Views
1099
Comments
18
  • 05/17/2012, 07:19PM ET

Best Player in NHL History Not Named Gretzky

Mr Monopoly Man (4-6-0) vs fvkasm2x (193-58-12)
0
Votes
11
Votes
0
Votes
11
Votes


Gordie Howe is my selection, and for very good reason. Howe is the embodiment of all around hockey talent. He scored, he assisted, he fought. And not only that, but he was incredibly durable as well, playing 26 seasons.

Howe scored 70 points in 21 straight seasons, proving he didn't peter off or compile stats in a handful of explosive seasons. He's third in NHL history in points with 1,850 of them, coming from 801 goals and 1,049 assists. He's second all time in goals and eighth in assists. Clearly a dangerous threat to pass or score, few rivaled Howe.

He was also known for being ambidextrous in an era when sticks lacked the curves they have today, a dangerous skill to have. And unlike some of the other scorers in NHL history, Howe achieved his points in a low scoring, physical era. In fact, Howe himself was renown for his toughness without a doubt. They nicknamed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick after him, when a player scores a goal, assist and gets into a fight in a game. His nickname, Mr Hockey, speaks loud enough.

23 all star selections. 4 Stanley Cups. 6 Art Ross trophies. 6 Hart trophies. Most games played in a career. Howe embodies hockey.


It's gotta be #4, Bobby Orr



The guy is a legend among legends. The Bruins knew how good he would be and signed him when he was just 12 years old.

He's number 2 on the NHL top 100 according to The Hockey News after Gretzky and for good reason.

He scored 139 points in 1 season as a defensemen. He's the only D-man to win the Art Ross trophy in NHL history. And he did it twice.

- 8 Straight Norris trophies
- 2 Art Ross trophies
- 3 Harts
- 2 Conn Smythes
- 1 Calder

Six straight seasons of 100+ points

"They nicknamed the Gordie Howe Hat Trick after him, when a player scores a goal, assist and gets into a fight in a game."

I'm glad you brought that up. It's always annoyed me. The guy only ever got 2 of them!! (controversy, as it "might" be as many as 3). Yes he was tough, but this misnomer doesn't prove how great Howe was (even though he was).


Six straight seasons of 100 points fails to compare to 21 straight of 70 points. I don't care if Orr was a defender. Orr was a threat on offense, sure, but not compared to the amazing consistency Howe displayed combined with his skills in scoring.

Speaking of consistency, Orr played only 9 full NHL seasons and 12 in total. I know he did a lot in those seasons, but I have a hard time declaring he's better than Mr. Consistency when he had to cut his career so short.

Gordie Howe piled up over 1600 penalty minutes, a lot from fighting. Maybe he wasn't exactly excelling at achieving Gordie Howe hat tricks, but you cannot say that takes away from how physical he was. Howe was a force on the ice, both on the offensive end and in terms of physical play.

Orr is the best defender of all time, I agree. But Howe is a true offensive genius. He excelled in countless areas, not just one. He passed, he scored, he fought. He played for years.

In matters like this, we should turn to the players who played the game and ask who they think is the back. Something many people have asked both Gretzky and Orr. Do you know who they said was the best? Howe. Even Orr knows the truth.


"Gordie Howe piled up over 1600 penalty minutes, a lot from fighting"

Another misnomer. Howe only recorded 22 total fighting majors. That's only 110 penalty minutes of that 1600+ attributed to a fight. That means he was often penalized for mistakes or losing his temper and doing something dumb. Penalties are not always a bad thing, sometimes they are necessary. But they can put your team down goals and are often a sign of undisciplined play.


Orr had bum knees and was limited by injuries. That cannot be argued.

But if a guy plays for 12 years and in 6 of those 12 he was bar none the best player in the entire league, that does stand for something.

You say Howe did everything, like Orr was a 1 trick pony.

He was arguably the smoothest skater of all time. His stick handling was something to be in awe of. He's easily the best offensive defenseman. He was pretty good in his own end too.

He was a physical player also. He got in 7 fights, even though his teammates and coaches repeatedly told him not to. They wanted him on the ice to score and help win... but he occasionally fought anyway.


Well I know when I'm beaten. Thank you for the TD Fvkasm.

May 18, 2012  09:43 AM ET

Much can be said for both players. So lets see what you both have to say...

Comment #2 has been removed
May 18, 2012  09:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Vote right, no explanation necessary.Orr was arguably the best NHL player of all time, even ahead of Gretzky, Lemieux, and Howe.

Yeah, left will have to have a very good argument to convince me on this one.

May 18, 2012  10:14 AM ET

ive always wondered what thses type of players would do with todays equiptment...i doubt there would be as many 70 pt seasons for howe

May 18, 2012  10:29 AM ET

Orr revolutionized the game in so many ways.

May 18, 2012  11:10 AM ET

As much respect as I have for #9, I have to go with the best player ever to don the Oshawa Generals jersey (in whcih btw, he wore #2).

May 18, 2012  11:13 AM ET

Oldtimers will remember that the B's were pretty much a joke as a team before Orr got there. Playoffs were few and far between, and forget about Cups.

May 18, 2012  11:14 AM ET

The original STL unis were one of the best of all time. Almost as good as the classic CHI (although politically incorrect by today's standards)

May 18, 2012  11:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Vote right, no explanation necessary.Orr was arguably the best NHL player of all time, even ahead of Gretzky, Lemieux, and Howe.

Not even arguably...

Flat out was.

May 18, 2012  11:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Not even arguably...Flat out was.

Concur.

May 18, 2012  12:39 PM ET

I miss Fred Cusick.

and Pierson.

May 18, 2012  03:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I miss Fred Cusick.and Pierson.

"Katie bar the door" was one of Pierson's favorite expressions.

Comment #13 has been removed
May 18, 2012  03:32 PM ET

Orr's a great choice. As a Bruins fan, he'll always be first in my book. I'd have taken Lemeiux over Howe as well.

May 18, 2012  03:51 PM ET

Orr had 7 fights per season 3 different times. He had around 50 for his career.

May 18, 2012  03:54 PM ET

same argument all the time, and Orr always wins. shocker.

May 18, 2012  04:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Orr had 7 fights per season 3 different times. He had around 50 for his career.

Guy could do it all....

 
May 18, 2012  04:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Guy could do it all....

Got to see him play in my younger days.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Leaderboard

  Fan W L T Win %
1 Darth Maim 76 21 7 76.4%
2 fvkasm2x 193 58 12 75.7%
3 7#bag _ Com 996 338 73 73.4%
4 HOOTZ 33 14 9 67.0%
5 Marlins Fan 156 78 31 64.7%
6 Argos. 183 101 29 63.1%
7 Goodell 2.0 643 429 71 59.4%
8 J-Business 78 66 18 53.7%
9 Highway... 175 847 63 19.0%

The Si.com Cover Hub Go to the Cover Hub

Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    D'Antoni's newest 'blunder'
    Views
    1479
    Comments
    778
  2. 2
    Irving: Fans don't deserve the Cavs
    Views
    24342
    Comments
    684
  3. 3
    Baseball's top 2015 free agent
    Views
    1462
    Comments
    526
  4. 4
    Red Sox dodged two injury scares
    Views
    3480
    Comments
    504
  5. 5
    The NHL's model franchise?
    Views
    1545
    Comments
    130

Throwdowns

Most Active Users

Comments + Blog Posts + Throwdowns

  1. 1
    Robataille
  2. 2
    ~Mother-Marge~
  3. 3
    TxHeat
  4. 4
    buddhaa.luck
  5. 5
    Deep Creek

Blogs