Players Who Hurt Their Teams/Their Legacies By Not Retiring/Ending Their Careers Sooner

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Jim MacDonald, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Hi guys

    I wanted to get everyone's thoughts on players that CLEARLY should've retired/stopped playing much much sooner than they did, and as a result of not doing so:

    1. Hindered their teams potential as a whole

    2. Severely Tarnished Their Legacy

    I welcome hearing/learning about all names, not just the well-known ones in the sport. Look forward to your feedback!-Jim
     
  2. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Who are the "well-known ones in the sport", those who "hindered their teams as a whole & tarnished their reputations"?
     
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  3. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Well-known players or not so well-known players is fine. If I used poor wording on the second part, I meant "tarnished their reputations" as to themselves, not their team's reputation.
     
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  4. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    .... ah.... ok, thanks, some clarification..... however.... I'm not really coming up with anyone off the top of my head that would fit that criteria. You have some guys like Derek Sanderson for example who effectively hijacked his own career all by himself, as in "look Ma, no brakes" off the ice, then after burning it at both ends & in the middle hung around for a bit longer than he should have which at times was an embarrassment to the various teams that gave him 2nd, 3rd & 4th chances, his performance level pathetic, shadow of what he was (which was brilliant in his younger days with Boston) and surely must have caused dysfunction within the dressing room & of course on the ice so maybe him?...

    The only other players I can think of like Sanderson, "troubled" individuals. Real Chevrefils. Terry Sawchuk. Cowboy Howie Young & others. Thing is in most of these cases the individuals seeking redemption of a sort through hockey however their Demons getting the better of them. Sawchuk for example probably should have retired in 67 yet play on & unhappily he did however understandable given that the $$$ being paid as a result of Expansion a lot more than he'd earned during the 06 era so he tried to squeeze as much mileage out of the six figure odometer, hang in there as long as possible. Its not like he was a Doug Harvey, who also long in the tooth & troubled but who did anchor the Blues Defence, mentoring younger players so an asset.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
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  5. brachyrynchos

    brachyrynchos Registered User

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    Bryan Trottier seems applicable, ? Bought out by the Isles, signs with Pittsburgh and wins his 5th and 6th Cup and retires at the end of the '92-93 season and takes a front office job with the Islanders. It's been widely rumored that he came out of retirement less than halfway in '93-94 because of his financial problems, I guess playing paid more. Plays 41 games with Pens (4-11-15) and only played 2 playoff games. He looked so slow out there, a shadow of his former self. The financial problems made me see him in a different way, great player, terrible with his money. I don't know how much it hurt his legacy, but it damaged his reputation.
     
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  6. Robert Gordon Orr

    Robert Gordon Orr Registered User

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    I came to think of Kevin Stevens. He tarnished his reputation from being one of the premier left wingers in the game, then became a mediocre player barely hanging on, not helping his teams very much, and in the end embarrassed himself off the ice. His face injury had an impact of course, but it’s good to see that he’s on the right track again, good for him and we’re all rooting for Stevens.

     
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  7. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    Mark Messier and Paul Coffey maybe. Depends on what you define as "severely tarnishing a legacy"

    I started a thread a few years ago about how Messier should have retired instead of going to Vancouver. Would have avoided that entire debacle and likely had fewer detractors. As for Coffey, I feel like he just stuck around way too long.
     
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  8. Robert Gordon Orr

    Robert Gordon Orr Registered User

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    Yeah, Paul Coffey is a player that immediately comes to mind. I was thinking of him as well, but I don't know if "he hindered the potential of his teams". He should have retired after his Detroit days, what we saw after that was a shadow of the old swift-skating and impactful Coffey. Not only had he lost a step or two playing wise, but he also seemed to have lost any interest in the game.

    Some other guys that I felt should have retired earlier:

    Jimmy Carson was talented and raced out of the gates in LA. He still put up ok numbers with Detroit despite injuries, but then he just fizzled away quietly.

    Barry Pederson looked like a guy who would put up points in the mold of an Adam Oates for many years, but after his arm injury he never was the same and should have retired earlier.

    Clark Gillies was a force to be reckoned with for years, but then his playing minutes went down in New York. I had the same feeling with him like with Coffey, he simply didn’t enjoy playing hockey anymore in Buffalo and should have retired earlier (after New York).

    Glenn Anderson, this free spirit was just like Coffey one of the Oilers dynasty guys. In his last years I didn’t see his wonderful skating, and the ability to crash the net on a constant basis, he too seemed quite blasé.
     
  9. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    It's so interesting you bring up Derek Sanderson Killion, a few years ago I know he came out with a biography, and it must've been so crazy/interesting/entertaining that a local radio station here in DETROIT got him on for a interview to talk about it!! I might scoop it up and buy it, just because of the buzz on the entertainment value.
     
  10. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Great/interesting responses guys! Appreciate it!
     
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  11. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Oh ya?.... I'd urge you to do so. Very interesting guy, quite the story to tell.... During his prime-peak years with the Bruins, sadly short, one of the greatest Defensive Centers not just of his era but All Time. Some forget that given his proclivities, all that followed into the 70's, the WHA etc. I was at a golf tournament in the early 90's, hadnt seen him in like 20yrs and Man.... he'd had hip operations, hair even then had turned white, far removed from the swaggering Buccaneer Party Boy featured in full color spreads in everything from Sports Illustrated to you name it.... Hit rock bottom hard & when he did, some of his former teammates, most notably Bobby Orr there to lift him up, get him into rehab. So yes, a cautionary tale for young players, a story of resiliency, grace, dignity, benevolence & charity. Some people, they just gotta learn the hard way. Too bad in that case as I'm quite certain had he not run wild, stable, longer career, total shoe-in for the HHOF.
     
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  12. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    I just looked at Coffey's stats on Hockey Reference.....I know a lot of people say Scotty Bowman is a genius...and he was quoted as saying Coffey was expendable "because he wasn't the player he once was," after the Shanahan deal....I can't believe just how much off a cliff his numbers fell! Scotty knew!
     
  13. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Very cool/interesting to hear he was Selke-caliber and that was his meal ticket! I guess it had to fit like a glove with the Bruins since Espo is your goal scorer, your next center is your defensive specialist. Mind blown!
     
  14. Terry Yake

    Terry Yake Registered User

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    coffey hung around for way too long

    brind'amour should have retired after the 08-09 season
     
  15. crobro

    crobro Registered User

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    I recall Tound 1982 they had that original 6 oldtimers series on CTV and the announcers just blown away at how bad Derek Sanderson looked on the ice even though he was the youngest player in the league
     
  16. ChrisK97

    ChrisK97 Registered User

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    Trottier- the last image of him as a player should have been celebrating that 1992 Cup with Pittsburgh. Trottier on the 1991-1992 Pens wasn't exactly one of those hanging on by a thread guys.

    While Trottier was a little slow in 1991-1992, how much of a shadow of his former self was he on those 2 Pens teams?

    Granted, his games played and stats didn't jump off the charts those years, but he did who provide real experience/leadership especially that first year on a young team with a lot of unproven guys save for him/Coffey.

    Real shame what happened- would have been a nice way for him to go on top.

    Had he not had that financial problems, how do you think we view Trottier overall if '92 had been the end and that 1993-94 stuff never happened?
     
  17. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    I'm pretty sure Paul Coffey made more money from 1996-97 through 2000-01 than he made from the rest of his career. For me, I don't think it should be held against a HOFer if they want to stick around past their expiration date when the money is more plentiful. If he's hurting his team by playing, it shouldn't tarnish or embarrass Paul Coffey; blame the people signing his checks and the coaches tapping his shoulder to send him out on the ice.
     
  18. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    In the last majority of cases I don't think that a player can hurt his legacy by playing too long. His peak doesn't get worse, his prime doesn't get worse, even his longevity doesn't get worse given that a player sitting at home doesn't contribute more than a player who performs poorly on the ice.

    As for the other question, it's difficult to think of players who hung on so long that it damaged the team. Usually the coach can just limit the players minutes, and it is difficult to think of a situation along the lines of Tom Brady demanding that his replacement get traded away.
     
  19. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I think it is more a case of a couple of things. Coffey finished 5th in Norris voting in 1996 and had 74 points. Then he was Canada's best player in the World Cup. It was then that he got traded from Detroit to Hartford. My guess is this happened. He's Paul Coffey, he's won everything a player needs to win - two fold - and he gets traded away from a stacked team to a lousy one. I think he just got deflated. Maybe lost some of his passion. He was 35 at the time, had played in the NHL 16 years by then, I think a lot of it was burn out.

    Throw in the fact in early 1997 he collided with Leclair, after he was shipped from Hartford to Philly, and he was just never the same.
     
  20. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Wasn't it hockey rinks across New York State that Trottier invested in? I don't know who is financial advisor was.

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    As for the OP, is Lindros a name that comes to mind? I mean, even on here we talk about his post-2000 career the way we'd talk about a rabid raccoon. His final season, in Dallas if anyone can even picture that anymore, he had 5 goals. Not only that, but ask yourself in 1998 if you believe Lindros would have just been a depth player on the 2002 Olympics and you'd be laughed out of the room, but he was.

    Imagine Lindros only in a Flyer uniform. Stevens hits him and he's never heard from again. There would be almost a mystique about him as to how much there COULD have been.
     
  21. LeTigre

    LeTigre Registered User

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    Chris Phillips played one season too long.

    This is quantifiable, in that he played until the day he passed Daniel Alfredsson's franchise mark for games played, and never played again.

    It was ceremonial in nature for him to have played those 36 games in 14/15. He was passed over on captaincy during the off season, where it was given from Jason Spezza to Erik Karlsson. He scored zero goals. Many nights he wouldnt even have a shot on goal. He made several plays a game from his knees, or flat out on his stomach.

    All said, he became a gimmick and a whipping boy for the fan base, whereas had he hung them up at the conclusion of his previous contract, he would have gone out on more respectable terms.

    Oh, and as for the holding his team back part, the Senators went on their borderline impossible playoff run after he set his franchise games played mark and was removed from the lineup. They dug themselves into that hole partly because be was playing the first half of the year.
     
  22. brachyrynchos

    brachyrynchos Registered User

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    He tried to retire but needed the money, his leadership skills were still there (player- assistant coach w/Pens) but his legs weren't. I had a tough time seeing a guy that was a top player for so long
    play at the level he did in return to the ice. The circumstances of his coming back is what made me
    really feel bad for the guy. His rink on Long Island didn't work out, and he wanted to get paid for any appearances and interviews, and at one point files bankruptcy. It seemed like it was mainly for the money and not for the game itself.
    I don't know how much differently Trottier would be viewed had he stayed retired after winning the Cup his last year, probably not much, but when he came back he was always a step behind and looked tired. Everthing he did prior, was the complete opposite, guy was a player.
     
  23. brachyrynchos

    brachyrynchos Registered User

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    Yeah, alot of talk here about all the rinks he was gonna open up, I seem to remember they were going to use a different kind of surface, like w synthetic ice. He had a rink on the North shore, and a skating academy at one point.
     
  24. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Certainly Paul Coffey bounced around a lot his last few years, and certainly he passed his prime after the '96 World Cup, but was he really that bad in his twilight years?

    In sum, his Hartford, Philly, Chicago, Caroline, Boston (1996-2000) stats go like this:
    255GP: 24G + 97A = 121PTS (-5). His stats in 24 playoff games are similar.

    I mean, it's well off his good years, but it's not that bad! He was getting 1 point every 2 games in the dead-puck era as a pretty old guy.

    He certainly wasn't his old self, but the stats don't suggest he was terrible or anything. Any particular memories of him in those years?
     
  25. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Like Paul Kariya's outstanding seasons in Nashville, the first Lindros season in New York always gets short-changed.

    In 2001-02, Lindros had 73 points in 72 games, the 9th-best PPG in the NHL, and was +19 (best on his team) on an overall -31, non-playoff team. He had a way better season than guys like Fleury and Leetch, but I guess it doesn't fit the "Stevens ended his career" narrative so we just pretend it didn't happen.

    I think what ended Lindros was the hit he took the following season, 2002-03. He was never himself after that. Having said that, he wasn't terrible after that, either. As late as 2004, he had 32 points in 39 games, +7, on a terrible team, and even with Toronto (after the Lock-out), he had a hot start with 11 points in the first 10 games. Didn't he beaned again early in that season?
     
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