December 06, 2008

Hockey's Best Little Players

This is Nathan Gerbe. The Hobey Baker Award winner is going to be an exciting star in the National Hockey League. He just got called up by the Sabres, after posting 14 goals and 24 points in 21 games with Portland of the AHL.

Oh yeah. He's officially listed at 5'6" and 160lbs.

He becomes the smallest active player in the league. Hockey tends to be a game for the big and the bigger, but over the years some mighty mites certainly have starred in the National Hockey League as well.

Here's a look at the best:

Modern Era:

Theoren Fleury - The most recognizable little guy in recent history, Fleury was listed at 5'6" and 180lbs. But he carried teams on his back, as well as the weight of the world at times.

Martin St. Louis - He is listed very generously at 5'9" and 180lbs. He won the Hart, Art Ross and Stanley Cup back in 2004.

Ted Lindsay - No one has ever played as big as Terrible Ted. But believe it or not, he was just 5'8" and played between 160 and 165lbs.

Stan Mikita - At 5'9" and 170lbs, Stan Mikita was a carbon copy of Ted Lindsay, only perhaps a little more skilled.

Henri Richard - The Pocket Rocket survived 1259 NHL contests plus 180 Stanley Cup games at 5'7" and 160lbs.

Dave Keon - The great hockeyist was just 5'9" and 165lbs.

Yvan Cournoyer
- The Roadrunner was just 5'7" and 175lbs, including the rockets he hid in his skates.

Old Era:

Shrimp Worters - At 5'3" it is obvious how Roy Worters picked up his nickname. He is believed to be the shortest player in league history. Yet he was a Vezina trophy winning goaltender with a career 2.27 goals against average.

Aurel Joliat - The "Mighty Atom" was 5'6" and just 135lbs. That did not stop him from earning enshrinement in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

King Clancy
- At 5'7" and reportedly weighing as little as 135lbs, King Clancy was perhaps the greatest little man of them all. He was a true superstar and even feistier than Fleury.

George Hainsworth
- Another goalie, the only thing more tiny than the 5'5" Hainsworth was his 1.91 career GAA, the lowest in NHL history.

Ken Doraty - "Cagie" Ken Doraty may have been the slightest player in NHL history. I have seen him listed as playing as low as 124 pounds.

Henry "Braces" Franklin
- Franklin never played in the NHL, not even close. He played in an all black league in the Canadian Maritimes nearly 100 years ago. The book Black Ice suggests not only was Franklin the first goalie to drop down to the ice on his knees back when standard rules prohibited such tactics, but he was only 3'6"!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Note that Gerbe never won the Hobey Baker. He was a finalist in 2008, but lost to Kevin Porter of Michigan.

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