Ted Lindsay Means Well, But Vlad Konstantinov Was No Bobby Orr Or Doug Harvey

I’m sorry, but Ted Lindsay’s 82 years old now, and so some of his reality must have packed it in. Vladimir Konstantinov was a better defenceman than Bobby Orr?
Sorry, Ted. No one was better than Bobby Orr.
And he says Doug Harvey was the greatest ever before Konstantinov but didn’t have the bodychecking ability Konstantinov had?
Sorry again, Ted.
Harvey could not only bodycheck with the best of them in an era when bodychecking was much more prevalent than in the modern game, but players from the other original five teams knew they’d better not mess with Harvey because he was big, strong, mean, and an amateur boxer.
Good for Ted Lindsay for testifing during the accident lawsuit. He means well. But Konstantinov was no Bobby Orr, and no Doug Harvey. These two controlled the game. Everyone else comes in second.
The following are excerpts from Lindsay’s testimony, published in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. 

Lindsay delivers emotional testimony at Konstantinov/Mnatsakanov lawsuit

Posted by George James Malik May 12, 2008 17:33PM

The Detroit News’s Paul Egan says that Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay testified that Vladimir Konstantinov was perhaps the best defenceman in hockey when he was injured in a limousine crash that’s resulted in a federal lawsuit by Konstantinov’s family and the family of Sergei Mnatsakanov against Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury, which the Konstantinov/Mnatsakanov suit alleges had defective seat belts:

May 12, Detroit News: “He was the greatest machine in the world,” Lindsay told the jury of five men and three women. Today, “I see this vegetable and to me it just kind of makes me sick (compared) to what was the greatest hockey player in the world. It’s a shame.”Lindsay said he continued to work out in the Red Wings weight room following his hockey career and became good friends with Konstantinov and other team members.

He described Konstantinov as “a gifted person,” a skilled bodychecker who was a magnificent skater and had the ability to go up ice and act as a fourth forward and still get back across his own blue line in time to defend.

Lindsay said Doug Harvey of the Montreal Canadiens was the greatest defenseman he ever saw before Konstantinov, but “Doug didn’t have the gift of Vladi with the bodychecking.” The only other defenseman he compared Konstantinov to was Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins, whom Lindsay said was a great skater who again was not as physical as Konstantinov.

Lindsay said he understood the chauffeur had been unable to keep the limousine on the road. “People like that, they should be shot,” he said.


The Detroit Free Press’s Bob Swickard confirms:

May 12, Detroit Free Press: Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay testified today that the Red Wings easily could have won at least two — and perhaps five – more Stanley Cups if Vladimir Konstantinov hadn’t been disabled by 1997 limousine crash.”That’s how good he was,” Lindsay, 82, told a federal jury in Detroit considering a claim against Findlay Ford, the Ohio dealership that sold the limo to a metro Detroit company.

“There was none better,” he said, adding that Konstantinov topped even the legendary Bobby Orr as a physical body-checking defenseman.

“He was best in the world. No doubt about it”,” Lindsay said

6 thoughts on “Ted Lindsay Means Well, But Vlad Konstantinov Was No Bobby Orr Or Doug Harvey”

  1. I’d be interested in seeing the transcript as the two snippets you provide tell two different things:

    – the first saying greatest defensemen
    – the second saying greatest physical, body-checking defensemen

    Not that I would agree with either but the second one is certainly more defensible.

  2. DK,

    Course, Harvey and Orr were the best. My take on this is that Lindsay was just trying to inject some positive vibes into K’s battered body – whatever one may think of Terrible Ted, I have no doubt that it rips him up to witness and live with one of life’s great tragedies: somebody who was big strong hale and hearty and, from the sounds of it, an admirable human being reduced to a helpless wreck – which, to my mind, is a laudable thing to do. Sometimes hyperbole, however mistaken, is appropriate.

  3. Ted Lindsay really pisses me off sometimes, For the most part he gives no respect to the players of todays game and then he comes out with a statement like that? Vlady was a great d-man and was a key part in the red wings winning there first of there back to back cups. But in all honesty even if Vlady played a full career he would have been hard pressed to make the hall of fame. There are dozens of D-men that i could name that are better than him…..Dit Clapper, Eddie Shore, Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque, Red Kelly, Bill Gadsby, Harry Howell…and thats not even naming Orr or Harvey. I have a great deal of respect for Ted Lindsay because he was a big part of the NHLPA being formed and obviously his on ice acomplishments speak for itself, but he shoots off at the mouth a little much in his old age.

  4. For those out there, Jordy is a young fellow who knows a great deal about the old players and their game. I think this is fantastic. Guys like Jordy keep the magic and stories of the old days alive for future generations.

  5. I think ted’s about as great an evaluator of hockey talent as he was a gm back in the day

    oh wait……

    terrible ted: never met a fight he couldn’t wage with a stick in his hand and howe at his side

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