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:

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Is Tony Esposito one of the Greatest Goalies of All Time?

Chicago Blackhawks / NHL, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We recorded this just after he died, so RIP.

Tony Esposito has one of the best regular season careers of any NHL goalie ever, not just in germs of his peak but in terms of how long he was among the best goalies in the league (at least by Goals Saved Above Average). Also, he helped change goalie masks for the better.

Yet his playoff numbers are significantly worse. He underperformed in one of his two good playoff runs and he was only ever on one truly great international team, as a backup.

So, it’s obvious Tony Esposito belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame but where does he rank all time?

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Is Potvin One of the Greatest Defencemen of All Time?

Charny, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Denis Potvin was the greatest offensive D between Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey. He might have been the best all around defender too, as when was the last time you heard someone complain about his defence?

So obviously Denis Potvin belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. But where does he rank all time?

Listen to us try to figure it out:

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Is Mike Bossy the Greatest Goal Scorer of All Time?

Mike Bossy is 1st All Time in Goals Per Game, was Top 5 in GPG in all but one season of his NHL career and is the only player other than Gretzky to score 50 goals 9 straight times.

But nobody is hurt by Hockey Reference’s adjustment for era more than Mike Bossy. So arguably nobody benefited from playing when they did more than Bossy.

So, is Mike Bossy the greatest goal scorer in NHL history?

Listen to us talk about Mike Bossy’s Hall of Fame case here:

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Is Marcel Dionne one of Greatest Centres of All Time?

Marcel Dionne’s regular season numbers are absolutely incredible, yet he’s rarely talked about as among the greatest forwards or even centres of all time.

Why is that?

Well, a lot has to do with his playoff numbers, which are, um, awful.

Listen to us talk about Marcel Dionne’s Hall of Fame career and where he ranks All Time:

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Is Lionel Conacher Canada’s Greatest Athlete of All Time?

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Lionel Conacher was one of the best defenders of his era.

But that’s not what impresses when you look back at his career. Rather, it’s his incredible versatility.

Listen to us talk about the greatest Canadian athlete of the first half of the 20th century here:

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Is Larry Robinson one of the Greatest Defencemen of All Time?

Larry Robinson is the All Time Leader in Plus Minus and has a pretty remarkable career.

Yet sometimes he feels a bit forgotten, surrounded as he was by Hall of Fame Teammates on the Greatest Hockey Team of All Time.

Where does he rank among the All Time Greats? Does he even make your list?

Listen to us talk about Larry Robinson here:

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Is Mario Lemieux the Greatest of All Time?

Through a career riddled by injuries – including one induced retirement – Lemieux was one of the most dominant forwards the game has ever seen. He temporarily led the NHL in both career Goals Per Game and Points Per Game, despite debuting after Gretzky and despite playing more of his career in the Dead Puck Era.

But Lemieux never reached Gretzky’s accomplishments either in terms of his peak or his longevity. He has fewer scoring titles and Cups than Gretzky, and Gretzky achieved Lemieux’s offensive feats many times over.

Listen to us discuss whether or not Lemieux is the Greatest Hockey Player of All Time, the Greatest Centre of All Time, or something else, here:

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Is Wayne Gretzky the Greatest Hockey Play of All Time?

Gretzky is The Great One. But some of us think Bobby Orr was better.

So maybe he’s the greatest forward ever. But then there’s Gordie Howe.

So maybe he’s the greatest centre ever. But then some people think Lemieux is.

For this episode, we spend it talking entirely about how incredible Gretzky was.

Listen here:

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Is Ray Bourque the Greatest D of All Time?

Ray bourque is the career leader in goals, assists and points for a D, he has 5 Norris Trophies and he has more end-of-season All Star team appearances than anyone other than Gordie Howe.

So where does he rank all time among the greatest defencemen ever? Is he #2? Is he not even in the Top 5 as one of us used to believe?

Listen to us talk about Bourque here:

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