Who is the best second liner of all time?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Maalaispoika, Jul 21, 2011.

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  1. Maalaispoika

    Maalaispoika Registered User

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    Mark Messier? Peter Forsberg (if you can call him a second liner)? Someone else?
     
  2. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    Kind of a weird question since it depends so much on how one defines "second liner". Guys like Messier and Forsberg clearly shouldn't count and turn it into a pretty vacuous topic.

    I think what the standard should be is something like:

    "A player is a second line player if 1. he spent most of his career in a second line position AND 2. he would reasonably be expected to be a second line player on many/most contending teams"

    The second qualifier gets rid of players like the aforementioned two who were "second liners" only due to high-end talent in front of them, but also doesn't exclude players who may have done first line duty on some bad teams (or played on the first line in a heavily balanced lineup formation).
     
  3. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Ron Francis?


    (kind of cheating cause he was a #1 but he played behind a generational talent)
     
  4. Nug2hall2ebs

    Nug2hall2ebs Registered User

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    Gino malkin !
     
  5. Bob Kudelski

    Bob Kudelski Registered User

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    Wayne Gretzky.
     
  6. plusandminus

    plusandminus Registered User

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    Wasn't Fedorov a 2nd liner (behind Yzerman) 1993-94, when he won Hart, Lindsey, Selke, 1 st All Star?
     
  7. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    No, Yzerman was hurt.
     
  8. Fire Sweeney

    Fire Sweeney Registered User

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    Steve Yzerman
     
  9. begbeee

    begbeee Registered User

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    I think we look for more of Brind´Amour type of a player.
    Not sayin' he is the right answer.
     
  10. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Henri Richard spent most of his career as a second liner.
     
  11. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Good call
     
  12. matnor

    matnor Registered User

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    Given that Hull and Mikita played on separate lines I guess you could call one of them second liners even though they clearly were first line players.
     
  13. I Hate Chris Butler

    I Hate Chris Butler Backlund Fan Club

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    Joe Nieuwendyk? Spent a lot of time behind Nilsson and Gilmour in Calgary until they were both gone. Behind Modano in Dallas, and Arnott/Gomez in Jersey.
     
  14. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    I honestly think Brind'Amour was the better player (not as good offensively, but better defensively and more complete overall). But I think whoever said Henri Richard got this one right.
     
  15. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

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    This has to be the answer. Makes sense that it comes from the O6 era as the talent was very deep.
     
  16. JaymzB

    JaymzB Registered User

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    Nilsson was gone 2 full years before Joe arrived in Calgary.
     
  17. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Also Joe was #1 early in his career before his knees got blown out.

    Gilmour was the #2/checking center while Joe was the 50 goal guy.
     
  18. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I you mean a guy who spent his entire career on the "second line," then it has to be Henri Richard.

    If you mean a guy who spent significant time on the second line, then probably Mark Messier.
     
  19. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    They played on separate lines, but were aways together for most of the PP. For me, that's important when it comes to talking about "second liners." Part of being a "second liner" is that you get less opportunity to score, IMO.

    What makes Henri Richard a classic second liner is he didnt play 1st unit PP. Mark Messier was in a similar situation for a number of years.
     
  20. matnor

    matnor Registered User

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    I completely agree, Richard was the guy that first came to my mind as well. I was just saying that if you are really strict when counting the first line I think one of Hull and Mikita must be the best all time.
     
  21. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

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    I'm with this one as well.
    Kinda hard to argue against the only guy in history that needs to put a Cup ring on one of his toes when trying to wear them all at once.
     
  22. I Hate Chris Butler

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    Ah. My bad. I was under the impression Nilsson left in 88.
     
  23. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    nope. Nieuwendyk played less minutes than Gilmour the whole time they played together in Calgary.
     
  24. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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    he played 58 games
     
  25. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    It was a bit of a 1a 1b situation to be sure, but Nieuwendyk took the tradition first liner role and was central to the 1st powerplay unit. I mean I did watch them with my own eyes.

    I would be very surprised that there was much difference in their ice time. That was a stacked couple of lines they could roll out. I'm assuming these are the good ole estimates, correct? What does it have them at?

    For sure Doug was the better overall player, and more important in the Cup run, but my recollection is that Nieuwendyk was the more traditionally offensive center and Gilmour was the elite two way guy even then..

    I just yanked out my old 1990 yearbook and it says the Flames have "arguably the best one to four group of centers in the league."

    It says "No 1 is 26-year old Gilmour, who scored 85 points and produced the kind of two-way hockey the Flames wanted. In his second full season, center Joe Nieuwendyk did not succumb to the sophomore jinx. On the contrary. He became only the third player in history to score more than 50 goals in each of his first two years."

    Strangely, the 1991 yearbook blurb does not mention Gilmour at all. It makes mention that the good news for the Flames is that Nieuwendyk's knee injury responded to therapy which will allow him to put off knee surgery which would have been a big blow since he had averaged 49 goals a season over his first three years. It says that the departures of Mullen and McCrimmon made the team weaker on paper and the retirements of McDonald and Peplinski left a leadership void. It says "there were signs Nieuwendyk would inherit the job, even though he is only 24". It also mentions that Gary Roberts blossomed with a 39 goal season on Nieuwendyk's line that year.

    It says that Nieuwendyk, Roberts, MacInnis and Otto must realize that it is their team now.. and under the "projected leaders" section it has: Scoring: Nieuwendyk, Fighting: Tim Hunter, Hitting: Theoren Fleury, Sweating: Suter.

    So maybe the perception changed between those two seasons once Nieuwendyk proved he wasn't a one season wonder or something I dunno
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

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