February 03, 2006

The Devils and Scott Stevens:

posted by garfield to hockey at 10:26 AM - 31 comments

Interesting story Garf. One forgets that it was almost like a trade - Shanahan for Stevens. I think the Devils ended up getting the better of that deal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:28 AM on February 03, 2006

I liked the refresher. I wasn't yet up to reading the sports section at the time, so this was a welcome refresher. I've got a soft-spot for LAX players, so its a tough call for me on who got the better player. But either Lou could see the future, or he got lucky going in a defensive direction.

posted by garfield at 10:42 AM on February 03, 2006

Thanks for the story, garfield. I do recall the awarding of Stevens for compensation was huge news back then. Shanahan was still only a young 30-goal power forward, with plenty of room to tank. In the end I think it was a pretty fair deal. The last Blues offer (Brind'amour, Joseph, Staios) was not that bad. Lou was smart to go after just one franchise player, instead of two very good players. Of course, maybe it's just hindsight speaking. At the time, Joseph and Brind'amour had not proven much.

posted by qbert72 at 10:54 AM on February 03, 2006

Didn't Staios end up in the AHL, or is that someone else I'm thinking of.

posted by willthrill72 at 10:56 AM on February 03, 2006

Steve Staios is a regular D-man for the Oilers now, but it took a while for him to get a regular job in the NHL.

posted by qbert72 at 11:18 AM on February 03, 2006

It certainly seems like a fair deal when you consider the success both players had Although Shanahan went to Detroit and Stevens remained in NJ. Rod & Cujo turned out to be great players but Lou had no way of knowing that. I didn't like it back then but 15 yrs and 3 cups later I love it. Lou has to be one of the greatest GMs ever. FYI- Stevens #4 gets retired tonight @ 7:30pm EST prior to the game vs. Carolina. FSN New York is showing all of the cup winning games starting 1 hour ago (and I'm stuck @ work). Thanks garfield.

posted by njsk8r20 at 11:27 AM on February 03, 2006

Yeah, the Devils might have won that "trade," but it didn't turn out as lopsided as I remember thinking when it all went down.

posted by chicobangs at 11:46 AM on February 03, 2006

As a lifetime Flyers fan, had much hate for Stevens. Much respect as well. He was a dman wrecking ball out there. He almost killed Lindros in what would become his last game with Philadelphia. Ouch. Too bad he wasnt allowed to smear Lindros' daddy also.

posted by GoBirds at 12:16 PM on February 03, 2006

Scott Stevens was an ass who made a career out of trying to injure people. It pisses me off that he will probably be in the Hall Of Fame some day.

posted by fabulon7 at 12:42 PM on February 03, 2006

had much hate for Stevens I was wondering how long that was going to take. My brother is a Flyers fan too. He was in his room watching the game and I was in mine. I can still remember the string of cuss words that came out of his mouth after that hit.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:48 PM on February 03, 2006

I used to get mad about the hit but in retrospect I think if you can't skate across the blue line with your head up you deserve concussion. Never bring up the 2000 Stanley cup playoffs again.

posted by HATER 187 at 01:27 PM on February 03, 2006

How about the 1997 playoffs? Nevermind, I don't want to talk about that year either.

posted by njsk8r20 at 01:52 PM on February 03, 2006

Scott Stevens was an ass who made a career out of trying to injure people. I think you have him confused with Bryan Marchment. In any case, enjoy!

posted by qbert72 at 02:29 PM on February 03, 2006

Dirty player. Will always say that. Can't convince me otherwise. Dirty, dirty, dirty. But, a good player too. I don't think of him as HOF-worthy but certainly a big contributor to NJs Cups. Is it just me or does it seem like number-retirings have gone up tenfold in the last few years? I have no data to back this up... just a feeling.

posted by Succa at 03:18 PM on February 03, 2006

A sign of a clean hitter: He finished with 2,785 penalty minutes yet was only assessed four penalties for elbowing. Thanks for the video qbert, but it screwed up my playlist.

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:27 PM on February 03, 2006

Ok, I didnt't want to go that big grey area in the sky, but just because a penalty is not called does not equate to a play not being dirty. I just watched that highlight package (thanks qbert) and a few of his 'best of' stand out as dirty; as in the player didn't even have the puck for more than a couple strides. In particular, the hit on Kariya is filthy.

posted by garfield at 03:31 PM on February 03, 2006

just because a penalty is not called does not equate to a play not being dirty So very true, however the guy I felt really sorry for was Ron Francis.

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:46 PM on February 03, 2006

Yup, I just watched the video and have to agree that at least 3 of those were quite dirty. The Langkow and Lindros hits were obviously high elbows. The Kariya hit was pure cheap shot artist stuff. Probably the only reason he got no penalties for some of those were the players he concussed were already covered by other defenders. In basketball he would have been whistled for illegal defense(when they used to call it). He was pretty good at hockey, intimidating, brutally dangerous and an important key to the Cup. Dirty just the same.

posted by GoBirds at 03:55 PM on February 03, 2006

In particular, the hit on Kariya is filthy. Agreed. I'm just glad Kariya came back later that game and scored a goal. Nothing negates a big hit than scoring on them later. The Langkow and Lindros hits were obviously high elbows. I'm not sure about the Lindros one (more of a forearm shivver), but after watching the Langkow one a couple of times, I have to agree. If the ref has a better view of it, it's an elbowing penalty. It seems that Stevens hits (in the qbert72 link) were of the "hurt" than "hit" variety, especially the blindside ones. He could have hit them without injurying them, but seemed crouch and then leap up to try and get his shoulder under their chins (Kozlov being the prime example). There is nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but if you do it as often as Stevens does, it comes across as just dirty. The one hit they don't have (and was chosen as the bigget hit of all time on one old (1989?) hockey video I have) was where he laid out Geoff Courtnall. Geoff ended up doing a full rotation in the air. It was a perfectly clean hit (Courtnall tried to cut inside on Stevens and Scott made the adjustment to take him out with his hip), and Courtnall (eventually) got up and skated to the bench. Then again, Courtnall appeared in 3 of the top 15 hits on my video, so maybe it's a reflection on him more than the hitters...

posted by grum@work at 04:06 PM on February 03, 2006

You have to give Francis credit for trying to stand up. I have to admit though, I chuckled in a 'oh damn' sort of way. And every team needs dirty players to be successful.

posted by garfield at 04:06 PM on February 03, 2006

I know I am a little partial to Stevens, but if he was so dirty, why was he never mentioned here? I'll agree that not every hit was clean but they replayed the Lindros hit a thousand times after it happened and there was nothing dirty about that one. The elbow comes up after the hit because of the momentum of going 30 mph and coming to a complete stop. Besides, we all know Eric deserved it anyway.

posted by njsk8r20 at 04:17 PM on February 03, 2006

Stevens was good at being just that little bit over the line, but never more than that: sometimes a little elbowing, sometimes a little charging or sometimes a little late. He was never flat out trying to injure the way Dale Hunter, Claude Lemieux, Marty McSorley or Bryan Marchment have. These guys are the real dirty players. Also, what could be more beautiful than a good, clean, knock-down open ice check, like the one Stevens dealt to Shane Willis in the video? Very few players are able to give these, because they require physical strength, risk taking and a great vision of how the play is unfolding. Michael Peca is the only other player that I can remember who is able to deal these on a regular basis.

posted by qbert72 at 04:30 PM on February 03, 2006

Holy crap what a long and drawn out ceremony. You gotta feel sorry for the Canes for having to sit through that. Geez.

posted by mkn at 07:08 PM on February 03, 2006

At least they sat through it. The friggin' Thrashers completely avoided the Ron Francis ceremony last weekend.

posted by NoMich at 11:38 PM on February 03, 2006

Dirty? Really? Since when was how many penalty minutes you had a measure of how dirty a player you are? And in another light, if it really WAS Stevens for Shanahan, then Detroit got the better end of the deal merely due to longevity and goals scored. Both teams have 3 Lord Stanleys since their arrivals, and the pissing & moaning about dirty hits follows both players. Stevens was a great player and moreso a great defenseman. But he'll never get a league-wide jersey retire like others did.

posted by mrhockey at 07:13 AM on February 04, 2006

Do you think the Wings retire Shanny's number? No way. Stevens was a rock and the captain of three Stanley Cup championships. His resume is more impressive than Shanahan's (and I've always been a big Shanahan fan). You take Shanahan off those Detroit teams and they still win. You take Stevens off those NJ teams and they lose in the second round. No one feared Brendan Shanahan (though in his pre-Detroit years he could rough it up).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:01 AM on February 04, 2006

I've been teaching in China for 5 months now, and ping-pong is NOT a good way to let out your frustrations. I miss football and hockey so much it hurts, especially with the Superbowl coming. But seeing those clips of Stevens crunching people sure helps, so thanks for the video. I have to clean off my computer screen and find a tube sock or something now...

posted by rpmurphy81 at 09:15 AM on February 04, 2006

I can't address whether or not the RedWings will retire Brendan Shanahan's number now, for he's still playing. However, captaincy generally is honored with retiring a number. And if you think for one minute that Shanahan can't still rough it up with the best of them, perhaps you don't watch enough Detroit hockey. His PIM (Shanny's) for fighting are higher now than six years ago, and he already has 20+ goals this season. As far as being a captain, Shanny had the handicap of playing with Yzerman his whole career in Detroit. Nobody dethrones a captain like that.

posted by mrhockey at 10:31 AM on February 04, 2006

And in another light, if it really WAS Stevens for Shanahan, then Detroit got the better end of the deal merely due to longevity and goals scored. Just a quick note: Shanahan went to the Blues in that deal, then played a season in Hartford before going to the Red Wings. However, I'm betting that by the time Shanahan retires, Stevens will STILL have played more minutes in a Devil jersey than Shanahan will have in a Red Wing jersey. I think Shanahan is a great player, but Stevens' impact on the Devils was bigger than Shanahans' on the Blues/Whalers/Red Wings. If pressed, I'd rank Stevens ahead of Shanahan in an overall NHL historical ranking. I don't know if either one makes my top 100, but that's just the general feeling I get from them.

posted by grum@work at 12:26 PM on February 04, 2006

If pressed, I'd rank Stevens ahead of Shanahan in an overall NHL historical ranking. I don't know if either one makes my top 100, but that's just the general feeling I get from them. The Red Wings won a championship the year they accuired Shanahan (1997) and have won two after that. He also scored 17 points on the way to the Cup in 1997. In addition to that, Shanahan is 18 goals away from 600 and has 1200 points, plus he has had over 100 penalty minutes many times, proving he is very tough as well. Another thing, Shanahan is 15 all time in goals, and tied for 40th in points, so he very well deserves to be ranked in the list of the Top 100 players. I feel Shanahan was better than Stevens but I will agree that Stevens did have a bigger impact on the Devils (although Shanahan's can't be ignored).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:30 AM on February 05, 2006

It was great to see Stevens go over to Rod Brindamour after the ceremony. They shook hands, had a little chat and even hugged. I know you all are wondering, and YES, I cried like a girl with a skinned knee during the ceremony.

posted by njsk8r20 at 08:24 AM on February 06, 2006

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