Chuck Rayner was one of the better goalies of his era.
But…he wasn’t the best. And given lack of accomplishments, and the relative brevity of his career compared to some other, bigger names, as well as how high the Hall of Fame’s standards on goalies have grown stricter, it’s really hard to understand why Rayner is in the Hall of Fame when some other goalies aren’t.
Listen to us talk about Chuck Rayner’s Hall of Fame case here:
Continue reading “Does Chuck Rayner Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?”
Billy Burch won the Hart in a year when he was the 3rd best offensive player on his own team and the 6th best overall. That’s basically his only case for Hall of Fame inclusion.
But what if he did something else?
Listen to us talk about Billy Burch’s Hall of Fame case here:
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Jacques Plante is one of the best regular season goalies in NHL history. However, unlike someone like Tony Esposito, he is also one of the greatest playoff goalies in NHL history.
This is a far rarer combination than we might think.
So, we ask, is Jacques Plante one of the greatest goalies of all time? Is he, perhaps, the GOAT?
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Andy Bathgate won the Hart (though we don’t agree) and he was arguably the 2nd best regular season RW of his era (if you don’t count the years he overlapped with Richard).
But his playoff numbers are not great and the only Cup he won he had quite a diminished role.
So, does Andy Bathgate belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
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Many 21st century hockey fans likely think the answer to the question “Who is the Greatest Left Winger of All Time?” has an easy answer, Alex Ovechkin.
But it’s possible we don’t remember how dominant Bobby Hull truly was. Hull won 2 Hart trophies and 3 Art Ross trophies. But he was a Hart finalist for most of a decade. Additionally, he was, by most standards, the best offensive player of his era, both in the regular season and, crucially, in the playoffs.
And then he went to another league and dominated it in his late 30s. (It’s possible his departure to the WHA colours how we think of his career.)
So, is Bobby Hull the Greatest LW of All Time? Listen here:
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If you didn’t see him play, it’s possible Stan Mikita’s resume is better than you think it should be. In addition to winning multiple Hart trophies, Art Ross trophies and the Stanley Cup, he’s likely the 2nd best centre of the ’60s and among the best centres of the ’70s.
So it’s clear Stan Mikita belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The question is, where does Stan Mikita rank among centres all time?
Continue reading “Is Stan Mikita a Top 5 Centre 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:
Continue reading “Is Phil Esposito one of the Greatest Centres of All Time?”
Bobby Clarke is one of the most notorious players in NHL history but he’s also one of the most decorated, one of only a few players to ever win the Hart three times. (He also became a star in spite of his diabetes.)
He was extremely hard to play against but also an offensive star. He only won one Selke because it was introduced half way through his career.
So where does Clarke rank all time among defensive forwards? Listen to us discuss his Hall of Fame case here:
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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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Buddy O’Connor was the first ever Hall of Fame inductee of the old Veteran’s Committee. He is one of only 4 Rangers to ever win the Hart Trophy.
But we’re not sure O’Connor deserved his Hart. And, if he didn’t deserve the trophy, his case isn’t so good. He had some good seasons but he was arguably never the best player in the league.
So, does Buddy O’Connor belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us discuss it here:
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