Is Bob Gainey the Greatest Defensive Forward of All Time?

Bob Gainey does not have your conventional Hockey Hall of Fame case, his offensive numbers are worse than a defensive defenceman. (Of the NHL players who are +200 for their career, Gainey has the lowest PPG of any forward.)

But, as legend has it, the Selke Trophy was invented for Bob Gainey. Until Bergeron won his most recent Selke, nobody had as many Selkes as Gainey. And then he has that Conn Smythe too.

In this episode, we talk about Bob Gainey’s Hall of Fame case:

Hall of Fame Class of 1992: Bob Gainey, Woody Dumart, Lanny McDonald, Marcel Dionne

Bob Gainey’s Career:

  • NHL: 1973-89; 16 seasons, 5 quality by PPG
  • Totals:
    • 239G,
    • 262A for
    • 501P,
    • +201 in
    • 1160 Games;
    • 26.9 PS
  • Per Game: On no planet is Gainey on any per game leader-boards
  • Draft: Gainey, drafted 8th overall in 1973, is
    • 7th in Goals
    • 8th in Assists
    • 5th in Points
    • 2nd in Plus/Minus
    • 18th in Point Shares
    • 1st in Games
  • Era: Of the 28 skaters to play in at least 902 games (11 modern seasons) between 1973 and 1989, Gainey is
    • 17th in Goals
    • Last in GPG
    • 25th in Assists
    • 25th in APG (doesn’t qualify)
    • 22nd in Points
    • Last in PPG
    • 6th in Plus/Minus
    • 24th in Offensive Point Shares
    • 13th (3rd forward) in Defensive Point Shares
    • 27th in Point Shares (2nd last)
  • 82-game average: 17G, 19A for 35P, +14
  • 3-year peak (1979-82): 82-game average of 21G, 24A for 45P, +17
  • No possession stats
  • Playoffs:
    • 25G,
    • 48A for
    • 73P,
    • +5 in 
    • 182 Games (3rd All Time at his retirement)
    • Per Game: obviously not on any leader-boards
    • Era: Of the 89 skaters to play in at least 82 playoff games between 1973 and 1989, Gainey is
      • 34th in Goals
      • 47th (2nd last among qualifying players) in GPG
      • 29th in Assists
      • 57th (2nd last among qualifying players) in APG
      • 32nd in Points
      • Tied for Last (among qualifying players) in PPG
      • 60th in Plus/Minus
      • 3rd in Games
  • Adjusted:
    • Hockey-Reference:
      • 194G,
      • 216A for
      • 410P
      • 82-game average: 14G, 15A for 29P
    • VsX: Doesn’t qualify
  • Never traded

Bob Gainey’s Accomplishments:

  • Legend has it the Selke was invented for him, so there’s that
  • Conn Smye (‘79)
  • Selke (‘78, ‘79, ‘80, ‘81) – tied most ever
  • Top 5 in Selke voting a further one time
  • Never a Top Player by Point Shares
  • No offensive accomplishments
  • 4 All Star Game appearances
  • VsX Peak: Doesn’t qualify

Bob Gainey’s Accomplishments:

  • NHL:
    • MVP (top 3 forward by points) on one Champion (‘79 Canadiens)
    • Top 6 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘86 Canadiens)
    • Top 9 Forward (by points) on three Champions (‘76, ‘77, ‘78 Canadiens) and two Final Fours (‘75, ‘84 Canadiens)
    • Role Player (by points) on one Runner Up (‘89 Canadiens) and one Final Four (‘87 Canadiens)
  • Canada Cup:
    • Top 9? Forward (by points?) on one Runner Up (‘81 Canada)
    • Role Player (by points) on one Champion (‘76 Canada)
  • World Championships
    • Top 6? Forward (by points?) on one World Championship Bronze (‘83 Canada)
    • Role Player (by points) on one World Championship Bronze (‘82 Canada)

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