70's and 80's defensemen

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by seventieslord, Jul 10, 2007.

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  1. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I am working on a huge project regarding the draft. When perfected, it will be able to answer practically anything you will want to know about the draft since 1969. One tweak I am looking at is the defensemen. With forwards, you can almost look at their career offensive totals and know whether they were a franchise player, top liner, 2nd liner, or so on. With defensemen it is a bit trickier. Point totals help, but they tell only a part of the story. In 20 years someone could look at Jason Smith's bio and say "hmm, looks like your average stay at home 3rd-pairing guy" but we know better.

    So, to those 35 and over, I ask you: looking at defensemen from the 70's and 80's, which ones are the Jason Smiths and Brendan Witts of their time? Who was deceptively good? And, who are the Jason Woolleys and Oleg Tverdovskys of that era, whose offensive numbers don't do justice to how mediocre they really were?
     
  2. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    A really good rule of thumb is games played. It's boring, I admit, but a defender who can hang onto an NHL job for over a decade amd has 1,000 or so games was a valuable player in any era.

    A guy like Don Awrey never got a lot of credit, but he played on winners and was extremely effective, as an example.
     
  3. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Don Sweeney is another example as is Glen Wesley. Sweeney was solid and for years was forgotten because for two reasons: he wasnt flashy, and whenever you thought of a defenseman on Boston you thought of Bourque

    Adam Foote is a guy who's game is very underrated. Stats didnt measure the impact he had on a game. Until that is he created career suicide and signed with Columbus. Bad team or not no good player has the worst +/- in the league. Still it cant take away what he did on Colorado.

    On the flip side Kevin Hatcher is a guy who I thought got incredibly overrated. When you ask the question who is the last defenseman to score 30 goals in a season you'd be shocked that it isnt Blake, Lidstrom or Gonchar. Heck it isnt even Leetch or Bourque..........it's yep Hatcher.

    Sandis Ozonlinch is another one. Not that he wasnt good enough offensively but to be that ad defensively you have to at the very least score at a pace like Housley. He didnt.
     
  4. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I agree, and certainly I ranked certain guys with more games higher. It's very valid. To use a 90's example, Luke Richardson. The guy played over 1300 career games and though we all know he was nothing special, he put together a solid and quiet career.
     
  5. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Sweeney and Wesley are both good examples... although, Wesley did put up the offensive numbers to the point where he wasn't "deceptively" good.

    Foote, we all know about since he's been on team Canada numerous times.

    Hatcher, surprisingly, I did know that about him, because he was one of the three caps D that season to have 20, they are still the answer to that trivia question. And you're right, he was not as good as his point totals indicated. He was much like McCabe of late. A big guy with a shot, erratic defensively, somewhat gritty play led to high PIM totals and gave the illusion of him being "solid".

    Ozolinsh is another good example.

    Now, for anyone 35 and over, give me some examples from the 70's and 80's!
     
  6. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Bill White, Pat Stapleton and Gary Bergman are examples from guys who played in parts of the '70s. Not saying they werent decent offensively - other than Bergman - but I always thought they played a stable game. Bergman was a stay at home guy and in the '72 series he was rock solid, I dont think he's ever played better. Bergman was "that" close to being Paul Henderson in '72 since he came ever so close to scoring the winning goal with about 3 minutes left. Neither one of these guys I would kick off my team. They werent Orr, Park but they were very valuable.

    In the '80s a guy like Charlie Huddy comes to mind. If you look back he led the league in +/- in 1983. It wasnt Gretzky that did it or Coffey who racked up the big numbers but it was Huddy. He was steady and he never had more than 57 points in a season. He was a 40 point guy that's about it on defense. That says something about a guy's reliability. Of course Coffey gets the credit on those Oilers defense teams and he should but after that it's Kevin Lowe - who ridiculously gets pimped for the Hall - and then no one remembers Huddy. That's too bad.

    Brian Engblom is another guy. Not a superstar but he never had more than 33 points in a year yet he led the league in +/- in '81 and was a 2nd team all-star in '82. Not to mention he won three Cups with the Habs although only one of them was a big part of. Still if you want more proof of how he was underappreciated look no further than his trade in '82. He was sent in a package with Rod Langway and Doug Jarvis for Ryan Walter and Rick Green. Yikes.
     
  7. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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  8. Ofuzz

    Ofuzz Registered User

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    I couldn't agree more.The games played with a low point output is an excellant guage to measure a players worth to his team in regards to his "knowing his role" and effectively helping his team. Don Awrey was one of the first that came to mind. Gary Doak of the early 70's Bruins, Harold Snepts (with 2 All-Star games) of the 70 and 80's Canucks are others. Even defensemen ranked 5th 0r 6th in the lineup can be valuable and remain with a franchise to win multiple Cups. Pierre Bouchard from the 1970's Habs was never anything more than a 5 or 6 defensemen but he new his role and won 5? Cups I believe.

    If this project of yours is successful it will be a great tool for all of us history buffs.
     
  9. RUSqueelin*

    RUSqueelin* Registered User

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    For as much as I liked to make fun of him, Jamie MaCoun is another player who'd you love to have on your team.
     
  10. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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  11. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Most of the good ones have been named, but a few more:

    Bill Hajt
    Dave Burrows
    Rick Green
    Andre Dupont
    Doug Crossman
    Mike Milbury

    And a few who weren't so good when it came to the defensive part of the game:

    Carol Vadnais
    Risto Siltanen
    Reijo Ruotsalainen
    Dale Tallon
    Moe Mantha
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
  12. patsypostal

    patsypostal Registered User

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    Dave Langevin is a guy who comes to mind on the plus side solid player no #'s whatsoever Tom Laidlaw and Normand Rochefort also come to mind
    on the negative side Mike McEwen was awful defensively a sieve
     
  13. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Curtis Lesychyn
     
  14. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    Curt Giles
    Craig Hartsburg
    Mike Ramsey

    These are all guys who had long NHL careers without scoring a ton of points, but were very solid defensemen. You could add Randy Gregg of the Oilers to the list, too.
     
  15. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    Then there are guys like Behn Wilson, who was an absolute killer especially as a Flyer. He didn't have a long career, but if you ever saw a game he was in you'd remember him.

    Jim Dorey was like that too.
     

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