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Round 2, Vote 1 (HOH Top Centers)

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Old
10-29-2013, 11:20 AM
  #426
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
It doesn't matter.

As superstars, Trottier and Clarke would have scored about the same no matter their teammates supposedly.
THe actual argument is that a superstar scores about the same as he would anyway, unless playing with a superstar who is even better than him offensively. Trottier played with Bossy, who was better than Trottier offensively in most years, so that had to help him somewhat.

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Seriously though, in spite of the adjustments for average scoring, I don't see Clarke as being equivalent to Trottier offensively.

People will favour Clarke defensively because of the team stats which I think is very muddy but, even if you do, Trottier is a far superior playoff performer at least all around.

Clarke is one of the few top centers that Trottier actually has longevity on as well.

Apart from Clarke's Hart trophies I'm not sure how Trottier can be considered a worse player over his career.
It's not just the wins. Outside his 5 year peak, Trottier got very little award recognition.

Their full Hart records:

Clarke: 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10
Trottier: 1, 2, 2, 4, 5

The non-bolded years are with less than 10% of first place's totals, so take them with a grain of salt, but perhaps it's worth noting that Clarke got thrown token votes on several occasions after his 6 years of significant recognition.

Trottier and Messier clearly have the worst Hart records this round, and Messier has the excuse that nobody was getting Hart recognition playing second fiddle to Gretzky. Messier also has a big advantage in longevity as an impact player.

All-Star Teams

Clarke: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 3 3rd
Trottier: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 1 3rd

Clarke was just past his prime when the Selke Trophy was created, but he won it in his second to last season in the league, while no longer an all-star all-around.

Anyway, I agree with you that peak Trottier was probably somewhat better offensively than Clarke even if they were similar as point producers - Trottier was the better goal scorer, and was somewhat more productive in the playoffs. But IMO, Clarke's overall record is just better.

I realize that awards aren't everything (full disclosure: I intend to make a case for Sakic as soon as he comes up), but we're comparing 2 guys with similar scoring records and similar longevity as elite players.


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Old
10-29-2013, 11:21 AM
  #427
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Did a Top-100 winger just got compared to a Top-10 winger ?
Bossy is superior to Leach because of his remarkable consistency. At their prime, which is what we are discussing relating to their centers, they weren't world apart at all.

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10-29-2013, 11:24 AM
  #428
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Bossy is superior to Leach because of his remarkable consistency. At their prime, which is what we are discussing relating to their centers, they weren't world apart at all.
You're wrong. That's all I have to say.

Okay one more - Leach never finished top 10 in points, despite playing with a superstar center.

Seriously, I realize Clarke was a big bad meanie who did mean things to the Russians, but when you have to make absurd statements like "Reggie Leach was close to Mike Bossy in his prime" to make your argument, you should just stop.

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10-29-2013, 11:30 AM
  #429
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I don't know; maybe Trots was hurt in Hart voting by playing with Potvin and Bossy - hard to get Hart recognition when the writers aren't sure that you're the driving force of your own team (IMO, this is why Sakic doesn't have a spectacular Hart record other than the one that he won).

But it isn't even that Trots has a weak record really, it's that Clarke's is just that strong. I was really surprised to see how much awards recognition Clarke received even after his offense started to fall off.

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10-29-2013, 11:38 AM
  #430
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1980 SC Finals

Clarke and Trottier went head to head in the 1980 SC Finals Trottier 4G - 4A but only 2G 0A at Es. Clarke 4G 3A but 3G 2A at ES.

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10-29-2013, 11:41 AM
  #431
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You're wrong. That's all I have to say.

Okay one more - Leach never finished top 10 in points, despite playing with a superstar center.

Seriously, I realize Clarke was a big bad meanie who did mean things to the Russians, but when you have to make absurd statements like "Reggie Leach was close to Mike Bossy in his prime" to make your argument, you should just stop.
I was referring to playoffs. Leach was pretty good, if I remember correctly. Of course Bossy was better.

And of course I hate Clarke, but come on. I rank him above Mikita, who didn't do much to hurt the Russians except sitting out all but two games in 1972

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10-29-2013, 11:45 AM
  #432
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
THe actual argument is that a superstar scores about the same as he would anyway, unless playing with a superstar who is even better than him offensively. Trottier played with Bossy, who was better than Trottier offensively in most years, so that had to help him somewhat.
It is a silly theory.


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It's not just the wins. Outside his 5 year peak, Trottier got very little award recognition.

Their full Hart records:

Clarke: 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10
Trottier: 1, 2, 2, 4, 5

The non-bolded years are with less than 10% of first place's totals, so take them with a grain of salt, but perhaps it's worth noting that Clarke got thrown token votes on several occasions after his 6 years of significant recognition.

Trottier and Messier clearly have the worst Hart records this round, and Messier has the excuse that nobody was getting Hart recognition playing second fiddle to Gretzky. Messier also has a big advantage in longevity as an impact player.

All-Star Teams

Clarke: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 3 3rd
Trottier: 2 1st, 2 2nd, 1 3rd
Trottier was also recognition / vote splitting with players on his team. (Clarke also split some with Parent in his monster seasons)

Not to mention Trottier played in a much deeper time for centermen.

Meanwhile Clarke was the beneficiary of vote splitting by Esposito and Orr to win one of his Hart trophies. (although he did split with Parent too)

1972-73
HART: (432/432)
1. Bobby Clarke, Phi C 158
2. Phil Esposito, Bos C 96
3. Bobby Orr, Bos D 63



Quote:
Anyway, I agree with you that peak Trottier was somewhat better offensively than Clarke even if they were similar as point producers - Trottier was the better goal scorer, and was somewhat more productive in the playoffs. But IMO, Clarke's overall record is just better.
If by somewhat you mean a lot, yes, he was..

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I realize that awards aren't everything, but we're comparing 2 guys with similar scoring records and similar longevity as elite players.
I think they are close overall but I'd still take Trots.

Better offensively, more physical, longer span as an all around player, longer career period, better in the playoffs.

If Trottier ever had a slapshot this wouldn't be close.

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10-29-2013, 12:26 PM
  #433
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Meanwhile Clarke was the beneficiary of vote splitting by Esposito and Orr to win one of his Hart trophies. (although he did split with Parent too)

1972-73
HART: (432/432)
1. Bobby Clarke, Phi C 158
2. Phil Esposito, Bos C 96
3. Bobby Orr, Bos D 63
I don't know about this one...combined they only have one more point than Clarke.

Agree that Trottier had more competition at center once Gretzky came into the league.

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10-29-2013, 02:10 PM
  #434
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The Hart Trophies line-of-reasoning has to be taken with the salt-block that Clarke votes didn't necessarily mean that ignorant voters risibly judged him to be superior to Orr- it means that they used that "most-valuable-to-his-team" formulation. Doesn't mean he was better than Orr then- and is less-than-rigorous evidence that he's better than Trottier overall.

A reckoning of individual awards should honestly consider that some awards are held in higher esteem than others, too. For instance, most fans would rather see their superstar win the Conn Smythe trophy than any other individual award...

Earnestly, I now see the argument for Clarke. Doesn't mean I buy it. The "surface measurables" favor Trottier. To make a statistical case for Clarke requires the application of recondite measurables. Doesn't mean they're without merit... but there are reasons I (and most people) trust surface-measurables more than recondite ones---

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10-29-2013, 02:14 PM
  #435
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Originally Posted by ChiTownPhilly View Post
The Hart Trophies line-of-reasoning has to be taken with the salt-block that Clarke votes didn't necessarily mean that ignorant voters risibly judged him to be superior to Orr- it means that they used that "most-valuable-to-his-team" formulation. Doesn't mean he was better than Orr then- and is less-than-rigorous evidence that he's better than Trottier overall.

A reckoning of individual awards should honestly consider that some awards are held in higher esteem than others, too. For instance, most fans would rather see their superstar win the Conn Smythe trophy than any other individual award...

Earnestly, I now see the argument for Clarke. Doesn't mean I buy it. The "surface measurables" favor Trottier. To make a statistical case for Clarke requires the application of recondite measurables. Doesn't mean they're without merit... but there are reasons I (and most people) trust surface-measurables more than recondite ones---
By "surface measurables," do you mean raw point totals that don't take leaguewide scoring levels into account?

Anyway, the argument for Clarke basically revolves around just how much value you give to his defensive advantage over Trottier, something that is impossible to measure with "surface measurables" as you would call them.

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10-29-2013, 02:16 PM
  #436
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Originally Posted by ChiTownPhilly View Post
The Hart Trophies line-of-reasoning has to be taken with the salt-block that Clarke votes didn't necessarily mean that ignorant voters risibly judged him to be superior to Orr- it means that they used that "most-valuable-to-his-team" formulation. Doesn't mean he was better than Orr then- and is less-than-rigorous evidence that he's better than Trottier overall.
This is a problem we face often in attempting to evaluate players.

It seems that at times the Hart trophy is the "most valuable player to his team" - by that definition I could easily see the case for Clarke - and at other times it seems to be the "best player" award.

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10-29-2013, 02:27 PM
  #437
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Excellent points, except I actually value playoff runs higher than regular seasons, and Trottier beats Clarke quite handily there. I give Clarke the edge in international competition though.

The fact that Parent was a better goalie than Smith undoubtedly helps Clarke's defense legend. Trottier was not much worse.
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So do I.


Indeed.

Messier has a huge edge over Mikita in terms of playoff performances, from his 1984 Conn Smythe to his 1994 Stanley Cup and the Canada Cups inbetween. One would have to seriously penalize Messier for playing in the same era as Gretzky and Lemieux to put Mikita over Messier, all things considered, I'm starting to think (I had Mikita right above Messier on my initial list).
really did I read that wrong or both of putting more stock on the playoffs than the regular season?

If so, how is it fair to an excellent player on a poor team, compared to an okay player on a really good team?


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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post

Top 12

Clarke: 78
Trottier: 83

Top 15

Clarke: 72
Trottier: 74
Thanks, worked out a bit closer than I thought, although part of that is the makeup of the leagues in the different times and Trottier's 15th season was the weakest and more competitive one as well.

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10-29-2013, 02:32 PM
  #438
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't know; maybe Trots was hurt in Hart voting by playing with Potvin and Bossy - hard to get Hart recognition when the writers aren't sure that you're the driving force of your own team (IMO, this is why Sakic doesn't have a spectacular Hart record other than the one that he won).

But it isn't even that Trots has a weak record really, it's that Clarke's is just that strong. I was really surprised to see how much awards recognition Clarke received even after his offense started to fall off.
Clarke was a very popular player, people and voters no doubt loved his win at any cost attitude, the Hart voting for him is vastly over rated IMO, unless one really thinks he was more valuable than Orr?

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10-29-2013, 02:36 PM
  #439
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It is a silly theory.




Trottier was also recognition / vote splitting with players on his team. (Clarke also split some with Parent in his monster seasons)

Not to mention Trottier played in a much deeper time for centermen.

Meanwhile Clarke was the beneficiary of vote splitting by Esposito and Orr to win one of his Hart trophies. (although he did split with Parent too)

1972-73
HART: (432/432)
1. Bobby Clarke, Phi C 158
2. Phil Esposito, Bos C 96
3. Bobby Orr, Bos D 63





If by somewhat you mean a lot, yes, he was..



I think they are close overall but I'd still take Trots.

Better offensively, more physical, longer span as an all around player, longer career period, better in the playoffs.

If Trottier ever had a slap shot this wouldn't be close.
Their goal scoring, peak, prime , career...whatever difference is just plain huge as well.

The Bossy thing is over rated too, Trotts had a 95 point rookie season without him, there is much more plausibility in him having better peak numbers with Bossy then Clarke without Leach and Barber IMO. Maybe Potvin evens things out, not sure, it's extremely objective.

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10-29-2013, 02:59 PM
  #440
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really did I read that wrong or both of putting more stock on the playoffs than the regular season?

If so, how is it fair to an excellent player on a poor team, compared to an okay player on a really good team?
It isn't.

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10-29-2013, 03:41 PM
  #441
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Clarke was a very popular player, people and voters no doubt loved his win at any cost attitude, the Hart voting for him is vastly over rated IMO, unless one really thinks he was more valuable than Orr?
His Hart voting is interesting, but we can't discard it without looking at it properly.

If we look at Hart winners from 1960-61 to 1979-1980 we see a very clear pattern

Year Name Scoring Finish
1961 Boom Boom Geoffrion 1st
1962 Jacques Plante -
1963 Gordie Howe 1st
1964 Jean Beliveau 3rd (behind Hull/Mikita)
1965 Bobby Hull 4th (highest GPG)
1966 Bobby Hull 1st
1967 Stan Mikita 1st
1968 Stan Mikita 1st
1969 Phil Esposito 1st
1970 Bobby Orr 1st
1971 Bobby Orr 2nd (behind Espo)
1972 Bobby Orr 2nd (behind Espo)
1973 Bobby Clarke 2nd (behind Espo)
1974 Phil Esposito 1st
1975 Bobby Clarke 6th
1976 Bobby Clarke 2nd (first in PPG)
1977 Guy Lafleur 1st
1978 Guy Lafleur 1st
1979 Bryan Trottier 1st
1980 Wayne Gretzky 1st

What we see is over this twenty year period 12 Hart Trophy winners were the Art Ross winner. If we try to explain the others there are a few question marks (1965), but they're otherwise rather easy to explain.

When it comes to Clarke we can't assume that the voters messed up. His 73 and 76 Harts are easy to come by, but it's his 75 Hart that is difficult.

He finishes 19 points behind Orr. Obviously, his defensive play is behind Orr as well. Why did he win? Voter fatigue? Clarke's impact to the team? We can't just wish away the Harts.

Hell, even in 73 he's behind Orr in PPG.

Clarke's Harts stand out from a historical standpoint. Why did he win over Bobby Orr in 1973 and 1976? The only answer I can provide is that the voters saw him as putting the team on his back.

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10-29-2013, 04:11 PM
  #442
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Two points.

One, in the case of Art Ross winners it is also easy to explain why they won the Hart.

1961 Geoffrion, late season goal/point surge netted him 50 goals but was also the difference is a very tight race for first place between the Canadiens and Leafs, 1963 Howe was also the difference in the Wings getting back into the playoffs .... 1979 Bryan Trottier was the difference in the Islanders finishing first overall, 1980 Wayne Gretzky reason why the Oilers made the playoffs. So the pattern you notice is very reasonable and justifiable.

Two, the Hart is awarded based on measurables and unmeasurables. Two goalie systems removed goalies from considerations, Norris elevated Orr for a number of seasons to Hart levels, beyond that separating the Ross from Hart consideration basically places a lot of weight on unmeasurables. 1964, Jean Beliveau, leading a rebuilt team with basically a rookie defense to a first place finish. 1965 was covered previously.

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10-29-2013, 05:48 PM
  #443
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Disagree. I'd say the single most important Islander was Potvin. And while I think Trottier was more important than Bossy in the regular season, I'd say there's a good case that Bossy ranks over Trottier in the playoffs.

Agree that Parent was the single most important Flyer in the playoffs for their two Cups. Clarke was their MVP overall
In the playoffs, I would suggest that Billy Smith was just as valuable as the big three for the Islanders.

You can point to Parent's importance in the playoffs for the Flyers, but without Clarke those teams are not close to Championship caliber (regular season or playoffs) without Clarke.

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10-29-2013, 10:51 PM
  #444
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In the playoffs, I would suggest that Billy Smith was just as valuable as the big three for the Islanders.
Based on the amount of goals that team scored in the playoffs and the number of elimination games they had to play... I highly doubt that.

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10-30-2013, 05:45 AM
  #445
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Clarke didn't quite have a Bossy (only 'poor man's Bossy' = Leach) as a linemate, though. Or a Potvin as a defenseman. Just sayin'.

Not that I'd choose Clarke over Trottier either.
I'd choose Clarke over Trottier because without Clarke's leadership, the Flyers don't win 2 cups, even with Bernie Parent. Without Trottier, the Isles win 2 cups at least. Those Islander teams were stacked, the Flyers not so much. The team went as Clarke went.

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10-30-2013, 05:50 AM
  #446
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Clarke didn't quite have a Bossy (only 'poor man's Bossy' = Leach) as a linemate, though. Or a Potvin as a defenseman. Just sayin'.

Not that I'd choose Clarke over Trottier either.
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Well, Fedorov in 1993-94, but that's largely because he finished 2nd in scoring.



Exactly. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were guaranteed sure bets to win the Art Ross Trophy by wide margins when healthy, unless competing against each other. No other players in NHL history can say that.
To Be honest with You, Gretzky had HOF'ers all around Him, so that made it easier for Him to win Art Ross Trophies left & right. Mario didn't win cups until He had talent around Him ( Tocchet, Stevens, Francis, Coffey) to take some of the pressure off of Him. Everyone is a better player when You have talent around You. This is why I think Clarke is getting short changed here. Besides Barber & Leach, Who else on the Flyers besides MacLeish, scared other teams scoring wise? Lonsberry? Clarke did more with less.

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10-30-2013, 06:51 AM
  #447
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Clarke vs Trottier

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Originally Posted by ted1971 View Post
I'd choose Clarke over Trottier because without Clarke's leadership, the Flyers don't win 2 cups, even with Bernie Parent. Without Trottier, the Isles win 2 cups at least. Those Islander teams were stacked, the Flyers not so much. The team went as Clarke went.
Neither showed much in the playoffs against the Scotty Bowman coached Canadiens.

1973 Henri Richard neutralized Clarke. 1976 Clarke was not a factor at ES - 1A. Likewise Trottier in 1976 and 1977.

Both Clarke and Trottier had problems playing Darryl Sittler and the Leafs in the playoffs.

Stacked? Islanders were younger, faster. Tonelli vs Dornhoefer being an example. Van Impe, Ashbee,Joe Watson, others were carryovers, post prime from the O6 era. Team rebuilt after 1975. Islanders were entering their prime, replacing the expansion players - Drouin, Hart, Jean Potvin with core players.

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10-30-2013, 08:02 AM
  #448
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I'd choose Clarke over Trottier because without Clarke's leadership, the Flyers don't win 2 cups, even with Bernie Parent. Without Trottier, the Isles win 2 cups at least. Those Islander teams were stacked, the Flyers not so much. The team went as Clarke went.
Trottier would also leave a gaping hole in the Isles.

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10-30-2013, 08:05 AM
  #449
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To Be honest with You, Gretzky had HOF'ers all around Him, so that made it easier for Him to win Art Ross Trophies left & right. Mario didn't win cups until He had talent around Him ( Tocchet, Stevens, Francis, Coffey) to take some of the pressure off of Him.
Gretzky won scoring titles by miles before the Oilers were anything.

He won scoring titles after he left the Oilers altogether.

He won a scoring title as a mere mortal after Suter wrecked his back.

Quote:
Everyone is a better player when You have talent around You. This is why I think Clarke is getting short changed here. Besides Barber & Leach, Who else on the Flyers besides MacLeish, scared other teams scoring wise? Lonsberry? Clarke did more with less.
Agreed on having better players around you.

Clarke's team was deep enough for the primarily defensive style they played but absolutely he was a vital part of that.

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10-30-2013, 08:05 AM
  #450
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I'd choose Clarke over Trottier because without Clarke's leadership, the Flyers don't win 2 cups, even with Bernie Parent.
I would too - now. Originally, I had a more positive image of Trottier & his numbers, but I'm a little wiser now --> Thank you HOH community

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