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Greatest Defenceman of All Time #3

View Poll Results: Who is the greatest defencemen of all time? #3
Doug Harvey 48 50.00%
Denis Potvin 10 10.42%
Ray Bourque 24 25.00%
Red Kelly 1 1.04%
Larry Robinson 4 4.17%
Chris Chelios 1 1.04%
Paul Coffey 2 2.08%
Nick Lidstrom 1 1.04%
Scott Stevens 2 2.08%
Slava Fetisov 3 3.13%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
05-10-2006, 02:18 AM
  #26
norrisnick
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...s/flyers28.htm

The Bowman quote was part of the '97 Finals build up and the article references the quote as occuring shortly after Coffey's December '96 trade to the Flyers.

And for the other quote, being called a unique defenseman described as a "rover" or "fourth forward" is not, IMO, glowing praise for an all-time great defenseman. I can't verbalize exactly how I view the situation, but I'd rank Coffey higher simply as a player than I would strictly for his position as a defenseman. So one would have less objections from me arguing that Coffey was a better hockey player than Scott Stevens, but he damn well wasn't a better defenseman. If that makes any sense at all.

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Old
05-10-2006, 09:45 AM
  #27
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Doug Harvey

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Old
05-10-2006, 12:57 PM
  #28
Bluesfan1981
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Thankfully Harvey will win this poll, I was afraid Bourque might win it.

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05-10-2006, 12:58 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #66
Harvey. I'm really interested to see where Earl Seibert comes in. He was the Park to Shore's - Orr.
Exactly. Seibert is one of the most underrated players of all-time.

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05-10-2006, 01:15 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesfan1981
Exactly. Seibert is one of the most underrated players of all-time.
It'll be very interesting to watch. Park will be added this time, and Pilote will likely get the nod next time, but after that? There are four relatively old-time defencemen - Horton, Clapper, Siebert and Clancy - who are very deserving of consideration. All four should rank in the top 20.

So much for the "I'd have been disappointed if Bourque won this round" discussion. As expected, Harvey retained his core support, while getting the vote shift from the fans who voted for Shore last time. Bourque will likely wind up with only a couple more votes than before, and Harvey has already surpassed Bourque's total from the last round.

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05-10-2006, 10:33 PM
  #31
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Harvey will win this as he should. I can`t believe I`ve actually agreed with the winning choices three rounds in a row.

Maybe too late, but add Tim Horton.

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Old
05-10-2006, 11:31 PM
  #32
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I voted for Ray Bourque but I'm far too young to have watched Harvey play.

IMO, Bourque was the league's most dominant defenseman in an era where great defensemen flourished, i.e. his five Norris' in the late-80's to mid-90's were almost as impressive as the Orr run. Bourque was just an incredible player and could do anything you asked of him and do it well.

Oh yeah, and add MacInnis for the love of God.

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Old
05-11-2006, 01:02 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
I actually have Bourque at No. 4. The thing about Bourque is not only was he a top-notch offensive defenceman with a sneaky, accurate shot and great smarts, but he was considered by many to be the best defensive defenceman in the league at his peak. His endurance was freakish.

I've long maintained that Bourque should have won the Hart Trophy in 1990. Messier was the best player in the league that year, and justifiably won the Pearson for the best player. But nobody meant more to his team's success than Bourque. Plus, there's something to be said about 19 all-star team selections.
I won't try and put Bourque in a historical context, but in his prime, he was better than all of his contemporaries. He was better than Chelios, Leetch, Coffey, Robinson, Potvin, Stevens. He had a run of 4 Norris Trophies in 5 years, 5 in all. An all star 19 straight years. Not only was he great in his prime, he had unheard of longevity, he was a top 5 defenseman in the NHL for 20 years. He played at a hall of fame level at all aspects of the game. If you don't think he was physical, you're wrong. He wasn't as physical as a Stevens, but he was a very physical player.

Only 3 players have 5 or more Norris trophies. Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey, and Ray Bourque. That is my top 3, in that order. I don't think anyone else even has 4 Norris trophies, this guy had 4 in a 5 year span.

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Old
05-11-2006, 01:13 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dafoomie
I won't try and put Bourque in a historical context, but in his prime, he was better than all of his contemporaries. He was better than Chelios, Leetch, Coffey, Robinson, Potvin, Stevens. He had a run of 4 Norris Trophies in 5 years, 5 in all. An all star 19 straight years. Not only was he great in his prime, he had unheard of longevity, he was a top 5 defenseman in the NHL for 20 years. He played at a hall of fame level at all aspects of the game. If you don't think he was physical, you're wrong. He wasn't as physical as a Stevens, but he was a very physical player.

Only 3 players have 5 or more Norris trophies. Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey, and Ray Bourque. That is my top 3, in that order. I don't think anyone else even has 4 Norris trophies, this guy had 4 in a 5 year span.
Keep in mind that Eddie Shore never had a chance to win a Norris Trophy. It wasn't introduced until the 1950s. If it was, he'd have won at least half a dozen. But those four Hart Trophies, and those seven first-team all-star selections in eight years trump Harvey and Bourque, as good as they were.

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05-11-2006, 01:16 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Keep in mind that Eddie Shore never had a chance to win a Norris Trophy. It wasn't introduced until the 1950s. If it was, he'd have won at least half a dozen. But those four Hart Trophies, and those seven first-team all-star selections in eight years trump Harvey and Bourque, as good as they were.
I had Shore at 4, I'd be more than willing to move him around within the top 3, but its difficult to put what he did in any context. I tend to take points away from him for what he did to Ace Bailey, even though he apologized, but I can't argue against putting him anywhere in the top 3. The old time players tend to get screwed in these things, in every sport.

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Old
05-11-2006, 02:21 AM
  #36
trenton1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
As for Bourque, I agree. He's not in my top 5 either. Personally amongst guys I've seen play, Bourque would be behind Potvin, Robinson and Chelios. Bourque just didn't have the physical edge and killer instinct those guys had.
Don't forget to add "he wasn't a Hab" to that convincing argument.

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05-11-2006, 02:27 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dafoomie
I had Shore at 4, I'd be more than willing to move him around within the top 3, but its difficult to put what he did in any context. I tend to take points away from him for what he did to Ace Bailey, even though he apologized, but I can't argue against putting him anywhere in the top 3. The old time players tend to get screwed in these things, in every sport.
I think that Shore has to be in the top three, 4 Hart trophies is ridiculous, he was not merely the best defenseman of his era, he was arguably the best player of his era, the only other defenseman would held that honour in any era was Orr, Harvey and Bourque are definetaly 3/4 in my view, both amazing defenseman, but Orr and Shore were just a slight cut above IMO, I think its fair to say Shore would have had at least 5 Norris', he had 8 All Star picks after all, and likely would have had more, as I believe they were introduced after he had played 4 or 5 years in the NHL. The Ace Bailey incident aside, his reported fearlessness and ability can't be denied

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Old
05-11-2006, 03:58 AM
  #38
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Bourque is #3. Harvey is #4.

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Old
05-11-2006, 06:50 AM
  #39
Hercules Rockefeller
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Bourque. Add Park

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Old
05-11-2006, 06:59 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
More offensively gifted yes, but he was nowhere near the d-men Stevens and Lidstrom were/are. Way too one-dimensional to be included amongst the all-time greats IMO.
Well thats your bias towards defensemen. Your definition of what makes a good defenseman is restricted to having to be at least very good defensively. That being said, I think you have to think of the context each player played in.

Stevens was a great defensemen during the dead puck era, maybe the best d-man to play during that era. However, during the free-wheeling 80's, it was more valuable to have an offensively talented guy like Coffey. So you are trying to compare oranges (offensive d-men) by the standards of apples (defensive d-men), which just doesn't work; you need to choose variables that are a bit broader and fair to offensive defensemen during the offensive NHL years.

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Old
05-11-2006, 07:03 AM
  #41
bcrt2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norrisnick
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...s/flyers28.htm

The Bowman quote was part of the '97 Finals build up and the article references the quote as occuring shortly after Coffey's December '96 trade to the Flyers.

And for the other quote, being called a unique defenseman described as a "rover" or "fourth forward" is not, IMO, glowing praise for an all-time great defenseman. I can't verbalize exactly how I view the situation, but I'd rank Coffey higher simply as a player than I would strictly for his position as a defenseman. So one would have less objections from me arguing that Coffey was a better hockey player than Scott Stevens, but he damn well wasn't a better defenseman. If that makes any sense at all.
Well there are 2 things at play here:

1) Coffey wasn't in his prime anymore
2) Coffey's prime was in an offensive era, where offensive defensemen were valued.

To further that second point, being an offensive player doesn't mean that player can't be labelled as a defenseman, just as being a defensive player doesn't mean that player can't be labelled as a forward. You can't pigeon-hole the definition of a defenseman to be a player whose main objective is to play a defensive game. Maybe you can for the NHL in 2006, but not for every era. Like I said in my previous post, I think there needs to be sensitivity in terms of the era the player played in. Coffey was a huge part of the greatest dynasty in the NHL, during an era where great offense carried more weight than great defense.

And then theres also the complicated fact that if you took a great defenseman from the late 90's/2000's, and put them into a situation in the 80's, they'd likely be going to the penalty box all game because of their style of play (defenders couldn't run picks or clutch and grab effectively in the 80's).


Last edited by bcrt2000: 05-11-2006 at 07:11 AM.
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Old
05-11-2006, 07:22 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton1
Don't forget to add "he wasn't a Hab" to that convincing argument.
I don't recall Orr, Potvin and Shore playing for the Habs, do you? Considering the Habs have the most successful hockey franchise ever, you could hardly call me biased because I named some of their best d-men amongst the best. I saw Robinson, Bourque, Potvin and Chelios their whole career. Bourque just didn't have their physical edge. What he had over those guys was incredible consistency over his career. He's one of the best, but IMO not top 5.


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Old
05-11-2006, 07:30 AM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrt2000
Well thats your bias towards defensemen. Your definition of what makes a good defenseman is restricted to having to be at least very good defensively. That being said, I think you have to think of the context each player played in.

Stevens was a great defensemen during the dead puck era, maybe the best d-man to play during that era. However, during the free-wheeling 80's, it was more valuable to have an offensively talented guy like Coffey. So you are trying to compare oranges (offensive d-men) by the standards of apples (defensive d-men), which just doesn't work; you need to choose variables that are a bit broader and fair to offensive defensemen during the offensive NHL years.
Sorry for being biased against defensemen who can't play defense. Coffey was an incredible talent, but he IMO isn't amongst the 15 best d-men of all-time because he was so weak in such a key area of the position.

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05-11-2006, 09:55 AM
  #44
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It's ridiculous to think Coffey wouldn't make at least a top 15. No way.

He's considered one of the all-time greats of the game. His skating was unparalleled in his time.

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05-11-2006, 06:26 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
I don't recall Orr, Potvin and Shore playing for the Habs, do you? Considering the Habs have the most successful hockey franchise ever, you could hardly call me biased because I named some of their best d-men amongst the best. I saw Robinson, Bourque, Potvin and Chelios their whole career. Bourque just didn't have their physical edge. What he had over those guys was incredible consistency over his career. He's one of the best, but IMO not top 5.
You listed Potvin, Robinson and Chelios in the post I replied to not Shore or Orr. They have already been established as 1-2.
The Potvin/Bourque debate is certainly worthy but I found the Chelios in particular over Bourque because of "killer instinct and physical edge" to be a very weak argument. To each their own though.

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Old
05-11-2006, 06:32 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton1
You listed Potvin, Robinson and Chelios in the post I replied to not Shore or Orr. They have already been established as 1-2.
The Potvin/Bourque debate is certainly worthy but I found the Chelios in particular over Bourque because of "killer instinct and physical edge" to be a very weak argument. To each their own though.
I voted for Orr for #1 and Shore for #2, both Bruins. Therefore I don't think there's a bias. That was my point.

I rate Chelios ahead of Bourque because he combined offense and defense with better physical play and a healthy dose of nasty. That is what I meant by "killer instinct and physical edge". I don't think it's a weak argument. I know if a poll was done Bourque would likely finish ahead of Chelios, but I happen to like the way Chelios played the game more. Like you said, to each his own.

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05-11-2006, 08:01 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
I voted for Orr for #1 and Shore for #2, both Bruins. Therefore I don't think there's a bias. That was my point.

I rate Chelios ahead of Bourque because he combined offense and defense with better physical play and a healthy dose of nasty. That is what I meant by "killer instinct and physical edge". I don't think it's a weak argument. I know if a poll was done Bourque would likely finish ahead of Chelios, but I happen to like the way Chelios played the game more. Like you said, to each his own.
If you don't think Bourque was physical, you're crazy. He just wasn't nasty or dirty. Chelios may have been nastier but I would not call him better physically than Bourque, after seeing Chelios thrown around like a rag doll by Cam Neely on a regular basis, I wasn't that impressed. The physical side is the only area where you'd even have an argument, Bourque was better in all other aspects of the game.

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05-11-2006, 08:09 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dafoomie
If you don't think Bourque was physical, you're crazy. He just wasn't nasty or dirty. Chelios may have been nastier but I would not call him better physically than Bourque, after seeing Chelios thrown around like a rag doll by Cam Neely on a regular basis, I wasn't that impressed. The physical side is the only area where you'd even have an argument, Bourque was better in all other aspects of the game.
Where did I say Bourque wasn't physical He wasn't nearly as physical as Chelios and wasn't as good defensively. I don't think it's suprising that teams with Chelios as their #1 d-man tended to have better GAA than teams with Bourque. Bourque was better offensively and was more consistent throughout his career and that's it.

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05-11-2006, 08:12 PM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
Sorry for being biased against defensemen who can't play defense. Coffey was an incredible talent, but he IMO isn't amongst the 15 best d-men of all-time because he was so weak in such a key area of the position.
So.. from 1981 to 1987, you would have rather had a defensive specialist in place of Coffey on the Oilers? I'm pretty sure that would have decreased their offensive dominance a little bit, with Gretzky or not. Which means he was just as valuable then to his team as a Lidstrom or a Pronger is now in the current NHL. So you can't restrict the title of "best defenseman" to only defensive players. Maybe you can make another poll for the "best defensive defensemen" or something.

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05-11-2006, 08:17 PM
  #50
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I'd go with Harvey. I never saw him play, but he from what I've read, he sounds great.

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