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:
Mats Sundin was inducted into the Hall of Fame very quickly. But there’s controversy over his induction because, unlike many Hall of Famers, Sundin’s case is one built on a consistency argument, not a “peak” or greatness argument.
Joe Sakic was one of the great centers of his era, dominating during a hard time to score and then scoring consistently for a very long time. The question isn’t whether he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but where he ranks among the greatest centres of all time.
Peter Forsberg combined elite passing with elite defensive ability and elite effort. His offensive rate statistics put him among the very best centres in the history of the NHL. Add to that his defense, and it feels as though he has a case to be considered one of the best centres to ever play the game.