Frank Mahovlich was considered the second best LW of the 1960s. (The first is arguably the Greatest of All Time.) But outside of Leafs fans, how well is he remembered?
He was likely more dominant in certain areas than you think but, in part because he never scored more than 49 goals or 96 points, and had some poor playoffs, it seems like he’s not as highly regarded now as he was in his prime. Also, like most LWs, his numbers wouldn’t look as good if he was a centre or RW.
Mahovlich obviously belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame (see his resume below) but, in this episode, we wonder where he ranks among the greatest Left Wings of all time.
The trades on this list are ranked by Point Shares. For an explanation as to Point Shares and the rankings, see the Maple Leafs list.
In Canadiens history, they have given up a whopping 1,222.67 more Point Shares than they’ve received back. So that’s a net of loss of nearly 4 Gretzkys worth of NHL players given up in trades over the years.
Rest assured, the worst Habs trades list will be a lot more fun for all of us who aren’t Habs fans.
With that out of the way, on to the best trades in Montreal Canadiens history:
But in those 8 seasons, he won six Stanley Cups as a starter (playing in nearly every game when they won those cups), five Vezina trophies, the Conn Smythe and the Calder. He was a 1st Team All Star six times and only missed the end-of-season All Star teams his first season, when he played in six games.
To play devil’s advocate, he played for the Greatest Hockey Team of All Time. And he might not have deserved his Conn Smythe.
So, is Ken Dryden the Greatest Goalie of All Time?
Jacques Lemaire was one of the most consistent forwards of his era, and a member of the Greatest Team of All Time. He won an incredible eight Stanley Cups.
But he was never one of the best regular season players in the league, at least by offense, and he was only ever the best forward on one of those Cup winners. He has no major awards and never made an end-of-season All Star team.
So, does Jacques Lemaire belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen here:
There are basically only 3 post-Bobby Orr defensive defencemen in the Hockey Hall of Fame. (And Savard actually is a contemporary of Bobby Orr, so maybe there are only two.) It’s hard to get in as a defensive defenceman when so many D score now.
On the other hand, there are few NHL players in NHL history to have a higher career plus minus than career points total. Savard is one of those players. And if Savard had never played for the Jets, his utterly insane plus minus would be even higher than his total points.
Is it possible that Savard’s remarkable goal differential is a product of his Hall of Fame teammates? In part, sure. But it’s a chicken or egg question, isn’t it?
So, does Serge Savard belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
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:
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?