Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is LaFontaine the Greatest American Born Hockey Player?

John Buccigross at seems to think so. He also lists his all time American born hockey team which includes Leetch and Richter...

Who is the greatest American-born player of all time? This is a difficult question. This is certainly my team:

F -- Mike Modano F -- Jeremy Roenick F -- Pat LaFontaine
D -- Brian Leetch D -- Chris Chelios
G -- Mike Richter

I lean toward LaFontaine because his numbers are just off the chart and he had 400 career goals at age 30. Many steer toward Modano because of his three-zone game, durability, Stanley Cup courage (playing with a broken bone) and the ring that came with it.

...anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that Brian Leetch is the greatest American born player of all-time. Here is just a few of his accomplishments (courtesy of Wikipedia):

In 1992 he became the fifth defenseman in history, and the only American defenseman, to record 100 points in a season and was awarded the Norris Trophy. In 1994 he again matched his career high of 23 goals in the regular season as the Rangers won the Presidents Trophy. That year the Rangers' 54-year championship drought ended with a 7-game Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks; Leetch became the first non-Canadian to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, and remains the only American to win this award.

Following the Rangers' Cup win in 1994, Leetch remained a fan favorite and team leader, serving as Captain from 1997-2000 after the departure of Mark Messier to the Vancouver Canucks (he would hand back the captaincy to Messier upon his return to the Rangers in 2000). In 1997 he again won the Norris Trophy and the Rangers made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were defeated by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Final stats: Games - 1205, goals - 247, assists - 781, PIM -1028.

...End of story

1 comment:

bpette02 said...

It's hard to compare players that play different positions. All I know is Leetch was the best player at his position for part of his career. While the other great American players were never the greatest at their position. However, it's impossible to be the greatest at your position when you played during the same time as Mess, Gretz, and Mario.

i think the 5 he mentioned he were pretty good. We can't forget about Joey Mullen.