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Most Physically Gifted Athlete in Hockey History

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Old
06-05-2010, 03:15 PM
  #1
Jarick
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Most Physically Gifted Athlete in Hockey History

Something posted in the Lemieux vs Howe thread sparked a thought that was on my mind last week.

Who do you consider the most physically gifted athlete in hockey history? I suppose you could take into consideration strength and endurance mainly.

I was thinking mainly about Orr vs Howe vs Hull. Orr could play so many minutes per game at a level higher than his contemporaries. Howe was a dominant player who was also physical. Hull was just a prime physical specimen (I recall reading about his muscular size being greater than Muhammed Ali).



Disclaimer: I don't pretend to know anything about hockey history and am just fascinated listening to those of you who've been following their whole lives with these discussions!

2nd Disclaimer: I did a search and found nothing, hopefully this isn't a retread.

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Old
06-05-2010, 03:22 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Do you mean physical skill, as in the ability to own players one-on-one with your hockey skills? Then it's probably a tossup between Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.

Or do you mean "strength and endurance?" Then the answer is obviously Gordie Howe. He routinely played 45 minutes per game, when most other star players played 25-30. Oh, and he played forever too.

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06-05-2010, 03:33 PM
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RabbinsDuck
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Sergei Fedorov was at the high end of the league in just about every skills competition... Bobby Hull even more so.

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Old
06-05-2010, 03:51 PM
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shazariahl
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Lindros was an amazing physical specimen. He just needed to skate with his head up.

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06-05-2010, 04:06 PM
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DaveG
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overall athlete? Lionel Conacher

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06-05-2010, 04:08 PM
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Pierre Gotye
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I don't think there's anyone close:

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06-05-2010, 04:28 PM
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If you're going to break down 'physical ability' into size+skating ability+puck skills+shot, the three possible answers in the modern era are Bobby Hull, Eric Lindros, and Alexander Ovechkin.

Bobby Orr was obviously a ridiculous player, but his raw physical gifts were not on the level of a Bobby Hull. Orr was physically gifted, of course, but a huge part of his greatness was that he was also the most intelligent player in the league by a mile.

Hull dominated by virtue of simply being able to skate faster and shoot the puck harder than anyone else on earth.

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06-05-2010, 04:33 PM
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Masao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Then it's probably a tossup between Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.
This is HFboards, remember. Mario Lemieux is barely able to catch up with Scott Gomez here.

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Old
06-05-2010, 04:34 PM
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crediblepest
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Sidney Crosby

/thread

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06-05-2010, 05:23 PM
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jkrx
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Howe, Orr, Lindros and Ovechkin.

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Old
06-05-2010, 05:27 PM
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eyeball11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
overall athlete? Lionel Conacher
Very good answer. I'm going to throw a strange name out there (because he never materialized) but I've read some startling things about Bryan Fogerty and his abilities.

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Old
06-05-2010, 05:30 PM
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Jules Winnfield
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Physically gifted is tough to say. You could say guys like Lindros and Ovechkin rank up there. Hard to say overall who would be #1. Guess it depends on the definition of physically gifted.

One guy to consider who no one would think about would be Brian Leetch. They did some test on him many years ago where they ranked the players from major sports for having some of the best body responses to cardio and most of the top players were from professional soccer leagues but Leetch came in #1 over everyone.

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Old
06-05-2010, 05:44 PM
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lextune
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Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr....

....I give the edge to Mario though. The man was just sick. Deadliest one on one player in NHL history, by quite a bit.

I have said this before, but I'll say it again here: Mario would destroy the league as it is today; 90 goal, 200+ point seasons.

The only ways to slow him down (and/or stop him), are all illegal now, with obstruction penalties regularly called for things that were absolutely commonplace in team's efforts to defend against him.

They would all be penalties now....and Lemieux was one of, if not the, greatest powerplay force there has ever been.

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Old
06-05-2010, 06:29 PM
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tommygunn
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As far as 'strength and endurance' on a career level..
Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Tim Horton, Scott Stevens, and Mark Messier all come to mind..

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06-05-2010, 09:46 PM
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seventieslord
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Howe, Hull, Orr, Lemieux, Iafrate.

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Old
06-06-2010, 12:14 AM
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kahlon66
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most talented and skilled player of all time is Mario Lemieux

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Old
06-06-2010, 12:35 AM
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Hawksfan2828
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Bobby Hull.

You cant go wrong with Howe either.

Cant go wrong with a guy like Pronger either or Stevens.

I think every great hockey player that possesses the skills to get underneath others skin is unique.

Its a skill in its self.

Another guy you cant go wrong with is Dino.

However i dont expect SOME to value what I do in an NHL player. They quite clearly have their lists and value nothing a man says.


Last edited by Hawksfan2828: 06-06-2010 at 12:42 AM.
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Old
06-06-2010, 12:40 AM
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finchster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Iafrate.
I started reading this thread and Iafrate came to mind haha. If Joe Thornton is the tin man with no heart, Al Iafrate is the scarecrow with no brain

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Old
06-06-2010, 12:42 AM
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seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finchster View Post
I started reading this thread and Iafrate came to mind haha. If Joe Thornton is the tin man with no heart, Al Iafrate is the scarecrow with no brain
all the tools, no toolbox, that's what they said. But the guy had immense size for his time, blazing speed, and the best shot in the NHL. that's a hell of a package.

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Old
06-06-2010, 01:20 AM
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Hawksfan2828
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Duncan Keith if active players are included.

As an athlete the guy is top tier all-time as far as an athlete.

Never seen a player with his stamina. Hes getting tired now but the guy is extremely athletically gifted.

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Old
06-06-2010, 01:45 AM
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Ducks
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#66 or #4

and both #9's deserve to be in the conversation.

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Old
06-06-2010, 06:18 AM
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Reds4Life
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Hasek was (is) a specimen. His physical condition allowed him to play his style.

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Old
06-06-2010, 07:48 AM
  #23
Zine
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Pure athleticism? Easy answer.....Lionel Conacher

There's no way Howe, Orr, Hull, Lemieux had the overall athletic ability to dominate as many sports as Conacher did.

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Old
06-06-2010, 08:46 AM
  #24
Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
overall athlete? Lionel Conacher

This is the correct answer to the question.

Perhaps the most physically gifted athlete in history, period.

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Old
06-06-2010, 09:23 AM
  #25
therealkoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine View Post
Pure athleticism? Easy answer.....Lionel Conacher

There's no way Howe, Orr, Hull, Lemieux had the overall athletic ability to dominate as many sports as Conacher did.
HHoF, CFLHoF, CLacrosseHoF, Memorial Cup, SC, Grey Cup, USAHA Champs x2, AAA Baseball Champ International League, Canadian Light heavy boxing amateur champ(undefeated)

.......and just for good measure went a 4 round exhibition against Jack Dempsey and was in it all the way

so in this respect the Big Train may be the greatest athlete who every lived, he may be ahead of guys like Jim Thorpe and Bo Jackson who were both unbelievable specimens

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