Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Max Pacioretty vs. Ken Strong

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

JIM CALHOUN REGION

8. Max Pacioretty

Montreal Canadians left winger

New Canaan

The Taft School and University of Michigan product was the 22nd overall pick by the Montreal Canadians in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Pacioretty completed his seventh season in the NHL a few months ago, all with the Canadians. He had 67 points, 37 goals and 30 assists, this past season. It was his third season with 30 or more goals.

In 2012, Montreal’s left winger was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trohpy, which is given to a National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

In his career, thus far, Pacioretty has recorded 280 points– 144 goals and 136 assists. He was named an alternate captain for the Montreal Canadians in 2014.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

9. Ken Strong

NFL/AFL full back: 1929-39, 1944-1947

West Haven

The multi-year All-American at New York University played 14 seasons in professional football. In 131 games, Strong scored 31 touchdowns– 24 of them on the ground. He was an NFL Champion in 1934, a five-time All-Pro selection, and a part of the NFL’s 1930s All-Decade Team.

Strong is both a Pro and College Football Hall of Famer, and his No. 50 is retired by the New York Giants.

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