Guy Lafleur gets nod as best right-winger
- November 29, 2010 12:32 PM |
- By Scott Morrison
The conversation about who was the best right-winger of the modern era was fun. You all seemed to enjoy the opportunity to debate the merits of Mike Bossy, Guy Lafleur, Mike Gartner, Jaromir Jagr and a group of others. It is obviously a tough choice.
As part of this discussion we promised to give one of you a copy of the new Hockey Night in Canada book by Scott Morrison called Best of the Best. This time it was a tough decision, so tough that we implemented a point system to select the winner. And two of you were tied for first place, which means we have two winners.
Here's the first one from Frankyboy.
This is tight between Mike Bossy and Guy Lafleur.
I pick Guy Lafleur simply because he had the whole package. He could play offensively, defensively and scored many clutch goals in the playoffs (most famous one has to be the 1979 tying goal against Boston in game 7). He had speed, a very good slapshot and wirst shot and he could deke practically anyone. He was very solid on his skates. Did I mentionned he smoked during periods!!! Name me one current hockey player that smokes in between periods and then go out and skates around everybody.
This reminds me of another right winger that is not on this list but could have been if he would have come out and give 100% every game. Alex Kovalev. One of the most gifted player I've ever seen play. Watching Kovalev in a Habs uniform reminded me a lot of Guy Lafleur. Unfortunatly, he played 1 game out of 4. Both him and Lafleur could have one of the worst games ever and suddenly they would take the puck and go score a goal just like that and change the outcome of the game.
Guy Lafleur, to me is the best ever right winger.
Now to the second winner. This is from Indigo Buffalo.
If we're building a greatest records team, I'd pick Bossy. 50 goals in 9 consecutive seasons, plus being able to win in New York, says a lot. But this is the first list that it has been nigh impossible from which to choose a winner.
If we're building a greatest team (to actually play) I really like Teemu on this list, but would still put Mike Bossy second, followed by Guy LaFleur and Mike Gartner.
Gartner I think was underrated but he had the best skating technique I've ever seen. So efficient!
I firmly believe that players today are stronger, faster and more skillful than our heroes of old, and there is a lot more depth in the league. Not dramatically, (though in some cases...) but just enough that a lot of these guys get more respect that they sometimes deserve for their accomplishments.
I'd probably, for that reason, put Teemu at the top of the list. His numbers went up during the clutch and grab era, he scored 72 goals his rookie year, and he plays at a time when the average 4th liner still skates with just as much skill and power as a top line player in the 70's or 80's.
But all these names are unbelievably talented people.
So, two books awarded. Now to the list that the Hockey Night in Canada panel selected for best right-winger of the modern era:
- Guy Lafleur
- Mike Bossy
- Jari Kurri
- Brett Hull
- Teemu Selanne
- Jaromir Jagr
- Yvan Cournoyer
- Glenn Anderson
- Pavel Bure
- Jarome Iginla
Here's an excerpt from the book about Guy Lafleur:
Lafleur was exhilarating to watch, one of the most exciting players in the game for years, with his blond locks flowing as he raced down the right wing, often unleashing a big slapshot from the faceoff circle, or cutting in to release a quick wrist shot. His other nickname was "le Demon Blond," or "The Blond Demon." Often overlooked with all of his goal-scoring exploits were Lafleur's exceptional playmaking abilities. As cliched as it might sound, he really was a player who could lift fans out of their seats with his play.
He twice won the Hart Trophy during that six-year streak and three times was NHL scoring leader, and in each of those seasons he was a First Team All-Star. He was, of course, also a key ingredient in five Stanley Cup Winning teams, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy once, with 26 points in 14 games.
He was the quickest player to reach 1,000 career points, doing it in 720 games, and his 1,246 points are the most in Canadien's history. Lafleur was one of just eight players to win the Stanley Cup, Art Ross and Hart Trophy all in the same season.
On Dec. 3 at 11:30 a.m. ET, Scott will be at the CBC Shop in the CBC building at 205 Wellington Street in Toronto to sign books.
Tomorrow we'll begin a discussion on the best general manager of all-time.
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