Thursday, August 13, 2015

Top Ten Leafs

I have been doing top 10 favourite lists and this is the hardest one. This one could be be debated over and over the again. It is the Toronto Maple Leafs' turn.

I have seen too many Leafs to remember, as I am very old.  I could go with the 1967 Leafs team, because I was alive and they brought us the last cup.

My favourite time as a Leafs fan was the 70s and 80s. Some of my favourite players played during that era. Many of them will be on the list to be sure.

So on with the list. I cannot delay any longer. 

10. Dave Keon

Keon was part of that 1967 Leafs team. Dave was a solid centre who played well in all aspects. I loved the hardworking no-nonsense forward. He really seemed to represent the common folk. His best year was the 70-71 season, where he scored 38 goals and 38 assists for 76 points. I didn't love him because of the points, I loved what he represented. He was a leader on the Leafs.

9. James Van Riemsdyk

James is the ultimate power forward, using his strength to his advantage. He is on my list because he is a solid forward playing with heart. He bleeds  blue and white. He was often the best player on the Leafs during last season.

 8. Ian Turnbull

Breaking a Leafs record scoring 5 goals in a game, Ian loved his game. At the time, he was the Leafs best offensive Dman. He scored two 20-goal seasons, including his best season at 22 goals and 57 assists for 79 points in the 1976 season.

7.  Rick Vaive

I remember how much I laughed at the trade with the Canucks that brought Rick to Toronto. He scored 50 goal three seasons. The best of the three was the '54 season. I am not sure, but I think he was the first Leaf to score 50 goals in a season. I was upset when he was traded to the Blackhawks.

6. Errol Thompson

I always knew Errol as the other Sittler line mate.  I loved his slapshot. His top season was the 75-76 43 goal season. He was a solid power forward, especially on the powerplay unit. He was a solid team player who never gave up playing. I loved his play in the offensive zone.

6. Nazem Kadri

I have no reason for having him on my list. Except I have his sweater and he is just one of my favourites. I do love some part of his game. He is a good playmaking centre. Nazem was the Flames' number one Centre at times. He will always be one my favourites.

5. Paul Henderson

It’s not because of the Canada and Russia 1972 summit series. Although that didn't hurt. I really did like his style. He did what he was told. He always did his part. He did what he had to do in order for the Leafs to win. His stats were never awesome, although he had a 38 goal season 71-72 season.

4.  Mike Palmateer

My favourite goalie in a Leafs sweater. He was the man in the net for the Leafs for 76-79, the best being the 77-78 season, with a 2.78 goal against average. He was near an all star in his prime. He carried the team at times. He had reflexes like a cat.

3.  Borje Salming

Salming paved the road to the Europeans defecting to the NHL. He instantly became a hero of mine for his heart. I often pretended to play him in road hockey. He was a puck-rushing dman led by example. He was a terrific rushing defenceman. He will always be a Leaf in my mind, despite ending his career in Detroit. 

2. Lanny McDonald

Although, he was know for being a Flame, his Leafs days were just as important. He had three 40-goal seasons his best being 47 in 77-78. His best year was not a 40-goal year; his point total was 93 in 75-76. He was Sittler's hired man. He was often the key to the Maple Leafs’ success, including an overtime goal that eliminated the high power Islanders.

1.  Darryl Sittler

Sittler was the best captain of all time. Yes, that is only a subjective opinion. But he was the heart and soul of the Leafs  through the 70s.  He will always be known for scoring 6 goals and 4 assists against the big bad Bruins in one game. A record that will never be broken. He was the true picture of a Leaf.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Lists

Randy's list first published at Flames Jambalaya.

I am trying to put together my Top 10 Flames list. Putting together my favorite Flames players is a daunting task. There are a quite a few!

I mean, I could have players like defenceman Kari Eloranta, a Flames defender who was with the Flames in the eighties. He never scored more than five goals a season. Okay, bad example. Why would I want him?

I could have put Kent Nilsson, AKA the Magic Man. He has the Flames' record  for most points in a season: 131. In an era when defensive hockey was not invented. But of course, he was an Oiler, so I really could not have him on my list.

Well, of course I am being a little facetious, but you see my point. There could be a whole bunch of players to chose from. It is a task which I do not take lightly. There is no set criteria. Just a totally subjective list of my favourite players. I am sure my list won't be the same as yours, but it will be interesting to see who are the most-liked Flames of all time.


10.  Doug Gilmour

Doug was one of the best second line Centres in the league. He did so many things and played with a edge. Although he never was the best at anything, he was very good at everything. He played with a chip on his shoulder and never let anyone push him around. He never stepped down from anyone. He was a true leader on the best team in the NHL. 

9.  Al Macinnis

A Powerplay specialist who was a very good offensive defenceman. Alan was the Conn Smythe winner in the 89 playoffs.  Alan had six 20-goal seasons with the Flames. Think of that for a defenceman. 

8. Lanny MacDonald.

Lanny was pretty much the heart and soul of the Flames, scoring that huge second goal in game six. He also gets the award for the best moustache  in the NHL. He holds the record for most goals scored in a season (sixty-six,) which will probably never be broken. Lanny was a fantastic power forward with a terrific snapshot and ten times the heart of a normal man. He played on both the Leafs and the Flames, a bonus for me, being a huge Leafs fan as well.

7. Joe Mullen 

Joe was is a pure sniper, one of the best American players. He played the Flames for five season, where he had a career year, scoring 51 goals and 59 assists for 110 points in 1989. He was part of the 89 Stanley Cup team. He was the perfect all-around player. The Flames turned their season around after acquiring Mullen. I loved the way Joe could always be counted on to score the big goal or big play just when the team needed it.

6.  Sean Monahan

I truly believe that Sean is going to be an all-star Flame for many years to come. He is a number one Centre. He was a the best player on the first line last season. He was the best player on the team many nights. He has the ability to play a full game in the defensive zone. He was used in all aspects of the Flames' game.

5. Theoren Fleury 

Theo was told he could never play in the NHL because of his size. Not only did he play, he got a Stanley Cup ring and was a 60-goal scorer. Theo had the heart of a lion and was a sniper. He was the man for the Flames throughout most of his career.

4. Mark Giordano 

Mark would have won the Norris if it was not for his injury. He was basically the first real number one defenceman the Flames have had since the 80s.   The last two years, Mark has been the leader and one of the best Captains the Flames has ever had, both for his play and his leadership in the locker room.

3. Mikka Kiprusoff

This one is personal. I have met him several times. Mikka singlehandedly took the Flames to the 04 Stanley Cup final, making the ‘scorpion' save against the Sharks. Then there was the save off of Martin Havlat as Kipper dove back from behind the net. I will never forget Martin's face when found out he never scored.

2. Jarome Iginla

Iggy was probably the greatest captain in Flames history. He did everything he could to get us the Stanley Cup, but unfortunately we let him down by never giving him a true Centre. Even without a  bona fide centre, he scored two 50-goal seasons, and how many Flames can say that?

1. Hakan Loob

The other number 12 in a Flames sweater. Hakan was my favourite Flame in the 80s. Hakan had a 50-goal year and a Stanley Cup ring. I loved his breakaway speed and agility to get away from opposing defencemen.  


Yes, I know my number one was a odd choice, I have no sound reason, except that he was my favourite Flames player. He might not have been the best of all time, but he is my most-liked Flame. Who would be on your list?


And here is Jason Friesen's Top Ten List for the Oilers

Back in the 80s i was young. As a 10, 11,12 year old boy i often wondered how anybody could be a Flames fan. Only a couple hours north there was the Oilers. A team with the best player in the world and an allstar lineup only a few hours north and you are a Flames fan? It made no sense. Thinking about that got me wondering who my alltime favorite Oilers would be so i decided its time to make a list.

10. Nail Yakupov

Most of you will wonder what im thinking with this pick. Nail was a 1st overall draft pick and in his rookie season with the Oilers he led the team in goals. I became a huge fan real fast. Things went sour for Yakupov. The team took on eakins as coach and with that a number of players dropped of production. Yakupov was one of them. It wasnt until Eakins was fired and a new coach came in that we started to see Yakupov gain confidence back and start to look like the player he can be.
9. Ales Hemsky
Hemsky never really grew into his potential as a player. More than likely this had a lot to do with the team around him. They were not very good but many nights we saw Hemsky Dangle the puck as good as the best in the league.
8. Doug weight 
Simply the reason Weight makes my list is he is all the Oilers had for many seasons.

7. Paul Coffey
His points speak for themself. I have yet to see a defenceman since coffee be able to skate up the ice and walk through players like Coffey could
6. Jari Kurri
The magic Kurri and Gretzky put on for the fans in Edmonton says enough about Kurri
5. Mark Messier
Messier was tough in all areas of the ice. He was the complete package
4. Bill Ranford
Growing up i loved goalies. Ranford in my mind was the best of the best in the early 90s
3. Grant Fuhr
Instead of telling you all the reasons i loved Fuhr ill tell you a little story on why hes my favorite goaltender of all time. I played goal in minor hockey. I would study Fuhr and durring games i would leave my glove side wide open hoping the other team would shoot left side high so i could try to make a spectacular glove save like Fuhr  
2. Wayne Gretzky
His stats speak for themself
1. Glen Anderson
As i did with Fuhr im going to tell a little story on why Anderson was and is my Favorite Oiler of all time. My first few seasons playing hockey i played wing. My 2nd year my mom was able to order me a team jacket. One day at school the principal came up to me and started talking hockey. He saw the #9 on my jacket. He said how hard of a number 9 is to get and i must really like Gordie Howe. Nope i said, i love Glen Anderson