No.1 - George Faulkner

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Robin Short
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He might not have lifted the Stanley Cup, or even played in the National Hockey League, but to a legion of hockey fans old enough to remember his unmatched skill, George Faulkner remains a local legend, our Gordie Howe.

Skilled enough to play as a forward, but peerless from his blueline perch, Faulkner still carries the unofficial claim as Newfoundland's greatest hockey player, overseer of the ice throne.

George Faulkner remains a local legend. - Submitted Photo

Ten best athletes - He might not have lifted the Stanley Cup, or even played in the National Hockey League, but to a legion of hockey fans old enough to remember his unmatched skill, George Faulkner remains a local legend, our Gordie Howe.

Skilled enough to play as a forward, but peerless from his blueline perch, Faulkner still carries the unofficial claim as Newfoundland's greatest hockey player, overseer of the ice throne.

And now, more than three decades since he last donned a provincial senior hockey uniform, Faulkner is the recipient of yet another distinction, the No. 1 spot on The Telegram's list of Newfoundland and Labrador's greatest athletes.

"I've never seen a player in any league, American Hockey League included, who could control a game like George Faulkner," said the late, great VOCM broadcaster George McLaren in a 1994 Telegram feature, when Faulkner polled the top spot among this province's hockey players.

Unlike his brother, Alex, the No. 3 athlete on our all-time list, or current NHLers Dan Cleary and Michael Ryder, who hold the six and 10 spots on The Tely's top 10 roster, Faulkner never did scale to hockey's highest heights.

His is the pre-eminent "wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time" story.

Faulkner was a 15-year-old rookie from nearby Bishop's Falls when he broke into the Grand Falls senior league. Along the way, someone from from the mainland took notice and the young phenom, whose talent was born on the Exploits River, joined the junior Quebec Citadelles of the Ontario Hockey Association for the 1953-54 season. The invite came less than six months after he helped the Grand Falls Cataracts win the 1953 Herder Memorial Trophy.

The Citadelles were the only Quebec-based team in the nine-team OHA, and it didn't take long for the Montreal Canadiens to spy the shy, young Newfoundlander.

Faulkner was invited to the Canadiens' 1954 training camp, the first of three straight fall visits to Montreal where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Doug Harvey. Each time, he was optioned to Shawinigan Falls of the old Quebec Pro league.

But not before he'd skate on a line with the Rocket and Kenny Mosdell in scrimmages.

The Canadiens, coming off a Stanley Cup championship in '53, were in the process of building a powerhouse, one which would win five straight Cups beginning in '56, a dynasty that's among the top three or four of all-time.

Cracking that lineup was akin to unlocking Fort Knox.

For the next four years, skating as a forward, Faulkner averaged almost a point per game for the Cataracts, playing with future NHLers like Claude Provost, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner, Charlie Hodge, Junior Langlois, Reggie Fleming and Andre Pronovost.

Faulkner returned home for good following the 1957-58 hockey season.

A new team had arrived on the provincial senior hockey scene, one put together by a man who would become the premier of Newfoundland.

Frank Moores was calling the team the Conception Bay CeeBees and George Faulkner was its first player-coach.

In Harbour Grace, Faulkner would make the move back to the blueline to become the prototypical quarterback, before that football term was ever used to describe a hockey player.

He was joined by his younger brother, who two years later would dress for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Conception Bay made quite a mark that first season, marching all the way to the Herder final, where it lost to Grand Falls in a five-game series.

But the CeeBees rebounded to win the next two Newfoundland senior hockey championships, beginning in 1960, and George Faulkner was the glue which held Conception Bay together.

There were workhorses back in the day, Hall of Famers like Harold Stanley and Harry Katrynuk and "Toy Toy" Gallant.

And then there was George Faulkner.

Legend has it Faulkner would log upwards of 50 minutes a game.

In fact, there were times he'd play all 60 minutes, his only break coming if he was nabbed for a penalty, which was a rarity.

Of the nine Herders and stint in the Canadiens' farm system, Faulkner's defining moment actually came in 1966 and the world hockey championship in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.

Hand-picked from the Newfoundland senior ranks by Fr. David Bauer, proprietor of Canada's men's national team, Faulkner joined Canada and led the team in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in seven games as Canada won the bronze medal.

The Canadian roster had no less than eight players who would go on to the NHL.

The performance is especially impressive given the fact Faulkner was skating against the best of the best the Soviets - in the midst of a nine-year gold-medal run - and Czechoslovakians could dress.

Now 74 and a member of the Newfoundland Sports and Newfoundland Hockey Halls of Fame, Faulkner still enjoys lacing up the skates. And he still has that smooth stride.

The one that's carried him all the way to No. 1.

rshort@thetelegram.com




Top 10 best athletes

1. George Faulkner
2. Brad Gushue
3. Alex Faulkner
4. Rod Snow
5. Carl English
6. Daniel Cleary
7. Frank Humber
8. Paul McCloy
9. Colin Abbott
10. Michael Ryder



Selection criteria

The object: To select the 10 best athletes Newfoundland and Labrador has produced. Seven prominent individuals with an impressive sports background, together with Robin Short, Brendan McCarthy and John Browne of The Telegram's sports department, were chosen to make the selections.
The criteria: Athletes must have been born in Newfoundland and Labrador and spent a large part of their development years within the province. The field was open to amateur and professional, and male and female athletes.
The selection panel
John McGrath: A former Newfoundland soccer president, McGrath is chairman of the board of governors for the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Brian Brocklehurst: A two-sport star in St. John's during the late 1960s and '70s, Brocklehurst was the 1969 St. John's athlete of the year.
Don Johnson: A former president of both the Canadian and Newfoundland amateur hockey associations, Johnson was also head of the St. John's Senior Men's Softball League and Royal St. John's Regatta Committee. He has served on the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Canada Games Council.
Roger Grimes: Otherwise known as a former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, those in sports know him as an erstwhile Grand Falls Cataracts senior hockey player and Grand Falls Beothuks senior baseball player.
Terry Hart: Another Grand Falls-Windsor native, Hart has broadcasted local sports for over 30 years. He continues in radio today at VOCM.
Glenn Stanford: He's known most recently as the man who ran the St. John's Maple Leafs for 14 seasons. But before that, Stanford was a two-sport star - basketball and soccer - with Holy Cross and Memorial.
Alan (Tex) Seaborn: Seaborn has had a long-standing involvement with the Corner Brook and Newfoundland baseball associations. He served as vice-chairman and vice-president of sport for the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook.

Organizations: National Hockey League, Montreal Canadiens, The Telegram Newfoundland & Labrador Ontario Hockey Association American Hockey League Toronto Maple Leafs Newfoundland Sports Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall Softball League and Royal Regatta Committee Canadian Sports Hall Fame and Canada Games Council

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Grand Falls, Canada Exploits River St. John's Conception Bay Montreal Shawinigan Falls Quebec Fort Knox Ljubljana Yugoslavia Corner Brook Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I think Robin Short has too much free time on his hands these days.He has yet again proven to all of us just how out of touch he is with the sports world in particular and the world in general. This whole joke seems to be nothing more than a way for Mr Short to try and justify his lame job at the Telegram. Perhaps its time he considerd retirement. Better yet lest have a vote and see who we think the WORST Sports reporter of all time is in our province. I know how I will vote. To have Dan Cleary # 6 # 1 in my opinion and Alex Faulkner at #3 tells me all I need to know about the wisdom or lack there of in Robin Shorts life and his hand picked selection panel. What an absolute joke and insult to the sports fans in this province.

  • Larry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I would like to say that Aex Faulkner is a good choice and the others but remember those people on the panel did they ever think about a woman in this province who never made the list like Marg Davis of softball,Cathy Noseworthy of VolleyBall,Maria Maunder of rowing won Olympic medal for Canada,Joanne MacDonald of wheelchair sports ,some of those athletes are in the hall of fame.
    Another note here is that the sports hall of fame is another thing in this province made up of the same old boys club who decides their favorites and you have to be dead almost in some cases to get in,how about the athletes who live outside St John's,whenyou have those like John MCGrath head of the board of governors for the hall of fame and again the old boys club,athletes should be selected by a panel not bias and by people who selected people on merit and on their acheivements,note some athletes in the hall of fame that are their now should not be there,time for the old boys club to step aside and have true athletes who worked hard whether they now reside in the province or outside but represented their province with heart and deserve to be there.I might add when it comes to selection of athletes politics should be left out or have a panel that have who are not involed in any sports to select athletes by merit and the achievements.Hope you take note of this.

  • Jerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Congrats on your series, a wonderful idea, and I know everyone can't be on the list. There is no one more deserving of #1 than George Faulkner. He is Mr.Hockey on our province. Anyone old enough to have followed his career will understand what I am talking about, I don't need to comment any further. There is one name not selected in the top 10, who I feel should have been and that is Mr. Soccer in our province, Wils Molloy. His career also speaks for itself.
    I look forward to your next sports series.

    Yours in sports
    Jerry Stats Elliott

  • tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    great choice he had a tremendous head for the game like nobody else.had he been able to speak french he would still be playing! hats of george and congrats.

  • Gord
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Now that the suspense of who the number one athlete of all times, has been released, I feel your selection is a joke and heres why. In Robins Shorts article he says the following things listed below and thenthey go on and put George Faulkner Number One :
    1.He might not have lifted the Stanley Cup , or even played in the National Hockey League, but to a legion of hockey fans old enough to remember his unmatched skill, George Faulkner remains a local legend our Gordie Howe.
    Readers Response: Well Robin he did not play lift a Stanley Cup or play in the NHL which is reason he should not be our number one athlete. Danny Cleary did accomplish both.
    2.Unlike his brother, Alex, the No. 3 athlete on our all-time list, or current NHLers Dan Cleary and Michael Ryder, who hold the six and 10 spots on The Tely's top 10 roster, Faulkner never did scale to hockey's highest heights.
    Readers Response: How stupid, you just mentioned three guys that accomplished more than George Faulker still you and your committee feels he Number 1.
    3.Faulkner was invited to the Canadiens' 1954 training camp, the first of three straight fall visits to Montreal where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Doug Harvey. Each time, he was optioned to Shawinigan Falls of the old Quebec Pro league.
    Readers Response: Boys this guy failed three times to make the NHL.
    4. Cracking that line-up was akin to unlocking Fort Knox.
    Readers Response: Guys this guy wasnt good enough to make it, if he was he would have. If not one of the other 5 NHL teams would have traded for him. Im sure you are aware of NHL trades.
    5. Faulkner returned home for good following the 1957-58 hockey season.
    A new team had arrived on the provincial senior hockey scene, one put together by a man who would become the premier of Newfoundland.
    Readers Response; Robin, my boy, the guy came home when he failed to make it and so what he played on a team put together by a guy who would become premier. How ridiculous this sounds.
    6. Hand-picked from the Newfoundland senior ranks by Fr. David Bauer, proprietor of Canada's men's national team, Faulkner joined Canada and led the team in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in seven games as Canada won the bronze medal.
    Readers Response: Guys you overlooked National Championships award winners, and gold medallists.
    7 Finally in your article you said, His is the pre-eminent wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time story.
    Readers Response: Well guess what your selection seems to a Wrong -place - at , the wrong- selection story.

  • Chad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    A world champion not even mentioned, this list is a joke. Michelle Critch of Badger holds more national and international medals then any other Newfoundlander in history. I want an explanation as to why she is not on this list.

  • Cyril
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Putting George number one was correct. You picked a gentleman, a sportsman and an athlete all in one.
    CC

  • thomas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I do not understand this list! How could an athlete who never made it to the NHL be the best in this province?? He never lifted the Stanley Cup nor did he win an Olympic gold medal......but still outshine those who did????

    Where are the women on this list?? Did the panel even consider Joy Burt the weigh-lifter from Corner Brook?? She put women's weightlifting on the map in this province as well as the entire country!!!

    There was also Ferd Hayward the runner....he wasn't mentioned. There was also Dwayne Norris, John Slaney, Doug Grant,Blair Tucker, etc.

    I think the panel went with their hearts and not the stats......that's why this Top 10 list is skewed.

    And no women even made it??? Give me a break!!

  • Barry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I'm amazed that Terry Ryan didn't make this list. I mean Sr. or Jr. for that matter.

    First round pick in the NHL is not something many people get to experience.

  • Gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Great series!
    Not sure if I agree with all the picks, but it's got people talking.
    Looking forward to the next one!
    To the morons outraged, lighten up ... and get a life.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    How about Tony White of Grand Falls ?25 goals his rookie season with Washington

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Imagine one of the Criteria to be considered was you had to be born in Nfld. sounds reasonable. The Telegram sports staff and community sports personalities should now lobby Sport NL to have that as a criteria when choosing the Provincial Athlete of the Year. Or at least have either that or Athletes must have been born in Newfoundland and Labrador and spent a large part of their development years within the province . Imagine the shock this past year when Katherine Quackenbush was chosen as the Athlete of the Year for Nfld and Lab. when she was born in Nova Scotia, calls Halifax home and comes to the province just to go to university and play basketball. Then once she is finished University she leaves to go back HOME. I doubt she even filed an income tax form in this province. St. John's Athlete of the Year committee does the same. When are we going to reward our Home Grown Athletes with these honours because as it now stands these honours are a joke as well. This past year was not the only year when a mainlander was awarded with the top Athletic honour in our province.

  • rrrrrr
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    You have got to be kidding!! Brad Gushue is by far the correct choice for number one-I don't think George Faulkner should even be on the top ten list-Where are all our great female athletes?? Did your panel forget that there are female athletes in this province?? This count down was nothing but a JOKE!!!

  • CAL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Super selection. Unless you're a baby boomer, you cannot appreciate what George Faulkner did for Nfld back in the sixty's. Because he paved the way for the rest of the athletes from the Rock, i think that he deserves the selection. No steroids, personal trainers or player agents back then. George got there because he had talent and only failed to move on to better things, because there were many more athletes in the same boat as him, and i'll gaurentee you that if there were as many opportunitie's back then as there are today, he would have made a fine pro hockey player.

  • Jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Does anyone here honestly think that Cleary or Ryder would be playing in the NHL today if consisted of 6 teams?

  • Ben
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I am amazed that this top 10 list never included John Slaney. I really thought he was going to be # 1. I agree with A one of the above comments, the selection panel picked with their hearts not their heads.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Where are the Multi sport athletes who represented the province in more than one sport at the national level. Why have they not cracked the top ten. As I said before the media loves the Faulkner's, perhaps partially from self promotion. Their accomplishments rank mediocre at best. Get them out of the spotlight and let the true athletes be reported on.This pick would not even make the list of Top 10 Sporting Achievements let alone 10 Best Athletes.

  • Hawk
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Ha ha, the most interesting feature ever done by the Sports Dept. of The Telegram turns into a complete farce. An Olympic Gold Medalist? A Stanley Cup champion? A World Rugby Legend? All of these athletic accomplishments fall in comparison to a NL senior hockey star, who could not make the NHL??? You have to be kidding!!!! And to not include a female athlete in the top 10 is a complete shame, Mag Davis was a star in every sport she completed in on a National level - softball, field hockey, golf. The Telegram has messed up big time on this top 10!!! Good Work, I'm surprised there wasn't a slow pitch softball star in the Top 10!!!!!!

  • jeff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    how were these ranking chosen? what was the criteria? it is almost unbelievable that it has turned out the way it has. i must admit some great athletes and some great accomplisments but it is hardly representative of NL's top ten greatest athletes. i wouldn't broadcast this outside our province. What about the likes of Mag Davis (national and international achievements to numerous to mention), John Slaney (all-time leading scorer among defenceman in AHL history), Mark Nichols (who's won more national titles than Brad Gushue and was the arguably the best curler during the Olympic trials and Olympics). This list is shameful!

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Well I liked the list and I think this was a great idea. Well done. As for George being #1 my father predicted that 10 weeks ago, and I didn't believe him. I guess I should have listened.

  • E.R.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Although it is apparent that this summer sports series of articles has gathered some attention, the obvious gender bias and one-sided (poor quality) journalism cannot be overlooked. With an all-male list created by an all-male panel for a paper with an all-male sports staff, it adds up to nothing but an antiquated old-boys club sitting around blowing hot air.

    The obvious disregard for the accomplishments of Newfoundland's women athletes, and the blatant sexism of the series should be addressed.

    Also, I'll be looking forward to Mr. G-Money's full page speedo ad this weekend.

  • Carl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I don't have a problem with George Faulkner getting the #1 spot. I do have a problem with Meg Davis not being there (perhaps Tols Chapman too). Who would I drop? Alex Faulkner and Carl English. Let's see a top-10 female list disclosed in October-November; this series was very entertaining (some of the writing was suspect, some of details were scanty, but the series certainly captivated a large following and stimulated discussion among friends). In hindsight, some of the bitterness could have been avoided if The Telegram started with #1 and went to #10.

  • Cory
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    This is not a great list, very skewed and not impartial at all. Thats one of the things that really bothers me about these types of 'rankings'. They are obviously not based on fact or stats but merely who knows who and who skates at Friday hockey with who...

    Geez, if you going to rank GF as # 1 you would be pretty sure that Slaney or Norris would be in the list right behind them, or even Terry Ryan (Jr or Sr) as all of the above have achieved greater heights in the world of hockey.

    It just goes to show the quality of Shorts work. As always it is biased and not factual. It has been that way for years, at least he is consistant I guess.

    Next we will see Danny Williams as Athlete of the year...

  • Dean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This was a great series - very interesting trying to determine who the top 4 or 5 would be. Great job by the panel but I believe Ross Crocker of softball belongs in the 10. Softballer Marg Davis and Olympic rower Maria Maunder would have to be close. And Olympian Bert Squires should be close as well. So many to choose from - tough job. Thanks. Dean

  • Just a woman......
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I cannot remember the fellows' name that was on CBC last night, but I would be pretty ashamed to have him associated with my newspaper. Come out of the 50's, bud!

    There are so many talented women in this province and they all got ignored. My vote would be for Michelle Critch too. A World Champion over a man who never made it to the NHL? Hands down...

  • really upset
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I have been following the list from the beginning and was pleased with the selections. However now that the final list has been selected I must express my sorry for the selection committee and their lack of knowledge of the athletes in NL.

    From the various comments on the posting it seems that the term athlete has come into question. Also the absent of a female on the list is obvious maybe there is no female in the province that would stack up to the list provided.

    I would like to give the selection committee a potential athlete for the next list that they decide to take produce. This person has the following list of accomplishments:
    12 time national champion
    NL provincial athlete of the year 1998 and 2001
    First Canadian to win the worlds 2004
    Won Silver and Bronze Medal at Pan Americans
    Only Canadian to compete in the world cup. 2003,2005,2007
    Won Bronze at the world in 2006
    2004 became the first Canadian of win the World
    Only 1 of eight selected in the world to attend the Nishiyame World Cup the only Canadian ever selected to attend this event.
    Made national history in KU KU-go as the only Canadian to win the worls Karate Championship.

    Michele Critch of Badger holds a black belt in Karate and too many other awards to mention. So maybe when the selection committee looks at the next list they may want to do some research and define what an athlete consists of a consider all individual athletes.

  • Bren
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I think the problem with this top atheletes list is the so called experts.
    Roger Grimes was Premier in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001 when the Government and the hockey association had to be forced by the Human Rights commission to include female hockey and female wrestling in the NL Winter Games in 2002.
    Canada won the 2002 Olympic Gold in Female hockey and Newfoundland didn't want the girls playing hockey.
    And Don Johnson-former HNL president- I take from his comments that he is not sure females should play sports.

    Time to look for sports experts that live in this century.

  • Cal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Robin Short is correct. He didn't say that George was as great as Gordie Howe, but that he was our Gordie Howe. In my generation, George was the hero for us guy's growing up in the mid sixtie's. He likely didn't crack the NHL lineup due to the positions available, which doesn't seem to be a problem today with the watered down excuse for a Pro Hockey League. George cracked the Team Canada lineup because he was a very good hockey player instead of being classed as a great hockey player. He was all that we baby boomers cared about back then and the generation of today has a totally different concept of what it takes to garner the same respect, no matter the sport. It's a lot like the Space Race. Nobody really cares about Yuri Gagarin or Alan Shepherd, it was John Glenn who got the headlines and then Neil Armstrong. Folks, this is not Canadian Idol . The exploits of guys like Ryder and Cleary are very admiral as are the careers of many other Nfld athletes involved in different sports around the globe. But darn it, don't tell me that George, just because he was born a little earlie than a lot of us doesn't deserve some recognition for turning the road from gravel to pavement. It seems that today's athletes don't have to do a heck of a lot to have streets or landmarks named after them just for belonging to an elite group. George will probably never get the recognition he deserves because his team never won a gold medal, which to me means little anyway if you've been watching any of the Bejing Olympics, trampoline jumpers and Horses can win Gold, oh yes curlers too. You can't compare what happened fifty years ago to the exploits of athletes of today. With their personal trainers and god knows whatever kind of chemical they can conceal in their systems to enhance performance, i rest my case. I agree with the selection Of George Faulkner.

  • Topher
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I concur that we need to confirm what kind of top ten list Robin completed - ATHLETES OR ACHIEVEMENTS.

    First athlete should be defined. Webster dictionary defines athlete as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. From this definition I think we can all agree that SKILL and PHYSICAL PROWESS is important to define an athlete.

    Second how do you now grade the athlete? Did they compete and perform at a high level at an amateur or professional organization? Did they compete internationally or nationally?
    Does a high level of skill AND a high level of physical prowess characterize the sport?

    There must be a point system now to determine how we rate the athlete. To compare - a golfer would have a high skill level and low physical prowess versus a basketball player who has a high skill level and high physical prowess.

    With a list of questions comes more questions? For example , how do we compare athletes from different eras? The debate to answer that question exists for Lemieux and Gretzky. Another example includes, did the athlete play with a team or individually? I think we can clearly say that individual acheivements in a team sport and individual sport is equally as impressive.

    Using my nerve cell that attaches to another nerve cell millions of times I can logically offer an opinion regarding the top ten athletes.

    Reference http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ma/maria-maunder-1.html. Maria Maunder won silver in the 1996 Olympics. A female athlete with this credential deserves an honorable mention at the very least. In my humble opinion - medium skill and extremely high physical prowess.

    The beauty of this top ten list is as follows:

    1. highlite the best athletes in NL
    2. sales of the telegram
    3. discussion of other worthy athletes that do not get press

    I want to thank The Telegram for some heated discussions on Saturdays and I wish them all the best when deciding the top ten acheivements, women athletes, men athletes, teams and best looking teams (see Swilers rugby team 1992-2007).

    I only feel it necessary now to sit down with 10 of my female friends and list the TOP THREE shortsitings of the 2008 top ten list.

    1. no women
    2. no women on the panel
    3. no women in the editing of the sports pages

    Honorable mention: define athlete and acheivement.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Not a very flattering picture of Mr Faulkner.

  • G-Money
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Uh oh.....Me and my big mouth. E.R., this is not going to be pretty.

    With all due respect to Mr. Faulkner, this list is a joke. I could spend all day tearing these picks apart.... but I won't. I'll just give a couple of examples of why this list is so far out of whack.

    Far more people play softball worldwide as compared to hockey. At number 9 we have an athlete who was the very best softball hitter in THE WORLD. 8 places ahead of him we have a hockey player who never even made the top tier of his sport, let alone be the very best player in it. It just doesn't make sense.

    And don't give me the whole song and dance about Mr. Faulkner trying to break into the show during the 6 team era. As Jamie from NL stated earlier, there may be more teams but the player pool is now universal as compared to back then when the league consisted mostly of Canadians and a few Americans. Do the math...it's probably harder to try and crack an NHL squad in 2008.

    Also, how do you place Brad Gushue at number 2 and omit Mark Nichols from the top 10? Once again....It just doesn't make sense.

    On another note, I've never heard of Michelle Critch but from what I've been reading this lady sounds like a slam dunk for the top 10.

    I have to agree with E.R....blatant sexism.

    PS......I'm still in shock over the Mag Davis omission. She was the Newfounland version of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. She has to be there.

  • Jamie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I bet they would still both make it if only six teams had players from only Canada and not the world. While the number of teams has increased so has the pool to choose from!

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I think Robin Short has too much free time on his hands these days.He has yet again proven to all of us just how out of touch he is with the sports world in particular and the world in general. This whole joke seems to be nothing more than a way for Mr Short to try and justify his lame job at the Telegram. Perhaps its time he considerd retirement. Better yet lest have a vote and see who we think the WORST Sports reporter of all time is in our province. I know how I will vote. To have Dan Cleary # 6 # 1 in my opinion and Alex Faulkner at #3 tells me all I need to know about the wisdom or lack there of in Robin Shorts life and his hand picked selection panel. What an absolute joke and insult to the sports fans in this province.

  • Larry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I would like to say that Aex Faulkner is a good choice and the others but remember those people on the panel did they ever think about a woman in this province who never made the list like Marg Davis of softball,Cathy Noseworthy of VolleyBall,Maria Maunder of rowing won Olympic medal for Canada,Joanne MacDonald of wheelchair sports ,some of those athletes are in the hall of fame.
    Another note here is that the sports hall of fame is another thing in this province made up of the same old boys club who decides their favorites and you have to be dead almost in some cases to get in,how about the athletes who live outside St John's,whenyou have those like John MCGrath head of the board of governors for the hall of fame and again the old boys club,athletes should be selected by a panel not bias and by people who selected people on merit and on their acheivements,note some athletes in the hall of fame that are their now should not be there,time for the old boys club to step aside and have true athletes who worked hard whether they now reside in the province or outside but represented their province with heart and deserve to be there.I might add when it comes to selection of athletes politics should be left out or have a panel that have who are not involed in any sports to select athletes by merit and the achievements.Hope you take note of this.

  • Jerry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Congrats on your series, a wonderful idea, and I know everyone can't be on the list. There is no one more deserving of #1 than George Faulkner. He is Mr.Hockey on our province. Anyone old enough to have followed his career will understand what I am talking about, I don't need to comment any further. There is one name not selected in the top 10, who I feel should have been and that is Mr. Soccer in our province, Wils Molloy. His career also speaks for itself.
    I look forward to your next sports series.

    Yours in sports
    Jerry Stats Elliott

  • tom
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    great choice he had a tremendous head for the game like nobody else.had he been able to speak french he would still be playing! hats of george and congrats.

  • Gord
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Now that the suspense of who the number one athlete of all times, has been released, I feel your selection is a joke and heres why. In Robins Shorts article he says the following things listed below and thenthey go on and put George Faulkner Number One :
    1.He might not have lifted the Stanley Cup , or even played in the National Hockey League, but to a legion of hockey fans old enough to remember his unmatched skill, George Faulkner remains a local legend our Gordie Howe.
    Readers Response: Well Robin he did not play lift a Stanley Cup or play in the NHL which is reason he should not be our number one athlete. Danny Cleary did accomplish both.
    2.Unlike his brother, Alex, the No. 3 athlete on our all-time list, or current NHLers Dan Cleary and Michael Ryder, who hold the six and 10 spots on The Tely's top 10 roster, Faulkner never did scale to hockey's highest heights.
    Readers Response: How stupid, you just mentioned three guys that accomplished more than George Faulker still you and your committee feels he Number 1.
    3.Faulkner was invited to the Canadiens' 1954 training camp, the first of three straight fall visits to Montreal where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Doug Harvey. Each time, he was optioned to Shawinigan Falls of the old Quebec Pro league.
    Readers Response: Boys this guy failed three times to make the NHL.
    4. Cracking that line-up was akin to unlocking Fort Knox.
    Readers Response: Guys this guy wasnt good enough to make it, if he was he would have. If not one of the other 5 NHL teams would have traded for him. Im sure you are aware of NHL trades.
    5. Faulkner returned home for good following the 1957-58 hockey season.
    A new team had arrived on the provincial senior hockey scene, one put together by a man who would become the premier of Newfoundland.
    Readers Response; Robin, my boy, the guy came home when he failed to make it and so what he played on a team put together by a guy who would become premier. How ridiculous this sounds.
    6. Hand-picked from the Newfoundland senior ranks by Fr. David Bauer, proprietor of Canada's men's national team, Faulkner joined Canada and led the team in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in seven games as Canada won the bronze medal.
    Readers Response: Guys you overlooked National Championships award winners, and gold medallists.
    7 Finally in your article you said, His is the pre-eminent wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time story.
    Readers Response: Well guess what your selection seems to a Wrong -place - at , the wrong- selection story.

  • Chad
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    A world champion not even mentioned, this list is a joke. Michelle Critch of Badger holds more national and international medals then any other Newfoundlander in history. I want an explanation as to why she is not on this list.

  • Cyril
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Putting George number one was correct. You picked a gentleman, a sportsman and an athlete all in one.
    CC

  • thomas
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I do not understand this list! How could an athlete who never made it to the NHL be the best in this province?? He never lifted the Stanley Cup nor did he win an Olympic gold medal......but still outshine those who did????

    Where are the women on this list?? Did the panel even consider Joy Burt the weigh-lifter from Corner Brook?? She put women's weightlifting on the map in this province as well as the entire country!!!

    There was also Ferd Hayward the runner....he wasn't mentioned. There was also Dwayne Norris, John Slaney, Doug Grant,Blair Tucker, etc.

    I think the panel went with their hearts and not the stats......that's why this Top 10 list is skewed.

    And no women even made it??? Give me a break!!

  • Barry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I'm amazed that Terry Ryan didn't make this list. I mean Sr. or Jr. for that matter.

    First round pick in the NHL is not something many people get to experience.

  • Gary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Great series!
    Not sure if I agree with all the picks, but it's got people talking.
    Looking forward to the next one!
    To the morons outraged, lighten up ... and get a life.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    How about Tony White of Grand Falls ?25 goals his rookie season with Washington

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Imagine one of the Criteria to be considered was you had to be born in Nfld. sounds reasonable. The Telegram sports staff and community sports personalities should now lobby Sport NL to have that as a criteria when choosing the Provincial Athlete of the Year. Or at least have either that or Athletes must have been born in Newfoundland and Labrador and spent a large part of their development years within the province . Imagine the shock this past year when Katherine Quackenbush was chosen as the Athlete of the Year for Nfld and Lab. when she was born in Nova Scotia, calls Halifax home and comes to the province just to go to university and play basketball. Then once she is finished University she leaves to go back HOME. I doubt she even filed an income tax form in this province. St. John's Athlete of the Year committee does the same. When are we going to reward our Home Grown Athletes with these honours because as it now stands these honours are a joke as well. This past year was not the only year when a mainlander was awarded with the top Athletic honour in our province.

  • rrrrrr
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    You have got to be kidding!! Brad Gushue is by far the correct choice for number one-I don't think George Faulkner should even be on the top ten list-Where are all our great female athletes?? Did your panel forget that there are female athletes in this province?? This count down was nothing but a JOKE!!!

  • CAL
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Super selection. Unless you're a baby boomer, you cannot appreciate what George Faulkner did for Nfld back in the sixty's. Because he paved the way for the rest of the athletes from the Rock, i think that he deserves the selection. No steroids, personal trainers or player agents back then. George got there because he had talent and only failed to move on to better things, because there were many more athletes in the same boat as him, and i'll gaurentee you that if there were as many opportunitie's back then as there are today, he would have made a fine pro hockey player.

  • Jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Does anyone here honestly think that Cleary or Ryder would be playing in the NHL today if consisted of 6 teams?

  • Ben
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I am amazed that this top 10 list never included John Slaney. I really thought he was going to be # 1. I agree with A one of the above comments, the selection panel picked with their hearts not their heads.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Where are the Multi sport athletes who represented the province in more than one sport at the national level. Why have they not cracked the top ten. As I said before the media loves the Faulkner's, perhaps partially from self promotion. Their accomplishments rank mediocre at best. Get them out of the spotlight and let the true athletes be reported on.This pick would not even make the list of Top 10 Sporting Achievements let alone 10 Best Athletes.

  • Hawk
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Ha ha, the most interesting feature ever done by the Sports Dept. of The Telegram turns into a complete farce. An Olympic Gold Medalist? A Stanley Cup champion? A World Rugby Legend? All of these athletic accomplishments fall in comparison to a NL senior hockey star, who could not make the NHL??? You have to be kidding!!!! And to not include a female athlete in the top 10 is a complete shame, Mag Davis was a star in every sport she completed in on a National level - softball, field hockey, golf. The Telegram has messed up big time on this top 10!!! Good Work, I'm surprised there wasn't a slow pitch softball star in the Top 10!!!!!!

  • jeff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    how were these ranking chosen? what was the criteria? it is almost unbelievable that it has turned out the way it has. i must admit some great athletes and some great accomplisments but it is hardly representative of NL's top ten greatest athletes. i wouldn't broadcast this outside our province. What about the likes of Mag Davis (national and international achievements to numerous to mention), John Slaney (all-time leading scorer among defenceman in AHL history), Mark Nichols (who's won more national titles than Brad Gushue and was the arguably the best curler during the Olympic trials and Olympics). This list is shameful!

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Well I liked the list and I think this was a great idea. Well done. As for George being #1 my father predicted that 10 weeks ago, and I didn't believe him. I guess I should have listened.

  • E.R.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Although it is apparent that this summer sports series of articles has gathered some attention, the obvious gender bias and one-sided (poor quality) journalism cannot be overlooked. With an all-male list created by an all-male panel for a paper with an all-male sports staff, it adds up to nothing but an antiquated old-boys club sitting around blowing hot air.

    The obvious disregard for the accomplishments of Newfoundland's women athletes, and the blatant sexism of the series should be addressed.

    Also, I'll be looking forward to Mr. G-Money's full page speedo ad this weekend.

  • Carl
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    I don't have a problem with George Faulkner getting the #1 spot. I do have a problem with Meg Davis not being there (perhaps Tols Chapman too). Who would I drop? Alex Faulkner and Carl English. Let's see a top-10 female list disclosed in October-November; this series was very entertaining (some of the writing was suspect, some of details were scanty, but the series certainly captivated a large following and stimulated discussion among friends). In hindsight, some of the bitterness could have been avoided if The Telegram started with #1 and went to #10.

  • Cory
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    This is not a great list, very skewed and not impartial at all. Thats one of the things that really bothers me about these types of 'rankings'. They are obviously not based on fact or stats but merely who knows who and who skates at Friday hockey with who...

    Geez, if you going to rank GF as # 1 you would be pretty sure that Slaney or Norris would be in the list right behind them, or even Terry Ryan (Jr or Sr) as all of the above have achieved greater heights in the world of hockey.

    It just goes to show the quality of Shorts work. As always it is biased and not factual. It has been that way for years, at least he is consistant I guess.

    Next we will see Danny Williams as Athlete of the year...

  • Dean
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    This was a great series - very interesting trying to determine who the top 4 or 5 would be. Great job by the panel but I believe Ross Crocker of softball belongs in the 10. Softballer Marg Davis and Olympic rower Maria Maunder would have to be close. And Olympian Bert Squires should be close as well. So many to choose from - tough job. Thanks. Dean

  • Just a woman......
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I cannot remember the fellows' name that was on CBC last night, but I would be pretty ashamed to have him associated with my newspaper. Come out of the 50's, bud!

    There are so many talented women in this province and they all got ignored. My vote would be for Michelle Critch too. A World Champion over a man who never made it to the NHL? Hands down...

  • really upset
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I have been following the list from the beginning and was pleased with the selections. However now that the final list has been selected I must express my sorry for the selection committee and their lack of knowledge of the athletes in NL.

    From the various comments on the posting it seems that the term athlete has come into question. Also the absent of a female on the list is obvious maybe there is no female in the province that would stack up to the list provided.

    I would like to give the selection committee a potential athlete for the next list that they decide to take produce. This person has the following list of accomplishments:
    12 time national champion
    NL provincial athlete of the year 1998 and 2001
    First Canadian to win the worlds 2004
    Won Silver and Bronze Medal at Pan Americans
    Only Canadian to compete in the world cup. 2003,2005,2007
    Won Bronze at the world in 2006
    2004 became the first Canadian of win the World
    Only 1 of eight selected in the world to attend the Nishiyame World Cup the only Canadian ever selected to attend this event.
    Made national history in KU KU-go as the only Canadian to win the worls Karate Championship.

    Michele Critch of Badger holds a black belt in Karate and too many other awards to mention. So maybe when the selection committee looks at the next list they may want to do some research and define what an athlete consists of a consider all individual athletes.

  • Bren
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I think the problem with this top atheletes list is the so called experts.
    Roger Grimes was Premier in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001 when the Government and the hockey association had to be forced by the Human Rights commission to include female hockey and female wrestling in the NL Winter Games in 2002.
    Canada won the 2002 Olympic Gold in Female hockey and Newfoundland didn't want the girls playing hockey.
    And Don Johnson-former HNL president- I take from his comments that he is not sure females should play sports.

    Time to look for sports experts that live in this century.

  • Cal
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Robin Short is correct. He didn't say that George was as great as Gordie Howe, but that he was our Gordie Howe. In my generation, George was the hero for us guy's growing up in the mid sixtie's. He likely didn't crack the NHL lineup due to the positions available, which doesn't seem to be a problem today with the watered down excuse for a Pro Hockey League. George cracked the Team Canada lineup because he was a very good hockey player instead of being classed as a great hockey player. He was all that we baby boomers cared about back then and the generation of today has a totally different concept of what it takes to garner the same respect, no matter the sport. It's a lot like the Space Race. Nobody really cares about Yuri Gagarin or Alan Shepherd, it was John Glenn who got the headlines and then Neil Armstrong. Folks, this is not Canadian Idol . The exploits of guys like Ryder and Cleary are very admiral as are the careers of many other Nfld athletes involved in different sports around the globe. But darn it, don't tell me that George, just because he was born a little earlie than a lot of us doesn't deserve some recognition for turning the road from gravel to pavement. It seems that today's athletes don't have to do a heck of a lot to have streets or landmarks named after them just for belonging to an elite group. George will probably never get the recognition he deserves because his team never won a gold medal, which to me means little anyway if you've been watching any of the Bejing Olympics, trampoline jumpers and Horses can win Gold, oh yes curlers too. You can't compare what happened fifty years ago to the exploits of athletes of today. With their personal trainers and god knows whatever kind of chemical they can conceal in their systems to enhance performance, i rest my case. I agree with the selection Of George Faulkner.

  • Topher
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    I concur that we need to confirm what kind of top ten list Robin completed - ATHLETES OR ACHIEVEMENTS.

    First athlete should be defined. Webster dictionary defines athlete as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. From this definition I think we can all agree that SKILL and PHYSICAL PROWESS is important to define an athlete.

    Second how do you now grade the athlete? Did they compete and perform at a high level at an amateur or professional organization? Did they compete internationally or nationally?
    Does a high level of skill AND a high level of physical prowess characterize the sport?

    There must be a point system now to determine how we rate the athlete. To compare - a golfer would have a high skill level and low physical prowess versus a basketball player who has a high skill level and high physical prowess.

    With a list of questions comes more questions? For example , how do we compare athletes from different eras? The debate to answer that question exists for Lemieux and Gretzky. Another example includes, did the athlete play with a team or individually? I think we can clearly say that individual acheivements in a team sport and individual sport is equally as impressive.

    Using my nerve cell that attaches to another nerve cell millions of times I can logically offer an opinion regarding the top ten athletes.

    Reference http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ma/maria-maunder-1.html. Maria Maunder won silver in the 1996 Olympics. A female athlete with this credential deserves an honorable mention at the very least. In my humble opinion - medium skill and extremely high physical prowess.

    The beauty of this top ten list is as follows:

    1. highlite the best athletes in NL
    2. sales of the telegram
    3. discussion of other worthy athletes that do not get press

    I want to thank The Telegram for some heated discussions on Saturdays and I wish them all the best when deciding the top ten acheivements, women athletes, men athletes, teams and best looking teams (see Swilers rugby team 1992-2007).

    I only feel it necessary now to sit down with 10 of my female friends and list the TOP THREE shortsitings of the 2008 top ten list.

    1. no women
    2. no women on the panel
    3. no women in the editing of the sports pages

    Honorable mention: define athlete and acheivement.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Not a very flattering picture of Mr Faulkner.

  • G-Money
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Uh oh.....Me and my big mouth. E.R., this is not going to be pretty.

    With all due respect to Mr. Faulkner, this list is a joke. I could spend all day tearing these picks apart.... but I won't. I'll just give a couple of examples of why this list is so far out of whack.

    Far more people play softball worldwide as compared to hockey. At number 9 we have an athlete who was the very best softball hitter in THE WORLD. 8 places ahead of him we have a hockey player who never even made the top tier of his sport, let alone be the very best player in it. It just doesn't make sense.

    And don't give me the whole song and dance about Mr. Faulkner trying to break into the show during the 6 team era. As Jamie from NL stated earlier, there may be more teams but the player pool is now universal as compared to back then when the league consisted mostly of Canadians and a few Americans. Do the math...it's probably harder to try and crack an NHL squad in 2008.

    Also, how do you place Brad Gushue at number 2 and omit Mark Nichols from the top 10? Once again....It just doesn't make sense.

    On another note, I've never heard of Michelle Critch but from what I've been reading this lady sounds like a slam dunk for the top 10.

    I have to agree with E.R....blatant sexism.

    PS......I'm still in shock over the Mag Davis omission. She was the Newfounland version of Babe Didrikson Zaharias. She has to be there.

  • Jamie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I bet they would still both make it if only six teams had players from only Canada and not the world. While the number of teams has increased so has the pool to choose from!