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-   -   HOH Top 60 Centers of All-Time: Round 1 Preliminary Discussion Thread (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1488195)

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 11:47 AM

HOH Top 60 Centers of All-Time: Round 1 Preliminary Discussion Thread
 
  1. Eligibility and Ranking Criteria
    • Any person who spent the majority of his career playing as a center or who has the majority of his accomplishments as a center is eligible
    • It is highly recommended that you use these guidelines to determine whether a player qualifies as a "center" for the purposes of this project (link)
    • A player who qualifies as a center should be ranked based on his overall accomplishments as a forward or hockey player.
    • Players should be judged only on their accomplishments as hockey players
    • Players currently active are eligible, but should be ranked based only on what they have already done
  2. Preliminary Discussion Thread
    • Anyone may participate in this thread, even if he does not plan on taking part in the voting phase
    • Any center may be discussed
    • Posters are encouraged to share information about players in this thread and to take information shared into account when constructing their own lists
    • Brief comparisons between players are permitted, but detailed cases and debates should be saved for Round 2 of Voting
    • Please do NOT rank players outright in the preliminary thread
  3. Voting
    1. Round 1
      • All participants submit a list of 80 centers ranked in order
      • All eras MUST be considered, and consideration should be given to both NHL and non-NHL players
      • To make it easier to aggregate the submitted lists, please list players using their most commonly used name; e.g. Cyclone Taylor, not Frederick Wellington Taylor; Hooley Smith, not Reginald Smith
      • Lists may be submitted via email to (will be posted later) or via PM to (will be posted later). Excel format is preferred, but a top to bottom list of 80 is fine too
      • We will be accepting lists between September 20 and October 10. Please PM me if you can't make this timeframe and would like to participate
      • Players will be assigned a point value on the list based on ranking
      • Players will be awarded 80 points for a 1st place vote down to 1 point for a 80th place vote
      • An aggregate list of the top centers will be compiled ranking them in order of the most total points
      • Participants MUST submit a list in Round 1 to be eligible for Round 2
    2. Round 2
      • The top 8 ranked players from the aggregate list will be posted in a thread
      • Players will be listed in alphabetical order to avoid creating bias
      • Player merits and rankings will be open for discussion and debate for a period of five (5) days. Administrators may extend the discussion period if it remains active
      • Final voting will occur for two (2) days, via PM
      • Top 4 players will be added to the list
      • Final results will be posted and the process repeated for the next 4 places with remaining players until a list of 60 centers is obtained
      • After Vote 5 (when we have a list of the top 20 centers), we may increase the number of players added per round to 5. Participants will be allowed to vote on whether to increase the number added per round to 5 or to stay at 4 per round
      • If there are major breaks in the Round 2 voting totals, we may add more or less than the targeted 4 or 5 players in certain rounds
      • The number of players available for discussion at once will increase from 8 as we move down the list, based on natural breaks in the aggregate list put together in Round 1
  4. Quality Assurance
    • Lists will be subject to an evaluation process
    • The submitter of a questionable list will be given an opportunity to defend or justify any selection under question or to correct errors and resubmit
    • The complete voting record of every participant will be released at the end of the project
  5. Participants Code of Conduct
    • Participants must recognize that this is a collaborative project and that we all share the same goals, no matter how much we disagree on individual ranking
    • Participants should treat each other with respect and must not openly question the motivations of other participants
    • Repeatedly violating these rules may result in ban from this project and possibly similar future projects on the History of Hockey board

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 11:50 AM

I know many of you know this already, but if you don't, a quick and easy way to get a general overview of a player is to google his name with the word "legends" after it. For most players, you will get links to two different profiles of the player: his profile on LegendsOfHockey.com, the which is officially affiliated with the Hockey Hall of fame; and his profile on GreatestHockeyLegends.com, a great blog by Joe Pelletier. Pelletier's blog in particular usually contains good profiles of non-NHL European players.

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 12:15 PM

Top 5 and 10 NHL scoring finishes 1926-27 to 2012-13

Note this is NOT intended as a list of the best centers of all-time, just one of several points of reference that may be helpful.

Why start in 1926-27? It is the first year after the last Western league folded, when the NHL contained all the talent in North America.

Notes:
  • The usual disclaimers apply - top 5/10 finishes involve an arbitrary cut off (a 10th place finish really isn't that different than 11th), competition and sometimes linemates still need to be taken into account, this is only a measure of regular season peak offense, etc.
  • The biggest weakness of looking at top 5/10 finishes is that all top 5 finishes are treated the same. A year when Mario Lemieux won the Art Ross by a huge margin is treated the same as a normal 5th place finish.
  • The ratio of goals to assists has remained fairly constant since World War 2. Prior to World War 2, the numbers varied, but there were fewer assists given out per goal than today. So looking at points will probably underrate the offensive contributions of pre-WW2 playmakers and overrate the offensive contributions of pre-WW2 goalscorers.
  • *Howie Morenz, Aurele Joliat, Babe Dye, Billy Burch, Nels Stewart, and Hooley Smith all had a least one Top 10 season in the NHL before 1926-27.
  • **Bill Cook, Dick Irvin, Frank Fredreckson, Frank Boucher, Duke Keats, Harry Oliver, and George Hay all had significant seasons in the western leagues before they folded.

Based on an old seventieslord formula, I am giving players a point for every top 5 finish and a point for every top 10 finish. It's something of a junk stat that is useful for sorting.

PLAYER TOP 5- TOP 10 TOTAL
Wayne Gretzky 16 16 32
Jean Beliveau 8 12 20
Mario Lemieux 9 10 19
Stan Mikita 9 9 18
Phil Esposito 8 10 18
Joe Sakic 6 10 16
Marcel Dionne 7 8 15
Bill Cowley 6 8 14
Alex Delvecchio 2 11 13
Howie Morenz* 5 7 12
Frank Boucher** 4 8 12
Nels Stewart* 3 9 12
Max Bentley 5 5 10
Marty Barry 4 6 10
Elmer Lach 4 6 10
Peter Stastny 4 6 10
Mark Messier 4 6 10
Henri Richard 3 7 10
Bobby Clarke 3 7 10
Adam Oates 3 7 10
Norm Ullman 2 8 10
Clint Smith 4 5 9
Sid Abel 4 5 9
Peter Forsberg 4 5 9
Joe Thornton 4 5 9
Sidney Crosby 4 5 9
Syl Apps 3 6 9
Bryan Trottier 3 6 9
Steve Yzerman 3 6 9
Jean Ratelle 2 7 9
Steven Stamkos 4 4 8
Milt Schmidt 3 5 8
Gilbert Perreault 3 5 8
Ron Francis 3 5 8
Ted Kennedy 3 4 7
Hooley Smith* 2 5 7
Denis Savard 2 5 7
Evgeni Malkin 3 3 6
Paul Ronty 2 4 6
Dale Hawerchuk 2 4 6
Darryl Sittler 1 5 6
Joe Primeau 2 3 5
Billy Taylor 2 3 5
Jacques Lemaire 2 3 5
Doug Gilmour 2 3 5
Pavel Datsyuk 2 3 5
Henrik Sedin 2 3 5
Bernie Federko 0 5 5
Bronco Horvath 2 2 4
Rick MacLeish 2 2 4
Bill Thoms 1 3 4
Tod Sloan 1 3 4
Dutch Reibel 1 3 4
Eric Lindros 1 3 4
Neil Colville 0 4 4
Red Kelly 0 4 4
Don McKenney 0 4 4
Cooney Weiland 1 2 3
Paul Haynes 1 2 3
Art Chapman 1 2 3
Phil Watson 1 2 3
Buddy O'Connor 1 2 3
Phil Goyette 1 2 3
Pete Mahovlich 1 2 3
Mike Rogers 1 2 3
Kent Nilsson 1 2 3
Barry Pederson 1 2 3
Bernie Nicholls 1 2 3
Pat Lafontaine 1 2 3
Pierre Turgeon 1 2 3
Jeremy Roenick 1 2 3
Sergei Fedorov 1 2 3
Mats Sundin 1 2 3
Jason Allison 1 2 3
Jason Spezza 1 2 3
Vincent LeCavalier 1 2 3
Nicklas Backstrom 1 2 3
Fleming MacKell 0 3 3
Murray Oliver 0 3 3
Pavol Demitra 0 3 3
Mike Modano 0 3 3
Brad Richards 0 3 3
Marc Savard 0 3 3
Dick Irvin** 1 1 2
Frank Fredrickson** 1 1 2
Billy Burch* 1 1 2
Ebbie Goodfellow 1 1 2
Doc Romnes 1 1 2
Jim Conacher 1 1 2
Don Raleigh 1 1 2
Walt Tkaczuk 1 1 2
Pierre Larouche 1 1 2
Tim Young 1 1 2
Dennis Maruk 1 1 2
John Cullen 1 1 2
Alex Zhamnov 1 1 2
Martin Straka 1 1 2
Claude Giroux 1 1 2
Harry Oliver** 0 2 2
Duke Keats** 0 2 2
Bill Carson 0 2 2
Dutch Gainor 0 2 2
Gus Bodnar 0 2 2
Metro Prystai 0 2 2
Ken Mosdell 0 2 2
Red Sullivan 0 2 2
Ralph Backstrom 0 2 2
Dave Keon 0 2 2
Red Berenson 0 2 2
Syl Apps, Jr 0 2 2
Jimmy Carson 0 2 2
Eric Staal 0 2 2
Henrik Zetterberg 0 2 2
Ryan Getzlaf 0 2 2

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 12:27 PM

Top 20 NHL scoring finishes 1966-67 to 2012-13

Note this is NOT intended as a list of the best centers of all-time, just one of several points of reference that may be helpful.

Once again, remember that competition matters. In years of greater competition, a 20th place finish may actually be closer to 1st or 2nd place than a 10th place finish in years of weaker competition.

Credit to Hockey Outsider for compiling most of this list.

*Remember that for players like Stan Mikita and Phil Esposito, only post-expansion seasons are counted here.

Like above, we are using something of a junk stat for sorting - adding together the number of top 5, top 10, top 15, and top 20 finishes.

PLAYER TOP 5- TOP 10 TOP 15 TOP 20 TOTAL
Wayne Gretzky 16 16 17 18 67
Marcel Dionne 7 8 12 16 43
Joe Sakic 6 10 11 14 41
Mario Lemieux 9 10 11 11 41
Phil Esposito* 8 8 9 11 36
Mark Messier 4 6 10 10 30
Steve Yzerman 3 6 9 11 29
Jean Ratelle 2 7 10 10 29
Ron Francis 3 5 8 12 28
Adam Oates 3 7 8 10 28
Bryan Trottier 3 6 8 10 27
Gilbert Perreault 3 5 9 9 26
Dale Hawerchuk 2 4 8 10 24
Bobby Clarke 3 7 7 7 24
Peter Stastny 4 6 7 7 24
Joe Thornton 4 5 7 8 24
Peter Forsberg 4 5 7 7 23
Darryl Sittler 1 5 7 8 21
Denis Savard 2 5 6 7 20
Stan Mikita* 3 3 6 7 19
Sidney Crosby 4 5 5 5 19
Bernie Federko 0 5 6 8 19
Mats Sundin 1 2 6 8 17
Pierre Turgeon 1 2 5 8 16
Mike Modano 0 3 6 7 16
Steven Stamkos 4 4 4 4 16
Bernie Nicholls 1 2 5 6 14
Doug Gilmour 2 3 3 6 14
Eric Lindros 1 3 4 6 14
Jeremy Roenick 1 2 5 6 14
Pavel Datsyuk 2 3 4 5 14
Henrik Sedin 2 3 4 5 14
Evgeni Malkin 3 3 3 5 14
Jacques Lemaire 2 3 4 4 13
Rick MacLeish 2 2 3 4 11
Pat LaFontaine 1 2 3 5 11
Pavol Demitra 0 3 4 4 11
Sergei Fedorov 1 2 4 4 11
Jason Spezza 1 2 4 4 11
Brad Richards 0 3 4 4 11
Jason Allison 1 2 3 4 10
Kent Nilsson 1 2 3 4 10
Marc Savard 0 3 3 4 10
Eric Staal 0 2 4 4 10
Ryan Getzlaf 0 2 4 4 10
Syl Apps, Jr 0 2 3 4 9
Dennis Maruk 1 1 3 4 9
Mike Rogers 1 2 3 3 9
Norm Ullman* 0 2 3 4 9
Henrik Zetterberg 0 2 3 4 9
Nicklas Backstrom 1 2 3 3 9
Alexei Yashin 0 1 3 4 8
Alex Delvecchio* 0 2 3 3 8
Barry Pederson 1 2 2 3 8
Jean Beliveau* 0 2 3 3 8
Vincent Lecavalier 1 2 2 3 8
Claude Giroux 1 1 3 3 8
Fred Stanfield 0 1 3 3 7
Pete Mahovlich 1 2 2 2 7
Doug Weight 0 1 2 3 6
Jimmy Carson 0 2 2 2 6
Martin Straka 1 1 2 2 6
Phil Goyette 1 1 2 2 6
Red Berenson 0 2 2 2 6
Walt Tkaczuk 1 1 2 2 6
Mike Ribeiro 0 1 2 3 6
Bobby Smith 0 1 2 3 6
Rod Brind'Amour 0 0 2 3 5
John Cullen 1 1 1 2 5
Neal Broten 0 1 2 2 5
Pierre Larouche 1 1 1 2 5
Patrick Marleau 0 0 2 3 5
Anze Kopitar 0 0 2 3 5
Tim Young 1 1 1 1 4
Gary Unger 0 0 0 4 4
Craig Janney 0 0 1 3 4
Joe Nieuwendyk 0 0 1 3 4
Peter McNab 0 0 1 3 4
Butch Goring 0 0 2 2 4
Olli Jokinen 0 0 2 2 4
Robert Lang 0 1 1 2 4
Alex Zhamnov 1 1 1 1 4
Jonathan Toews 0 0 2 2 4
John Tavares 0 1 1 2 4

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 12:43 PM

NHL All-Star Teams (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) 1930-31 to 2012-13

(Credit to Hockey Outsider for compiling these from 1967 to present).

Third Team All Stars are unofficial, but derived from the same voting that gives us the First and Second Team All Stars. I was able to award a 3rd Team All Star in every year but 1941, 1952, 1953, and 1958

When player was an All Star in a position other than his primary one (as a center), I am indicated his TOTAL number of All Star nods (at either position) in parenthesis.

Player First Second Third Total
Wayne Gretzky 8 7 1 16
Jean Beliveau 6 4 1 11
Mario Lemieux 5 4 0 9
Stan Mikita 6 2 0 8
Phil Esposito 6 2 0 8
Bobby Clarke 2 2 3 7
Bill Cowley 4 1 1 6
Syl Apps 2 3 1 6
Milt Schmdit 3 1 2 6
Henri Richard 1 3 2 6
Norm Ullman 1 1 4 6
Ted Kennedy 0 3 3 6
Elmer Lach 3 2 0 5
Joe Sakic 3 0 2 5
Marcel Dionne 2 2 1 5
Bryan Trottier 2 2 1 5
Sidney Crosby 2 1 2 5
Joe Thornton 1 2 2 5
Gilbert Perreault 0 2 3 5
Peter Forsberg 3 0 1 4
Frank Boucher* 3 1 0 4
Hooley Smith* 1 1 2 4
Max Bentley 1 1 2 4
Dave Keon 0 2 2 4
Steven Stamkos 0 2 2 4
Evgeni Malkin 3 0 0 3
Howie Morenz* 2 1 0 3
Sid Abel 2 1(2) 0 3(4)
Mark Messier 2(4) 0(1) 1 3(6)
Eric Lindros 1 1 1 3
Steve Yzerman 1 0 2 3
Neil Colville 0 2(3) 1 3(4)
Peter Stastny 0 0 3 3
Ron Francis 0 0 3 3
Henrik Sedin 2 0 0 2
Ken Mosdell 1 1 0 2
Marty Barry 1 0 1 2
Mats Sundin 0 2 0 2
Joe Primeau* 0 1 1 2
Tod Sloan 0 1 1 2
Pavel Datsyuk 0 1 1 2
Mike Modano 0 1 1 2
Darryl Sittler 0 1 1 2
Denis Savard 0 1 1 2
Jonathan Toews 0 1 1 2
Dale Hawerchuk 0 1 1 2
Doug Gilmour 0 0 2 2
Fleming MacKell 1 0 0(1) 1(2)
Sergei Fedorov 1 0 0 1
Bill Thoms 0 1 0 1
Cooney Weiland* 0 1 0 1
Art Chapman 0 1 0 1
Phil Watson 0 1 0 1
Buddy O'Connor 0 1 0 1
Doug Bentley 0 1 0 1
Alex Delvecchio 0 1 (2) 0 1 (2)
Ed Litzenberger 0 1 0 1
Bronco Horvath 0 1 0 1
Jean Ratelle 0 1 0 1
Eric Staal 0 1 0 1
Alexei Yashin 0 1 0 1
Adam Oates 0 1 0 1
Alexei Zhamnov 0 1 0 1
Pat LaFontaine 0 1 0 1
Vincent Lecavalier 0 1 0 1
Don Grosso 0 0 1 1
Clint Smith 0 0 1 1
Paul Ronty 0 0 1 1
Edgar Laprade 0 0 1 1
Dave Creighton 0 0 1 1
Don McKenney 0 0 1 1
Red Kelly 0 0 1 1
Phil Goyette 0 0 1 1
Claude Giroux 0 0 1 1
Barry Pederson 0 0 1 1
Guy Chouinard 0 0 1 1
Red Berenson 0 0 1 1
Doug Weight 0 0 1 1
Walt Tzaczuk 0 0 1 1
Pete Mahovlich 0 0 1 1

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 12:47 PM

Top 5 Hart voting 1923-24 to 2012-13

Player1st2nd3rd4th5thtotal
Wayne Gretzky9111113
Mario Lemieux331119
Jean Beliveau241209
Bobby Clarke310105
Phil Esposito221005
Stan Mikita210115
Bryan Trottier121015
Ted Kennedy110035
Syl Apps022015
Howie Morenz310004
Bill Cowley211004
Milt Schmidt110114
Mark Messier210003
Nels Stewart200013
Evgeni Malkin120003
Elmer Lach111003
Sidney Crosby111003
Max Bentley101103
Joe Thornton100113
Marcel Dionne012003
Hooley Smith011103
Doug Gilmour010113
Frank Nighbor*101002
Eric Lindros101002
Sid Abel100102
Billy Burch100012
Sergei Fedorov100012
Norm Ullman010012
Dale Hawerchuk010012
Steve Yzerman001102
Red Berenson001102
Denis Savard001012
Pat Lafontaine001012
Henri Richard000202
Frank Boucher000112
Buddy O’Connor100001
Joe Sakic100001
Peter Forsberg100001
Henrik Sedin100001
Tod Sloan010001
Alexei Yashin010001
Steven Stamkos010001
Frank Frederickson**001001
Bill Thoms001001
Darryl Sittler001001
Pavel Datsyuk001001
John Tavares001001
Dick Irvin**000101
Paul Ronty000101
Dave Keon000101
Jean Ratelle000101
Peter Stastny000101
Adam Oates000101
Eric Staal000101
Vincent LeCavalier000101
Claude Giroux000101
Jonathan Toews000101
Ebbie Goodfellow000011
Marty Barry000011
Neil Colville000011
Gilbert Perreault000011
Pierre Turgeon000011

Notes
  • *Frank Nighbor won the inaugural Hart Trophy at the age of 31 with most of his best years behind him.
  • **Frank Fredrickson and Dick Irvin spent the majority of their careers in the western leagues. They were part of the group of western players who joined the NHL in 1926-27. The Top 4 in Hart voting in 1926-27 had all spent the prior season in the WHL.
  • The cut off at 5th place is somewhat arbitrary, but has a reason: in many years, that's when the vote totals start to become fairly minimal. Nonetheless, there are some players hurt by this somewhat arbitrary cutoff, probably none more than Howie Morenz, who also finished 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th.
  • We only have the top 4 in 1933 and 1934.
  • Remember that a player playing in the shadow of a great teammate (particularly one who plays the same position) isn’t going to get many Hart votes. This probably hurt Mark Messier and Henri Richard (to name 2 noteworthy examples), and may have hurt Sakic and Forsberg in various years.
  • This obviously doesn’t take into account competition. Bill Cowley (2nd in 1944) and Elmer Lach (1st in 1945) obviously had much weaker competition during World War 2 than anyone who competed against Gretzky.
  • In the really early years, there seemed to be a greater emphasis on the “valuable to his team” part of the Hart definition – see Billy Burch’s Hart record vs his scoring placements.
  • Bet you didn’t expect Jean Beliveau to have what looks like a very similar Hart record to Mario Lemieux. Mario's wins were by very wide margins though.
  • Red Berenson might be the most surprising player on this list. He was recognized as the best player in the Expansion Division in 1968 and 1969.

matnor 08-22-2013 01:39 PM

Let me first say that it's great to see this project up and running. I look forward to read the discussions and learn from it. I'm not planning to participate but I do have easy access to quite a lot of data that I might post if there is interest in it. If there is any data that you are interested in, please ask and I might be able to help you out. And in that vein, I noticed some inconsistencies in the data that I believe is (mostly) due to arbitrarily cutting ties. Below is a list of players that I have corrected for the top-20 scoring finishes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70424375)
PLAYER TOP 5- TOP 10 TOP 15 TOP 20 TOTAL
Phil Esposito 8 8 9 11 36
Bernie Federko 0 5 6 8 19
Bernie Nicholls 1 2 6 7 16
Henrik Sedin 2 3 4 5 14
Rick MacLeish 2 2 3 4 11
Mike Rogers 1 2 3 39
Syl Apps, Jr 0 2 3 4 9
Claude Giroux 1 1 3 3 8
Pit Martin 0 0 3 4 7
Phil Goyette 1 1 2 2 6
Bobby Smith 0 1 2 3 6
Tim Young 1 1 1 1 4
Garry Unger 0 0 0 4 4


TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matnor (Post 70427021)
Let me first say that it's great to see this project up and running. I look forward to read the discussions and learn from it. I'm not planning to participate but I do have easy access to quite a lot of data that I might post if there is interest in it. If there is any data that you are interested in, please ask and I might be able to help you out. And in that vein, I noticed some inconsistencies in the data that I believe is (mostly) due to arbitrarily cutting ties. Below is a list of players that I have corrected for the top-20 scoring finishes.

Thanks, I'll correct it. The original list of top 20 finishes was compiled by HO via excel and he said it had some issues with dealing with ties. I must have screwed up entering Giroux's numbers myself (not that he really matters for the purposes of this project).

Hockey Outsider 08-22-2013 01:50 PM

I won't have time to participate in the project, but I'll try to contribute occasionally.

The issue with ties was my fault - the tables were generated in Excel and (at the time) I couldn't figure out how to account for ties in some cases (i.e. if two players are tied for 10th in points, sometimes one player would get credit for a tenth place finish, and the other would only get credit for eleventh place). Appreciate your help in cleaning up the data.

jigglysquishy 08-22-2013 01:51 PM

I'm glad to see this really kicking.

I'm trying to get together my initial top 80 list and am having some difficulty finding data from pre-NHL and Soviet era players. I.e. scoring finishes, trophy shares, and all that fun jazz.

From all the reading I'm doing it seems like Joe Malone and Vladimir Petrov were quite dominant players in the NHA and Soviet leauge, respectively. Does anyone have any links to articles written at the time comparing them to their peers?

tarheelhockey 08-22-2013 01:58 PM

It begins! :vhappy:

TheDevilMadeMe 08-22-2013 02:05 PM

I assume most of this thread will be devoted to pre-NHL players and non-NHL Europeans since they are the hardest to research.

But before I personally try to get into that, are there any NHL-era players who might be included on a top 80 list who aren't listed in posts 3-6 of this thread?

The one I can think of is Guy Carbonneau. If you're like me, you have Frank Nighbor, Bobby Clarke, and Guy Carbonneau as the three best defensive centers of all time in no particular order. Nighbor and Clarke easily make our list based on their two-way play (everyone knows Clarke, but I think there is a good case that Nighbor is the third best player to ever play the game before 1950 after Howie Morenz and Eddie Shore). But what to do about Carbonneau, whose offense isn't anywhere near those guys? I'd like to make room for one of the top 3 defensive centers of all time at least somewhere in my top 80; but have no idea to compare him to more offensively oriented players.

BraveCanadian 08-22-2013 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70427891)
But what to do about Carbonneau, whose offense isn't anywhere near those guys? I'd like to make room for one of the top 3 defensive centers of all time at least somewhere in my top 80; but have no idea to compare him to more offensively oriented players.

Pretty tough to gauge whether or not his impact is greater than even fairly one dimensional offensive players.

The statistics available are almost useless for defense, and how effective a shutdown player is on the outcome of a game really depends on a lot on his coach vs. the opponent's.. home/away and his direct counterpart.

Much more so than an offensive player imo.

Hardyvan123 08-22-2013 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70427891)
I assume most of this thread will be devoted to pre-NHL players and non-NHL Europeans since they are the hardest to research.

Even with the research it's a hard call where to exactly slot these guys with limited and different information than comparing like to like guys, even from different eras, in the NHL.

Quote:

I'd like to make room for one of the top 3 defensive centers of all time at least somewhere in my top 80; but have no idea to compare him to more offensively oriented players.
Quote:

Originally Posted by BraveCanadian (Post 70428879)
Pretty tough to gauge whether or not his impact is greater than even fairly one dimensional offensive players.

The statistics available are almost useless for defense, and how effective a shutdown player is on the outcome of a game really depends on a lot on his coach vs. the opponent's.. home/away and his direct counterpart.

Much more so than an offensive player imo.

Comes down to a judgement call I guess, offensive stats are pretty much more straight forward and require, usually, less analysis to get an idea of how good a guy was to his peers.

My gut tells me there are too many good 2 way players and pure offensive guys to have guy in my top 80 but i haven't done my list and I guess he is one guy in the mix near the end I would think but that's just a guess.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jigglysquishy (Post 70427379)
I'm glad to see this really kicking.

I'm trying to get together my initial top 80 list and am having some difficulty finding data from pre-NHL and Soviet era players. I.e. scoring finishes, trophy shares, and all that fun jazz.

From all the reading I'm doing it seems like Joe Malone and Vladimir Petrov were quite dominant players in the NHA and Soviet league, respectively. Does anyone have any links to articles written at the time comparing them to their peers?

Indeed they were, the question is how to slot them in and give everyone a fair evaluation, tough choices ahead, especially over 13 decades and at least 2 strong ones for the non NHL guys from Europe.

Some eras are going to feel the squeeze I think.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 01:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70427891)
I assume most of this thread will be devoted to pre-NHL players and non-NHL Europeans since they are the hardest to research.

But before I personally try to get into that, are there any NHL-era players who might be included on a top 80 list who aren't listed in posts 3-6 of this thread?

You've got everybody that I have considered.

Quote:

The one I can think of is Guy Carbonneau. If you're like me, you have Frank Nighbor, Bobby Clarke, and Guy Carbonneau as the three best defensive centers of all time in no particular order. Nighbor and Clarke easily make our list based on their two-way play (everyone knows Clarke, but I think there is a good case that Nighbor is the third best player to ever play the game before 1950 after Howie Morenz and Eddie Shore). But what to do about Carbonneau, whose offense isn't anywhere near those guys? I'd like to make room for one of the top 3 defensive centers of all time at least somewhere in my top 80; but have no idea to compare him to more offensively oriented players.
I have a very difficult time placing Carbs, as well. At present, he's struggling to crack my top-80 against guys like Lecavalier, Richards, and Lepine.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 01:57 AM

Allright, some more data for us to evaluate, all of which is coming from this thread, which now lives in the By the Numbers section. The VsX system is a collaborative effort among ATDers that grew from iterative tweaks to BM67's original work with Vs#2 scorer analysis. Here is a description of the methodology:

Quote:

1. First preference is to use the #2 scorer

2. If #3 points/#2 points < .90, I use the #3 scorer, unless...

3. There is a gap of greater than 10% anywhere else in the top-5 - following the same method as above: [small #]/[large #] < .90.

At that point, I take the first gap, and identify the upper outlier group (top 3 or 4 or 5 above which the gap occurs), and then go down into the scoring table until I reach a number of players which equals: [size of outlier group] * 2. The benchmark is set as an average of the scoring of these players.

4. If any player in the top-5 is more than 7% below the player above him and more than 7% above the player below him, his score is taken as the benchmark. [this is the Bathgate Rule]

Examples of the methodology:

1. 2003-04:

Quote:

The top of the scoring table is:

1. St. Louis - 94
2. Sakic - 87
2. Kovalchuk - 87
4. Naslund - 84
5. Hossa - 82
6. Elias - 81

Joe Sakic and Ilya Kovalchuk are tied in second place on the scorer's list with 87 points. There are no gaps of greater than 10% in the rest of the top-5, so Sakic/Kovalchuk, as co-#2 scorers, are used as the benchmark.
2. 2005-06:

Quote:

The top of the scoring table is:

1.Thornton - 125
2. Jagr - 123
3. Ovechkin - 106
4. Heatley - 103
4. Alfredsson - 103
6. Crosby 102

There is a 14% gap between Jagr's 123 and Ovechkin's 106 points, but no other large gaps in the top-5, so Ovechkin's 106 points as the #3 scorer is used as the benchmark.
3. 1979-80:

Quote:

The top of the scoring table is:

1. Dionne - 137
1. Gretzky - 137
3. Lafleur - 125
4. Perreault - 106
5. Rogers - 105
6. Trottier - 104

There is only a 9% gap between the #2 and #3 scorers here, but there is a 15% gap between the #3 and #4 scorers. The outlier group is the top three, so we average the scoring of the top 6 players to set our benchmark, which ends up being 119 points - a completely artificial number.
4. 1956-57:

Quote:

1. Howe - 89
2. Lindsay - 85
3. Beliveau - 84
4. Bathgate - 77
5. Litzenberger - 64
...average as benchmark: 77

Here, Andy Bathgate is more than 7% behind Beliveau above him, and more than 7% ahead of Litzenberger below him. Bathgate's score is taken as the benchmark in this season.

All of that is just to establish the benchmark for a single season, after which we divide everybody's points for the season by that number to come up with "scores" for each player which reflect their performance versus the benchmark.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 02:02 AM

Generated benchmark scores can then be crunched over whole careers in order to compare player performance across eras, on the theory that the performance of the benchmark scorers (essentially the first non-outliers) has remained constant throughout post-consolidation (eg. 1926 to present) NHL history.

We generated some career-spanning statistics with this methodology which ended up being, I think, quite useful and interesting. For the numbers below, we used a mild weighting system which gives a bit more weight to sustained peak than longevity. The weighting methodology is explained in the thread. At any rate, here are some numbers:

Top-7 weighted VsX for Centers (1926-2012):

Rank Player Rank
1 Wayne Gretzky 155.1
2 Phil Esposito 123.4
3 Mario Lemieux 120.4
4 Jean Beliveau 108.9
5 Stan Mikita 108.1
6 Bill Cowley* 103.5
7 Marcel Dionne 103.2
8 Howie Morenz 102.8
9 Joe Sakic 97.9
10 Frank Boucher 95.4
11 Elmer Lach* 95.4
12 Max Bentley* 94.9
13 Steve Yzerman 93.5
14 Bryan Trottier 93.5
15 Joe Thornton 93.3
16 Syl Apps Sr 93
17 Peter Forsberg 90.9
18 Nels Stewart 90.5
19 Adam Oates 90.2
20 Marty Barry 89.9
21 Mark Messier 89.5
22 Norm Ullman 88.7
23 Jean Ratelle 88.5
24 Peter Stastny 88.3
25 Sid Abel 87.8
26 Bobby Clarke 87.6
27 Ron Francis 87.6
28 Milt Schmidt 87.5
29 Henri Richard 86.2
30 Dale Hawerchuk 85.9
31 Denis Savard 85.4
32 Eric Lindros 85.4
33 Alex Delvecchio 84.9
34 Gilbert Perreault 84.6
35 Darryl Sittler 84.1
36 Clint Smith* 82.6
37 Sidney Crosby 82.4
38 Mats Sundin 82.3
39 Doug Gilmour 82.3
40 Pierre Turgeon 82.3
41 Mike Modano 81.7
42 Henrik Sedin 81.7
43 Jeremy Roenick 81.5
44 Ted Kennedy 81.5
45 Sergei Fedorov 81
46 Bernie Nicholls 80.3
47 Cooney Weiland 79.4
48 Pavel Datsyuk 78.9
49 Pat LaFontaine 78.8
50 Hooley Smith 78.8
51 Doug Weight 78.6
52 Brad Richards 78.4
53 Phil Watson 78.1
54 Alexei Yashin 77.6
55 Bernie Federko 77.3
56 Vincent Lecavalier 77.2
57 Joe Primeau 76
58 Don McKenney 75.8
59 Jacques Lemaire 75.5
60 Jason Spezza 75.2
61 Phil Goyette 74.9
62 Vincent Damphousse 74.2
63 Bill Thoms 74.2
64 Marc Savard 73.9
65 Eric Staal 73.8
66 Neil Colville 73.2
67 Evgeni Malkin 73.2
68 Henrik Zetterberg 73.2
69 Dave Keon 73.2
70 Rod Brind'Amour 72.8
71 Tod Sloan 72.8
72 Kent Nilsson 71.7
73 Dennis Maruk 71.7
74 Rick MacLeish 71.6
75 Buddy O'Connor* 71.3
76 Patrick Marleau 71
77 Ed Litzenberger 70.8
78 Joe Nieuwendyk 70.5
79 Pete Mahovlich 70.3
80 Billy Taylor* 69.5

* wartime star

Note: this does not include data for the 2012-13 season.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 02:14 AM

Top-10 weighted VsX for centers (1968-2012):

Rank Player Result
1 Wayne Gretzky 146.2
2 Mario Lemieux 113.9
3 Phil Esposito 113.7
4 Marcel Dionne 97.9
5 Joe Sakic 94.8
6 Steve Yzerman 89.7
7 Joe Thornton 89.4
8 Bryan Trottier 88.2
9 Adam Oates 87
10 Mark Messier 85.7
11 Ron Francis 84.9
12 Jean Ratelle 84.4
13 Peter Forsberg 84
14 Dale Hawerchuk 82.4
15 Peter Stastny 82.1
16 Bobby Clarke 82
17 Gilbert Perreault 80.8
18 Mats Sundin 80.5
19 Darryl Sittler 79.9
20 Pierre Turgeon 79.6
21 Denis Savard 79.2
22 Mike Modano 78.5
23 Doug Gilmour 78.3
24 Sergei Fedorov 77.9
25 Eric Lindros 77.8
26 Jeremy Roenick 77.2
27 Sidney Crosby (**) 76.5
28 Bernie Nicholls 74.8
29 Bernie Federko 74.4
30 Brad Richards 74.2
31 Doug Weight 73.5
32 Evgeni Malkin (**) 73.4
33 Pat LaFontaine 73.3
34 Alexei Yashin 72.4
35 Vincent Lecavalier 72.1
36 Henrik Sedin 71.8
37 Vincent Damphousse 71.7
38 Pavel Datsyuk 71.7
39 Jacques Lemaire 70.4
40 Rod Brind'Amour 69.4

** a minimum score of 50 is awarded for all seasons, even those not played. This only affects Crosby and Malkin in the above analysis

Note: this does not include data for the 2012-13 season.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 02:26 AM

My thoughts on the VsX system, in brief:

- it is the best shorthand system we have for comparing player scoring across eras. It is rather easily better than comparing top-X finishes.

- it is not perfect, as it rests upon an assumption of equality (first non-outlier is equal across eras) which, like all non-tautological assumptions of equality, is necessarily false.

- it tells us a lot more about the relative scoring of the players lower down in the list than it tells us about the scoring of the guys at the top. The fact that the guys at the top of the list fall in such an intuitive relation to one another serves moreso to validate the methodology than to illuminate anything we didn't already know about their respective careers.

- there are still a lot of factors to consider when evaluating these players offensively, to say nothing of overall value. Non-NHL seasons (Stastny's Golden Stick), injury issues, offensive help from teammates, etc. - none of that is accounted for here. There is also no attempt made to numerically account for the effect of the war years on league and individual scoring, nor even an attempt to define what the boundaries of the war era really are. Wartime players are simply given an asterisk. There is also no accounting for differences in NHL assist tabulation in the pre-war era, when league goals typically outnumbered league assists.

- at any rate, these numbers provide a good rough outline of relative player performance across eras. They are not meant to be definitive.

TheDevilMadeMe 08-23-2013 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sturminator (Post 70447111)

- it is the best shorthand system we have for comparing player scoring across eras. It is rather easily better than comparing top-X finishes.

.

I think Vs-X is quite a bit better than Top X finishes in determining the quality of a player (as a scorer), so long as the player has played enough seasons to fully "fill out" your requirements of 7 or 10 seasons (there's no way you're convincing me Zetterberg is even close to Malkin offensively, let alone equal).

A strength of Top X finishes is that it is an easy way to view longevity as an elite scorer - how may times did a player reach a certain level of scoring. I realize you can make tables showing the number of seasons a player reached a certain benchmark under a Vs-X system, but that gets really messy, to look at if nothing else.

Sturminator 08-23-2013 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70447589)
I think Vs-X is quite a bit better than Top X finishes in determining the quality of a player (as a scorer), so long as the player has played enough seasons to fully "fill out" your requirements of 7 or 10 seasons (there's no way you're convincing me Zetterberg is even close to Malkin offensively, let alone equal).

Yeah, how to handle players with career/peaks which do not meet the length criteria is a matter of some difficulty, and the specific rankings of active players who do not meet them yet (not so much Joe Thornton) are of questionable value. There is also the general question of how peak vs. longevity should be weighed. The weighting which informed the above lists gave relatively mild preference to peak performance. Some people, including you I think, will want to weigh peak more, others may place a greater value on longevity (wanting to weigh seasons past 7/10, for example). This is really a matter of taste.

As you know, I chose 7 seasons as the standard for the whole hockey universe because I think seven seasons was about an average length peak for the prewar guys, and I didn't want to disadvantage them in my analysis, and 10 seasons for post-expansion players because I think ten was about an average peak for this period. But these estimates are debatable, and are at any rate, wholly artificial breaking points.

ted1971 08-23-2013 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe (Post 70427891)
I assume most of this thread will be devoted to pre-NHL players and non-NHL Europeans since they are the hardest to research.

But before I personally try to get into that, are there any NHL-era players who might be included on a top 80 list who aren't listed in posts 3-6 of this thread?

The one I can think of is Guy Carbonneau. If you're like me, you have Frank Nighbor, Bobby Clarke, and Guy Carbonneau as the three best defensive centers of all time in no particular order. Nighbor and Clarke easily make our list based on their two-way play (everyone knows Clarke, but I think there is a good case that Nighbor is the third best player to ever play the game before 1950 after Howie Morenz and Eddie Shore). But what to do about Carbonneau, whose offense isn't anywhere near those guys? I'd like to make room for one of the top 3 defensive centers of all time at least somewhere in my top 80; but have no idea to compare him to more offensively oriented players.

To Me, it's already a crime that Carbonneau isn't in the HHOF to begin with and He will have a very nice spot on My list.

ted1971 08-23-2013 10:09 AM

Are there any historical sites that deal in Soviet, Czech & other European countries? I've tried some Goggle searches and I've been having a very difficult time having any success.

Beau Knows 08-23-2013 12:36 PM

Is there a specific criteria that everyone should be using? We are looking mainly at career right? Or is peak or prime more important?

TheDevilMadeMe 08-23-2013 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ted1971 (Post 70452031)
Are there any historical sites that deal in Soviet, Czech & other European countries? I've tried some Goggle searches and I've been having a very difficult time having any success.

This thread has just about everything the HOH board has acquired on International and European scoring and awards voting: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1085207

Consolidating the sticky threads on this board in the "historical resources mega-sticky thread" has let us link more threads at the top of the board - that one is linked there now.

The most commonly used English language site on Soviet players is www.chidlovski.com. Arthur Chidlovski specializes in Soviet players, but he also has some shorter profiles on some Czechoslovak players.

The blog GreatestHockeyLegends.com has some good profiles of international players, many of them written by "international hockey expert" Patrick Houda.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beau Knows (Post 70456513)
Is there a specific criteria that everyone should be using? We are looking mainly at career right? Or is peak or prime more important?

I think we all differ on how we weigh peak vs prime vs career. Personally, I tend to value what I call "extended prime" the most, but other posters surely differ on this. Some look more heavily at peak, some at career value.


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