Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by LapierreSports, Jun 11, 2007.
Was Brad Park better with the Rangers or Bruins and why ?
Probably better remembered for his time with the Rangers, but he actually ended up spending more season with the Bruins.
Depends on how you view better, his prime, or overall contribution. His prime was probably in New York, but he may have contributed more in his years in Boston.
LOL, I thought this was going to be about him playing as a Ranger against the Bruins. He hated the Bruins at that time. Some of his quotes about the Bruins were hilarious. Then he had to play with them.
Well his best year was probably 1972, he was a Ranger then. But its pretty close
Rangers: 1st team all-star ('71, '72, '74) 2nd Team ('71, '73). No Cups, one Cup final appearance, played on Team Canada '72
Bruins: 1st team all-star ('76, '78). No Cups, two Cup final appearances.
Its hard to say. Naturally you'd have to say as a Ranger. But he went to Boston when he was 27 years old. He was in his prime right then. He was huge for the Bruins in the Cup final years. Still I'd have to lean to the Rangers. One thing I know, nobody would pick his time spent on Detroit.
Park was obviously healthier in the knees during his time in New York. (Although I do believe his injury woes began there). Time, injuries, and wear n tear took a chunk for sure. His last few years in Boston, however, were downright admirable. He skated in a painful to watch stifflegged fashion and demonstrated that you can be an effective player later in life if you possess great hockey sense.
He was probably more physically dominant in New York, but his run in the years immediately following the trade '76 - '80 or so found him to be just out of the Robinson/Potvin tier -- probably on tier 2 with Salming, Lapointe, etc.
For the bruin's, his later years were made special not just by his courage but by his on and off ice assistance to a young defenseman named Ray Bourque.
Not to be forgotten is that Park briefly played with Orr in Orr's last Bruin season so he truly is a bridge from Orr to Bourque. If Orr had had a normal career, it is conveivable that all 3 could have been together on the Bruins.
I saw an interview on Boston TV a few uears ago with Orr, Park & Bourque. What came through is the tremendous respect they had for each other. Also, both Orr & Park commented on the freedom they were given to go on offense. Something that doesn't happen much today.
With good health it could have been Orr,Park,Bourque,Kluzak (injuries ruined his potential) and the very underrated Michael Thelven.
But had Orr had a normal, healthy career its also reasonable to assume that Bruins management would not have had reason to trade for Park. At the time of the trade the writting was one the wall so far as Orr's playing days were numbered which created the need for another all-star defenceman.
Did one really need a specific reason to trade for Park?
That would've been simply amazing. They could've called them Borrk.
The Park to Boston trade wasn't simply hinged upon Orr's delicate knees. The Bruins lost to the Blackhawks in the playoffs first round the previous Spring and the Rangers lost in the first round that year to the Isles. Neither team was getting any better.
NY and Boston both probably went too long with the same core and were surpassed by Philadelphia and Montreal. The shakeup was dramatic, but no doubt needed.
They did give up Phil Esposito, so it's not like it was a simple choice. But yeah, a shake up was needed, but, had Orr been healthy, would Boston have moved for a #1 d-man? Or would they have found other ways to mix it up?
It hasn't been mentioned, but the scary thing is that Boston passed up on Park to take Barry Gibbs first overall in the 1966 draft, with Park going second. Gibbs had a solid career (though not with Boston), but could you imagine those early 70's Bruins teams with both Park and Orr on the back end?
Toronto could have had both Orr and Park as well but passed on signing both as juniors. They also had Bruins goalie Gary Cheevers early in his career but let him go, imagine the Leafs of the 70s with a D of Orr, Park, Salming, Pat Stapleton and Rod Seiling(who they also had but traded away) and Cheevers in nets? It could've been them winning Cups in the early 70s and challenging the Habs on a yearly basis...
Even if Toronto did sign all those players, Ballard would've eventually broke their spirit and driven them all away.