Teams with two elite/superstar centers

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by KingGallagherXI, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. KingGallagherXI

    KingGallagherXI Registered User

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    I'm looking for teams who had two star centers. By that, I mean centers who were generally considered to be in the top 10 forwards in the league.

    Here's what I got: Crosby/Malkin, Sakic/Forsberg, Yzerman/Fedorov, Lemieux/Francis, Gretzky/Messier, Beliveau/Henri Richard. I have nothing after that.

    It seems to me that every time a team had two elite centers such as these, it won the Stanley Cup, often several times. Can anyone come up with other duos?
     
  2. silkyjohnson50

    silkyjohnson50 Registered User

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    Datsyuk/Zetterberg.
     
  3. finchster

    finchster Registered User

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    Milt Schmidt and Bill Cowley.

    Two cups with Boston then a little thing called world war two happened :(
     
  4. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

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    A step or two below the list of pairs that you mentioned, but Gilmour/Sundin for the couple seasons they were together in TOR. Also, Modano/Nieuwendyk on Dallas, Lafontaine/Hawerchuk on Buffalo, Lindros/Brind'Amour on Philly, and Lecavalier/Richards on Tampa.

    I don't think in any of these cases that both guys were considered top ten forwards at the same time, but these are as close as I can think of, at least for modern years.
     
  5. CanucksMJL

    CanucksMJL Registered User

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    Sedin / Kesler might fit the bill nowadays. Hard to put them in the same category of the OP's examples, but a Hart/Art Ross winner, backed up by a 40g Selke candidate is the backbone of this year's Canuck forward group and the Canucks do look poised to do some playoff damage this year.
     
  6. Vector

    Vector Registered User

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    Richards/Lecavalier and Stamkos/Lecavalier fit the bill a superstars.
     
  7. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Clarke and MacLeish.

    MacLeish was a top 7-15 forward during the mid-70's, especially when the playoffs rolled around.
     
  8. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Schmidt/Cowley mentioned are the only pair in the class of the guys in the OP - centers who were superstars for a long time while playing on the same team.

    I'd submit Syl Apps / Ted Kennedy followed by Max Bentley / Ted Kennedy for the 40s Leafs.
     
  9. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Alex Delvecchio / Norm Ullman sometimes formed a 1-2 punch in Detroit at center, though Alex sometimes played LW. They never won the Cup together.
     
  10. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Center Duos

    Abel/Delvecchio with Detroit, Mikita/P. Esposito with Chicago. Keon/Kelly with Toronto, Toronto had a trio in the early 1970's - Keon/Ullman/Sittler but each was either pre or post prime. Buffalo with Lafontaine/Hawerchuk,
     
  11. I've always felt the main ingredient of success to the best overall teams is having two elite centers, as opposed to building around a defenseman, winger or a combination of a defenseman/goalie and a forward as the core of your team, that's not to say you don't need good defense and goaltending whatsoever. It makes sense considering center is the most common position and at that position you are more able to have the most overall effect on a game. Detroit and Pittsburgh are good recent examples, best team in the league this year two elite centers. I'll be lucky to get one elite center in Toronto the next few years.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Apr 19, 2011
  12. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    1947-48 Leafs

    1947-48 Leafs had all three, Apps/Bentley/Kennedy. Probably the greatest center grouping of all-time.
     
  13. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I just find it hard to believe they all played center at the time. My read on hockey of the era is that Lester Patrick was the first coach to use three lines in the late 30s/early 40s, but teams hardly rolled three lines, as 30 minutes of ice time for stars was common in the era. I have to think one of the three played wing that season.
     
  14. Steve Kournianos

    Steve Kournianos @thedraftanalyst

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    Lafontaine and Hawerchuk. Or Bullard and Nieuwendyik in 1988.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  15. connellc

    connellc Registered User

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    Yzerman and Fedorov
     
  16. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    60 Game Schedule

    The teams started rolling three lines regularly when the NHL went to 60 games.

    The 1947-48 Leafs rolled three as evidenced by the depth in their scoring.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/TOR/1948.html

    Also Apps was 33, old by the norms of the era. It was his last season.
     
  17. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    the 1-2-3 punch of gilmour, nieuwendyk, and otto might be a better example. none were at the time a top ten player in the league, but having two all-star centers and one of the best defensive centers in the league really powered that team. especially in the faceoff circle.
     
  18. flyershistory

    flyershistory Registered User

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  19. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    Good one!
     
  20. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    Laughing at the centers the Wings had in 2002:
    Yzerman, Fedorov, Datsyuk, Larionov, Draper

    Wings have been drafting natural centers for some time now:
    Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Filppula, Hudler, Helm, Franzen and Draper are all centers and they signed another center in Modano to add to them. Clearly a team that believes in over-stocking centers.
     
  21. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    yzerman played RW in '02 and datsyuk played LW in '08.


    '02
    fyodorov
    larionov
    draper
    datsyuk

    '08
    zetterberg
    filppula
    draper
    helm
     
  22. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    I'll take the 02 centers and the Calgary example over the 48 Leaf sample 8 days a week.

    Also the Wayne/Mark (and anyone) and Crosby/Malkin/Stall sets as well.

    Goring wasn't top 10 but Trottier/Goring was a very solid reg/playoff 1/2 punch
     
  23. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Not sure how close you want to put Peter Mahovlich and Jacques Lemaire. Their best seasons were usually not together though.

    Gretzky and Nicholls in 1989

    Lemieux and Francis (give a year) depending on how high a person rates Francis
     
  24. silkyjohnson50

    silkyjohnson50 Registered User

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    Wasn't that basically only at home though in 08? I thought Babcock split up Datsyuk and Zetterberg for road games, making it impossible for teams to match up against both of them.
     
  25. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    no, they played together for the entire playoffs, other than for part of OT in game 5 of finals.

    edit: sometimes played separately. filppula was put with datsyuk and holmstrom sometimes, and zetterberg sometimes played with franzen and samuelsson. franzen or cleary or filppula sometimes replaced holmstrom.

    dobberhockey has line combination stats.

    datsyuk's (above 1%):
    45.17% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    14.92% PP 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    6.74% EV 11 CLEARY,DANIEL - 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    4.91% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 51 FILPPULA,VALTTERI - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS
    2.38% SH 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 17 DRAKE,DALLAS
    2.33% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.93% SH 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.34% SH 11 CLEARY,DANIEL - 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL
    1.34% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 37 SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.14% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 33 DRAPER,KRIS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.04% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 93 FRANZEN,JOHAN - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.04% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 51 FILPPULA,VALTTERI

    zetterberg's (above 1%)
    43.88% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    14.5% PP 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    6.55% EV 11 CLEARY,DANIEL - 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    4.82% EV 93 FRANZEN,JOHAN - 37 SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    3.9% SH 51 FILPPULA,VALTTERI - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    2.31% SH 93 FRANZEN,JOHAN - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    2.26% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.88% SH 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 96 HOLMSTROM,TOMAS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.3% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 37 SAMUELSSON,MIKAEL - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.11% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 33 DRAPER,KRIS - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
    1.01% EV 13 DATSYUK,PAVEL - 93 FRANZEN,JOHAN - 40 ZETTERBERG,HENRIK
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

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