Hockey Blog Beat – September 20, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable hockey blog posts: No one really noticed the NHL’s new nets…Brian Boyle looking good in Rangers training camp…A possible solution to the Drew Doughty contract saga…The Calgary Flames breakout woes should continue…How to buy an Oilers jersey…How the NHL looked 25 years ago…A listing of the top ten NHL defensemen of all time…A training camp for NHL fans.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski noted the NHL’s debut of its shallower nets in last night’s Maple Leafs-Senators game, and the players didn’t even notice the difference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nine out of ten NHL players also didn’t notice when their coffee was switched for new Folger’s Crystals!

BLEEDING ALL BLUE: Michael Gleich observed Brian Boyle is having a strong training camp so far, and if he carries it over into the regular season, GM Glen Sather will look like a genius for inking him to an affordable new contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: More than a few observers have written off Boyle’s performance last season (21 goals) as a “one-year-wonder”, but if he improves, those critics will be eating those words. Keep an eye on Boyle this season, he could surprise.

HOCKEY TRACKER: Peter Harling suggested an offer sheet from a rival club, like the Edmonton Oilers, could bring the Drew Doughty contract saga to a quick conclusion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it could, but it won’t happen. If any team was gonna send Doughty an offer sheet, they would’ve done it long before now.

MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE: Scott Lepp isn’t holding out much hope for an improvement in the Calgary Flames breakout game, at least not for this season.

THE COPPER & BLUE: “ryanbatty” with a buyer’s guide for Oilers fans purchasing new jerseys for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These guidelines are much kinder than those for Bruins fans!

HOUSES OF THE HOCKEY: Rick Moldovanyi takes a loving look back at the NHL of 25 years ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I feel sorry for the kids who never got to watch the NHL back in the 1980s, when in my humble opinion it was a lot more fun, and Gretzky and Lemieux were young, healthy and tearing up the league.

BLEACHER REPORT: Chad Irvine looks at the top ten NHL defensemen of all time, and shockingly ranks Bobby Orr number two to Nicklas Lidstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have nothing but respect for Lidstrom, who is in my opinion the second greatest defenseman in NHL history, but ranking him above Orr because he won two more more Stanley Cups, and has a better international resume, is ridiculous.

Orr was a trailblazer,a true hockey pioneer, who forever changed the way defensemen played the game. No Orr, no Lidstrom playing the way he does today. Orr also won 8 Norris trophies (consecutively) to Lidstrom’s seven, was the first player to win two Conn Smythe trophies (to Lidstrom’s one), won the Calder as rookie of the year (which Lidstrom never won), became the first and only defenseman to win the Art Ross as NHL scoring leader (and did it twice), won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP (which Lidstrom never won) three times,remains the only player ever to win the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe, Norris, Art Ross, and Hart Trophies in the same season, was Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” (1970), became the only defenseman to lead the NHL in plus-minus for six seasons, and accomplished all this in only ten NHL seasons, while Lidstrom has taken twice as long to achieve his long, impressive list of accomplishments. Again, no disrespect to Lidstrom, but he didn’t do half in his first ten seasons of what Orr did in his.

There weren’t the number of international tournaments in Orr’s day as there are today for NHL pros to participate in, but the one he did play in, the 1976 Canada Cup, he was named tournament MVP, and did it pretty much on one leg. Had the kind of reconstructive knee surgery and treatments been available to Orr back then as we have today, he probably would’ve played another ten seasons, and likely would’ve won more of that hardware and run up considerably more points in the process.

Sorry, Chad, you’re entitled to your opinion, but Bobby Orr remains the greatest defenseman in NHL history. Period.

DOWN GOES BROWN: wonders what it would be like if NHL fans had their own training camp. Suffice to say, it would be pathetic, but hilariously so!

5 Comments

  1. “…but Bobby Orr remains the greatest defenseman in NHL history. Period.”

    I think it would also be safe to say that Orr is not only the greatest defensemen but also one of the greatest ever to play, period.

  2. I hated hockey in the 80s. Sorry.

    It was fun for the fans of maybe four teams… crappy for the fans of the other 17.

  3. His opinion is wrong. Bobby Orr was the greatest player ever to play the game. So much that it’s offensive to me that Bobby Orr was left off the Legends roster in NHL12. Terrible.

  4. no. it’s gretzky. period.

  5. I will give Bobby Orr the greatest defenseman of all time claim if people would stop suggesting the asinine theory that Gretz ISN’T the greatest player ever.