Lafontaine vs Modano

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by johnny1976, Nov 17, 2013.

View Users: View Users
  1. johnny1976

    johnny1976 Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey all,

    Just wondering who you think was the best player out of the two? I was talking to a co-worker about this and we couldn't agree. I said that if Lafontaine was healthy, Modano wouldn't be the highest scoring American forward. My friend said no matter what Modano was the best American to play in the NHL. So I would like the opinions of hfboards. Do you think if Lafontaine didn't have the concussions, would he be considered the best American forward?
     
  2. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    17,045
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Home Page:
    chris chelios is inarguably the best american to ever play hockey. period.

    i'd take modano over lafontaine for career.

    peak vs. peak, i don't know that i wouldn't take late 90s modano, who was a big strong dependable horse that could win you a stanley cup, over 150 point lafontaine. but i don't totally know that i would either. but that would be a much tougher call to make. smallish guy, never particularly shone in the playoffs, concussion issues, always seemingly one big hit away from the infirmary... on the other hand, after gretzky, mario, and jagr, one of the greatest, most dazzling and creative offensive talents i've ever seen when he was on his game.
     
  3. Sprague Cleghorn

    Sprague Cleghorn User Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,157
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Occupation:
    NHL Player
    Location:
    Edmonton, KY
    I agree with Vadim on that Chelios is the greatest American player of all time.

    But back OT, I think it's safe to say that LaFontaine was superior to Modano in the offense department, but Modano was a better all around player.

    Also, like Vadim stated above, Lafontaine was not a particularly good playoff performer. He has 1013 pts in 865 RS games, and only 62 pts in 69 PO games. Very underwhelming for a player that has great offensive capabilities, almost Marcel Dionne like.

    If I had to choose, I'd pick Modano. Better all-around game, longevity, leadership, and PO resume which makes up for the offensive gap IMO.
     
  4. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,234
    Likes Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    229
    Modano had the better career. Lafontaine was better at his best. Remember, in an offensive flurry of a season in 1993, Lafontaine beat the entire field in the NHL save for comeback kid Mario Lemieux. 1993 was a year of career years and Lafontaine shone the most. Injuries robbed us of seeing more of him. There was a brief time, when you had the NHL centers as Mario, Gretzky, Lafontaine. Maybe only a couple of seasons, but it was there. Modano was never that highly revered. So based on best vs. best it is Lafontaine here. For the long haul and over the career, it is Modano.

    Chelios, I agree, is the greatest American to ever play, and will be for a long time. Unless Seth Jones has an amazing career, this is safe for 20 years.
     
  5. Gordon Lightfoot

    Gordon Lightfoot Minstrel of the Dawn Sponsor

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    15,067
    Likes Received:
    433
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Cambridge MA
    Lafontaine IMO
     
  6. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    8,483
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Lafontaine at his best was better, but not by THAT much. Modano was so great all-around and put up big points in a defensive system.
     
  7. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,480
    Likes Received:
    1,048
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Brian Leetch at his best tops Chelios & Lafontaine in my book. Leetch didn't have that "glorious" longevity though and didn't cheap shot players and that'll probably make him look less for some people, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  8. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    Career - no doubt about Modano. The question which stands is the peak. Altough gaudy numbers of LaFontaine, Modano´s offense was close, while providing 1st level of defensive play. Modano also contributed in the playoffs.

    Can´t see LaFontaine win this battle.
    __
    As for #1 US born player, it has to be Chelios.
     
  9. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,830
    Likes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Lafontaine peak, Modano career fairly obviously.

    Shame that Lafontaine had the concussion issues.
     
  10. Regal

    Regal Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,967
    Likes Received:
    1,349
    Trophy Points:
    139
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I think this playoff argument is selling LaFontaine short. He played over half his games before he was 22, when he wasn't even a point per game player in the regular season yet. In the two years he was at his best in Buffalo, he scored 23 points in 14 games.

    I think career it's definitely Modano, but at his very best LaFontaine was just too far ahead offensively not to take him. And, as per the OP, a healthy LaFontaine is definitely the highest scoring American player if he stays healthy.
     
  11. ot92s

    ot92s Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    they're both great players. my preference would be lafontaine though, his hands were sick!
     
  12. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    67,904
    Likes Received:
    1,607
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Office Worker
    Location:
    Behind A Tree
    Give me Lafontaine, close though. Oh and I agree Chris Chelios is the best American player of all time.
     
  13. Lafontaine here.

    Even Brett Hull. Yeah I know but the guy played for the USA.
     
  14. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    I don´t know why the peak (one if not fluke, then unusual season) argument should pull Lafontaine over Modano. Defense part of a game aside, I would still take Modano´s prime.
    TOP10:
    Modano 8,9,10
    LaFontaine 2,10

    Modano has 7 seasons with 80+ adjusted points, while LaFontaine 4.
    Yes, injuries and stuff, but we hardly can reward player for what he didn´t.

    One really strong season shouldn´t overweight really strong, consistent prime and career.
    Better match would be i.e. Nicholls vs. LaFontaine.
     
  15. Regal

    Regal Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,967
    Likes Received:
    1,349
    Trophy Points:
    139
    Location:
    Vancouver
    His first season in Buffalo was also amazing, but he missed a bunch of games. He finished 3rd in PPG that season behind Lemieux and Gretzky, nearly matching Gretzky's PPG (1.64 to 1.63) as well as finishing 5th in goals despite only playing 57 games finishing 2nd in GPG to one of Hull's third 70 goal season. Then he had his big year where he finished 2nd in points, as well as PPG. Then the injuries hit, so it was hard to know where he would have gone from there. I agree that a lot of his Islander seasons weren't generally that impressive from a points perspective considering the era, but I think he was an insanely talented player that was making the leap in Buffalo, more than a one season wonder. I see him similar to a guy like Gilmour, who had two years that challenge some of the best players in the game, but was not on that level again. It wasn't a fluke, just a player coming into his own for a brief time.
     
  16. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    I doesn´t neglect his level of offensive talent, which is better than Modano´s one, but in a nutshell I can´t reward him for per game percentages. I take Modano´s 80 points year in and year out over Lafontaine´s one season when everything went right. I didn´t want to create an impression that Pat´s season was a fluke, but he had neither repeated it, nor came close in absolute numbers.

    Heck, Modano´s played almost twice more games (from a top of my game) than Pat and even if he was just bench fodder (which he obviously was not) it´s makes him more valuable in 600 (!) games than Pat. That is a decent career for some scrub players. Not to mention in other 900 games he came close to offensive output of Lafontaine while providing very good defensive game.
     
  17. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    7,973
    Likes Received:
    1,042
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Home Page:
    I'll join the choir and say that Lafontaine was a tad better at his peak, but Modano takes career and playoffs. Modano was a winner. Plus, IIRC, Mike was better at international play.
     
  18. Fred Taylor

    Fred Taylor The Cyclone

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    64
    This. I'd say if Lafontaine remained healthy, it would still be pretty close between him and Modano with a slight edge going to Lafontaine.
     
  19. kingdok

    kingdok Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    8,006
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Everything went right, yes, but it was a constant progression. I think his peaked numbers of 92-93 (well not the crazy numbers itself but him being 2nd in points, after Lemieux) could have been repeated as it not been for injuries.
     
  20. Esq

    Esq in terrorem Sponsor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,783
    Likes Received:
    409
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    The Village in the City
    I think Patrick Kane is a bigger threat than Seth Jones.
     
  21. tjcurrie

    tjcurrie Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,918
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Gibbons, Alberta
    Lafontaine is healthy over an entire career likely holds the American points record, but those are points. He played more seasons when offense was #1, and on teams where offense was #1 and other than the one or two seasons statistically, he wasn't better than Modano. Career, peak, whatever. If I'm taking one player to be my #1 center it's Modano.

    G(American_)OAT
     
  22. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,344
    Likes Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Agree completely. I don't think Kane will ever get to Chelios's level, but I genuinely believe that he has a very good shot (given his pace and his accomplishments thus far) of becoming the greatest American forward of all time.

    With regards to Modano vs. Lafontaine, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been said, other than I think Modano's peak is closer to Lafontaine than many people think.
     
  23. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,234
    Likes Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    229
    No. Patrick Kane will not ever be considered the best American ever. Chelios won three Norris trophies and a slew of all-star selections. Kane is a good bet to be a HHOFer someday, but Chelios is a top 10 defenseman. Kane won't be a top 10 RW when all is said and done.
     
  24. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,344
    Likes Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Do you agree that Kane has a good shot to surpass Lafontaine/Modano/Mullen/etc. as the best American forward?
     
  25. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    Kane is hyped but no. Again, similar to Forsberg, I have hard times to believe that guy whose best is 30 goals in a season, while having arguably the best hands in the NHL, is something....best in history sense.

    Eyetest, considering an era, yeah, yeah... but there are some raw numbers which has to be passed.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"