Larouche vs Leach vs Gare

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by TheMoreYouKnow, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Rank these three guys

    Pierre Larouche, 812 games, 395 goals, 822 points from 1974 to 1988, two all-star games, two Cups with Montreal, Best year: 3rd in goals (53) and 5th in points (111) in 75/76 when with the Penguins

    Reggie Leach, 934 games, 381 goals, 666 points from 1970 to 1983, two all-star games, one-time 2nd team post-season All-Star, one Cup with Philly, led the league in goals in 75/76 (61), best points total: 91 points the same year. 19 goals in 16 games in the same year's playoffs.

    Danny Gare, 827 games, 354 goals, 685 points from 1974 to 1987, two all-star games, one-time 2nd team post-season All-Star, no Cup, led the league in goals in 79/80 (56), best points total: 89 points that year.

    Of course, none of them is in the Hall of Fame.
     
  2. Wee Baby Seamus

    Wee Baby Seamus Yo, Goober, where's the meat?

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    Based on statistics, it would seem that Larouche is the better player. However, for a few years in the mid 70s, Leach was essentially one of the league's top snipers, until he was faded out by the duo of Lafleur and Shutt. Leach also has one of the greatest playoff offensive performances in history, with his 19 goal playoff in 1975-76, a record only matched by Jari Kurri. I'm undecided on this, but it's definitely between Larouche and Leach. Danny Gare is definitely behind both of them.
     
  3. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Would anyone really take Pierre Larouche and his baggage over Danny Gare?
     
  4. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Leach
    Larouche
    Gare
     
  5. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Can you elaborate? I know next to nothing about Larouche.
     
  6. JaymzB

    JaymzB Registered User

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    Larouche to me is Exhibit A for a Great Bad Team player/scorer (though to be fair, he did have a good year in 79/80 with a still very good Habs team). If you read The Game from Ken Dryden, you understand how he just didn’t fit into a real team mentality. Sure, Bowman could be the most difficult coach to ever play for, but great players flourished under him, while Larouche wilted. A player of his talent should not have been a 4th liner, which he essentially was during the end of the Habs 70’s dynasty. Instaed of working on his flaws to become a key part of the greatest team ever, he simply asked to be traded, over and over again.
     
  7. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Well the question with Bowman is, how well you could handle him on a personal level. I imagine some guys' lack of tolerance for him was just predetermined by their personalities.

    Jerry Korab, one of the better D-men in the 70s, was basically like "I'm out of here" when Bowman joined the Sabres and indeed he was traded to L.A. halfway into Bowman's first year in Buffalo.
     
  8. JaymzB

    JaymzB Registered User

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    It’s fair, but with Larouche, it should also be pointed out he tended to not last very long with any team. Despite putting up amazing #’s with the Pens, they moved him after 3 and a bit years. Puts up a 50 goal season, as a French Canadian in Montreal, and he’s gone a year and a half later. Puts up good #’s in Hartford, and is gone after a year and a half. Leads the Rangers in goals, and is in the minors within 2 years.
     
  9. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Am I the only one that would take Danny Gare first and foremost? Out of the three I think he had the least issues with consistency. Larouche had three really good years but they were spaced out 4 years each. He had a 53 goal 111 point season in 1976. A 50-goal 91 point season in 1980 and a 48 goal season in 1984. Other than that, he was injured a lot, traded a lot and should have been a key ingredient to a dynasty at the end. He was traded for an older Pete Mahovlich but to be honest, give me big Pete even in those years.

    Leach was a fine talent in his prime. But like Larouche he had two really good years spaced apart 4 years. In 1976 he leads the NHL in goals with 61 and has 19 playoff goals and a Conn Smythe (he did do well with Philly in his only Cup in in 1975 too). The he has some really low years where he's not even close to a point a game, I'm talking 50-point seasons. Then he scored 50 goals again in 1980 and was good en route to the final. That's pretty much it though. Leach himself has talked about how his alcoholism cost him the Hall of Fame. He was reportedly drunk when he scored 5 goals in that playoff game vs. Boston in 1976. I've seen an interview where Leach talks to schoolchildren and encourages them NOT to ever drink, or even try it. Needless to say Leach feels this hampered his career.

    As for Gare, he too had two really good years, one in 1976 with 50 goals, and the other in 1980 with 56 which led the NHL. He was a 2nd team all-star that year ahead of even Mike Bossy. But in between 1976 to 1980 he had much better seasons than Leach or Larouche. He was solid and even in 1981 put up 85 points and made his 2nd Canada Cup team which the others didn't do, despite all playing the same position. All three have careers that could have been better, but with Gare it seemed there was a little more stability.
     
  10. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I wouldn't
     
  11. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    Well you'd figure Larouche was probably the most talented of the three though.
     
  12. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    The thing about Gare that tends to be overlooked was that he was extremely tough. Despite being the smallest player on the Sabres, he consistently led the team in fights and never allowed himself to be intimidated.

    Here he is going toe-to-toe with Clark Gillies in the '77 playoffs:



    Tough to say who was better; Gare was better defensively and more consistent than the other two, but Leach was probably the most feared goal scorer in the game for a short period of time.

    On this board saying "but so-and-so was more talented" tends to be a euphemism for saying they were an underachiever. In the end, what a player actually contributes to the team is far more important than their "talent".
     
  13. crobro

    crobro Registered User

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    i would add john ogrodnik to the troika as well
     
  14. brianscot

    brianscot Registered User

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    I'm totally prejudiced and would take Danny Gare. He was one of my favorite players during that era.

    As Reckoning's video offers, as a competitor he was a little ball of hate well before Pat Verbeek.

    He scored 30+ goals fives times in his first seven seasons while predominantly playing with Don Luce and Craig Ramsay (two solid players but definitely not Perreault and Martin as linemates offensively.)

    To me the best players aren't necessarily the most talented, but the ones who consistently do the most to help you win hockey games.

    Larouche was supremely talented; Leach's pure shot gives him the greatest singular skill among these three players; but day in, day out, I'd take Gare.
     
  15. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Gare - a very good all round player
    Leach - best peak, key contributor on a consistent contender and a Conn
    Larouche - no two way play for which to speak of. I remember as a kid being disgusted by seeing him drink from the Stanley Cup in 1979. Did not like him at all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  16. Ghost of David Bruce

    Ghost of David Bruce Registered Geezer

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    Depending on the day, I could go with either Gare or Leach. Push comes to shove, though...

    Gare
    Leach
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    Larouche

    Hell, I might even take Wilf Paiement over Larouche.
     
  17. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    I would take Leach. Leach reached the highest of the three...a couple of Cups and scored goals like crazy for a few years. His career was cut short - alcoholic. Larouche probably had most talent of the three but the worse attitude. Gare is probably most underrated...he was tough to play against. He always scored goals to kill your team at important times.
     
  18. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Unfortunately guys who are talented as LaRouche and underachieve, like he did, are always remembered for what they were not and what for what they actually did.

    Their true value is diminished by it in most cases IMO.

    Kent Nilson is another example as well.
     
  19. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    So... Gare it is, then?
     
  20. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah, that's who I picked and I was thinking of it strictly from a coach's standpoint of who I'd want on my team
     
  21. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Agree on all counts.

    Got to see a lot of Larouche in Hartford. Tremendous talent, big time loafer. But that wasn't unusual for Whalers players of that era. We called him Fifi.
     

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