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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

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Old
01-10-2007, 09:41 PM
  #1
vancityluongo
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I know nothing...but...

.....what if old greats like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, etc, were in their prime right now, with the modern equipment that we now have.

Would they have made it so Gretzky would never have any records? Did poor quality, heavy equipment, such as skates and sticks, affect the above players, negatively?

My question is, would they have been 3000 point players, or would they have no significant increase in production playing with Alex Ovechkin's modern 500 kg skates, and with Dion Phaneuf's 200 kg stick, instead of the old pieces of lumber?

The oldest player I've ever watched is probably Wayne Gretzky, so that gives you a clue about my age, so please no flaming.

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01-10-2007, 10:08 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
.....what if old greats like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, etc, were in their prime right now, with the modern equipment that we now have.

Would they have made it so Gretzky would never have any records? Did poor quality, heavy equipment, such as skates and sticks, affect the above players, negatively?

My question is, would they have been 3000 point players, or would they have no significant increase in production playing with Alex Ovechkin's modern 500 kg skates, and with Dion Phaneuf's 200 kg stick, instead of the old pieces of lumber?

The oldest player I've ever watched is probably Wayne Gretzky, so that gives you a clue about my age, so please no flaming.

Let's say that every single NHL hockey player of all time was in his prime this year. In fact, let's say that we condensed the career of every NHLer into one hockey season - this year is it. They all have the same coaching, equipment and technology.

Gretzky would be the assist leader and point leader.
Gordie Howe would lead the league in goals.

Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Lemieux would be the top 4 players in the league

Glenn Hall would be the Vezina winner and Roy would be the runner up. Sawchuk, Dryden and Hasek would round out the top 5 in the voting.

Rocket Richard and Bobby Hull would finish close behind Howe for the goal scoring lead.

Jean Beliveau, Eddie Shore, Ray Bourque, Phil Esposito, Stan Mikita, Doug Harvey and Jaromir Jagr would be All Stars.

Rory Fitzpatrick would still not get voted into the All Star game.

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01-11-2007, 02:06 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
.....what if old greats like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, etc, were in their prime right now, with the modern equipment that we now have.

Would they have made it so Gretzky would never have any records? Did poor quality, heavy equipment, such as skates and sticks, affect the above players, negatively?

My question is, would they have been 3000 point players, or would they have no significant increase in production playing with Alex Ovechkin's modern 500 kg skates, and with Dion Phaneuf's 200 kg stick, instead of the old pieces of lumber?

The oldest player I've ever watched is probably Wayne Gretzky, so that gives you a clue about my age, so please no flaming.
Also...

During the Beliveau, Maurice Richard days...lots of the players had day time jobs (since they weren't getting million$). Heck even in the Lafleur days, especially (early) Lafleur days...
Something most of today's NHLers do not have (exception: owning a restaurant, club, bar, etc...during summer!!).

Today's NHLers spend all of their time in the gym...lots of NHLers spend a large part of their summers training also (have to be 100% fit for training camps these days).

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01-11-2007, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Let's say that every single NHL hockey player of all time was in his prime this year. In fact, let's say that we condensed the career of every NHLer into one hockey season - this year is it. They all have the same coaching, equipment and technology.

Gretzky would be the assist leader and point leader.
Gordie Howe would lead the league in goals.

Gretzky, Howe,
Orr and Lemieux would be the top 4 players in the league

Glenn Hall would be the Vezina winner and Roy would be the runner up. Sawchuk, Dryden and Hasek would round out the top 5 in the voting.

Rocket Richard and Bobby Hull would finish close behind Howe for the goal scoring lead.

Jean Beliveau, Eddie Shore, Ray Bourque, Phil Esposito, Stan Mikita, Doug Harvey and Jaromir Jagr would be All Stars.

Rory Fitzpatrick would still not get voted into the All Star game.
Where would Crosby and Ovechkin be??????

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01-11-2007, 04:26 AM
  #5
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Where would Crosby and Ovechkin be??????
Well, because their careers have been very short, they really don't factory into things. A decade from now, that could be a totally different story.

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01-11-2007, 10:11 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hab
P.S.: I've seen Mario dominate (or stay pretty close to the top 5 in his mid-thirties (AND IN THE 21ST CENTURY when hockey got faster & faster, not like in the 80's...).
Well, Gretzky at 37 kept pace with a prime Bure and Forsberg and easily outscored Selanne and Sundin and Palffy and everybody else, contemporary superstars, so a prime Wayne would tear apart the 2007-era NHL.

He also did much better in the playoffs at 36 than Lemieux did at the same age.

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01-11-2007, 11:13 AM
  #7
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I'M GONNA GET A MAJOR BASHING FOR WHAT I WROTE IN THE ABOVE!!, but...just my opinions, nothing will ever be a fact.
You shouldn't. I don't recall Mr. Gretzky himself getting bashed for saying the exact same things.

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01-11-2007, 12:01 PM
  #8
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Athletes are a funny sort. You'd automatically think that they'd benefit from better equipment and all that.

Yet the next question is - how many would actually adopt that equipment? It seems like a foolish question, but hockey players are creatures of habit. Craig Ludwig was the most respected shot blocker in the league until he retired. Why? He used those clunky, old-school shinguards that enabled him to block shots. Dave Andreychuk reputedly changed his shoulder pads once in his career. Al MacInnis had the hardest shot in the league for much of his career. He did it while using a wood stick. Ray Bourque used a wood stick for most of his career, too.

Would the Original 6 players benefit from more modern equipment? Sure. Would they use it? I don't know. Equipment's one of those things that once a player finds something that he likes, he'll swear by it, no matter the innovations that come along. He might find something he likes more, he might not. So much of equipment is about feel.

I agree that the players now are bigger, stronger and faster than they were 20 or 30 years ago. But I don't think that means they're better. If hockey was all about speed and size, then Robert Dome is challenging for the league scoring lead right now. Speed's important, but your ability to think the game is of greater importance. The common denominator among every all-time great isn't speed or size, but work ethic. I can teach a kid how to skate faster or shoot the puck harder. I can't teach him how to score goals or completely shut down the opposing team's top scorer. I can teach a goalie lateral movement, rebound control or how to move the puck. I can't teach a goalie how to consistently make the big saves when they matter most. Goaltending is an even more mentally demanding position than forward or defence. You can have a goalie with all the quickness, agility and lateral movement in the world. If he doesn't have that mentality, though, he's screwed.

It's the ability to thrive at the things you can't teach that make the all-time greats.

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01-11-2007, 01:05 PM
  #9
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I think to make this fair you'd have to give them the same sort of junior hockey development. Also of note is that a star player now is still a role player. Hockey has much more system based play, and I suspect that in that situation some of the all time greats would be less dominant, or at least dominant in a different way.

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01-11-2007, 02:52 PM
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I think to make this fair you'd have to give them the same sort of junior hockey development. Also of note is that a star player now is still a role player. Hockey has much more system based play, and I suspect that in that situation some of the all time greats would be less dominant, or at least dominant in a different way.
The thing is, back in the Original 6 days, the stars were all-round players. Guys like Howe, Rocket Richard, Hull, Mikita and Lindsay weren't just one dimensional. They backchecked, they hit, and when necessary, they dropped the gloves. One dimensional offensive players didn't last very long in the Original 6.

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01-11-2007, 03:21 PM
  #11
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when necessary, they dropped the gloves
Yeah, very important element of hockey ...

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01-11-2007, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
The thing is, back in the Original 6 days, the stars were all-round players. Guys like Howe, Rocket Richard, Hull, Mikita and Lindsay weren't just one dimensional. They backchecked, they hit, and when necessary, they dropped the gloves. One dimensional offensive players didn't last very long in the Original 6.
you're right. No such thing as guaranteed contracts back then. You had to beat somebody out of a spot and fight to keep it. A couple bad shifts/bad games meant you were on the bus.

One question...if we're bringing back the best players, can we also bring back the all time coaches?

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01-11-2007, 03:30 PM
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Yeah, very important element of hockey ...
Direct that sarcasm to John Fergusson and his five stanley cup rings.

If we're condensing everything to one season, here are my guesses for year end awards:

Hart- Bobby Orr
Pearson- Bobby Orr
Art Ross- Wayne Gretzky
Rocket Richard trophy- Bobby Hull
Norris- Bobby Orr
Byng- Frank Boucher
Selke- Bob Gainey
Bill Masterdon- Bobby Clarke
Lester Patrick- Wayne Gretzky
King Clancy- Syl Apps
Vezina- Terry Sawchuck
Jennings- Jacques Plante (Roy's decision to play for Colorado in this one stacked season costs him this one as Plante's habs are the class of the league) haha.
Jack Adams- Toe Blake
President's trophy- Montreal Canadiens
Stanley Cup- Montreal Canadiens
Conn Smythe- Maurice Richard


Last edited by raleh: 01-11-2007 at 03:39 PM.
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Old
01-11-2007, 03:35 PM
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Yeah, very important element of hockey ...
It is. Players feel a little braver knowing that they have a player on their team who can fight and back them up. Fighting is a part of the game. Fans love it. Players love it. And if you have a really good player on your team who is also a really good fighter, it's a major asset.

While the role of the goon, at least as many of us knew it growing up, (a big, lumbering forward with minimal ability) is disappearing, good players who can fight will always be in demand, and highly coveted by teams.

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01-11-2007, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
The thing is, back in the Original 6 days, the stars were all-round players. Guys like Howe, Rocket Richard, Hull, Mikita and Lindsay weren't just one dimensional. They backchecked, they hit, and when necessary, they dropped the gloves. One dimensional offensive players didn't last very long in the Original 6.
I agree. I think that's part of the problem they would have in adapting, there are very few all-round players. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising them, I think it's a culture shock that has to be accounted for.

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01-11-2007, 03:53 PM
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If hockey was all about speed and size, then Robert Dome is challenging for the league scoring lead right now.
Ouch.

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Old
01-12-2007, 11:01 AM
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You could flip this around and ask how today's players would fair in the old equipment (especially goalers), train travel, different nutrition, poor ice conditions, poor lighting, much less coaching, less media attention, less money, no pension, less medical attention, much greater chance of being sent to the minors and probably for a lot less money, etc. How would they fair?

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01-12-2007, 01:06 PM
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You could flip this around and ask how today's players would fair in the old equipment (especially goalers), train travel, different nutrition, poor ice conditions, poor lighting, much less coaching, less media attention, less money, no pension, less medical attention, much greater chance of being sent to the minors and probably for a lot less money, etc. How would they fair?
One that stands out to me is Howie Morenz, in any era other than the depression, he probably would have been fine after the injury. But, because of the era, his ankle injury gets infected and the doctors can't get it under control.

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01-17-2007, 12:33 AM
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it is hard to compare guys that we never see play in their prime and have to go based upon stats vs those who we saw and have seen the changes in hockey

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01-17-2007, 09:25 AM
  #20
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Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
.....what if old greats like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuk, etc, were in their prime right now, with the modern equipment that we now have.

Would they have made it so Gretzky would never have any records? Did poor quality, heavy equipment, such as skates and sticks, affect the above players, negatively?

My question is, would they have been 3000 point players, or would they have no significant increase in production playing with Alex Ovechkin's modern 500 kg skates, and with Dion Phaneuf's 200 kg stick, instead of the old pieces of lumber?

The oldest player I've ever watched is probably Wayne Gretzky, so that gives you a clue about my age, so please no flaming.
Yowser, that is heavy.

But aside from that. I think the way to measure the alltime greats is by the relative dominance. Granted, hockey takes lots of skill but aside from that it takes (like most sports too) relentless work ethic and vision. I have no doubt in my mind that these athletes would stand out today as they did then. What made them great is not the things they learned but the things they were.
An interesting fact I never saw a discussion about Pele or Beckenbauer being compared to todays players that doubted their dominance today (and I follow football quite a lot)
And on an aside, this is the reason why I rank non-NHL players high as well.

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01-17-2007, 10:44 AM
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XploD
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Yowser, that is heavy.

But aside from that. I think the way to measure the alltime greats is by the relative dominance. Granted, hockey takes lots of skill but aside from that it takes (like most sports too) relentless work ethic and vision. I have no doubt in my mind that these athletes would stand out today as they did then. What made them great is not the things they learned but the things they were.
An interesting fact I never saw a discussion about Pele or Beckenbauer being compared to todays players that doubted their dominance today (and I follow football quite a lot)
And on an aside, this is the reason why I rank non-NHL players high as well.
Well soccer hasn't changed that much compared to hockey.

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01-17-2007, 10:48 AM
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Well soccer hasn't changed that much since their days compared to hockey.
The equipment probably didn`t (although take a look at the football shoes and the ball with what they played in the 50s or even 70s) but the training methods, the tactics and medicine support did. Just if you take a look at the legendary games (for instance the worldchampionship semi finals in 1970 when Germany lost against Italy in overtime; undeniably seen as one of the best matches in football). People are basically standing on the field. No movement whatsoever compared to today. If players played like that today there would be a huge uproar. Still noone would criticise the greats of that time or question their dominance.

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01-17-2007, 11:45 AM
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The equipment probably didn`t (although take a look at the football shoes and the ball with what they played in the 50s or even 70s) but the training methods, the tactics and medicine support did. Just if you take a look at the legendary games (for instance the worldchampionship semi finals in 1970 when Germany lost against Italy in overtime; undeniably seen as one of the best matches in football). People are basically standing on the field. No movement whatsoever compared to today. If players played like that today there would be a huge uproar. Still noone would criticise the greats of that time or question their dominance.
Of course it's changed, but it's far from how much hockey has changed. Even in 20 years hockey has changed more than soccer has in probably 60-70 years.

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01-17-2007, 04:36 PM
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I think to make this fair you'd have to give them the same sort of junior hockey development. Also of note is that a star player now is still a role player. Hockey has much more system based play, and I suspect that in that situation some of the all time greats would be less dominant, or at least dominant in a different way.
Are Sakic, Yzerman, Alfredsson, Sundin, St. Louis, Richards, Iginla, Crosby, Hossa and on and on.......... role players? No they are all around players. That play PP and PK and are given the toughest defensive assignments and produce tons of offence and play 20+ minutes every game. Just like the great players of the past did and the great players of the future will.

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01-25-2007, 07:12 AM
  #25
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Gretzky at 37 kept pace with a prime Bure and Forsberg and easily outscored Selanne and Sundin and Palffy and everybody else, contemporary superstars, so a prime Wayne would tear apart the 2007-era NHL.
Wayne Gretzky Born January 26 1961

1997-1998:

Gretzky 82 games, 90 points, 1.098 points/game
Selanne 73 games, 86 points, 1.178 points/game

1998-1999:

Selanne 75 games, 107 points, 1.427 points/game
Gretzky 70 games, 62 points, 0.886 points/game

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