hull may not win it in 1960 either. Howe was only 7 points behind them. Beliveau 6. Depending on how high you assume Howe elevates his teammates and himself and you might have a decade of Art Ross winners. Even in the 1961 playoffs Howe could easily have made a difference in those close games against Chicago.

Bottom line, this is probably the greatest dynasty in all of sports, even better than the Celtics of the 1960s

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04-30-2013, 03:27 PM
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He'd be known as "Monsieur le hockey"

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04-30-2013, 06:27 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Montreal went to the Stanley Cup finals 10 straight years from 1951 to 1960. They won Cups in 1953 and 1956-1960.

Detroit won the 1950 Cup after Howe got injured, so they probably still win that one. Toronto beats Montreal in 1951 - does Gordie Howe make a difference? Maybe.

Detroit wins the 1952, 1954, and 1955 Cups and by this point Gordie Howe is in his prime. Put Howe on Montreal? I think there's a good chance Montreal wins 9 straight Cups between 1952 and 1960. They might even win 1951 too; hard to tell.

This is assuming Montreal finds room for all of Maurice Richard, Bernard Geoffrion, and Gordie Howe in the lineup. They pretty much have to move one of them to a different position at that point. Which one is most likely to move? Not the Rocket, he was an established star already.
This is the 1st thing that came to mind for me, something would need to give there and/or we look at all 3 guys differently in history a little bit.

My guess is that the non francophone, Howe, would have been the odd man out and probably go on to do what he did more or less anyways.

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04-30-2013, 06:35 PM
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Maybe the sum would not be as great as the parts, like with Colorado in 04.

That team had injuries but arguably had 4 of the top forwards in the previous decade.

It's really hard to speculate how things would have turned out.

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04-30-2013, 06:58 PM
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Maybe the sum would not be as great as the parts, like with Colorado in 04.

That team had injuries but arguably had 4 of the top forwards in the previous decade.

It's really hard to speculate how things would have turned out.
Because the 1998 All-Star team is supposed to dominate six years into some crippling injuries for each player? The Canadiens aren't adding Bill Cowley in 1946; they're adding a young Gordie Howe. There's only an upside here.

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04-30-2013, 07:05 PM
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Because the 1998 All-Star team is supposed to dominate six years into some crippling injuries for each player? The Canadiens aren't adding Bill Cowley in 1946; they're adding a young Gordie Howe. There's only an upside here.
I just used the Avs as the best example that popped into my head, the point of the matter is that often in sports that teams on paper can often look much better than the actual performance.

Every year we see teams that under perform to their given expectations and we can only speculate Howes impact on that Habs team, it's not a slight to Howe but rather the observations of weird nuisances in sports at times.

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04-30-2013, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForsbergForever View Post
http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/article/Howe-Could-You

As this article states, it almost happened. So if not for Habs GM Frank Selke's overwhelming respect for his colleague, Howe might have begun his NHL career much differently. What would the ramifications for the history of the league and Howe's legacy have been? Imagine having both Maurice Richard and Howe on the right wing...would that have made Montreal unbeatable?
He was also almost a Ranger: http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com...-get-away.html

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04-30-2013, 07:39 PM
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And he WAS a Red Wing!

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04-30-2013, 08:56 PM
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And he WAS a Red Wing!
He was that. I have a very hard time imagining him as anything else....
and Im told I have quite the imagination. Right guy, right place, right time.

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05-01-2013, 02:02 AM
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Zil
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And he WAS a Red Wing!
Gee, I never knew that. Thanks for enlightening me.

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05-02-2013, 10:08 AM
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tony d
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If Howe had been a Montreal Canadien that team would be regarded on a much higher level than they are now and would have many more Cups.

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