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

Which franchise is the second greatest in NHL history?

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Old
08-16-2013, 08:35 PM
  #101
Stephen
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I like that being beaten in the finals by arguably the two greatest dynasties of all time is being spun as a negative here. There's a very good argument that Boston has 5 more Stanley Cups if not for those two dynasties. Which dynasties got in the way of extra Leaf Cups? The late 50's Habs perhaps, who beat them twice. But they also beat Boston twice, so that's a wash anyway.

The Bruins were not irrelevant in the Original Six as you state. They were terrible for the final stretch of that era leading up to Orr's arrival, but made the playoffs almost every year during the 40's and 50's. Finished in the top half of the standings about half of those years, losing in the finals five times. Not great, but at least competitive. Don't look now, but Boston won the same number of playoff series in the 1950s decade as....drum roll....the Leafs!

I guess you can say Boston wasn't the "premier team" of their era after the early 70's up until two years ago. But being 2nd, 3rd, 4th best for two full decades up until the mid 90's in an expanded league is nothing to sneeze at. Definitely more than "good regular seasons" as you put it. But if we're going to deride the stretch of play Boston has enjoyed over the last 45 years, I'd hate to see what adjectives we'll need to come up with to describe the Leafs.
Between 1992-93 and 2009-10, from when I started watching hockey till the year before the Bruins won the cup, a roughly 2 decade sample size, the Bruins won a grand total of.... drum roll.... 4 playoff rounds.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, in the midst of their 46 years of misery, won 11.

If you count the Bruins cup run and finals appearance, they've won a total of 11 playoff rounds. So for the past twenty years, the Bruins and Leafs actually have the same number of playoff series wins.

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08-17-2013, 08:03 AM
  #102
Kyle McMahon
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Between 1992-93 and 2009-10, from when I started watching hockey till the year before the Bruins won the cup, a roughly 2 decade sample size, the Bruins won a grand total of.... drum roll.... 4 playoff rounds.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, in the midst of their 46 years of misery, won 11.

If you count the Bruins cup run and finals appearance, they've won a total of 11 playoff rounds. So for the past twenty years, the Bruins and Leafs actually have the same number of playoff series wins.
I suppose it's convenient that the Leafs' only decent stretch of post-expansion play overlapped almost perfectly with Boston's only run of mediocrity. I will say though, if Boston hadn't won the Cup two years ago and almost done it again, the argument would be a lot tougher. The Julien era has finally pushed the Bruins past the Leafs (and Oilers, Flyers, and Islanders) in my books.

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08-18-2013, 07:08 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
(...)

I've been watching hockey for 20 years, and even the Montreal Canadiens have been pretty crap during this time frame. They've won 10 playoff rounds including their cup victory in 1993 and have posted 6 minus .500 seasons, missing the playoffs 7 times.
The Leafs in comparison have also won 10 playoff rounds since 1993, posted four sub .500 seasons and missed the playoffs 9 times.
You forgot to keep in mind the new NHL maths since 2005-06 and the elimination of ties.

The Leafs have 9 seasons with more losses than wins since 1993.

Montreal has 7 of those.

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08-18-2013, 07:24 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
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(...) Boston was an irrelevant franchise in a six team league between winning their cup before Pearl Harbor until 1970. (...)
That's also my memory of the Bruins from the late '50s and the '60s, but I saw on Hockey-Reference that they've made the playoffs 68 times since their creation as opposed to 65 times for the Leafs who had a 7 years head start...

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08-18-2013, 07:54 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I suppose it's convenient that the Leafs' only decent stretch of post-expansion play overlapped almost perfectly with Boston's only run of mediocrity. I will say though, if Boston hadn't won the Cup two years ago and almost done it again, the argument would be a lot tougher. The Julien era has finally pushed the Bruins past the Leafs (and Oilers, Flyers, and Islanders) in my books.
Well, your criteria is all over the place.

You put a lot more emphasis on the post expansion era, you want to reward a club for being consistently respectable, all the while punitive against futility and you place a lot of value on finals appearances without necessarily winning. If this is the criteria we're working with, I think Philadelphia is a better franchise than Boston. They've won one less cup than Boston since 1967, but consider they also beat Boston head to head for a Stanley Cup, also won cups consecutively, while Boston did not. They also won their cups in a 16 and 18 team league, which is mathematically more difficult than the 12 and 14 team league that Boston won in for their Orr era cups...

In addition, the Flyers were never bad for as prolonged period in franchise history as Boston during their Original Six days, and they have same number of finals appearances (six), all spread out very evenly in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Plus they handed Boston that humiliating 0-3 comeback back in 2010.

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08-19-2013, 08:22 PM
  #106
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Well, your criteria is all over the place.

You put a lot more emphasis on the post expansion era, you want to reward a club for being consistently respectable, all the while punitive against futility and you place a lot of value on finals appearances without necessarily winning. If this is the criteria we're working with, I think Philadelphia is a better franchise than Boston. They've won one less cup than Boston since 1967, but consider they also beat Boston head to head for a Stanley Cup, also won cups consecutively, while Boston did not. They also won their cups in a 16 and 18 team league, which is mathematically more difficult than the 12 and 14 team league that Boston won in for their Orr era cups...

In addition, the Flyers were never bad for as prolonged period in franchise history as Boston during their Original Six days, and they have same number of finals appearances (six), all spread out very evenly in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Plus they handed Boston that humiliating 0-3 comeback back in 2010.
I'm fine with placing Philly over Boston. Boston's latest Cup win probably makes post-expansion pretty much a dead heat if we consider Boston got a bit of a head start by being an established team. Philly has been generally stronger over the last 20 years though. But Boston wasn't terrible pre-expansion (Chicago and New York get that label), just nothing special, not bad enough that I'd put Philly ahead based on it, so I've got the Bruins ahead right now.

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08-21-2013, 11:36 AM
  #107
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I love how all you so called experts dismiss the real reason why the rangers bruins and blackhawks were very weak during the O6 era {MOD}...there was a league drafting rule in place which stated that you could only draft players within a 50 mile radius of your teams home town, so what do you think happened? all the great nhl players who were born around the Ontario/quebec area all got drafted by the wings,leafs and habs....this meant the rangers had to draft players from places like staten island and new jersey lol...and the bruins and Chicago were in the same situation....so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who had the advantages....


Last edited by Killion: 08-21-2013 at 12:02 PM. Reason: easy there...
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08-21-2013, 01:42 PM
  #108
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I like the discussion, and it just shows there are probably too many ways to look at it to definitively determine what a great franchise is, let alone the greatest. Context always matters.

Obviously Montreal is a storied franchise, but they've also "only" won 2 Cups(and none since the role of money and free agency has really increased dramatically), played for 3, and haven't really been a true contender for the last 20 years or so, since the league absorbed 4 WHA teams. An arbitrary line, but what isn't when you're trying to compare so many teams, over so many years, when they haven't all been around for the same amount of time?

What the Islanders and Oilers did was incredible, but it gets them what now?

Does what Detroit has done in the most recent 20 years negate what they did, or didn't do, for the previous 20?

How much does simple location have to do with it? The Rangers, being in NY, generate a ton of revenue, but what have they done with it? Toronto has people paying to go see the Leafs no matter what the Leafs do. Is that the mark of greatness, just because they're in the perfect location? When Montreal was able to get certain players, sometimes forever, because that's the way the rules were at the time, does that make that franchise great simply because they had the most access to the best players?

A complex topic with no easy answer. The answer almost always changes depending on the specific metric discussed.

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08-21-2013, 02:26 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by tailgunner View Post
I love how all you so called experts dismiss the real reason why the rangers bruins and blackhawks were very weak during the O6 era {MOD}...there was a league drafting rule in place which stated that you could only draft players within a 50 mile radius of your teams home town, so what do you think happened? all the great nhl players who were born around the Ontario/quebec area all got drafted by the wings,leafs and habs....this meant the rangers had to draft players from places like staten island and new jersey lol...and the bruins and Chicago were in the same situation....so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who had the advantages....
A fifty mile radius of Toronto, Montreal, or Detroit excludes a LOT of areas where talent could have came from. Some random team examples of teams that were given an advantage with this rule

1959-60 Montreal Canadiens:

12 of 23 players from outside a 50 mile radius:
Jacques Plante - 95 miles to Montreal
Tom Johnson - 1,251 miles
Bob Turner - 1,745 miles
Jean-Guy Talbot - 92 miles
Al Langlois - 78 miles
Bill Hicke - 1,745 miles
Ab McDonald - 1,473 miles
André Pronovost - 85 miles
Cecil Hoekstra - 1,473 miles
Jean Béliveau - 86 miles
Ralph Backstrom - 445 miles


1954-55 Detroit Red Wings

17 of 19 players from outside a 50 mile radius:

Metro Prystai - 1,099 miles from Detroit*
Earl Reibel - 176 miles
Alex Delvecchio - 786 miles
Vic Stasiuk - 1,504 miles
Ted Lindsay - 412 miles
Tony Leswick - 1,264 miles
Marty Pavelich - 349 miles
Johnny Wilson - 174 miles
Bill Dineen - 848 miles
Marcel Bonin - 560 miles
Gordie Howe - 1,589 miles
Bob Goldham - **
Marcel Pronovost - 668 miles
Red Kelly - 187 miles
Benny Woit - 786 miles
Larry Hillman - 427 miles
Jim Hay - 1,589 miles
Terry Sawchuk - 1,146 miles

* - Originalyl signed by Chicago, didn't fit in their 50 mile radius
** - Originally signed by Toronto, did fit their 50 mile radius

1961-62 Toronto Maple Leafs

22 of 27 players from outside a 50 mile radius:

Johnny Bower - 1,888 miles from Toronto
Don Simmons - ~70 miles
Al Arbour - 241 miles
Tim Horton - 445 miles
Bobby Baun - 1,782 miles
Larry Hillman - 364 miles
Allan Stanley - 438 miles
Larry Keenan - 214 miles
Les Kozak - 1,577 miles
Dick Duff - 364 miles
Bob Nevin - 432 miles
Bert Olmstead - *
Eddit Shack - 241 miles
John MacMillan - 2,057 miles
Ed Litzenberger - 1,663 miles
Red Kelly - **
Alex Faulkner - 1,656 miles
George Armstrong - 241 miles
Ron Stewart - 2,115 miles
Dave Keon - 386 miles
Frank Mahovlich - 438 miles
Billy Harris - ***

* - Originally drafted by Chicago, not in their 50 mile zone
** - Originally drafted by Detroit, not in their 50 mile zone
*** - NO wiki page, unknown birthplace

If it was an advantage, it didn't win them cups. Of those random three Stanley Cup winning teams, the one that had the highest percentage (roughly 60% from outside the 50 mile zone) existed in an area where the majority of the populace spoke a language that was not spoken in the five other locations. Being able to play at home and not have a language barrier would be a plus. And still it was only 40% home grown. Interesting.

Also if all the great players went to the Leafs, Habs and Wings, wouldn't that have meant guys like Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Rod Gilbert (born in Montreal), Harry Howell (born in Hamilton), Andy Bathgate, Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote (born 12 miles from Montreal), Eddie Shore, Lionel Hitchman (born in Toronto), Dit Clapper (born in Newmarket), Johnny Bucyk, and Milt Schmidt would have played there too? And that's just ones that had their numbers retired.

This is of course assuming such a rule existed. A quick research into what preceded the draft netted this blurb:

Quote:
Prior to the development of the Draft, NHL teams sponsored junior teams, and signed prospects in their teens to the junior teams. Players were signed to one of three forms: the "A" form, which committed a player to a tryout; a "B" form, which gave the team an option to sign a player in return for a bonus; and the "C" form, which committed a player's professional rights. The "C" form could only be signed by the player at age eighteen or by the player's parents, often in exchange for some signing bonus.[4] The first drafts (up until the 1968 Amateur Draft) were held to assign players who had not signed with an NHL organization before the sponsorship of junior teams was discontinued after 1968.
In short, even if this rule supposedly existed, there were a LOT of talent out there. Perhaps those clubs issues came more from poor scouting, especially if that rule didn't exist? If you have a link to that rule I'd be interested in reading, although it still doesn't explain all three clubs futility

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08-21-2013, 02:43 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by tailgunner View Post
I love how all you so called experts dismiss the real reason why the rangers bruins and blackhawks were very weak during the O6 era {MOD}...there was a league drafting rule in place which stated that you could only draft players within a 50 mile radius of your teams home town, so what do you think happened? all the great nhl players who were born around the Ontario/quebec area all got drafted by the wings,leafs and habs....this meant the rangers had to draft players from places like staten island and new jersey lol...and the bruins and Chicago were in the same situation....so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who had the advantages....
Actually no. Its complicated, far more complex than as you suggest. There was an unwritten rule with respect to "territorial" rights to some extent, but New York, Boston & Chicago all had Scouts & feeder teams in the OHA with affiliations from the Maritimes to Western Canada back in the day. Barrie Flyers, Kitchener Rangers, St.Catherines Blackhawks & Dixie Beehives amongst others in Southern Ontario alone. They simply didnt spend to the extent Montreal & Toronto, to a lesser extent Detroit did, be it the elite amateur, Junior/Senior levels nor at the minor league levels in building farm systems grooming players who would apprentice for a year or three before being integrated into the clubs lineups.

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08-21-2013, 02:54 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by tailgunner View Post
I love how all you so called experts dismiss the real reason why the rangers bruins and blackhawks were very weak during the O6 era {MOD}...there was a league drafting rule in place which stated that you could only draft players within a 50 mile radius of your teams home town, so what do you think happened? all the great nhl players who were born around the Ontario/quebec area all got drafted by the wings,leafs and habs....this meant the rangers had to draft players from places like staten island and new jersey lol...and the bruins and Chicago were in the same situation....so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who had the advantages....
A simple suggestion: read/research the history of the game.

It would help you not writing innacuracies such as the quoted posts.

Just a few names to make you realise how wrong you are: Jean Ratelle (Rangers), Bobby Orr (Bruins), Gordie Howe (Detroit), Bobby Hull (Chicago).

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08-21-2013, 03:10 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
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Edmonton has been bad since I started watching hockey as a 10 year old kid. And now I'm 30. Ditto the Islanders.
...
you keep yammering about the Oilers not doing anything for 23 years, yet you count other team's trips to the finals, but discount the fact the Oilers went to the finals 7 years ago. (MOD)

in 33 years the Oilers went to the finals 7 times, winning 5.

no one else has even close to that level of win ratio in the post expansion years.

Oilers are the most successful team post expansion, and solidly top 3 in league history.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 08-21-2013 at 03:22 PM. Reason: flaming
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08-21-2013, 03:26 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by beauchamp View Post
A simple suggestion: read/research the history of the game. It would help you not writing innacuracies such as the quoted posts.... Just a few names to make you realise how wrong you are: Jean Ratelle (Rangers), Bobby Orr (Bruins), Gordie Howe (Detroit), Bobby Hull (Chicago).
Indeed. Important to remember here as well that there was something called "The Depression" in the 1930's that really only WW2 put an end to, however, through the 40's & into the 50's Boston & Chicago were slow to recover, ownership already parsimonious. Both of those clubs, Boston teeter tottering on the brink of insolvency & only propped up by loans, Chicago as well quite surprisingly in deep trouble financially. They simply didnt have the resources, the luxury in ease of access to players, identifying talent early & signing them the way Montreal & Toronto certainly did who were the clubs most Canadian kids had grown up idolizing. That being said though, one need only look at the St.Catherines Blackhawks rosters of the 50's, or the 2 time Memorial Cup winning Barrie Flyers under Hap Emms in the early 50's with primarily Bruins talent (including a very young Don Cherry) to understand they did well enough.

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