Is Phil Esposito one of the Greatest Centres of All Time?

Why is it that we (our generation anyway) have trouble thinking of Esposito as one of the greatest hockey players of all time? Is it because he was on the same team as Bobby Orr, whose legend has endured far better? Is it because of Esposito’s extraordinarily unathletic physique? Is it because everything he did has since been done multiple times by multiple players so those records feel less important?

We have no idea, but Espo was the most dominant offensive player between Howe and Gretzky. (We read somewhere that Lafleur was the most dominant offensive player between Howe and Gretzky, but we don’t see evidence to back that up.)

Sure, Espo benefited from playing more games per season in the newly expanded league (someone was going to set records) and, yes, he benefited from playing with the Greatest of All Time, but lesser players wouldn’t have excelled the way he did, over such a long period of time.

Listen to us talk about Esposito here:

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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 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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Hart Trophy Part 9: The Best Players by MVP and Best Player Award

In our final episode of our series on the NHL’s Hart Trophy, we compare our list of the players to win the MVP (and our own best player award) to the actual list of Hart Trophy winners.

Then we enjoy rehashing the worst Hart Trophy awards of the last 100 years.

Listen here:

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Does Cy Denneny Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

If consistency is what matters, Denneny was one of the best, if not the best, wingers of the NHL’s first decade and a half. Though only briefly dominant, he played and scored longer than most players. So we wonder where he ranks all time.

Listen to us talk about Cy Denneny here:

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Is Nicklas Lidstrom the 2nd Best Defenseman of All Time?

If you judge strictly on the basis of Norris Trophy wins, Nicklas Lidstrom is the second best NHL defenseman of all time.

Obviously Norris wins are not the only criteria we should use when evaluating NHL D, so in this episode we look at his entire career and try to figure out where he ranks all time.

Listen to us talk about Nick Lidstrom here:

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Does Newsy Lalonde Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

The question with Newsy isn’t whether or not he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame but rather, is Newsy Lalonde one of the Greatest of All Time?

Newsy’s dominance of the early NHL is unrivaled but where does he rank all time?

Listen here:

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Does Cyclone Taylor Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Cyclone Taylor didn’t play a game in the NHL, but he was arguably one of the first pro hockey stars, along with Newsy Lalonde and Joe Malone. How does he compare with them?

Does he belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame even though he played the majority of his career in the PCHA?

Listen here:

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