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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Does Brad Park Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Steven Carter, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brad Park was always a bridesmaid – few people have been nominated so many times for major awards and never won one. In addition, Park was in three Stanley Cup finals and never won.

So Brad Park had some bad luck. And it’s possible that he was the second best defenseman of his era – at least based on Norris trophy nominations.

So, where does Brad Park rank all time?

Listen to us talk about Brad Park’s Hall of Fame career here:

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Is Vladislav Tretiak the Greatest Goalie of All Time?

The induction of Vladislav Tretiak into the Hockey Hall of Fame officially made the Hockey Hall of Fame an international hall of fame, not just an NHL-focused North American hockey hall of fame.

So that’s an area of controversy for some, but if the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto wants to be the Hockey Hall of Fame of the World, it’s a step that needed to be taken.

So where does Tretiak rank? How do we compare him to NHL goalies when Soviet League goalie stats are even worse than Soviet League skater stats?

What do we do with the very notable fact that Tretiak’s GAA (not save percentage) increased drastically every time he played against NHL competition in international tournaments?

Listen to us attempt to talk about Vladislav Tretiak’s Hall of Fame case here:

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Is Darryl Sittler the Greatest Maple Leaf of All Time?

Darryl Sittler has a claim to be the Greatest Toronto Maple Leaf of All Time, as the former franchise record holder for Points, among other things. And though he was never clearly the best player in the league, he was one of the better ones for over half a decade, and a consistent offensive performer much longer.

Does his lack of NHL playoff success hurt him?

In this episode, we discuss whether or not Darryl Sittler belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame:

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Does Gilbert Perreault Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

The most iconic Sabre in history (except for Hasek, perhaps), Perreault never won a Cup or led the league in any offensive category.

But his playoff numbers are outstanding, as are his international best-on-best numbers. And, to this day, there are things he did in the NHL that only a few other select players have ever done.

So, does Gilbert Perreault belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Or, more accurately, where does Perreault rank among the greatest centres 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 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:

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