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Who are the 10 best early players? Pre 1950

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03-08-2006, 12:33 PM
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Who are the 10 best early players? Pre 1950

I am curious as to what some of you great hockey historians think are the best early players. The ones from before WW2 or before 1950. Guys that precede Rocket Richard and Gordie Howe. Since I was a little kid I have read many books on hockey history. I have read about the legend of Morenz and Shore. Those 2 seem to dominate the legends of early hockey. Eddie Shore seems to be the legitimate Ty Cobb of Hockey. Truly living up to the legend he is. Anyway I know about many of the Hockey legends, King Clancy, Max Bentley, Bill Durnan, Joliett, Frank Boucher, Cyclone Taylor, Lionel Conacher and more. How do you think are the top 5, 10, 20 or 50 early Hockey stars. Don't limit it totally to the NHL or NHA as many great players played in the Pacific Coast league for large chunks of their careers or other places.

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03-08-2006, 04:11 PM
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Interesting question, but a tough one to answer. I'll give this a try. I havenít included goalies. For fun, Iíve included a modern comparison so people who donít know much about hockey history can get a sense of who the player is like.

1) Eddie Shore. Shore was arguably the second-best defenseman of all time. He led all defensemen in scoring 5 times, played excellent defense, and was one of the toughest & meanest players ever. His combination of skill (as demonstrated by end-to-end rushes and great passing) and toughness (fights, playing through injuries, trekking through a dangerous snowstorm to make it to a game on time and then playing all 60 minutes) is matched by only a few players before or after. Shore won the Hart trophy four times and probably would have won 5-8 Norris trophies had they been around back then. (Modern comparison: Lidstromís offense and consistency with Footeís toughness and defensive skill)

2) Howie Morenz. One of the most dominant players of all time. Led the league in scoring twice and won three Hart trophies. Five 100-pt seasons adjusted for era. Extraordinary level of skill in terms of skating and stickhandling abilities. Equally adept at scoring and setting up teammates. By all accounts, Morenz was a great defensive player as well who knew the value of playing on both sides of the ice. Itís a toss-up between Shore and Morenz for first. (Modern comparison: probably closest to Joe Sakic or Mike Modano, except even more dominant)

3) Bill Cook. Cook was the ultimate power forward before the term even existed. He spent four years dominating the WCHL before dominating the NHL for the next decade. In four years in the WCHL, Cook led the league in goals twice and led the league in scoring tree years in a row. When he came to the NHL, Cook led the league in goals twice (runner-up twice) and led the league in scoring twice. Adjusted for era Cook had five 50 goal seasons and four 100 point seasons. However, Cook was more important than just offense. He was big and tough for his day and could, by all accounts, change a game with a single hit. Cook was twice runner-up for the Hart. (Modern comparison: maybe Brendan Shanahan from a few years ago)

4) Nels Stewart. Another dominant power forward, Stewart won two Hart trophies and led the league in scoring once. Like Cook, Stewart was a power forward who used his size and strength to drive through opponents. Stewart may have only won the Art Ross once, but he was supremely consistent, finishing in the top ten in scoring 10 times in 13 years. Stewart also led the league in goals twice. Stewart was an excellent defensive player. In his rookie season, his teamís star defenseman Dunc Monro was injured during the playoffs. Stewart, due to his defensive excellence, filled in on the blueline and helped lead the Maroons to a Stanley Cup victory. He still managed to score an amazing 6 of his teamís 10 goals. (Modern comparison: Forsberg, except healthier and more of a goal-scorer).

5) King Clancy. Clancy was an excellent combination of speed and toughness. He was an extremely fast skater and engaged in numerous end-to-end rushes. These skills allowed him to lead all defensemen in scoring three times. Clancy was small for his era, but was aggressive and tough. He was willing to check and battle with anybody. He likely would have won several Norris trophies had they been around back then. (Modern comparison: a much more physical version of Sergei Zubov).

6) Earl Seibert. This is a surprise pick, but I think Seibert may be the most underrated player in NHL history. Seibert was an all-star ten years in a row. The only other defensemen who can claim that honour are Harvey and Bourque. Seibert was one of the main reasons the awful Blackhawks won the Cup in 1938, scoring 7 points in 10 games, a level of offense that was unheard of at that time for a defenseman. Notwithstanding the 1938 playoffs, Seibert wasnít very good offensively, but he used his enormous size and strength to neutralize opponents. (Modern comparison: Zdeno Chara)

7) Syl Apps Senior. It must have been tough for Syl Apps to come so close to so many awards, but to never win. Apps was runner-up for the Hart three times and came in third-place twice. He was also runner-up for the Art Ross trophy three times. Still, he does have some impressive hardware, including 5 all-star selections, the Calder, and he led the league in assists twice. More importantly, Apps was a strong playoff performer and helped lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup in 1942 after they started the final against Detroit in a 3-0 deficit. To this day it remains one of the most stunning playoff comebacks in sports history. Apps also has a reputation as one of the classiest and cleanest players ever to play. (Modern comparison: Steve Yzerman around 1996-8).

8) Cy Denneny. One of the most dominant offensive players of any era, Denneny was a perennial threat for the Art Ross. He led the league in scoring only once, but was runner-up five times. Denneny had some explosive years, including five years with 40+ adjusted goals and two years with 130+ adjusted points. Ironically, Denneny started his career as a goon, designated to protect teammates. When Denneny became a scorer, he used his size and strength to defend himself. In his last season (as player/coach) he led the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. (Modern comparison: maybe Jagr due to his offensive dominance, but their styles are completely different).

9) Frank Boucher. Boucher was easily one of the most dominant playmakers in hockey history. He bounced between the NHL, PCHA and WCHL before hitting his stride in the NHL in 1927. Boucher led the league in assists three times and was runner up four times. His brilliant playmaking and on-ice communications helped teammates reach career-highs in goals and points. Boucher by all accounts was a great defensive player and almost never took penalties. Five straight years with 100+ adjusted points. He later went on to become one of the NHLís most brilliant coaches. (Modern comparison: Adam Oates).

10) Charlie Conacher. The third power forward on the list. He was more dominant than either Cook or Stewart, but severely lacks longevity. He was only an elite player for six years, but those years were extremely impressive. Conacher led the NHL in goals five times, the same number as Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, Richard, etc. Only Bobby Hull and Esposito have done it more. Conacher was a five-time all-star and led the league in scoring twice. His slapshot was reportedly so hard, it would dent the boards. Conacher was a gentle giant, who was generally calm and never fought. Nonetheless, he used his size and incredible strength to go through (not around) opponents. Conacher reportedly was one of the best stickhanlders of his era, though he was also quite fond of simply crashing the net and knocking opposing goalies over. (Modern comparison: maybe Todd Bertuzzi, but Conacher wasnít nearly as aggressive).

Notable omissions and close calls:
- Cyclone Taylor. Incredibly dominant, but never played a game in the NHL. Also, itís hard to determine how much he accomplished as a forward and how much was as a rover. Too many uncertainties, so I left him out.
- Ted Kennedy. I left him out because most of his career, including his Hart, extended beyond 1950. But he deserves mention for this: the Hockey Hall of Fame awarded him Conn Smythe trophies for 1945, 1947 and 1948.
- Joe Malone. Led the NHL in scoring twice and led the NHA once. However, he didnít produce long enough in the NHL at a high level.
- Aurel Joliat. Very hard to leave out. Won a Hart and was a four-time all-star. Two 100+ pt seasons and four more 80+ pt seasons. Excellent defense and checking. Similar to Forsberg.
- Bill Cowley. Two Hart trophies, 5-time all-star, 1 Art Ross. Great player, there just wasnít room in the top ten.
- Newsy Lalonde. Led the NHL in scoring twice and was runner-up once. Routinely in the top ten scorers, regardless of what league he played in. I thought he was worth mentioning.
- Harry Cameron. Was a top-5 scorer three times. Played in an era when there was no Hart trophies, no Norris trophies and no all-star teams, so itís very hard to judge how good he was. Still, if nothing else, itís clear that Cameron was very dominant offensively.
- Eddie Gerard. I left him off because he only played 6 years in the NHL and I donít think he dominated any more than Shore, Clancy, Seibert, Cameron or Patrick, who were more dominant, around longer, or both.
- Joe Primeau. Led the league in assists four times.
- Harvey Busher Jackson. Had some high-scoring seasons. Five-time all-star.
- Dit Clapper. Not the most dominant player, but the first to play for 20 years. Versatile (was used as both a forward and a defenseman).
- Milt Schmidt. Half his career and accomplishments. was after 1950.
- Lester Patrick. I wonít lie, I simply forgot about him earlier. Excellent offense and creativity.

Hopefully this was interesting. Iím definitely interested in hearing what others think.

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03-08-2006, 04:51 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Interesting question, but a tough one to answer. I'll give this a try. I havenít included goalies. For fun, Iíve included a modern comparison so people who donít know much about hockey history can get a sense of who the player is like.

1) Eddie Shore. Shore was arguably the second-best defenseman of all time. He led all defensemen in scoring 5 times, played excellent defense, and was one of the toughest & meanest players ever. His combination of skill (as demonstrated by end-to-end rushes and great passing) and toughness (fights, playing through injuries, trekking through a dangerous snowstorm to make it to a game on time and then playing all 60 minutes) is matched by only a few players before or after. Shore won the Hart trophy four times and probably would have won 5-8 Norris trophies had they been around back then. (Modern comparison: Lidstromís offense and consistency with Footeís toughness and defensive skill)

2) Howie Morenz. One of the most dominant players of all time. Led the league in scoring twice and won three Hart trophies. Five 100-pt seasons adjusted for era. Extraordinary level of skill in terms of skating and stickhandling abilities. Equally adept at scoring and setting up teammates. By all accounts, Morenz was a great defensive player as well who knew the value of playing on both sides of the ice. Itís a toss-up between Shore and Morenz for first. (Modern comparison: probably closest to Joe Sakic or Mike Modano, except even more dominant)

3) Bill Cook. Cook was the ultimate power forward before the term even existed. He spent four years dominating the WCHL before dominating the NHL for the next decade. In four years in the WCHL, Cook led the league in goals twice and led the league in scoring tree years in a row. When he came to the NHL, Cook led the league in goals twice (runner-up twice) and led the league in scoring twice. Adjusted for era Cook had five 50 goal seasons and four 100 point seasons. However, Cook was more important than just offense. He was big and tough for his day and could, by all accounts, change a game with a single hit. Cook was twice runner-up for the Hart. (Modern comparison: maybe Brendan Shanahan from a few years ago)

4) Nels Stewart. Another dominant power forward, Stewart won two Hart trophies and led the league in scoring once. Like Cook, Stewart was a power forward who used his size and strength to drive through opponents. Stewart may have only won the Art Ross once, but he was supremely consistent, finishing in the top ten in scoring 10 times in 13 years. Stewart also led the league in goals twice. Stewart was an excellent defensive player. In his rookie season, his teamís star defenseman Dunc Monro was injured during the playoffs. Stewart, due to his defensive excellence, filled in on the blueline and helped lead the Maroons to a Stanley Cup victory. He still managed to score an amazing 6 of his teamís 10 goals. (Modern comparison: Forsberg, except healthier and more of a goal-scorer).

5) King Clancy. Clancy was an excellent combination of speed and toughness. He was an extremely fast skater and engaged in numerous end-to-end rushes. These skills allowed him to lead all defensemen in scoring three times. Clancy was small for his era, but was aggressive and tough. He was willing to check and battle with anybody. He likely would have won several Norris trophies had they been around back then. (Modern comparison: a much more physical version of Sergei Zubov).

6) Earl Seibert. This is a surprise pick, but I think Seibert may be the most underrated player in NHL history. Seibert was an all-star ten years in a row. The only other defensemen who can claim that honour are Harvey and Bourque. Seibert was one of the main reasons the awful Blackhawks won the Cup in 1938, scoring 7 points in 10 games, a level of offense that was unheard of at that time for a defenseman. Notwithstanding the 1938 playoffs, Seibert wasnít very good offensively, but he used his enormous size and strength to neutralize opponents. (Modern comparison: Zdeno Chara)

7) Syl Apps Senior. It must have been tough for Syl Apps to come so close to so many awards, but to never win. Apps was runner-up for the Hart three times and came in third-place twice. He was also runner-up for the Art Ross trophy three times. Still, he does have some impressive hardware, including 5 all-star selections, the Calder, and he led the league in assists twice. More importantly, Apps was a strong playoff performer and helped lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup in 1942 after they started the final against Detroit in a 3-0 deficit. To this day it remains one of the most stunning playoff comebacks in sports history. Apps also has a reputation as one of the classiest and cleanest players ever to play. (Modern comparison: Steve Yzerman around 1996-8).

8) Cy Denneny. One of the most dominant offensive players of any era, Denneny was a perennial threat for the Art Ross. He led the league in scoring only once, but was runner-up five times. Denneny had some explosive years, including five years with 40+ adjusted goals and two years with 130+ adjusted points. Ironically, Denneny started his career as a goon, designated to protect teammates. When Denneny became a scorer, he used his size and strength to defend himself. In his last season (as player/coach) he led the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. (Modern comparison: maybe Jagr due to his offensive dominance, but their styles are completely different).

9) Frank Boucher. Boucher was easily one of the most dominant playmakers in hockey history. He bounced between the NHL, PCHA and WCHL before hitting his stride in the NHL in 1927. Boucher led the league in assists three times and was runner up four times. His brilliant playmaking and on-ice communications helped teammates reach career-highs in goals and points. Boucher by all accounts was a great defensive player and almost never took penalties. Five straight years with 100+ adjusted points. He later went on to become one of the NHLís most brilliant coaches. (Modern comparison: Adam Oates).

10) Charlie Conacher. The third power forward on the list. He was more dominant than either Cook or Stewart, but severely lacks longevity. He was only an elite player for six years, but those years were extremely impressive. Conacher led the NHL in goals five times, the same number as Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, Richard, etc. Only Bobby Hull and Esposito have done it more. Conacher was a five-time all-star and led the league in scoring twice. His slapshot was reportedly so hard, it would dent the boards. Conacher was a gentle giant, who was generally calm and never fought. Nonetheless, he used his size and incredible strength to go through (not around) opponents. Conacher reportedly was one of the best stickhanlders of his era, though he was also quite fond of simply crashing the net and knocking opposing goalies over. (Modern comparison: maybe Todd Bertuzzi, but Conacher wasnít nearly as aggressive).

Notable omissions and close calls:
- Cyclone Taylor. Incredibly dominant, but never played a game in the NHL. Also, itís hard to determine how much he accomplished as a forward and how much was as a rover. Too many uncertainties, so I left him out.
- Ted Kennedy. I left him out because most of his career, including his Hart, extended beyond 1950. But he deserves mention for this: the Hockey Hall of Fame awarded him Conn Smythe trophies for 1945, 1947 and 1948.
- Joe Malone. Led the NHL in scoring twice and led the NHA once. However, he didnít produce long enough in the NHL at a high level.
- Aurel Joliat. Very hard to leave out. Won a Hart and was a four-time all-star. Two 100+ pt seasons and four more 80+ pt seasons. Excellent defense and checking. Similar to Forsberg.
- Bill Cowley. Two Hart trophies, 5-time all-star, 1 Art Ross. Great player, there just wasnít room in the top ten.
- Newsy Lalonde. Led the NHL in scoring twice and was runner-up once. Routinely in the top ten scorers, regardless of what league he played in. I thought he was worth mentioning.
- Harry Cameron. Was a top-5 scorer three times. Played in an era when there was no Hart trophies, no Norris trophies and no all-star teams, so itís very hard to judge how good he was. Still, if nothing else, itís clear that Cameron was very dominant offensively.
- Eddie Gerard. I left him off because he only played 6 years in the NHL and I donít think he dominated any more than Shore, Clancy, Seibert, Cameron or Patrick, who were more dominant, around longer, or both.
- Joe Primeau. Led the league in assists four times.
- Harvey Busher Jackson. Had some high-scoring seasons. Five-time all-star.
- Dit Clapper. Not the most dominant player, but the first to play for 20 years. Versatile (was used as both a forward and a defenseman).
- Milt Schmidt. Half his career and accomplishments. was after 1950.
- Lester Patrick. I wonít lie, I simply forgot about him earlier. Excellent offense and creativity.

Hopefully this was interesting. Iím definitely interested in hearing what others think.
Thanks that was excellent!

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03-08-2006, 07:09 PM
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Cup2006,

Great idea for a thread. I'll be submitting a list later in the next day or two, once I get a chance to wrap my mind around it. HockeyOutsider submitted a fantastic list, job well done, buddy. We don't necessarily agree on adjustments for era, but that's the beauty of this game and knowledgable debate on this forum. I can say who will be No. 1 and 2: Eddie Shore and Howie Morenz. Shore's unarguably one of the top four defencemen of all-time and likely one of the top 10 players ever. Morenz is one of the top 15-20 players ever. I will disagree with HockeyOutsider on two players who will likely be in my top 10: Fred "Cyclone" Taylor and Dit Clapper. Another one who merits consideration is the Bobby Jones of hockey: Hobey Baker.

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03-09-2006, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Notable omissions and close calls:
- Newsy Lalonde. Led the NHL in scoring twice and was runner-up once. Routinely in the top ten scorers, regardless of what league he played in. I thought he was worth mentioning.
Worth mentioning? Possibly worth mentioning as your #1, certainly in the top 5.

From the Hockey Compendium:

Quote:
Top 20 Scorers, 1909-1926
1 Newsy Lalonde ('10-26 >) GP 296 G 362* A 81 P 443*

Top 20 Scorers, 1909-1940
6 Newsy Lalonde ('10-27) GP 296 G 362* A 81 P 443

Lalonde has already been overtaken five times in career points, even though he remains the all-time goal-scoring leader by a goodly margin.

Top 20 Scorers, 1909-1951
16 Newsy Lalonde ('10-27) GP 296 G 362* A 81 P 443

It's vital to note, however, that Lalonde is still the all-time goal-scoring master here... Lalonde's antediluvian career mark of 362 goals wouldn't be exceeded until Rocket Richard equalled and passed it during the 1954-55 season.
Newsy Lalonde: was, simply, the greatest hockey player of his time. He was the complete package: he could skate, shoot, stick handle, and pass expertly. He could play it as tough as anyone who ever put on skates, and had a knack for leadership. As a result of his feuds with the Quebec Bulldogsí Joe Hall, among others, fans came out in droves to cheer him on or scream for his blood. Although primarily a center, he also spent time as a defenseman and a rover. Newsy played 20 years of "Major League" hockey, and scored over a goal a game in 16 of those seasons. He scored 38 goals in 11 games in 1909-10. He had a 9 goal game, and an 8 goal game, in the NHA, and had a 6 goal game in the NHL. He won scoring titles in 5 different leagues. In the NHL's first 4 seasons he finished 4th, 1st, 2nd and 1st in the scoring race.
In 1918-19 he had a season that ranks among the very best of all-time. He was captain and player/coach of the Montreal Canadiens. He became the first player to lead the NHL in goals, 22, assists, 10, and points, 32, in a season. He did this in 17 games of an 18 game schedule. He then capped it off by taking the Canadiens to within 1 win of the Stanley Cup, before the series was canceled on acount of he and several other player being hospitalized due to the Spanish Influenza Pandemic. He set a record for playoff goals with 17 in 10 games, that stood until Reggie Leach scored 19 in 16 games in 1976. (Think Ted Lindsay with Gordie Howe's scoring record.)

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03-11-2006, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cup2006sensrule
I am curious as to what some of you great hockey historians think are the best early players. The ones from before WW2 or before 1950. Guys that precede Rocket Richard and Gordie Howe. Since I was a little kid I have read many books on hockey history. I have read about the legend of Morenz and Shore. Those 2 seem to dominate the legends of early hockey. Eddie Shore seems to be the legitimate Ty Cobb of Hockey. Truly living up to the legend he is. Anyway I know about many of the Hockey legends, King Clancy, Max Bentley, Bill Durnan, Joliett, Frank Boucher, Cyclone Taylor, Lionel Conacher and more. How do you think are the top 5, 10, 20 or 50 early Hockey stars. Don't limit it totally to the NHL or NHA as many great players played in the Pacific Coast league for large chunks of their careers or other places.
Greatest Pre 1950 NHLers:(not including goaltenders)

1. Eddie Shore
2. Howie Morenz
3. King Clancy
4. Bill Cowley
5. Earl Seibert
6. Syl Apps, Sr.
7. Babe Dye
8. Elmer Lach
9. Cy Denneny
10. Milt Schmidt
11. Nels Stewart
12. Lionel Conacher
13. Frank Boucher
14. Charlie Conacher
15. Max Bentley
16. Harry Cameron
17. Doug Bentley
18. Aurel Joliat
19. Bill Cook
20. Newsy Lalonde
21. Dit Clapper
22. Sprague Cleghorn
23. Ebbie Goodfellow
24. Jack Stewart
25. Toe Blake

I am not at my computer so, I don't have access to the full data of non-NHL stars but, names that were VERY prominent that should be mentioned in this discussion are: Cyclone Taylor, Tom Dunderdale, Joe Malone and a few others that I can't recall right now.

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03-11-2006, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cup2006sensrule
I am curious as to what some of you great hockey historians think are the best early players.
Don't under-rate yourself, you're among the most knowledgeable posters here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
HockeyOutsider submitted a fantastic list, job well done, buddy. We don't necessarily agree on adjustments for era, but that's the beauty of this game and knowledgable debate on this forum.

... Another one who merits consideration is the Bobby Jones of hockey: Hobey Baker.
Definitely, part of the fun of this forum is hearing everyone's different ideas and methods.

Good call on Hobey Baker. I completely forgot about him and he definitely deserves consideration for the top 10.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
Worth mentioning? Possibly worth mentioning as your #1, certainly in the top 5.
Good points... I was focusing mostly on his NHL accomplishments when I made the list, but I didn't realize he led 5 different leagues in scoring. Needless to say, that's an amazing accomplishment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Greatest Pre 1950 NHLers:(not including goaltenders)
Interesting how close our top 10's are.

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03-12-2006, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Greatest Pre 1950 NHLers:(not including goaltenders)

1. Eddie Shore
2. Howie Morenz
3. King Clancy
4. Bill Cowley
5. Earl Seibert
6. Syl Apps, Sr.
7. Babe Dye
8. Elmer Lach
9. Cy Denneny
10. Milt Schmidt
11. Nels Stewart
12. Lionel Conacher
13. Frank Boucher
14. Charlie Conacher
15. Max Bentley
16. Harry Cameron
17. Doug Bentley
18. Aurel Joliat
19. Bill Cook
20. Newsy Lalonde
21. Dit Clapper
22. Sprague Cleghorn
23. Ebbie Goodfellow
24. Jack Stewart
25. Toe Blake

I am not at my computer so, I don't have access to the full data of non-NHL stars but, names that were VERY prominent that should be mentioned in this discussion are: Cyclone Taylor, Tom Dunderdale, Joe Malone and a few others that I can't recall right now.
Ogopogo, I always learn something from your posts. tom Dunderdale is a new name for me. Googled him and see he played out west in the early days. what can you tell us about him?

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03-12-2006, 02:44 PM
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Since nobody`s mentioned pre-1950 goalies yet, I thought I`d take a stab at a top 10 list:

1. George Hainsworth : Was often overlooked by sportswriters and fans due to the fact that he wasn`t as flashy as other goalies. His style was based more on positioning than reflexes so tough saves often looked easier than they were. Results are all that really matter: 3 Vezinas, 2 Stanley Cups. Is 2nd only behind Sawchuk on the all-time shutout list; remarkable considering Hainsworth didn`t join the NHL until he was 31. Career highlight was sweeping the powerhouse, thought-to-be-unbeatable 38-5-1 Boston Bruins in the 1930 Stanley Cup final.

2. Bill Durnan : His career was short but sweet. Only played 7 seasons but was a 1st Team All-Star and Vezina winner 6 of those years! His trademark was, being ambidextrous and using gloves that served as both trappers and blockers, he`d switch his stick from his left to right hand or vice versa depending on what handed shot the shooter was. Despite winning 2 Stanley Cups, the anglophone Durnan received most ofthe blame from the Montreal fans when they didn`t win the Cup, which may have contributed to him leaving the game so quickly.

3. Georges Vezina : So great that the award which currently goes to the NHL`s best goalie bears his name. Played for a run-and-gun team which gave little defensive help, yet always stayed cool and calm in goal. Loved to bat the puck away with his stick. 2 Stanley Cups, played in 5 Finals, led NHL in GAA 3 times. One of the original Hall of Fame inductees. Played an incredible 367 consecutive games before collapsing during a game in 1925. Was taken to the hospital where he found out he was dying from tuberculosis.

4. Clint Benedict : Often forgotten, but his accomplishments are phenomal. 4 Stanley Cups, top GAA in NHL 6 times. His sprawling style was contrary to all other goalies at the time. It was against the rules for a goalie to drop to his knees to stop the puck, but Benedict was so convincing at "accidentally" falling that the league eventually ditched the rule. Was notorious for taking a whack at the shins of any forward who stood too close to his crease.

5. Turk Broda : Much like Billy Smith 40 years later, Broda was the quintessential "money goalie". He was fine during the season, but not spectacular; maybe even miss on a long shot now and then. However once the playoffs started, he was gold. Won an incredible 5 Stanley Cups, despite missing almost 3 years in his prime to serve in World War II. Conn Smythe didn`t like the fact that Broda was overweight, or his love of beer drinking and partying; but he sure liked those 5 Stanley Cups Broda delivered.

6. Frank Brimsek : The best American goalie ever, arguably the best American player ever at any position. Incredibly patient, would never make the first move against a shooter. Debuted in a difficult situation where Boston fans were angry that he was replacing the popular Tiny Thompson, but he won them over with 6 shutouts in his first 10 games! 2 Stanley Cups, 2 Vezinas, 1st All-Star Team twice, 2nd Team 6 times. Rocket Richard called him the toughest goalie he ever faced.

7. Tiny Thompson : The name "Tiny" wasn`t a reference to his size, but rather his GAA. Led the NHL in that category 4 times, as well as leading in wins 5 times; though having the leagues top defence pairing (Shore & Hitchman) in front of him no doubt helped. 1 Stanley Cup, 2 1st Team All-stars, 2 2nd Teams. Would always study the opposing teams goalies during games then point out to Bruin forwards during intermissions what weaknesses he noticed that they should try to exploit.

8. Alex Connell : Won the Stanley Cup in 1927 with Ottawa, then saw his prime years wasted as Ottawa sold off their top players yet kept Connell to stay competetive. Highlight of his career was being coaxed out of retirement by Tommy Gorman to play for the Montreal Maroons and leading the unlikely team to the Stanley Cup. Was known as the best early goalie at cutting down angles; very tough to beat on breakaways

9. Charlie Gardiner : Tough to know where to rate him as he was tragically killed by a brain tumor at the young age of 29. 3 1st All-Stars, 1 2nd All-Star, 2 Vezinas. Most impressively took a very weak Chicago team and won the Stanley Cup in 1934. One of the original group of Hall of Fame inductees.

10. Roy Worters : Maybe the shortest player ever at 5`3" and 135 lbs, but still gave shooters very little room to shoot at. Much like Dominik Hasek, was often forced to be a one-man team on some weak clubs. The only goalie on this list to ever win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.


Last edited by reckoning: 03-12-2006 at 03:19 PM.
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03-12-2006, 10:22 PM
  #10
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In 1950, Howie Morenz was named the top hockey player of the first Half Century.

Again, you have to be careful about lists based on league trophies because of who voted and why -often they were consolation prizes; and also drawing up lists of domination by assigning extra points for domination!

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Old
03-12-2006, 10:36 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Ogopogo, I always learn something from your posts. tom Dunderdale is a new name for me. Googled him and see he played out west in the early days. what can you tell us about him?
He was a very dominant scorer in the PCHA (the league that competed with the NHL for the Stanley Cup in the early days). Unfortunately, until I see my computer again, that is about all I can say. I will have my computer in about 10 days and I will post more info about Dunderdale.

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