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

Explain Maurice Richard's greatness.

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Old
12-27-2013, 12:06 PM
  #51
Sens Rule
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Pretty easily actually... it's an arbitrary award and French Canadians were not held in high respect back then. People who write this off know very little about Canadian history. It WAS a factor. Richard had more than one Hart worthy season dude...

50 goals in 50 games and the Hart goes to somebody else? If anything you should be asking why the league didn't award it to him more than they did... but the answer is obvious. If his name was Smith he'd have had more MVPs. No way he doesn't win the Hart with a 50 goal in 50 game season. Ted Kennedy wins the Hart over both Richard and Geoffrion in '55? How does that happen? Even if you take it from Richard for his suspension... it doesn't go to Geoffrion?

(Not a Francophone btw... just somebody who understands this country's history and the climate that Richard played in.)
Howe was robbed too. Al Rollins, Milt Schmidt? Howe should have 8 Harts. Orr should have 6 of them. I never looked up Richard recently, but he may be deserving of more. Only Gretzky never really got robbed of a Hart Trophy among the big four.

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12-27-2013, 12:07 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Sorry if one only looks at stats then yes Richard is much better in the playoffs but I value 2 way play and everything a player does and don't just go back to my retro fantasy 40-50's playoff stats to get a complete picture.

Feel free to bookmark it and expose your opinion I won't mind.
I never knew Bure was a two way player...

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12-27-2013, 12:12 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Even accounting for hyperbole, your comment about weak-skating defencemen and bad goalies is way off. Care to name names?

The NHL of the 1950s was a mature league with a well-developed feeder system covering Canada. There is absolutely zero evidence that it featured weak players. In fact, many fine players were never able to stick in the league and played out their careers in lesser leagues.
It didn't really cover Canada as players from the maritime and BC were pretty much absent in the NHL.

It was the "best of the best" at the time but it's excellence, especially compared to later times, with all of Canada producing more players and higher numbers to pool from and the start of huge talent streams from other non Canadian countries is so often downplayed here that it becomes ridiculous.

At the very least the "deniers" could at least use the Canadian standard which is constant over time, but they don't for some explainable reason.

Instead the best is always the best becomes really weak over the entire time of the NHL, ,more so at particular times and periods.

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Defencemen had to be strong skaters since the advent of three forward lines and aggressive forechecking tactics in the 1930s, and many were strong skaters before that time as well.
We have game tapes for that era, play was quite a bit slower and there was a ton of time and space compared to say the post 90's

Quote:
Also, your comment implying that hockey originated in Alberta is strange, considering that when hockey became an organized sport the province of Alberta did not exist and the population of that part of the North West Territories consisted of Indians and a few isolated forts.
Yes Sentiel often gets excited in his posts, like many of us I admit, and the facts do make for interesting stuff but often don't make much sense.


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 12-27-2013 at 12:17 PM.
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12-27-2013, 12:19 PM
  #54
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By the modern standards of the award, Richard would have won his second Hart in 1949-50. Remember that the 1950s were the weirdest decade for Hart voting with Ted Kennedy seemingly winning it as a career award and Al Rollins seemingly winning it for his performance the previous year.

1949-50, Richard leads the league in goals by a wide margin, and is 4th in points behind the 3 members of the Production Line, and way ahead of anyone else on his team: http://www.hockey-reference.com/leag...0_leaders.html. But Chuck Rayner (goalie) won the Hart for helping the awful Rangers make the playoffs.

Also, Richard was the odds-on favorite for the Hart and Art Ross in 1954-55 before getting himself suspended.

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12-27-2013, 12:25 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
Howe was robbed too. Al Rollins, Milt Schmidt? Howe should have 8 Harts. Orr should have 6 of them. I never looked up Richard recently, but he may be deserving of more. Only Gretzky never really got robbed of a Hart Trophy among the big four.
You could throw in Lemieux too... ridiculous he doesn't win in '89.

Again though, I was responding to "Why does this guy only have one Hart? Explain that one." Pretty easy to explain... he deserved more but didn't get them.

And let's face it 50 goals in 50 games. That isn't just getting robbed... There's an agenda there. No way this guy doesn't win the Hart if his name isn't Richard. Not winning in '55? Okay I guess... but why doesn't Geoffrion win it?

The league flat out didn't want French Canadian players being the face of their league.

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12-27-2013, 12:30 PM
  #56
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I mean, seriously: one Hart? How do you explain that away?
He only won one Hart, but was also second twice and third three times. No Art Ross, but second five times.

Jagr never led the NHL in goals in a season even once, but that hardly makes him an overrated goal scorer.

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12-27-2013, 12:32 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Pretty easily actually... it's an arbitrary award and French Canadians were not held in high respect back then. People who write this off know very little about Canadian history. It WAS a factor. Richard had more than one Hart worthy season dude...

50 goals in 50 games and the Hart goes to somebody else? If anything you should be asking why the league didn't award it to him more than they did... but the answer is obvious. If his name was Smith he'd have had more MVPs. No way he doesn't win the Hart with a 50 goal in 50 game season. Ted Kennedy wins the Hart over both Richard and Geoffrion in '55? How does that happen? Even if you take it from Richard for his suspension... it doesn't go to Geoffrion?

(Not a Francophone btw... just somebody who understands this country's history and the climate that Richard played in.)
Certainly an odd year in Hart voting. First and second both from the distant 3rd Toronto Maple Leafs

From BM67 in http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...=145895&page=5

1954-55
HART: (323/324, 103-119)
1. Ted Kennedy, Tor C 86 (40-46)
2. Harry Lumley, Tor G 61 (23-38)
3. Maurice Richard, Mtl LW 36 (19-17)
4. Jean Beliveau, Mtl C 21 (14-7)
T5. Doug Harvey, Mtl D 18 (7-11)
T5. Gordie How, Det RW 18
7. Bernie Geoffrion, Mtl RW 16
8. Red Kelly, Det D 15
T9. Leo Labine, Bos RW 10
T9. Red Sullivan, Chi C 10
T9. Danny Lewicki, NYR LW 10
12. Earl Reibel, Det C 7
T13. Ken Mosdell, Mtl C 4
T13. Alex Delvecchio, Det C 4
T15. Don Raleigh, NYR C 2
T15. Terry Sawchuk, Det G 2
T17. Sid Smith, Tor LW 1
T17. Fern Flaman, Bos D 1
T17. Gump Worsley, NYR G 1

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12-27-2013, 12:37 PM
  #58
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In 1956, Sports Illustrated ran a piece in which they asked several prominent hockey observers whether Maurice Richard was the greatest hockey player of all time. Here's what these men had to say.

Yes

Clarence Campbell, president, National Hockey League - "It may be unreasonable to select one player and declare him to be "the greatest player of all time," and I am not one of those few who have seen all the greats. But no other man has staked such a claim to that rating as Richard. I've never had as many thrills watching any other player."

Conn Smythe, owner, Toronto Hockey Club - "Yes. For color and robust hockey he compares with Reardon, Shore and Horner. For speed and spectacular plays, he is like Morenz and Apps. For scoring plays, he has a little on Nels Stewart and Bill Cook. You might say that only a two-way player like Ted Kennedy was greater."

General John Reed Kilpatrick, president, Madison Square Garden - "Yes. Richard has established great records over a long period of time and still stands in the front rank of hockey. None of the old-timers could touch him. Gordon Howe and the Rocket's teammate, Beliveau, are the only active players who can be compared to him."

Milt Dunnell, sports editor, Toronto Star - "Any comparison of athletes, past and present is difficult, due to changing conditions. However, no hockey addict can argue that the game is now played at a faster tempo than ever before. In assessing Richard the Rocket, I have to be guided by what I see on ice, what I see in the record books and what I have seen in the past. The Rocket has scored more goals than any player in the history of the game. He has scored more goals in one season. He holds the record for the playoffs. Richard has been in big league hockey since 1942 and has played equally well with various line combinations. Until someone else does as many things, over as great a span, I would have to call Richard the greatest."


Maybe

Lester Canton, New York, VP at Crouch & Fitzgerald - "The Rocket is unquestionably the greatest goal-getter. That's what they pay off on. You might call him the Babe Ruth of hockey. Like Babe, he is controversial, colorful and the greatest crowd-pleaser of all time. Also, like the Babe in baseball, the Rocket has made the greatest impact on hockey."

Muzz Patrick, general manager, New York Rangers - "When you think of Bill Cook, formerly of the Rangers, Gordon Howe of the Red Wings and Jean Beliveau, it's hard to say one is the greatest. But the Rocket is awfully close to it. No one will argue with me when I say he is the most entertaining, exciting and explosive player of all time."

No

Frank Boucher, general manager, Brandon Regals - "He ranks with the greatest in hockey. As a scorer, from the blue line to the net, he is in a class by himself: As a popular player he's also on a par with the late Howie Morenz. However, I nominate Bill Cook, my old teammate, as the greatest all-round player of all time."

Glen Gilbert, editorial director, Weekend Magazine (Montreal) - "No. Jean Beliveau is the greatest I've ever seen. He is bigger and he has everything. Furthermore, he is a student of hockey and all its fine points. Everyone acknowledges Richard as a greater scorer, but Jean controls his play better and he is a greater all-round player."

Jack Adams, general manager, Detroit Red Wings - "Definitely not. He is colorful and undoubtedly one of hockey's greatest scorers. But to term him the greatest as against Gordie Howe, Eddie Shore and Howie Morenz is to overlook defense and passing skills and team spirit. The ability to score is most important, but it isn't all important."

Jim Vipond, sports editor, Toronto Globe & Mail - "The Rocket is a great, colorful player, but isn't the greatest. I rate the incomparable Howie Morenz ahead of Richard, and Gordie Howe of Detroit is a better two-way player. The Rocket is more sparkling than Howe, but Gordie is as good around the goal and better defensively."

Philip Schreiber, attorney, Detroit - "No, but he is the greatest scorer of all time. Sure, goals win games. That's why some fans call him the greatest of all time. I think Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings is greater than Richard. He is the reason why the Red Wings have dominated the National Hockey League for years."

Ted Saucier, publicist, New York - "No. I think I know hockey and the stars who have played it throughout the years. I was the first lessee for hockey at Madison Square Garden, before the Rangers. I've seen all the great stars. I think the greatest of them all, the one with the greatest potential, is Jean Beliveau of the Canadiens."

So you have four of 12 who say yes to Richard as the greatest (although some of them give qualifiers and name other names with his.) Two don't say yes or no but rate him as either the most exciting or having had the biggest impact. Six say no. Of those players who were rated ahead of him or alongside him, Gordie Howe was named four times, Jean Beliveau was named three times, Howie Morenz was named twice, Bill Cook was named twice, and Eddie Shore once. It's worth noting that Howe was only 28 at this time and Beliveau only 24, so some of those polled obviously weren't rating players based on career accomplishments.

If Maurice Richard was the greatest player in hockey history before, say, 1950 or 1955, that's a strong point in his favour for being considered a top-5 player of all time. The above results suggest that some thought Morenz or Cook were his equal or better, and others thought Howe and Beliveau had surpassed him already.

SI also had a very good profile on Richard from 1954. Interesting note given the recent thread on game-winning goals.
Quote:
The record book supplies no entry for Most Winning Goals, but several Montreal fans who lovingly compile all Richardiana can document that, by the beginning of the season, their man had scored the goal that won no less than 59 regular season games and 8 play-off games.

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Old
12-27-2013, 12:39 PM
  #59
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Certainly an odd year in Hart voting. First and second both from the distant 3rd Toronto Maple Leafs

From BM67 in http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...=145895&page=5

1954-55
HART: (323/324, 103-119)
1. Ted Kennedy, Tor C 86 (40-46)
2. Harry Lumley, Tor G 61 (23-38)
3. Maurice Richard, Mtl LW 36 (19-17)
4. Jean Beliveau, Mtl C 21 (14-7)
T5. Doug Harvey, Mtl D 18 (7-11)
T5. Gordie How, Det RW 18
7. Bernie Geoffrion, Mtl RW 16
8. Red Kelly, Det D 15
T9. Leo Labine, Bos RW 10
T9. Red Sullivan, Chi C 10
T9. Danny Lewicki, NYR LW 10
12. Earl Reibel, Det C 7
T13. Ken Mosdell, Mtl C 4
T13. Alex Delvecchio, Det C 4
T15. Don Raleigh, NYR C 2
T15. Terry Sawchuk, Det G 2
T17. Sid Smith, Tor LW 1
T17. Fern Flaman, Bos D 1
T17. Gump Worsley, NYR G 1
Heh, beat me to it. Really kinda silly. A headscratcher in the vein of '89 where a guy gets 199 points, 31 better than 2nd place yet walks away without a single piece of hardware.

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12-27-2013, 12:41 PM
  #60
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
but I value 2 way play and everything a player does
Except when the two-way player is from the 06 and the one-dimensional player is from the DPE. Then all of a sudden "two-way play" becomes a lot less important in your criteria.

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12-27-2013, 12:48 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
We have game tapes for that era, play was quite a bit slower and there was a ton of time and space compared to say the post 90's
Longer shifts = different pacing. And that's not even factoring the relatively primitive (compared to today), heavy skates slowing things down. Since guys like Richard wore the same skates the defensmen wore and played the same long paced shifts that the defensemen played he didn't have any advantage over them. Hence referring to the defensemen as "pylons" to be exploited by Richard is complete BS since Richard was playing under the same conditions and would be just as much a "pylon" as the defensemen were.


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12-27-2013, 12:49 PM
  #62
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Watch the movie the Rocket it will tell you what he meat in terms of politics.Is he the best hab thats very argueble but he is the most important and spiritual identity of team and how a player should play and give 100 percent.So guys watch the movie the rocket

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12-27-2013, 01:45 PM
  #63
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Also, your comment implying that hockey originated in Alberta is strange, considering that when hockey became an organized sport the province of Alberta did not exist and the population of that part of the North West Territories consisted of Indians and a few isolated forts.
Lac La Biche, Bonneyville etc. Very sparsely populated. Wasnt until 1905 it even became a province. Calgary incorporated as a town in 1884, a city about 10yrs later. Between 1898 & 1914 a huge influx of immigrants from within Canada, from the US & from abroad who were there as the government was offering free land for homesteading. Population jumped from app 80,000 in 1901 to over 300,000 by about 1915. By 1920'ish, both Edmonton & Calgary having teams in the old WCHL, forerunner to the WHL.

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Watch the movie the Rocket it will tell you what he meat in terms of politics.Is he the best hab thats very argueble but he is the most important and spiritual identity of team and how a player should play and give 100 percent.So guys watch the movie the rocket
Yes, terrific movie, Roy Dupuis doing an excellent job in playing The Rocket.... and well said. I think probably between Vezina-Morenz-Richard-Beliveau you do have the spiritual identity of the team, and I would actually rank Beliveau as the Greatest Hab Ever. But for just sheer guts & determination, absolutely Maurice Richard.... and just think about how beloved, respected & cherished he was for a moment. Over 100,000 people paying tribute at the Forum prior to his funeral. Just incredible.

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12-27-2013, 02:00 PM
  #64
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Lac La Biche, Bonneyville etc. Very sparsely populated. Wasnt until 1905 it even became a province. Calgary incorporated as a town in 1884, a city about 10yrs later. Between 1898 & 1914 a huge influx of immigrants from within Canada, from the US & from abroad who were there as the government was offering free land for homesteading. Population jumped from app 80,000 in 1901 to over 300,000 by about 1915. By 1920'ish, both Edmonton & Calgary having teams in the old WCHL, forerunner to the WHL.
Oh there was a time in this fair land when the railroads did not run.....

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12-27-2013, 02:30 PM
  #65
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Oh there was a time in this fair land when the railroads did not run.....
... yep. Livin on stew and drinkin bad whiskey.

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12-27-2013, 02:33 PM
  #66
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... yep. Livin on stew and drinkin bad whiskey.
We are the Navvies that work on the railway.....

Love that song! Glad you got the reference

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12-27-2013, 03:02 PM
  #67
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82 goals in 133 playoff games.

In the 40s and 50s.
No doubt, a lot of it is chalked up to this. That is just purely incredible. Remember, he did this in a low scoring era with just two playoff rounds his whole career. To this day, this is how the playoff goal scoring leaders look:

Gretzky - 122
Messier - 109
Kurri - 106
Hull - 103
Anderson - 93
Bossy - 85
Sakic - 84
Richard - 82

He's still 8th! Can you believe this? It took Bossy until 1986 before he broke it. In other words, Richard was retired for 26 years before someone passed it. And he isn't going anywhere any time soon. Jagr is the closest active player with 78 goals. He had 0 last year in 22 games with Boston. Not sure Jagr will beat this. After that Patrick Marleau has 57, Zetterberg has 55. The youngest ones with a shot are Crosby with 40 and Malkin with 36. Richard isn't going anywhere, 13 years after his death. Think about that.

As for points he has 126 in the postseason. He held this record until Howe (160) passed it. Beliveau (176) eventually did too. Those are the only ones who did it in the 2 playoff round era. To be fair, Beliveau had 1968, 1969 and 1971 as extra years with another playoff round. Howe never got out of the first round after the original 6 era. And Beliveau still beats him in points without those three years. So we're talking about Howe and Beliveau as the only guys who outpointed him during this era in the playoffs. That's high company.

Not to mention determination. Even more than Ovechkin I would say Richard had more drive to the net than anyone else in NHL history. That says something right there.

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12-27-2013, 03:54 PM
  #68
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He saved NHL hockey, not just by attracting fans in Montreal, but all over the league in the late 40's and early 50's . He was the "show". He was the most explosive guy fron the blue line to the net.

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12-27-2013, 03:56 PM
  #69
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In an all time ranking, I would put Patrick Roy above Richard. To me, patrick's year by year save% dominance at his position, combined with his longevity and playoff greatness eclipses Richard's. There are many forwards you could replace richard with, there are only like 2 goalies that I would put in the same breath as Roy. Ignore the cultural iconic status and Roy IMO is greater than Richard. Roy should be a consensus top 10 all time player, he just doesnt get the respect he deserves because this board resents modern players.

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12-27-2013, 05:03 PM
  #70
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In an all time ranking, I would put Patrick Roy above Richard. To me, patrick's year by year save% dominance at his position, combined with his longevity and playoff greatness eclipses Richard's. There are many forwards you could replace richard with, there are only like 2 goalies that I would put in the same breath as Roy. Ignore the cultural iconic status and Roy IMO is greater than Richard. Roy should be a consensus top 10 all time player, he just doesnt get the respect he deserves because this board resents modern players.
I'm pretty sure if this board doesn't respect him and modern players, they wouldn't have put Roy and Hasek as number 1 and 2 greatest goalies ever.

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12-27-2013, 07:47 PM
  #71
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I never knew Bure was a two way player...
Well the post was about playoff resumes and Feds to be more specific, Bure was much like Richard, known as a fierce competitive goal scorer.

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12-27-2013, 08:23 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
In an all time ranking, I would put Patrick Roy above Richard. To me, patrick's year by year save% dominance at his position, combined with his longevity and playoff greatness eclipses Richard's. There are many forwards you could replace richard with, there are only like 2 goalies that I would put in the same breath as Roy. Ignore the cultural iconic status and Roy IMO is greater than Richard. Roy should be a consensus top 10 all time player, he just doesnt get the respect he deserves because this board resents modern players.

interesting that you bring Roy in the topic as Roy is regarded as most posters here as #1 or #2 goalie of all time, and the bigggest argument for him being #1 is his playoff resume...and Roy won the most Conn Smythes with 3.

The Conn Smythe trophy did not exist when Richard played, but what would he look like if he had won like 4 or 5 Conn Smythes?

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12-27-2013, 08:48 PM
  #73
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Has there been a consummate debate thread on Beliveau vs. Richard? Whenever I'm ranking a top 20 or so players, I can never figure out which player to put ahead of which, though they're always side by side.

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12-27-2013, 08:59 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
By the modern standards of the award, Richard would have won his second Hart in 1949-50. Remember that the 1950s were the weirdest decade for Hart voting with Ted Kennedy seemingly winning it as a career award and Al Rollins seemingly winning it for his performance the previous year.

1949-50, Richard leads the league in goals by a wide margin, and is 4th in points behind the 3 members of the Production Line, and way ahead of anyone else on his team: http://www.hockey-reference.com/leag...0_leaders.html. But Chuck Rayner (goalie) won the Hart for helping the awful Rangers make the playoffs.

Also, Richard was the odds-on favorite for the Hart and Art Ross in 1954-55 before getting himself suspended.
Agree we should probably focus more on who we think were the best players from year to year instead of just relying on the voters, who sometimes have weird picks and voting patterns.

Richard was a Hart Candidate numerous times in his career and a real Conn Smythe type too.

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12-27-2013, 09:19 PM
  #75
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Has there been a consummate debate thread on Beliveau vs. Richard? Whenever I'm ranking a top 20 or so players, I can never figure out which player to put ahead of which, though they're always side by side.
Not sure, but what I generally see and agree with is that Beliveau was the better all around player, where Richard was "the greatest" Canadien and more iconic. Both were loved and idolized by Montreal fans but the emotions toward Richard were much deeper. Richard was arguably "the greatest" hockey player that ever lived in that respect.

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