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Flash Hollett: A legit Hall of Famer or a flash in the pan product of WWII?

View Poll Results: Flash Hollet? A legit HHOFer or a product of WWII?
Legit HHOFer, should be in there 7 50.00%
Product of WWII 7 50.00%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-15-2008, 03:34 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Flash Hollett: A legit Hall of Famer or a flash in the pan product of WWII?

You dont hear a lot about Flash Hollett anymore. IMO he is one of the best players not in the HHOF. Now I've hear the arguments against him - and there are some - but let's just quickly go over his career again.

Hollett played defense from 1933-'46.
He won 2 Cups with Boston in '39 and '41 and made a good contribution to both years. Not to mention playing well in '45 with Detroit in the Cup finals
Was a 2nd team all-star in '43 and a first team all-star in '45.
Has more career goals and points than Eddie Shore
Has 7 years where he hit 10+ goals.
Has seasons of 20, 19, 19, 15, 10, 10, 10 goals.
Career high of 44 points followed by 41, 34, 33.

If you want to count it, he likely has 1 retro Norris Trophy in '45 likely beating out Bouchard. That year Hollett scored 20 goals. No defenseman had done it and none did again until I believe it was Orr.

Critics consider him a Phil Housley type. Not so, Housley never won a Cup, let alone two. He was just a 2nd team all-star once, and Hollett has that along with a First team all-star and likely Norris in '45. He beats Housley in an area IMO. We can likely agree, defensively he could have been better.

He was a product of WWII? He did have success and a lot of it from '42-45. So what? Would we rather see him not have that success and fail? Besides he won his two Cups outside of that time frame and he still had good seasons in the late '30s. And in '46 he was 34. At that time it was pretty near retirement time so you cant say he didnt extend his career because he had a long prosperous one for the era. Herb Cain was a guy that benefitted from the War, and to prove it you have to look at what he did outside of 1944. Not so the case with Hollett.

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10-15-2008, 04:02 PM
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When posters on here talk about a guy getting in the Hall 40 years down the line because people just look at his stats and don't remember his play...this is probably what they're talking about.

Not that you're necessarily wrong, but the lack of anyone pushing for him to be in the HOF leads me to believe he was a flawed player, and likely on the defensive side. Say what you will about Housley's defensive game, but can you imagine what his stats would look like if he got to play his prime in a wartime-esque NHL?

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Old
10-15-2008, 04:30 PM
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I don't think Flash Hollett has a sniff of the Hall of Fame if not for his war years production, and he wasn't even all that dominant during those years to make it seem like he could have had that type of production against better competition. IMO, Babe Pratt was the only other defenseman during that period in his prime and he has a better record than Hollet, and I think he's one of the weaker inductions in the HoF.

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Old
10-15-2008, 05:18 PM
  #4
seventieslord
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Somewhere in the middle, but definitely closer to a Flash In The Pan.

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10-15-2008, 06:02 PM
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A Hall of Very Good player.

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10-15-2008, 10:04 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
When posters on here talk about a guy getting in the Hall 40 years down the line because people just look at his stats and don't remember his play...this is probably what they're talking about.

Not that you're necessarily wrong, but the lack of anyone pushing for him to be in the HOF leads me to believe he was a flawed player, and likely on the defensive side. Say what you will about Housley's defensive game, but can you imagine what his stats would look like if he got to play his prime in a wartime-esque NHL?
This is the thing I never really get about WWII. Richard had arguably his best season during that time. In '44-45 there was Lach, Blake, Richard, Kennedy, Syd Howe, Mosienko, Pratt, Bouchard and others. All Hall of Famers. Throw in Durnan as well. Now I wont deny that players like the Kraut Line, or Apps or Broda werent around but does that take away things that the "other" best players in the world did? Hollett did a lot of damage from '40-45 but he was pretty good before then as well.

I dont like the Housley comparison because Hollett is at least credited with being the best defenseman in the league at one point. Plus he was a contributor to a couple of great Cup winning teams and not just a passenger there either. Housley has neither of those attributes. I put him higher on the HHOF monitor than Housley and that alone makes him at least CLOSE to a HHOFer and clearly makes a good argument for his case as well. The world wont come to an end if he doesnt get in there but doesnt get the love as much

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Old
10-15-2008, 10:09 PM
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Very Coffey-esque- fast skater and capable of scoring goals.

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10-15-2008, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
This is the thing I never really get about WWII. Richard had arguably his best season during that time. In '44-45 there was Lach, Blake, Richard, Kennedy, Syd Howe, Mosienko, Pratt, Bouchard and others. All Hall of Famers. Throw in Durnan as well. Now I wont deny that players like the Kraut Line, or Apps or Broda werent around but does that take away things that the "other" best players in the world did? Hollett did a lot of damage from '40-45 but he was pretty good before then as well.
Hollett had a few good years outside of the war depleted time, but did not seem to have any great years. Scoring 27-28 points for a Dman at the time was very good, but he does not get all star berths. It leads me to believe his defensive play was somewhat lacking. His goals virtually doubled after the league watered down for war, and his numbers went from 20 goals and 41 points in 50 games in the last year of the war, to 13 points in 38 games after the war ended.

Most of the guys you mentioned showed at some point or another that they had terrific years outside of war years.

Richard's had several years better than his 50 in 50 year. it looks good because of the number and the first in history, etc, but the War made it possible.

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10-15-2008, 10:29 PM
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He was an above-average player who had some good seasons in the '30s, but he was nothing close to a HHOF player without WW2. At age 30, he'd never been a post-season All-Star, was never a top-5 defender or top-10 player in the sport.

Then he rings up three huge offensive seasons when the NHL is half minor-leaguers, and then his career quickly ends when the league returns to full strength.

Good player, unique player for his era, but not a HHOFer.

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10-15-2008, 11:09 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
He was an above-average player who had some good seasons in the '30s, but he was nothing close to a HHOF player without WW2. At age 30, he'd never been a post-season All-Star, was never a top-5 defender or top-10 player in the sport.

Then he rings up three huge offensive seasons when the NHL is half minor-leaguers, and then his career quickly ends when the league returns to full strength.

Good player, unique player for his era, but not a HHOFer.
He was 34 in 1946 as well you have to remember, not 24. Plus you have to be doing something right if writers give you the edge over Butch Bouchard! I think he deserves a longer look at times

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10-15-2008, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
He was 34 in 1946 as well you have to remember, not 24. Plus you have to be doing something right if writers give you the edge over Butch Bouchard! I think he deserves a longer look at times
... and in one season he went from a 'star' to a fringe player to out of the sport.

Speaking of Bouchard, he's a prime example of how poor the competition was in 44-45 ... the guy was the prototype stay-at-home 10 point/season defender with virtually no offensive ability at all, and that year he was the 3rd-highest scoring defender in the league with 34 points in 50 games! Never scored more than 17 ever again.

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10-15-2008, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Hollett had a few good years outside of the war depleted time, but did not seem to have any great years. Scoring 27-28 points for a Dman at the time was very good, but he does not get all star berths. It leads me to believe his defensive play was somewhat lacking. His goals virtually doubled after the league watered down for war, and his numbers went from 20 goals and 41 points in 50 games in the last year of the war, to 13 points in 38 games after the war ended.

Most of the guys you mentioned showed at some point or another that they had terrific years outside of war years.

Richard's had several years better than his 50 in 50 year. it looks good because of the number and the first in history, etc, but the War made it possible
.
No, I wouldnt in any way compare him to any of those greats I mentioned before. Richard, well, it goes without saying what he could do outside of the war. Lach, Blake that's obvious. While I am aware of the fact he didnt garner all-star nods in the '30s it also helps to look at who he was competing against.

Shore, Babe Siebert, Earl Siebert, Dit Clapper, Lionel Conacher, and guys like that. He sure wasnt losing out to a bunch of scrubs, but I do see your point and how it is relevant. The goals in his era though are fairly eye popping, which leads us to believe that his defense may not have been up to perfection. I cannot say, since it predates my memory by a few years

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Old
10-15-2008, 11:26 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS;15871560[B
]... and in one season he went from a 'star' to a fringe player to out of the sport. [/B]

Speaking of Bouchard, he's a prime example of how poor the competition was in 44-45 ... the guy was the prototype stay-at-home 10 point/season defender with virtually no offensive ability at all, and that year he was the 3rd-highest scoring defender in the league with 34 points in 50 games! Never scored more than 17 ever again.
I'm not sure of the reasons surronding him retiring in 1946 at 34. Keep in mind it was a different era and 34 was an old man in those days to an extent. But he did have some very good pre-war seasons so it would lead me to believe that he could compete very well with the best prior to that.

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10-16-2008, 05:02 AM
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No, I wouldnt in any way compare him to any of those greats I mentioned before. Richard, well, it goes without saying what he could do outside of the war. Lach, Blake that's obvious. While I am aware of the fact he didnt garner all-star nods in the '30s it also helps to look at who he was competing against.

Shore, Babe Siebert, Earl Siebert, Dit Clapper, Lionel Conacher, and guys like that. He sure wasnt losing out to a bunch of scrubs, but I do see your point and how it is relevant. The goals in his era though are fairly eye popping, which leads us to believe that his defense may not have been up to perfection. I cannot say, since it predates my memory by a few years
Babe Seibert and Shore were on their way out the year Hollett started scoring big in 1938-39. Conacher was done after 1937. I see the point you are trying to make, but I still think that since he was outscoring the vast majority of Dmen in the league by double starting in 39 that if he was worthy of consideration, he would have garnered some accolades. He must have been awful defensively not to get a few selections.

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10-16-2008, 12:20 PM
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Neither option accurately depicts Flash Hollett.

MS made a pretty reasonable comparison a while back when he compared Hollett to Phil Housley. If the shoe fits...

Hollett was one of the game's best offensive defencemen for most of his career. He absolutely was not a product of the war years. He was consistently in the top three to five for defenceman scoring for much of his career. To play the way he did and play that long in the league is a testament to his dynamic offensive ability.

In the years before the game's best went to war, Hollett had 33, 24, 28 and 27 points. Impressive output, to be sure. And he had a 26-point season in the heart of the rough-and-tumble 30s.

War year or not, 20 goals for a defenceman in 1945 is an impressive output.

I don't know why his totals dipped so much in 45-46, but I don't think it's as simple as the conclusion of the war. Many of the players who served in the war effort didn't actually return to North America until midway or late in the 46 season. And he retired because he refused to accept a trade out of Detroit, not because he was a war product.

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10-16-2008, 02:38 PM
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I have always thought the same way T19 thinks. Hollett must not have been very good defensively if he was not getting all-star nods with his offensive numbers.

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10-16-2008, 03:22 PM
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I hear the points that some of the doubters are trying to make, but I guess my point is he deserves more inclusion when talking about players not in the Hall of Fame. Maybe he isnt a shoo-in, but he isnt far off IMO if at all. I suppose it might be fair to call him the Dave Kerr of old-time defensemen. In other words he gets forgotten but has a decent HHOF argument.

BTW - Kerr was a goalie in the '30s and '40s who never gets even considered

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10-16-2008, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I have always thought the same way T19 thinks. Hollett must not have been very good defensively if he was not getting all-star nods with his offensive numbers.
Well, he did get 1st and 2nd all-star spots during his two best offensive seasons, that's not a bad haul for an offensive d-man.

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10-16-2008, 04:02 PM
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Well, he did get 1st and 2nd all-star spots during his two best offensive seasons, that's not a bad haul for an offensive d-man.
They were during two very lean years during the war though. He was a pretty good offensive defenseman before that but wasn't considered then.

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10-16-2008, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
I don't know why his totals dipped so much in 45-46, but I don't think it's as simple as the conclusion of the war. Many of the players who served in the war effort didn't actually return to North America until midway or late in the 46 season. And he retired because he refused to accept a trade out of Detroit, not because he was a war product.
How do you know this? Were you following the league back then? Just wondering.

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10-16-2008, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I hear the points that some of the doubters are trying to make, but I guess my point is he deserves more inclusion when talking about players not in the Hall of Fame. Maybe he isnt a shoo-in, but he isnt far off IMO if at all. I suppose it might be fair to call him the Dave Kerr of old-time defensemen. In other words he gets forgotten but has a decent HHOF argument.

BTW - Kerr was a goalie in the '30s and '40s who never gets even considered
I just see him as a player who, when the league was at full strength, was no different than Pat Stapleton or Jim McKenney or Ian Turnbull or Steve Duchesne.

Players who were above-average defenders, and amongst the better guys in the game offensively, but nothing special defensively and clearly not true 'elite' players and HHOF material. Stapleton might not even deserve to be in that group as he was better defensively than the rest and might have had a HHOF claim if not for bolting for the WHA.

I rate anything that happened from 1942-45 as near worthless.

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10-17-2008, 09:26 AM
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I just see him as a player who, when the league was at full strength, was no different than Pat Stapleton or Jim McKenney or Ian Turnbull or Steve Duchesne.

Players who were above-average defenders, and amongst the better guys in the game offensively, but nothing special defensively and clearly not true 'elite' players and HHOF material. Stapleton might not even deserve to be in that group as he was better defensively than the rest and might have had a HHOF claim if not for bolting for the WHA.

I rate anything that happened from 1942-45 as near worthless.
Yeah Stapleton has a mild HHOF case if not for the WHA. Turnbull is underrated IMO and while isnt a Hall of Famer by any means should be remembered a little bit better.

Fair enough assessment, which is probably the same thing that some members of the HHOF Committee think as well.

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Old
10-26-2008, 08:11 PM
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If you read up on how Flash Hollett's NHL career ended it was by his choice. First there was a contract dispute and then he was traded. He didn't want to move his family to NY, so he retired. He went on to lead his team to the Allan Cup in 1950.

I wish there was more available to read on his career but his accomplishments speak for themselves.

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10-26-2008, 08:27 PM
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I rate anything that happened from 1942-45 as near worthless.
Hollett's 20 goal season was achieved the same year the Rocket scored 50 in 50. That was the most talked about record of the Rocket's career, irregardless of when it occurred.

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10-26-2008, 09:48 PM
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Hollett's 20 goal season was achieved the same year the Rocket scored 50 in 50. That was the most talked about record of the Rocket's career, irregardless of when it occurred.
Richard's 50 in 50 is the most over-rated record/accomplishment in the history of the NHL. And maybe in the history of pro sports.

This is not to disparage Richard in any way, as he was clearly the greatest goalscorer of the 1940s and 1950s, and seasons like 1946-47 (his best year) where he scored 45 goals in 60 games and no-one else in the league had more than 30 were clearly amazing.

But again, the NHL in 1944-45 was a bit of a joke. Chicago/Boston/NYR were basically dressing AHL-calibre teams with most of their players away at war, while Montreal maintained a near-full strength roster. Montreal went 38-8-4 while those other three clubs went 40-89. As I mentioned earlier, a guy like Butch Bouchard - a 10-point stay-at-home defender in a full-strength league - turned into an offensive powerhouse on the blueline.

I could care less if Richard scored a lot of goals playing on a stacked team against minor-leaguers. Doesn't mean a thing.

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