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Vaive vs Middleton: Battle of the Ricks

View Poll Results: Who was the more dominant player?
Rick Middleton 30 93.75%
Rick Vaive 2 6.25%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-07-2007, 11:14 PM
  #1
ForsbergForever
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Vaive vs Middleton: Battle of the Ricks

Rick Middleton: 1005-448-540-988 (0.98 ppg)
Rick Vaive:876-441-347-788 (0.90 ppg)

Though I never saw either of these stars of the late 1970s and 80s play, they seem to have had similar styles and be underestimated in terms of their contribution to the game and rank among the all time greats.

From my research alone i'd say Vaive was the better player for his consistant goal scoring but Middleton may have had a more impressive peak during his prime. I'd like to know though, why Vaive declined in play and retired so abruptly when he wasn't that old and was still putting up good numbers.


Last edited by ForsbergForever: 01-07-2007 at 11:19 PM.
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Old
01-07-2007, 11:29 PM
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God Bless Canada
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Middleton is widely considered one of the best players not in the HHOF and is always among the top candidates when people discuss those not inducted. Middleton was the better player.

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01-07-2007, 11:51 PM
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Psycho Papa Joe
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Lets just say, if neither guy could score a lick, Middleton would still have made the NHL as a 3rd/4th line checker. Vaive would not. Not only was Middleton more outstanding offensively and an amazing skater and stickhandler, he was also a much more well rounded player. Middleton by a mile and a half.

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Old
01-10-2007, 12:28 PM
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Middleton all the way.

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01-10-2007, 01:37 PM
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The Ruin before the Leaf on this one.

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01-10-2007, 02:04 PM
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http://hfboards.com/member.php?u=2626

http://hfboards.com/member.php?u=16624

I think you can make your own call from there.

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01-10-2007, 05:13 PM
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Big Phil
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I'll take "nifty" Rick on this one. Middleton that is!

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01-10-2007, 05:32 PM
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I voted for Nifty

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01-10-2007, 09:20 PM
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I'm starting to think i was misinformed...

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01-11-2007, 07:16 PM
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Vaive had a more feared shot then middleton. Also viave was a tough player who could fight when needed. Middleton was the more complete player who played on a better team then rick vaives sad sack early 80's leafs team.

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01-12-2007, 12:09 AM
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Middleton in a LANDSLIDE.

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01-12-2007, 12:10 AM
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The Middleton for Hodge deal is probably one of the worst of all time.

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01-13-2007, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forsberg4ever View Post
I'd like to know though, why Vaive declined in play and retired so abruptly when he wasn't that old and was still putting up good numbers.
He battled serious neck injuries in the late-80's.

I remember him wearing one of those Linebacker-style Jack Lambert collars when he was with the Sabres at the end of his career.

Vaive was more of a pure scorer, but Middleton's skill and overall game was superior.

I liked Vaive alot when he was in the old Black n' Blue Norris Division with the Leafs and Blackhawks, not so much when he came over to the Sabres and the Adams and scored a boatload of goals against the Bruins.

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Old
01-14-2007, 12:32 PM
  #14
reckoning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forsberg4ever View Post
Rick Middleton: 1005-448-540-988 (0.98 ppg)
Rick Vaive:876-441-347-788 (0.90 ppg)

Though I never saw either of these stars of the late 1970s and 80s play, they seem to have had similar styles and be underestimated in terms of their contribution to the game and rank among the all time greats.
Maybe similar players in that they're both underappreciated today, but not so much in style. Vaive was a gritty player who would fight quite a bit early in his career while Middleton was a perrenial Lady Byng candidate.

Vaive had a deadly shot and was one of the leagues top power forwards before the term was popular. His three 50 goal seasons are particularly impressive when you consider he never had a top playmaker as a linemate in Toronto. His one offensive weakness was that he would often shoot instead of passing to a teammate in a better scoring position. That's just the instinct of a natural goalscorer. Defensively, while never a Selke contender, Vaive was more defensively responsible than most 50 goal scoers of the 80s. His reputation as the hardest worker on the Leafs was well earned.

But the edge goes to Middleton. In an era filled with gifted finesse players, Middleton still stuck out. "Nifty" may be the most appropo nickname in NHL history. Probably the best stickhandler and deker in the game in his prime. While he wasn't a rough player, he wasn't afraid of getting hit (Bruins fans wouldn't have accepted him if he was) and wasn't shy about fighting for the puck in the corners. Like Gretzky, he was always a step ahead of the other players who usually missed if they tried to hit him. Later in his career he became of the B's top penalty kilers and checkers.

Interesting question: in another thread awhile back, somebody (Arrbez I think) speculated on how differently Vaive's career would be judged if he had those exact same 50 goal seasons in the 80s as a member of the Islanders or Oilers instead of the hapless Leafs. Food for thought.

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Old
01-17-2007, 12:22 AM
  #15
Lord J T Shark
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Middleton was a better all around player

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