Glen Wesley

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Stephen, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I was too young to really follow Glen Wesley in the late 80s and early 90s when he was on the Bruins and only really started following hockey shortly before the time he was signed as an RFA by Hartford in 1993-94, but considering what Jim Rutherford was willing to give up for him, assumingly to play with Chris Pronger.

    After 1994, he basically settled into a ho-hum reliable defensive defenseman's role, but before then he was drafted 3rd overall, had good size, put up some great offensive numbers in Boston in the late 80s, had pretty good playoff stats, and I'm assuming he was good defensively given what he specialized in later in his career. And he was good enough that a team would want to trade 3 first rounders for (albeit a dysfunctional team like Hartford at the time).

    My question is, given his early pedigree, what kind of career path was Wesley expected to take? Did people think he was going to be a Ray Bourque-lite type player, a perennial all-star, or was he seen as a product of playing with Bourque?
     
  2. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Not a Ray Bourque-lite, no, but was viewed partially as a potential perrenial all-star and partially as a Bourque product. Actually, that trade was a bit of a gamble because you wouldn't know for sure about Wesley until you took him out of Boston and tried him out.

    The way I see it, he started off pretty raw right after being drafted, but was praised for his poise. the next few years he improved but expectations also got higher. He blossomed offensively, thanks to PP time. Defensively he was OK, solid, but not polished. He had some physical tendencies but didn't use them as often as some would prefer.

    Hartford had to be disappointed that he lost a lot of his offense when they picked him up, but they should have known that would happen with less PP time and no Bourque. For his first 9 years there, he was arguably just as valuable as he ever was for Boston. He ranked 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 3, 2, 4, 3 on the team's defensemen in icetime. For the first few years you might say that was wishful thinking on their part, that he'd reach the potential they thought he still had. it was partially that, mostly on merit, and rolled into it was the fact that they had very few players on their blueline who could take that icetime away from him.

    By the time his career was over, his early reputation as "good point producer, good but not great defensively, a Garry Galley or Doug Bodger-type" was long forgotten and he was seen as a solid, wily veteran with leadership skills who didn't pile up points but always made the right play.

    Here you will find more about Glen Wesley than you probably ever wanted to know:

    http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=25177717&postcount=181
     
  3. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    This pretty much sums it up.
     
  4. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Glen Wesly

    Seventieslord provided a nice summation.

    When Wesley was drafted he was projected to grow but he never did - maxing out at 6'1" and 205LBS. Taller than Bourque but nowhere near as solid physically. In the smaller Boston Garden this made him vulnerable to the dump and chase.
     
  5. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Actually I wouldn't say they were disappointed in Wesley as much as they were surprised with what they ended up with. They were expecting to get an offensive defenseman but ended up with a defense-first guy that would anchor their blueline for years. Not worth 3 #1 picks by any means IMO, but he turned out to be a really good player for the Whalercanes and I'd argue among the most underrated dmen in the league until he retired. Then again guys that don't play a truly physical game or an offensive game, guys like Wesley and Phillips, tend to get overlooked.
     
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    seventieslord, that was some serious Glen Wesley overload...

    Anton Carter, it was funny at the time when the trade was made and the Bruins were busy drafting Kyle McLaren (who got a lot of hype as the next great Bruin defender), Jonathan Aitken and Sergei Samsonov, and Samsonov wins a Calder as an 18 year old, the optics of the trade looked so bad for Hartford/Carolina. Yet when the dust has settled, Glen Wesley goes on to have the most enduring impact in that trade.
     
  7. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I would agree that in terms of value delivered following that trade, Carolina wins. McLaren and Samsonov combined have been about as Valuable as Wesley was. Aitken was a bust thanks to injuties.
     
  8. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Definitely true. There was a point where McLaren was a good #2/3 type, and Samsonov was a top line winger. But their longevity doesn't really come close to Wesley's, and neither are the type that a team would be built around. Wes on the other hand was a staple on the blueline for Hartford and Carolina until he retired, aside from a short stint with the Leafs.
     
  9. canes won the cup and wesley was a key member, who cares about the 3 picks
     
  10. Fish on The Sand

    Fish on The Sand Untouchable

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    He was a marginal member of that team and they had already traded him away and re-acquired him anyways.
     
  11. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    I can see how some might think that, but he was the Canes besk PK defenseman during that playoff season. Especially in the Edmonton series. I can't recall him or Wallin with any PP time throughout the playoffs that year, but both were key in a shutdown role.

    Biggest reason they traded him away was to give him another shot at the cup, it was uncertain that he or Francis would return to playing post-lockout.
     

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