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:
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:
Mike Gartner retired with the 5th most Goals of All Time. Yet he was never a star player and is derided in some corners of the internet as a “compiler”, i.e. a guy who was just very good and very healthy.
Does Mike Gartner actually belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Cam Neely is one of only 8 players to unofficially score “50 Goals in 50 Games”. (He did it in the Bruins’ 66th game of the season, so it doesn’t count in the NHL’s eyes.) And, when healthy, he was one of the most dominant goal-scorers of his era. On the Bruins…
But his career numbers are not as good as you think they are and, beyond some 2nd All Star Teams, he didn’t really get much acknowledgement as an elite player during his career.
So, does Cam Neely belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame? Listen to us discuss his case here: