Greatest Jr. Teams

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by mcphee, Jun 6, 2005.

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  1. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    After the Memorial Cup, Mtl. sports radio had a lively debate about the greatest Jr. team of all time. McGuire called London the greatest he'd seen, whereas many took great exception to his choice. I've not seen a better team than the 68-69 Jr.Canadiens. If I knew how, I'd link their roster from the hockey db.

    In a 54 game schedule, they achieved 67-68--81 points, 68-69---80 points,
    and followed up with virtually an identical record in 69-70, and their 2nd consecutive Memorial Cup. 10 players went on to have NHL careers while 4 others had a either a 'cup of coffee' in the league or WHA. While they only beat Ste.Catherines by 6 points, I believe the league was stronger in the those days. Players stayed until the age of 20, and elite players weren't going the US college route very often. London had a wonderful season, but I just don't see any other powerhouses out there for them to be measured against.

    The JR. Habs 1st line had Rejean Houle,Gilbert Perreault and Bobby Guindon. Rick Martin was a 10th forward/pp specialist. Moose Dupont and Jocelyn Guevrmont led the defence,though I thought Serge Lajeunesse was the best of them. [Thus endeth my scouting career]. I admit to a lot of biase as my Friday evening as a 13 year old involved begging one of our fathers to rush us to the Longueuil Metro, getting to the Forum,paying .75, and racing up the stairs to get a valued seat on the rail in the upper blues, thus giving us the boards to bang on incessantly. I know, there have been some great teams out of the west, the 73 Marlies were a great team. Who else is out there ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
  2. FINNtastic

    FINNtastic Registered User

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  3. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    The JR Habs had some great teams. I would like to see the rosters of the Niagara Falls Flyers of the '60's. I have heard more than one person rave about their teams of that era.

    edit: Check out the Flyers 64/65 roster (it looks like an NHL roster).
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
  4. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Impressive team. What I think sets Mtl. apart was the explosive offense coming from more than one line. Perreault was a treat to see and people tend to forget how good Marc Tardif was.Tardif had an awful temper as a young player. He and Dennis O'Brien had a memorable fight in the 70 playoffs, that would've got them each long suspensions in today's league.
     
  5. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    If you say that the greatest junior hockey team MUST be a Memorial Cup winner (that makes sense to me. How can you be the greatest if you lose with it all on the line?) then here are the top 5 Memorial Cup winners in order of their regular season domination rating: (playoff and Memorial Cup stats from seasons past is hard to find. If anybody has a link, please let me know)

    2004-05 London Knights 1.595
    1970-71 Quebec Remparts 1.560
    1972-73 Toronto Marlboros 1.493
    1995-96 Granby Predateurs 1.485
    1984-85 Prince Albert Raiders 1.480

    The 1968-69 Montreal Jr. Canadiens had a rating of 1.380.
    The 1964-65 Niagara Falls Flyers had a rating of 1.307

    *Domination Rating = Win % + GF/(GF+GA)
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 6, 2005
  6. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    The 1993-94 and 1994-95 Kamloops Blazers would have spanked this year's London team. Kamloops had far tougher competition the year they won the Memorial Cup than London did this year. London didn't have to play teams like what Prince Albert or Brandon were in 1995. Kamloops didn't have as many weak teams to beat up on as London did this year. (Thanks to the dillution from expansion). Kamloops produced several legitimate NHLers (Iginla, Tucker, Doan, Lukowich, Nash, etc) and several others (Baumgartner, Domenechelli, etc) who had a cup of tea in the NHL.

    They're the best team I've seen since I started watching junior hockey in the late 1980s.
     
  7. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    The 1994-95 edition of the Blazers was the better of the two with a rating of 1.414
     
  8. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

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    This years edition of the Knights is the best one I've ever seen but I was born in '88 so I know nothing about the older teams like some of you guys.
     
  9. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Ogopogo, I agree the 1995 team likely was better. (For example, Doan and Iginla were 18-year-olds instead of 17). But I'll use my knowledge from having watched both teams several times (in addition to the also strong 1988 Medicine Hat Tigers, 1989 Swift Current Broncos, 1998 Portland Winter Hawks and this year's Knights) to determine which was the best team, instead of another stats system.
     
  10. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    There are other factors though. The Memorial Cup wasn't always a week long tournament the way it it is now.Teams could be bolstered for as the Baby Habs were. John Garret and Jim Rutheford were added for the 69 and 70 cups. I think winning the OHL in the 60's and early 70's was the top prize. The Q grew up as a league after the 71 Remparts, and Mtl. joining the league. League domination is the arguement that I'm not sure about. It's obviously the most sensible, but I just don't see the overall balance or depth to prevent a great team from piling up numbers. It's also not fair to judge players by NHL success, a great Jr. is a great Jr. Those Kamloops teams are the ones I was trying to remember,thanks, gbc, I think they're a superior team to London. How many games did Rimouski go unbeaten this year ? Does anyone think they saw a great team a few weeks ago ? A great player perhaps, with some decent support, but not a great team.
    Ogo, I knew you would post dominance as you did, and I think it's a valid arguement. I'm not sure how to articulate or prove level of competition, but I believe it was tougher to go play the Marlies in Toronto,or Ste. Catharines those 2 years than the best of what London faced.
     
  11. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    The 1994-95 Blazers most likely had an easier schedule than the 2004-05 London Knights.

    With junior hockey trying to minimize travel more so than the NHL, playing teams within the division has always been a major consideration for junior teams. The Blazers had the opportunity to beat up on the 14-55-3 Prince George Cougars and the 23-43-6 Portland Winter Hawks. The Blazers only played Prince Albert and Brandon twice each. That is 4 games of the 72 game schedule. Really, when you look at it, there were no standout teams other than the Blazers in the West division during the 1994-95 season.

    The only sub .500 team in the Knights division this year was the Guelph Storm (last year's league champions) at 23-34-10-1. In fact, London played in the toughest division in the league with the #2 and #3 overall teams in the league in Owen Sound and Kitchener.

    I appreciate that you would rather use your memory but, even some of the greatest memories have some bias or cloudiness as the years go by. Stats and numbers are an excellent tool to aid in our understanding.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 6, 2005
  12. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I think it should be noted that, we are trying to determine the greatest junior team of all time not, the greatest collection of NHLers to ever play on a junior team. I have seen tons of GREAT juniors do nothing in the NHL and tons of mediocre juniors become NHL stars. I think evaluating this a the greatest teams based on performance in the junior ranks makes a lot more sense than judging based on how many NHLers were produced. That is a whole other thread.
     
  13. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Agreed, the 68-71 Jr.'s represent some great memories for me. I'd be a liar to not admit biase, but I'm right damnit. I think London, for one, has 2 fine scoring lines, as Mtl. did with the Perreault line and Tardif/Lalonde/Bordeleau. The 3rd line in Mtl., I think, starts to separate them. Charron and Lemieux were tremendous Jr.'s. Mtl. imo was deeper on defence. Both teams were avg. in nets. In my mind, Perreault separates the 2 teams. London can argue the likes of Perry and Schremp against Tardif and Houle, but Perreault is the difference. They usually had room to play because no one would get too abrasive when Connolly was there. He was feared. Any trouble and the chant of 'On Veut Connolly' would start. He had few takers, esp. in the forum where the opposition would get the Mtl. flu.
     
  14. c-carp

    c-carp Registered User

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    Where I live I dont see much Juniors, but I have always liked the Saskatoon Blades for putting some of the rougher players of the 80's and 90's into the NHL. Kocur, Brown, Wendel Clark, Kerry Clark, Kelly Chase, Tony Twist, Kevin Kaminski ect. :yo: :yo:
     
  15. pei fan

    pei fan Registered User

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    I would add that the London Knights team performed their record in a better
    than normal CHL with the lockout happening.Also their who knows how long
    their undefeated record would have lasted if Perry,Syvret etc didn't have
    to go to WJC's.
     
  16. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I did a little work and found the 10 BEST junior hockey teams of all time and the 10 WORST junior hockey teams of all time. These numbers are their regular season numbers. I have not been able to find historical playoff and Memorial Cup stats. *Domination Rating = Win % + GF/(GF+GA)

    10 BEST
    Bold indicates Memorial Cup Champion

    Team Domination
    1 2004-05 London Knights 1.595
    2 1970-71 Quebec Remparts 1.560
    3 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings 1.549
    4 1978-79 Trois Rivieres Draveurs 1.540
    5 1980-81 Victoria Cougars 1.520
    6 1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks 1.509
    7 1972-73 Toronto Marlboros 1.493
    8 1995-96 Granby Predateurs 1.485
    9 1984-85 Prince Albert Raiders 1.480
    10 2000-01 Shawinigan Cataractes 1.467


    10 WORST

    Team Domination
    1 1998-99 Missisauga Ice Dogs 0.335
    2 1977-78 Shawinigan Dynamos 0.342
    3 1995-96 London Knights 0.360
    4 1989-90 Victoria Cougars 0.364
    5 1967-68 Ottawa 67's 0.381
    6 2000-01 Missisauga Ice Dogs 0.388
    7 1982-83 Guelph Platers 0.407
    8 1966-67 Calgary Buffaloes 0.411
    9 1983-84 Winnipeg Warriors 0.417
    10 1976-77 Oshawa Generals 0.433
     
  17. CGG

    CGG Registered User

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    Not sure who the best junior team of all time is, but by far the worst was the London Knights, 1995-96. 3 wins, 60 losses, 3 ties, 179 GF, 435 GA in 66 games. That's a GAA of 6.59.

    Link
     
  18. gibber1600

    gibber1600 Registered User

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    Brandon Wheat King 1978-79. In the 1978 Draft #4 Derlago, 1979 Draft Boschman #9, Propp #14, McCrimmon #15 and Ray Allison #18 1-2-3 in Scoring Ouch!!!
     
  19. c-carp

    c-carp Registered User

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    Some of the Kitchener Ranger teams with Stevens and MacInnis on them had to be good. Anyone have any info on them.
     
  20. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    The one season that they both played a significant number of games for the Rangers was 1981-82. That year, the team had a domination rating of 1.235

    Good team.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 6, 2005
  21. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    1963-64 Marlies

    No one has mentioned the 1963-64 Toronto Marlboros who dominated their opponents all the way to the Memorial Cup.

    The previous year, the Toronto Maple Leafs closed down their 'Metro Junior A' League and combined their players to make one team to return to the OHA. Before the season started there was much debate as it was known that this new team would be too strong for their opponents.

    At the time, the 1963-64 Toronto Marlboros were the biggest team size wise in
    all of hockey that year.

    Gary Smith - Goal
    Rod Seiling - Defence
    Jim McKenny - Defence
    Pete Stemkowski - Centre
    Wayne Carleton - Left Wing
    Ron Ellis - Right wing
    Mike Walton - Centre
    Brit Selby - Left Wing
    Nick Harbaruk - Right Wing

    all became regulars in the NHL.

    The only team that gave them any trouble was a good Montreal Jr. team with Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard & Andre Boudrias.
     
  22. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Great team. They score a 1.410
     
  23. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Here is a random selection of other great junior teams:

    Bold indicates Memorial Cup Champion

    1975-76 New Westminster Bruins 1.430
    1986-87 Kamloops Blazers 1.414
    1994-95 Kamloops Blazers 1.414
    1963-64 Toronto Marlboros 1.410
    1983-84 Laval Voisins 1.417
    1975-76 Sherbrooke Beavers 1.422
    1996-97 Ottawa 67's 1.432
    1987-88 Windsor Spitfires 1.421
    1998-99 Ottawa 67's 1.407
    1999-00 Calgary Hitmen 1.465
    1984-85 Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 1.465
    2003-04 London Knights 1.465
    1976-77 St. Catharines Fincups 1.439
    1976-77 London Knights 1.439
    1998-99 Plymouth Whalers 1.438
    1976-77 New Westminster Bruins 1.356
    2002-03 Kelowna Rockets 1.363
    2003-04 Kelowna Rockets 1.278
    2004-05 Kelowna Rockets 1.315
    1969-70 Montreal Junior Canadiens 1.343
    1968-69 Montreal Junior Canadiens 1.380
    2004-05 Rimouski Oceanic 1.261
    2003-04 Gatineau Olympiques 1.395
    1990-91 Oshawa Generals 1.379
    1986-87 Oshawa Generals 1.381
    1983-84 Kitchener Rangers 1.359
     
  24. Crossroads*

    Crossroads* Guest

    Lalonde was a coach of mine a longgggg time ago. He was a great coach and his brother was the nicest ever.
     
  25. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Where Crossroads ? Did Lalonde settle in Mtl. after his career ended ? I believe they're from the South Shore of Mtl. I know he went to high school in St.Hubert. Geez,Lalonde must be in his mid 50's by now.

    I remember the 73[?] Marlboros being a dominant team. Marty Howe on defence and Mark Howe up front. I remember Mark Howe being a force eliminating the Mtl. team that year.
     
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