Rookie #1 D-men?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Mathradio, May 5, 2011.

  1. Mathradio

    Mathradio Drive for 25

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    I know there are a lot of rookie D-men who performed well in their rookie seasons, but who became #1 D-men on their teams during their rookie seasons?

    Surely there are a few D-men who became #1s as rookies.
     
  2. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

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    By #1, do you mean played the most minutes or was the best on the team or what?

    Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque immediately come to mind, both were Norris contenders and end of season All-Stars
     
  3. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Tyler Myers led Buffalo in icetime as a rookie.

    Denis Potvin was a 30-minute guy immediately for New York.

    I don't think there are very many good examples of this. Lidstrom, Coffey, and Robinson don't qualify.
     
  4. brianscot

    brianscot Registered User

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    Brian Leetch might be a fit for this question after joining the Rangers following the 1988 Olympics.

    Boston experienced serendipity with Ray Bourque as Brad Park's knee forced him to miss 1979-80's first half

    Both Bourque and Brad McCrimmon ended up with far more ice time than they might have received.
     
  5. Mathradio

    Mathradio Drive for 25

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    There are D-men that are #1s by ice time that were not necessarily the best on their teams and vice-versa, so why can't we have D-men that can fit at least 1 category?
     
  6. Dissonance

    Dissonance Registered User

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    Mattias Ohlund was arguably Vancouver's best defenseman in 1997-98. The NHL doesn't have time-on-ice numbers from that season, but Keenan would sometimes play him upwards of 30 minutes a game, and I wouldn't be shocked at all if Ohlund led the team (not that there was much competition: an aging Jyrki Lumme? Grant Ledyard? Oy, those were the days...).

    Still surprising that he lost the Calder to a run-of-the-mill 20-goal scorer.
     
  7. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    brian leetch? i don't have icetime figures from that far back and i have no recollection of the rangers during his rookie year, but it seems like he was the #1 that year, or at least 1A with jeep patrick.
     
  8. Padan

    Padan Registered User

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    The numbers are available on nhl.com.

    Both McCabe (26:31) and Lumme (25:28) actually averaged more minutes than Ohlund (22:42). McCabe played only 26 games though.
     
  9. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    Probably not the best example but Robert Svehla definetly fits into category "First year in NHL - #1 D." He was 26 at the time and was proven, but... there is not probably as many guys as you want to hear...
    During 2001 season, Rob Blake was traded to Colorado and best offensive defensman on the team was rookie Lubomir Visnovsky. I am lazy to find number but IIRC there was still prime captain Mathias Norstrom, so probably he was the best guy.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  10. Dissonance

    Dissonance Registered User

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    Weird, I couldn't find them. And yeah, McCabe was only in Vancouver for the last quarter of the season, so I guess that puts Ohlund at #2 in ice-time behind Lumme for most of the year. And Ohlund was a lot better than Lumme defensively, although, in fairness, it seems like Lumme was getting overworked.

    I'd also be curious to see how it broke down by first-half/second-half (although there might be no way to do that)—my recollection was that Ohlund was getting a lot more icetime as the season wore on, but who knows? Maybe I'm misremembering.
     
  11. Padan

    Padan Registered User

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    You can check out his game log from that season on hockey-reference.com

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/o/ohlunma01/gamelog/1998/
     
  12. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    anyone have the ice-time numbers for LA '90-'91? i suspect that rob blake was behind at least duchesne, but you never know.

    other names to check out (though they are all doubtful): roman hamrlik, dave babych, ed jovanovski, bryan berard, zarley zalapski...

    john carlson was at times due to injury washington's #1 this year.
     
  13. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    Tobias Enstrom FTW!
     
  14. ThrashersfanSVK

    ThrashersfanSVK @Jakub_Homola

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    Ľubomír Sekeráš FTW! :sarcasm:
     
  15. Mathradio

    Mathradio Drive for 25

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    And Subban on the 2010-2011 Habs.
     
  16. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Ed Jovanovski?
     
  17. JSmith81x

    JSmith81x Your weapon is guilt

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    2005-06 Chicago -- Duncan Keith led his team in icetime as a rookie, but was fifth in scoring among D (behind even Jim Vandermeer). Spacek was traded halfway through, and Aucoin was hurt and missed over half the season. Seabrook led the D in scoring w/ 32 points in 69 games.
     
  18. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    Marek Zidlicky in Nashville? That might be cheating.
     
  19. Mathradio

    Mathradio Drive for 25

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    1. Was Keith a shutdown D-man back then?
    2. You guys had Spacek before he began to suck
     
  20. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Drew Doughty as well
     
  21. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    Something that is easily forgotten thanks to what he has done in 19 seasons since is Nicklas Lidstrom's rookie season of 1991-92. He was easily Detroit's third-best player, behind Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov, and an argument can be made that he was better than Fedorov that year. TOI was not officially tracked by the NHL until 1998-99, but Lidstrom was partnered with Brad McCrimmon (who he cites as a major reason that he became the player he is), as Detroit's top defense pairing at even-strength. Lidstrom also anchored the top PP unit with Yzerman and Fedorov, who benefited from having a difference-making presence at the point on the PP that they had never previously had.

    He should have run away with the Calder Trophy, but voters were so caught up in the excitement that Pavel Bure brought to the ice that they overlooked him because he was not flashy and he was overshadowed by one superstar center and another that was about to become one. Bure did score 34 goals, but he played only 65 games and had an even +/-. The Russian Rocket was a spectacular player to watch, but Lidstrom was clearly, significantly, the better player. His 60 points and +36 were not a product of anything but his own play, the same of which cannot be said for Paul Ysebart being +44 on Steve Yzerman's left wing and thus becoming the new Gerard Gallant on a team that still had the old Gerard Gallant.

    The Lidstrom-Bure situation is a perfect example of why Lidstrom did not win his first Norris until 2000-01. He was never flashy, never made the highlight reels. He never did anything jaw-dropping. Lidstrom exemplified greatness, but greatness that was overlooked as a result of him being so consistently great that nothing stuck out at you. The ironic part about Lidstrom is that his positioning is his greatest asset, one that ranks among the very greatest individual skills in the history of a position dominated by players that usually had that one great, usually very obvious, skill that set them apart. MacInnis had the slapshot. Coffey and Orr had the skating. Chelios and Robinson had the physicality. Bourque and Potvin had everything. Those skills all stuck out at you when you watched them. Lidstrom has positioning. There is nothing less noticeable than great positioning. You don't notice when someone is in position, you notice when someone is OUT of position. And until 2001, pardon my statement, nobody noticed that nobody noticed Nicklas Lidstrom because nobody notices someone that is never out of position.
     
  22. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    it was very impressive that lidstrom tied bure for points his rookie year, on top of being a far more complete player. if there was a most valuable rookie award, he would have run away with it.
     
  23. David Dennison

    David Dennison I'm a tariff, man. Sponsor

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    Although he wasnt technically a rookie this year, Alex Pietrangelo led the Blues in ice time this season.
     
  24. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Chelios was Montreal's best d-man in his rookie year, but it's arguable wether he had usurped Robinson as the team's #1 d-man. It's seems they alternated the role of the team's best d-man for the next few years.
     
  25. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Barry Beck with Colorado in 77-78 was the teams #1 defenceman right from his first game.

    Maybe Borje Salming in 73-74 would be another example, though he was a bit older (22) than most rookies.
     

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