Craig Hartsburg

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by igglyjiggly, Apr 17, 2011.

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  1. igglyjiggly

    igglyjiggly Registered User

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    Hey guys ive been reading these boards for about a year now and its pretty cool how long some of you guys have been following hockey. but anyways im wondering what some of you old timers thought of Craigs game? Im too young to have seen him play but i always thought of him as just your average defenseman but after seeing some of his team pictures (mainly the 81 and 87 canada cup) i quickly realized he was an elite player so im just wondering if any of you guys thought of him as a future HOFer before his career ending injury and who you think is a comparable player today?
     
  2. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Outstanding player whose career was unfortunately ruined by injuries.

    Was a top-10 defender in the NHL at his peak, outstanding all-around defender who had size, skill and a mean streak.

    In his first 4 years, he looked destined for greatness. #1 defender on a Cup finalist in 1981, selected to the Canada Cup squad that summer, 77 points and 4th in Norris voting in 1982. Around 1982 or 1983, he was probably considered the best all-around defender in the NHL under the age of 25 next to Ray Bourque.

    But then injuries hit, and he only played 2 full seasons after the age of 23, played his last full season at the age of 27, and was forced to retire at age 29.

    In terms of comparables, Shea Weber is probably the closest thing in today's NHL.
     
  3. buffalowing88

    buffalowing88 Registered User

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    Wow. I never even gave the guy a second thought until you brought him up. That really is tragic that his career got cut so short. Seems like he could have been a name we bring up more when we talk about offensive defensemen from the eighties.
     
  4. MS

    MS 1%er

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    Yeah, it's really kind of a shame that when most hockey fans today hear the name 'Craig Hartsburg' they think of a crappy coach instead of an All-Star defender who was selected to play in two Canada Cups.

    I doubt he would have won a Norris - he was pretty clearly a cut below Bourque/Coffey/Chelios - but he should have had a Gary Suter-type legacy if he'd been able to carve out a full career.

    Having said that, he was higher-rated than Larry Murphy for the first several years of their careers and Murphy is in the HHOF.

    Hartsburg and Paul Reinhart are two big 'what-ifs' from that era who should have had much more noteworthy careers if not for injury.
     
  5. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    One of the better offensive defenseman of that time. As others have said injuries cut short his career and made him and his career a huge what if.
     

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