Mario Lemieux vs Kirk Muller

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by ozzie, Dec 26, 2010.

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  1. ozzie

    ozzie Registered User

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    All this talk about tanking, reminded me of the Devils and Penguins fighting it out for the #1 pick in the 84 draft. Devils were terrible (mickey mouse franchise) and the Penguins (on the verge of extinction) tanked and made extremely obvious moves to secure the #1 pick. Does Muller still go #2?

    What if the Devils had secured the #1 pick and drafted Lemieux, what do you think would have happened to their new teams and their careers?

    Does NJ win the cup in 88? Do the Penguins fold? Does Muller become a more offensive player in Pittsburgh?

    Just curious what you guys think?
     
  2. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    Well there is the obvious...Kirk Muller becomes one of the top 4 players all time...
     
  3. frontsfan2005

    frontsfan2005 Registered User

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    I think Muller still goes #2, he was coming off a very good season in 83-84, playing for Team Canada at the World Juniors, World Championships and Olympics, as well as averaging nearly two points a game with a bad Guelph Platers team in the OHL as a 17 year old.

    Muller would have probably put up similar point totals with the Penguins as he did with the Devils (his career high was 94), however, if Pittsburgh surrounds him with guys like Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Paul Coffey in the early 90's, I think Muller would have been able to hit the 100 point plateau. He probably would have been the Penguins captain, however, the team probably doesn't come close to a Stanley Cup championship, and he would be a key guy traded in a rebuild for prospects and draft picks if the Penguins aren't contenders in the early to mid 90's, and decide to build the team around Jagr.

    The Devils with Lemieux probably make the playoffs in 85, however, they would be swept out quickly by the Flyers. They would continue to be a border line playoff team until 88 when a young Sean Burke is the goaltender. They would become Stanley Cup contenders in the late 80's and throughout the 90's, especially if they still manage to trade away Kurvers to the Leafs for the Niedermayer pick. Lemieux would have better numbers at the start of his career, having guys like Broten, Verbeek, MacLean and Shanahan on his line, and he probably tops the 200 point plateau in 1988-89. The Devils probably win a ton of cups, especially if they are still able to acquire Scott Stevens and draft Martin Brodeur.
     
  4. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Muller was the consensus #2 choice that year. Pittsburgh almost certainly would've taken him if they had that pick.

    As for how New Jersey would've done with Lemieux, there's a ton of what-ifs. For example, if Lemieux improves the Devils by a few points in the '87 season, they don't draft Shanahan and therefore don't get Stevens.

    I imagine that when Lou took over as GM he would've built the team around Mario, so it may have been an entirely different style of play from the Devils than what actually happened.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  5. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    You can't count with players drafted after this draft as standing would be different and the team might not get Jagr. I agree with your train of thought though.
     
  6. frontsfan2005

    frontsfan2005 Registered User

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    I agree, its impossible to say what would've happened if this happened. The teams definately would've made different signings, trades, etc... if they each had the other player.

    Pittsburgh definately would've missed the playoffs in 1990 with Muller on the team instead of Lemieux, considering they missed it with Mario on the team. They probably still finish ahead of the twelve win Nordiques, and the 64 point Canucks, who drafted Nolan and Nedved respectively. They'd probably finish with a worse record than Detroit or Philadelphia though, so maybe they play it safe and draft Primeau instead? Its hard to say, Primeau was a highly rated offensive centre in the OHL who would look good on Kirk Muller's line. Or do the Penguins try to make a bold move, picking Jagr, who many scouts thought was the best player in the draft, but due to the Iron Curtain, he may never play in the NHL? Its impossible to say.
     
  7. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    Its not impossible about Primeau but its also possible that by 1990 they've traded Muller for a package of players. Either way Muller wasnt to me a franchise figure so pens would eventually fold (if they dont manage to reach and draft Primeau or Jagr).
     
  8. roadtoglory

    roadtoglory Registered User

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    It's possible the trap would have never been created if the Devils drafted Lemieux.

    The Pens probably would never have won two cups in the 90s. Lemieux would not own the Pens now, why would he have interest in buying a team he never played for. Therefore it's plausible there would be no team in Pittsburg.

    who knows??!
     
  9. njdevils1982

    njdevils1982 Hell Toupée!!!

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    yes, because the devils "created" the trap.
     
  10. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    They certainly wouldn't have played such a defensive system with Lemieux.The pens would have closed shop.
     
  11. roadtoglory

    roadtoglory Registered User

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    perhaps they didnt create it but surely they brought it to the nhl. no?
     
  12. I Hate Chris Butler

    I Hate Chris Butler Backlund Fan Club

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    Scotty Bowman trapped with the Habs in the 70s. So no, the Devils didn't bring it into the NHL.
     
  13. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Interesting. I think the Devils would have won A Cup sometime in the 80's. Also since they drafted Brodeur at #20 in 1990, chances are we could have seen a Lemieux/Brodeur combination. Plus we could have seen a Shanahan/Lemieux line.

    As for Muller in Pittsburgh, that team would have folded, liked Muller as a player but Lemieux was Lemieux so it would have been a huge drop off for Pittsburgh had they gotten Muller instead of Lemieux.
     

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