The Biggest "What if"?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Gobo, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Gobo

    Gobo Stop looking Gare

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    Who was the biggest "what if" player? What if they weren't injured (Orr, Lemeuix, Lindros, Forsberg, etc.)? What if we saw more of Bobby Orr? What if Mario Lemeiuex didn't have back problems? What if Forsberg/Lindros didn't suffer numerous injuries? What if Hasek's groin was never pulled? Where would these players rank among there peers then?

    Who is the biggest what if?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. Ozz

    Ozz Registered User

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    I'd have to say Mario or Orr. Who knows how long Orr could've gone, and who knows what levels Mario would've reached if he were able to play injury-free. I don't feel the others were on the level or these two, nor were they going to reach it.
     
  3. Gobo

    Gobo Stop looking Gare

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    But would Forsberg/Lindros have closed in on top 10 or even top 5 all time status? And would Hasek be the best goalie ever (IMO it's Roy)?
     
  4. senior edler

    senior edler your alternate captain

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    mogilny

    what if he cared?
     
  5. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    This question that you ask is why I'd take Forsberg/Lindros.

    The fact that they were traded for each other makes it even more intriguing IMO.

    Both were top level players who played in an extremely competitive NHL and we already have a large continuous sample of what both Orr and Lemieux did.

    Hasek is the best goalie of all time IMO already although I know that's open to debate because of his late start (in the NHL) and playing on some pretty weak Buffalo teams as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  6. DisgruntledGoat*

    DisgruntledGoat* Registered User

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    For me, Lindros.

    I think we have a pretty good idea what Orr and Lemieux could do without injuries.

    But, IMO, we never saw the best of Lindros. People forget that before the concussions, he suffered a bunch of knee injuries early on, and wore braces on both knees for most of his career.

    I don't know that we ever saw what a healthy, in-his-prime Lindros could really do.
     
  7. Nullus Reverentia

    Nullus Reverentia Hic Sunt Dracones

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    Definitely Lindros.

    Orr barely played after he got hurt, we know what would happen if his knees didn't give out. Lemieux and Forsberg, for their most part, it didn't affect their play.

    Lindros on the other hand , was definitely affected. Best player in the NHL for a few years, not even though he wasn't in his prime and .wouldve dominated the dead puck era, but he was destroyed by injuries.

    And Hasek isn't that big a what if either.
     
  8. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    For me even if Lindros does not get injured he would not have been the player some thinked.

    For What if Mario stays healthy for his career
     
  9. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    here is a what if

    What if the oilers could have kept all their players--grets. mess coffey et all--how many cups do they win
     
  10. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    orr played most of his career after he got hurt. he had multiple operations on his left knee before the age of 21.
     
  11. Ozz

    Ozz Registered User

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    Right, and how can you not be real curious as to what they'd have continued to do if they remained healthy? It'd be nuts!
     
  12. Regular David Bruce

    Regular David Bruce Cavalier Bug Rudder

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    In order

    Lemieux... if healthy, may well have proven himself the #1 player of all time. Mostly, I just wanted more. You don't see something that special more than a handful of time in your life.
    Orr... would love to have seen what he could have done in the '72 series and into the early '80's. Like Lemieux, we were ripped off from seeing enough of one of the greatest players to ever lace 'em up.

    Lindros... could be had a Top 5-10 career. For a short period there, he had it all.

    Hasek... would have taken the "arguably" out of the Top goaltender of all time discussions
    Forsberg... could have taken the "arguably" out of the Top European player of all time discussions.
     
  13. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    What if Fedorov believed every game mattered?

    I would say the biggest what if players where the Eastern Bloc stars who never got to play in the NHL in their prime. How different would things be if, say, Buffalo had had Tretiak?
     
  14. Derick*

    Derick* Guest

    Lindros. Lemieux, Hasek, and Orr were three of the top five players of all time. They didn't play a full career, but they had enough time in the NHL to fully demonstrate their peak, even if it wasn't as long as we would have liked. Lindros isn't just an issue of longer. He probably would have peaked higher if it weren't for drama and health issues.
     
  15. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    My problem with Lindros and Forsberg in these examples is that for them to not be injured regularly, they would have had to change their styles of play, which would have made them less effective overall when they were on the ice.
     
  16. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    I'm guessing the OP put these guys with the hope that they could have played their styles and stayed healthy which was probably unrealistic given their playing styles to be sure but all part of the "what if".
     
  17. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Exactly what kind of player did some people think he was going to be? He was the arguably the best player in the World for at least a small portion of his career.
     
  18. ozzie

    ozzie Registered User

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    What if Mario didn't retire after the 97 season and continued to play for that 3 1/2 year gap.
     
  19. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    My mind just races thinking about what Orr and Lemieux could have done without injuries, Pavel Bure and Cam Neely both with solid knees also really stand out for me. Maybe Bure would have scored 700 goals, who knows...
     
  20. Scott1980

    Scott1980 Registered User

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    Bossy: What if he didn't miss 17 games in 86/87, and then retired? How many more 50+ goal seasons would he have gotten.

    Lafleur: What if he didn't have all those injuries from 80/81 to 83/84, how many more 50+ goals seasons would he have gotten.

    And so on, with Cam Neely!

    How about a change in attitude from Hakan Loob and Kent Nilsson? What if they didn't return to Europe? Just when the money was getting good!
     
  21. History will be made.
     
  22. tony d

    tony d HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    Eric Lindros. I think he'd still be playing today had it not been for injuries.
     
  23. Marky9er

    Marky9er Registered User

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    Lemieux.
     
  24. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Mario and Orr are not question marks they are top 4 players all time beyond debate as to where in the top 4 they fall.

    Hasek - Ditto. He is not a question mark. He dominated in Europe, The NHL, Internationally and played well into his 40's, he is still freaking playing!

    Forsberg - Not really a question mark we know what he did and what he could do.

    Lindros is the only one that is an actual question mark. His injury really affected his play, he only had a half dozen truly full seasons all before he might have actually been in his prime. Lindros likely IMO have been in Trottier, Clarke, Sakic, Yzerman, Lafleur territory in terms of forwards for his career if he had not had those injuries but then again we can never know for sure. Now he is a possible non HHOFer. The other 4 are surefire HHOFers without doubt.

    In terms of question marks for the others it is whether Orr and Mario could have been clear #1's over Gretzky. Hasek out of the Sawchuk, Plante, Roy territory and the clear #1 of all-time. Forsberg might have been in Yzerman, Sakic, Clarke Territory all time but he is still IMO easily good enough for the HHOF.
     
  25. EastCoastNiner

    EastCoastNiner Registered User

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    I don't get why people say this. It's not like his injuries were fluke injuries. They were a DIRECT result of his style of play. If he didn't play reckless, he wouldn't have been nearly as good as a he was. If he wasn't playing reckless and wasn't dominant, then he wouldn't find a good spot on an NHL roster. He never adjusted his play from when he was a mammoth compared to kids he was playing against, and that got him injured. If you take away his injuries, you take away his effectiveness as well.
     

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