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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Frankenstein's defenseman

Don't tell my wife I'm doing this, she'll think I have way too much time on my hands. But I was wondering what would a merged career of Bobby Orr and Nicklas Lidstrom look like.

Orr's glory came early. He was pretty much done soon after he turned 27, playing just 36 games over three seasons after the 1974-75 season.

On the other hand, Lidstrom became hockey's dominant defenseman later in his career. He won his first Stanley Cup two months after turning 27 and all of his individual awards after that age.

So, flip the switch please Igor. Let's splice together Bobby Orr's career til the age of 27 and Nicklas Lidstrom's career after he turned 27 (starting with the 97-98 season). What you get is ...

19 seasons
1,422 regular-season games
401 goals
1,100 assists
1,501 points
1,182 penalty minutes (Bobby could fight)
+816 (missing Orr's rookie season)

I was thinking that the statistics of this Frankenstein defenseman would tower over everyone else, but they're very similar to those of the two most dominant defensemen in terms of career stats, Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey. Bourque had 1,579 points. Coffey had 1,531. Coffey scored 396 goals in 1,409 games. Bourque had 410 goals in 1,612 games. Both Bourque (+528) and Coffey (+294) trail the monster in plus-minus.

Orr is the most statistically dominant defenseman per game in history. Lidstrom has led the league in defense scoring, but he's in a statistically deflated era; his numbers would be higher if he was in his prime in the 80s.

But here's where the Orr/Lidstrom monster towers ... achievements, not numbers. The Orr/Lidstrom monster combined to earn ...

5 Stanley Cups
3 Conn Smythe Trophies
14 Norris Trophies
3 Hart Trophies
2 Art Ross Trophies
1 Calder Trophy

That's 14 Norris Trophies in 19 seasons. And Nick is still going.

Now if I can figure a way to put Wayne Gretzky's scoring abilities together with Bob Probert's fighting ...


Blogger James said...

Bruce, that was a great post. Very fun to read :)

September 30, 2008 at 12:57 PM 
Anonymous KP said...

Make that 6 Stanley Cups. 1970 and 72 for Orr, 97, 98, 02 and 08 for Nick.

September 30, 2008 at 1:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about comparing the stats from the best decade [or 11 years] for each defenseman?

Nick's stats, Cups, Conn Smyth, Norris Trophy's, etc. from 96-97 to 07-08 vs Orr, Coffey, Bourque, MAcInnis, Pronger, Niedermeyer, etc...

September 30, 2008 at 1:04 PM 
Blogger John said...

You don't want to monster Probert with Wayne. I don't want to see the Great One deported.

Fancy this monster: Pat Verbeek mixed with Alex Ovechkin. (scoring, hitting, angst, skating, passing, fighting, color-commentary in 2 languages).

Don't worry my wife doesn't read hockey websites so we shouldn't get caught.

September 30, 2008 at 3:43 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Kp ... I'm splicing Orr until 27 and Lidstrom after 27, so Lidstrom's stats don't start until 1997-98 season. Otherwise there would be an overlap of two 27-year-olds and the universe as we know it would cease to exist.

September 30, 2008 at 3:56 PM 

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