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

Trottier vs Bossy

View Poll Results: who's better?
Michael Dean Bossy 28 46.67%
Bryan John Trottier 32 53.33%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
05-13-2010, 08:51 PM
  #1
Bohemian93
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Trottier vs Bossy

who's better?

both were part of the isles dynasty and incredible playoff preformers

Bryan Trottier
-Calder Trophy
-1 Conn Smythe
-1 Hart
-1 Art Ross
-2x First all star team
-2x Second all star team
-7 All star game appearnances
-6 time Stanley cup champion
-1425 points in 1279 NHL games (1.11 ppg)

Mike Bossy
-9 consecutive 50 goal seasons
-Calder Trophy
-3 Lady Byngs
-1 Conn Sythe
-2 retro Richard Trophies
-4 Time Stanley cup Champion
-4 time Stanley cup champion
-5x First all star team
-7 All star game appearances
-1126 points in 752 NHL games(1.49 ppg)

pretty similar resumes overall

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Old
05-13-2010, 09:19 PM
  #2
TheDevilMadeMe
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I think Bossy was an even better playoff performer than Trottier, so he gets my vote. It's very close though.

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Old
05-13-2010, 09:34 PM
  #3
Ohashi_Jouzu
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I go with Bossy, but this is very "Robinson vs Chelios" to me: close.

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Old
05-13-2010, 09:36 PM
  #4
Blades of Glory
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Had Bossy's back not given out, I think this debate becomes intriguing. Right now, it's tough for me to pick him over Trottier.

Trottier was one of the most dynamic forwards in history. He not only could do everything, but unlike so many other players, he actually did everything, and did it at an elite level. Unbelievable vision and passing ability. He is arguably a top five passing center all-time and is definitely in the top ten. Bossy was a very good passer, especially for a goal-scorer, but Trottier was a step above. He was also one of the most physical forwards that I have ever seen. Bryan Trottier was a truck. He hit EVERYTHING, and he hit everything really, really, really hard. His physicality opened up space for him and Bossy in the offensive zone, and his passing ability got Bossy the puck.

All that said, what separates Trottier and Bossy the most, IMO, is Trottier's defensive play. The reason I say "Trottier's defensive play" and not "defensive play" is because I don't want to make it sound like Bossy wasn't good defensively. He was very good. If you played for Al Arbour, you better have been good in our own zone. But Trottier wasn't good or very good, he was amazing. Not only was he a ferocious back-checker, his intelligence allowed him to anticipate opposing players actions with the puck and his physicality helped wipe them out. There really aren't too many forwards in history that have won the Art Ross and finished as the runner up for the Selke within 5 seasons, which is what Trottier did. And in that era, the Selke favored forwards who actually played in a checking/defensive role, thus Doug Jarvis beating him out. Trottier and Denis Potvin absolutely dominated Wayne Gretzky in the 1983 Cup Finals, and played him very well again in 1984, neutralizing him until Mark Messier's goal in Game 4 turned the tide and triggered a dynasty.

Trottier won one Hart Trophy, finished as runner-up twice, including once to Wayne Gretzky, and third once, again in a year when Gretzky won. It's not off-base to say that he would have 3 Harts had he not played directly against Gretzky, prime against prime. Even when Bossy was healthy, Trottier was the guy that got all the Hart votes. There's a reason for that.


Last edited by Blades of Glory: 05-13-2010 at 09:42 PM.
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Old
05-13-2010, 09:51 PM
  #5
mrhockey193195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
Had Bossy's back not given out, I think this debate becomes intriguing. Right now, it's tough for me to pick him over Trottier.
This. The main thing that separates the two, IMO, is that Trottier was able to play at an effective level for longer. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with either. One of the greatest goal scorers (amongst other things) of all time against one of the greatest all around players of all time.

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Old
05-13-2010, 10:05 PM
  #6
bossy22
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Despite #22 being my favorite player growing up, hands down #19 was the total package. Bossy was the premier sniper of his time. His release is arguably the best of all time, certainly the best of his generation but Trott's all round game, compass and longivity make him A1 to Bossy.


Last edited by bossy22: 05-14-2010 at 08:09 PM. Reason: embarassing typo thx TG
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Old
05-13-2010, 10:07 PM
  #7
TheDevilMadeMe
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The longevity advantage for Trottier is really compelling. He was no longer a star player, but he was definitely an elite roleplayer later in his career. And that's better than Bossy not playing.

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Old
05-13-2010, 11:50 PM
  #8
Hockey Outsider
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I pick Trottier. IMO his superior defensive play (not that Bossy was bad) makes up for Bossy's slightly better offensive skills. Like BoG said, Trottier helping to shut Gretzky down in the 1983 Stanley Cup finals is one of the best ever defensive performances from an elite forward.

I think plus/minus is a pretty limited stat, but I think it has some use in this case because they were linemates for the majority of their career (so it's not like one is disadvantaged by playing on a weaker team or by weaker linemates). During the span of their careers (1978-1987), Trottier was ahead by a comfortable margin (+422 vs +381) despite being a slightly weaker scorer. That helps confirm what we all know - Trottier was better defensively.

Trottier's versatility on special teams is another point in his favour. Bossy, even though he was quite solid defensively, rarely played on the PK (32 powerplay goals against in his entire career). During that span (1978-1987), Trottier was on the ice for 171 powerplay goals against. If we assume they allowed powerplay goals at a similar rate, that means Trottier got roughly five times as much time on the penalty kill - which sounds reasonable to me.

For whatever it's worth, the voters gave Trottier far more consideration for the Hart trophy. Trottier finished in the top five in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1984 (winning once and twice finishing runner up). Bossy was in the top five only in 1981 and 1982 (never in the top two). Both have a Smythe.

Although Bossy's advantage in points-per-game looks compelling (1.49 vs 1.11), it's not a meaningful comparison. Bossy only played from ages 21-30, which are the prime offensive years for most forwards. Trottier's points-per-game average is dragged down by playing a lot of hockey both before and after his prime. Over the same ages (21-30), Bossy still has the edge in scoring but it's much closer (1.49 vs 1.37).


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 05-14-2010 at 12:07 AM.
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Old
05-14-2010, 12:02 AM
  #9
OpAck
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Trottier was the all-around better player. But I voted for Bossy based on his scoring touch alone. He is one of the greatest goal scorers in NHL history...some have even made the case that he's the best. Here's a guy that probably should've surpassed 900 goals scored, dare I say, 1,000 goals, had he played another 7-9 seasons. One of those "coulda, shoulda, woulda" scenarios, I know...but, the guy's hands and offensive instincts were absolutely top notch.

It's painfully close though.

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Old
05-14-2010, 12:26 AM
  #10
tommygunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossy22 View Post
Despite #22 being my favorite player growing up, hands down #11 was the total package.
# 19

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Old
05-14-2010, 01:28 AM
  #11
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frrrunkis! View Post
Here's a guy that probably should've surpassed 900 goals scored, dare I say, 1,000 goals, had he played another 7-9 seasons.
Highly doubtful.

- If Bossy played even 7 more seasons he'd have been among the six oldest players in the NHL by the 1993-94 season. The five players who were 37+ that season had a combined 74 points in 173 games.

- Bossy was always just a tad better than Trottier offensively and the same age. In his post-1987 seasons, Trottier had 223 points in 365 games. Bossy may have topped that, but likely only by 15%, as he did earlier in their careers. That's not that great.

- Would Bossy have even been able to last as long as a guy like Trottier? Trottier turned himself into an elite role player and would not have lasted with his point totals if he was one-dimensional. Now, no one would say Bossy is a sissy or a lazy player, but he was a pure scorer, as pure as it gets. If he was good for just 35 points by 1992, would he even get NHL offers?

- Bossy may have already been in decline during his last season. This could have been injury-related too, but in the late 80s, a ton of players were done doing any thing significant offensively when they turned 30. He was 30 and his 0.60 GPG average was his lowest of his career. It's entirely possible that was natural decline happening.

If we project his GPG totals to decline realistically for 7 more years and assume he played every game, he'd be looking at perhaps 45, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15. And perhaps 190 assists along the way. For a total of 783-743-1526. Still awesome, good for 5th all-time circa 1994, and 3rd in goals. (based on this inexact projection, he'd pass gretzky in the 1993 season but fall behind early in the 1994 season)

Anyway... 1000, or even 900 goals, is unrealistic. I've seen people project 800 goals for Pavel Bure too, but such projections have to completely ignore nature to be believeable.


Last edited by seventieslord: 05-14-2010 at 02:11 PM. Reason: to change perhaps the most important word in the post - "realistic" - to what I actually think, the opposite - "unrealistic"
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Old
05-14-2010, 07:20 AM
  #12
BM67
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Projecting Bossy for 900 or 1000 goals in 17 seasons is way beyond optimistic. To reach 900 goals in 7 more seasons, he would have to average 47 goals over the next 7 seasons, and 61 goals to reach 1000.

Gretzky only played 8 of the 10 seasons Bossy did. Bossy only outscored Gretzky by 30 goals, and trails in GPG 0.76 to 0.86 over his career.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...goals_per_game

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05-14-2010, 08:58 AM
  #13
tony d
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Mike Bossy got my vote here.

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05-14-2010, 11:53 AM
  #14
unknown33
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Bossy and actually it's not even that close when I look at it ...

Bossy outperformed Trottier in 7 (1 tie) regular seasons and 8 playoffs out of 10.

The 8 seasons Trottier played without Bossy were not that spectaclar to cancle out the huge advantage.

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05-14-2010, 12:33 PM
  #15
Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Bossy and actually it's not even that close when I look at it ...

Bossy outperformed Trottier in 7 (1 tie) regular seasons and 8 playoffs out of 10.

The 8 seasons Trottier played without Bossy were not that spectaclar to cancle out the huge advantage.
That's only looking at offense. Most of the people that said they voted for Trottier cited his elite defense as a main factor that put him over the top.

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Old
05-14-2010, 12:42 PM
  #16
Hawker14
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Wow, this is difficult.

Bossy was pure offence, but Trottier was the total package.

Giving the nod to Trottier only because I prefer his style of game.

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05-14-2010, 02:12 PM
  #17
seventieslord
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I still haven't voted because these two are crazy close in my mind.

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Old
05-14-2010, 02:23 PM
  #18
therealkoho
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Hard choice but I picked Trotts

My thought is who would I build around? Trotts was the complete package and highly evolved in not only all areas of the game, but had terrific skill levels. Trottier played in all situations with an edge and would be a guy who others would be inspired by.

Bossy on the other hand was an offensive specialist who was otherworldly when it came to putting the puck in the net. He didn't often carry the puck, wasn't physical nor was he fleet of foot, but for some reason whether it be 5/5 or the PP he always seemed to find open ice within 25 feet of the goal. He may very well have been the best sniper who ever played the game

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05-14-2010, 04:14 PM
  #19
Hawker14
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Originally Posted by therealkoho View Post
He was the best sniper who ever played the game
Fixed in my opinion.

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05-14-2010, 04:25 PM
  #20
Big Phil
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Very, very close. At the end of the day I would have to take Trottier. Bossy wins just a tad offensively and obviously a clear winner in the goal scoring department. But does he beat him anywhere else? Not in any other aspect of the game. Trottier was the better playmaker, leader, defensively, and was very physical. We have all heard a minority of people - smart people - say that Trottier is considered the best all around player to grace the earth. It's close, I would take Howe and Orr over him and Messier is close but it shows you how much his complete package is valued.

For their careers you have to take Trottier. Not that it's a big deal, but Trottier didn't play for the Pens in 1993. Could he have made a difference in the locker room in that Isles series? Who knows.

Peak value is close to. Trottier won a Hart and Art Ross. Bossy never did, but his goal scoring at his peak is tantalizing. In the playoffs you probably think of Bossy as the more important cog to their dynasty but I think it's awfully close. Bossy had 85 playoff goals in his career and scored some big ones and a lot of them during the Cup winning years. That's tough to ignore. Many of us have said he was robbed of the 1981 Conn Smythe.

In the end though, all around I want Trottier on my team. He could beat you in many different ways

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Old
05-14-2010, 05:06 PM
  #21
lextune
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Trottier.

But not by very much.

Not by very much at all.

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Old
05-14-2010, 08:31 PM
  #22
therealkoho
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Fixed in my opinion.
Guy by the name of Brett Hull says hello

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Old
05-14-2010, 09:21 PM
  #23
Trottier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Bossy and actually it's not even that close when I look at it ...

Bossy outperformed Trottier in 7 (1 tie) regular seasons and 8 playoffs out of 10.

The 8 seasons Trottier played without Bossy were not that spectaclar to cancle out the huge advantage.
Define "outperformed". And try doing so beyond simply reciting offensive numbers.

***

Am not voting or commenting any further in this one, for I am obviously biased in considering #19 the most complete forward I've ever seen play the game. Likewise, however, I would NEVER say a bad word about Mike Bossy, as pure a sniper as the game has known. Just fortunate enough to have been spoiled to watch them both throughout their respective careers.

BTW, the comments in this thread are superbly informed and a great read.

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Old
05-14-2010, 09:52 PM
  #24
Dark Shadows
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Guy by the name of Brett Hull says hello
I think you mean Bobby Hull, who was a better goal scorer than his son ever was and longer.

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Old
05-14-2010, 11:44 PM
  #25
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I think you mean Bobby Hull, who was a better goal scorer than his son ever was and longer.
Longer in what respect?

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