Top 20 non-NHL players all-time

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by VMBM, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Not meaning this to be a HOHHOF thread per se, but it might be useful to list the players who you think are the best non-NHL players of all-time. I took the "non-NHL" very literally, so no KLM, Fetisov, Kasatonov, Balderis, Hlinka, Novy, Sterner etc. even though their 'claim to fame' are rather their international/national careers. There might be some omissions/brain farts.

    1. Valery Kharlamov
    2. Anatoly Firsov
    3. Vladislav Tretiak
    4. Boris Mikhailov
    5. Jiri Holecek
    6. Alexander Maltsev
    7. Vladimir Petrov
    8. Vladimir Martinec
    9. Vyacheslav Starshinov
    10. Valery Vasiliev
    11. Vsevolod Bobrov
    12. Jan Suchy
    13. Frantisek Pospisil
    14. Alexander Yakushev
    15. Sven Tumba
    16. Alexander Ragulin
    17. Vladimir Zabrodsky
    18. Jiri Holik
    19. Nikolai Sologubov
    20. Venjamin Alexandrov

    Honorable mention (in no particular order):
    Erich Kühnhackl, Lasse Oksanen, Pekka Marjamäki, Jorma Valtonen, Vitaly Davydov, Sergei Kapustin, Vladimir Shadrin, Vladimir Vikulov, Vyacheslav Bykov, Andrey Khomutov, Viktor Konovalenko, Vladimir Dzurilla, Oldrich Machac, Josef Malecek, Bohumil Modry, Vlastimil Bubnik, Vincent Lukac, Lennart Svedberg, Mats Waltin, Leif Holmqvist, Nils Nilsson...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  2. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    Vlad Dzurilla, Nikolai Sologubov, ...Tony Hand?
     
  3. ES

    ES Registered User

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    Still active player from a small hockey country, but look at those stats. British League is not a great league, but 2.5 points per game at the age of 43.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=20964

    Only a short visit outside Britain, three games in WHL back in 1986-87, 4 goals and 4 assists.
     
  4. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Dzurilla (HM) and Sologubov (#19) I did have there. Mr. Hand, yep, forgot about him ;)
     
  5. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Peter "Pekka" Lindmark should be there (honorable mention)
     
  6. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

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    Both him and "Honken" should be considered.

    Edit: Sorry, I missed out on "Honken" in your HM list.
     
  7. unknown33

    unknown33 Registered User

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    Cyclone Taylor?
     
  8. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    Jozef Golonka
    He should be somewhere there for sure (HM).
    This is quite a hyperbole, but Golonka definetly was elite player.

    Golonka is the Slovak Ice Hockey Legend of the late 1950s and the 1960s. In the early 1960s he was valued as Europe's most gifted player and his 298 scored goals in 330 confrontations in the CSSR national league and 82 goals accumulated during 134 games in the national team bear record to his prowess as hockey crack.

    "If he had the chance to play the NHL, he had been a Star as Wayne Gretzky was" said the baron of sports journalism George Gross a decade ago about Jozef Golonka.

    During a match against the powerful CSKA Moscow in 1957 Golonka's line was set up against legendary Russian crack Vsevolod Bobrov. Golonka sporting 60 kilograms that time bodychecked the 90 kilogram Bobrov so fierce and delicate that the Russian star nearly left the ice over the boards.

    Golonka was very balanced all-round talent, he was apt in all facets of the game. He was creative, fast, technically able and strong. And he had a great tactical understanding of what was going on, or had to go on during the game. Anytime needed it was him setting the tone for the course in the game. The fans loved his self confident and provocative style and he was often called Muhammed Ali on skates.

    The Swedish press found the following words for Golonkas performance: "There's a player amongst the CSSR team, his name is Golonka. One can only talk in words of superlatives about him. He is the Pele on ice, the Caruso on the puck, the Boticelli with the hockey stick, he is the only player in the tournament able to play the puck full speed skating backwards in unmatched precision. He's slogging without end, wrestles the puck from his opponents, he attacks, he defends, he directs the course of play, he assists and he scores by himself..."

    Russian national trainer Tarasov: "If I had a player like Golonka, I'd take the WM title one hundred percent..."

    Jozef Golonka is offical member of the Slovak, the German and the IIHF Hall of Fame.
     
  9. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Absolutely. And thanks for the bio.
     
  10. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Heh. I guess I meant European "non-professional" (even though especially the Russians were no amateurs) players who never played in the NHL. But since I didn't express that very clearly, you are right.
     
  11. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    In that case, Hobey Baker.
     
  12. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    It's a good list to start with. I personally don't see how such an exclusive list can have room for Dzurilla, Lindmark & Golonka. As great as they were, this is just a top-20.

    Tony Hand, I'm not sure there's any way to truly compare to anyone that is a known quantity. My guess is that in north america he's a career minor leaguer, so he wouldn't get my vote.

    Should Ragulin be before Suchy?
     
  13. Stray Wasp

    Stray Wasp Registered User

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    Hand assuredly had enough natural talent to reach the NHL, perhaps to earn a pension, but for the purposes of this list that in itself clearly isn't enough. It's a major stretch to see him as a career top 6 player, unlike other names cited.
     
  14. Slapshooter

    Slapshooter Registered User

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    I believe that Erich Kühnhackl would have made a fine NHL career, had the time been different. As a big, tough sniper he would have adjusted to NHL game much better than many of those overhyped Soviet ballerinas.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    6,5", 220+ lbs and PPG in World Championships. Carried (West) German hockey on his shoulders.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  15. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    True. But whole trio is HM worthy.
     
  16. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Surprised you of all people didn't include Jiri Lala as an HM. Definitely no room for him in the Top 20, though.
     
  17. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    There were some Soviet players with very good physical game.
     
  18. justsomeguy

    justsomeguy Registered User

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    Herb Carnegie
     
  19. BillyShoe1721

    BillyShoe1721 Terriers

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    Gennady Tsygankov and Vladimir Lutchenko deserve an HM at least.
     
  20. SharksAttack

    SharksAttack Registered User

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  21. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Good calls. Lutchenko in particular.
     
  22. crobro

    crobro Registered User

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    rudi hiti from slovenia
     
  23. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    Ronald Pettersson - IIHF Hall of Famer and 6x Swedish All-Star

    Jiri Lala - IIHF Best Forward and great scorer

    Jiri Krilak - Golden Stick winner
     
  24. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Dzurilla, Lindmark and Golonka are HM worthy (here), but I wouldn't make an effort trying to get them elected to HOHHOF, that's for sure. In fact, I might be wrong, but maybe only Kharlamov, Tretiak and possibly Mikhailov will be locks... but I'm looking forward to the arguments/debates; I will surely try my best to 'sell' players like Firsov, Maltsev, Holecek, Petrov, Martinec. We'll see.

    If one puts emphasis on longevity, then Ragulin should absolutely be ahead of Suchy. I think Suchy, on the other hand, had clearly better peak. Tough comparison; two such different defensemen, style-wise and physically.

    I'm a man of surprises! ;)

    Yes, he probably should get an HM. He achieved more in those 4-5 seasons (on top) than a few bigger names did during much longer international careers. Still a small mystery (from de Lala land).
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  25. VMBM

    VMBM Crawfish Fiesta

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    Outside Vasiliev (of course), the Soviet defensemen of the 1970s (Tsygankov, Lyapkin, Lutchenko, Gusev...) are tough ones for me to crack, so to speak; i.e. to put them in order. Have you or anyone studied them/compared them to one another or something like that? For example, why do you think that Lutchenko was better than Tsygankov and so forth?

    Personally, I've seen enough games to conclude that I don't like Alexander Gusev very much, even though he played a few seasons behind the top line; too mistake-prone (for starters, look at the 1st goal of the CSSR-USSR game in the 1976 Winter Olympics, lol).
     

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