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

Peter Forsberg was the most complete hockey player who ever lived.

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Old
03-15-2014, 04:57 PM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
No, it shouldn't be a Canadian centric requirement. First off, Forsberg was not bad physically at all. He could compete. The diving always left a bad taste in my mouth and it made you less fearful of him on the ice (as opposed to Messier or Potvin or Trottier for example). But if you can throw a lovely check, counter the attack and assist or score on the ensuing rush, then I would say that's a pretty complete package don't you think? So yeah, physical play is important. You mentioned Nick Lidstrom and I guess Red Kelly is another one that wasn't physical but still great in his own end. That's all good, and I will say that Lidstrom was better than players that were more "complete" so to speak, such as Pronger. It isn't as if being physical is the be all and end all, but it means you can play any time of game as well. Good for Lidstrom for not needing to be physical to play a great game. Heck, while we're at it neither was Gretzky. But the topic of the thread is most complete.

I agree with someone who said Crosby is more complete than Forsberg. One thing being the difference is that he can score more goals than Forsberg while being just as good of a playmaker.

I think of a guy like Mike Richards or Jonathan Toews as being complete. They don't do everything as well as the Messier/Trottier/Howe level but to me that's being complete. Because they lack the top level numbers as the others they don't compare on an all-time list though, but you'd be comfortable with them in any situation.
Yeah, see, I still feel you're saying that some great players weren't physical and all, but that somehow made them incomplete-- which doesn't make that much sense if you consider the names you just picked out the air there.


Two-way play is being used as one metric of completeness, and that doesn't really require physicality per se.

So what's left is a skill set: skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting (in all its forms), playmaking, vision/IQ, and so on. And then actual achievement.

I'm still having a hard time seeing why you'd downgrade players who achieved as much without physicality as the ones who perfected or preferred it.

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03-15-2014, 05:33 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
To my eye? No, not at all. Stevens' game was built around physicality, clearly used to intimidate the opposition and punish (or pummel) them into submission. Lidstrom used positioning, foresight and his stick (poke check) to control the play. Both had to have a very good read on the play and how things were developing, but then each used different tools to defend.
Yes. There's a great chance Lidström simply would not have been as good if he had tried to be more agressive. It could have thrown him off his great positional play/precautional game.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 03-15-2014 at 05:38 PM.
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03-15-2014, 05:45 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Yes. There's a great chance Lidström simply would not have been as good if he had tried to be more agressive. It could have thrown him off his great positional play/thinking game.
It most assuredly would have. In fully committing to a check & finishing it, your taking yourself out of the play if you dont come up with the puck. Really with Lidstrom as was something you notice with most great Defenceman they "work smart". They conserve their energy & pace themselves & the game itself, and that doesnt include stapling every player that comes within range to the boards or through them and never mind where the puck goes. Watch Subban of Montreal, shockingly a Norris Trophy Winner. That guy just launches himself at opponents, no thought to corralling the puck half the time, no thought that he's hitting someone who will land on his own goalie, misses his checks (not really checks, there "hits" like something youd see in WCW Wrestling) altogether right out of control & out of the play. And this guys the NHL's Norris Winner? Mind blowing..... At anyrate, you see it in all of the elite Defenders, they use the angles, conserve energy & effort. Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Finns, Russians, Czechs. All of em.


Last edited by Killion: 03-15-2014 at 05:51 PM.
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Old
03-15-2014, 05:48 PM
  #54
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It most assuredly would have. In fully committing to a check & finishing it, your taking yourself out of the play if you dont come up with the puck. Really with Lidstrom as was something you notice with most great Defenceman they "work smart". They conserve their energy & pace themselves & the game itself, and that doesnt include stapling every player that comes within range to the boards or through them and never mind where the puck goes. You see it in all of the elite Defenders. They use the angles, conserve energy & effort. Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Finns, Russians, Czechs. All of em.
Exactly. That bonehead on the Leafs right now gives up position and a chance at getting the puck by trying to staple someone instead. Sometimes he even takes his own player out.

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03-15-2014, 05:51 PM
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I can think of at least 5 players who were more complete than Forsberg...

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03-15-2014, 05:55 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by TANK200 View Post
I can think of at least 5 players who were more complete than Forsberg...

Do you not wish to share?

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03-15-2014, 06:01 PM
  #57
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Write-in vote for Bobby Clarke

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03-15-2014, 06:02 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Exactly. That bonehead on the Leafs right now gives up position and a chance at getting the puck by trying to staple someone instead. Sometimes he even takes his own player out.
Yep. Nobodys safe when Cap'n Crunch starts laying on the body. Not even his own team mates, Linesmen or Refs'. NOBODY. Wrecking Machine.

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03-15-2014, 06:03 PM
  #59
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Sure, but could he also play defense? Mario couldn't play defense. Gretzky couldn't play defense. Missing a Selke there to be called the most complete ever.


I know this is tongue in cheek and I'll let the guys who watched Lemieux speak for him but I will say that Gretzky was far better defensively than he is given credit for. The problem is that like a lot of things he did his defensive game was very unorthodox. His "defensive" game was driven by his ability to see the game like no one else.

He was great on the fore check because of his anticipation. This also allowed him to intercept or deflect lots of passes in his own zone and in fact made him an outstanding penalty killer. For a guy with almost no physical game he was also extremely good at coming up with the puck along the boards.

He also knew exactly when to break from the defensive zone, and when he did defensemen went with him making the Oiler's breakout much easier. Make a bad pinch with Gretzky and Kurri on the ice and you would pay almost for sure. When teams shadowed him he would simply take his guy over to the defenseman and effectively create an odd man advantage in the Oilers zone.

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03-15-2014, 06:11 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Fourier View Post
The problem is that like a lot of things he did his defensive game was very unorthodox. His "defensive" game was driven by his ability to see the game like no one else.
Indeed. Gretzkys anticipation was subconscious. Tapped & harnessed consciously as all great players are capable of doing and thereafter merely a case of reacting instinctively. A Master Thief. He understood that a man with a briefcase can steal a lot more money than a man with a gun using brute force & violence. Basic geometry. Really quite elementary my dear Watson.

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03-15-2014, 06:20 PM
  #61
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I know this is tongue in cheek and I'll let the guys who watched Lemieux speak for him but I will say that Gretzky was far better defensively than he is given credit for. The problem is that like a lot of things he did his defensive game was very unorthodox. His "defensive" game was driven by his ability to see the game like no one else.

He was great on the fore check because of his anticipation. This also allowed him to intercept or deflect lots of passes in his own zone and in fact made him an outstanding penalty killer. For a guy with almost no physical game he was also extremely good at coming up with the puck along the boards.

He also knew exactly when to break from the defensive zone, and when he did defensemen went with him making the Oiler's breakout much easier. Make a bad pinch with Gretzky and Kurri on the ice and you would pay almost for sure. When teams shadowed him he would simply take his guy over to the defenseman and effectively create an odd man advantage in the Oilers zone.

I think I'd say the same about Lidstrom. Those of us who watched him play every game would say he didn't need the physical game because of that perception and anticipation.

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03-15-2014, 06:38 PM
  #62
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Peter Forsberg was the most complete hockey player who ever lived

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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I think I'd say the same about Lidstrom. Those of us who watched him play every game would say he didn't need the physical game because of that perception and anticipation.
Lidstrom most complete!?! You need to find out about this obscure hockey player named Gordie Howe.

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03-15-2014, 06:42 PM
  #63
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Prime Lindros was more complete than foppa, more physical and a better goal scorer. Just couldnt keep his dumb head up.

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03-15-2014, 06:54 PM
  #64
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Lidstrom most complete!?! You need to find out about this obscure hockey player named Gordie Howe.
It's all good.



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03-15-2014, 09:55 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Yeah, see, I still feel you're saying that some great players weren't physical and all, but that somehow made them incomplete-- which doesn't make that much sense if you consider the names you just picked out the air there.


Two-way play is being used as one metric of completeness, and that doesn't really require physicality per se.

So what's left is a skill set: skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting (in all its forms), playmaking, vision/IQ, and so on. And then actual achievement.

I'm still having a hard time seeing why you'd downgrade players who achieved as much without physicality as the ones who perfected or preferred it.
You have a hard time seeing it because it doesn't fit with your biased.

The topic is 'most complete'. Physical play is part of hockey. A legal part of the game. Therefore, to be 'most complete', it has to be considered. Your argument of 'but some players were good without it' is irrelevant. The topic is MOST COMPLETE. Pavel Bure, for example, is a HOFer based on one skill but he doesn't belong in this conversation.

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03-15-2014, 10:02 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
You have a hard time seeing it because it doesn't fit with your biased.

The topic is 'most complete'. Physical play is part of hockey. A legal part of the game. Therefore, to be 'most complete', it has to be considered. Your argument of 'but some players were good without it' is irrelevant. The topic is MOST COMPLETE. Pavel Bure, for example, is a HOFer based on one skill but he doesn't belong in this conversation.

Sorry, Goat, but I think your own bias is blinding you to the fact that physicality is an OPTION, not a requirement to achieve an end. What does legality have to do with it? If two players can achieve the same end, but by different means, and one doesn't have to resort to brute force to do it, this is inferior now?

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03-15-2014, 10:32 PM
  #67
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Where is it completely discounted? Please don't put words into my posts. My point is that it's not required, so using it as a key metric (a guy who is physical is automatically better, more effective) is what's ridiculous. I'm providing an example of a great player who did it without this "required" attribute. It simply is NOT required.
Not required by you, but other posters have made a good point that it should be included. A complete player should play all aspects of the game, which I believe this discussion is about. Just because you don't believe it is a part of the game that is needed and is North American centric doesn't make it factual. Lidstrom was a great player, in the top 5 of defence players in my opinion, but could he be rated higher if he was more physical, I believe so.

Back on topic my vote for forwards would go to Trottier, Bobby Clarke, Fedorov or Messier (only included players I have watched)

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03-15-2014, 10:40 PM
  #68
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Not required by you, but other posters have made a good point that it should be included. A complete player should play all aspects of the game, which I believe this discussion is about. Just because you don't believe it is a part of the game that is needed and is North American centric doesn't make it factual. Lidstrom was a great player, in the top 5 of defence players in my opinion, but could he be rated higher if he was more physical, I believe so.

Back on topic my vote for forwards would go to Trottier, Bobby Clarke, Fedorov or Messier (only included players I have watched)

Just because you believe it's a part of the game that's needed doesn't make it factual either.

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03-15-2014, 10:42 PM
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What about Red Kelly? Not many guys can excel as a defenseman, and then become a top center on a Cup dynasty.

Also, a guy like Fedorov was a more complete player than Forsberg. Better scorer and better shooter/goal scorer. Better defensively as well. Forsberg was a better passer and more physical with the puck.

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03-15-2014, 10:45 PM
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What a treat to watch. So dominant and so determined.

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03-15-2014, 10:47 PM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Just because you believe it's a part of the game that's needed doesn't make it factual either.
(mod) So lets discount the physical part, remove it from the evaluation completely. Who do you rank as the better all around forward position player then? I also factor in the ability to play the majority of the teams games.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 03-16-2014 at 01:08 AM. Reason: discuss the post, not the poster please
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03-15-2014, 10:58 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Yeah, see, I still feel you're saying that some great players weren't physical and all, but that somehow made them incomplete-- which doesn't make that much sense if you consider the names you just picked out the air there.


Two-way play is being used as one metric of completeness, and that doesn't really require physicality per se.

So what's left is a skill set: skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting (in all its forms), playmaking, vision/IQ, and so on. And then actual achievement.

I'm still having a hard time seeing why you'd downgrade players who achieved as much without physicality as the ones who perfected or preferred it.
Not downgrading them at all. I did mention that Lidstrom was better than Pronger. Let's see, the best way I can explain it is this way: the thread stipulations were whether or not Forsberg was the most complete player. If we are going by his era, he was more "complete" all around than Jagr. However, Jagr was the better player. No doubt. If this is 1999 no one takes Forsberg over Jagr. So the bottom line is you can be a more complete player but still inferior. Gretzky and Lemieux had tons of players I would say are more "well rounded" than them. But they were so outright dominant on the ice that it didn't matter. Trottier is probably among the top 2-3 "complete" players of all-time, however there are better players overall from a career and a peak standpoint. Trottier was more complete than Lemieux all around, he could do more aspects of the game at a higher level than Lemieux could. However, Lemieux was so dominant out there that he blows Trottier out of the water peak vs. peak.

Bottom line, being more complete doesn't mean you are better. Mike Richards is more complete than Stamkos. But Stamkos is the better player and Stamkos is who you'd want on your team over Richards. Does this help at all?

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03-16-2014, 12:59 AM
  #73
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Write-in vote for Bobby Clarke
Great two-way player, but just like Forsberg, he wasn't that good a goal scorer... at least among the all-time greats.

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03-16-2014, 01:02 AM
  #74
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Originally Posted by Beatle17 View Post
Not required by you, but other posters have made a good point that it should be included. A complete player should play all aspects of the game, which I believe this discussion is about. Just because you don't believe it is a part of the game that is needed and is North American centric doesn't make it factual. Lidstrom was a great player, in the top 5 of defence players in my opinion, but could he be rated higher if he was more physical, I believe so.

Back on topic my vote for forwards would go to Trottier, Bobby Clarke, Fedorov or Messier (only included players I have watched)
In fact, there is a line of thought among some on the history board that Lidstrom + physicality = Doug Harvey (obviously adjusted for era, yadda yadda).

I mean, I actually do think Lidstrom is one of the most complete players I've ever seen (so long as we don't care that defensemen don't score many goals due to the nature of the position). But I think he would be even more complete if he did everything like he did but also had a physical game. I'm not talking taking himself out of position making the hit - I'm talking being as close to perfect as a human can be positionally (like Lidstrom actually was) with an added physical game when the opportunity arose.

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03-16-2014, 01:22 AM
  #75
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
You have a hard time seeing it because it doesn't fit with your biased.

The topic is 'most complete'. Physical play is part of hockey. A legal part of the game. Therefore, to be 'most complete', it has to be considered. Your argument of 'but some players were good without it' is irrelevant. The topic is MOST COMPLETE. Pavel Bure, for example, is a HOFer based on one skill but he doesn't belong in this conversation.
Physical play is a means to an end and if you can succeed in all phases of the game without it than you are no less a complete player. If should be given the consideration in its utility of helping you get goals, maintain puck possession, prevent the opposition from scoring, etc., but if you can do all those things anyways I don't think it makes you any less complete.

I also don't think the "part of hockey" rule works. Depending on how far you break it down you can say that no player is "complete". I don't think it works to disqualify all non-centres for not being good at faceoffs, despite that being a part of hockey.

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