Top 5 Defenseman of all time

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Big Phil, Jun 2, 2005.

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  1. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Okay we all know that Orr is without a doubt the best defenseman ever to play the game right? I dont think many if any will disagree. So my question is who is the best defenseman of all time behind Orr? It might surprise you too see who everyone thinks. This is my top 5 list. Feel free to disagree.

    #1 Bobby Orr - No one should disagree with this one. This guy revolutionized the game all by himself. Who nowadays can dominate a game like he could? Many argue Orr is the best player of all time and it isnt an uncommon thing to think that. But no d-man ever played like him. He won 8 Norris Trophies and all of them in consecutive years. He won the Hart three times, the scoring title twice and the Conn Smythe twice. Can anyone believe there is a defenseman in the league who will ever lead the league in points again?

    #2 Doug Harvey - Won 6 Cups with the Habs, and won the Norris Trophy 7 times, all of that in 8 years. He never won the Conn Smythe Trophy because it wasnt invented until '65 but there are at least two seasons that Harvey would have won it ('58, '59). Harvey was a ten time First All-star member and once was on the second team. This is the greatest defenseman to ever play the game other than Orr. Harvey's carer high of points was only 50, but no defenseman ever got more than that until Orr. Harvey was as well rounded as they come.

    #3 Ray Bourque - He is a 19 time allstar with 13 of those being First all-star team selections. Five times won the Norris Trophy. Won the Cup once. Bourque again was the defenseman that could do anything. He was so well rounded and rarely made an error. But he was always so reliable in both ends of the ice. Definetly the best defenseman to play since 1979.

    #4 Eddie Shore - Even though there wasnt a Norris Trophy back then lets just say that Shore would have won quite a few. 7 Times he was on the First team all-star and an amazing 4 times he won the Hart Trophy. Shore won the Hart trophy in '38 after only getting 17 points. Which showed how valuable he was defensively too.

    #5 Denis Potvin - He was the Captain of the Isles in their 4 Cups and was a first team all-star 5 times while being a second twice. Won the Norris Trophy three times. Was the second d-man to get 100 points. Potvin had it all. Good offense, thunderous body checks, good leadership. Like the others above him he was well rounded and seemed to do everything right.

    Hm goes to Red Kelly, Larry Robinson.
     
  2. kruezer

    kruezer Registered User

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    I completely agree with your rankings actually, its close between Potvin and Kelly though, Red was underrated IMO.
     
  3. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    I'll take your top 4 as they have seperated themselves from the pack (and what a pack it is). The #5 spot and HMs fall to Potvin, Kelly, Robinson, Chelios, Lidstrom, Coffey, Stevens, and probably a couple more that come behind those initial 4 but are close enough to challenge for that next tier.
     
  4. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    #1 Bobby Orr - 8 Norris Trophies and a top 15 scorer of all time (my system) on D!!!!!!!

    #2 Eddie Shore - 4 Hart Trophies as a defenseman!!!!!

    #3 Ray Bourque - 5 Norris Trophies and a 6 time runner up!!!!

    #4 Doug Harvey - 7 Norris Trophies!

    #5 Red Kelly - 8 Stanley Cups, 4 Norris Trophies, twice a runner up!!!!!
     
  5. Paxon

    Paxon ⚔Z E M G U S⚔

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    Pretty agreeable list, but like others have said the 5th spot can go a lot of ways. My personal preference would be Kelly but there is no denying that Potvin has every right to be at that spot.
     
  6. big_steve

    big_steve Registered User

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    1. Bobby Orr
    2. Doug Harvey
    3. Eddie Shore
    4. Ray Bourque
    5. Denis Potvin
    HM- Red Kelly, Larry Robinson, Nicklas Lidstrom, Paul Coffey, Dit Clapper, & Chris Chelios

    Bourque is my favourite player ever but I don't quite understand how he can be ranked ahead of Shore.
     
  7. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

     
  8. canucksfan

    canucksfan Registered User

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    1.Orr
    2.Harvey
    3.Shore
    4.Potvin
    5.Robinson
     
  9. Took a pill in Sbisa

    Took a pill in Sbisa 2showToffoliIwascool

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    1. Orr
    2. Harvey
    3. Bourque
    4. Shore
    5. Potvin
    6. Robinson/Coffey
     
  10. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Orr has to be #1. Shore has to be in the top #5 though I wouldn't know where.I take Harvey ahead of Bourque, just in the stories I've heard. Ask any old timer about Harvey and you'll hear about a guy that controlled the pace of the game. He made his name in hockey but it was just the sport he made his living in. He excelled in pretty well any sport he tried, including baseball and lacrosse. I'd round it out with Potvin,though I wish I could honestly put Robinson in there. I think he was everything you could want in a player from any possible respect, there just happened top be 5 guys a bit better than him.
     
  11. scosar

    scosar Registered User

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    I can't argue much with the original top 5 although like McPhee I would love to put the big bird there but the other 5 were just a bit better. I think Brad Park would be an H.M. too. He just played at the same time as No.4 so could never be the best but he was pretty damn good.
     
  12. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

     
    Last edited by moderator : Jun 3, 2005
  13. LadyByngJeanRatelle

    LadyByngJeanRatelle Registered User

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    1. Orr
    2. Bourque
    3. Shore
    4. Coffey
    5. Harvey
    6. Robinson/Berg/Stevens/Potvin/Lidstrom
     
  14. doc5hole

    doc5hole Registered User

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    And it was reported during the 78 finals that most of the media that voted Potvin the trophy that year admitted after watching Park vs. Montreal that they had erred.

    Park was never a fast skater, and bad knees made him one of the slowest players out there. But he was the absolute best at compensating with his mind and body positioning. Just an outstanding talent who could dictate tempo and pace and be a great player in any kind of game.

    To Cam Neely's great disadvantage, his career was cut short and the HHOF is elusive, but to his great advantage. he left behind the image of a player in his prime, not one who played 10 years after hitting his physical downside. Park kept up an incredibly efficient level of play long after his wheels were shot. I'm glad you put him on the table where he belongs.
     
  15. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    it's about time Aki Berg got some credit ;)
     
  16. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Brad Park had six seasons as Norris runner-up with 5 1st team and 2 2nd team selections. That is a fantastic legacy, IMO.

    Unfortunately, his performance in the finals doesn't get counted for the award.
     
  17. acr*

    acr* Guest

    Ray Bourque was a great player, but I don't know if he's #3 all-time...

    Maybe I just took watching him pay for granted when I was a kid.
     
  18. kruezer

    kruezer Registered User

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    I think you may have. Bourque is at least equal to Potvin, Kelly and Robinson IMO, though perhaps a step below Harvey/Shore, but thats tough to say.
     
  19. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Hmm thats a little bit of a shock having Coffeyin at #4. Even Doug Harvey is below him? I dont know, Coffey could arguably be in the Top 10 and certainly top 15 but #4 all time is a bit of a stretch. He was certainly not a well rounded defenseman like the others on the list. Not saying he was terrible defensively but certainly not above average. If you needed a tying goal late in the game then you had him on the ice, but if you needed to hold a lead with a minute left it was never "lights out" when Coffey was on the ice. He wasnt a Stevens, Savard, Robinson or Harvey type of shut down guy. Put Coffey around 10th overall I think.
     
  20. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    1. Bobby Orr. Not only the best defenceman ever, but the best player ever. A gifted skater and offensive mind, but also strong as a bear, a ferocious hitter and a tough fighter.

    2. Eddie Shore. There are still some old-timers in Boston who will argue Shore was better than Orr. I don't agree, but Shore was an intense competitor who is a consensus top-10 player ever.

    3. Doug Harvey. Before there was Orr, there was Harvey. The defensive backbone of so many great Hab teams. Won seven Norris trophies against some pretty good competition.

    4. Ray Bourque. The best of the post-Orr era, Bourque could rush the puck, make the smart play, and had a hard shot with pinpoint accuracy. Always one of the best in his own zone, too.

    5. Denis Potvin. Nothing the guy couldn't do. Three Norris trophies, and a deadly combination of skill and physical play. The guy the Islanders built their dynasty around.

    Honourable mention:
    *Red Kelly. Whether he was making the great plays on the blueline or at centre, perhaps the most versatile player ever. Imagine him playing in an era when defenceman were encouraged to rush the puck?
    *Larry Robinson. "Big Bird" was magical to watch in his prime. Blessed with an awesome blend of skill and size that was virtually unstoppable.
    *Paul Coffey. Second best offensive defenceman of all time behind Orr. Only thing holding him back was average defensive ability.
    *Brad Park. Easily the best defenceman never to win the Norris. Would have won four or five if not for a guy named Orr.
    *Chris Chelios. Like Potvin, there wasn't a thing the guy couldn't do. Just not as good as Potvin. But Chelios was a dominant force in his own right, able to control all aspects of the game.
     
  21. PigPen

    PigPen Registered User

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    I don't believe anybody didn't mention Serge Savard.

    I'm not to get in a rankings fight, but on Montreal in the late 70's he was on the ice more than Larry Robinson.

    OK: Rankings Fight: I put him at 3 to 5 on the original list.
     
  22. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Expanded list:

    1. Bobby Orr
    2. Eddie Shore
    3. Ray Bourque
    4. Doug Harvey
    5. Red Kelly
    6. Paul Coffey
    7. Denis Potvin
    8. Pierre Pilote
    9. Nick Lidstrom
    10. Chris Chelios
    11. Harry Cameron
    12. Larry Robinson
    13. Dit Clapper
    14. King Clancy
    15. Brad Park
    16. Al MacInnis
    17. Scott Stevens
    18. Sprague Cleghorn
    19. Brian Leetch
    20. George Boucher
     
  23. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Ogo,here's where I argue with your criteria, and the credit given to awards. Pilote was a great player, a lot like Leetch. He came into his own when a lot of the greats were beginning to fade, and the Orr's and Park's hadn't arrived. I'll never accept an arguement that states that Pilote, or Chelios for that matter was better than Robinson. I saw Pilote, I saw Brad Park and I'd take Park anyday. Switch their eras and the ranking gets affected. I don't know what I'm arguing about though, the margin's pretty slight with great d men, so much depends on partners, team responsibility,style. I know you don't like the GM arguement but if you're drafting,who do you take first Coffey or Larry ? In fact 2 of Robinson's teammates would be considered.
     
  24. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    If not for the 2 broken legs, who knows what ranking he'd get.Might have been the smartest d man of all time.
     
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