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Best Playmaker Wingers of All Time

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Old
12-01-2010, 02:14 AM
  #1
Hawkey Town 18
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Best Playmaker Wingers of All Time

We have seen several threads about the best playmakers of all time with lists dominated by Centers (and rightfully so). I am wondering who the best playmakers of all time are among wingers only. I would love to hear your Top 10, 15, or 20.

Is there any serious contention to not have Howe #1? (MAYBE Jagr?)

Do players that were known for being great goal scorers, but were also great/good playmakers make your lists, like Bobby Hull, Bossy or Kurri?

Where do the great Soviets like Kharlamov, Firsov, and Makarov rank?

Here are some additional names in random order to get your minds going...
Lafleur, Olmstead, Recchi, Selanne, Bathgate, Lindsay, Gilbert, Dickie Moore, Bobby Rousseau, Doug Bentley, Cy Denneny, Aurele Joliat, Toe Blake

I'm sure I missed some, but there's a start. Look forward to seeing some lists.

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Old
12-01-2010, 02:42 AM
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Rhiessan71
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Jagr
Kariya
Dionne

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Old
12-01-2010, 02:48 AM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Jagr
Kariya
Dionne
Marcel Dionne was a Center

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Old
12-01-2010, 02:53 AM
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Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Marcel Dionne was a Center
Fair enough, I guess he did play more center than wing.

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:08 AM
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Martin St. Louis is a playmaking winger.

He's nowhere near an alltime list but Ryan Clowe gets a lot of assists for a winger.

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12-01-2010, 03:17 AM
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When I saw the thread, I immediately though Jagr, though I suppose Howe would probably be the one. I'd guess Lafleur would be on the tier down, probably Olmstead as well.

For some recent guys, Alfredsson and St. Louis have been pretty good, and Patrick Kane really impresses me, and might be up there by the end of his career.

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:46 AM
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Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cognition View Post
Martin St. Louis is a playmaking winger.

He's nowhere near an alltime list but Ryan Clowe gets a lot of assists for a winger.
I thought about mentioning St. Louis. I don't think he's quite there yet, but definitely could be by the end of his career.

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Old
12-01-2010, 07:06 AM
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Andy Bathgate ?

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Old
12-01-2010, 07:12 AM
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AfroThunder396
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Patrik Elias deserves an honorable mention.

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Old
12-01-2010, 08:08 AM
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BraveCanadian
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Lafleur, Bossy, Jagr and St. Louis are all very good choices.

I also think as a LW Vinny Damphousse was a pretty good playmaker too.

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Old
12-01-2010, 08:27 AM
  #11
Vector
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I also think as a LW Vinny Damphousse was a pretty good playmaker too.
That make sense considering he was usually a playmaking centre.

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Old
12-01-2010, 09:30 AM
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That make sense considering he was usually a playmaking centre.
Yeah it does make sense considering for several seasons and, in his best playmaking season, he was a left winger.

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Old
12-01-2010, 09:31 AM
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brianscot
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He played forever, but John Bucyk did end up with over 800 assists while playing the bulk of his early career on less than stellar teams.

The first name that went poof when I read this, however, was Lafleur.

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Old
12-01-2010, 09:38 AM
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lextune
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1. Howe
2. Lafleur
3. Jagr

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Old
12-01-2010, 09:54 AM
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http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...y.cgi?id=4dxfr
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...y.cgi?id=M156U

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Old
12-01-2010, 10:04 AM
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Loto68
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Obviously everyone here knows, but Messier stopped being a LW very early in his career, yet those lists make it appear he was a LW his whole career.

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Old
12-01-2010, 11:12 AM
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Merya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Here are some additional names in random order to get your minds going...
Selanne.
Not a top playmaker, just slightly above average (altho gotten better with age).
Sure his presence in the ice made more room to others, but he wasn't ever a setup winger.

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Old
12-01-2010, 12:57 PM
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seventieslord
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Using really simple numbers from my "consistency in playmaking" studies of 1-2 years ago, these are the wingers who have shown up in the assists leaderboards the highest and most frequently:

Gordie Howe
Andy Bathgate
Jaromir Jagr
Johnny Bucyk
Ted Lindsay
Doug Bentley
Hooley Smith
Bobby Hull
Guy Lafleur
Bert Olmstead
Toe Blake
Eddie Oatman
Reg Noble
Bill Cook
Aurel Joliat
Rod Gilbert
Maurice Richard
Bernie Morris
Cy Denneny
Syd Howe
Smokey Harris
Dickie Moore
Mark Recchi
Jack Walker
Bernie Geoffrion
Bill Mosienko
Bun Cook
Frank Mahovlich
George Hay
Bobby Rousseau
Jari Kurri
Harry Oliver
Paul Thompson

a few notes:

- This was put together just by adding top-20, top-15, top-10, top-5, and top-2 seasons together, meaning a top-2 season was like 5 points, top-5 was 2 points, and so on.

- This accounts only for raw rankings, not percentages of the leader, which tells the story much better. It makes no adjustment for league size.

- Intuitively, it seems to over-credit pre-merger players even though it treats the PCHA/WCHL/NHA/NHL as one league in any given season.

- This doesn't account for war years so you see guys like Bill Mosienko ranked pretty high. it also makes no accomodation for linemates, so Bun Cook, clearly the 3rd-best member of his line for his whole career, makes the list. Johnny Bucyk, Ted Lindasy, Bert Olmstead, Jari Kurri, and especially Jack Walker benefit from this as well.

- This doesn't account for specialization either. In a smaller league the best goalscorers would almost always have the most assists, and vice-versa. It didn't necessarily mean they were the best playmakers. So this explains the higher rankings of guys like Cy Denneny, Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull, Bill Cook, and Bernie Geoffrion. The others I would say were legitimately playmakers, or at least balanced offensively.

- Doug Bentley, Hooley Smith, Eddie Oatman, Reg Noble, Bernie Morris, and Syd Howe may have done some of this playmaking from center.

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Old
12-01-2010, 02:54 PM
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jkrx
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and again people confuse assists with actual playmaking. Seventies list is good one though and pretty much sums the best ones up.

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:05 PM
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WilliamRanford
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The way I'd look at this one is who had the largest ratio of assists to goals. I'm taking the top 300 wingers in assists (roughly anyone with more than 200 career assists), and sorting them by Assists / Goals. The top 50 wingers by this metric are:

Rank Player A/G A
1 Ales Hemsky 2.5 262
2 Bert Olmstead* 2.3 421
3 Dennis Hextall 2.3 350
4 Andre Boudrias 2.3 340
5 Alex Tanguay 2.1 429
6 Chico Maki 2.0 292
7 Frank St. Marseille 2.0 285
8 Pat Flatley 2.0 340
9 Niklas Sundstrom 2.0 232
10 Terry O'Reilly 2.0 402
11 Kelly Buchberger 1.9 204
12 Mike Johnson 1.9 246
13 Bobby Rousseau 1.9 458
14 Sergei Makarov 1.9 250
15 Martin Erat 1.9 233
16 Doug Mohns 1.9 462
17 Wayne Cashman 1.9 516
18 Murray Craven 1.9 493
19 Tim Ecclestone 1.8 233
20 Phil Watson 1.8 265
21 Bengt-Ake Gustafsson 1.8 359
22 David Vyborny 1.8 204
23 Mike Keane 1.8 302
24 Andy Bathgate* 1.8 624
25 Ian Laperriere 1.8 215
26 Andrew Brunette 1.8 429
27 Aaron Broten 1.8 329
28 Mark Messier* 1.7 1193
29 Ray Whitney 1.7 558
30 Dallas Drake 1.7 300
31 Kirk Muller 1.7 602
32 Tommy Williams 1.7 269
33 Craig Ramsay 1.7 420
34 Jamie Langenbrunner 1.7 384
35 Mark Recchi 1.6 933
36 Daniel Alfredsson 1.6 627
37 Don Maloney 1.6 350
38 Jim Peplinski 1.6 263
39 Scott Walker 1.6 246
40 Bill Fairbairn 1.6 261
41 Daniel Sedin 1.6 353
42 Dave Barr 1.6 204
43 Cory Stillman 1.6 427
44 Esa Tikkanen 1.6 386
45 Justin Williams 1.6 227
46 Jim Fox 1.6 293
47 John Tonelli 1.6 511
48 Stan Smyl 1.6 411
49 Steve Sullivan 1.6 411
50 Martin St. Louis 1.6 433


Last edited by WilliamRanford: 12-01-2010 at 03:12 PM.
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Old
12-01-2010, 03:28 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lextune View Post
1. Howe
2. Lafleur
3. Jagr
Pretty much what I thought of too. Lafleur and especially Jagr were better playmakers for sure than goal scorers despite being great goal scorers. Howe is there by default, there is no way you could keep him off a list like this.

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:33 PM
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WilliamRanford
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Pretty much what I thought of too. Lafleur and especially Jagr were better playmakers for sure than goal scorers despite being great goal scorers. Howe is there by default, there is no way you could keep him off a list like this.
Not that I'm implying something, but Howe's assists-to-goals was 1.3, 128th overall, Lafleur was 93rd overall at 1.4, Jagr was 76th overall at 1.5...

So they were obviously strong goal scorers as well as playmakers, as those are pretty even measures

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:54 PM
  #23
Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamRanford View Post
Not that I'm implying something, but Howe's assists-to-goals was 1.3, 128th overall, Lafleur was 93rd overall at 1.4, Jagr was 76th overall at 1.5...

So they were obviously strong goal scorers as well as playmakers, as those are pretty even measures
I do not like using this ratio. Why should it count against someone if they are good at playmaking AND goal scoring?

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:59 PM
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WilliamRanford
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
I do not like using this ratio. Why should it count against someone if they are good at playmaking AND goal scoring?
Like I prequalified, I'm not implying anything with its use. It just shows players who were primarily playmakers, and not goal scorers, not who the best playmakers were.

But, if someone like Rick Nash goes 40-25-65, people will identify him as a goal scorer, while someone who goes 20-50-70 (a la Hemsky) should rightly be identified as a playmaker, in someone who creates offense for others more than themselves.

Therefore, there's a distinction in my mind between a playmaker, and a player with good playmaking ability.

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Old
12-01-2010, 03:59 PM
  #25
Regal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamRanford View Post
Not that I'm implying something, but Howe's assists-to-goals was 1.3, 128th overall, Lafleur was 93rd overall at 1.4, Jagr was 76th overall at 1.5...

So they were obviously strong goal scorers as well as playmakers, as those are pretty even measures
I'm not sure ratio of assists to goals really tells us anything, other than who are and who aren't the more balanced offensive players. Howe, Lafleur and Jagr were all better playmakers than Hemsky, who tops the list of assists to goals ratio, and much better goalscorers.


Edit: I was late. I suppose if it's the idea of describing someone's game it may be more useful. Perhaps Hemsky is one to think pass more often then any of the other three. To some degree this eliminates goalscorers who may be decent playmakers as well, who get a lot of assists mainly for being the main offensive catalysts of their teams. However there's a lot that goes into point totals as well, for instance, Wayne Cashman was on the list, but how many of his assists were from digging the puck out of the corners, and then just getting it to the more talented players on his team.


Last edited by Regal: 12-01-2010 at 04:08 PM.
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