Is Guy Lafleur one of the Greatest of All Time?

For 6 seasons – more than half a decade – there was arguably no better hockey player on earth than Guy Lafleur. And there is arguably no better team in NHL history than Lafleur’s Canadiens of the late ’70s.

For the rest of his career, Lafleur was, um, not the best hockey player in the world. And so the question is, was he good enough in those six seasons to rank among the very, very best forwards in history, who managed longer peaks but less consistency?

Listen to us talk about Guy Lafleur’s case for one of the Greatest of All Time here:

Hall of Fame Class of 1988: Guy Lafleur, Buddy O’Connor, Brad Park, Tony Esposito

Guy Lafleur’s Career:

  • NHL: 1971-85; 1988-91; 17 seasons, 14 quality
  • Totals:
    • 560G (518 – 9th All Time at his original retirement),
    • 793A (728A – 11th All Time at original retirement) for
    • 1353P (1246P – 9th All Time at original retirement),
    • +446 (11th All Time – +470, 4th All Time at original retirement) in
    • 1126 Games;
    • 130.5 PS (124.3 PS – 14th All Time at first retirement);
    • At his original retirement Lafleur was 9th All Time in Offensive Point Shares
  • Per Game:
    • 21st All Time in GPG (14th at his first retirement)
    • 25th All Time in APG (10th at his first retirement)
    • 12th All Time in PPG (10th at his first retirement)
  • Draft: Drafted 1st overall in 1971, Lafleur is
    • 2nd in Goals
    • 2nd in Assists
    • 2nd in Points
    • 2nd in Plus/Minus
    • 3rd in Point Shares
    • 3rd in Games
  • Era: Of the 18 skaters to play in at least 902 Games (11 modern seasons), between 1971 and 1985, Lafleur is
    • 2nd in Goals
    • 3rd in Assists
    • 2nd in Points
    • 3rd in Plus/Minus
    • 2nd in Offensive Point Shares
    • 7th in Defensive Point Shares (3rd Forward)
    • 3rd in Point Shares (barely, out of 2nd by .2)
  • 82-game average: 41G, 57A for 98P, +35
  • 3-year peak (1976-79): 80-game average of 57G, 77A for 133P, +73
  • No possession stats
  • Playoffs:
    • 58G (11th All Time at his first retirement),
    • 76A (11th All Time at his first retirement) for
    • 134P (10th All Time at his retirement),
    • +50 (9th All Time at his retirement) in
    • 128 Games
    • Per Game:
      • 22nd All Time in playoff GPG at his retirement
      • 22nd All Time in playoff APG at his retirement
      • 26th All Time in playoff PPG at his retirement
    • Era: Of the 51 skaters to play in 82 playoff games between 1971 and 1985, Lafleur is
      • 2nd in playoff Goals
      • 5th in playoff GPG
      • 5th in playoff Assists
      • 3rd in playoff APG
      • 4th in playoff Points
      • 3rd in playoff PPG
      • 3rd in playoff Plus/Minutes
      • 12th in playoff Games
  • Adjusted:
    • Hockey-Reference:
      • 480G,
      • 681A for
      • 1161P
      • 82-game average: 35G, 50A for 89P (-9P per 82 games)
      • Per Game:
    • VsX:
      • 510G
      • 800A
      • 1158P
      • Per Game:
        • 20th All Time in VsX Adjusted PPG
  • Trades:
    • At 37, signed with Quebec as a free agent to the Rangers received a 5th Round Pick (Sergei Zubov)
    • Traded at 39 for Alan Howarth (30)

Guy Lafleur’s Accomplishments:

  • Hart (‘77, ‘78)
  • Top 5 in Hart voting a further four times
  • Ted Lindsay (‘76, ‘77, ‘78) – tied 3rd most ever
  • Conn Smythe (‘77)
  • Art Ross (‘76, ‘77, ‘78)
  • Back Check MVP (‘77, ‘78)
  • Back Check Best Player (‘76, ‘77, ‘78)
  • All Star:
    • 1st Team All Star six times
    • 6 All Star Game appearances
  • Top Player:
    • Best Player (by PS) once (‘78)
    • Top 6 Player five times (‘76, ‘77, ‘79, ‘80)
    • Top 10 Player six times (‘75)
    • Best Offensive Player (by OPS) three times (‘76, ‘77, ‘78)
    • Top 5 Offensive Player six times (‘75, ‘79, ‘80)
  • Goals:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Led league in Goals once
      • Top 5 five times
      • Top 10 six times
    • GPG leder-boards:
      • Led the league in GPG once
      • Top 5 in GPG five times
      • Top 10 six times
    • Totals:
      • 60 goals once (1 of only 20 players ever, 9 at his first retirement)
      • 55 goals three times (1 of only 10 players ever, 6 at his first retirement)
      • 50 goals six times (1 of only 6 players ever, 4 at his first retirement – Bossy, Dionne, Gretzky)
      • 30 goals seven times (1 of only 22 players at his first retirement)
      • 25 goals twelve times (1 of only 12 players at his first retirement)
      • 20 goals thirteen times (1 of only 14 players at his first retirement)
  • Assists:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Led the league in Assists once
      • Top 5 six times
    • APG leader-boards:
      • Led the league in APG once
      • Top 5 six times
    • Totals:
      • 80 assists once (1 of only 12 players at his first retirement)
      • 70 assists four times (1 of only 12 players ever, 7 at his first retirement)
      • 60 assists six times (1 of only 21 players ever, 8 at his first retirement)
      • 50 assists seven times (1 of only 9 players at his first retirement)
      • 40 assists ten times (1 of only 11 players at his first retirement)
  • Points:
    • Leader-boards:
      • Led the league in Points three times – tied 7th most ever
      • Top 5 six times
    • PPG leader-boards:
      • Led the league in PPG three times – tied 8th most ever
      • Top 5 six times
      • Top 10 seven times
    • Totals:
      • 130 points twice (1 of only 8 players ever, 5 at his first retirement – Gretzky, Esposito, Dionne, Orr)
      • 120 points five times (1 of only 5 players ever – Gretzky, Lemieux, Dionne, Esposito)
      • 110 points six times (1 of only 6 players ever, 5 at his first retirement – Dionne, Bossy, Esposito, Gretzky)
      • 80 points seven times (1 of only 13 players at his first retirement)
      • 70 points ten times (1 of only 10 players at his first retirement)
      • 60 points eleven times (1 of only 14 players at his first retirement)
      • 50 points thirteen times (1 of only 16 players at his first retirement)
  • Plus/Minus:
    • Led the league in Plus/Minus once
    • Top 5 twice
    • Top 10 six times
  • VsX Adjusted Peak:
    • Best 7 Seasons:
      • Goals: 24th All Time
      • Assists: 27th All Time
      • Points: 10th All Time
    • Best 10 Seasons:
      • Goals: 30th All Time
      • Assists: 29th All Time
      • Points: 17th All Time

Guy Lafleur’s Great Teams:

  • NHL:
    • MVP (led playoffs in assists and points) on one Champion (‘77 Canadiens)
    • Best Player (lead playoffs in goals) on one Final Four (‘75 Canadiens)
    • Best Skater (by points) on one Champion (‘76 Canadiens)
    • Best Forward (led playoffs in goals, co-led playoffs in points) on one Champion (‘78 Canadiens)
    • Top 3 Forward (led playoffs in assists, co-led playoffs in points) on one Champion (‘79 Canadiens)
    • Top 9 Forward (by points) on one Champion (‘73 Canadiens)
    • Role Player (by points) on one Final Four (‘84 Canadiens)
  • Canada (World) Cup:
    • Top 6 Player (by points) on one Champion (‘76 Canada) and one Runner Up (‘81 Canada)

One thought on “Is Guy Lafleur one of the Greatest of All Time?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *