Most complete player ever? Orr vs. Howe vs. Trottier

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Jul 14, 2005.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Who is the most complete all around player ever, in your opinion. To me the names that automatically come into my head are Orr, Howe and Trottier. For the reason that they all did everyting very, very, good or even great.

    Bobby Orr - When a defenseman wins the Art Ross, Hart, Conn Smythe, Norris and the Cup in the same year ('70) that is pretty darn complete. Orr won 8 Norris trophies form '68-'75 and in that time he won three Harts, two Art Ross' and two Cups. Basically Orr could play in any type of game in any situation. If Boston needed a tying goal he was on the ice, as well if they needed to shut down the other team late in the game. Orr could rush the puck, shoot, pass, hit, and if he had to drop the gloves he could do that to. What a package!

    Gordie Howe - Old-timers still say Howe is the best ever. 20 straight years of being in the top 5 in scoring is mind boggling! He won six scoring titles, including four straight. But it wasnt just points Gordie is remembered by, in fact I'll bet guys that played against him remember his elbows more than anything else. A Gordie Howe hat trick is a goal, assist and a fight. That is a pretty complete game right there. Not only were guys afraid of him on the score sheet but how about being a rookie in your first game against him. He tested you, and owned you physically as long as he wanted to. Like Orr there was no weakness in his game, Nowhere!

    Bryan Trottier - Trottier was the backbone of the Isles four straight Cups. He could score, hit, pass and check. He was just so strong, very strong on his feet. He won the Hart and Art Ross in '79 and multiple times had well over 100 points. Yet he also never had any weaknesses in his game. He could skate, shoot and was a leader on that team even if Ptovin was the captain. He won the Conn Smythe in '80 the Isles first Cup vs. Philly. This is when every one thought the Isles were still choke artists (think '78, '79) and he led that team to victory when Philly still had that "Borad Street Bullies" feel about them. A lot of heart he had!

    Its hard to mention anyone else but feel free to. I left out Gretzky cause even if he scored 200 points he never had a shot at the Selke. And he never intimidated anyone in his life. Lemieux lacked defense and physically dominating a game. Remember this is the most complete player, a guy who excelled at everything.

    So if you can think of anyone else then go for it. Other guys that come to mind are Messier. He never had any weaknesses either. He scored 50 goals once. 100 points many times. Could hit, even lay out a cheap shot just to intimidate people.

    Another one if you want to go out on a limb is Bob Gainey. He may not have ever had more than 47 points in a season but in '79 it was Viktor Tikhonov who stated that he was the greatest player in the world, and that if he had 20 Bob Gainey's he'd never lose a game. He was good at everything. He won the Selke 5 times.
     
  2. Snap Wilson

    Snap Wilson Registered User

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    Corrado Micalef
     
  3. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Yeesh way to make it easy to choose. :D

    A tie? Though if forced to pick I think I lean towards Howe. He was complete and he did it for a long long time.
     
  4. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    I agree with you that Gordie Howe was one of the most complete players ever. He even played as a defenceman on occasion.
    Howe was tough and was feared but that was because he was sneaky and almost always hit another player when he least expected it and almost always from behind and either with his stick or elbow. Not very admirable. I'm still looking for him to actually challenge someone from in front.

    Every time I read someone refer to the 'Gordie Howe Hat-trick', I just shake my head. What a joke - just nonsense. Its something put out by the Gordie Howe public relations machine.
    I think you are referring to a goal, assist and a fight in the same game? Well, you have to go back to the early 50's just to find ONE game where Howe had a goal, assist and a fight. Howe played from 1946 to 1980 and after the early 50's hardly fought at all. And, other than the Fontinato fight, Howe didn't fare all that well in his other fights. I have film of Howe being destroyed in a fight with Bill Juzda of the Leafs in 1952. And Howe never fought most of the legitimate tough guys in the 50's & 60's.
    If you want to be accurate, a 'Gordie Howe Hat-trick' would be a goal, assist and viscious elbow from behind.

    If you want to look for a player who fought & scored a lot, Maurice Richard would be a better example, even John Ferguson but certainly not Gordie Howe.

     
  5. Masao

    Masao Registered User

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    We can't overlook Bobby Hull here... he was a monster.
     
  6. Habsaholic

    Habsaholic Registered User

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    Ray Bourque
     
  7. Juicer

    Juicer Registered User

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    I would take Messier's all around game over Trottier's.
     
  8. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    5 gordie Howe's + average goalie would beat 5 of anyone else + average goalie.
     
  9. SingnBluesOnBroadway

    SingnBluesOnBroadway Retired

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    Agreed. Messier needs to be mentioned in this thread.
     
  10. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    IMO Messier wasn't a particularly good defensive forward for much of his career, especially his Edmonton days. One of the more overrated aspects of his game. IMO that's what makes Trots a better all round player.

    Trots was a much better defensive forward, and during his peak as good offensively as Messier. Both guys were great playmakers. Messier was a better forechecker, a better skater, had more longevity and had a better shot.
     
  11. SingnBluesOnBroadway

    SingnBluesOnBroadway Retired

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    Mess was also more physical and would drop the gloves.
     
  12. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    I'd disagree with that in a big way.
     
  13. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    All three are very worthy, but IMO this category belongs to Red Kelly.

    In Detroit he was an 8 All-Star defenseman who won 4 Lady Byng Trophys despite being a championship boxer in college. And he won the Norris the first year it was awarded.

    Then he goes to Detroit where he become their first line center, puts up solid numbers playing with the Big M and leads the Leafs to 4 Cups (to go with the 3 he got in Detroit).

    His versatality was his secret weapon he did everything so well you could play him anywhere in any situation and he would not only do it well, but he would excel.
     
  14. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    For a rare time, I'll disagree with you STBOB. Pound for pound, Trottier was arguably the most consistently physical forward in the league for a good portion of his career. Messier's intimidation factor was out there for all on the ice to see. Trottier was a silent killer.

    A good case can be made for either player overall, and no doubt, Messier was the more "dynamic" of the two players and the superior skater. (Plus Trots had a legendary weak slapshot. ;) )

    No coincidence that both of these guys won six Cups as players, both with more than one team. No coincidence whatsoever.

    Kudos to Phil for recognizing Trottier as undoubtedly one of the most complete hockey players the game has seen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2005
  15. Canucks5551

    Canucks5551 Registered User

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    Tie between Orr and Howe
     
  16. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    In a big way while keeping quiet about your reasons.
     
  17. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    I'm with juicer and SingnBluesOnBroadway:

    Mark Messier

    He would've meade the NHL based on his checking ability and heart alone, even if he didn't have all the offensive tools and leadership skills.

    In 2005 he's undervalued because many think of what a 40-odd year old is doing, which is still contributing, but not enough for a legend.
     
  18. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Bob Gainey would disagree with you as his two separated shoulders at the hands of Trots would attest. Trots was an incredibly underrated hitter and was at least on par with Mess in the physical department.
     
  19. Aethon

    Aethon 12 Axes

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    1 Mark Messier

    2. Denis Potvin


    I don't particularly like either the Rangers or Isles ...... But Denis Potvin was/is one of the most underrated Superstars ever ...

    When people talk about great D-men Potvin is often WAY under -represented. The guy was big, strong, could fight, could score goals,could skate, could do everything!

    He was Stevens and Coffey wrapped into one.

    Potvin in my opinion was a one of the most complete ever.
     
  20. 04' hockey

    04' hockey Registered User

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    SPEED is the DIFFERENCE here.....ORR would skate circles around either Howe or Trots. Both great players?, you bet - on the level of Orr?, no way.

    #4 :bow: :clap:
     
  21. c-carp

    c-carp Registered User

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    I go with Orr.
     
  22. Roughneck

    Roughneck Registered User

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    5 Bobby Orr's + no goalie would probably beat 5 of anyone else and an average goalie.
     
  23. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    I would agree if it wasn't for injuries, but Orr's most complete game at the highest level came after he was already slowed down physically.

    Fun to imagine the game though!
     
  24. nmbr_24

    nmbr_24 Registered User

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    I have to agree with this, he was just that good all around.
     
  25. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    Agree with alot of the names mentioned, in particular, Messier, Potvin Trottier and Bourque.

    One name I didn't see who I would add...Larry Robinson. He dominated in several areas in his prime. He controled the front of the net, the corners, skated the puck up ice and generated alot of offence. And was one of the better fighters I've seen.
     
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