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Greatest Defenceman of All Time #16

View Poll Results: Who is the greatest defenceman of all time? #16
Scott Stevens 25 39.06%
Al MacInnis 14 21.88%
Earl Seibert 5 7.81%
Dit Clapper 6 9.38%
Serge Savard 2 3.13%
Rod Langway 1 1.56%
Borje Salming 2 3.13%
Chris Pronger 5 7.81%
Sprague Cleghorn 1 1.56%
Brian Leetch 3 4.69%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-19-2006, 01:08 PM
  #1
canucksfan
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Greatest Defenceman of All Time #16

Clancy won with 19 votes and Leetch will be added next. I am voting for Clapper and add Gadsby.

#1.Orr(89.26%)
#2.Shore(37.00%)
#3.Harvey(52.33%)
#4.Bourque(54.84%)
#5.Potvin(61.84%)
#6.Robinson(31.71%)
#7.Kelly(27.69%)
#8.Lidstrom(32.58%)
#9.Coffey(40.58%)
#10.Chelios(34.25%)
#11.Fetisov(44.29%)
#12.Park(48.21%)
#13.Pilote(35.71%)
#14.Horton(31.25%)
#15.Clancy(34.55%)

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Old
06-19-2006, 01:24 PM
  #2
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Gadsby's a great selection to be added. One of the best defensive defencemen ever. A rock-solid physical force, too. Seven-time all-star, at a time when there were lots of top-notch defencemen. (Bill Quackenbush would be another strong candidate at this point, but I'll take Gadsby this time).

Pleasantly surprised to see that Clancy beat Stevens. I'm a big Stevens fan, he's one of my all-time favourite players, but I'll take Clancy ahead of him. (I'll also take Seibert and Clapper ahead of Stevens). The vote split between Stevens and MacInnis really hurt Stevens' cause.

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Old
06-19-2006, 01:38 PM
  #3
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Old
06-19-2006, 04:42 PM
  #4
kruezer
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Seibert, add Mark Howe.

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Old
06-19-2006, 05:53 PM
  #5
Murphy
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I'm on the Pronger bandwagon now...

Add Howe.

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Old
06-19-2006, 06:57 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
I am voting for Clapper and add Gadsby.
I agree with both.

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Old
06-19-2006, 08:44 PM
  #7
Leaf Lander
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Al MacInnis add Harry Cameron


Last edited by Leaf Lander: 06-21-2006 at 05:17 AM.
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Old
06-20-2006, 10:41 AM
  #8
El_Scoobo
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Al Macinnis-----Add Bill Gadsby.

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Old
06-20-2006, 02:09 PM
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Al MacInnis, who should have won 3 norris trophies, add Tom Johnston.

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Old
06-20-2006, 02:18 PM
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Al MacInnis

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06-20-2006, 04:02 PM
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Old
06-20-2006, 06:18 PM
  #12
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MacInnis. Add Gadsby.

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Old
06-20-2006, 09:48 PM
  #13
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This might be too much at this point, but I thought I'd post it anyway. We were trying to put your list in perspective at another message board and decided that your list reflected the common trend of comparison to peers. But we were interested in a more modern list. For instance, if you had to choose a player for your team next year, I doubt you'd go for Doug Harvey over Chris Pronger in their prime (tho maybe you would)....

anyhow, here are the comments I posted to kickstart our debate:

Looking at styles:

#1.Orr(89.26%)Small, but rugged, contemporary speed and agility pre-knee operations, elite tools/head. The template for the modern players (not just defenseman) in many ways. He would still be a superstar in today's NHL without question, especially with the trend to smaller, mobile, skilled D.
#2.Shore(37.00%) Small, but MEAN. Kasperaitus with skill. A completely amoral player. Would probably be a lot like a mid-90s Chris Chelios or a Denis Potvin in the modern NHL, obviously stronger if he had modern weight training techniques.
#3.Harvey(52.33%) Good frame, but still small for a contemp D. Excellent vision and puck moving skills, great change of pace skater. Never a bad decision. Mean and dirty every now and then to keep them honest. And excellent defender in every respect. Like a smaller Chris Pronger in the way he could control the pace of a game (tho he was better at it than Pronger).
#4.Bourque(54.84%) Hard to argue against Ray being ranked this high. The seas would part when he carried the puck, his vision and hand skills were so good. Had immense talent and mental strength, but also used every trick in the book.
#5.Potvin(61.84%) Like Bourque, but dirty. Very dirty. If it were me, I'd nose him ahead of Ray just for that reason. An extraordinary defender because nobody wanted to go near him. Offensively, he was compared to Orr. Nuff said.
#6.Robinson(31.71%) He was tall and skinny, but filled out fast. Was big, thick, fast, skilled, daring, and mean when he had to be early in his career. The comparisons to Potvin were always there, but never to Orr. His play tailed off after they won the four Cups. He was criticized for not delivering on the physical side and became more of a stay-at-home guy. That's what drops him down. Otherwise, with his body and skill, he should have done a lot more.
#7.Kelly(27.69%) Squat, tough defender who could think on the fly, was so smart, with vision and hands, that he starred in the NHL at both defense AND center. Unheard of. Won too many Cups to count and was central to all of them.
#8.Lidstrom(32.58%) Improved his agility and then his vision, speed and hands took over. Never a physical presence, he uses his size to stick-and-pin and then is a master at reading the play on the fly and anticipating. Always aggressive offensively.
#9.Coffey(40.58%) Maybe the fastest defenseman of all time. His hands almost matched his feet, which is incredible. Sometimes was too fast for what he wanted to do. Not an elite defender, and didn't pay the price down low. Was overrated overall. Won some Norris Trophies that belonged to Bourque because of offensive numbers. I would drop him lower.
#10.Chelios(34.25%) Has done a bit of everything. As mean as hardly driven nails, he also had excellent offensive tools and the aggressive mentality to match. Superb passer, his anticipation down low is unsurpassed. Somehow he was underrated imo.
#11.Fetisov(44.29%) All the tools with size. Developed on European ice surfaces, but his physical presence was solid. It's too bad he isn't North American, because his potential was probably largely untapped. Basically a shinny player who could adapt to any style. Remarkable.
#12.Park(48.21%) Rock solid frame, excellent skater, passer, shooter. Loved the rough stuff. Never wavered on defense when his knees were healthy. Challenged the entire Big Bad Bruins in the early 70s in his book, but continued to attack them all on the ice. Impressive but stupid.
#13.Pilote(35.71%) Stalwart two-way defender. Small, but mean as a snake with his stick. Excellent first pass. Keyed the explosive Hawks offense in the 60s. Sometimes considered to be overrated because of the lack of other elite defensemen in the 60s between the Harvey and Orr eras.
#14.Horton(31.25%) Rock solid stay-at-home defender. Tough as nails, but clean. The best defender in the NHL by wide acclaim during the 60s. Not much in the way of offensive skills, but teams would kill to have a guy like him today. Strong as an ox and a great leader by example type.
#15.Clancy(34.55%) Considered the best player in the world for a stretch. Fastest player in the days when forward passing was not allowed and one man basically had to go end-to-end every play. And he was a defenseman too. Usually it was the centerman who did it with the old rules. Was a small player who was not very physical, though could take punishment.
#16.Stevens(current leader) Rockstar. Would elbow your grandmother out of her rocking chair. I would rate him much higher. Early in his career was a risky, low percentage offensive defenseman. Retooled his game and became the best defensive defenseman in an era that also had Bourque and Chelios. Major presence as long as he limited his offensive involvement.

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Old
06-20-2006, 10:10 PM
  #14
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[QUOTE=raketheleaves]This might be too much at this point, but I thought I'd post it anyway. We were trying to put your list in perspective at another message board and decided that your list reflected the common trend of comparison to peers. But we were interested in a more modern list. For instance, if you had to choose a player for your team next year, I doubt you'd go for Doug Harvey over Chris Pronger in their prime (tho maybe you would)....

Very interesting takes. Just to start off, I would take Harvey over Pronger if I was starting a team for next season. Yeah, Pronger had the best playoff by a defenceman since Stevens in 2000. But Harvey was the best defenceman on the best team in hockey history. He was a 10-time first team all-star, at a time when there was plenty to choose among the great defencemen. And he had excellent skills, too. Not his fault he played at a time when defencemen didn't put up points.

A few thoughts:
*Bobby Orr would not only be a superstar in today's NHL, he'd be a unanimous choice for the Norris Trophy every year, and far and away the best player in the game. Period.
*While size is important for defencemen, I don't think it's the be all and end all. Ray Bourque was 5'11". Scott Stevens was 6'2". Now, Bourque was stocky and Stevens had Herculean strength, but they aren't 6'4" or 6'5". Strength, anticipation, smarts, instincts, mental toughness are more important when looking at defencemen than size.
*"Darius Kasparitus with skill" is a disservice to Eddie Shore. We're talking about the best player in the pre-Original 6 era. Shore would leave a swatch of destruction with his stick, his body and his skill.
*Robinson's play didn't tail off that much after the four Cups and the Big 3. He was a second team all-star in 1986, and part of the Habs surprising Cup championship team. One thing to remember is he played a ton of hockey early in his career, with all the extended playoff runs, so his longevity suffered.
*I think Lidstrom went a little early. He should have gone about 11. I think Coffey went one spot too early. Chelios and Fetisov both went two spots too late. I think Chelios' status suffers because he can be a detestable human being, and Fetisov drops because a lot of people didn't see a lot of him. Could you expand on your "shinny" comment about Fetisov, because the Soviet League was much better than a shinny league.
*Horton's skating, puck-moving and shooting skills are horribly underrated. He played in a time where, unless you were Pierre Pilote, defencemen did little offensively. I believe Horton set the playoff defenceman scoring record in 1962.
*I think Stevens is still going to go a little early, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be, considering he was added before Park and Pilote. I'd take 10-time all-star Seibert and legendary Clapper before Stevens. But No. 16 isn't that far removed from No. 18.

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Old
06-20-2006, 10:40 PM
  #15
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Well, since people are calling for Dit Clapper even though he played a number of seasons at forward, I'll go back even further and vote for Harry Cameron.

He was the NHL's first rushing defenceman, and finished in the top seven in NHL scoring in four of the first five seasons that the NHL was in business. For five seasons before that he was the top defenceman in the NHA for the Toronto Blushirts. In 128 NHL games Cameron scored 88 goals and had 139 points when second assists weren't given out (and rarely first assists). He twice led the NHL in assists from the blueline, and won three Stanley Cups. Cameron played in the days before the James Norris or the Hart Trophy, so he doens't have a pile of awards, but it's safe to say that he'd have won a few Norris trophies in his day.

This is from his biography:

"He was considered the first man to be able to curve his shot--with a straight stick, no less!--and long before Bobby Orr flew end to end with the puck Harry Cameron was the finest rushing defenceman and goal-scorer of hockey's early pro years. His curved shot became his trademark, and only a few other players have ever been credited with perfecting its use: Bill and Bun Cook, Dr. Gordie Roberts, and Didier Pitre.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.

Harry Cameron gets my vote.

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Old
06-20-2006, 11:25 PM
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Cameron isn't on the list yet, so that has to be a nomination I guess.

I'd say vote for Cleghorn, who was second to Cameron in defenseman scoring in those days, and is the only defensman to lead an NHL team in scoring before Orr. He was also a two-time runner-up for the Hart in the first 3 years of its being awarded.

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Old
06-21-2006, 04:26 AM
  #17
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Vote Siebert. Add Gadsby

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Old
06-21-2006, 11:00 AM
  #18
tinyzombies
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[QUOTE=God Bless Canada]
Quote:
Originally Posted by raketheleaves
This might be too much at this point, but I thought I'd post it anyway. We were trying to put your list in perspective at another message board and decided that your list reflected the common trend of comparison to peers. But we were interested in a more modern list. For instance, if you had to choose a player for your team next year, I doubt you'd go for Doug Harvey over Chris Pronger in their prime (tho maybe you would)....

Very interesting takes. Just to start off, I would take Harvey over Pronger if I was starting a team for next season. Yeah, Pronger had the best playoff by a defenceman since Stevens in 2000. But Harvey was the best defenceman on the best team in hockey history. He was a 10-time first team all-star, at a time when there was plenty to choose among the great defencemen. And he had excellent skills, too. Not his fault he played at a time when defencemen didn't put up points.

A few thoughts:
*Bobby Orr would not only be a superstar in today's NHL, he'd be a unanimous choice for the Norris Trophy every year, and far and away the best player in the game. Period.
*While size is important for defencemen, I don't think it's the be all and end all. Ray Bourque was 5'11". Scott Stevens was 6'2". Now, Bourque was stocky and Stevens had Herculean strength, but they aren't 6'4" or 6'5". Strength, anticipation, smarts, instincts, mental toughness are more important when looking at defencemen than size.
*"Darius Kasparitus with skill" is a disservice to Eddie Shore. We're talking about the best player in the pre-Original 6 era. Shore would leave a swatch of destruction with his stick, his body and his skill.
*Robinson's play didn't tail off that much after the four Cups and the Big 3. He was a second team all-star in 1986, and part of the Habs surprising Cup championship team. One thing to remember is he played a ton of hockey early in his career, with all the extended playoff runs, so his longevity suffered.
*I think Lidstrom went a little early. He should have gone about 11. I think Coffey went one spot too early. Chelios and Fetisov both went two spots too late. I think Chelios' status suffers because he can be a detestable human being, and Fetisov drops because a lot of people didn't see a lot of him. Could you expand on your "shinny" comment about Fetisov, because the Soviet League was much better than a shinny league.
*Horton's skating, puck-moving and shooting skills are horribly underrated. He played in a time where, unless you were Pierre Pilote, defencemen did little offensively. I believe Horton set the playoff defenceman scoring record in 1962.
*I think Stevens is still going to go a little early, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be, considering he was added before Park and Pilote. I'd take 10-time all-star Seibert and legendary Clapper before Stevens. But No. 16 isn't that far removed from No. 18.
I agree about Shore and am glad to be corrected on Horton, didn't know that. Thanks!

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Old
06-21-2006, 06:13 PM
  #19
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Old
06-22-2006, 10:14 AM
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Stevens, add Mark Howe

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Old
07-13-2006, 03:44 PM
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#4 is #1 in my books BOBBY ORR!

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07-23-2006, 10:20 AM
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07-23-2006, 10:20 AM
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or Boby Orr, hometown PARRY SOUND!!

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07-23-2006, 12:05 PM
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Fetisov is only second to Bobby Orr. I can understand him being that low on this list tho as many of you have not really seen him in his prime much.

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