The case to retire Brad Park’s number is interesting
There was an interesting article on Hockey News recently talking about a few guys in the NHL who should have their numbers retired that don’t and the one guy that stuck out on the list (for New Englanders) was Brad Park…
Now, obviously he had an excellent career for the Boston Bruins. He also had an excellent career for the New York Rangers. That’s why he was on NHL.com’s top-1oo players of all-time list, after all. They didn’t just put him up because he’s a nice guy or something. It’s because he’s really good. One of the best of all-time.
The big problem with Park is not his career production, but the way his career went. He spent eight seasons with the Rangers and eight seasons with the Bruins. If it was more like ten years for either of those teams, then there is no doubt that he would have his number retired in the spot that he played for longer. But what he did when he was on both teams was impressive.
There were six times in his career that he finished second in the Norris Trophy voting and you know why he finished second? Because Bobby Orr was in the league. If Bobby Orr didn’t exist, then this man would’ve won several Norris Trophies, especially during his Rangers days.
Park is a Hall of Famer, of course. He was an elite defender in his day and the Bruins really appreciate that since by the time he got there, Orr’s career in Boston was pretty much over. Even if Park too had trouble staying healthy, when he was on the ice he was a menace. Late in his career, he even played with Ray Bourque which may have helped him develop into a star too.
If he was healthy throughout his Bruins career, then he’d probably be in without a doubt. Even so, he played over 500 games with the team and was a first ballot Hall of Famer. Hmm…