Mike Modano: best american born player ever?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Flash Walken, Nov 24, 2005.

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  1. Flash Walken

    Flash Walken Registered User

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    Reading the HHOF debate thread, it got me thinking about modano.

    Looking at his stats and seeing him play, I'm having a hard time thinking of a better American-Born 'player'.

    Maybe Mullen was a better scorer (maybe), but he played in a different era. There's a blank space in my mind about another possible, but I'm sure it will come out within a few posts.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. JCD

    JCD Registered User

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    Modano wouldn't even make my top-5. He coasted for most of his early career and never did fulfill the offensive potential he was drafted for. He rounded out his game to be a high-end two-way player, but he wasn't the offensive force he was supposed to be.

    As for better, absolutely no way would I take Modano over Chelios. As a former North Stars fan, that is high praise. Chelios was a far better d-man than Modano was ever a forward. For years, it was a debate between him and Bourque as to the best d-man in the game.

    I would give strong consideration to Brian Leetch before Modano was well, though that one is closer for me. I take Leetch because he had a better attitude and accomplished more.

    IMO, Neal Broten was a better player in his prime than Modano. Like Modano, he was a high-end, though not top-end, offensive player and a great 2-way player. Only Broten didn't need to be motivated to play and didn't shy away from contact like the young Modano did.

    As for my other two, I would take two goalies: Barrasso and Richter.
     
  3. barfy2000

    barfy2000 Registered User

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    Phil Housley. End of story.





    [/sarcasm]
     
  4. Tundra

    Tundra Registered User

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    Modano would be the most talented American to play in the NHL but annointed "the best" would be a sketchy proposition. I'd say its either Pat Lafontaine or Modano, pick your poison. I'd have Chelios a solid third. And then Housley, Mullen, Leetch, Roenick.
     
  5. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Chelios. One of the top 10 defencemen ever. Could dominate all aspects of the game: physically, defensively, offensively. A great agitator. A smart passer. A pain to play against.

    LaFontaine, for my money, is the best American-born forward ever. He was small, but he didn't play small. Went into the traffic areas, took hits to make a play. A fantastic offensive wizard. Even before his monster year in 1992-93, he was considered the No. 2 player in the league by many. Only injuries prevented him from being considered one of the game's all-time greats. (Still wound up in THN's Top 100).

    I'd also take Brian Leetch (one of the best offensive defencemen ever, and not a detriment defensively, at least not in his prime) and Hobey Baker ahead of Modano.
     
  6. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

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    Chelios over Modano is a no-brainer, and I'd take Leetch over him, too. Just look at what he did in 1994. Plus two Norris'... if there was a trophy for Best Center, Modano never would have won it, while Leetch did it twice.
     
  7. For forward it has to be Roenick, Leetch for defense, and Richter for goalie. Best American born player is Brian Leetch without a doubt. It's hard enough to win a Conn Smythe let alone to do it as a defenseman, impressive.
     
  8. Flash Walken

    Flash Walken Registered User

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    Right, chelios was the player I was having brain fart on.
     
  9. Flash Walken

    Flash Walken Registered User

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    roenick? Are you serious?

    What has he ever done?
     
  10. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    F: Lafontaine
    D: Chelios
    G: Brimsek

    Altohugh he wasn't born there, Brett Hull is the best American forward ever
     
  11. Mike Bossy*

    Mike Bossy* Guest

  12. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Chelios is a much better all-round defenceman than Leetch. Leetch was a fantastic offensive defenceman who was about average defensively. Chelios was a notch below Leetch offensively, but much better physically and defensively. Also a better leader. Say what you will about Chelios' character/conduct/demeanour, but there's no denying his place as one of the top 10 defencemen ever. He was better at age 39 than all-but one defenceman in the league.

    There's far more to evaluating defencemen than just numbers.
     
  13. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Chelios, Leetch, Lafontaine and probably a couple others that I am forgetting right now are all better than Modano.
     
  14. Flash Walken

    Flash Walken Registered User

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    I'd put chelios ahead of modano, and possibly leetch too, but how do modano's playoff statistics and play alter his legacy.

    I remember during the cup run when he was clearly the best player on the ice surface for some of those games.

    I ask not from any argumentative position, but just because I don't really know.
     
  15. Tundra

    Tundra Registered User

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    I've seen Leetch break down defensively way too many times to put him over Chelios or Modano. In retrospect, I think you can't go wrong with either Chelios, Modano or Lafontaine as the lone man. You can make a strong case for each player. Chelios was a master of all trades who played with a chip on his shoulder. Lafontaine was a diminutive, scoring machine who played where only giants dared. Modano was an immensely gifted player with size, speed, defensive awareness and a howitzer for a shot. Perhaps, he didn't show that killer instinct enough but his talent level was so high that you can't overlook his place among the best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2005
  16. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Chelios is a no-brainer here. For forwards I'd have to take LaFontaine (despite his short career) over Modano. You could even argue Leetch, Mullen, Richter and Barrasso (Tommy B being the best American goalie ever IMO) as being better then Modano.
     
  17. Mike Bossy*

    Mike Bossy* Guest

    LaFontaine is the greatest American-born NHLer ever. Period.
     
  18. Beatnik

    Beatnik Registered User

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    I've never seen a D as dominating as Leech in the 94 playoffs. He was simply unreal.

    I don't know who i'd vote for between him and Chelios for the best american player ever. Chelios had been among the best for a much longer period.
     
  19. barfy2000

    barfy2000 Registered User

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    Well then feel free to look up: 1989 Playoffs, Al MacInnis.
     
  20. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    2000 playoffs. Scott Stevens. If you want to see someone turn in old school dominance by a defenceman, this is it. Lidstrom in 2002 conference and Stanley Cup final was brilliant. Favourite regular season performances by blueliners include Bourque in 1987 and 1990, Stevens in 1994, Coffey in 1995 and Pronger in 2000.

    Of course, none of these compare to what Bobby Orr gave us in his prime.
     
  21. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    having just done a little research, I think you could make a really strong case for Frank Brimsek as the best American ever

    1 Calder
    2 Vezinas (now the jennings)
    2 first team post season all-star selections (equivilant of the vezina I believe)
    6 second team all-star selections
    2 Stanley Cups

    At any rate, I'd say he's clearly the best US goalie ever
     
  22. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    This season Modano has scored 19 pts in 21 games, has a +/- of + 10, is THE LEAGUE'S BEST PLAYER at TAKEAWAYS with 28 and is playing another Selke finalist quality season. Yet the old guy still doesn't get respect in some circles.

    He was drafted first overall and has more than lived up to that.

    A future HHOF and one the Top-5 American NHLers ever without a doubt.
     
  23. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    83 game-winning NHL goals!!! That's more than an entire season of games (or two seasons of 40+ wins each).

    506 NHL goals in all, 736 assists, 1252 NHL points, and counting...

    The problem was he was counted on, as captain from an early age, to CARRY the team. He has averaged over a point a game, played a solid two-way game, and yet some people wanted another Mario or Gretz when in fact Modano was more in the Yzerman and Sakic mold, and as such, almost but not quite, measured up.
     
  24. RangerBoy

    RangerBoy TRUST THE PROCESS

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    Brian Leetch

    Stanley Cup ring
    Conn Smythe
    2 Norris Trophies

    Priceless
     
  25. HughJass*

    HughJass* Guest

    Whenever this comes up, I still have to go with Pat LaFontaine. I don't see my opinion changing anytime soon.
     
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