Gordi Howe

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by alrusso, Apr 9, 2007.

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  1. alrusso

    alrusso Registered User

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    I'm just asking the question because I haven't seen a lot of video (any really) of Gordie Howe in his prime. Is he a bit overrated? Can Howe compare (skill wise) to Orr, Gretzky, Mario? I never hear anything about Gordie Howe dominating a game, or how he skated so fast, or he stickhandled past everyone. I know he was tough and I'm not saying anything bad about him, but how skilled of a player was he, and should he be in the same sentence as Orr, Gretzky, Mario and a handful of others. I'm just asking?
     
  2. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    Howe dominated games alright. Skillwise I wouldn't say he is in the class of the aforementioned but not far below. Probably not the fanciest stickhandler but incredibly strong on the puck. He could get past anyone just with his body protecting the puck. And he was one of the best ever in working in the corners hardly ever he was overpowered there. Not blazing speed but certainly not slow, great vision, could shoot from anywhere on the ice. And of course was a feared checker as ever there would be. Often played a dirty game (think a bit like a wild Messier). In the 50s there was hardly a player that was better than him, always on top of scoring (for even longer). As said, stickhandling and speed were not his main assets but he more than made up for that "lack".
     
  3. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    I certainly wouldn't call Howe over-rated. He is easily in the top 5 of all time & many rank him ahead of Gretzy & Lemieux. Recently, I watched a highlite reel of the 1951 all star game (Howe at his prime) and a complete 1965 playoff game between Detroit & Chicago. Howe looked pretty dominant in both these games even though they were 14 years apart. As far as skating, he was slower than Orr or Hull but I think he was faster than Gretzy or Lemieux. Howe had a very deceptive skating style & was going a lot faster than he appeared. His stride was very long & powerful. As far as stickhandling, he was right up there with the best and would regularly beat guys one on one. His being ambidextrous certainly was an asset to his puck handling.

    In the 65 game, it seemed he hardly left the ice. He played a regular shift (note this was a 3 line era) and every power play and penalty kill.

    On top of his incredible skill, he added toughness to his game & was a much grittier player than Gretzy or Lemieux.
     
  4. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    As a collector of classic games I have to say that I was always impressed by Howes hockey sense and passing. He seemed to understand time and space like some of the other all time greats. That part of his game really is under-rated IMO and he just wasn't this big powerfull guy that controled the slot area like a lot of other power forwards.

    I've actually seen Gordie play live for Hartford when I was a kid and, while I fully respect him as an all time great, he was so dirty he made me want to puke. He seemed to elbow and spear anyone within 10 feet of him.
     
  5. cupcrazyman

    cupcrazyman Chex Lemeneux

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    if you ever watch the legends of hockey howe says"sometimes you have to bend the rules a little to get respect".well it worked for him for all those years. All the best "ELBOWS":handclap:
     
  6. Weztex

    Weztex Registered User

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    The man finished top 5 in scoring an astonishing 20 CONSECUTIVE YEARS. To me that's one of the most amazing accomplishement in NHL history.

    Never seen him play but he seemed to be the perfect blend of physical force, skill and endurance.
     
  7. Father Ted

    Father Ted Registered User

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    I remember watching Howe on TV growing up in Detroit. The announcers would always say things like, "Here comes Howe lumbering up the ice"... as Gordie skates right by guys who are supposedly much faster.
     
  8. mattihp

    mattihp Registered User

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    I have a vague memory from some documentary on Howe where an opponent was asked about Howe and why people didn't try to take him down when he came in on top speed.

    "If you see a train heading your way, do you throw yourself at it to try to stop it?"
     
  9. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest


    Howe dominated the NHL like no other forward except Gretzky. To be honest, one could ask if Lemieux should be in the same sentence as Howe.

    All Time Greatest NHL Careers:

    1. Gretzky
    2. Howe
    3. Orr
    4. Lemieux
    5. Beliveau
     
  10. NOTENOUGHBREWER

    NOTENOUGHBREWER Registered User

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    My uncle once described him as a stronger more skillful angrier version of Messier.
     
  11. alrusso

    alrusso Registered User

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    Respect

    I respect your opinion but like I've stated in many other threads, I think Orr is the best hockey player of all time. When your talking about the top 3-5 players of all time, there probably isn't a lot to argue about, they all belong there. However Bobby Orr changed hockey and is still the only defenseman to lead the league in scoring, and he did it twice. You can keep Howe number 2 but I'm putting Orr number 1. Gretzky is the best offensive player of all time. This is not debatable, but hockey is more than just offense. Orr did it all and did it all at a very high level. I know to a certain extent I'm biased, but I just can't imagine a hockey player being better than Bobby Orr.
     
  12. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Peak value we could debate and you might be right about Orr but, career-wise, Gretzky and Howe accomplished much more. That is what my list depicts. Injuries suck but, that is life. If Orr played 6 or 8 more seasons he might have been up there with or even above Gretzky and Howe on my list.
     
  13. alrusso

    alrusso Registered User

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    Agree


    I agree with you for the most part so I'm not going to split hairs. I'll just say this:
    for skating, speed, power, shot, hockey sense, and shear desire, Bobby Orr is the best all around skilled hockey player I've ever seen. He ddin't have the longevity that Howe and Gretzky had so they would have to get credit for that. Gretzky and Howe played more than 20 years so their scoring accomplishments will be greater. But for strictly overall talent and excitment Orr was the more skilled hockey player out of the three. I do agree with your premise, quality longevity has to count.
     
  14. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    The two best all-round hockey players of all time (offense, defense and physical play) have to be Howe and Orr. Howe dominated for over two decades while Orr lasted less than a decade.

    Orr and Howe could change a game not just with their offensive skills but also their defense and physical play (including fights). No one challenged Howe for years until Lou Fontinato of the Rangers began to beleive his NY press clippings as the NHL's toughest player - big mistake as Howe rearraged his facial features and put hm in hospital. Orr was also very good with his fists.

    In his prime Howe would be triple shifted and is reported to have played 50 minutes in some games. After he retired he was tested and his oxygen uptake and recovery time was found to be incredible. A brief rest on the bench and he was good to go for another couple of minutes.

    If you have ever seen video of Howe coming down the wrong wing, powering past his check and switching hands on his stick to get a better angle:amazed:

    Depending upon how you weight your criteria for the greatest player of all-time it will be Howe, Orr and Gretzky in a pick 'em.
     
  15. CoupeStanley

    CoupeStanley Registered User

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    I lost a lot of respect for him the day he went for that 5th decade of play as a 67 years old.

    His longevity was already legendary and in a good way, there was no need for this gimmick of a record.
     
  16. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Oh how I would love for classichockey to get a crack at this.
     
  17. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    How can you lose respect for someone for having fun?
     
  18. CoupeStanley

    CoupeStanley Registered User

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    You're not playing 1 minute of professional hockey as a 67 years old to have fun. You're pissed off Gretzky breaks all your record and you decide to seal one your own record for eternity. Thats the perception I get.

    Anyway, there's no denying how great of a player he was and I think his 20 consecutive in the top-5 scoring is the most amazing hockey feat ever.
     
  19. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Maybe I just giove people the benefit of the doubt easily, but I see it as something fun to do.
     
  20. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    Would have been great if he elbowed someone. ;) I mean he was basically untouchable in this shift. He could have gotten away with anything.
     
  21. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Well Gordie had a good life from hockey for sure. but he was screwed over by the owners for decades. Gordie gave far, far, far more to hockey than he got back. If he wants to take a skate as a publicity stunt I hold nothing against him for it.
     
  22. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I think he already had 5, and he got his 6th.

    40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and then the one shift in the 90's
     
  23. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    ???

    He was paid 3 - 5 X what most people make at their jobs to play hockey. How was he screwed over?
     
  24. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    The percentage he recieved of the revenue he created was immorally small.
     
  25. raleh

    raleh Registered User

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    You have to compare him to other hockey players of his era. Compare what Howe was making to what Rocket or Beliveau were making at the same time for a (slightly) inferior product.
     

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