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MLD 2011 Draft Thread I

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Old
07-12-2011, 10:05 PM
  #226
Dreakmur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
How much more impressive is it for Harvey to score 50, or for Gadsby to score 46, or for Pilote to score 45, compared to Lidstrom scoring 70?
I was talking about Red Kelly.....

In order to see which one is more impressive, you'd have to look at league-wide scoring rates, then calculate what percentage the defensemen accumulated, then compare the players from each era. Even then you'd run into problems like the 2000s having 10 times as many defensemen, so the points per player would be reduced. That's something for you to do..... I look forward to reading the results.

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07-12-2011, 10:11 PM
  #227
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Campbell's scoring finishes: 3rd, 10th, 18th, 21st. When he was 21st, he had something like 8 points less than 2nd among defensemen. When Morrison was 7th (his best ever finish), how far behind second place was he?
I'll be the first guy to say Campbell's best 3 seasons are better than Morrison's best 3. When you get into 4th, 5th, 6th, etc, Morrison just overwhelms Campbell's short career.

Even if you value peak, there's better than Campbell out there....

Quote:
The depth of competition is a hell of a lot better now, considering only 6-12 defensemen even saw a regular shift on the powerplay when Morrison played.
In theory, it is better now.... but you should actually compare the names.

Red Kelly, Doug Harvey, Bill Gadsby, Pierre Pilote, Bill Quackenbush, Tom Johnson, Allen Stanley, Marcel Pronovost, Tim Horton, Jean-Guy Talbot, Harry Howell, Carl Brewer, Moose Vasko, Jimmy Thomson, Fern Flaman, Dolard St. Laurent... etc, etc...

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Old
07-12-2011, 10:11 PM
  #228
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The Pittsburgh Hornets select Sergei Shepelev, F



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Shepelev stole all the headlines in the final game showdown of the 1981 Canada Cup. The world was watching Canada's 21 year old superstar Wayne Gretzky on a line with Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne, and the newly formed Russian top line of Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larionov and Sergei Makarov. But it was the anonymous Shepelev who was the game's hero, scoring three goals en route to Russia's humiliating 8-1 defeat of Team Canada.

It was Shepelev's second hat trick of the tournament. He also scored three times against Czechoslovakia, giving him a team best six tallies for the tourney. Only Canada's Mike Bossy had more.

The 26 year old Shepelev seemingly had come out of nowhere. As a younger player he was a winger with Avtomobilist Sverdlovsk who was criticized by the Russian hockey theorists who felt Shepelev was too aggressive and "too arrogant."

In 1980 he had joined Spartak Moscow where famed coach Boris Kulagin almost immediately turned him into a center. It was a seemingly odd move, given that Shepelev's lack of training as a center often troubled his defensive game and his passing, two must-have traits of centers in the Soviet system. Shepelev was a winger at heart, wanting to rush the puck and cheat offensively looking for quick breaks instead of playing high and springing the wingers.

Despite the unlikeliness of success, Kulagin captured lightning in a bottle. For a couple of years in the early 1980s Shepelev's line with Sergei Kapustin and Viktor Shalimov was as good as any line in the world. In the 1981 Canada Cup that line with unmatchable speed out-performed the KLM Line, the Gretzky-Lafleur-Dionne line and the Trottier-Bossy-Gillies line.

He was an important member of the Soviets 1981, 1982, and 1983 gold medal teams at the world championships.

Shepelev's last year with the national team was 1984, without Kapustin and Shalimov. He participated with the 1984 gold medal winning team at the Sarajevo Olympics. His last appearance with the national team came back at the Canada Cup.

All told Sergei Shepelev played in 46 games with the Soviet national team at the Olympics, Worlds and Canada Cup. He scored 22 goals and 38 points.
Career Stats by Sergey Shepelev GP G
Team USSR international 103 42
USSR/Russian Elite League 453 189

http://internationalhockeylegends.bl...-shepelev.html
http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=s016


Last edited by Selfish Man: 07-12-2011 at 10:42 PM.
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Old
07-12-2011, 10:18 PM
  #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
I'll be the first guy to say Campbell's best 3 seasons are better than Morrison's best 3. When you get into 4th, 5th, 6th, etc, Morrison just overwhelms Campbell's short career.

Even if you value peak, there's better than Campbell out there....
I'd say the aggregate of Campbell's best 6 year stretch is almost certainly better than Morrison's best 6 year stretch.

As for "better than Campbell out there," it's possible, I'll be interested to see who.

Better not be some early era guy with multiple "top 10 finishes among defensemen" of like 5 points.

Quote:
In theory, it is better now.... but you should actually compare the names.

Red Kelly, Doug Harvey, Bill Gadsby, Pierre Pilote, Bill Quackenbush, Tom Johnson, Allen Stanley, Marcel Pronovost, Tim Horton, Jean-Guy Talbot, Harry Howell, Carl Brewer, Moose Vasko, Jimmy Thomson, Fern Flaman, Dolard St. Laurent... etc, etc...
The first 4 are the only all-time great offensive guys, Morrison barely played against Pilote, and for the majority of his career Kelly was a forward. He did compete directly against prime Harvey and Gadsby and some Kelly. The rest range from very good offensively to pretty good, nothing special. It's their overall game that makes them look so good, but that's irrelevant here.

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07-12-2011, 10:26 PM
  #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Campbell's scoring finishes: 3rd, 10th, 18th, 21st. When he was 21st, he had something like 8 points less than 2nd among defensemen. When Morrison was 7th (his best ever finish), how far behind second place was he?
21.. which was more points than he even had.

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The depth of competition is a hell of a lot better now, considering only 6-12 defensemen even saw a regular shift on the powerplay when Morrison played.
....but apparently that makes it easier on Campbell........ ???

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I would need a more nuanced view of the stats to decide who is better offensively here.
Agree. because with these two it's not as simple as the NHL years.

- Campbell has the four most impressive offensive seasons of the two players (2006-2009, and a couple of them are not even close)
- Campbell's fifth-best (2010, 38 points) is about as good as Morrison's three best, which are all in about the same league.
- Offensively, Campbell's other seasons are complete throwaways. As long as the same can be said for Morrison past his top-5 seasons, then this is a cakewalk victory. If you believe that at the MLD level, Morrison's AHL seasons should be also considered throwaways then that's probably it for this discussion. I don't, personally. Looking at his AHL seasons, his best two by far are when he scored 59 and 50 points. This was a case of being in the O6 era where only the best 30 "overall" defensemen made the NHL but there were others out there (like in the AHL) that could have made a dent in the defense scoring leaders. I'm not too concerned about all his seven 30-39-point seasons (although two of them were very impressive on a per-game basis) but those two should be considered decent padding for an offensive resume.

overall I think Campbell still takes it rather easily by having the four best seasons enjoyed by either player, but Morrison was a good point-producing defenseman for a long time.

Quote:
I was talking about Red Kelly.....
Kelly only really affects Morrison once, when he had 20 points in 1954. The other six times he had a point total worth mentioning, the leaders were Harvey (2X), Gadsby (3X) and Pilote (1X), and never did they have an incredibly dominant total.

The answer to my question, of course, is that both are about equally impressive as both were league-leading totals with similar gaps between them and "the pack". Therefore, comparing Campbell's and Morrison's totals to theirs, on a percentage basis, is quite valid.

Quote:
In order to see which one is more impressive, you'd have to look at league-wide scoring rates, then calculate what percentage the defensemen accumulated, then compare the players from each era. Even then you'd run into problems like the 2000s having 10 times as many defensemen, so the points per player would be reduced. That's something for you to do..... I look forward to reading the results.
You're overcomplicating it. The first two steps can be bypassed by simply looking at what the raw totals of the best scoring defensemen were. Which I did.

I mean, we could say "in 1955, defensemen accounted for 22% of scoring points but in 2010 they accounted for 29% of scoring points, so defensemen should be adjusted downwards 24% to account for the discrepancy, but that would affect Campbell as well as the league leaders he is being compared to. Think about it!

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07-12-2011, 10:28 PM
  #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
In theory, it is better now.... but you should actually compare the names.

Red Kelly, Doug Harvey, Bill Gadsby, Pierre Pilote, Bill Quackenbush, Tom Johnson, Allen Stanley, Marcel Pronovost, Tim Horton, Jean-Guy Talbot, Harry Howell, Carl Brewer, Moose Vasko, Jimmy Thomson, Fern Flaman, Dolard St. Laurent... etc, etc...
Yes, that is a great collection of overall defensemen.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Better not be some early era guy with multiple "top 10 finishes among defensemen" of like 5 points. .

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07-12-2011, 10:30 PM
  #232
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'd say the aggregate of Campbell's best 6 year stretch is almost certainly better than Morrison's best 6 year stretch.

As for "better than Campbell out there," it's possible, I'll be interested to see who.

Better not be some early era guy with multiple "top 10 finishes among defensemen" of like 5 points.
I'll PM him to you.

Quote:
The first 4 are the only all-time great offensive guys, Morrison barely played against Pilote, and for the majority of his career Kelly was a forward. He did compete directly against prime Harvey and Gadsby and some Kelly. The rest range from very good offensively to pretty good, nothing special. It's their overall game that makes them look so good, but that's irrelevant here.
Jim Morrison was a full-time NHLer from 1953 to 1960. He played about 1/2 the season in 1952 and 1961. He came back as a full-timer in 1970 and 1971, but he was past his prime. His peak was from 1954 to 1960.

Kelly was a defenseman for Morrison's whole peak.

He barely competed against Pilote.... just 5 of his 7 good seasons.....



I didn't say they were all Bobby Orrs. I said they were better than Campbell's competition.

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07-12-2011, 10:36 PM
  #233
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yes, that is a great collection of overall defensemen.
How many of them were not at least solid offensive producers?

Regardless, that top-4 or top-5 was basically impossible to crack. Being top-10 every season is damn impressive.... especially when you're playing for a coach who strangles the offense right out of his players.

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07-12-2011, 10:47 PM
  #234
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You're right about Kelly. Pilote though? Morrison played against Pilote, but Pilote didn't explode offensively until Morrison was almost out of the league.

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07-12-2011, 10:48 PM
  #235
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Sleepwatchers select C/LW, Don Smith.

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Old
07-12-2011, 10:48 PM
  #236
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
How many of them were not at least solid offensive producers?
I think they were probably all solid offensive producers. But then, so were Kaberle, McCabe, Green, Phaneuf, Niedermayer, Pronger, Gonchar, Boyle..... (insert 20 other names)... and Bouwmeester.

Quote:
Regardless, that top-4 or top-5 was basically impossible to crack. Being top-10 every season is damn impressive.... especially when you're playing for a coach who strangles the offense right out of his players.
I'm not going to go back and verify whether there were the exact same 5 names at the top all the time... I know that Talbot placed highly, just because he finally got some PP time (which, as many people would rather not acknowledge, has as much to do with a defenseman's point production as their actual talent level)

The 1980s class of offensive defensemen was probably the best ever. So that top-5 must have been impossible to crack, right? No. Carlyle, Van Boxmeer, Greschner, Hartsburg, Babych, Larson, Maxwell and Stevens are definitely not top-5 for the era, but they all made the top-5 at some point. You know why? Bigger league. Less continuity in the leaderboards at the top. The same principle that affects the overall points leaderboard.

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07-12-2011, 11:55 PM
  #237
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Warroad Lakers select C Patrice Bergeron

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07-13-2011, 12:05 AM
  #238
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Warroad Lakers select C Patrice Bergeron

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07-13-2011, 01:00 AM
  #239
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Warroad Lakers select C Patrice Bergeron
Never been an elite player at any stretch of his career, is injury prone and while he has intangibles..he doesn't belong in this draft.

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07-13-2011, 01:04 AM
  #240
seventieslord
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Never been an elite player at any stretch of his career, is injury prone and while he has intangibles..he doesn't belong in this draft.
You picked Dave Christian!!

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07-13-2011, 02:23 AM
  #241
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You picked Dave Christian!!
Your point? He actually has longevity and consistency.

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07-13-2011, 02:39 AM
  #242
Dreakmur
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Originally Posted by chaosrevolver View Post
Your point? He actually has longevity and consistency.
You criticized Bergeron for never being an elite player, which would apply to Christian too. Actually, Bergeron is probably better than Christian ever was.

Agreed that Cristian at least has a long and consistent career to back it up.

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07-13-2011, 03:22 AM
  #243
chaosrevolver
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You criticized Bergeron for never being an elite player, which would apply to Christian too. Actually, Bergeron is probably better than Christian ever was.

Agreed that Cristian at least has a long and consistent career to back it up.
Bergeron needs to actually play well for longer then three years to make him a more valuable MLD player then Christian. That is my argument. I also feel wingers are harder to come by then centers, and I was looking for a consistent winger that had speed and could score a bit. To me, after a search that took me a while..he was the guy I went with. I don't know everyone in this draft and there are likely better players but with no preparation, I stuck with a familiar player.

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07-13-2011, 04:03 AM
  #244
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Originally Posted by chaosrevolver View Post
Bergeron needs to actually play well for longer then three years to make him a more valuable MLD player then Christian. That is my argument. I also feel wingers are harder to come by then centers, and I was looking for a consistent winger that had speed and could score a bit. To me, after a search that took me a while..he was the guy I went with. I don't know everyone in this draft and there are likely better players but with no preparation, I stuck with a familiar player.
Oh, Christian is definately a better ATDer right now. You could have done better, but you could have done a lot worse too.... and people have done both already

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07-13-2011, 09:16 AM
  #245
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Thanks to Selfish Man for making my pick last night

I picked Frank "Buzz" Boll




- 133 Goals and 130 Assists for 263 Points in 437 Games
- Played in 1934 All Star Game

For more on boll click the following link:

http://www.legendsofhockey.net/Legen...p?player=12036

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07-13-2011, 09:24 AM
  #246
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Detroit Red Wings selects:

Sergei Babinov, D

Edit: Do I need to send someone a PM?

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07-13-2011, 09:55 AM
  #247
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosrevolver View Post
Your point? He actually has longevity and consistency.
Dreakmur got the point and summed it up quite well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosrevolver View Post
Bergeron needs to actually play well for longer then three years to make him a more valuable MLD player then Christian. That is my argument. I also feel wingers are harder to come by then centers, and I was looking for a consistent winger that had speed and could score a bit. To me, after a search that took me a while..he was the guy I went with. I don't know everyone in this draft and there are likely better players but with no preparation, I stuck with a familiar player.
No, he's not a better all-time player or a more valuable MLDer than Christian right now. Dreakmur is right, though, when he says that he's better than Christian ever was. He has about the same offensive output while being considerably better defensively.

- Christian's best offensive "percentage" seasons: 68 68 59 55 55 54. Bergeron: 61 59 58.
- Bergeron: 47 points in 65 playoff games, Christian: 57 in 102 in a much higher-scoring era
- The kicker, though, is that even if you think Bergeron's defense outweighs the longevity edge (basically that Christian has three more decent offensive seasons), the fact remains that what he's accomplished so far is not nearly as "rare" among available centers as Christian's accomplishments are among available wingers.

The only thing that compelled me to reply was saying Bergeron was never elite. Christian was never close to elite, and Bergeron has already peaked higher in the regular season and playoffs.

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07-13-2011, 10:00 AM
  #248
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Never been an elite player at any stretch of his career, is injury prone and while he has intangibles..he doesn't belong in this draft.
I had a feeling there'd be a reaction like this. Will agree with you, he's never been an elite player, but I wouldn't necessarily agree that he's injury prone. He had two nasty concussions but aside from one season where he missed the majority of the season he has 81, 77, 64 (other concussion), 73, and 80 games over his other 5 seasons. That's not exactly Steve Larmer type durability but it's hardly an indictment of the guys injury proneness.

His two-way game is the biggest reason I drafted him, and over the last couple years he's quietly become one of the best two-way forwards in the game. He finished 4th in Selke voting this year ahead of some who were taken in the ATD for their two-way play such as Richards and Jordan Staal. The year before he finished 5th and was selected to the Gold Medal winning Team Canada to mostly be a defensive specialist.

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07-13-2011, 10:01 AM
  #249
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Velociraptor View Post
Well we weren't notified, so we should get some time on the clock.
Not to sound ruthless, but no, that's not how it works. If your turn looks like it's going to come up, you leave a list, and if you don't, you don't get to complain about being skipped overnight

the good news is that getting skipped overnight rarely has any negative consequences. Hell, getting skipped at all in the MLD rarely does.

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Edit: Do I need to send someone a PM?
nope, since you were skipped.

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07-13-2011, 10:08 AM
  #250
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C/LW Robbie Ftorek



1x WHA MVP(1976-77)
2x WHA 1st-Team All Star
2x WHA 2nd-Team All Star
4x Top 7 Points WHA(2, 4, 5, 7)
3x Top 8 Goals WHA(3, 7, 8)
3x Top 5 Assists WHA(1, 4, 5)
5th all-time PPG in WHA
3rd all-time APG in WHA
6th all-time GPG in WHA
US Hockey Hall of Fame Member

Quote:
Magical is a good word to describe the highly skilled Ftorek. With his hockey stick as his wand, Ftorek carved out a reputation as an electrifying skater, a wonderful puck carrier, and an absolute wizard of a playmaker. He could also almost score at will, although he loved to set up a teammate for a picture-perfect goal even more so.

Ftorek went on to play hockey at higher levels once he graduated from high school. He spent a year playing Canadian junior hockey in Halifax, he joining the US national team. With the Nats Ftorek competed in the World Championships where he was an All Star scoring 7 goals and 10 points in 6 games. More importantly, Ftorek also got a chance to play with the 1972 US Olympic team. He chipped in 2 assists in 6 games, helping the Americans win a silver medal in Sapporo, Japan.

After the Olympics, he signed with the Detroit organization and played for Virginia of the AHL. He played two strong seasons with the Va. Wings, averaging a point a game. He also got a couple of brief callups to the NHL. He played in 15 NHL games over those two seasons, and scored 2 goals and 5 assists.

He jumped to the Phoenix Roadrunners of the fledgling World Hockey Association in 1974. It was a great career move for Ftorek. He had no idea just how much success he'd achieve with the upstart league, but he got a big pay raise from his minor league salary and got to play with some much more talented players.

Robbie achieved some dizzying numbers in the WHA. In total he scored 216 goals and 307 assists for 523 points in just 373 games. He spent the first three years in the WHA with the Roadrunners, scoring 68, 113 and a career-high 117 points respectively. The Roadrunners folded in 1976 and Ftorek move on to Cincinnati where he continued to light up the scoreboard. In 1977-78 he scored a career high 59 goals along with 50 assists for 109 points. He followed that up with his best season in the WHA. He scored 116 points, just one shy of his personal best, but more importantly was named the league MVP.

In 1979, the NHL absorbed the WHA, and Ftorek became a Quebec Nordique. He played two years in Quebec City, serving as team captain. However he never was able to come close to his dominating self in the NHL. He had one good NHL season, his second with the Nords when he scored 24 goals and 73 points, but otherwise was shutdown. He had some injury problems and was getting on in age by the time he finally stuck in the NHL, but it just goes to show you the difference in quality between the two leagues.

Robbie finished his playing career as a part time player with the New York Rangers, occasionally seeing time in the minor leagues. He finished his career with 77 goals, 150 assists and 227 points in 334 NHL games.

A great student of the game, Ftorek was a popular television commentator in his post-playing days. However he was better known as a coach in the minors and the NHL. He was the coach in Los Angeles when Wayne Gretzky first arrived. He later went on to coach the New Jersey Devils and, his career coming full circle, the Boston Bruins.
http://nyrangerslegends.blogspot.com...ie-ftorek.html

Quote:
Robbie Ftorek was a skilled forward who made his presence felt in the NHL, WHA, and internationally. Although he was only 155 lbs., the crafty forward was lightning quick and able to avoid many hits during his career. He entered the 2001-02 season as the new head coach of the Boston Bruins.

The native of Needham, Massachusetts, spent a year with the Halifax Junior Canadians of the Nova Scotia junior league before signing up with the U.S. national team. In 1972 he represented his country when they won a silver medal at the Sapporo Olympics. A few weeks later he competed at the World Championships "B" Pool and was selected to the tournament all-star team.

The talented forward was signed by the Detroit Red Wings and played a handful of games in 1972-73 and 1973-74. He spent most of his first two pro seasons with the AHL's Virginia Wings. Always a bit of a free spirit, Ftorek decided to pursue his pro dreams in the World Hockey Association. He was an offensive force for three years on the Phoenix Roadrunners then two seasons with the Cincinnati Stingers. Along the way Ftorek won the Gary Davidson trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1977 and was selected to the league's first and second all-star teams twice each. He also scored five points in five games for the USA at the inaugural Canada Cup in 1976.

Ftorek signed with the Quebec Nordiques as they were about to join the NHL in 1979-80. He was a solid offensive performer for two seasons in La Belle Province then suited up for the U.S. at the 1981 Canada Cup. After a slow start in 1980-81, Ftorek was traded to the New York Rangers and scored 32 points in 30 games then helped the Rangers reach the second round of the playoffs. The tricky forward was a major asset when the Blueshirts extended the Stanley Cup champion Islanders to six games in the quarterfinals. Ftorek remained a solid role player in New York until the end of the 1984-85 season.
http://www.legendsofhockey.net/Legen...p?player=12658

Quote:
Ftorek A Diamond In The Rough

He may have only been 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, but Robbie Ftorek was one of the hardest working players in the game. And what he lacked in size he made up for with his feisty playing style and fierce competitive nature.

Discovered during an Olympic tryout, Ftorek began his career playing for Team USA at the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan where he helped win the silver medal, the first medal of any kind a U.S. hockey team had won in 12 years.

Four years later, he joined Rick Chartraw and company on Team USA’s inaugural Canada Cup roster, where he led the team with five points.
http://www.usahockeymagazine.com/art...-robbie-ftorek

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From the days when he sneaked into the Boston Garden under his father's coat to the days when he filled that building as a 16-year-old high school player, from the Sapporo Olympics to the Detroit Red Wings and now, finally, to the Phoenix Roadrunners, he has always been known as Little Robbie Ftorek. They call him the " Bobby Clarke of the World Hockey Association," and he has scored more points (113) in a major league season than any other American-born player, but his biography starts with 5'9" and 160 pounds. Depending on what he ate last, Ftorek (pronounced Fatorek) claims he weighs somewhere between 148 and 152 pounds. Even at his heaviest, Ftorek still is the lightest player in big-league hockey.

"The first time I was on the ice as a pro, this 6'4", 225-pound guy named Rick Foley came charging at me from halfway across the rink, and I thought I was going to have a one-shift career," Ftorek says. "But I surprised myself. I got out of the way at the last second, and he ended up hurting himself. So here I am today." Here he is today, age 24, leader of the financially crippled Roadrunners, the MVP of Team USA in the recent Canada Cup series and a WHA All-Star. What seems to please Ftorek most, though, is the fact that he is one of only six players—Canadian, American, whatever—to amass 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in the same season.

So he went to Halifax, Nova Scotia and played junior hockey and later made the 1972 U.S. Olympic team. Detroit signed him after Sapporo, but with the exception of 15 games with the Red Wings, he spent the next two seasons playing for their Virginia farm club. Seeing Detroit as a dead end, Ftorek jumped to Phoenix and the WHA. "What no one ever measured in Ftorek," says the Phoenix coach, Al Rollins, "was what he does with quickness. And he probably has the most intense dedication of anybody in hockey today."

Ftorek has had 72 goals and 109 assists in his two Phoenix seasons, and now Rollins fully appreciates this kid who could qualify for a Boys' Life centerfold. "I'd better," says Rollins, "because he's my meal ticket." So, worried that Ftorek's 150 pounds will burn out by April, Rollins regularly bars him from off-day practices. "He's the first one on the ice every day—and the last to leave," says Rollins. "He thinks a practice should be approached like a playoff game."

Ftorek is an ascetic; he drinks nothing stronger than Coke—not even coffee—and he will not allow his wife to come to training camp. Last year John Gray, Ftorek's roommate, woke up at 3:30 a.m. and found Ftorek studiously working on a list of things he wanted to accomplish during that day's practice. Gray screamed that he had had enough, and when Ftorek returned from breakfast, his bags were in the hotel hallway.

Like Philadelphia's Clarke, Ftorek is a tireless forechecker at one end and back-checker at the other, one of those players who always appear to be chasing—or being chased by—the puck. A deft play-maker, he centers the "Lightning Line" for xxx and xxx, and last season they combined for 123 goals.

Ftorek is among the WHA's top 10 scorers this season, with 11 goals and five assists for 16 points, and he has the Roadrunners in second place in the Western Division. In a recent game against Bobby Hull's Winnipeg Jets, the defending WHA champion, he scored the winning goal in Phoenix' 4-3 victory as he beat Joe Daley with less than five minutes to play. Then Ftorek helped preserve the lead in the final minute with some superior penalty killing.

The little guy is the unquestioned leader of the Roadrunners. One time last season he was so upset by the home crowd's booing of a teammate that he invited himself onto the postgame radio show and defended his teammate. He also is the prosecuting attorney/judge of the club's kangaroo court. "See this?" Ftorek says, pulling out a little notebook. "All the fines. For anything—missing a bus, leaving stuff in the locker room for the trainer to pick up. We raise a lot of money." Instead of squandering the money for team parties, Ftorek sends flowers to fans' weddings or funerals. On one occasion he paid the team's laundry bill during a preseason tour of Finland. At Ftorek's prodding, the Phoenix players also have chipped in to buy season tickets that they donate to local charities. All this has helped keep the struggling Phoenix franchise financially afloat, but the club may soon wind up at Household Finance.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...1763/index.htm

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Ftorek quickly became the Roadrunners' biggest star and he made history in 1977 when he won the Gordie Howe Trophy as the league's most valuable player—the first American ice hockey player in major professional hockey to accomplish this feat. Ftorek confirmed his status as the most accomplished American player of the 1970s in the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup where he was elected MVP of Team USA and also was the US team's leading scorer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Ftorek

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The Birmingham Bulls were playing the Cincinnati Stingers, who had a great player, an American named Robbie Ftorek. This guy went on to play in the NHL, and coached for the New York Rangers; he's a Hall of Famer.
http://books.google.com/books?id=HDJ...ftorek&f=false

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He was skating around, this little guy with ragamuffin pants and hair sticking out of his helmet. He was a little bit of a loner. Very intense. A very, very intense kid. He was young at the time. Stubborn as hell, but he gave 100% all the time.

"I ended up playing with Robbie Ftorek," said xxx. "He was a marvelous hockey player."

Ftorek became one of the quiet leaders of the team through his pure joy in playing.

One of the things that separated Ftorek and his linemates-and made them valuable to an always-tinkering coach-was their ability to skate. The 3 forwards were interchangeable on the ice, crisscrossing, darting in and out while holding onto the puck-a distinctly different style of play than the "dump and chase" hockey they grew up playing. Ftorek and xxx especially thrived in this type of play during the pre-Olympic schedule.

As they got closer to the Olympic games, Coach Williamson asked Ftorek, xxx, and xxx to become the team's checking line, which meant they would play against the other team's top lines with the job of keeping them off the score sheet.

"He told us he wanted us to be a checking line and play against the best lines on the other teams. It was fun and a responsibility in which we took a lot of pride...Ftorek, xxx, and xxx went on to register 3 goals and 4 assists during the Olympic tournament while facing off against some of the greatest players of their time and in the tournament-including Russia's Kharlamov, Czechoslovakia's superstar Nedomansky, and Sweden's xxx.

Robbie Ftorek was probably the closest guy to a Russian that we've ever had because of his soccer ability with his feet. He was deceptively quick. He wasn't fast, but he really played with his head up all the time and had tremendous hand-eye coordination.
http://books.google.com/books?id=29E...ftorek&f=false

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"Ftorek and xxx are on my checking line. They always play the other teams' big line"
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+ftorek&hl=en

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Just 1:38 later, Ruotsalainen sneaked behind the Los Angeles defense, took a perfect pass from Robbie Ftorek, and beat xxx on a breakaway. "I was just hoping on Robbie's pass. It was perfect and dropped right to me. I just had to put my stick on the ice.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+ftorek&hl=en


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