Leetch or Chelios?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by FoppaArGud, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. FoppaArGud

    FoppaArGud Registered User

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    Who is the best American D-man ever?

    I will qualify this by saying that I did not see the early stage of either of their careers. I always sort of took for granted that I would take Leetch although as an emotional favorite I always dug Chellie in Chicago. In the Lidstrom post someone made it seem as though this was not even a contest in Chelios' favor so I just wanted to hear a broader sampling of opinions/reasoning.
     
  2. barfy2000

    barfy2000 Registered User

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    Chelios, and for me it isn't even close. Which is absolutely no slight to Leetch. He is easily the 2nd best American Dman. He just didn't have the same all around game as Chris, which is partially due to the fact that he played so damn much he may have been fatigued for large parts of his career.
     
  3. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Prime for prime I'll take Leetch but in making a list of all time great American defenseman Chelios is at the top. Chelios had a better career and is still a very good player.

    IMO Leetch gets un undeserved rep. of being 1D. He was pretty much like that for the first 3 or 4 years of his career but changed in 93 and played his best two way hockey under Keenan in 94. I think he's one of the best stickhandling D-men I've ever seen and his lateral mobility was almost at a Bobby Orr level. Add to that a pretty nasty hip check and you have a very effective player in all 3 zones.
     
  4. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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  5. xeric716x

    xeric716x Born To Expire

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    Chelios
     
  6. Rattray

    Rattray Registered User

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    Cheli
     
  7. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    I don't think it is really close. Chelios. Chelios is closer to the best D-Men ever. Of his generation only Bourque and debatably Lidstrom is better. Personally for the best ever D-Man list I take Chelly over Lidstrom. People forget how amazing Chelly was in Chicago. He was so dominant in every way including physically. Lidstrom was never dominant physically. Chelios is a top 10 D-man ever Leetch is a top 20 or 25 D-Man.
     
  8. espo*

    espo* Guest

    Leetch was great,one of the best offensive,rushing and puck moving defensemen i've ever seen,he was real fun to watch and is massively under-rated on these boards.

    But Chelios is still my pick.Really good offensively,dominant defensively,nasty (if dirty at times but i won't hold that against him) and a true leader and winner to boot. Him and Bourque were the cream for so many years.

    Chelios.
     
  9. More 2004

    More 2004 should I stay or go?

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    I really liked Brian, but its gotta be Chelios..
     
  10. Nifty=HHOF

    Nifty=HHOF Registered User

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    What he said
     
  11. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Chelios. Three Norris Trophies to Leetch's two. Plus a pair of Cups. Chelios made the Blackhawks what they were. I'm a Leaf fan and I hated Chelios because the Leafs back then played them a lot. He scared me more than Leetch, maybe not offensively but his all around game I hated it when he was on the ice.
     
  12. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Chelios is the better player. But, if I was building a team, I'd go with Leetch.
     
  13. bfire

    bfire Registered User

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    I'd take Chelios because he is more aggressive in the defensive zone, plus also contributed offensively while he was in his prime. Leetch was a very good PP specialist and also had good positioning making this close. But this is just my preference.
     
  14. Chelios. One of the Top 3 American players ever, and a Top 15 D-man all-time, easily.

    His overall talent was mainly due to his youth hockey coach, Jules Winnfield.
     
  15. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Chelios. And to me, it's not very close. Chelios is, for my money, the best American-born player ever. And I'll take it one step further: he's the best non-Canadian born defenceman of all-time. Better than Lidstrom, Fetisov or Leetch.

    I'll take a peak Chelios over a peak Leetch. There are very few defencemen, ever, who could dominate all aspects of the game like Chelios. Need a big goal? He'd score it. Want a smart outlet pass? He'd make it. Need a defenceman to rush the puck? He'd do it. Need a defenceman who can quarterback the power play? He'd do it. Need a defenceman to break up that two-on-one? He'd stop it. Need a defenceman to rub out a rushing forward in the offensive zone? Done. Need a bone-crushing hit? Chelios delivers. Is the team in a lull in an important game? Chelios would carry his team on his back, as long as need be: a couple of shifts, a period, 60 minutes, a week, no matter. And as far as longevity at the top, very, very few have played at a high level as long as Chelios. A first-team all-star and a key player on a Cup champion at 40.

    I don't have much use for Chelios the person. But if I'm in a Game 7 situation, he's one of the defencemen I'd want most, and outside of Orr and Potvin, he's the one I'd want the most from the post-expansion era. (That includes Bourque and Robinson).
     
  16. Hadoop

    Hadoop 25 to Life

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    Chelios.... he makes life a b**** for opponents
     
  17. Grizzly Adams

    Grizzly Adams Registered User

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    Chelios, I think it's pretty close.
     
  18. Sonny Lamateena

    Sonny Lamateena Registered User

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    Leetch, he's the man and will prove this year he can still play.
     
  19. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Chelios, even though he's a punk *** *****!
     
  20. dbbourn

    dbbourn Registered User

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    Not exactly comparing the same type of player. While Chelios is obviously a better player in the physical sense, Leetch put up the points and was more dominent on the scoreboard. Since I always tend to discredit the role players I am going to go with Leetch on this one. Calder, Conn Smythe, 2 Norris Trophies, and 1 cup vs. 3 Norris trophies and 2 cups?

    ... and I have hated the Rangers for a long time, especially when he was there.
     
  21. dbbourn

    dbbourn Registered User

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    No love for Phil Housley?
     
  22. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I'm as big a Brian Leetch fan as you'll find, and yet I don't think there's any doubt Chris Chelios is the better defenseman. Leetch is better offensively, and possesses a certain flair that Chelios never did, but Chelios was quite a bit better in his own zone, much more physical, and has been able to sustain a high level of play for a much longer period of time.
     
  23. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    1) This is a Leetch vs Chelios thread.

    2) Phil Housley isn't in Leetch or Chelios' class as a defenseman.
     
  24. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Role player? Are you nuts? Chelios was far more than just a role player. He was a dominant all-round defenceman. He might not be the finest example of a human being ever, but as far as being a hockey player, well, there's a reason he's on most all-time top 50 lists. Very few defencemen have dominated in all aspects of the game like Chelios.

    Phil Housley isn't in their league. Phil Housley was an outstanding offensive defenceman, but that's it. To quote the cliche: he couldn't check his hat. (Reckoning, I'm waiting for you to take me to task on that one). Housley was only named an all-star once (compared to seven for Chelios and five for Leetch). And Housley was often a train wreck in the playoffs.

    Not only is Housley way out of Chelios and Leetch's league, he's not even in the top three for U.S. defencemen. Even though John Flyers Fan will disagree with me on this one, the No. 3 US defenceman ever was Rod Langway. (Langway was born in Taiwan but he played his developmental hockey in the U.S.). In fact, I'd have Leetch and Langway very close. Leetch wins because he did more in the playoffs. No. 4 is Mark Howe. Then maybe, just maybe, you'd have Phil Housley.
     
  25. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Chelios. He excelled at everything a d man could excel at. He wasn't Leetch offenisvely, esp. on the rush, but overall, I think he's clearly a better player. Never discount nastiness.
     

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