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Lafleur in the WHA

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Old
03-10-2009, 01:54 PM
  #1
ForsbergForever
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Lafleur in the WHA

I was reading recently how Guy Lafleur said that had he been drafted by any other team than the Canadiens, he would have signed with the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA. Secondary to the Habs obviously not being half as strong without him, one wonders what kind of numbers he could have put up in the WHA, maybe a 200 point season? an 80 goal year?

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03-10-2009, 02:05 PM
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Jungosi
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I'm pretty sure that he would have torn the WHA apart. The WHA played a much more offensive and speed-orientended game what would have been a perfect fit for Guy. He'd also had pretty good offensive partners with Tremblay , Tardif and Bernier.

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03-10-2009, 06:32 PM
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greatgazoo
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Without Scotty Bowman coaching him, pushing him to be a better player, Lafleur wouldn't have come close to being a great pro.

Breaking 200 points? Maybe for his career total.

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03-10-2009, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
Without Scotty Bowman coaching him, pushing him to be a better player, Lafleur wouldn't have come close to being a great pro.

Breaking 200 points? Maybe for his career total.
Yeah, that makes sense. Bowman coached Jagr in his early years as well, would the same apply to him?

Bowman was a great coach...but come on. The man gets enough credit as it is, let's not give him all of Guy Lafleur's points as well.

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03-10-2009, 07:29 PM
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Probably not as big a jump as most people think. Certainly i can see a 10% increase in his scoring, but not to the degree of 80 goals/200 points.

Lafleur had great point totals in the NHL, playing on the best dynasty team with great teammates, and the NHL was watered down pretty fierce as well.

Bobby Hull was a dynamic offensive player who won scoring titles despite being stuck on those pro-defense hawks teams. When he moved to the WHA, it was a dynamic switch for him, being given much more offensive freedom, so his point totals were respectably high, especially in his one big year.

Lafleur played pro offense every day he played, never having to play a defensive game, Lafleur's coaches often pulled their hair out trying to get him to follow a prescribed system, and eventually gave up and just let him go because he was so good they could afford to let him play his own game.

70 goals, 155 points seems logical to me in the WHA. It certainly was a bit easier to score there, but not in the 70 extra point area.

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03-10-2009, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Probably not as big a jump as most people think. Certainly i can see a 10% increase in his scoring, but not to the degree of 80 goals/200 points.

Lafleur had great point totals in the NHL, playing on the best dynasty team with great teammates, and the NHL was watered down pretty fierce as well.

Bobby Hull was a dynamic offensive player who won scoring titles despite being stuck on those pro-defense hawks teams. When he moved to the WHA, it was a dynamic switch for him, being given much more offensive freedom, so his point totals were respectably high, especially in his one big year.

Lafleur played pro offense every day he played, never having to play a defensive game, Lafleur's coaches often pulled their hair out trying to get him to follow a prescribed system, and eventually gave up and just let him go because he was so good they could afford to let him play his own game.

70 goals, 155 points seems logical to me in the WHA. It certainly was a bit easier to score there, but not in the 70 extra point area.
Marc Tardif, Anders Hedberg and Real Clouthier all hit 70 goals in the WHA. 80 or 90 goals wouldn't be out of the question for Lafleur, considering that he was better than those players.

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03-10-2009, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
Yeah, that makes sense. Bowman coached Jagr in his early years as well, would the same apply to him?

Bowman was a great coach...but come on. The man gets enough credit as it is, let's not give him all of Guy Lafleur's points as well.
I said "great pro" which is a lot different from being just a good hockey player which Lafleur obviously was despite his chain smoking and disregard for defense.

Fact is that Lafleur played his best hockey for Bowman and he wasn't the same player without him behind the bench.

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03-10-2009, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Forsberg4ever View Post
I was reading recently how Guy Lafleur said that had he been drafted by any other team than the Canadiens, he would have signed with the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA.
Hmm...he was drafted in 71, WHA didn't start playing until 72-73 and wasn't even announced until late in 1971. I think Guy was embellishing a little there. If he meant he would've gone there as a free agent after his contract with (presumably) Detroit ran out, that'd put him there for his best years, 75-76 and on...probably 80+ goals, 160+ points.

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03-10-2009, 10:05 PM
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Reporter "Hey Guy,How many cigarettes do you smoke ? "

Guy " During A Game or an entire Season ? "

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03-10-2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Marc Tardif, Anders Hedberg and Real Clouthier all hit 70 goals in the WHA. 80 or 90 goals wouldn't be out of the question for Lafleur, considering that he was better than those players.
Its certainly possible.

I think 70 goals, 155 points is around right. I could live with 80 goals 180 points too.

The guys scoring those huge numbers usually had a good situation and good linemates(The WHA had some really bad bad teams feeding them, much worse than their NHL counterparts). Its always weird looking at WHA scoring. Blaine Stoughton scores 50 goals, 100+ points one year for the stingers, then the team situation changes for him and he falls off the face of then earth for 2 seasons as a 30-45 point scorer. Then, his first season back in the NHL he leads the league in goal scoring and has 100+ points again.

Its very difficult to quantify WHA scoring.

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03-11-2009, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
I said "great pro" which is a lot different from being just a good hockey player which Lafleur obviously was despite his chain smoking and disregard for defense.
You said he would maybe break 200 career points.

Donald Brashear has 200 career points.

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03-11-2009, 02:44 PM
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I may be wrong but Lafleur may have had a opportunity to jump ship to the Quebec Nordiques in 1974. This was before Lafleur burst into greatness and was putting up ordinary numbers with the Habs.

I know that GM Sam Pollock applied pressure on Lafleur who negotiated for himself to sign a long-term contract $1 million over 5 years.

I know the Nordiques dangled a contract in front of Believeau at age 42 in 1973 for $250,000 per year.

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03-11-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeynomad View Post
I may be wrong but Lafleur may have had a opportunity to jump ship to the Quebec Nordiques in 1974. This was before Lafleur burst into greatness and was putting up ordinary numbers with the Habs.

I know that GM Sam Pollock applied pressure on Lafleur who negotiated for himself to sign a long-term contract $1 million over 5 years.
I know the Nordiques dangled a contract in front of Believeau at age 42 in 1973 for $250,000 per year.
Gerry Patterson negotiated it.

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03-11-2009, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Its certainly possible.

I think 70 goals, 155 points is around right. I could live with 80 goals 180 points too.

The guys scoring those huge numbers usually had a good situation and good linemates(The WHA had some really bad bad teams feeding them, much worse than their NHL counterparts). Its always weird looking at WHA scoring. Blaine Stoughton scores 50 goals, 100+ points one year for the stingers, then the team situation changes for him and he falls off the face of then earth for 2 seasons as a 30-45 point scorer. Then, his first season back in the NHL he leads the league in goal scoring and has 100+ points again.

Its very difficult to quantify WHA scoring.
ever heard of danny lawson?

considering lafleur scored 60 goals and 136 points playing 20 minutes a night on a vezina winning team...how does 100 goals 150 assists on the nords sound mr historian?

Need another comparison? see Tardifs totals on the same team.

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03-11-2009, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
I said "great pro" which is a lot different from being just a good hockey player which Lafleur obviously was despite his chain smoking and disregard for defense.

Fact is that Lafleur played his best hockey for Bowman and he wasn't the same player without him behind the bench.
lol - ya think he was Larouche?

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03-11-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweety View Post
ever heard of danny lawson?

considering lafleur scored 60 goals and 136 points playing 20 minutes a night on a vezina winning team...how does 100 goals 150 assists on the nords sound mr historian?

Need another comparison? see Tardifs totals on the same team.
How about Mike Rogers?

Seasons of 82, 71, and 72 points in the WHA, and then 3 straight 100 point seasons as soon as he jumped to the NHL.

Generally the WHA was more high scoring, but it's not perfectly cut and dry. Some guys were just better in the NHL for some reason.

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03-11-2009, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweety View Post
ever heard of danny lawson?

considering lafleur scored 60 goals and 136 points playing 20 minutes a night on a vezina winning team...how does 100 goals 150 assists on the nords sound mr historian?

Need another comparison? see Tardifs totals on the same team.
Read the below post sweety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
How about Mike Rogers?

Seasons of 82, 71, and 72 points in the WHA, and then 3 straight 100 point seasons as soon as he jumped to the NHL.

Generally the WHA was more high scoring, but it's not perfectly cut and dry. Some guys were just better in the NHL for some reason.
Blaine Stoughton is another. He had 1 good WHA season, then a few bad seasons, then he comes to the NHL and leads them in scoring, etc

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03-11-2009, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeynomad View Post
I may be wrong but Lafleur may have had a opportunity to jump ship to the Quebec Nordiques in 1974. This was before Lafleur burst into greatness and was putting up ordinary numbers with the Habs.

I know that GM Sam Pollock applied pressure on Lafleur who negotiated for himself to sign a long-term contract $1 million over 5 years.

I know the Nordiques dangled a contract in front of Believeau at age 42 in 1973 for $250,000 per year.
According to the Ed Willes book The Rebel League, Quebec went after Lafleur in March '73, but their first offer was fairly average and it was refused. After that they came back with a bigger offer of $125,000 a year for five years. Sam Pollock offered Lafleur $100,000 a year for 10 years to stay in Montreal. Lafleur and Patterson decided to sign with Montreal: less money but more prestige and security, though he later admitted that he may have signed with Quebec if they hadn't lowballed him in their first offer.

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Old
03-13-2009, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Read the below post sweety.

Blaine Stoughton is another. He had 1 good WHA season, then a few bad seasons, then he comes to the NHL and leads them in scoring, etc
Bang on. As you know, I am one who doesn't think the difference in the Leagues was that great. In 79-80, 4 of the top 10 scorers in the NHL came out of the WHA & all 4 had better seasons in the NHL- Gretzky, Rogers, Stoughton, Blair MacDonald.

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03-13-2009, 08:20 PM
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Bang on. As you know, I am one who doesn't think the difference in the Leagues was that great. In 79-80, 4 of the top 10 scorers in the NHL came out of the WHA & all 4 had better seasons in the NHL- Gretzky, Rogers, Stoughton, Blair MacDonald.
Well, I think there was a decent difference in the league. But not enough to make Lafleur a 200 point scorer.

Gretzky having a better season in the NHL came more from maturing than the change in scenery, and Blair MacDonald's increase was a direct result of Gretzky's maturing as well.

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03-13-2009, 08:25 PM
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pappyline
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Well, I think there was a decent difference in the league. But not enough to make Lafleur a 200 point scorer.

Gretzky having a better season in the NHL came more from maturing than the change in scenery, and Blair MacDonald's increase was a direct result of Gretzky's maturing as well.
Just putting out the facts. Fell free to interpret them as you like.


Last edited by pappyline: 03-13-2009 at 09:00 PM.
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