Most Underrated Players

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Ogopogo*, Jun 28, 2005.

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  1. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    In the NHL, there are some great players that don't get the attention that they deserve. Somehow they slipped through the cracks of history. These are the ones that deserve more recognition, IMO. They won Stanley Cups, scoring titles, Hart Trophies and were true greats of the game.

    Cy Denneny
    Red Kelly
    Bill Cowley
    Andy Bathgate
    Harry Cameron
    Frank Boucher
    Pierre Pilote
    Earl Seibert
    Doug Bentley
    Max Bentley
    Sprague Cleghorn
    David "Sweeney" Schriner
    Marty Barry
    Bill Gadsby
    Norm Ullman
    Lionel Conacher


    I am as big a hockey fan as anyone and I never hear anybody talk about these players when discussing all time greats. They were greats and should be recognized as such.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 28, 2005
  2. ProctorSilex

    ProctorSilex Guest

    Eric Lindros.

    I have a feeling if he retired after the Stevens hit, he would have been heralded as a legendary player. Instead people view him as a joke. There's nothing he could have done about it, just like Bobby Orr and his knees.
     
  3. ProctorSilex

    ProctorSilex Guest

    As for Lionel Conacher, he's not just under rated as a hockey player but as a sports legend. 2 Stanley Cups, 1 Grey Cup, Minor league baseball player, amateur boxing champion, lacrosse hall of fame, 27-0 as a pro wrestler.

    To think people consider Bo Jackson versitile.
     
  4. 19nazzy

    19nazzy Registered User

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    Milan Hejduk. He gets overlooked quite a bit playing for Colorado.
     
  5. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    Theis statement is so absurd that it hardly warrants a response. I'll do it any way.

    This is an absurd statement.
     
  6. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    A player that never won an individual award that was highly under rated was Don Marcotte.

    If they had the Selke back then he would have owned it.
     
  7. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

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    That's hell of a resume.
     
  8. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Big deal, I worded it wrong.

    Why do people like you focus on semantics, punctuation and grammar? Do you have a secret desire to be a teacher?
     
  9. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    You want under-rated and deserving of more respect?

    I give you some of the stars of the WHA.

    Marc Tardif, 316 goals, 350 assists for 666 points in 446 games.
    Andre Lacroix, 251 goals, 547 assists for 798 points in 551 games.
    Real Cloutier, 283 goals, 283 assists for 566 points in 369 games.
    Serge Bernier, 230 goals, 336 assists for 566 points in 417 games.
    Robbie Ftorek, 216 goals, 307 assists for 523 points in 373 games.
    Anders Hedberg, 236 goals, 220 assists for 456 points in in 286 games.

    They were treated as afterthoughts by the NHL then and still are now. Pretty sad since there were some fantastic players in that league that very, very few people seem to remember.
     
  10. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Ogo, as a kid, I used to read all the hockey books Santa would bring me every year so I was familiar with the Bentley's and Bill Mosienko. I knew about the Conacher family, and the Kraut line. I think historically, that sort of equates a 25-35 year old, talking about Orr. Recent enough to know about but having to rely on highlight videos [where I had to read books]. I think it's just the passing of time. It's tough to go too far back, not tough in the sense that the info. isn't there, but it's ease of access. You mention Pilote who has a pretty impressive resume. He got sandwiched between the eras of probably the #1 and #2 d men of all time, which affects how he gets remembered. JC Tremblay is a guy who gets forgotten. He wasn't always loved by the fans who didn't like teh way he avoided physical play, but he moved the puck as well as anyone. Wally's right about Marcotte, someone posted a while back about how he should be ranked with Gainey, and with different team circumstances he probably would be.
     
  11. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Spending a chunk of time in the WHA, is keeping Mark Howe from the HHoF, even though his NHL career is more than enough to get him a spot.
     
  12. Everest

    Everest Registered User

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    I wish I could post the picture I have of Lionel Conacher. Its on the back page of a 75th Aniversay coffee table book on the NHL. Conacher is shown,lacing his skates...looking straight at the camera,but not his nose...his nose starts where human nose's start...but then it does some things that human noses do not do...its heads over towards his left eye...then it heads back down toward his chin,then it cuts back across the front of his face and finishes off over just above his right eye...with one nostril,the other one is not shown anywhere in the photo.
    I could beat a mans face in with a baseball bat for several hours and not best this monstrosity.
    I think Peter Statsny is among all time under rated players. He was 2nd behind the great one in scoring through the 80's,came to the NHL under a cloak,late one rainy night in a feat of defection that is worthy of a 3 part mini series...yet Avs fans put Peter Forsberg ahead of him on the all time list of greats on that team. Colorado fans have no idea what Statsny accomplished centering a line with Michel Goulet(who was the highest scoring left winger all time when he retired in 1994)
     
  13. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    I whole-heartedly agree. And I also suspect he is not the only one suffering from the HHOF's nearly complete omission of the WHA. I think that is a big issue.

    Mcphee mentioned J.C. Tremblay as being another of the forgotten. In the WHA he put up 424 points in 454 games. And that was throughout the 70s who knows what he could've done had he stayed in Montreal. The Big Three could've been the Big Four.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2005
  14. Gee Wally

    Gee Wally Grumpy

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    I agree on all accounts John, Howe was a helluva player.

    He could and would have been an allstar in any era as far as I'm concerned.
     
  15. Canucks5551

    Canucks5551 Registered User

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    I'm surprised Ron Francis hasn't been mentioned.
     
  16. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    I think, in many circles, Ron Francis is actually overrated. He was an excellent player but, his spot at 4th leading scorer of all time leads a lot of people to think he was a lot greater than he really was.

    I would put him as a top 150 player of all time.
     
  17. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Lionel Conacher was named Canada's greatest athlete for the first half of the 20th century. A poster earlier listed a series of Conacher's sporting accomplishments. When he was inducted into the HHOF a few years ago, they said it took so long for him to get inducted because the Hall voters/veteran's committee assumed he was in.

    Pierre Pilote was a heck of a defenceman. He really was the best in the era between Doug Harvey and Bobby Orr.

    Ask most hockey insiders about Ron Francis' place in the game, and most would say 50-100. I think that's about right. 10 years ago, he was the undisputed most underrated player in the game. But within the last few years, as he remained at a very high level of play into his late 30s, people, I think, started to give him the respect he deserves. Thus, I think his place in the game's history by those in the know is warranted, and he isn't underrated or overrated.

    A lot of the top talent from the WHA was not good enough to make it in the NHL. Period. Giving some of those NHL castoffs HHOF consideration would be like giving Jock Callender consideration.

    A lot of the players mentioned off the top (Denneny, the Bentleys, Conacher, Bathgate, Pilote and Ullman) show up on many top 50s, so I don't think I would count them as underrated. Kelly is widely regarded as one of the top 25 or 30 players of all time by those who know the game.

    I think one name that immediately springs to mind is Bryan Trottier. He is widely recognized for his ingenius playmaking abilities and hockey sense, but he was also a strong defensive player and a willing physical player. He is one of the top 10 or 15 all-round centres to ever play the game.

    Brad Park is another who doesn't get the credit he deserves. The only reason he doesn't have three or four Norris Trophies to his credit is because of Bobby Orr.
     
  18. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    I think Ron Francis has finally been appreciated by a lot of fans by virtue of his "Most Underappreciated" status which he has held for so long. People always brought him up in past threads of this nature and I think it's finally starting to stick.

    I will second the vote for Peter Stastny though. Amazing hockey player. I would rank him higher than Forsberg.

    Off the top of my head the players most often underrated from the 80s would be:

    Brian Propp, Ken Linseman, Mark Napier, Steve Larmer, Brad McCrimmon, Normand Rochefort, Tomas Steen, Brian Bellows, John Tonelli, Charlie Huddy, Randy Gregg, Dave Ellett, John Maclean, Dave Taylor, Hakan Loob, Kevin Dineen, Dave Gagner, Dale Hunter and Craig Simpson.

    Understand that I'm not saying they rank with the greats or that they were unappreciated in their own time (most were huge parts of their team), but that in retrospect they have been forgotten and are often undervalued in terms of where they rank in relation to players of the past few seasons.

    I just reread that and it's offical. I'm old. Soon I'll be ranting about "good ol' days" and "young whipper-snappers."

    Sigh.
     
  19. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Craig Simpson never got enough credit for being a clutch player. The guy tied for the lead in playoff scoring in 1990 and was critical to the Oilers last two Cup runs. Very gritty, strong in front of the net, and saved his best for the big games. Too bad the back injury held him back.

    Larmer for the longest time was underrated. A classic introvert, he avoided the spotlight, and that hurt him. But there were few players in the 1980s more consistent than him. More than just an ironman streak, and he played hard throughout his career. However, I would say his place in the history of the game is accurately reflected: an excellent player for many years, just a cut below HHOF status. Thus, I wouldn't call him underrated.

    Stastny would be underrated. Scored more points than anyone else in the 1980s with the exception of Gretzky. Formed one of the great 1-2 punches ever with Goulet. Would have been a dominant producer in any era. He toiled in obscurity in Quebec for years, and that's why he never gets the credit he deserves.

    Hakan Loob is one of the greatest Swedish forwards - ever. Right up there with Forsberg and Mats Naslund from the past 25 years. Would have scored 50 goals multiple times if not for his desire to return to Sweden.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2005
  20. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Look at those players you named and you`ll notice a common denominator. Almost all of them had their best years with teams other than Toronto or Montreal. Sadly players tend to be judged higher or lower based on whether they play in a high-profile city.
     
  21. silver_made*

    silver_made* Guest

    Bernie Nicholls
    produced late in his career, even without Gretzky. perhaps the most disrespected offensive producer in NHL history.
     
  22. Oilers1*

    Oilers1* Guest

    Andy Bathgate's a good one. His stats are on par with Frank Mahovlich and his teams weren't as strong.

    This'll sound strange but I actually think Gordie Howe is a tad underrated. A lot of people my age (24) snicker at the notion that he was as good or better than Gretzky or Lemieux. I often hear him written off simply because he never scored 50 goals. Orr and Richard still carry some respect amongst younger hockey fans, possibly because they were quite flashy. But, IMO, Gordie Howe's 20 consecutive seasons in the top 5 of scoring ( :amazed: ) is the most impressive accomplishment in all of pro sports.
     
  23. BlindWillyMcHurt

    BlindWillyMcHurt ti kallisti

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    Dear lord. I just did a bit of reading on this guy and found out how he passed away at the age of 53... running out a triple in a softball game while having a heart attack. He also went four rounds, for fun, with heavyweight boxing legend Jack Dempsey.

    What a beast.

    Oh yeah... and as a poster mentioned earlier - rarely have I seen such a gnarly nose.
     
  24. LadyByngJeanRatelle

    LadyByngJeanRatelle Registered User

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    Ron Francis
    Larry Robinson
    Borje Salming
    Doug Wilson
    Thomas Steen
    Brad Park
    Kevin Lowe
    Rick Middleton
    Aki Berg
    Doug Jarvis
    Joel Otto
    Esa Tikkanen
     
  25. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    Agree with your list except for Larry Robinson. Rob is underrated? Many people consider him top 5 defenseman of all time only after Orr, Harvey, Shore and Bourque.
     
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