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Brian Trottier vs Peter Forsberg

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07-24-2010, 07:46 PM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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Brian Trottier vs Peter Forsberg

A comment by Trottier in the Lafleur / Bossy thread led to some thought about two elite centers - Bryan Trottier and Peter Forsberg.

Both players had all the elite skills that a center requires - skating, defense, offense,physicality, the ability to play various styles and with varied teams and teammates.Both ran into injury problems later in their careers.

During his time with the Nordiques/Avalanche Peter Forsberg had the advantage of playing with another elite center. Trottier played with a second elite center during his post dynasty Islander years and at the end with Pittsburgh. Trottier also had the advantage of playing with Denis Potvin for most of his Islander days.Forsberg did not have the advantage of playing with an elite d-man until an elderly Ray Bourque joined the Avalanche.

Are their careers era specific or interchangeable?


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 07-24-2010 at 07:52 PM. Reason: wording
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07-24-2010, 08:06 PM
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VanIslander
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Forsberg protected the puck as well as anyone, a real rock on skates in absorbing hits and carrying play across the blueline; Trottier went through people more and to the net, more like a Messier in his overall strength and effort at taking the shortest route from point a to b. Forsberg like Stastny played the perimeter more often than Trottier, used his body well positionally often with his back to the net.

But let's not mince words: Trottier was STRONGER than Forsberg, is in the league of Messier, Hull, Howe in terms of all-time physical strength on the puck. Forsberg is not complimented by the comparison.

Trottier vs. Messier is more apt: http://hfboards.ca/showthread.php?t=120678

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07-24-2010, 08:26 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Perimeter Game

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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Forsberg protected the puck as well as anyone, a real rock on skates in absorbing hits and carrying play across the blueline; Trottier went through people more and to the net, more like a Messier in his overall strength and effort at taking the shortest route from point a to b. Forsberg like Stastny played the perimeter more often than Trottier, used his body well positionally often with his back to the net.

But let's not mince words: Trottier was STRONGER than Forsberg, is in the league of Messier, Hull, Howe in terms of all-time physical strength on the puck. Forsberg is not complimented by the comparison.

Trottier vs. Messier is more apt: http://hfboards.ca/showthread.php?t=120678
Couldn't agree with you more about the perimeter game that Forsberg favoured. At the same time his familiarity and preference for the perimeter game gave him a net advantage defensively during his era but not in comparison to Trottier.

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07-24-2010, 09:29 PM
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The one is just as close to me as Sakic/Yzerman.

So many comparables.

I'm going to have to say Trottier just because he had a much better peak than Forsberg in part due to the fact that he wasn't on the sidelines 1/2 the time with injury. But that counts!

And even though his skills dropped off remarkably quickly as he got older he was still able to contribute to 2 more cups wins as a role player and mentor to the Pens.

I actually think it is rare that a guy of his stature can check the ego at the door and be a plugger. Although I understand he needed the money too didn't he??

In any case this is a tough one but I'm going with Trots.

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07-24-2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post

Are their careers era specific or interchangeable?
If the question is "careers," then Trottier has the huge advantage of being able to string more elite seasons in his prime, and then being able to transform his game into being a very useful role player late in his career.

If it's "who was better in his best season?" it's awfully close.

I would also give Trottier a playoff advantage. 4 straight 20 point seasons in the playoffs. Yes, it was a dynasty and Bossy did it also. But that's incredible. Forsberg was way behind Sakic in 1996 and obviously didn't play the last 2 rounds in 2001.

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07-25-2010, 12:32 AM
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Big Phil
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Nobody else here needed less than a second to pick Trottier? I didn't need more than that. The guy was clearly the superior player to Forsberg peak or career IMO. No GM would ever pass up Trotts if both players were on the table for the taking.

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07-25-2010, 09:07 AM
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tony d
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Close for me but I went with Trottier.

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07-25-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Nobody else here needed less than a second to pick Trottier? I didn't need more than that. The guy was clearly the superior player to Forsberg peak or career IMO. No GM would ever pass up Trotts if both players were on the table for the taking.
Yep, Trottier and it took me about .34 seconds

He was so strong for his size and used to deliver punishing hits.
He was no boy scout either, not someone you wanted to piss off.

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07-25-2010, 02:42 PM
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Just curious .. if we are all picking Trots then how does Forsberg get so drastically overrated on these boards?

Adjusted numbers fantasy hockey?

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07-25-2010, 03:41 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Just curious .. if we are all picking Trots then how does Forsberg get so drastically overrated on these boards?

Adjusted numbers fantasy hockey?
I don't think Forsberg is overrated on this section of the boards. On the unfinished top 100 list, Trottier ranks 26th while Forsberg is 65th I believe. It's likely the main board/polls section where pretty much any modern player is drastically overrated. I think most of the regulars in here pretty much ignore that section altogether.

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07-25-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I don't think Forsberg is overrated on this section of the boards. On the unfinished top 100 list, Trottier ranks 26th while Forsberg is 65th I believe. It's likely the main board/polls section where pretty much any modern player is drastically overrated. I think most of the regulars in here pretty much ignore that section altogether.
Yeah, the Top 100 list has the two men about where they should be ranked IMO.

Main board overrating of Forsberg for a few reasons IMO:

1) modern player bias (you covered this)
2) the amazing highlight reels! Forsberg is one of the flashiest players on youtube. Bure also gets overrated for this reason.
3) the "what-if" factor. What if he wasn't injured? Lindros and Bure also get overrated for this reason
4) there will always be homer fans of every team and nation, and Forsberg is the player of choice for a couple of Swedish homers

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07-25-2010, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Just curious .. if we are all picking Trots then how does Forsberg get so drastically overrated on these boards?

Adjusted numbers fantasy hockey?
I personally am a huge admirer of Peter Forsberg, and I certainly do not fit the profile of the typical main board poster.

Among his peer group (circa early 90s through mid part of this most recent decade), I consider him without question at/near the top of the most skilled forwards.

What made Trottier and Forsberg so unique was the combination of elite offensive skills + the ability and desire to physically punish you. Not occasionally. Every shift. You simply do not see that among top six forwards, typically, certainly not centers. And, as someone else alluded to, both were silent assasins on the ice. Cliche perhaps, but they - like Messier - enjoyed going around you....or right through you.

It is why, IMO, Trottier's production tailed off measurably after a great decade long run. The body wears down from all the punishment. And clearly, it attributed to Forberg's shortened career. But when they were on the ice, magic.

Look, both of these guys are top 100 players of all-time. That's pretty damn impressive. And if Forsberg slots in around 65th or whatever, that's a player worthy of a lot of praise.

Just my opinion.

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07-25-2010, 08:43 PM
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Big Phil
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Forsberg fits the profile of a guy who I always felt should have shot the puck more. If I can knock on thing on him it would be just that. Kind of what we thought of Crosby prior to last year in a way. The only thing is Crosby is better than Forsberg ever was and managed to alter his game to be the best in the NHL in goals. That's something you wish we could have seen from Forsberg because his goals per game ratio in the playoffs was much better than in the regular season.

That's another knock we do NOT have on Trottier a former 50 goal man and owner of 500 career goals.

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07-25-2010, 08:49 PM
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Love watching him bulldoze people.

He wasn't even overly large really but a decent size for his era and still he just is so strong on his skates it is unreal.

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07-25-2010, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Forsberg fits the profile of a guy who I always felt should have shot the puck more. If I can knock on thing on him it would be just that. Kind of what we thought of Crosby prior to last year in a way. The only thing is Crosby is better than Forsberg ever was and managed to alter his game to be the best in the NHL in goals. That's something you wish we could have seen from Forsberg because his goals per game ratio in the playoffs was much better than in the regular season.

That's another knock we do NOT have on Trottier a former 50 goal man and owner of 500 career goals.
Well Crosby already is a legend, he's finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th in scoring. Has had multiple playoff runs now and a hart trophy. All he has to do is pad his resume and he should have no problem making the top 20 all time. I would be shocked if he doesn't surpass someone like yzerman or schmidt.

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07-25-2010, 09:46 PM
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Flip a coin, this is like an Yzerman/Sakic deal for me. Watching Forsberg at his best in the late 90s/early 00s, he looked to me to be about as impactful as Trottier was, they were both so skilled and so forceful. I'll give it to Trottier because he was sturdier.

Though it would been interesting if Forsberg had a rough Bossy equivalent on his wing every year... Teemu Selanne or someone... I hope Milan Hejduk remembers to send a Christmas card to Mr. Forsberg every year thanking him for his Richard...

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07-25-2010, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by revolverjgw View Post
Flip a coin, this is like an Yzerman/Sakic deal for me. Watching Forsberg at his best in the late 90s/early 00s, he looked to me to be about as impactful as Trottier was, they were both so skilled and so forceful. I'll give it to Trottier because he was sturdier.

Though it would been interesting if Forsberg had a rough Bossy equivalent on his wing every year... Teemu Selanne or someone... I hope Milan Hejduk remembers to send a Christmas card to Mr. Forsberg every year thanking him for his Richard...
He had help from Sakic. Not to take anything away from Forsberg, but Sakic drew a lot of attention on the other line as well. That's not a linemate per se (excet on the power play) but still.......

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07-25-2010, 09:57 PM
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Well Crosby already is a legend, he's finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th in scoring. Has had multiple playoff runs now and a hart trophy. All he has to do is pad his resume and he should have no problem making the top 20 all time. I would be shocked if he doesn't surpass someone like yzerman or schmidt.
So long as he stays healthy he'll be top 10. Might be on the outside of the "Big 4" in the spot reserved for Beliveau, Hull, Richard etc. That's honestly how good I think this kid will end up if healthy

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07-25-2010, 10:21 PM
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Trots and Clarke (toss up) are the two most complete forwards I have ever seen and both were superior to Forsberg.

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07-26-2010, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
I personally am a huge admirer of Peter Forsberg, and I certainly do not fit the profile of the typical main board poster.

Among his peer group (circa early 90s through mid part of this most recent decade), I consider him without question at/near the top of the most skilled forwards.

What made Trottier and Forsberg so unique was the combination of elite offensive skills + the ability and desire to physically punish you. Not occasionally. Every shift. You simply do not see that among top six forwards, typically, certainly not centers. And, as someone else alluded to, both were silent assasins on the ice. Cliche perhaps, but they - like Messier - enjoyed going around you....or right through you.

It is why, IMO, Trottier's production tailed off measurably after a great decade long run. The body wears down from all the punishment. And clearly, it attributed to Forberg's shortened career. But when they were on the ice, magic.

Look, both of these guys are top 100 players of all-time. That's pretty damn impressive. And if Forsberg slots in around 65th or whatever, that's a player worthy of a lot of praise.

Just my opinion.
I agree with you here and make one more point to The Devilmademe's 4 points and that is the point that for almost every player in the past there becomes an element of nostalgia and this "current guy can't compete with the memory syndrome" and it affects almost all of us to a lesser or greater degree.

I think that everyone has some internal bias towards certain types of players or just plain individual players.

For the record, although I love Forsberg and think that he would have ranked higher if he had not been so injury prone, the bottom line is that Tottier was better and for longer IMO.

On a side note the NYI sure were a better playoff team with Butch Goring than before him and Forsberg's reliance on Sakic is overstated by some here IMO.

Forsberg was considered the best player in the world at one point and as great as Sakic was I've never heard any argument that he at any point ever was.


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 07-27-2010 at 03:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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07-26-2010, 02:33 AM
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Trottier without a second and without doubt. Obvious reasons.

PS: One thing irritate me about Forsberg everytime - his peak was 30 goals.

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07-26-2010, 02:40 AM
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Its always refreshing reading these vs htreads on the history forum. As a swede I get pretty annoyed at all the vs threads on the main board featuring Sundin or Forsberg. Two of my heros but always pitted against the likes of Gretzky and Jagr. Its not fair and as Trottier says 65 on the all-time list is damn good. And why the discussions concerning Sakic and Forsberg? Sakic was better than Forsberg, just a different player. Both where franchise players but Sakic would be my choise any day of the week. Except if I were selling tickets

There are a couple of players I wished were healthy during their carrers but thats life. Btw, what do you think about the Lidström is better then Orr threads? Damn I hate them. Those threads diminish the legacy of Lidström and sometime I think its some kind of conspiracy

/Cheers

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07-26-2010, 02:44 AM
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Trottier without a second and without doubt. Obvious reasons.

PS: One thing irritate me about Forsberg everytime - his peak was 30 goals.
5 times after that 30 goal year, he was at the same pace, or better, but didn't get there because of injuries. And because 2 guys were constantly waterskiing on his back at any given time.

I think Forsberg recognized that to make the most of his skillset in the trap/deadpuck era, he had to play a certain style, not necessarily the only style he COULD play, because they weren't gonna let go of him. Carrying the puck and dishing it off was the best tactic for him, but he could have scored more if it was more viable, but he knew what worked best against those defenses. Also, his GPG increased significantly in the playoffs, which is pretty rare for a guy who played so many playoff games.

It's like with Jagr, who was another guy that protected the puck like his life depended on it and racked up assists... he put up the second best goal total of his career after the lockout at 33. He suddenly had more room and he took a TON more shots. It was just more viable. Forsberg could have scored well over 30 goals in the right environment, but by that time he was pretty beaten down.

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07-26-2010, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by revolverjgw View Post
5 times after that 30 goal year, he was at the same pace, or better, but didn't get there because of injuries. And because 2 guys were constantly waterskiing on his back at any given time.

I think Forsberg recognized that to make the most of his skillset in the trap/deadpuck era, he had to play a certain style, not necessarily the only style he COULD play, because they weren't gonna let go of him. Carrying the puck and dishing it off was the best tactic for him, but he could have scored more if it was more viable. His GPG increased significantly in the playoffs, which is pretty rare for a guy who played so many playoff games.

It's like with Jagr, who was another guy that protected the puck like his life depended on it and racked up assists... he put up the second best goal total of his career after the lockout at 33. He suddenly had more room and he took a TON more shots. It was just more viable. Forsberg could have scored well over 30 goals in the right environment, but by that time he was pretty beaten down.
And that is the second thing which irritate me about Forsberg.
Whole "Forsberg thing" is always "what if" and "could".
Trottier did those things.

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07-26-2010, 03:01 AM
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revolverjgw
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And that is the second thing which irritate me about Forsberg.
Whole "Forsberg thing" is always "what if" and "could".
Trottier did those things.
I'm not even talking about Trottier. I'm talking about the reasons Forsberg didn't score more than 30. He was a good goal scorer and showed it on the ice, even if he didn't hit some arbitrary statistic.

If you want to bring Trottier into it, Forsberg's playoff GPG is quite easily better than Trottier's with the Isles (I'll ignore his Pens stint, this puts them on even footing, age and GP wise), so that's a good indication of what Forsberg could score like. It's a BIG sample size, and he actually scored those goals. There's no what-ifs, he scored the same amount as Trottier, in much less games. Did it in an era where goals were harder to score, too.

You can keep mulling over the number "30" as if it really matters, but Forsberg showed how ultra-clutch he was and just how good his goal scoring was when it counted most.


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