Zarley Zalapski

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by 12# Peter Bondra, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. 12# Peter Bondra

    12# Peter Bondra Registered User

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    Another of my 'What happened' to a player:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid[]=5846

    1991-92 Hartford Whalers NHL 79 20 37 57 120 7 2 3 5 6
    1992-93 Hartford Whalers NHL 83 14 51 65

    These are Zarley's 2 best seasons but only 5 years after them he was out of the NHL at the age of 30. The 2nd season he had he was 25 years old. What happened to him? Was he a 1 year wonder benefiting of playing a lot on a bad team or just things went well for 2 season, he got a contract and was never seen again?
     
  2. Karamahti*

    Karamahti* Guest

    I´ve been wondering that very same thing. He had good size and skill. I remember that he was quite slow though but foot speed wasn´t as vital as it is nowadays.
     
  3. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    If you look at his stats more closely, they show he was a relatively high scoring d-man for most of his career but suddenly had a couple of injury-filled years that ended his NHL career.

    11 (in 15) 45 (in 58), 31 (in 51), 54, 57, 64, 47, 28 (in 48), 29, 0 (in 2), 15 (63)

    I guess he just adapted a defensive style game that didn't work out for him after so many injuries which killed what made him effective. I remember when the Habs released him at the end of th 97-98 season, little did I know it was the last NHL action he'd ever see.
     
  4. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Zalapski's problems were consistency, focus and decision-making. He wasn't slow-footed. In fact, when he entered the league, he was very mobile. He could keep up with the play, and he was very effective at rushing and moving the puck - when he had his head on straight. Zarley's problem was he didn't always bring his A game. A lot of people had a lot of expectations for him when he joined the Pens late in the 1988 season following a three-year stint with the Canadian National Team.

    He wasn't the same player after playing in only two games in 1996-97, but by that time, hockey people knew that his consistency issues would prevent him from being the star defender that he could have been. (The 48 games played in 1994-95 is reflective of the lockout, not injuries).
     
  5. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    Very true. He had all the physical tools (he was a very good skater) , but hockey wise was not the brightest bulb.
     
  6. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    While we're on the topic of offensive defencemen who dissapeared, whatever happened to Jeff Brown? (http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php3?pid=00000613) The guy had killer stats, right up until the end of his career, was it injuries that did him in? I don't mean to highjack the thread but I thinks he's in the same boat as Zalapski.
     
  7. MS

    MS Registered User

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    He was sort of a McCabe-type guy in his prime, as you say - middling hockey sense and decision-making in his own zone, but great on the point with a big shot. And he could lug the puck up the ice pretty effectively.

    But mobility was what did him in. He was fine until he ripped up his knee in 1996. When he returned, he'd just lost it. I remember watching him play for Montreal the next year, and he was about 2 steps behind the play ... they were using him at forward in the 1998 playoffs as a result.

    __________

    Injuries did Brown in as well. Had a string of setbacks in his last year, including a serious concussion and a case of flesh-eating bacteria (!) in his leg. And once he wasn't a sure-fire bet for 50 points, his off-ice reputation from stuff that happened in Vancouver probably didn't help him find takers to extend his career.
     
  8. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    Bad back.
     
  9. Slats432

    Slats432 Registered User

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    The only thing I remember about ZZ is my ex wife took him in a hockey pool because she liked his name.

    Dumbass....;)
     
  10. John Belushi

    John Belushi Registered Boozer

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    IMO he single-handedly sent Kirk McLean's career into the proverbial nosedive, he wasn't the same after those rumours surfaced.
     
  11. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    jeff brown and zz top both pretty much fizzled with the whale. zarley ended up in calgary first, but it was pretty much already over. he had great wheels, and he was an all star on a bad team. the pp would struggle taking the zone, he would get so frustrated he would go end to end and just leave the puck behind the other teams net. what people didnt talk about enough was his bomb of a shot. the announcers would have to laugh because they could never tell which side of the net he missed on until the slo mo replay. he couldnt put it on net enough though.

    its true he didnt have it upstairs commitment wise. he was pretty arrogant, as well. whenever i read about a prospect who has "all the tools but you wonder about the toolbox"...i think of zz. it was a shame, he could been a star for awhile for the whale, but he hated being there and played like it. i was surprised he couldnt pull it together in calgary, i wouldve thought he was pumped to be out of hartford.

    as for jeff brown, he came to hartford and was awesome for a brief period before his ongoing back trouble ended it for him. in his prime he was an awesome pp qb.
     
  12. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    It should be noted that guys who had what looks like great seasons stastically in 1990(using today's standards) were basically having a good/above average season back then
     
  13. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    not if youre familiar with the whale. those were THE two best seasons in franchise history for a d - including the canes. we never have defenseman like that, his stats arent remotely skewed by time, he was pretty amazing during those two years. nothing average about it, he had 20 year old goeff sanderson to play with along with 21 year old cassells and verbeek. that was it. dont sell it short because he never did anything else. over 35 years the franchise existed and those are the best two statistical years for a d.
     
  14. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    Not entirely true. He played 12 games for the Flyers in the 1999-2000 season.
     
  15. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    If you guys kept Mark Howe then they would pale in comparison:P

    Edited to add: Looking at his short stint on Hartford i would be correct, he had a couple All Star Seasons. That being said he still statistically had a good season, just that amount of points would probably place him 10th overall among defensemen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  16. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    and like im saying, that would make him the best offensive defenseman in team history. no one is saying the guy was a top defenseman in any era. all im saying is his stats werent tilted by the time. he played on a miserable offensive team, he had little to work with, and still pulled off an impressive feat in whaler/canes history. he was really good those two seasons, he deserved to be in the all star game. how bad were the whalers to have zz be their all star? it wasnt just statistical, he was argueably their most dominant player at the time.

    and yeah, it wouldve been nice to keep howe.

    and pronger.

    and jack johnson.
     
  17. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    Mark Howe

    1979-80 Hartford Whalers NHL 74 24 56 80 20
    1980-81 Hartford Whalers NHL 63 19 46 65 54
    1981-82 Hartford Whalers NHL 76 8 45 53 18

    ZZ would be second best offensive defenseman in Whalers history:P

    All i mean by tilted was getting 67 Points in 1991 is not like getting 67 Points now. I would roughly estimate 67 points back then would be like getting low 50s now(which is still good).

    On a side note about Mark Howe, never have i seen a guy who seems to be so forgotten in the history of the sport. I just remember he was a great defenseman in his day but i think the fact Goride was his dad hurt how people think about him.
     
  18. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Mark Howe's point totals for his early Hartford years are a little misleading because he played forward for them quite a bit then (about 50/50 or 40/60 between forward and defence). While Howe was certainly the better all-around player (should be in the HHOF), you could argue that technically Zalapski was Hartford's best offensive defenceman ever.

    About Zalapski: I seem to recall hearing back when he was with the Olympic team that Pittsburgh wanted to have him use the letters ZZ on his jersey instead of a number, but the NHL wouldn't let them.
     
  19. soundtigersfan

    soundtigersfan Registered User

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    I think a lot of his frustration was also due to the fact that many Whaler fans never truly accepted him. It has to be tough to be the guy that was part of a terrible trade that saw the franchise give up the fans' all-time favorite player (Ron Francis) and one of the dirtiest/most agitating defensemen of the time (Ulf Samuelsson). It has to be even worse when the team that traded you to one of the worst teams in the league then went on to win two consecutive Cups. Had he been able to get his head on straight he might have overcome this and truly lived up to his potential, but injuries ultimately led to his undoing.
     
  20. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Actually, he wasn't as bad for those 12 games. It was over though, and everyone knew it.
     
  21. Zen Arcade

    Zen Arcade Bigger than Kiss Sponsor

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    Zalapski was the only player to ever ask Pens' PA announcer John Barbaro to not drag his name out when he was announcing a goal. He did it for Lemieux (Mariooo Lemieuuuuuuux) he does it for Crosby (Sidney Crooooooozbeeee) but Zalapski was embarrassed by it and asked him to stop.

    The Hockey News predicted that Hartford would win the Zalapski, Cullen, and Parker for Samuelsson, Francis, and Jennings trade.
     
  22. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    I wasn't saying he was bad just that he had played for the Flyers after the Canadiens. Zalapski was before my time (except for his Philly stint).
     
  23. john g

    john g Registered User

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  24. trenton1

    trenton1 Bergeron for Hart

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    IIRC, some NHL team invited ZZ to camp not more than 3 or 4 years ago. They cut him pretty quick though.
     
  25. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    wow. talk about a downward spiral. i really liked him on the whale, he was the only guy i could stand watching for a couple of years. his skill level was higher than anyone on the teams. when your team loses most of their games, you look for the little things to enjoy - like watching a high skill guy do some things. i often felt real bad for him watching him trying to play on those teams - it got better when sanderson and cassells blew up that one good year. that was the best thing i got to watch as a whaler fan in that 3 year span. cassells/verbeek/sanderson even strength and then add zz on the pp.
     

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