Is there a historical comparison for Hal Gill?

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

  1. DisgruntledGoat*

    DisgruntledGoat* Registered User

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    It seems to me Hal Gill is a pretty unique player, in terms of the way his career has developed. In broad strokes, this is what I think of when I think of Gill:

    * A guy who brings almost no discernable talent to the table, other than size.

    * A guy who, at more than one juncture of his career, was written off as being too slow/too lumbering/too talentless to remain in the NHL.

    * A guy who, despite these criticisms, emerged, later in his career, as a playoff performer (relatively) and defensive bulwark in multiple post-seasons.

    * Stanley Cup winner.

    Now, please note that I am not saying Hal Gill is a great player. But I have been trying to think of another player with a similar career progression and haven't come up with anything. The closest may be Uwe Krupp; but, unlike Gill who seems to get better with age, Krupp basically imploded after signing with Detroit.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    A big, slow defensive defenseman who can help a team as long as he's not asked to do too much? Not exactly a unique historical specimen. Ken Daneyko comes to mind immediately, though Kenny was a lot more physical.
     
  3. DisgruntledGoat*

    DisgruntledGoat* Registered User

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    Yes, except for, you know, pretty much everything I pointed out as to why Gill is somewhat unique. :shakehead
     
  4. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I mean, he's basaically a lesser late-blooming version of Daneyko, right? I mean, I can't think ofnan exact comparison, but I think that's more do to the fact that guys like Gill aren't very memorable, rather than Gill's uniqueness as a player.

    Edit: just reread you first post and I missed the part where you mentioned "career progression.". So Daneyko is a poor comparison. Even then, is it that unique for a slow defensive defenseman to be a late bloomer?
     
  5. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    replace "size" with "shot" and brent sopel is a pretty good comparison.
     
  6. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Hmm. That's a good question. He could have turned out to be the next Francois Leroux, who was drafted about 5 years earlier. Obvious difference being Leroux went 1st round (that's where the size connection comes in, as it had more to do with it than whatever he did with the Castors) while Gill was an 8th, and Pittsburgh came just short of winning the Cup one of the years Leroux was there. Gill etched out his niche though, while Leroux was never really able to find his.
     
  7. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    Daneyko wasn't a huge outlier, size-wise, though. A 6'1", 215 lb defenseman may have qualified as "big" in the 80s, and 90s, but his size certainly wasn't the reason he was in the NHL.
    Krupp and Leroux are definitely better comparisons, although neither had the same kind of career progression.
    It's worth noting that Gill played top-pairing minutes in Boston for a short period of time. Really, his career has been all about finding a niche, and trying to avoid playing in front of Andrew Raycroft.
     
  8. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy Registered User

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    Terry Harper?
     
  9. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    Kjell Samuelsson has some similarities. Although his playoff performances came earlier rather than later in his career.
     
  10. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

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    First name that came to mind for me as well.
     
  11. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    Ted Harris comes to mind
     
  12. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    Uwe Krupp was a decent two way defenseman, was he not? Didn't the Nordiques bring Lefebvre and Krupp in in 1994 expecting one to be a good shutdown guy (Lefebvre) and Krupp to be a good two way defender who could move the puck?

    How about Craig Ludwig? You always thought of him as a no talent shot blocker who was always important to contenders like Montreal and Dallas.

    Or maybe Derian Hatcher for his terrible skating and lack of any ability late in his career.

    Or Mark Tinordi?

    For some reason I'm thinking of a lot of Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars...
     
  13. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Kjell is probably the closet comparison from a style perspective
     
  14. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Can't argue too much with that. Kjell was 6'6" and Gill is 6'7". I don't remember Kjell being a good fighter either despite his size you assumed he would be. We all know Gill is a terrible fighter and has been outright embarassed time after time to several smaller players (Youtube it if you'd like).

    Someone said Derian Hatcher. There's a couple problems with that one. Hatcher could fight pretty well. He was better defensively and more well rounded overall. Although they both skated poorly.
     
  15. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Brad Marsh might also be a decent comparable, but he had a more typical NHL development curve.

    In terms of Habdom, he reminds me of a better version of Peter Popovic.
     
  16. Steve Kournianos

    Steve Kournianos @thedraftanalyst

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    Buekeboom
     
  17. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    There was talk of Bill White not being NHL-caliber??
     
  18. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    Considering he was stuck in the AHL for much of his 20s, probably.
     
  19. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Same question for Kjell Samuelsson here.
     
  20. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    NHL teams wanted White but Eddie Shore wouldn't give him up. it wasn't the same kind of system as we have now, where the very best are guaranteed to gravitate to the top. there were still other forces at play.

    As soon as Bill White was in the NHL, he was getting all-star and Norris votes (he's a Bobby Orr away from being a 3-time 1st team all-star) and as soon as he had a good team around him, he was the most heavily-worked penalty killer on the 2nd best penalty killing team in the NHL too.

    Definitely not a good comparison. Beukeboom, Harper, Samuelsson - those guys were never a threat to receive an all-star vote, like Gill. These are the guys we should be talking about.
     
  21. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    The Hal Gill's of Hockey

    Allowing for height adjustments the following fit. Basically 5-6th d-men with little or no offensive skills, weak skaters,not an enforcer etc.

    James "Bud" MacPherson,early fifties Canadiens, Larry Hillman and Al Arbour - multiple teams, fifties and sixties,

    From the seventies onwards, most have been named. Perhaps add Gord Lane.

    Re Bill White. Prior to Jacques Laperriere with the Canadiens in the early 1960's - Calder, Norris winner there was a bias against tall, gangly d-men. They tended to look awkward. This kept players like Bill White and Dale Rolfe in the AHL longer than normal.

    Re Hal Gill. Asking the question also makes the point about the overall skill level in the NHL being somewhat weak. Hillman and Arbour yoyo'ed between the NHL and the minors during the O6 era, finding regular NHL employment only with expansion.

    MacPherson was basically the 5th d-man behind Harvey, Bouchard, Johnson - 3 HHOFers and St. Laurent who was replaced and finished his career in the minors.

    Conversely Hal Gill has stuck around as a niche role player for a lengthy career. He is handy on a contender because he knows the league and accepts his limitations.
     
  22. JT Dutch*

    JT Dutch* Guest

    ... The first guy that came to mind for me was Rod Langway.

    Gill: 994 games, 35 goals, 171 points, +50
    Langway: 994 games, 51 goals, 329 points, +277

    Clearly, Langway was superior. But both men had a similar style of play in my view.
     
  23. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    No way. Langway was much more mobile than Gill. The best comparable for Langway is a less offensive Pronger.
     
  24. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 BlindLemon Haystacks

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  25. Ghost of David Bruce

    Ghost of David Bruce Registered Geezer

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    Willie Huber?

    Huber was softer though, and didn't get the Cup.
     

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