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Was Lidstrom a generational talent?

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Old
09-03-2013, 07:11 PM
  #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
don't think he's a generational talent since he wasn't drafted 1OA or close to that. he was however a generational player.
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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
why wasn't he taken 1OA if he was a generational TALENT? he developped into a generational player.

i do however limit my generational talents to gretzky, lemieux, orr, howe and lindros
Not that draft position should trump actual NHL career, but you can't really look at the draft in 1989 (or that period of time) in the same light. C58 may remember more accurately, but the rules were different:

Quote:
The Red Wings were balancing scouting evaluations with the thorny issue of player availability: when, or if, the best Soviets would be allowed out. A further complication was a rule that made teenagers eligible only in the first three rounds. The Wings took undersized 18-year-old center Mike Sillinger first. "That's the big joke," says Sillinger, who has played for a record 12 NHL teams and is now with the Islanders. "On a list with Fedorov and Lidstrom, Sillinger's the first-rounder."
Add Konstantinov to the same draft class.
Quote:
"What I'm most proud of is that we dared to do it," says Smith, now a broadcaster and a Ducks consultant. "Today it doesn't look daring at all, but it was. Jimmy D didn't especially like Europeans. . . . His meat and potatoes was always going to be the Western and Ontario leagues. In those days a lot of hockey people shared that prejudice. The Russians and Czechs were Communists. The Swedes were chickens. What are they going to do when they get punched in the face? Even I was asking that question."
But despite his preferences, Devellano trusted his scouts. He signed off on Lidstrom, whom Detroit took in the third round, and leaped into the abyss with Fedorov in the fourth.

Furthermore, the Wings knew no one else was going to pick Lidstrom. There's a funny story about an agent getting a whiff of the story and calling the Wings to ask about Lids. Smith tried to play stupid at first. So no one else really knew about him.
Quote:
A Vasteras forward named Jorgen Holmberg had called Rockstrom about a young blueliner Holmberg couldn't beat in practice. "Every scout gets tips," Rockstrom says. "Most of the time the person calling has no idea of the qualifications to play in the NHL, but you still have to go and check them out." Because Lidstrom played so infrequently-he would have two assists in just 19 games with the Vasteras senior team as an 18-year-old-Rockstrom would make the 80-minute drive from Stockholm to Vasteras to watch practice. Smith later went to catch a glimpse of the defenseman and quickly became a believer.
"I'd been telling Jimmy D that Lidstrom would be available in the third round, and we couldn't pick him after that [because of his age]," Smith says. "People didn't know him, and [the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau] had him way down. [I knew] he'd be seen the next year and be a sure first-rounder."
But Lidstrom already was in the crosshairs, not of a team but of an agent: Toronto-based Don Meehan, with whom Rockstrom was friendly. When Meehan went to Sweden, Rockstrom would let him tag along on scouting trips. One night the scout brought him to Vasteras, which had Patrik Juhlin, a forward who would go to Philadelphia with the 34th pick in 1989. "After the first period, I said to Christer, 'That number 9 [Lidstrom] looks like a helluva player,' " Meehan says. "He says, 'No, you watch number 7. That number 9, you wouldn't be interested.' He said he didn't know much about number 9, and that maybe he'd just had a good period. After the second, I said, 'That's more than a good period. That's a helluva game.' I asked him to introduce me after the game, and I presented my credentials."
When Meehan returned to Toronto, he phoned Smith, also a friend. "What do you think about Lidstrom?" Meehan asked.
"Lidster?" Smith replied. Doug Lidster was a veteran defenseman with the Canucks.
"Lidstrom."
"Don't know the guy."
"F--- off, you know him."
"No. You sure it's Lid . . . Lid-what?"
"Well, he just retained me."
The line went dead for 10 seconds. "Dammit, you can't mention him," Smith finally said. "We're going to take him, but don't tell anybody. And you can't bring him to the draft."
Smith was afraid that Meehan would raise Lidstrom's profile by talking him up to G.M.'s or parading him around the Twin Cities during draft week. Smith even stopped mentioning Lidstrom to other Wings staffers for fear someone might drop the name in conversation. "There was a blackout," Holland says. "Neil told me about Lidstrom when he got back from Europe that January-we were best friends at the time-but he saw no need for anybody else in the organization to [scout him]."
http://www.wingingitinmotown.com/200...ngs-1989-draft

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09-03-2013, 07:12 PM
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
Interesting 2003 observations from Dave Lewis (then Wings HC) and GM Ken Holland.

http://www.nhl.com/intheslot/read/in...trom/main.html

Holland states that his all-round game is "solid" and if he's not the best d-man in the league "he's in the top 2-3."

Lewis parallels his development to Stefan Persson's.

That's right, Stefan Persson.

When one's coach and GM go on the record with such comments, you might not think "generational talent" or player.

Let's not be praise junkies who seek bigger and better accolades for players who have already earned so much.

And as for the post suggesting that no d-man other than Orr and (once) Pronger gained recognition as the league's top player, Eddie Shore won four Hart trophies.
I like this Holland quote from THN's Best European Ever issue:

http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...-all-time.html


Quote:
A quote from Detroit GM Ken Holland pretty much said it all why Lidstrom goes down as the top European ever to play in the NHL:

“For the last 10 years we’re near the top of the league in points, he plays almost 30 minutes a game, always against the other team’s best players, he’s always one of the highest-scoring defensemen, most years we’re near the top of the league in power play, most years we’re near the top of the league in penalty-killing and most years we’re near the top of the league in goals against. He plays every critical situation. We won three Stanley Cups and five Presidents’ Trophies. We’ve been to the final four times in the last 12 seasons and he has been the one constant.”
This was in Dec 2007, right before Cup #4, and then another return to the final in 2009.

You could easily make the case that there were two eras of Wings domination--- Yzerman/Fedorov years and the Datsyuk/Zetterberg years. Lidstrom was the one constant.

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09-03-2013, 07:53 PM
  #178
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What was surprising for me, is that if you look at even-strength stats, Lidstrom is surprisingly underwhelming, especially once adjusting for era.

Defensemen I have seen, I'd place Lidstrom either 3rd or 4th...he and Potvin keep on swapping places.

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09-03-2013, 08:45 PM
  #179
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1989 NHL Entry Draft

^^^From memory, 18 year old CHL players were eligible only in the first three rounds. Also the NHL Supplemental Draft was still around.

The biggest issue in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft was signing European players. NHL teams had an inventory of drafted Europeans dating back to 1983 - Calgary drafted Sergei Makarov.

Also there were questions about draft eligibility - Pavel Bure.

The narrative about the 1989 Red Wing Entry Draft is interesting. Yes they had an extraordinary draft due to their European picks, but their previous drafts did not produce results. What changed between 1988 and 1989?

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09-03-2013, 08:53 PM
  #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Lidstrom was the one constant.
Yes whats interesting about him & so many other Europeans is that he just got better & better & better with age. Takes some serious grounding as an individual to find yourself in a new country, variances on the game or whatever it is that you grew up with excelling at, to find a platitude & to then raise the bar even further. Discipline. I think that one word combined with heart & smarts sums up Lidstrom, at least for me. He's a serious camper, long distance runner. Bit of a throwback to the days when a Defencemans peak could be anywhere from 27-37. Were so used to turnover, average career now what, 3.5 seasons, maybe 4?

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09-03-2013, 09:28 PM
  #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
^^^From memory, 18 year old CHL players were eligible only in the first three rounds. Also the NHL Supplemental Draft was still around.

The biggest issue in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft was signing European players. NHL teams had an inventory of drafted Europeans dating back to 1983 - Calgary drafted Sergei Makarov.

Also there were questions about draft eligibility - Pavel Bure.

The narrative about the 1989 Red Wing Entry Draft is interesting. Yes they had an extraordinary draft due to their European picks, but their previous drafts did not produce results. What changed between 1988 and 1989?
Demers was ousted and Murray brought in?

The scouts finally convinced Devellano to drop his Euro bias? They nabbed Slava Kozlov in 90, but otherwise the draft looked typical for them for that era (going for Primeau for example, subsequently traded for Shanahan, consider a key missing piece).

They didn't really gel until Bowman came in however, and he was very aggressive with trades.

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09-03-2013, 09:33 PM
  #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Yes whats interesting about him & so many other Europeans is that he just got better & better & better with age. Takes some serious grounding as an individual to find yourself in a new country, variances on the game or whatever it is that you grew up with excelling at, to find a platitude & to then raise the bar even further. Discipline. I think that one word combined with heart & smarts sums up Lidstrom, at least for me. He's a serious camper, long distance runner. Bit of a throwback to the days when a Defencemans peak could be anywhere from 27-37. Were so used to turnover, average career now what, 3.5 seasons, maybe 4?

I'm biased, but I put him after Orr. After that, I don't really worry or care much about rankings.

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09-03-2013, 09:46 PM
  #183
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Pre 1989 Red Wing Entry Drafts

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Demers was ousted and Murray brought in?

The scouts finally convinced Devellano to drop his Euro bias? They nabbed Slava Kozlov in 90, but otherwise the draft looked typical for them for that era (going for Primeau for example, subsequently traded for Shanahan, consider a key missing piece).

They didn't really gel until Bowman came in however, and he was very aggressive with trades.
Red Wing drafts over the years:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/DET/draft.html

The Wings were drafting from Europe just not well but then not many teams were.

Looking at how NHL teams expanded their scouting in Europe may hold the answer.

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09-03-2013, 09:52 PM
  #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Red Wing drafts over the years:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/DET/draft.html

The Wings were drafting from Europe just not well but then not many teams were.

Looking at how NHL teams expanded their scouting in Europe may hold the answer.

Ah, did you mean longer term... well beyond 1989? I could write a dissertation and derail the thread, but honestly, the cornerstone of that near-dynasty team was in the 1989 draft. That's where it started. Lidstrom, Konstantinov (who ultimately wasn't replaced until they brought in Chelios); Fedorov becoming the #1C, Russian Five and so on.

The Wings of the pre-cap era were very aggressive in keeping their biggest stars ($$$ helped); making big trades (they favored trading for vets over developing prospects); and then backfilling with the occasional UFA signing, where again, $$$ helped.

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09-03-2013, 10:09 PM
  #185
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1989 NHL Entry Draft and Before

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Ah, did you mean longer term... well beyond 1989? I could write a dissertation and derail the thread, but honestly, the cornerstone of that near-dynasty team was in the 1989 draft. That's where it started. Lidstrom, Konstantinov (who ultimately wasn't replaced until they brought in Chelios); Fedorov becoming the #1C, Russian Five and so on.

The Wings of the pre-cap era were very aggressive in keeping their biggest stars ($$$ helped); making big trades (they favored trading for vets over developing prospects); and then backfilling with the occasional UFA signing, where again, $$$ helped.
1989 NHL Entry Draft and before. How does a team go from drafting the likes of Per Djoos and Johan Garpenlov to an incredible 1989 draft? Even within 1989. Every team missed on Lidstrom or other great players at least twice.

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09-03-2013, 11:20 PM
  #186
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Originally Posted by OrrNumber4 View Post
What was surprising for me, is that if you look at even-strength stats, Lidstrom is surprisingly underwhelming, especially once adjusting for era.

Defensemen I have seen, I'd place Lidstrom either 3rd or 4th...he and Potvin keep on swapping places.
Post cap Lidstrom wasn't the same as pre-cap Lidstrom.
Offensively, Lidstrom was much more dynamic in the late 90s and early 00s.

He aged well -- but his skating wore down and he became a very cautious and very smart defenseman.

From time to time, you'd get a glimpse of the dominance you saw back in 02...I forget what year it was... like 10-11 maybe, where offensively, for the first 20 games, he was ridiculously good-- almost as good as I've ever seen him.

Honestly though -- 1995 to 1997, Konstantinov was the better player. Best defenseman in hockey.

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09-03-2013, 11:21 PM
  #187
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Demers was ousted and Murray brought in?

The scouts finally convinced Devellano to drop his Euro bias? They nabbed Slava Kozlov in 90, but otherwise the draft looked typical for them for that era (going for Primeau for example, subsequently traded for Shanahan, consider a key missing piece).

They didn't really gel until Bowman came in however, and he was very aggressive with trades.
Jim Lites deserves a lot of credit for creating Hockeytown

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09-03-2013, 11:23 PM
  #188
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
1989 NHL Entry Draft and before. How does a team go from drafting the likes of Per Djoos and Johan Garpenlov to an incredible 1989 draft? Even within 1989. Every team missed on Lidstrom or other great players at least twice.
Luck.

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09-03-2013, 11:31 PM
  #189
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Robinson to me will always be better than Lidstrom.

Did everything basically better than anyone.
End-to-end. Point shot. Passing. Hitting. Defense. Fighting.

In my liftime -- since I never really got see Orr...

Robinson
Lidstrom Bourque
Stevens Chelios Pronger Niedermayer

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09-03-2013, 11:32 PM
  #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWingsNow View Post
Jim Lites deserves a lot of credit for creating Hockeytown
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Originally Posted by RedWingsNow View Post
Luck.

Oh, you're here now too?



I guess we blame Denise Ilitch then.

I'd like to hear what you think Lites did. (Not saying he doesn't deserve credit, but many readers here may not be familiar with him and JD from the 80s.)

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09-04-2013, 12:27 AM
  #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
1989 NHL Entry Draft and before. How does a team go from drafting the likes of Per Djoos and Johan Garpenlov to an incredible 1989 draft? Even within 1989. Every team missed on Lidstrom or other great players at least twice.

I'll try to find my copy of Devellano's book, but I'm pretty sure he discusses this phase. There was a feeling within the Wings organization that North America had been fully mined. There were no hidden gems, no low-lying fruit left to be found. Yes, it was very risky to consider some of the European hockey sources, especially the communist countries. It was no secret at that time Soviet talent like Bure, Fedorov and Mogilny could make it in the NHL-- and then some! There was still the anti-Euro bias as well, fully acknowledged in the article I linked above.

Devellano mentioned that the Wings were among the first teams to also start recruiting from the NCAA, which was around this same period of time. Clearly they were well ahead of other NHL teams in initiating European scouting.

The interesting thing is that the group that led the Wings through the 1980s (outside the braintrust that has persisted with Devellano, Holland et al.-- eventually joined by Bowman -- split right after this cornerstone draft. Lites went to NYR and took their European scout with him (Christer Rockström). Enter Hakan Andersson and everything that came thereafter.

When we think of the Wings and their success in scouting in Europe, we identify the Holland, Bowman, Devellano, and Andersson led period.

I also think that Mike Ilitch became more involved around this time, to become the driving force for doing whatever needed to be done to win a Cup. He wasn't going to settle for anything less, so I think he empowered his people to push every angle, leave no stone unturned.

I don't believe the game itself had changed at this point, still very much firewagon hockey, goonery. Were there warning signs to the brighter lights that it was going to go in a much more skilled direction-- or did they take in that direction. The Wings certainly did, but that came under Bowman 4 yrs later.

Soviet and international play hinting at what was possible? The incredible junior tournaments of the late 80s?

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09-04-2013, 12:59 AM
  #192
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Originally Posted by RedWingsNow View Post
Robinson to me will always be better than Lidstrom.

Did everything basically better than anyone.
End-to-end. Point shot. Passing. Hitting. Defense. Fighting.

In my liftime -- since I never really got see Orr...

Robinson
Lidstrom Bourque
Stevens Chelios Pronger Niedermayer
Robinson had a great career and is in the mix with the Chelios tier but both guys are below Lidstrom and Bourque IMO.

As long as Larry played, Nick played longer at a higher level of excellence as well.

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09-04-2013, 07:03 PM
  #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWingsNow View Post
Robinson to me will always be better than Lidstrom.

Did everything basically better than anyone.
End-to-end. Point shot. Passing. Hitting. Defense. Fighting.

In my liftime -- since I never really got see Orr...

Robinson
Lidstrom Bourque
Stevens Chelios Pronger Niedermayer
I think you are overstating him a bit, although i am a big fan of Big Bird.

But I am curious, where do you rank Potvin? It seems beyond strange to me that you do not have him on your list. And a Prime Fetisov for that matter.

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09-04-2013, 08:06 PM
  #194
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I rank Fetisov around Potvin and Robinson, but below Lidstrom and Bourque.

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09-05-2013, 09:19 AM
  #195
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This is a tough topic to entertain.

I think Lidstrom IS a generational talent; 2000-10 he was the best defender in the NHL. Anyone who is the best at anything has to be considered generational, and seven Norris trophies just add to the luster.

The main reason is consistency. Throughout the 2000's there were always one or sometimes two defenders playing near his range each season However, the remarkable thing is that this player(s) nearly always differed season to season. So yes, Lidstrom is a generational defender.

Now to address a couple points made previously in this thread.

From 1990-2000, Raymond Bourque was the best defender in the game. He could do anything on the rink. Most importantly, he impacted the game more and played with lesser caliber players.

I remember watching Lidstrom throughout this era and thinking "man this guy is good." He did not start to impress me as a "generational" talent until '99 or 2000. Bourque was the king of this decade, but there were several lesser lights consistently orbiting around the plane of best defender.

One, Rob Blake, is tragically underrated now it seems. Blake absolutely earned his Norris. It's remarkable to me, to see some here belittle his career. I would, at his best, want Blake on my team over Lidstrom for a seven game series. Blake impacted the game more offensively and was a crushing physical presence. From what I saw, Blake at his best was at least equal to Lidstrom. Sad to say, but Blake's career was more comet like very fast rising who never could maintain or achieve his peak for extended periods of time.

Argo, Lidstrom was the better player career wise by a country mile. I challenge those who saw Blake play those several seasons at his best to deny he was not as great in peak play.


This same observation holds true in a lesser light from some additional players; Niedermier, Pronger, McGinnis, and Coffey from 1990-2012. None of these guys achieved the peak play in this years mentioned as Blake.


Last edited by Richard: 09-05-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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09-05-2013, 10:36 AM
  #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I rank Fetisov around Potvin and Robinson, but below Lidstrom and Bourque.
Potvin may rank "around" Big Bird and Fetisov but he is quite clearly their superior.
The only reason Denis is behind Lidstrom and Bourque for that matter, is his shorter career.

For peak, only Robert Gordon holds sway over Mr. Potvin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post

This same observation holds true in a lesser light from some additional players; Niedermier, Pronger, McGinnis, and Coffey from 1990-2012. None of these guys achieved the peak play in this years mentioned as Blake.
Pronger at his absolute peak was better than Lidstrom or Blake at theirs.
Pronger's problem was never about talent of lack ability, it was with consistency and quite frankly, inability to not be an idiot.

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09-05-2013, 01:21 PM
  #197
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Potvin may rank "around" Big Bird and Fetisov but he is quite clearly their superior.
The only reason Denis is behind Lidstrom and Bourque for that matter, is his shorter career.

For peak, only Robert Gordon holds sway over Mr. Potvin.




Pronger at his absolute peak was better than Lidstrom or Blake at theirs.
Pronger's problem was never about talent of lack ability, it was with consistency and quite frankly, inability to not be an idiot
.
Defensively yes, Pronger was at or perhaps surpassed Blake and/or Lidstrom. Offensively both of those guys blow Pronger out of the water at their best. Consolidate both ends of the rink and have them playing at their best; I choose Lidstrom and Blake over Pronger.


It's mighty close, but that offensive end game gives that extra push.

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09-05-2013, 01:32 PM
  #198
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Potvin may rank "around" Big Bird and Fetisov but he is quite clearly their superior.
The only reason Denis is behind Lidstrom and Bourque for that matter, is his shorter career.

For peak, only Robert Gordon holds sway over Mr. Potvin.
Do you remember pre-prime Fetisov going against prime Potvin in 81 Canada Cup? Which one was blown out of the water?

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09-05-2013, 06:55 PM
  #199
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Quote:
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Do you remember pre-prime Fetisov going against prime Potvin in 81 Canada Cup? Which one was blown out of the water?
Fetisov 1-7-8-10
Potvin 2-5-7-12

Neither were named to the tourney all-star team.

I believe Mike Luit was the one blown out of the water.

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09-06-2013, 01:10 PM
  #200
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Speaking of Mike Liut: he often gets the blame for being out of his league in that Canada Cup. But it's not like Sergey Mylnikov and Evgeniy Belosheikin had any business going against Gretzky and Lemieux in 87, did they?

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