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Bring Back The Bruise Bros

Power Forwards

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I was going through some old hockey cards and came across a ton of power forwards from back in the day like Rick Tocchet, Brendan Shanahan, Shayne Corson, Cam Neely, Wendel Clark, Kevin Stevens, etc. and i was trying to come up with names of power forwards in today's NHL and i could only come up with a handful. Is the power forward an "endangered species" in today's NHL? These are the true power forwards that i could come up with (and i know everyone has a different idea of what makes a power forward):

Steve Downie

Ryane Clowe

Milan Lucic

David Backes

Brenden Morrow

Chris Stewart

Ryan Getzlaf

Ryan Malone

I think Hartnell could be added to that list, as well. I think Brandon Dubinsky of the Rangers could develop into one. When Ryan Malone is healthy, he's a force. He's ran into some injury problems lately. Getzlaf mucks it out in the corners, although he doesn't fight very often. If Dustin Penner developed more of a regular mean streak, and was willing to drop the gloves more, he would definitely be considered a power forward in my mind. To me, a power forward does it all. Puts up points, grinds it out in the corners and goes to the dirty areas to score, and doesn't shy away from the rough stuff

Thoughts??

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Talking about power forwards has to be the most idiotic forum topic NO ONE AGREES and it will always turn into a s***storm

Edited by jollymania
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Then don't participate.

Yeah, I don't think the fact that some people will disagree is a valid reason to not have the discussion. Just try to at least consider everyone's points rather than getting all bent out of shape.

Anyway, I don't think I've followed hockey seriously long enough to address the topic, but let me ask a question of Bruise and anyone else who wants it: do you think the decline is due to changing rules/trends in the NHL, or is it more that this type of player is rare and by chance there just aren't as many in the NHL at the moment?

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Yeah, I don't think the fact that some people will disagree is a valid reason to not have the discussion. Just try to at least consider everyone's points rather than getting all bent out of shape.

Anyway, I don't think I've followed hockey seriously long enough to address the topic, but let me ask a question of Bruise and anyone else who wants it: do you think the decline is due to changing rules/trends in the NHL, or is it more that this type of player is rare and by chance there just aren't as many in the NHL at the moment?

I think it partially has to do with the change in rules, but i wouldn't put it all on the rule changes. The game is faster than it was in the '80s and '90s, can't clutch and grab like you used to. But i just can't blame the lack of true power forwards on a few rule changes. It's an interesting question.

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I think it partially has to do with the change in rules, but i wouldn't put it all on the rule changes. The game is faster than it was in the '80s and '90s, can't clutch and grab like you used to. But i just can't blame the lack of true power forwards on a few rule changes. It's an interesting question.

I think players are generally larger and more fit than in the past also. Power-forwards often rely on brute strength to barrel to the net, and that's not going to happen when everyone between you and the goalie is 200+ pounds.

There seems to be an interesting graph supporting this idea here, but I don't have espn insiders so I can't know for sure.

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My idea of a power forward is 200+ pound 25-30+ goal scorer who will hit/fight on a regular basis. Pretty simple.

Edited by Original-Six

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I could see Evander Kane developing into a pretty good power forward, he just needs to hit the weight room as he's a little on the slight side (6'2" 195) but he has the hands, isn't afraid to crash the boards, and we all know and love what he did to Matt Cooke.

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I don't think there are fewer power forwards. I think if anything there are just fewer 'star' type players in that mold who also fight. Ovie, Thornton, both Staals, Holmstrom, Nash, Doan, and Horton are a few that I can think of that make good use of their size and strength, even if they don't fight or aren't particularly physical. Then if you expand your definition to include players who aren't stars you find a whole host of players in that mold: Clutterbuck, Knuble, Byfuglien, Latendresse, Avery, and a lot more, depending on how narrow you want to define the term.

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Talking about power forwards has to be the most idiotic forum topic NO ONE AGREES and it will always turn into a s***storm

And you replied...Why?

IMHO the true power forwards are a dying breed...Rarely will you see guys score 30 plus goals, and get 150 plus pen min in todays game.

Franzen is a big guy, skilled, and will go into the trenches, but IMHO he's not a true power forward...Now Getzlaf on the other hand.

My idea of a power forward is 200+ pound 25-30+ goal scorer who will hit/fight on a regular basis. Pretty simple.

Yup.

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I think it partially has to do with the change in rules, but i wouldn't put it all on the rule changes. The game is faster than it was in the '80s and '90s, can't clutch and grab like you used to. But i just can't blame the lack of true power forwards on a few rule changes. It's an interesting question.

IMHO it began in the early 1990's...With an influx of talent coming over from eastern Europe many N.American trained players found a new challenge in keeping up with their higher levels of skill...Coaches at all levels of hockey caught onto this, and started making changes to the style we see more of today with an emphasis on skating, stick/puck handling, passing, and better defensive awareness.

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Yeah, I don't think the fact that some people will disagree is a valid reason to not have the discussion. Just try to at least consider everyone's points rather than getting all bent out of shape.

Well said! Its a discussion board after all, isnt it?

I'd definately put Franzen on that list!

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Milan Lucic

David Backes

Brenden Morrow

Chris Stewart

Ryan Getzlaf

Ryan Malone

Those bolded are the true power forwards in this game right now. We can throw Doan-face, Ovie (also with skill), Latendresse as mentioned, Nash also mentioned, and Horton in there for sure as THE power forwards in this league right now.

Edited by HankthaTank

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My idea of a power forward is 200+ pound 25-30+ goal scorer who will hit/fight on a regular basis. Pretty simple.

I agree.

That was always the definition in the past, and I think the lack of many players like that nowadays has prompted many to include guys who don't fit the definition (like say Fraznen).

So what we have now is a variation of the power forward, but definitely not the same thing as what there was in the late 80's and early 90's.

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The power forward.

A skilled, strong offensive player capable of grinding in the corners, screening in front effectively without being easily displaced, and using their size and strength to overwhelm the opposing defensive players.

For one, I've never considered fighting a required part of being a power forward. And to require it now, when fighting in general is rare, is even more ridiculous. How many fights happen per season? Probably fewer than happened per-TEAM in 1993.

So physically powerful scoring forwards (maybe that's where the name "power forward" came from?) are basicallywhat we're looking for. Well for one, Shayne Corson wasn't, not did I ever consider him, a power forward. Excellent defensively? Sure. Great Grinder? Definitely. Power Forward? No way. He wasn't good enough offensively to get that title.

Some guys in the league now who could be called a PF? Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Lucic, Iginla, Jokinen, E.Staal, Nash, Hossa, Morrow, Franzen, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Kopitar, Latendresse, M.Richards, Doan, Downie, Backes, Malone, Lecavalier, Ovechkin, Malkin, Horton, Thornton

A lot of those guys don't fit the "Score 30 goals, hit a ton, fight, get 200 PIMs" mold that a lot of people seem to have. I know some people wouldn't consider a lot of those guys power forwards. But these are all examples of players who will regularly use their physical presence as an offensive tool

To compare based on my definition; yes Kevin Stevens was a good player, yes he had a good shot. But realistically, Jokinen has to use his body more to create offense, while Stevens could simply sit back and take the incoming pass from Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux is another example of a power forward. He was physically large even for today's NHL, and played in a much smaller league, so a majority of his offense came from simply skating right through-over?-the defense and doing whatever he wanted. Granted, even in his later years, Lemieux was still far more offensively dominant than anyone else could hope to be.

Frozen-Man, 55fan and seeinred like this

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...Some guys in the league now who could be called a PF? Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Lucic, Iginla, Jokinen, E.Staal, Nash, Hossa, Morrow, Franzen, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Kopitar, Latendresse, M.Richards, Doan, Downie, Backes, Malone, Lecavalier, Ovechkin, Malkin, Horton, Thornton

...

:looney:

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The power forward.

A skilled, strong offensive player capable of grinding in the corners, screening in front effectively without being easily displaced, and using their size and strength to overwhelm the opposing defensive players.

For one, I've never considered fighting a required part of being a power forward. And to require it now, when fighting in general is rare, is even more ridiculous. How many fights happen per season? Probably fewer than happened per-TEAM in 1993.

So physically powerful scoring forwards (maybe that's where the name "power forward" came from?) are basicallywhat we're looking for. Well for one, Shayne Corson wasn't, not did I ever consider him, a power forward. Excellent defensively? Sure. Great Grinder? Definitely. Power Forward? No way. He wasn't good enough offensively to get that title.

Some guys in the league now who could be called a PF? Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Lucic, Iginla, Jokinen, E.Staal, Nash, Hossa, Morrow, Franzen, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Kopitar, Latendresse, M.Richards, Doan, Downie, Backes, Malone, Lecavalier, Ovechkin, Malkin, Horton, Thornton

A lot of those guys don't fit the "Score 30 goals, hit a ton, fight, get 200 PIMs" mold that a lot of people seem to have. I know some people wouldn't consider a lot of those guys power forwards. But these are all examples of players who will regularly use their physical presence as an offensive tool

To compare based on my definition; yes Kevin Stevens was a good player, yes he had a good shot. But realistically, Jokinen has to use his body more to create offense, while Stevens could simply sit back and take the incoming pass from Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux is another example of a power forward. He was physically large even for today's NHL, and played in a much smaller league, so a majority of his offense came from simply skating right through-over?-the defense and doing whatever he wanted. Granted, even in his later years, Lemieux was still far more offensively dominant than anyone else could hope to be.

The amount of fights in a season is no where near the per team average from the early nineties. The Flyers had 105 fights in the 1885-1986 season, which was a franchise high. Today it is not uncommon for teams to get 50+ fights in a season. They also had over 20 more fights last year than in 1993. Fighting is down from it's NHL highs, but your comment is severely erroneous.

Zetterberg is not a power forward. Please show me evidence (or a consensus) that he is.

Fighting is not a necessary to be considered a power forward. However, if a player is physical enough to use "their size and strength to overwhelm the opposing defensive players" they will likely be forced to fight. For someone to say that a player must fight to be a power forward is incorrect, but a good power forward is likely to be challenged often.

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Like any other term, it must evolve to fit the times. Eva more or less has it right: a power forward is a large and/or strong dude that uses his strength and body as a primary tool to get the job done. This involves a lot of physical play, such as being the go to guy in the corners, going to and occupying a position at or near the front of the net, and making a hole in the opposition's defense with said physical presence. Note that while hitting is part of physicality, physicality =/= hitting. Hence, in today's NHL, players like Franzen and Holmstrom fit the term power forward. While they do not compare entirely to the power forwards of yesteryear, they occupy a role that most closely resembles that of said players tailored to the rules and gameplay of today's NHL.

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