The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

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The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby columbia on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:10 pm

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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:19 pm

Beliveau should be #2 without much doubt...even if you grant modern bias, it could only conceivably be gifted to Lidstrom...very odd that Yzerman would be ahead of him...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:25 pm

Without much thought:

1. Mario Lemieux
2. Jean Beliveau
3. Maurice Richard
4. Nicklas Lidstrom
5. Stan Mikita
6. Denis Potvin
7. Bobby Clarke
8. Martin Brodeur
9. Joe Sakic
10. Steve Yzerman

HM: Mike Bossy, Ken Dryden, Milt Schmidt (perhaps Cyclone Taylor if you just count his PCHA career, but it's very fair to call him playing in another top league (NHA) another team...I personally wouldn't include him on the list for that reason, but if you did, he'd probably knock Yzerman off - and push some others down)
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:26 pm

Dryden > Brodeur
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Godric on Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:45 pm

Where are Crosby and Malkin going to be on the list? :pop:
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby the errey i breathe on Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:19 pm

that video of the goal in the article vs. Quebec is hilarious for the 27 different times he was hooked/held/slashed down the ice.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:24 pm

Rylan wrote:Dryden > Brodeur


I'm not sure I see a case for this, personally. Of the "Big 7" goalies, I think Dryden deserves the #7 spot. Short career and, I hate to put too much stock in a single tournament, but his inability to adapt to the Soviet style of play in the 1972 Summit Series nearly made him the most hated man in Canada. I'm all ears though, as always...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:20 am

Just personal opinion. I know you are not as big a fan of his as I am.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:27 am

Which paints it in a negative light. I'm a fan of Dryden, but Brodeur is step up in my opinion...a step up and for a much longer time and performed on an international stage and revolutionized the position and had rules changed because of his unique abilities...

And that's to say nothing about the state of the League at the respective times in question...I don't know, Rylan, it's a steep hill...

I have Brodeur higher than most, granted, but Dryden being ahead of Brodeur creates kind of a strange list in my eyes (referring to all-time 'tenders, that is, not the thread's intended purpose)...

Needless to say, I'm taking the opportunity to try to push another history-related thread here...no obligation on anyone's part, but I'm always interested...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 am

It is genuinely a bias I have. I am not a big fan of Brodeur. He has longevity, which is a trait in itself, but I don't think he is the best or top 5 in my opinion. He is top 10, but I have Dryden ahead of him,

Hasek, Roy, Plante, Dryden(no particular order because I will go back and forth on who I love more between Roy and Hasek) and then you can start throwing Sawchuck, Hall, and Brodeur out there in the next 3 slots. After those 7, I think we begin to start seeing different responses as to the top 10.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:04 pm

Well, you've "correctly" identified the "big 7" that's a very good start - impressed. And yes, after those seven, it really starts to open up...I like to suggest Brimsek and Tretiak should be "on deck" after the big 7...

Personally, I have Brodeur up in Plante territory. Maybe something like: Hasek, Roy, Plante, Brodeur, Hall/Sawchuk, Sawchuk/Hall, Dryden.

In my recent research, I came away least impressed in Sawchuk out of the "big 7". Very strong five-year peak, but it's pretty wishy washy outside of that before he crumpled under the weight of his own demons...his 1952 season is one that is tough to match historically though, like I said, his peak blinding bright...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:21 pm

If we are talking worldwide and not just NHL, then yea Tretiak is definitely in the talks. Turk Broda and George Hainsworth are another pairing that I see thrown out there a good bit.

Dryden's run in 8 years is incredible. And the reason I do not penalize him in the GOAT discussions is akin to people not penalizing Bobby Orr for his short career. Different circumstances, but the point remains. What Dryden did in 8 years is greater than what many can accomplish in 20. Add in to my favorite part about him is that Dryden won a Conn Smythe before winning Rookie of the Year is just astounding. Dryden then went on to back stop one of the greatest dynasties in hockey history before retiring after the 78-79 championship. They didn't win another cup until they found another hot shot rookie which in my opinion has to to be considered. (Yes, Jacques Lemaire and Scotty Bowman both left, but that was still a talented hockey team, but Denis Herron is no Dryden)
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Broda I rate highly. The more I did research on Hainsworth, the more I found him to be overrated historically. He was not - contemporarily - considered to be a very important part to his teams. Perhaps it was style of play bias (very defensive teams) or style of goaltending bias (he was a no-flash, positional goalie) but he wasn't very highly regarded (relative to his numbers). He was likely better than the all-time GAA leader, Alec Connell, but Hainsworth was probably not better than Charlie Gardiner, Roy Worters or Tiny Thompson among Depression-era goaltenders.

Without a doubt, Dryden was incredible. That's why I rate him so high. And while Herron was no Dryden (interestingly, Herron was 25-3-3 I think in 1980), the Habs still did a fair job keeping the puck out of the net after he left, but just not to the same tune in the playoffs. I think from 1980-1983, the Habs gave up the fewest goals in the league over that stretch as well. The only time he wasn't behind the Canadiens, he was behind the Canadians, and he fumbled a bit in short order. It's not much, but it's part of a case that could be used to keep him out of Brodeur territory. And that's only for people that are "peak enthusiasts" - which I am to an extent. Brodeur did it for 20 years across eras...that matters to me big time too.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:15 pm

I mean really we are debating between 2 spots probably.

As I said, I go back and forth between Roy and Hasek being 1-2. Followed by Plante, Dryden, Brodeur, Hall, Sawchuck.

As for my Herron comparison was to show that even with very little turnover and above average net play, the Canadiens without Dryden were not successful until after they got themselves yet another franchise netminder. Was there a changing of the guard in the NHL? Perhaps. But the Canadiens would go on to not make it out of the preliminary rounds until 1984. That is big to me.

And another thing I want to mention is your using the 1972 Summit Series as a knock against Dryden. He was a young kid (Just finished his rookie year) and was playing against arguably one of the best professional teams at the time. He had 2 bad games, but for the 3rd game he started in Russia he played very well in a 3-2 victory. He would play in the 1979 Challenge Cup, played well in game 1. Game 2 was a stumble, but using 6 career international games as a knock is too small a sample size, with only 2 games occurring during a mature Dryden's career.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:23 pm

None of that (nor the stuff before it) is unfair in any respect. All I'm saying is that his iffy international record might open up a case for a lack of adaptability...maybe...maybe not, maybe it's not enough to say anything about. If I didn't bring up something, we'd just sit around agreeing with each other...that's not what the fans came here to see...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Rylan on Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:35 pm

1st team All-Star 5x
2nd team All-Star 1x
5x Vezina Award Winner
6x Stanley Cup Champion
1x Conn Smythe in 1971 (only player in NHL history to win Conn Smythe before being a rookie, much less ROY)
ROY in 1972

His 4 shutouts in 12 wins in the 76-77 playoffs is impressive. He only lost 89 times in his career (regular season and playoffs) and still almost ended up with more ties than that (74). Now those are team stats referencing one of the greatest teams in hockey history. But, as we have seen in Pittsburgh, and historically, a goalie is the linchpin of dynastic success and Dryden was successful.

And now I am tired of showing Dryden incessant love, why should Brodeur be rated above Dryden?
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Froggy on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:17 pm

I'm a glenn hall guy, myself.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:06 am

Rylan wrote:1st team All-Star 5x
2nd team All-Star 1x
5x Vezina Award Winner
6x Stanley Cup Champion
1x Conn Smythe in 1971 (only player in NHL history to win Conn Smythe before being a rookie, much less ROY)
ROY in 1972

His 4 shutouts in 12 wins in the 76-77 playoffs is impressive. He only lost 89 times in his career (regular season and playoffs) and still almost ended up with more ties than that (74). Now those are team stats referencing one of the greatest teams in hockey history. But, as we have seen in Pittsburgh, and historically, a goalie is the linchpin of dynastic success and Dryden was successful.

And now I am tired of showing Dryden incessant love, why should Brodeur be rated above Dryden?


Vezina (as voted by the GMs, sorted in descending): 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th (that's 13 top-5 finishes...Roy had 10, Hasek had 7 for comparison). Clearly demonstrated adaptability across multiple eras (started in the trailing days of firewagon hockey - grew up learning in a very open QMJHL league, through the C&G era, across the next lockout into whatever era we're in now. Not only adaptability, but dominance vs. his peers.

The dominance is brought to the forefront by the fact that he faced much stronger competition in his time/prime than Dryden did. In Brodeur's career he had to go against the #1 and #2 best goalies of all time for Vezina/AS shares (Hasek and Roy). Dryden had to go against no one of the sort...his strongest competition was a roughly top-15 guy in Tony O and a top-20 guy in Bernie Parent. And the only good playoff goalie (outside of himself) of the era (Parent), he never faced head to head because of a loss to Buffalo in '75 and because he didn't play in '74.

Dryden faced very little goalie competition and played on clearly the most dominant team of the era...a team that made the rules for the Expansion Draft and it showed. Not only did have to face little in the way of goalie competition, but he faced a weaker field in general due to the fact that over-zealous, over-expansion sapped the league (minus Boston and Montreal) of talented teams. Parity was off in the distance still when Dryden played. He got to face all those expansion teams with Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe in front of him...not to mention how much of the league's talent was diluted by the WHA...a league that existed almost exclusively during Dryden's career.

Brodeur had to face a fully-integrated league that had reached parity by and large. Brodeur had to face the best and second best forwards of all-time early in his career (Gretzky and Lemieux), plus probably the third and fifth best d-men of all-time (Bourque and Lidstrom), and two more top-25 players of all-time (Jagr and Messier). Dryden had to face Orr and then some fringe top-20 of all time players in Denis Potvin, Phil Esposito and Bobby Clarke. While having one himself in Guy Lafleur. He was insulated by a top-10 d-man ever in Larry Robinson (2nd best of the era) and two more top-30ish guys in Savard and Lapointe. Brodeur was defended by a top-20ish guy in Stevens, and a guy step below Savard and Lapointe in Niedermayer, whose game didn't really mature defensively until the turn of the century.

Brodeur was a 3x First-Teamer, 4x Second-Teamer while going against the two best goalies of all-time (only Glenn Hall has more combined All-Star team finishes than Brodeur's 7 (Hall 11)). Brodeur also has more top-5 Hart finishes than any goalie ever (7)...Hasek, Roy, Hall all have 5.

Brodeur's save pct. always looks very "average" relatively speaking which is a two-fold issue. One is home undercounting of shots. This is backed statistically and anecdotally. The Devils don't count shots in their home rink the same as most teams. It was a regular occurrence on Fox Sports NY for Doc to recite the shots at the end of the period in this fashion, "The shots after one are New Jersey 7, Toronto...2...? Well, it sure felt like more than that, didn't it? Anyway, back to Steve Cangliosi in the studio with first period highlights..."

Two, and in conjunction with that, you have to give up two. It's simple, but it's true. You have to give up two if you're a goalie. If you only gave up one, there'd be no discussion; if you gave up three, you wouldn't be in the discussion. Brodeur gave up 2 on 18, other goalies gave up 2 on 24. And whoever is a sucker that falls for raw save pct. as being particularly relevant in modern times, they'll miss the boat. "Brodeur is a product of the system" ...Brodeur was the system. He was not only an active part of it, but he was easily the most important part of it. No goalie in the Expansion Era has been able to anticipate the play like Brodeur has, and his ability to play the puck has changed the game.

The longevity across multiple eras, with that team changing in front of him so much, really speaks to Brodeur's adaptability. Dryden was in front of the same team in the same circumstances for his entire career. Without looking, Brodeur probably has twice as many RS+playoff wins than Dryden has RS games played. And I'm not the biggest "career" guy, but when you do it for so well, for so long, against such great competition, the edge must be given over a guy that did it very well, for a very short amount time, against far weaker competition and then quit (again).

Many teams sought out the next big goalie like Dryden...it took some time, but they eventually found it. We'll never find another Brodeur.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby JS© on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:39 am

mikey287 wrote:Dryden faced very little goalie competition and played on clearly the most dominant team of the era...a team that made the rules for the Expansion Draft and it showed. Not only did have to face little in the way of goalie competition, but he faced a weaker field in general due to the fact that over-zealous, over-expansion sapped the league (minus Boston and Montreal) of talented teams. Parity was off in the distance still when Dryden played. He got to face all those expansion teams with Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe in front of him...not to mention how much of the league's talent was diluted by the WHA...a league that existed almost exclusively during Dryden's career.


Excluding Gordie Howe (who had been retired before Dryden entered the league and coincidentally returned when Dryden retired) and Bobby Hull, how many legit top scoring stars did the NHL lose to the WHA?
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:37 pm

It's not about top scoring stars, it's about the dilution of overall talent. The Habs won six Stanley Cups in the 1970's...Real Cloutier being in the NHL wasn't going to change that, I know that...but we're talking about a continent with six professional teams in 1966 and 32 (!) in 1976. The dilution of talent was obvious, most teams just couldn't compete in any meaningful way...
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby Staggy on Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:56 pm

Not sure where to put this but I figured I'd throw it here since it's history of hockey related.

I haven't really seen many highlights of Bobby Orr and not nearly enough of Gretzky, so recently I've been looking for some videos of the two. For anyone who's seen "The Best Ever: Mario Lemieux" video, I was thinking of something like that. Mikey, or anyone else for that matter, do you know of any good dvds or documentaries of the the two that I can buy online?

I've found "The Best of Bobby Orr" and am probably going to purchase that. Having a bit harder time finding a quality Gretzky one with good reviews. So anybody that knows of any good videos on the two, or even some other hockey legends, please suggest them!
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby mikey287 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:06 pm

Hmm...lots to consider here. For me, I am not a DVD buyer so I'm not sure I can be of much help on that front. I'm not usually one to single out a player like that and watch highlights of them because, well, just a personal preference - not that there's anything wrong with watching one particular player. For me, I really love to study history and I really like to understand the game in context. So, what I might do if I was unfamiliar with Gretzky or Num-bah Fo-ah, I'd probably find their best efforts and find video covering that.

Not only do you get to see a human highlight reel, but you might also find some other players that you like along the way. Plus you can educate yourself about a different time and a different place. For Orr, I'm sure there are some "Big Bad Bruins" DVDs out there from their runs in 1970 and 1972, additionally, I might seek out Orr's curtain call - the 1976 Canada Cup where he took over a best on best tournament on one leg. For Gretzky, well, the possibilities are limitless with him. If you're looking for perhaps the best hockey ever played, you might seek out the 1987 Canada Cup. Gretzky and Lemieux on the same line! Dear Lord, we think it's a big deal when we put Crosby and Malkin out there for a few shifts a game...66 and 99 together...

Just a couple of suggestions to explore, I'll keep my eyes and ears peeled for some things that are little more focused...just nothing came immediately to mind for me.
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Re: The 10 Greatest One-Team NHL Players (Ranked!)

Postby since1970 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:58 am

Staggy wrote:Not sure where to put this but I figured I'd throw it here since it's history of hockey related.

I haven't really seen many highlights of Bobby Orr and not nearly enough of Gretzky, so recently I've been looking for some videos of the two. For anyone who's seen "The Best Ever: Mario Lemieux" video, I was thinking of something like that. Mikey, or anyone else for that matter, do you know of any good dvds or documentaries of the the two that I can buy online?

I've found "The Best of Bobby Orr" and am probably going to purchase that. Having a bit harder time finding a quality Gretzky one with good reviews. So anybody that knows of any good videos on the two, or even some other hockey legends, please suggest them!



just youtube Bobby Orr, or whoever you want to see
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