November 15, 2006

Patrick Roy to HOF!: Roy reveals Leafs, Wings and Hawks also in the mix before trade to Colorado as he takes his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Finest Goalie of the Modern Era but is he the greatest of all time?

posted by skydivedad to hockey at 08:18 AM - 35 comments

According to Bill Watters, who was assistant general manager of the Leafs at the time, Patrick Roy's name never came up as a possibility in Toronto. At the time, Watters said yesterday during a discussion on Q107FM, Felix Potvin and Roy were considered to be pretty much equals, so the Leafs had no interest in anyone else. Watters said he felt Roy was either just wrong about Toronto, or that the statement was a jab at Potvin. The two of them apparently do not (or at least didn't) get along very well.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:56 AM on November 15, 2006

I was listening to a Sports Talk Radio Show covering the induction of Roy into the HOF when the conversation turned to the "Who's the greatest goalie ever?" and was dismayed by the shallow nature of the arguments for and against certain nominees. Who is to say how a forward playing today would fare against goaltenders of old who did not have the same equipment we see today? Or how the goaltenders would fare against composite and aluminum shaft hockey sticks? There are always the arguments of players size, the size of the rinks, equipment, changes in rules, watered down talent due to the number of teams, how the games are officiated. Are the greatest players of all time the most talented? My personal favorite rarely gets mentioned at all in the conversation (Tony Esposito) but having seen him play during the height of his career that's how I feel about him. Terry Sawchuck, Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall all came from different eras of the NHL. Patrick Roy's accomplishments and contributions to the NHL are outstanding! All I know is those of us that got to watch him in the pipes were certainly blessed and he belongs on the list and in the HOF. Congratulations Patrick!

posted by skydivedad at 09:04 AM on November 15, 2006

I think it boils down to who you'd take in a single game, and for me, it's Martin Brodeur, followed by Grant Fuhr (minus the coke) and then maybe Roy. Oh, and SDdad, you might be interested to know that I'm doing a private signing with Tony in a couple weeks. We just got in some really cool replica masks of his, both mini and full-sized.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:10 AM on November 15, 2006

I think you have give Roy the greatest all time goalie. Ken Dryden didn't play long enough, Terry Sawchuck played too long, and Hasek does't have the playoff sucess like Roy. You can discredit Fuhr because he played on such a high scoroing team and Brodeur becasue he had the one of the best defensive team in front of him. Finally you have the 1993 Canadiens Stanley Cup run. I don't think I have seen a player will his way to championship like Roy did in 1993. In my mind he is the best all time.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:11 AM on November 15, 2006

frazer, Watters has said that before, and I believe him. At the time, they were both just two of the top five or so goalies in the league. And I bet they hated each other. Felix, and I say this with great affection, was a true punk. I remember seeing him at hardcore shows on off days. Roy would have hated his guts. Is he the best? Not for my money, though he's in that top echelon with Ken Dryden & Glenn Hall. And it's very possible that Martin Brodeur will wipe a lot of the record book clean himself by the time he's done. (Hall's consecutive-games streak is as untouchable as Cy Young's all time wins record. Maybe more.) (I modeled my style after Tony Esposito, who was unquestionably great, but he wasn't good enough for long enough to get into this discussion. And shutout record aside, there's nothing Sawchuck did that Hall didn't do better, and Sawchuck is going to lose that record in the next few years at the most. And Plante was significant, but ... don't we have enough Habs goalies in this discussion? What about Durnan, or Vezina, or Hainsworth? Enough!) But the best goalie of all time, for my money, was Vladislav Tretiak. He was the best player on a side that held up half the hockey planet for more than a decade. I wouldn't call him a runaway best-ever, but he has my vote.

posted by chicobangs at 09:12 AM on November 15, 2006

Sounds awesome fraze........ wifey can get that from you for my Christmas Present! When I was at the Rookies and Prospects Camp this summer, having a quit breakfast at the training complex and sitting quietly in a back corner was Grant Fuhr! He smiled at me and invited me to join him. He looked and sounded great and was enjoying his scouting duties. We talked about alot of stuff and the Prospects we were seeing, the rule changes, etr. as I was kicking myself in the ass for not having my video equipment with me. He was getting ready to fly out but promised me an on camera interview at next years Tournament. I totally buy your list but put Roy, Brodeur, Fuhr (in that order) as the modern greats but thats just me.

posted by skydivedad at 09:24 AM on November 15, 2006

My money is on Roy as GOAT - you know, if I have to pick someone. 3 Conn Smythes are my most explosive ammo in the debate. He, for all intents and purposes, single-handedly won 2 Cups in 1986 and certainly in 1993. I didn't watch Hall or Plante or Cheevers or Sawchuk or any of those guys, so I can't say with much enthusiasm that they are better (Sawchuk's numbers are pretty staggering - but it's too hard to comapre based on numbers/eras), though it must be said - as Dick Duff as said all week around here - that just making the 6 team NHL back in the day was the toughest thing ever. To be an All-Star? You had to be among the top twenty hockey players, basically on the planet (though there were no Europeans and Russians in the league at the time).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:43 AM on November 15, 2006

"I knew he'd be going somewhere but I was just hoping it wouldn't be Colorado." "Had we known they were going to dump him in Colorado we might have started a bidding war to avoid that," said senior Wings executive Jimmy Devellano, who handled GM duties with coach Bowman in those years. "Scotty and I were really upset about him going to Colorado," added Devellano, also attending the Hall of Fame ceremony Monday. "I wish we had never lit him up that night and that he'd remained in Montreal." I can understand why. Roy gave the Wings so many problems in his career, I was quite glad when he retired. I have a ton of respect for Roy, but the only player I've hated more than him is Claude Lemieux. When the Avs had Roy in the net there was no doubt that they had a chance to win, and he wa a huge part of the Avs Wings rivalry. He was an amazing goalie, and one of the best ever though I think its impossible to decide who the very best is. That said, my favorite Roy memories are Vernon and Osgood beating the crap out of him in the classic Wings vs. Avs fights.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:51 AM on November 15, 2006

What, they had to double team him?

posted by qbert72 at 11:27 AM on November 15, 2006

I think his career record speaks for itself. His career at Colorado was magnificent. If you scored against him you really had someting to brag about. Yes, HOF.

posted by Psycho at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2006


posted by yerfatma at 01:21 PM on November 15, 2006

Yes, Tretiak. He was dominant, and during an era of better-than-average goalies playing on a new international stage (Dryden, Cheevers, Esposito, Vachon, Palmateer, Giacomin/Davidson), he was more often than not the best player on the ice, in pads or not. You could make a very strong case that the success of the Soviet teams of the 70's, which was engineered in no small part around Tretiak's spectacular ability, paved the way for the heavy international flavor of the game today. I'm going to try and Bert-Sugar this thread up a bit. My top ten, after thinking about this today for a whole hour: 1. Vladislav Tretiak 2. Glenn Hall (551 consecutive games in which he played every minute, and all of it before masks. He was absurd.) 3. Patrick Roy (this is no dis; #1 in all-time wins & Conn Smythes in 3 different decades are nothing to sneeze at) 4. Ken Dryden 5. Jacques Plante 6. Terry Sawchuck 7. George Hainsworth (he belongs on this list somewhere) 8. Martin Brodeur (who will move up & maybe top this list before he's through) 9. Turk Broda 10. Gerry Cheevers Grant Fuhr, Tony O & Cesare Maniago Bill Durnan get honorable mention.

posted by chicobangs at 01:45 PM on November 15, 2006

For the record - the Hockey News listed Sawchuk as the greatest goalie of all-time, when they ranked the best 50 players in NHL history. 103 shuotouts? Hall was next on the list (for goalies).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:18 PM on November 15, 2006

Yeah, well, he was great, but when Ed Belfour (who wears #20 for a reason, btw), of all people, is threatening your record, it's not really much of a record anymore, no matter how amazing an achievement it was at the time. And Brodeur is going to pass 103 shutouts on the inside.

posted by chicobangs at 02:30 PM on November 15, 2006

Can't say I agree chico - Sawchuk's records are remarkable - and eclipse Hall's at every turn. Can't use the arguement that Belfour is going to pass Sawchuk when he's already passed Hall. I'm just saying what the Hockey News said. They make a strong case for Sawchuk as the GOAT. I am also a big Tretiak fan, but have a hard time separating the fact from the myth. Frankly, I think I saw him play a total of ten games against the elite competition of his day - and he had a losing record. Gretzky always considered him the best, though. (Well, he says Fuhr - but if you read it right - he really says Tretiak.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:05 PM on November 15, 2006

I can't believe Bruce Gamble hasn't been mentioned.

posted by tommybiden at 03:56 PM on November 15, 2006

Bernie Parent?

posted by mjkredliner at 04:19 PM on November 15, 2006

Only Jesus saves more than Bernie Parent.

posted by tommybiden at 05:00 PM on November 15, 2006

Not at every turn. What other record does Sawchuck have? Shutouts are all about being good on a given day, and Sawchuk certainly was that. And 21 years is a long time to play in the original-six NHL. Fair play to him. But Glenn Hall was more consistently great, every day, every minute, for eight years running. He played through crippling illnesses, broken bones, twisted ligaments, everything an unprotected goalie had to deal with a half-century ago. And he never missed a minute of play. To me, the two records don't equate at all. And he invented the butterfly style. "Mister Goalie," indeed. Bernie Parent was as good as any goalie alive for two years. Aside from that, he was just a solid starter. I'd put Billy Smith ahead of Bernie, both for longevity and innovation. And I couldn't bring up Bruce Gamble without bringing up Jiri Crha, and that's a whole nother bottle of Strega.

posted by chicobangs at 05:07 PM on November 15, 2006

Wow, I can't believe we got 8 hours into this thread without Bernie Parent being mentioned. He, quite possibly the g.o.a.t. There was not a tremendous amount of talent on those Flyer teams once you got out past the crease. Tretiak was a fine goaltender, but as Weedy said, the myth outshines reality. When facing the best Canada had to offer, he did not dominate. Sawchuck, Plante, Roy, Hall, Brodeur, and Parent were all better goaltenders that I have seen play. Grant Fuhr does not get the respect he deserves because he played on dominating offensive teams, but he always seemed to make the save that kept the Oil in front, or only one behind, and often did it without a lot of help from his teammates. Note: these comments from a Leaf fan, who despises the Habs and Flyers with equal passion, but can recognize greatness when it's there.

posted by tommybiden at 05:13 PM on November 15, 2006

There was not a tremendous amount of talent on those Flyer teams once you got out past the crease. Clarke, MacLeish, Leach, Kindrachuk, and Barber were not exactly chopped liver either, tommy! And DuPont and Schulz were a hell of a tag team.

posted by mjkredliner at 06:22 PM on November 15, 2006

Bill Barber, king of the divers. Bob Clarke, dirty punk. Macleish and Leach, good hockey players, Kindrachuck, journeyman of the highest order, probably the best NHL player ever named Orest. Shultz and DuPont, goons of the highest order!

posted by tommybiden at 06:45 PM on November 15, 2006

I've said it before, I'll say it again: the hockey wisdom posessed by you all is impressive. /Tries to remember what made the Broad Street Bullies so cool when he was a kid.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:38 PM on November 15, 2006

An unsung name for the best ever is Charlie Gardiner. He was terminally ill when he played in the playoffs for Chicago during their Stanley Cup win in 1934.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 10:03 PM on November 15, 2006

Not at every turn. What other record does Sawchuck have? Oooo - I like this debate. Well, up until Patrick the Great - he had the wins record... For thirty freaking years and the shutout record (which he still holds). These are not goalie records to be glossed over. While Hall's games-plyed streak is remarkable, it hardly is a measure of performance, isn't it? (here's where you say - he was an All-Star more during the years they played at the same time. That's a compelling arguement. they both won 3 Vezinas.) And Sawchuk also was known to play through pain. He also took 600 stiches to the face and also didn't wear a mask for the first 12 years of his career. He had a broken arm that was never diagnosed - consequently he actually had one arm two inches shorter than the other. Hall never wore a mask - while impressive in its bravery are you suggesting that makes him a better goalie? Inventing the butterfly style (well, he didn't 'invent' it - I believe there were others) is also cool and impactful - but, again - this isn't a measure of actual performance. Hall had the streak, but Sawchuk actually played more games over his career. Look, my pick was Roy - the Hockey News picked Sawchuk. I think they have a case. It's not like Hall was snubbed, but Sawchuk won more games, cups and held the opposition to no goals the most. That's pretty compelling. His records stood for a long, long time - and one still stands, until Brodeur breaks it. Hall has no such records. Hall has his games played streak. And during that eight-year span I think it's pretty clear he was the best around. But if we consider the whole career, I think the Hockey News made the right call. Not that you could go wrong with either one, mind you.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:27 AM on November 16, 2006

I'm not slighting Sawchuk at all neither. More than anything, I just love having this argument. You're right about him playing through pain. No one, maybe in any sport, suffered more for their discipline than Terry Sawchuk did. But this is all (I'm proud to announce) before my time, and so I'm biased by the accounts I read of Hall vs. those of Sawchuk. We could go days adding to this list. (What about Frank Brimsek & Clint Benedict? And is there anyone else today, aside from Brodeur, who may one day merit this kind of consideration? Luongo, perhaps? Does Olaf Kolzig get some love for being the greatest hockey player ever born in Africa? Not in this thread? Okay then.) Oh, and to call the Flyers of the mid-70's untalented aside from Bernie Parent is a serious twisting of history. Their defensive corps was as solid as any the game has ever seen, Leach, MacLiesh & Barber (yes, he was the Cronaldo of hockey, but he had great hands) were near the top of the league in scoring for much of the decade, and Bobby Clarke (that asshole) is in the Hall of Fame for a reason. And every single one of them (well, maybe not Ed Van Impe, but the rest of them) would drop gloves & beat the crap out of you in a heartbeat. Bernie Parent was as good as anyone on the planet for an 18-month stretch in 1974 & 75, but if you really believe he won those cups by himself, you're crazy.

posted by chicobangs at 10:48 AM on November 16, 2006

Actually, what I really take from this thread is that the NHL has never suffered from a lack of good goalies. Everyone mentioned has merit. I remember when Barrasso came into the league as an 18-year old teenager straight out of US high school and proceeded to win the Calder and Vezina. People thought he was the next coming and he's not even in this picture (though may be in the HoF at some point). Agreed on Parent and the Flyers, too - that was a sound team, not just a great goalie. They were punishing to play against by all accounts.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:58 AM on November 16, 2006

But this is all (I'm proud to announce) before my time, Which is exactly why I haven't jumped into this discussion. I can't compare Roy to those other goalies that I never seen play. The best ones that I can remember watching are (in no paticular order): Roy, Hextall, Belfour, Potvin, and of course my personal favorite, Marty B.

posted by MrFrisby at 11:19 AM on November 16, 2006

You cannot seriously offer up Luongo for future consideration if and until he wins at least 1 playoff series. To date he hasn't even stiffed the playoffs. He certainly has a penchant for giving up the unexplainable softie way to often. GOAT and Parent are also not allowed in the same sentence as long as the like of Sawchuck, Hall, Plante, Roy are available for discussion. I can see the arguement for Tretiak but how great would he be over the course of an NHL season? And what about the asswhooping Central Red Army and Tretiak took from the above mentioned 1976 Flyer squad that humbled the Mighty Red Army? I'll never forget the physical pounding that Flyers squad put on them Russki's. Remember Van Impe's elbow that dropped Kmarlamov to the ice like a 50lb. bag of potatoes after Kmarlamov's dirty hit on Flyer Captain Bobby Clarke. Then the pansy ass Russian Coach (Konstantin Loktev) pulls his squad from the game whining about the hard hitting. That Flyer squad didn't take crap from anyone and while I didn't root for them I respected their approach to Professional Hockey.

posted by skydivedad at 11:55 AM on November 16, 2006

And is there anyone else today, aside from Brodeur, who may one day merit this kind of consideration Hasek has to be mentioned as one of the top 10 goalies of all time. His career is a bit short to be considered THE best, but his peak seasons are as good as almost anyone (and he's got the hardware to back it up). Then the pansy ass Russian Coach (Konstantin Loktev) pulls his squad from the game whining about the hard hitting. It wasn't the hard hitting, as much as the cheap shots and after-the-whistle thuggery.

posted by grum@work at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2006

It wasn't the hard hitting, as much as the cheap shots and after-the-whistle thuggery. While I admit that occured in that game it only started after Kmarlamov's way dirty hit on Bobby Clarke which supposedly was retaliation of the alleged dirty hit by Clarke on Kmarlamov on his ankle in 1972. That doesn't explain the fact that the Flyers out shot the Red Army Squad 49 to 13 and most of them solid, good shots. I just don't think Tretiak would be in this conversation had he played in the NHL.

posted by skydivedad at 12:13 PM on November 16, 2006

Hasek was/is very entertaining to watch. His unorthodox style is very unique. However I think he is just the luckiest goaltender ever. How many times have we seen him flopping around, back to the play, but somehow he just reaches out and the puck hits him in the back of the arm/glove.

posted by MrFrisby at 12:49 PM on November 16, 2006

Oh, Luongo isn't there yet. He does have to win some playoff series before he gets to sit at this table. But he has that level of talent, and he's young enough that he could get there, especially if the Canucks get & stay good for a while and give him the chance. Like Parent, Hasek was really good for a couple of years (and he gets points for one of those years having an Olympics), but for the first six or seven years of his NHL life he was a journeyman-level player. Too many years of platooning on some moribund Sabres teams with Steve Shields (or the 82-year-old Grant Fuhr) disqualifies Hasek from all-timer consideration for me.

posted by chicobangs at 12:53 PM on November 16, 2006

Hasek deserves mention for sure - he's a two time Hart winner and, what, 7 Vezinas? But, I think it doesn't go much beyond that. And I just can't bring myself to vote for a guy who seems to routinely quit on his team and won't play hurt. His stretch of dominance from 1994 to 2001 is very real, though. If I really think about it - amongst his generation - he probably only trails Roy and Brodeur and is better than Belfour. Even Brodeur right now is arguably the lesser. Anyway - only those three (Roy, Brodeur, Hasek) could realistically argue their case as being the best at their position for any meaningful stretch of time. But the one cup hurts him. When talking goalies - I think wins and Cups are very important (less so with position players), with few exceptions (Dryden being the big one for me - he was good and his winning percentage is ridiculous - but so was that Montreal team he was on. They were disgusting from what I've heard/read and the little I've seen.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:09 PM on November 16, 2006

but for the first six or seven years of his NHL life he was a journeyman-level player. Actually, you've got that wrong. For the first 5 years of his career, he wasn't even in North America. He didn't come over until 1990, when he was 25 years old. His first two seasons were in Chicago, where he was a backup behind Ed Belfour, who was one of the top goalies in the game at that time. He just wasn't going to get a fair shot in that city. He then got traded to Buffalo, where he split time with Darren Puppa and Grant Fuhr. He was statistically the best goalie of the three, and was given the starting job the next season (1993-94). Surprise, surprise, he won the Vezina that season (his first of six) and the legend began... Just look at Hasek's stats, and you'll see that "journeyman" was never the proper description for him.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2006

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