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Best Of The Late Bloomers

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Old
04-08-2017, 09:47 PM
  #1
crobro
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Best Of The Late Bloomers

I'm thinking of players such as Martin Gelinas,Blaine Stoughton,John LeClaire etc

What's your top ten?

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04-08-2017, 11:33 PM
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Sens Rule
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Martin Gelinas started at 18 and was an NHL regular and a Stanley Cup champion at 19. You must be thinking of someone else?

Johnny Bower is the obvious choice. Makes the NHL as starter at 29 for one season. Back to the minors for 3 more years. At 33/34 becomes Leafs starter and has his second real NHL seasons. Wins a bunch of Cups and plays until 45 and is in the HHOF.

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04-08-2017, 11:43 PM
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The Panther
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I saw Gelinas play a lot when he was 18, 19, 20. I dunno, I never thought of him as a late bloomer, albeit his 30-goal season took a while to come.

Obvious one is Martin St.Louis. Age 26 he was still considered a marginal NHL player, and by age 28 he was scoring champ and MVP.

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04-09-2017, 09:30 AM
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Killion
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Tim Thomas would fit that category as would Georges Vezina amongst other Goalies....

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Old
04-09-2017, 01:42 PM
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FerrisRox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
I saw Gelinas play a lot when he was 18, 19, 20. I dunno, I never thought of him as a late bloomer, albeit his 30-goal season took a while to come.
Gelinas is definitely not a late bloomer. He had a Stanley Cup ring, 38 playoff games and a 20-goal season on his resume by age 20.

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04-09-2017, 01:51 PM
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Plural
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Hasek was 29 when he had his first elite season. I guess he would fit the "late bloomer" bill. Even though he played in Canada Cup as young as 20 years old.

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04-09-2017, 01:56 PM
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Big Phil
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I'm not seeing it with Gelinas to be honest. He peaked with a 35 goal and 68 point year in 1997 but was never close any other year. Had a decent playoff in 2004 where he had a knack for scoring the series ending goals and got the brief nickname "The Eliminator" but doing this after a paltry 35 point season. Otherwise, he was actually quite a lacklustre playoff performer despite being on teams that made some long runs. So I guess I am a little confused as to what he bloomed into, since it wasn't anything special.

Joe Thornton may or may not fall in this category. Had some tough years in Boston early on and I kid you not it was just as well assumed that Sergei Samsonov was going to be the better prospect at that time since he was the better player. I never bought into that at all since I knew once Thornton busted out he'd leave him in the dust, and he did.

Todd Bertuzzi comes to mind. Take away the Steve Moore hit and who really knows where his career ends up.

Goalies that fall into this category could be Cheevers, Bower, Thomas, Parent, maybe even Worsley. Kipper comes to mind as well. Lots of goalies now that I think of it who carved out even HHOF careers in some cases. Tony Esposito, Ryan Miller

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Old
04-09-2017, 02:31 PM
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Passchendaele
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Jean Ratelle?

First elite-caliber season was at 27.

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Old
04-09-2017, 03:24 PM
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crobro
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Ray Whitney
Michel Petit
Johnny Bower

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04-09-2017, 06:41 PM
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Sens Rule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plural View Post
Hasek was 29 when he had his first elite season. I guess he would fit the "late bloomer" bill. Even though he played in Canada Cup as young as 20 years old.
He is a late bloomer like Makarov or Statsny were. Hard to make the NHL playing behind the Iron Curtain.

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04-09-2017, 06:44 PM
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Sens Rule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'm not seeing it with Gelinas to be honest. He peaked with a 35 goal and 68 point year in 1997 but was never close any other year. Had a decent playoff in 2004 where he had a knack for scoring the series ending goals and got the brief nickname "The Eliminator" but doing this after a paltry 35 point season. Otherwise, he was actually quite a lacklustre playoff performer despite being on teams that made some long runs. So I guess I am a little confused as to what he bloomed into, since it wasn't anything special.

Joe Thornton may or may not fall in this category. Had some tough years in Boston early on and I kid you not it was just as well assumed that Sergei Samsonov was going to be the better prospect at that time since he was the better player. I never bought into that at all since I knew once Thornton busted out he'd leave him in the dust, and he did.

Todd Bertuzzi comes to mind. Take away the Steve Moore hit and who really knows where his career ends up.

Goalies that fall into this category could be Cheevers, Bower, Thomas, Parent, maybe even Worsley. Kipper comes to mind as well. Lots of goalies now that I think of it who carved out even HHOF careers in some cases. Tony Esposito, Ryan Miller
Thornton does not qualify at all. He broke out at age 20. Having a weak 18 year old rookie year does not make you a late bloomer.

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04-10-2017, 01:48 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Phil Esposito deserves a mention (as does Ratelle), especially compared to contemporaries.

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04-10-2017, 02:31 PM
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mrhockey193195
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St. Louis, LeClair, Knuble, Glen Murray, Markus Naslund, Bertuzzi, Tim Thomas, Hasek (sort of), Kolzig come to mind amongst modern players.

Espo & Johnny Bower for pre 1980s.

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04-10-2017, 05:00 PM
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Do lafleurs first 3 years in the NHL make him a late bloomer?

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04-10-2017, 05:07 PM
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Rafalski had a remarkable career.

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04-11-2017, 04:58 PM
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Sens Rule
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Quote:
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Do lafleurs first 3 years in the NHL make him a late bloomer?
Not really.

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04-12-2017, 11:41 AM
  #17
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For swedes: Sedins, Alfie.

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04-12-2017, 12:36 PM
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Johan Franzen didn't make it to the NHL until he was like 26 years old in 05-06. Didn't break out into a top 6 player until a few years later in March 08 just before the playoffs.

From that point on he maintained a ~30g/60pt pace until he retired due to concussions in 14-15.


Last edited by TheMule93: 04-12-2017 at 08:28 PM. Reason: rephrasing
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Old
04-12-2017, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMule93 View Post
Johan Franzen didn't make it to the NHL until he was like 26 years old in 05-06. Didn't break out into a top 6 player until a few years later in spring 07-08 (including playoffs).

From that point on he maintained a ~30g/60pt pace until he retired due to concussions in 14-15.
Wonderful case! For some reason he hardly played junior hockey but in lower mens divisions instead, not reaching the SHL until age 21-22 and did not break out there until age 23-24. Not stopping there though, turning in three dominant NHL postseasons in a row at age 28-30.

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04-12-2017, 03:16 PM
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Robert Lang deserves a mention

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04-12-2017, 03:22 PM
  #21
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Sedins and Datsyuk didn't reach their peak until 29/30, but they were pretty good well before that.

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04-12-2017, 04:45 PM
  #22
Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
Thornton does not qualify at all. He broke out at age 20. Having a weak 18 year old rookie year does not make you a late bloomer.
Let's just call him a bigger player that needed to adjust and didn't hit the ground running right away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crobro View Post
Ray Whitney
Michel Petit
Johnny Bower
Bower for sure, the other two? Hmmm. When did Petit ever become good? Whitney was always decent but a late bloomer? He had a surprising season in 2012 but how was Whitney worse in 1906 than, say, 2006?

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04-12-2017, 09:09 PM
  #23
mrhockey193195
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Lang is a good one. Throw Straka in as well.

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04-12-2017, 09:33 PM
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VanIslander
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Johnny Bower was NOT a late bloomer!

He was an AHL all-star who broke records at that level and did NOT want to play in the NHL. To him hockey was a job and he had a good one in the AHL (eight seasons in Cleveland). Punch Imlach had to THREATEN to ban him from playing in the AHL for him to agree to play with the Leafs. The NHL had only six starting positions and its said he preferred the stability of the AHL over the uncertainly of the NHL, back when the NHL paid squat.


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04-14-2017, 06:39 PM
  #25
Ofuzz
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How about Ross Brooks. Debuted in the NHL for the Bruins in the 1970's at age 36. Played 3 seasons, 53 games and only lost 7. That's an impressive win percentage. And yes I realize how good the Bruins were but it's still pretty damn impressive.

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