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:
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?
Esposito is 12th All Time in GPG, and 10th in PPG[2. Esposito held the career PPG record at the end of the 1970-71 season]
Esposito is 5th All Time in Offensive Point Shares
Era: 1st in Goals,[3. Esposito is ahead by 243 goals] GPG,[4. Esposito is ahead by 0.15 GPG] Assists,[4. Esposito is ahead by 97 assists] Points[5. Esposito is ahead by 356 points] PPG,[6. Esposito is ahead by .14 PPG] OPS,[7. Esposito is ahead by 42 OPS] PS,[8. Esposito is ahead by 41.1 Point Shares] Games, and 2nd in APG[9. Of the 5 players to play in at least 1100 games between 1963 and 1981, as only 2 players played in 1150 games, and because only Esposito played in at least 1200 games during the span]
82-game average: 46G, 56A for 102P
3-year peak (1970-73): 78-game average of 66G, 73A for 140P, +48
Playoffs: 61G, 76A for 137 in 130 games
671G, 837A for 1508P
Adjusted 82-game average: 43G, 54A for 96P
Esposito is 11th All Time in Adjusted PPG[10. If the qualifier is set at 750 games; if the qualifier is raised to 1,000 games, Esposito is 6th All Time]