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

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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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Should Clint Smith be in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Clint Smith set the single-season record for assists in the ’40s. So of course he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Right?

Well, he did it during World War II, when talent in the league was quiet watered down. He doesn’t have a lot of other accomplishments. And he doesn’t have the Cups that many other “veterans committee” inductees of the ’90s have.

So, does Clint Smith belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us try to sort it out here:

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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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Why is Harry Watson in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Harry Watson won five Cups. And, uh, he was on some leader-boards when he retired in 1957. And, um, he was a pretty good scorer a couple of times.

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This, it appears, was enough to get him inducted into the Hall of Fame nearly 40 years after he retired.

Listen to us discuss Harry Watson’s Hockey Hall of Fame case here:

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Does Roy Conacher Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Roy Conacher scored the second most goals of his era, behind only Maurice Richard. And he also won an Art Ross.

But it took the Hall of fame decades to induct him, and he wasn’t inducted until the late 1990s.

In this episode, we discuss Roy Conacher’s case for the Hall of Fame. Listen here:

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Does Denis Savard Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Denis Savard put up some gaudy regular season point totals in the ’80s and some impressive playoff numbers to boot.

But was he ever really among the best players in the league?

Listen to us discuss whether or not Denis Savard belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame:

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Does Brad Richards Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Brad Richards has a Conn Smythe, two Cups, a World Cup and had a couple pretty good regular seasons.

But his regular season numbers are pretty inconsistent. And he was never considered one of the top players in the league.

So, does he belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us talk about him here:

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Is Paul Coffey the Greatest Offensive Defenceman of All Time?

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Paul Coffey’s offensive stats are just staggering. He owns the single season goals record for a defender and almost topped Orr’s points record. He had both an extremely high offensive peak and also did things consistently through his career that few have ever done before. If he was healthier at the end, he probably would be the highest scoring D in NHL history.

But, especially in the ’80s, there were huge concerns about his defense. And some people still believe he should have played forward.

So where does he rank all time? Does such a player belong in the Hall of Fame?

Listen to us talk about Paul Coffey here:

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Does Peter Bondra Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Peter Brondra is one of the best Slovak players of all time and scored 500 goals at a time it was pretty hard to do so. Had the Rocket Richard Trophy existed he would have won it twice.

So, does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Listen to us talk about his case here:

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Does Ed Belfour Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Ed Belfour was one of the better goalies of the era, but does that mean he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Listen to us discuss Belfour’s case here:

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