The Power Forward

Discussion in 'Hockey' started by BStreetBullies, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. BStreetBullies

    BStreetBullies Registered Member

    In your opinion, who do you belive is the best power forward who has ever played the game? With the role of power forward basicaly dying out of the game, or basically evolving, I'd like to take a look back at those who dominated this role. And of course, the term power forward can be interpreted in a few ways, but what I'm looking for here is obviously a big guy, who plays big, who also gets dirty, who can hit and occasionally drop the gloves. I'll drop some names just to give you guys more of a clue of the type of player I'm talking about; Cam Neely, Eric Lindros, Keith Primeau, John LeClair (debateable), Wendell Clark, Joe Thornton, etc...

  2. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    The power forward has always been the individual on offense who can dominate all aspects of the game. They don't need protection like more specialized offensive players, and they can complete plays from start to finish by themselves.

    What people have realized though, is that no power forward has had a full, healthy career. It's too damaging on the body. And while Lindros had an unnatural tendency to get concussions, other players like Owen Nolan really fell apart in their early thirties. Nolan made it back and is playing alright, but he missed a good three seasons of production due to injuries.

    I think we'll see power forwards slide into a supporting role for most of the time, and use their powers much more sparingly to stretch their careers. Also power forwards will likely shrink some and get faster, because they don't need to grind and bruise anymore given the more open ice and the tougher rules on interference.
    As a Sharks fan, I have to say that Joe Thornton is not a power forward, or at least has never been in San Jose. Joe is big, but uses his size to draw penalties only. He plays the body as a last resort and very rarely moves the puck all the way up the ice, something I think is characteristic of power forwards. He sticks to his part of the offensive zone and doesn't try to push to make room--he just uses his passing skill.
  3. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    If Eric Lindros would of been healthy his full career there's no doubt that he would be one of the best Power Forwards to ever play the game. He could score, he was a great hitter. He could anything on the ice.

    Now a lot of people would say that Gordie Howe was the best power forward in the NHL, but back in the day a lot of players played the way he did and personally I dont consider him a power forward.

    For me the best power forward to play the game was Cam Neely, the guy was a monster, he was a hell of a goal scorer, he could drop the gloves and beat anyone that challenged him. I believe that if it wasnt for his knee problems then he would of had an even better career.

    So no doubt in my opinion that Neely belongs on the top of the list. He was the first to really named a power forward.
  4. StroShow

    StroShow The return shall be legenday! V.I.P. Lifetime

    Neely is the best power forward ever, and few who watched this ferocious winger could argue. He steamrolled opponents with punishing bodychecks, pummeled them with his fists when they took exception, and seemed at times to score at will with his deadly accurate snapshot. He once scored 50 goals in only 44 games, the second fastest after Wayne Gretzky to hit that plateau, and despite a relatively short career due to injuries, he is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  5. BStreetBullies

    BStreetBullies Registered Member

    Joe Thornton while in Boston was one of the better power forwards in the game, but I believe he toned his game down a bit when he got mixed up with Eric Lindros when he was a Ranger, and Big E pounded his orbital bone in. With him being on the West now, my knowledge of thornton has dissipated, but from what I hear and have seen, he isn't much of a force anymore.

    I want to make a good case for Lindros, but I've gotta run, I'll yap later.
  6. juha82

    juha82 Registered Member

    Have to mention also Rick Tocchet and of course you guys forget Brendan Shanahan.
    Lindros was a superlative powerforward in his prime.
    But i give my vote for Cam Neely.
  7. BStreetBullies

    BStreetBullies Registered Member

    Let's take a look at some of Eric Lindros' numbers:

    Regular Season:

    Games Played: 760
    Goals: 372
    Assists: 493
    Points: 865
    Points/Gm: 1.14


    Games Played: 53
    Goals: 24
    Assists: 33
    Points: 57
    Points/Gm: 1.08

    Stanley Cups: 0

    I guess a solid way to measure a player's value is hold it up next to his team's success, it isn't always a sound judgment, but the best players do own a ring or two. eric Lindros, IN HIS PRIME, IMO was possibly the best power forward to ever play the game, and also in his prime, he is IMO amongst the top ten forwards to ever play the game. The guy could do it all, he could steamroll right through you, he could beat you wide with his speed, he could dangle you with a move through the legs, he could pound you into the boards and muscle you off the puck, and he could also drop the gloves and handle himself well with some of the top enforcers of the game... he was the total package player. The one major defect in his game was obviously... to keep his head up and avoid oncoming traffic. Being as big as he was at such a young age, Big E controlled the Juniors, he could do whatever the Hell it was that he wanted, and he didn't have to worry about keeping his head up, because there just wasn't anybody in the Juniors that could put him on his ass. But when Eric got to the big leagues, it was a different story, I am sure Darius Kasparitus and Scott stevens will attest to this.

    The guy ended his career averaging more than a point a game, and let's not forget that IMO his last 200 games, he was ultimately tip-toeing around and battling back from head issues, not to mention a collapsed lung in 2000. IMO, if you take away the family history of head problems and Eric stays healthy, he really would have lived up those expectations as "The next One". But ultimately IMO he is never given the respect he deserved because the expectations for this kid were so high, people were so concentrated on him being the next Gretzky, they just simply overlooked his accomplishments. Grant it that a Stanley Cup Ring would look Quite well on his finger, he still had one hell of a career.

    NOTE: Yes, I knwo the guy was an egotistical jerkoff, and a cancer to the locker room. But the game is played on the ice, and what he did on the ice IMO was simply amazing, I have always modeled my game after his, and I would encourage others to do the same, this way hockey can be restored to it's tougher roots, rather than its European roots...

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