The Summit in 1974



The Best North American Lines of the 1970s (NHL and WHA)
Listed as left wing-center-right wing

By Pat Houda
Hockey Research Association,
Society For International Hockey Research,
Swedish Icehockey Historical and Statistical Society

 DYNASTY LINE (Montreal) 
Steve Shutt - Jacques Lemaire - Guy Lafleur

They complemented each other very well on a free-wheeling Canadiens team. Lafleur was probably the most exciting offensive player in the NHL during the 70's. Lemaire was very solid at both ends of the ice and was the "glue" that held together the line. Shutt had a nose for the net and always seemed to be "Johnny on the spot" with his quick shot release. The "Flower Power" line with Shutt-Mahovlich-Lafleur wasn't bad either.

Rick Martin - Gilbert Perreault - Rene Robert

Perreault was a wizard with the puck. He was one of the few players who had the ability to go coast to coast and score a spectacular goal. Robert was the mucker and grinder on the line, doing a lot of "dirty work", but he had good skills as well. Martin was one of the best pure snipers I've ever seen. He had a super shot, hard and accurate. He was also pretty strong and tough to separate from the

 G-A-G LINE (NY Rangers) 
Vic Hadfield - Jean Ratelle - Rod Gilbert

Ratelle was a real class act, both on and
off the ice. He was a graceful player who only seemed to improve with age. Gilbert overcame a serious back injury and developed into a very steady player, like Lemaire he was good at little bit of everything. Hadfield didn't have much natural ability. He wasn't a very good skater and he didn't have soft hands. But he always battled hard and positioned himself in front of the goal where he got his share of "garbage goals".

 LCB LINE (Philadelphia) 
Bill Barber - Bobby Clarke - Reggie Leach

Clarke was mean,smart,coachable and versatile. He took the big draws, got under the opponents skin and had almost a Gretzky-like on-ice vision. Barber complemented Clarke and Leach very well. He had a good shot but his "acting" was a bit annoying, nobody could dive as good as Barber. Leach may have been hard on the bottle but he sure knew how to find the goal. But Clarke was the "work horse" on that line and his feather passes made Barber and Leach into scoring machines.

 NITRO LINE (Boston) 
Wayne Cashman - Phil Esposito - Ken Hodge

Espo was the ultimate slotman. I've never seen anyone so strong and determined in the slot as Espo. He was no speed demon but he sure knew
how to score, even with one or two players draped on his back. Cashman was the mucker and grinder, extremely useful in tight situations. He was tough both with his fists and elbows. Hodge benefited greatly by playing alongside Cash & Espo. He wasn't a bad player but the fit with his linemates was the ultimate reward for him.

  TRIPLE CROWN LINE (Los Angeles) 
Charlie Simmer - Marcel Dionne - Dave Taylor

Ok, so they were primarily creating havoc in the early 80's, but they did play together in the late 70's. Had Dionne played in a hockey crazy town then he would have been a megastar. Despite his small size he was quite dominating. Great balance and creativity. Simmer had a couple of bad breaks (injuries) but when healthy he was awesome. Taylor was always a gutsy player who didn't mind to get his nose dirty. All three of them had an electryfing chemistry.

Clark Gillies - Bryan Trottier - Mike Bossy

Like the Triple Crown line, they didn't play together until pretty late in the 70's, it may have even been in the early 80's. In the beginning Trottier and Gillies played with Billy Harris (LILCO Line) Trottier was the complete package. He could do anything asked of him. Bossy was the best pure goal scorer of the 70's, probably ever. Absolutely a marvellous goal scorer. Gillies was the human wrecking ball (when he wanted). Extremely strong player. More heart than skills.

 HOT LINE (Winnipeg) 
Bobby Hull - Ulf Nilsson- Anders Hedberg

The WHA of course had the "Hot Line" with Hull-Nilsson-Hedberg. Although they were marvellously skilled and fun to watch they were a purely offensive line.


Pat Houda
Pat Houda is one of the most prominent experts on the history of international hockey. He is a member of the Hockey Research Association (HRA), Society For International Hockey Research (SIHR) and Swedish Icehockey Historical and Statistical Society
(SIHSS). Pat is a hockey journalist and a regular contributor to the annual publication The NHL Guide and Record Book and various European hockey publications. He is a co-author of the The World Cup of Hockey: A History of Hockey's Greatest Tournament. Pat lives in Stockholm, Sweden.



The Summit in 1974