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Has An American Player Ever Been The Best Player In The NHL?

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Old
08-20-2007, 03:46 PM
  #26
kurt
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During the Beezer's playoff run with Florida, there were probably a few days strung together where he was the best player in the NHL.

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08-25-2007, 04:16 AM
  #27
SilverSeven
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Its kind of a difficult question to answer without some clarification. Do you mean for a full season? A month? A day? A decade? A few years?

I really cant think of any FULL year where an American has beent he best player in the NHL....though there have been quite a few cases where they have been top 5.

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08-25-2007, 09:20 PM
  #28
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The closer to it is probably Frank Brimsek. He was the best goalie of the league for a 5 years stretch, and that stretch happens to be right between
- The end of Eddie Shore's career
- The start of Gordie Howe's career.

Whether he was a better player than Syl Apps or Milt Schmidt is a little tough to judge however.

So, in the stretch where top-end talent was probably the lowest in the league (as much as I like Schmidt and Apps, they weren't Howe or Shore, and even there, Shore was a bit lucky not to have a Doug Harvey's clone who played at the same era than him, but that's my opinion).

Aside Brimsek, the closer is probably Pat Lafontaine for a 3 year stretch. Too bad he played at the same time than Gretzky and Lemieux.

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08-26-2007, 12:13 AM
  #29
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Well maybe we havn't had the best player at any time but we have had some of the best fighters in the game.

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08-26-2007, 09:30 PM
  #30
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No love for Phil Housley?

Perhaps not the best at any particular time, but an amazing American defenseman.

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Old
08-26-2007, 11:19 PM
  #31
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Housley made Selanne score all those goals in his rookie year...check out Housley's assists that year..almost all of em were to Selanne.

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08-27-2007, 12:21 AM
  #32
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Ya, Mario Lemieux is probably the closest thing for the Americans having the NHL's best player.

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Old
08-27-2007, 12:23 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Twist And Shout View Post
Ya, Mario Lemieux is probably the closest thing for the Americans having the NHL's best player.
Was this post intended to make sense?

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Old
08-27-2007, 09:24 AM
  #34
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He very much so could have been. No player has dominated NCAA hockey like he did.
I offer no proof, but I get the feeling that dominating the NCAA in the early 1900's is hardly a noteworthy accomplishment. That would be like throwing an NHL player into Junior B.

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Old
08-27-2007, 09:38 AM
  #35
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The closest I can think of is Brian Leetch in the 94' cup run.

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Old
08-27-2007, 11:04 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by PromNiteDumpsterBaby View Post
No love for Phil Housley?

Perhaps not the best at any particular time, but an amazing American defenseman.
I always thought Housley was overrated.

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Old
08-27-2007, 12:54 PM
  #37
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Housley made Selanne score all those goals in his rookie year...check out Housley's assists that year..almost all of em were to Selanne.
You don't think Selanne's ridiculous acceleration had anything to do with it? Housley and Selanne had great chemistry but without Selanne's wheels, there's no success.

But to answer the question, I would say NO for an entire season, but Leetch in the 93-94 playoffs surely was the best and deserved the smythe. Modano, Lafontaine, Tkatchuk and Chelios probably were top5 players for some seasons, but I wouldn't put them 1st.

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Old
08-27-2007, 03:40 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by PromNiteDumpsterBaby View Post
No love for Phil Housley?

Perhaps not the best at any particular time, but an amazing American defenseman.
Housley never won a Norris, and toped up as a 2nd team All-star (NOT All-Star game, all-NHL team by the end of the year). Not really NHL best.

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Old
08-27-2007, 03:46 PM
  #39
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between lafontiane and leetch.

modano is hella overrated.

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Old
08-27-2007, 03:54 PM
  #40
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I don't think there has been, and much of this thread seems to support that viewpoint. But I wouldn't be too shocked if we see one in the near future, as America's hockey program is beginning to intimidate me. I mean, I love my American homies on my Habbies, but they scare the crap outta me for future international tournaments. I think we're just starting to see the beginnings of American achievement in hockey.

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Old
08-28-2007, 07:08 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PromNiteDumpsterBaby View Post
No love for Phil Housley?

Perhaps not the best at any particular time, but an amazing American defenseman.
I saw Housley his whole career, and I can honestly say, I don't recall him ever being a top 15 player at any point in his career, let alone the top guy. I don't think he was ever the best American player either. Like somebody else said, the best he ever did was finish 4th in all-star voting for defensemen. He was talented, and at times he was bordering on elite, but never quite made the leap to elite player. His all-star nom was pretty much equivalent to Dan Boyle being a 2nd team all-star.

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Old
08-28-2007, 08:45 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slade View Post
between lafontiane and leetch.

modano is hella overrated.
Leetch is the one who was overrated. Mike Modano has, at times, been one of the top 3 players in the NHL. Granted, never #1, but certainly in the top 3 over a 3 year period.

Leetch built an entire career on one 15 game stretch in a playoff year 13 years ago! Give it up, people! If the Rags were so frickkin' good, how have they missed the playoffs 11 times since then? Especially with all of the old man talent that kept going there to finish off their careers?

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Old
08-28-2007, 08:49 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by jiggs 10 View Post
Leetch built an entire career on one 15 game stretch in a playoff year 13 years ago!

Geez, how did he manage to win two Norris trophies, a calder, numerous all star noms, a Conn, 1000+ pts in 15 games?

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Old
08-28-2007, 03:55 PM
  #44
12# Peter Bondra
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Geez, how did he manage to win two Norris trophies, a calder, numerous all star noms, a Conn, 1000+ pts in 15 games?
He leeched off of all of the players who went there to retire .


Last edited by 12# Peter Bondra: 08-29-2007 at 08:32 AM.
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Old
08-29-2007, 06:25 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by jiggs 10 View Post
Leetch is the one who was overrated. Mike Modano has, at times, been one of the top 3 players in the NHL. Granted, never #1, but certainly in the top 3 over a 3 year period.

Leetch built an entire career on one 15 game stretch in a playoff year 13 years ago! Give it up, people! If the Rags were so frickkin' good, how have they missed the playoffs 11 times since then? Especially with all of the old man talent that kept going there to finish off their careers?
I guess the two Norris' he won was because all of the other top dman were hurt those years!

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Old
08-29-2007, 08:49 AM
  #46
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The only one I can come up with is Yonkers, NY native Billy Burch. He is the only American-born player to ever win the Hart ('24-25). Enjoy using that in your next trivia session.

On the Leetch and Chelios note, I don't think they could be considered the best in the league even in the seasons when they won the Norris. Just an opinion though.

I should note that I consider Brett Hull an American despite his birthplace. A case could be made for him being the best in the league the year he potted 86. Hull and Oates were killer.

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Old
08-31-2007, 11:46 AM
  #47
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I guess the two Norris' he won was because all of the other top dman were hurt those years!

No, just the NY media voting for him over and over.

Chelios is the best American-born defenseman is the history of the NHL. Leetch is maybe #3. I'm not sure on who I would put at #2 yet. But is won't be Phil Housely. Great offensive talent, slightly better-than-average defnesive skills make him a little lower on the list.

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Old
11-03-2007, 12:49 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
I saw Housley his whole career, and I can honestly say, I don't recall him ever being a top 15 player at any point in his career, let alone the top guy. I don't think he was ever the best American player either. Like somebody else said, the best he ever did was finish 4th in all-star voting for defensemen. He was talented, and at times he was bordering on elite, but never quite made the leap to elite player. His all-star nom was pretty much equivalent to Dan Boyle being a 2nd team all-star.
Please tell me how a guy scored 97 points, outscores the godlike Bourque, Chelios, Leetch, Coffey, etc. and gets no recgonition!

Personally, I always thought Phil Housley deserved more respect and, moreover, thought Ray Bourque was a wee bit overrated.

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Old
11-03-2007, 01:13 AM
  #49
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I should note that I consider Brett Hull an American despite his birthplace. A case could be made for him being the best in the league the year he potted 86. Hull and Oates were killer.
Even if ou do classify Hull as an American he still wasnt the best in the game at the time. Gretzky and Lemieux were pretty much #1-2 (it flip flopped between each player) from '86-'94. Even with injuries they were still the best in the game. After that Bourque was often #3. Hull may slip in at #3 in '91 but it would be as high as he went.

Also the best case would be Lafontaine. In '92-93 he may very well have had the best season an American has ever had. Leetch in '94 would have been top 5 material (Gretz, Fedorov, Bure, Bourque, Leetch isnt outlandish).

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Old
11-03-2007, 04:45 PM
  #50
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Housley made Selanne score all those goals in his rookie year...check out Housley's assists that year..almost all of em were to Selanne.
Housley was the man. Not just Selanne did he set up that remarkable season, but also Tkachuk, Zhamnov, and Davydov en route to a season of becoming only the second team ever to have four 20 goal rookies - and each of them can thank Housley for their numbers.

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