Phil Esposito vs. Peter Forsberg

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Quiet Robert, Nov 9, 2005.

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  1. Quiet Robert

    Quiet Robert Registered User

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    We were having a debate on the NHL board and I just wanted to get a consensus on who you think was/is the greater player.

    Simple question: who was/is the greater hockey player, Espo or Forsberg?
     
  2. ACC1224

    ACC1224 Registered User

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    Two totally different players from two different era's.
     
  3. Little Wing

    Little Wing Registered User

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    I agree, however i'll bite and say Forsberg
     
  4. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    While that is true one has 5 Art Ross's, 2 Harts, and 2 Pearsons while the other only has the one Hart and one Art Ross.
     
  5. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    yeah...I don't see how this is really close

    I find Esposito gets unfairly underrated around here. He's got a ton of awards, he obliterated the single-season scoring record untill Gretzky showed up, and he was clutch (over 1ppg playoffs, lead Summit Series in scoring)
     
  6. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    The debate in reference is locked in the ever so clever stance of "The athletes now would have OWNED the 60's 70's and 80's, therefore they are far superior." :loony:
     
  7. RorschachWJK

    RorschachWJK Registered User

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    Esposito now, but might well be Forsberg in 5 years or so.
     
  8. wilka91*

    wilka91* Registered User

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    When are we going to compare players from the 21st century to those from the 19th?
     
  9. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Espo, and it's not even close. He may be the best pure goal scoring centre ever. His nose for the net and offensive instincts are off the charts. Not only that, but he's the best leader since Jean Beliveau.

    This is not to diminish Forsberg's accomplishments. He's a sure-fire future HHOFer. But I'd say Espo is the fourth-best centre ever (after Gretzky, Lemieux and Beliveau) and one of the top 10 players ever.
     
  10. canucksfan

    canucksfan Registered User

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    This isn't even close Esposito.
     
  11. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    I know that argument, they never seem to take into account the fact that if yesterdays players were playing today that they`d have access to all of todays traing/conditioning/coaching methods so that whole argument of todays athletes being in superior condition would be negated.

    I bet those same people think Ruiz or Klitschko are better boxers than Muhammad Ali was. :biglaugh:

    Back on topic; I`d give Esposito the edge.
     
  12. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Espo with his outsize personality and scoring feats was as much a star as Orr in the late 60's and early 70's. His play in Summit 72 showed how dominant he was as a leader and as a player. Having said that, Forsberg might be the best 2 way player in history.

    I'd say its like asking if Orr was better than Lemieux. Apples and oranges.

    Slight edge to Espo.
     
  13. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    He doesn't even come CLOSE to the two-way play of Fedorov let alone all of NHL history.
     
  14. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah it isnt even close Esposito no question. 5 Art Ross Trophies, 2 Hart Trophies, 7 first team all-stars, two Cups. Throw in his efforts in the '72 Summit Series and you see what kind of leader he is. Give Forsberg a few years see if he wins a scoring title again and leads Philly to the Cup then we'll talk. Forsberg was never the best player on his team in '96 or '01 his two Cup wins.
     
  15. Goldark

    Goldark Registered User

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    He might, if guys like Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe weren't ahead of him.
     
  16. Goldark

    Goldark Registered User

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    By the way, I voted Esposito, and it's really not that close.
     
  17. pei fan

    pei fan Registered User

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    ...............and one had Bobby Orr.
     
  18. Seph

    Seph Registered User

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    For the majority of his career, you could make the argument Forsberg wasn't even the best 2way player on his team.

    Don't get me wrong, Forsberg's a great player, but it kills me how overrated his defensive game is when I see comments like this.
     
  19. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Pete has been on a stacked contender his entire career.
     
  20. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

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    Esposito for me. I've only seen him play in the Summit Series on DVD but he's amazing.
     
  21. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Forsberg's had Sakic, Bourque, Roy, Blake, Sundin, Nolan, Foote, Hejduk, Tanguay, Drury and Ozolinch.
     
  22. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    As a Forsberg fan I'm upset at this comparison!! It makes him look bad.

    They are two totally different kinds of player but Esposito is clearly better from all I've ever seen and known. I'd take Messier over him, but barely, and Yzerman isn't far behind. They are the highest echelon of hockey perfection, below the hockey gods of course. ;) (If it even needs saying: Among forwards, Gretzky and Lemieux are the hockey gods. It's unfair to every other forward to even try and compare them to those two.)

    Forsberg, Jagr and Fedorov are all on par, in my opinion, as among those on the third tier of greatness, with super skills in some areas of their game.

    Imagine one player combining Forsberg's passing, vision and strength on his skates, with Jagr's size, shot and nose for the net and with Fedorov's skating, movement and defensive ability. Then you'd be justified in putting him in the class of Esposito, Messier and Howe.

    I take nothing away from any of them. These are all the heroes of my life.
     
  23. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Not even big mouth Phil would say he skated like Fedorov. And Phil's defensive play was a joke. What about his "team" play consisting of refusing to come off the ice even with coaches hollering at him.

    His signature "move" was to park himself in front of the net and use his size to jam the puck in. His slapper didnt exist. He couldnt skate. He didnt like to pass (see 76 goals 76 assists). He was too slow/tired to come back.

    I wouldnt put him in the class of Howe.
    Nor Messier in either Howe or Espo's class.
     
  24. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    oh yeah, totally. Esposito's career goals scored were the result of 717 shots that Bobby Orr bounced off him :biglaugh:

    People put WAY to much emphasis on being a "complete" player I think. He couldn't skate, he didn't backcheck...so what? He was the most prolific goal scorer of his generation. And remember, a goal is a goal is a goal, whether it's an end to end rush or a garbage goal at the side of the net. They're all worth the same.
     
  25. Marcus-74

    Marcus-74 Registered User

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    Peter Forsberg without a question... and not just because Esposito is a ******* redneck IMO. :p:

    On which aspect of hockey is Esposito actually better, except scoring? And since this comparison is slightly unfair to Forsberg (He is not a finished article yet), the choise is even easier to make.
     
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