- 05/17/2012, 07:19PM ET
Mr Monopoly Man said 05/17, 07:19 PM
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.
fvkasm2x said 05/17, 10:27 PM
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).
Mr Monopoly Man said 05/18, 12:49 PM
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.
fvkasm2x said 05/18, 02:00 PM
"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.
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