Claude Lemieux v. Scott Stevens HHOF?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by chooch*, Jun 30, 2006.

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  1. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Scott Stevens got a lot of ink on the no name devils defence and was considered a clutch playoff performer during their frequent Cup runs. Other than that he was largely eclipsed during a long 80's90's career. I'd put him in the top 10 at his position duiring his prime but he didnt really stand out internationally or win major trophies during the regular season. He was a star but not a superstar and the press really built him up during the playoffs on the basis of essentially illegal hits on a couple of notable players. Personaly I never liked his headhunting style (not that he was the only one back then). And I found it hypocritical the way he shook his head after levelling Lindros with that shot to the head in the playoffs as if he was sorry he had to do it but had no choice. He had a choice not to do that.

    If Stevens' name is bandied about on the basis of that kind of career for the HHoF - why not Claude Lemieux?

    He was dynamite during the playoffs during several long Cup runs for the Habs and Devils winning the Conn Smythe. He was a key key player even as a rookie in 86 when "Roy won the Cup for the Habs". He also was a key player internationally when asked and the Soviets were absolutely delighted when he got hurt in Rendez Vous 87 (?).

    His regular seasons were average - he was likely top 10 at his position for the majority of his long 80's 90's career. He also got a lot of ink for his play during the playoffs for essentially the same thing that Stevens was doing but the slant on him by the press was negative at least in english Canada. However, when the chips were down, you'd want him on your team no doubt.

    If Stevens goes to the Hall so should Claude.
     
  2. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    In the wake of Duffgate, I think it's almost pointless to say who should and shouldn't be in. Clearly the Hall operates on criteria that the rest of the known world isn't privvy to.
     
  3. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    But Stevens played in the East. That makes him an automatic choice for the Hall of Fame. Since all the best players were in the East and All the worst players in the West. I tell you what if Gretzky played all his games in the East against defenceman like Stevens and Langway he probably would never have got 40 points in a season in the 1980's. He might have been sent to the AHL.
     
  4. Mace_37

    Mace_37 Registered User

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    And if Lemieux played in the West, he would have averaged 3 points per game. I also heard that if winnipeg was in the east, Selanne would have been on pace for 12,000 points.
     
  5. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Probably if Mario Lemieux was in the West he would have had several 350 point seasons.

    Claude Lemieux is remembered most for his tough and clean play. That is one guy who would never ever take a dive or a cheapshot or fake an injury. He was kind of like Red Kelly or Lidstrom except cleaner and nicer with better sportsmanship.
     
  6. V-2 Schneider

    V-2 Schneider Registered User

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    Stevens has seen his reputation elevated more than anyone,thanks to ESPN.The fawning coverage has erased most memories of his erratic first decade in the league,not to mention his slow as sludge performance in the playoff loss to Ottawa.He was always a hard hitter, but all too often lost control of his temper and took mindless penalties,and to have stature raised to a level beyond far superior defensive D men, like Serge Savard, is a testament to today's electronic age.
     
  7. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Absolutely. They both had memorable careers and deserve profiling.

    The whole "HHOF career" thing is a bit overplayed, imo.

    There should be a PROFILE section of the hall for memorable player achievements.

    Any hockey hall of fame that doesn't SOMEHOW profile Stevens' hitting and Lemieux's clutch playoff scoring is incomplete.
     
  8. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Stevens is a lock. He was voted to the true all-star teams five times. (Twice to the first, three times to the second). He was a key player and the captain of three Stanley Cup champions. He was always one of the most feared defencemen in the league. Opponents always heard footsteps when he was on the ice, no matter what stage of his career. Early in his career, he was a very good offensive defenceman who was a threat on the power play with his powerful shot. In the second half of his career, he was the best shut-down defencemen in the league, a player who would not only stop the opposition with his physical play, but with his defensive timing and anticipation.

    And his hits were clean, according to the rules. You can count his elbowing minors on one hand. I expect to see hits to the head on the banned list within the next 5-10 years, but for now, they are legal.

    There are few players who will generate more heated HHOF debate over the next few years than Claude Lemieux. (Theo Fleury comes to mind as one). He was a marvellous playoff performer who won four Cups, and is one of a few with a Cup from three different franchises. A Conn Smythe in 1995 and several outstanding playoff performances.

    His regular season portfolio is lacking. No all-star team births, one 40-goal and 80-point season. Nothing that stands out. Never heralded as one of the best players in the league.

    Also, his on and off ice conduct weren't always the best. He was referred to as a cancer at one point by a coach in New Jersey. He became a poster boy for athlete greed in 1995, when he signed a new contract, then went out and won the Conn Smythe, and proceeded to hold out for more money, forcing a trade to Colorado. He was dirty, a cheap shot artist and a notorious diver. Like Glenn Anderson and Carl Brewer, his conduct pissed off a lot of people during his career, and that will be held against him.

    A week ago, if you would have asked me about Lemieux's chances, I would have flatly said no. He'd have as much chance of getting into the Hall as chooch favourite Pete Mahovlich. Not now. There appear to be a lot of parallels between Duff and Lemieux. Granted, it took Duff 30-plus years into the Hall, and he seems to be much more well-thought-of as a human being than "Claude the Fraud," but I wouldn't rule Lemieux out for some point.

    Interesting to note that both come up for eligibility next year.
     
  9. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    Scouts drool over "The Next Scott Stevens"

    nobody is thinking about spending a top 5 pick on "The Next Claude Lemieux"
     

  10. Bobby Clarke? :sarcasm:
     
  11. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Imagine Stevens rushing the puck end to end in the West.. he probably would have scored 200 points a season, easy.
     
  12. The_Eck

    The_Eck Registered User

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    If Duff is in, claude lemieux should be in. Stevens is a lock.

    End of discussion.
     
  13. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    Personally, I don't think EITHER of them should ever get in the HHOF, but due to the hugely lowered standards these days, Stevens will probably make it. Had he played in the 70's, though, he would have been about the 14th best D-man in the game AT THAT TIME! Behind Orr, Park, Robinson, Savard, Vadnais, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming, Barcley Plager, er, wait......, Lars-Erik Shoberg, etc. He is only become a "legend" because of a few big illegal hits over the years. He was a GOOD defenseman, with a bit of an offensive flair. But that's it! If not for the hit on Lindros, that's ALL he'd be.

    But if Duff and Gillies can get in.....
     
  14. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    If Scott Stevens was Swedish his name would be Ulf Samuelsson. Having said that, Stevens was miles better than Kevin Lowe.
     
  15. Bluesfan1981

    Bluesfan1981 Registered User

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    You have to be kidding. :biglaugh: :eek:
    Stevens is far more deserving than Claude Lemieux; he was a far better player. I don't think of Claude Lemieux as a Hall of Famer; Dick Duff is more deserving than Claude.
     
  16. ZadorovNJD*

    ZadorovNJD* Guest

    "essentially illegal hits"

    Huh? When did the league reprimand him for any of his high-profile hits? When the league reviews it and says it's ok it's "essentially" legal. Just an FYI.
     
  17. Tinordi24*

    Tinordi24* Guest

    Stevens=Rediculously awesome

    He could play D, clear the crease, intimidate, one of the best hitters ever to play, man the point on the PP, GREAT leader, a factor everytime he was on the ice. He had infinite intangibles. He did not have a weakness in his game at all. He had some outstanding offensive seasons early on with the Caps and was asked to do less with St Louis and NJ. Never seen a non-enforcer stand up for his teamates like him.

    Automatic HOF. No way was he a dirty player by any stretch. Claude Lemieux and Dale Hunter were dirty players tho. Still I'd take all three on my team any day!
     
  18. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    If Tim Horton is in, Stevens will be in someday; he's a shoo in. If Duff is in, Glenn Anderson should be in as well, and perhaps Claude.

    Stevens was one of the top defensive defencemen in the NHL for more than 20 years - from the moment he entered the league he was considered one of the most feared bodycheckers, and that reputation would stay with him until the day he retired. Few defencemen have been as feared or as consistent, particularly over such a long period of time.

    A HHOF defenceman does not have to have gaudy point totals, yet in his prime Stevens was a solid 60-point man that could play any style.

    14 all-star appearances are testament to Stevens being more than an "average" regular season performer - he made the first all-star team twice and second-all-star team three times, and holds the NHL record for most games played by a defenceman.

    Stevens will be voted in his first year of eligibility.
     
  19. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    If you enjoyed this years Finals, it was clear that Stevens was everything that was wrong with the NHL for 10 years or more.

    His media-made rep was based on some very questionable hits that would be 5 minute majors with a game misconduct in other eras. He was clearly a headhunter who got away with it because the NHL for political/legal reasons wouldnt step in when players were concussed. Sorry to say, but he was a dirty player. He was also a boring player who put me to sleep by turning a speed game into a slow football scrimmage.

    He wasnt the best defenseman on the Caps either. Langway was. I watched him when he was much younger (did you?) - nothing special.

    Still, I agree with you that I'd want Stevens on my team and Lemieux (I sound like Lou L.)...

    btw - stevens can thank Marty Brodeur and the Devils/Caps system for his "all star" accolades.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 30, 2006
  20. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Stevens is a shoo-in for the HOF.

    He however was a dirty player. Sure his hits were "clean" but he knew what he was doing, he intentionally tried to destroy guys careers. It is one thing to take out a guy who isn't paying attention to you coming to him on the open ice. But if you know he is completly defenceless and has no idea you are coming you don't hit him as hard as you can. You know you will absolutely destroy him and that he will probably taken off the ice on a stretcher or by the trainer. These hits happen sometimes, sometimes they are accidental in that the palyer who hit him thought he knew he was coming or they hitting player pulled up a bit and didn't hit him as hard as he could.

    But Stevens did this many, many times, he never pulled up and made a less hard hit to still punish the guy physically and take him out of the play without taking him out so bad he gets a massive concussion. He looked for these opportunities and took them at full speed intending to not just hurt the guy but seriously iunjury them.

    When Stevens retired TSN showed his top 10 hits. It was sickening to watch how hard these guys heads hit the ice. They weren't clean hits they were delibrate attempts to injure that Stevens looked for at every opportunity. Sure they were legal and not penalized but it isn't clean to try and end a defenceless players career.

    Stevens was very dirty and a headhunter. Still a great player and all but he is no better than Dale Hunter or Ulf Samuelsson. I'd rather my knee get taken out then get a brain injury and not be able to spell my own name.
     
  21. JWINK19

    JWINK19 southern Devils fan

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    Thank you, chooch, for posting the biggest load of crap I've read since I joined this board. Every one of those hits was clean. He hit with his shoulder, instead of using his elbows like Hatcher. As for his "boring" play, I gues you weren't around when he was putting up 60 and 70 point seasons. He became a defensive defenseman because that was the system the Devils played. Spare me the "media-made rep" garbage, because the media hates the Devils and doesn't promote them at all. Not that Lou would let them anyway. Finally, if you think Stevens was the problem with the NHL, maybe you should look again.
     
  22. JWINK19

    JWINK19 southern Devils fan

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    Wow, you just beat chooch. Everything you just posted is complete and utter BS, and the fact that you would compare him to two scuzballs like Hunter and Ulf shows you have an agenda.
     
  23. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    Rule #1 in hockey: DO NOT PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN!

    Scott Stevens made people pay for breaking this rule, he just did it better than anybody else. Over and over.


    And you'd think that a player with such a "media-made rep" would have benefitted more from said rep, seeing how it's the media who chooses the winner of the Norris trophy.
    Part of the reason he was able to gain a "media-rep" was that he was a HUGE part of a team that played well into the play-offs on a consistent basis. I also find it funny that there are so many players that are "over-hyped" because they played on the Devils. Brodeur, Stevens, Niedermayer. Could it just possibly be that they are great players that were part of a dominant team?

    Oh, and just for fun, look up how many elbowing penalties Stevens amassed.
     
  24. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    Tell that to anybody competing for the Stanley Cup. Don't hit as hard as you can, don't skate as fast as you can, shoot with 90% accuracy. A little above average is just fine.
     
  25. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest


    Huh? Stevens wasn't as good as Langway when he first broke into the league ......and Langway was the bloody Norris Trophy winner - BTW - no other defenceman in the league was better than Rod in 83-84. By the mid-to-late 80s however Stevens was every bit as good as Langway, and was soon much better. I once asked Bryan Murray who the best player he ever coached was - he said Stevens.

    BTW - teams have had more than one HHOF defenceman on the team at the same time - several Hab teams including ones with four hall of fame defencemen on the same team (Robinson, Langway, Lapointe and Savard), Boston with Clapper and Shore, and then Park and Bourque, Edmonton with Lowe and Coffey, Toronto with Horton and Stanley, Detroit with Kelly and Pronovost, just to name a few.

    Someday Blake will join old teammate Bourque in the HHOF, Pronger will join longtime teammate McInnis, Lidstrom and Chelios will get in someday as well, and at some point Neidermayer will join former teammate Stevens in the HHOF.

    Langway was better than Stevens until Scott turned 23 or so; from then on Stevens was better as Rod's career wound down. Rod didn't play at a high level in the NHL for nearly as long as Stevens, and he never led the Caps to any sort of playoff success. He won two Cups as the fourth or fifth defenceman in Montreal, while Stevens won three Cups as one of his club's top two defencemen; a real leader in both the regular season and playoffs.

    As for the crap about him being a dirty hitter - baloney!! He played hockey not tiddlywinks. I get tired of the bleeding hearts around here sometimes. ;)

    Stevens was a solid defender; almost impossible to beat, had tremendous lateral mobility for his size (thick as a brick); a smart passer, tough as nails, smart, hard shot from the point, great crease clearer, tremendous in the corners...I daresay for at least 18 of his 23 years in the NHL that the majority of teams has Scott listed as one of the top four defencemen they'd want if they were putting together a 'superteam.' In the mid 80's he was on the list, in the late 80's. He never won the Norris, so I don't agree that he was treated favourably by the media. If anything he deserved more than five all-star team selections (and a couple of Norris trophies), but lost out on several occasions because he didn't have piles of points.

    A hall of famer ten times over Claude Lemieux; 20 times over Dick Duff.
     

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