Underrated players from great teams

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by mcphee, Jan 25, 2005.

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  1. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    The term dynasty has been applied to a lot of great teams. Mtl. has the 50's,60's and 70's editions. You have the great Oiler teams, the Islanders, early 50's Detroit, early 60's Leafs, you can include the 90's Penguins, 70's Flyers and even the 70's Bruins to a lesser degree. I don't discount the excellence of the last 3, they just accomplished a bit less. Which player/s from those teams stand out as huge contributors but never really got the recognition ? I got thinking about this speaking to my father who doesn't speak about much with enthusiasm these days but still gets excited about hockey. We were discussing Red Fisher's list when he brought up Bert Olmstead as a the one player who made a huge difference on the 50's Habs but took a back seat in popularity. During the 70's, I thought Rejean Houle got lost in the shuffle. Every year, it seemed someone would go down and Houle would keep the line going and chip in key goals. Any names out there ?
     
  2. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    One player on the Pens cups teams comes to mind...Gord Roberts. I doubt many people blinked an eye when the Pens picked him up on waivers from the Blues back then. For Habs fans I think he compares to Craig Ludwig. Nothing flashy, just a steady veteran defenceman who blocked shots, covered his man and moved the puck up to the forwards consistently well.

    Jim Roberts and Doug Jarvis are names who come to mind with the Habs. Jarvis was a faceoff wiz and fine defensive player. Like Gainey, Roberts could drop back on defence when needed.

    I'll add Bob Errey and Troy Loney as unsung heroes of Pens cups teams.
     
  3. DisgruntledHawkFan

    DisgruntledHawkFan Blackhawk Down

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    Pierre Pilote way back when.
     
  4. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    He wasn't unappreciated though, he won a string of Norris trophies.
     
  5. SingnBluesOnBroadway

    SingnBluesOnBroadway Retired

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    I would have to say that Jeff Beukeboom was underrated on the Rangers' Cup team.
     
  6. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Also as an Oiler. Jaroslav Pouzar never got his due, either.
     
  7. Sabres11forever

    Sabres11forever Registered User

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    I think Pierre Pilote is recognized as an elite player of his time.

    Earlier, in this post, someone mentioned the greatness of the Canadiens and the lesser achievements of the Bruins, Flyers ...

    If we agree the Caandiens of the 1970's were great, we must do that based on a comparison of something? Larry Robinson, in his book Robinson for the defence, stated that your opponent is what generates your greatness. You are great because your opponent ruired that you play at that level to finally prevail past them.

    So, if we accept that premise, then the 1970's Canadiens teams were great because they were able to prevail against the Big, Bad Bruins...time and again. And, if Bob Gainey is recognized as the premier defensive forward of his time, he did so building a reputation against the likes of the Bruins.

    So, my question is...how is it that Don Marcotte has not made it to the Hockey Hall of Fame? He was easily the number 2 defensive forward of that era...Craig Ramsey close behind...while Bob Gainey needed to be on the top of his game to manage Terry O'Reilly, Bobby Schmatz and Rick Middleton...Don Marcotte drew Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer, Pierre Larouche...

    Hell, the Bruins don't even recognize him...which is even more of a dispapointment when you consider they retired Terry O'Reilly's jersey number.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Great to see some one else noticed these guys. Never a big name but Bob Errey was very under rated even by Pens fans. Always in motion, he was a great on the PK and was often a safty valve for "the big guy". He was also chipping in some goals too with his high being 26. Not bad for a role player. Some others that come to mind are:
    Barclay Plager
    Jean Guy Talbot
    Jim Peplinski
    Brian Trottier as a Penguin
    Reggie Lemelin
    Not all cup winners but at some point they were on a great team.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  9. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Glad you brought up the Robinson quote. I've read more of these sports books or cash grabs as most of them are than I can remember but that part of Robinson's always stuck with me. Actually it kind of mellowed my Bruin hatred that I thought was a sacred CH duty. I guess Bob Gainey took the role to a new level, in that he was actually the dominant player in some games. Marcotte was a great defensive forward and so was Ramsey. There have been others like Westfall,Claude Provost, we can go on thru Carbonneau and a lot more. Bowman's efforts to keep Marcotte away from Lafleur caused the infamous too many men penalty in 79. Coincidentally, Gainey won the Conn Smythe that year as he took over the final against NY. I don't know how to answer the question as it's difficult to quantify a role that isn't judged by numbers. Steve Kasper was the best shadow that Gretzky faced, but again, how do you measure. Personally, I think Gainey just did everything a bit better than the other checking forwards, plus, and this plays a big role in defining great players[ often unfairly], his team won.
     
  10. isles52480

    isles52480 Registered User

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    For the Islanders Cup teams I would say guys like Bob Bourne, Dave Langevin and Stefan Persson were usually overlooked. These guys went out every night and played rock solid hockey and were integral parts of what made that team a T-E-A-M.
     
  11. Darth Milbury

    Darth Milbury Registered User

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    There were a few Isles who were instrumental in the rise of the team to elite status, but never made it to the cup: Gerry Hart, JP Parise, Bert Marshall. These guys seem like footnotes in Isles history, but were true warriors in their day.
     
  12. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    For the 90's Red Wings: Doug Brown, just a consistently solid guy who could score a few goals.

    For the 80's Habs and 90's Stars: Guy Carbonneau, premier defensive forward; Craig Ludwig, crease-clearing shot-blocking defeceman;

    For the 80's Oilers: Charlie Huddy, covered for Coffey and played solid defence; Mike Krushelnyski, checking forward who chipped in with timely goals.

    For the 80's Flames: Joel Otto, legendary faceoff duels with Messier and a real handful in front of the net; Brad McCrimmon, a solid defencemen for the Flyers in the early part of the decade he really solidified the Flames back-end for their Cup run in '89.

    For the 80's Isles: John Tonelli, for some reason he's usually lost in the shuffle with Bossy, Trottier and Potvin but he worked the corners and the boards and had good hands too; Ken Morrow, just a solid defencemen that no dynasty can do without.

    For the 70's Habs: Doug Jarvis, centred the checking line with Gainey, faceoff wizard. Murray Wilson, smooth skating winger who chipped in up front but was often overshadowed by the bigger stars; Pierre Bouchard, a passable defenceman but more importantly brought some toughness to help the Habs deal with the much tougher Bruins and Flyers teams of the time.
     
  13. Bill Nyrop. Once you looked past the big 3 of Savard, Robinson, and Lapointe, you still had a very good, serviceable Bill Nyrop. There weren't any slouches on those Hab teams.
     
  14. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Let's not ever forget everyman's working class hero, number 16 in your program, number one in your heart, Kelly Buchberger. :bow:
     
  15. acr*

    acr* Guest

    He never was on a cup winning team, but when you hear about the Bruins of the 70s and 80s, the names that come to mind immediately are Orr, Esposito, Bucyk, O'Reilly, then Neely, Bourque, etc. but you don't hear much about Nifty Middleton, and he had to be one of the best forwards of his generation.

    The sad thing about Marcotte is that whenever I hear his name, the first thing that comes to mind is Cherry's linematching with Lafleur that led to the Too Many Men penalty. I have heard stories about his defensive ability, but you don't hear that much about him.
     
  16. Sabres11forever

    Sabres11forever Registered User

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    As I have tried to say, I compare Don Marcotte to Bob Gainey quite favorably, in fact, I see him as the Brad Park of defensive forwards ...as Brad Park was cast in the shadow of Bobby Orr for so long...imagine, a Habs fan arging that A Bruin should be in the HHOF...

    Regarding the recent postings of players who made strong contributions but were not properly recognized....I would add Doug Riseborough...the tandem of Doug and Doug on face off duty, the aggressive forecheck and back check offered the necessary depth to defeat some strong teams when he was in Montreal and then, when he played in Calgary, he made similar contributions...
     
  17. looooob

    looooob Registered User

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    2 others from those Flames teams, Jamie Macoun and to a lesser extent Hakan Loob. Loob gets some credit, but he was quite the 2 way player, before calling it quits early. edit: I'll add Colin Patterson too. very effective 3rd member of the line with Gilmour and Mullen
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  18. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    definately Don Marcotte...

    always looked upon as a defensive one dimensional player..while if there was a Selke award in those days he'd have won many...his offense was nothing to sneeze at either.

    He may have been one of the best * all around * players I have ever seen.

    http://www.bruins-legends.com/M/marcotte.htm
     
  19. MiamiScreamingEagles

    MiamiScreamingEagles A Fistful of Dollars

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    As far as the Flyers' Cup winning teams, one player doesn't necessarily stand out as underrated but their defense unit certainly didn't garner the attention of their forwards and of course Bernie Parent in goal. The Watsons, Moose Dupont, Tom Bladon, and Eddie Van Impe etc. weren't flashy but did the job night in and night out and were solid contributors on two Cup teams.
     
  20. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Clarke considers his trade if McCrimmon to Calgary as his worst trade. The "Beast" was a big part of a lot of very successful teams.
     
  21. Ronnie Bass

    Ronnie Bass elite pissy upside

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    Mike Krushelnyski for the Oilers, always a solid player.
     
  22. Juicer

    Juicer Registered User

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    As a Flyers fan, McCrimmon really stuck out for me. I don't think Sinisalo got the credit he deserved. Then Podein was a real worker for them. None of them won a ring, but the Flyers were close and those guys were very important players for them.
     
  23. Juicer

    Juicer Registered User

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    For other teams:

    Oilers: Randy Gregg was overshadowed by Coffey, Lowe, and Huddy, But he was a solid defensive player who rarely made any mistakes in his own zone.

    Stars/Canadiens: Craig Ludwig was a beast to play against. HE blacked everything and was just a nasty guy. One of the most underrrated Dmen I have seen.(Rick Green was also very underrated for the Habs)

    Devils: Sergei Brylin doesn't score much, is not physical, is not very flashy, etc. But I think he has played a nice role for the Devils on 3 cup teams. Nice role player IMO.

    Other guys:

    Kjell Samuelsson, Ryan Walter, Bob Bourne and Jamie Macoun.
     
  24. Vast Ant Dioi

    Vast Ant Dioi Registered User

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    I'll go with Steve Larmer. Not only was he a 1000pt player that hasn't quite got the attention he deserves, he had 11-straight 80 game seasons. Not bad.
     
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