The Best Players To Never Have Been THE Best...

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by GlitchMarner, Oct 24, 2018.

View Users: View Users
  1. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Messages:
    4,999
    Likes Received:
    1,893
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brampton, ON
    The guys who could have been the absolute best in the NHL or entire hockey world if not for another player or couple of players... who are your picks?

    Jean Beliveau? Bobby Hull? Phil Esposito? Bobby Clarke? Mark Messier? Steve Yzerman? Alex Ovechkin? Evgeni Malkin? Connor McDavid?


    I consider Ovechkin to have been the top or at least co-best player circa 2009 (for me personally he was the best at that point) and McDavid to be the best currently.

    Try to focus on the historical side of things.
     
  2. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    7,924
    Likes Received:
    1,736
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I think Beliveau, Hull, Ovechkin, and now McDavid have all been generally considered the best player in the League for at least one season if not more (Beliveau in 1955-56, for example).

    Esposito is a little different -- top scorer by far, yes, but I don't think fans ever thought he was Orr's equal. Clarke somehow ends up behind Orr, Lafleur, and Trottier/Gretzky at every stage. Messier has an argument for 2nd-best player maybe in 1989-90, but I don't think he was ever considered the 2nd-best, especially since he didn't hit his prime until Mario was on the rise. Yzerman likewise. Malkin maybe is closer to having been "the best" for one season, but there's the Crosby/Ovechkin thing...
     
    SealsFan and authentic like this.
  3. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Shadow of the Big 4 is the easy place to look.

    Messier, Roy, Esposito. Possibly Kelly or Harvey.
     
  4. Ralph Malfredsson

    Ralph Malfredsson Champipple drinker

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Ray Bourque.
     
    brucejohnjennerlawso likes this.
  5. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    7,924
    Likes Received:
    1,736
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Was Maurice Richard ever (outside of Quebec) considered the best player in the game? I guess there's an argument for c.1944 to 1950, but the competition (even his teammate, Lach, in 1945) was pretty stiff.
     
  6. crobro

    crobro Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    112
    Trophy Points:
    112
    2002 Todd Bertuzzi
     
  7. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    17,059
    Likes Received:
    1,490
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Home Page:
    my understanding is rocket richard was considered the greatest player of all time until howe came along.
     
    Sentinel likes this.
  8. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    7,924
    Likes Received:
    1,736
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Maybe so, I dunno. (When Howe first appeared, the Rocket had only been noteworthy for a few years.)

    It's an interesting question: by the end of the 40s, did Montreal fans consider the Rocket better than Morenz and Joliat had ever been?
     
  9. Matsun

    Matsun Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Was Jagr the concensous no.1 at the time? With Lemiuex at the start, Hasek, the hype of Lindros, Sakic and Forsberg, Kariya, Selanne and Bures goalscoring I can see Jagr perhaps growing in hindsight.
     
  10. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge I Am The Walrus

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Just best Defenseman:

    Perhaps someone like Brad Park, who was the consensus number two defenseman behind Bobby Orr for a few seasons....

    Prior to Potvin and Robinson emerging.
     
  11. Kevs Security

    Kevs Security aka InmateMack, ultimate NHL insider

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    914
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Corporate security fella!
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Forsberg... oh, what could've been.
     
  12. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    1,069
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Selänne and Bure only had a leg up on Jagr up until the 94–95 season when he said good-bye.
     
  13. MXD

    MXD Original #4

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    37,559
    Likes Received:
    1,558
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Occupation:
    Dead
    Le numéro 33.
     
    BenchBrawl likes this.
  14. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    2,502
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Location:
    East Providence, RI
    Yeah this screams Brad Park.

    8x 2nd in Norris voting in 11 seasons.

    There's an alternate universe somewhere where Bobby Orr was never born and Park spends his days looking at his 8 Norris trophies
     
  15. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Messages:
    27,883
    Likes Received:
    2,152
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Greats who lived in the shadows of giants:

    F: Bernie Geoffrion
    D: Brad Park
    G: Ed Belfour
     
  16. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    18,472
    Likes Received:
    1,441
    Trophy Points:
    139
    delete, beaten to it
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  17. DannyGallivan

    DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    1,169
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Dale Hawerchuk could have been the face of the NHL for awhile, same with Denis Savard. Perhaps Marcel Dionne if Lafleur and Gretzky didn't take away his shine. Gilbert Perreault also had a shot during the '70s.

    I think most of the players you named were at one time already considered the best in the hockey world. Bobby Hull was the marquee player for half of the 60's. Espo won a couple of Harts along with a mess of scoring awards. Beliveau was also Montreal's best player forward during the 50's dynasty. Of those you listed, perhaps only Yzerman didn't have his spot in the sun by himself.
     
  18. DannyGallivan

    DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    1,169
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    This was so obvious I missed it.
     
  19. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    18,472
    Likes Received:
    1,441
    Trophy Points:
    139
    Maybe not consensus, but for me Jagr was the best player in the game in his prime.Some would say Hasek.

    So I think Jagr has enough of a case as the best in the world to be disqualified from this thread.
     
  20. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    156
    Location:
    PA
    I agree, Jagr was the best player in the world for a reasonable enough chunk of 1997-2001 give or take...
     
  21. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    81
    I don't think Doug Harvey was ever considered the best player in the world, but I have him as the 5th best player ever.
     
  22. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8,032
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Trophy Points:
    119
    Location:
    Hockeytown, MI
    He was definitely considered the best player in the world (practically his nickname on NHL 2Night). From 2002-2006, he came out on top of at least three separate player polls and multiple THN lists. Essentially the bridge between Jagr and Crosby.

    A broken down wooden bridge in the jungle that you see people attempting to cross in adventure movies, but a bridge nonetheless.
     
  23. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Messages:
    4,999
    Likes Received:
    1,893
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brampton, ON
    As good Hawerchuk and Savard were, I don't think either was a Crosby or McDavid type that could have been the best in the League for an extended stretch. Hawerchuk would have been the best in 1985 without Gretzky and he and Savard might have competed for best in the world in 1988 without Wayne and Mario, but otherwise I don't think there would have been enough separation between them and the Dionnes, Stastnys, Trottiers, Bossys, Messiers and Yzermans over the rest of the 1980s for either to have been the best for any sustained period.
     
    brucejohnjennerlawso likes this.
  24. DannyGallivan

    DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2017
    Messages:
    1,790
    Likes Received:
    1,169
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I don't know how sustained we were looking at. I guess my point is the 80's saw a large proliferation of exceptionally talented forwards... the Hawerchuks, Savards, Statsneys were overshadowed by Wayne and Mario.
     
  25. Cursed Lemon

    Cursed Lemon Registered Bruiser Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    8,155
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    94
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dey-Twah, MI
    I guess Dionne counts here.

    His point finishes are 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 with six 50+ goal seasons. That's pretty damn good for a guy who had several extremely good players overlapping his most productive years. Esposito, Orr, Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, etc.

    Actually Bossy is a good example too.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"