One of the toughest aspects of naming the top players of all time is including players from eras that precede us. There is usually next to no video footage. We have to rely on the word of mouth of those who saw them first hand. For most of us, that is through archived media reports or memoirs of former players and others associated with the game.
I feel my list of the top 36 players of all time needs to include representation from the pre-1950s. I submitted just 3 names on my initial list: Eddie Shore, Howie Morenz and Syl Apps.
No one has objected to Shore, and only one person said anything about Morenz. All he said was that it is too difficult to compare him to modern era players.
Syl Apps objections are quite common, which is fine though surprising in a way too. I never saw Apps of the 1940s Leafs dynasty play either, but I'm a big fan of them. For those who don't a lot about Apps, feel free to read his biography. I'm not trying to change your minds. I'm just trying to justify Apps as a serious candidate for this study.
Many of the people objecting at Apps' inclusion are also lobbying for much more current stars. This isn't unexpected, as we're all aware of the modern player like Pavel Bure or Ron Francis or Adam Oates.
I was really glad to see some of my readers argue against Apps but in favor of other players of the pre-1950s era. Some names dropped include Dit Clapper, Sprague Cleghorn, Bill Cook, George Hainsworth, Milt Schmidt and Newsy Lalonde. The three names I'm really leaning towards right now Teeder Kennedy, Frank Boucher, King Clancy, and Turk Broda.
So you tell me: Who should get the nod from this era?