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Hockey Outsider 02-16-2009 05:59 PM

Gretzky & Lemieux: impact on stats & awards
 
A lot of people correctly note that many star players during the 1980s and 1990s were essentially shut out of major awards due to the fact that they competed against Gretzky & Lemieux during their primes. This is my attempt to “re-cast” the scoring race & statistics assuming those two players didn’t exist. I’m making the obviously unrealistic assumption that nothing else would change if Gretzky & Lemieux didn’t exist; however I think this is a decent starting point.

Hart trophy

YearPlayer
1980 Marcel Dionne
1981 Mike Liut
1982 Bryan Trottier
1983 Pete Peeters
1984 Rod Langway
1985 Dale Hawerchuk
1986 Mark Howe
1987 Ray Bourque
1988 Grant Fuhr/Steve Yzerman
1989 Steve Yzerman
1993 Doug Gilmour
1996 Mark Messier

Gretzky & Lemieux had a stranglehold on the Hart trophy, winning the award twelve times in a span of 17 years. The chart shows the next highest-ranked player, after #99 and #66. Here’s how it would have impacted the legacy of various players:
  • Two underrated goalies, Liut and Peeters, would have won their first Hart trophies. Hopefully this would make modern fans aware that there were some great goalies in the 1980s outside of Roy, Smith and Fuhr.
  • Mark Howe would have won the Hart in 1986; I’ve argued before that he’s one of best players not in the Hall of Fame. I’m pretty sure it would be impossible to exclude him from the HOF with a Hart.
  • Mark Messier would have moved into the very elite three Harts club.
  • Steve Yzerman almost certainly would have won the Hart in 1989 and he may have won in 1988 (Fuhr was ranked higher in voting but it’s highly debatable if he would have been a Hart candidate without the offensive support from Gretzky).

Art Ross

YearPlayer
1981 Marcel Dionne
1982 Mike Bossy
1983 Peter Stastny
1984 Michel Goulet
1985 Dale Hawerchuk
1986 Mike Bossy
1987 Mark Messier
1988 Denis Savard
1989 Steve Yzerman
1990 Mark Messier
1991 Brett Hull
1992 Brett Hull
1993 Pat Lafontaine
1994 Sergei Fedorov
1996 Jaromir Jagr
1997 Teemu Selanne
2001 Joe Sakic
  • I’m eliminating Gretzky, Lemieux, and some of their linemates (which I admit is a matter of judgment). For example, as great as Coffey & Kurri were, I don’t think they could have scored 138 & 131 points, respectively, in 1986, so I’m crediting Bossy with the Art Ross. As a counter-example, in 1996, Jagr had already won an Art Ross without Lemieux in the previous year and was so far ahead of everyone else that I think he would have won the AR without Lemieux (so Sakic doesn’t get credit for that trophy).
  • Although I think that Messier’s offense is overrated by younger fans, the History forum sometimes underrates his peak. If not for Gretzky/Lemieux, the Moose would have won a pair of AR trophies.
  • Jagr would have earned an Art Ross in 1996, but would have lost one in 2001, so he's still stuck with five trophies (one fewer than Lemieux & Howe).

Goal-Scoring

YearPlayer
1982 Mike Bossy
1983 Lanny McDonald
1984 Michel Goulet
1985 Mike Bossy
1986 Mike Bossy
1987 Tim Kerr
1988 Jimmy Carson
1989 Steve Yzerman
1996 Jaromir Jagr
  • I’m assuming that Kurri couldn’t have won the goal-scoring title without Gretzky.
  • Bossy is the biggest beneficiary here; assuming Gretzky never existed, Bossy likely would have earned five goal-scoring crowns, as many as Howe & Richard earned.

Playmaking

YearPlayer
1980 Marcel Dionne
1981 Ken Nilsson
1982 Peter Stastny
1983 Denis Savard
1984 Barry Pederson
1985 Marcel Dionne
1986 Peter Stastny
1987 Ray Bourque
1988 Denis Savard
1989 Steve Yzerman
1990 Mark Messier
1991 Adam Oates
1992 Brian Leetch
1994 Doug Gilmour
1996 Francis/Jagr/Forsberg
1997 Steve Yzerman
  • 1996 is a very interesting case. Lemieux and Francis co-led the league in assists; based on the rest of his career it’s highly unlikely Francis could have performed so well without getting significant PP ice time with Lemieux. Jagr was next with 87 assists; although he’s a former Art Ross winner, I feel more comfortable giving the lead to Forsberg (with 86 assists); it’s safe to say that losing a year worth of Lemieux would have cost Jagr at least 2 assists.
  • Dionne, Savard, Stastny and Yzerman would have each earned two assist titles.
  • Incredibly, Leetch and Bourque would pick up two assist titles as well.
  • Oates would have led the league in assists for the 4th time in 1991; he was also runner-up in 2000 and would have been runner-up in 1990 and 1994.

Hockey Outsider 02-16-2009 06:04 PM

Centre all-star

YearPlayerImpact
1980 Gilbert Perreault Earns 2nd
1981 Bryan Trottier Earns 2nd
1981 Marcel Dionne Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1982 Bryan Trottier Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1982 Peter Stastny Earns 2nd
1984 Barry Pederson Earns 2nd
1984 Bryan Trottier Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1985 Dale Hawerchuk Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1985 Marcel Dionne Earns 2nd
1986 Denis Savard Earns 2nd
1986 Peter Stastny Earns 1st
1987 Dale Hawerchuk Earns 1st
1987 Mark Messier Earns 2nd
1988 Denis Savard Earns 1st
1988 Steve Yzerman Earns 2nd
1989 Steve Yzerman Earns 1st
1990 Steve Yzerman Earns 2nd
1991 Adam Oates Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1991 Joe Sakic Earns 2nd
1992 Jeremy Roenick Earns 2nd
1993 Doug Gilmour Earns 2nd
1993 Pat Lafontaine Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1994 Doug Gilmour Earns 2nd
1996 Eric Lindros Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1996 Mark Messier Earns 2nd
1997 Mike Modano Earns 2nd
1997 Peter Forsberg Earns 1st
1998 Ron Francis Earns 2nd
2001 Doug Weight Earns 2nd
  • Between 1980 and 2001, Gretzky & Lemieux earned a total of 24 (out of a possible 44) spots on the year-end all-star team. If you were a centre, you were screwed. Here's what the results would have looked like if Gretzky & Lemieux were eliminated.
  • I don’t think that Bernie Nicholls would have earned a spot on the year-end all-star team in 1989 if not for Gretzky (he never again approach his 70 goals, 150 point performance); however the only four players to earn votes that year were him, Gretzky, Lemieux (all eliminated) and Steve Yzerman (who gets promoted to the first team). Thus there’s no data to determine who would earn a spot on the second team (though I’d guess it’s one of Messier, Carson or Hawerchuk).
  • Steve Yzerman only earned one all-star spot (2000 first team) thanks to peaking when Gretzky and Lemieux were in their prime. However, if they were eliminated, Yzerman would have earned three additional spots: 2nd team in 1988, 1st team in 1989, and 2nd team in 1990.
  • Trottier’s position would have been affect in three years but he’d only actually earn one new spot (he’d get a spot on the 2nd team in 1981, and he’d move up from the 2nd to 1st team in 1982 and 1984). This would make him an extremely impressive four-time 1st team all-star (1978, 1979, 1982, 1984) plus a second-teamer in 1981.
  • Gilmour, Savard and Stastny each earn two all-star selections.

LW all-star

YearPlayerImpact
1991 Pat Verbeek Earns 2nd
1992 Luc Robitaille Jumps from 2nd to 1st
1992 Gary Roberts Earns 2nd
1993 Dave Andreychuk Earns 2nd
  • I’m assuming that Robitaille would have been good enough to be all-stars without Gretzky. I’m making the same assumption about Messier when he was a LW (as he rarely played with Gretzky and, if anything, would have received even more ice time).
  • Only Stevens and Graves are eliminated here.
  • Dave Andreychuk, the ultimate “stat compiler”, had a decent peak in the early/mid-90s and would have earned a single 2nd team all-star berths if not for Kevin Stevens.

RW all-star

YearPlayerImpact
2001 Pavel Bure Moves from 2nd to 1st
2001 Zigmund Palffy Earns 2nd
  • I’m assuming that Robitaille would have been good enough to be an all-star without Gretzky. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Jagr would have been an all-star without Lemieux in ’96 and ’97.
  • The only exception is that Jagr was relatively low-scoring and indifferent in 2001 until Lemieux returned; without #66 I find it unlikely that Lemieux would have been an all-star that year. Eliminating Jagr, Bure moves up to the first team and (safely assuming that Kovalev wouldn’t have been an all-star without Lemieux that year), Palffy earns a spot on the second team.

Overall impact
The are nine players that Gretzky/Lemieux heavily impacted:
  • Bryan Trottier. He would have earned his 2nd career Hart trophy and would have been a five-time all-star (4 first-team, 1 second-team).
  • Dale Hawerchuk. He would have earned his 1st career Hart trophy, his 1st career Art Ross trophy, and he would have been a two-time all-star (2 first-team).
  • Denis Savard. He would have won the Art Ross, led the league in assists twice, and became a three-time all-star (1 first-team, 2 second-team).
  • Doug Gilmour. He would have earned his 1st Hart trophy, an assists title, and he would have been a two-time all-star (2 second-team).
  • Marcel Dionne. He would have earned his 1st Hart trophy, his 2nd Art Ross trophy, he would have led the league in assists twice, and he would have been a five-time all-star (3 first-team, 2 second-team).
  • Mark Messier. He would have earned his 3rd career Hart trophy, his 1st and 2nd Art Ross trophies, he would have led the league in assists, and he would have become a seven-time all-star (4 first-team, 3 second-team).
  • Mike Bossy. He would have earned his 3rd, 4th and 5th goal-scoring crowns and he would have won his 1st and 2nd Art Ross trophies.
  • Peter Stastny. He would have earned his 1st Art Ross trophy, he would have led the league in assists twice, and he would have been a two-time all-star (1 first-team, 1 second-team).
  • Steve Yzerman. The biggest impact of all. He would have earned his 1st (and possibly 2nd) Hart trophies (see discussion re 1988); he would have won his 1st Art Ross trophy; he would have led the league in assists once and goals twice; he would have been a four-time all-star (2 first-team; 2 second-team).

ushvinder 02-16-2009 06:10 PM

Speaking of impact, what if Al Rollins played in an expanison era, is it safe to assume that he would be a hall of famer. I mean if you can be a starting goaltender for 7/25 O-6 era seasons, it means you are one hell of a goalie. Thats 7 seasons of at least top 6 goalie in the world.

foame 02-16-2009 06:10 PM

Great post! :yo:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider (Post 17969702)
Art Ross
YearPlayer
2001 Joe Sakic
  • Jagr would have earned his 6th Art Ross in 1996, which would tie him with Lemieux & Howe for the second most all-time.

+1 -1 for Jagr. Still 5.

TrevorLinden16 02-16-2009 06:12 PM

very interesting and well thought out. And while the obvious arbitrary nature of trying to eliminate two greats from existence for stats purposes can't be ignored, it's nonetheless an interesting and valuable exercise. Most interesting for me is how the legacies of great players would have changed by simply adding their name to a trophy, instead of being runner-up.

Big Phil 02-16-2009 06:17 PM

Hawerchuk, Yzerman and Messier benefit the most from it. While others like Statsny and Savard do as well.

seventieslord 02-16-2009 06:44 PM

Awesome job, as usual.

What does Graves have to do with this? I'm lost.

Hockey Outsider 02-16-2009 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17970584)
Awesome job, as usual.

What does Graves have to do with this? I'm lost.

Thanks. My mistake, I was thinking of the Gretzky/Graves duo from later in the 1990s. Obviously Gretzky wasn't a Ranger in 1994.

Quote:

Originally Posted by foame (Post 17969936)
Great post! :yo:


+1 -1 for Jagr. Still 5.

Thank you. Looks like Jagr gains the Art Ross in '96 and loses it in '01 so he's still behind Howe & Lemieux.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrevorLinden16 (Post 17969973)
very interesting and well thought out. And while the obvious arbitrary nature of trying to eliminate two greats from existence for stats purposes can't be ignored, it's nonetheless an interesting and valuable exercise. Most interesting for me is how the legacies of great players would have changed by simply adding their name to a trophy, instead of being runner-up.

Thanks & agreed. Obviously a lot of things would have changed if Gretzky & Lemieux were never in the league, but I think this is a decent starting point.

Personally I don't think there should be a huge difference between a player who wins an award, and one who finishes 2nd to Gretzky or Lemieux. But a lot of fans take a more superficial look and look at awards with an all-or-nothing approach.

pitseleh 02-16-2009 07:28 PM

Great work and interesting analysis as always HO.

I've always thought this would be an interesting way to analyze how players performed. I've always wanted to see how an Ogopogo-like system for measuring scoring proficiency would differ if you removed players from the scoring lists as they were added to the list (i.e. after Gretzky is placed #1 on the list, remove his name from the scoring charts and then recalculate scores and get #2 and remove him from the lists, and so on), but I'd imagine it'd be a complicated undertaking. It wouldn't be an accurate measure but it'd be interesting to see how the lists would differ if you somehow account for the quality of the competition a player was facing.

reckoning 02-16-2009 07:39 PM

Interesting stuff. Just a couple of observations:

- Regarding years where a defensive player was 2nd in Hart voting to Gretzky (Liut, Peeters, Langway, Howe, Bourque): I'm just wondering that if there was no Gretzky if maybe his votes may have gone to the Art Ross winner instead and possibly pushed them ahead of those goalies and defencemen. There's always a significant number of voters who give their Hart vote to whoever the scoring champion is. As much as I would've loved to have seen Howe or Bourque win the Hart, I'm not sure it would've happened even without Gretzky and Lemieux.

-Regarding Yzerman in '87-'88. He was getting a lot of Hart support throughout the season, not quite as much as Lemieux, but close. What really hurt his chances was when he got injured and missed the last 16 games of the year. Somehow Demers was able to rally the other Wing players to pick the slack and the team ended up going on their best run of the season, losing only 4 of those 16 games. This caused a lot of writers to ponder how valuable Yzerman was if they were doing well without him. Hypothetically, if he never got injured, or if Detroit fell apart without him, maybe he would've won the Hart even with Lemieux and Gretzky as competition.

Trottier 02-16-2009 07:52 PM

Good work, and a lot of interesting "what ifs".

More than anything else, for me at least, it reminds one of just how absurdly dominant these two players were.

As a Trottier and NYI fan during that time, once #99 arrived on the scene, never once did I expect any individual awards of note to be coming his way. Didnt make #19 any less of an all-time great, of course. He was simply going up against a legend who produced offense at a clip which no one had ever seen.

Moreover, the Cups softened any blow. ;)

I like to say that alltimers like Messier and Trottier were "great hockey players". Gretzky, Mario and Orr transcended that definition.

Lard_Lad 02-16-2009 07:56 PM

Good post, thanks. One other facet of a 99/66-less universe that'd be worth looking at is the effect on the Cup. If you take the extreme position (especially in Gretzky's case) that the Oilers and Pens would have no wins other then the Gretzky-less Edmonton one in 1990, and assume the team they beat in the finals would have won, the Flyers get a couple of 80's Cups, the Islanders extend their streak to 5, and Boston, Chicago, and Minnesota (Dallas) all get one.

Howe- and Orr-less scenarios would be interesting, too - with no Howe, Maurice Richard would have been the first team all-star RW 13 years in a row.

MXD 02-16-2009 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reckoning (Post 17971997)
Interesting stuff. Just a couple of observations:

- Regarding years where a defensive player was 2nd in Hart voting to Gretzky (Liut, Peeters, Langway, Howe, Bourque): I'm just wondering that if there was no Gretzky if maybe his votes may have gone to the Art Ross winner instead and possibly pushed them ahead of those goalies and defencemen. There's always a significant number of voters who give their Hart vote to whoever the scoring champion is. As much as I would've loved to have seen Howe or Bourque win the Hart, I'm not sure it would've happened even without Gretzky and Lemieux.

Well... It depends on many things. IMO, the only guys in this list that would have been a sure shot to win the Hart (no matter what) is... maybe the least heralded of those guys -- Peeters. I said it many times, but that season ranks among the Top-10 ever recorded by a goalie of any era.

poise 02-16-2009 09:04 PM

Once again, thank you for a very interesting topic Hockey Outsider. :)

I will say one thing in that I don't think that Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri would have suffered so much without Wayne Gretzky. Just from skimming the Press from 1983-1986, it seems there was a lot sentiment that one of Coffey or to a lesser extent Kurri was the second best Player in the League.

For example, in 1985-1986, I think it's simply too presumptive to drop Coffey 15 points to lose the Art Ross. Also, without Gretzky, Coffey becomes the main guy on that Oilers team, and I believe his support for the Hart Trophy would skyrocket (I believe he was the best Defenseman by a large margin as compared to Mark Howe and Ray Bourque and as such, his value to his team without Gretzky becomes much greater than Howe's).

The same thing can be applied with Kurri missing out on Goal scoring titles. I agree his scoring would suffer without Gretzky, but while a 7 goal drop in 1985-1986 maybe plausible (I still think it would be close), a 13 goal drop in 1984-1985 seems quite unlikely. Perhaps he would lose the Art Ross and the Hart to Dale Hawerchuk that season, but I definitely think Kurri would be a perennial contender in the mid 1980's for both honors. I'm basing much of this off Kurri's 1988-1989 season, where like Glen Sather said, he was among the top 3 or 4 Players in the League up until around the 50 Game mark (nagging injuries and constantly changing Centers from Jimmy Carson to Mark Lamb cost him a better finish yet around the halfway point the scoring race went Mario Lemieux - Bernie Nicholls (yes, he was outscoring Gretzky for a good portion of the season) - Gretzky - Steve Yzerman - Kurri).

While it's clear that Kurri and Coffey got to play more with Gretzky than Mark Messier, Messier played a ton with all three as well, and I just feel if Messier gets credit for an Art Ross win in 1986-1987 (where he was 1 point behind Kurri and 2 points ahead of Doug Gilmour) than Coffey and Kurri should get credit for their finishes as well. Until the late 80's, I feel that Kurri and Coffey were the clear #2 and #3 Players of the Oilers and this feeling seems backed up by the various people in Hockey at the time (though it seems they preferred Coffey to Kurri).

I liked the point made earlier that without Gretzky and Lemieux, other Offensive Players would have gotten a lot more consideration for the Hart Trophy and perhaps players like Mike Liut, Pete Peeters, and Rod Langway wouldn't have been runner ups.

seventieslord 02-16-2009 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider (Post 17971183)
Thank you. Looks like Jagr gains the Art Ross in '96 and loses it in '01 so he's still behind Howe & Lemieux.


But Lemieux has zero because now he doesn't exist :)

Trottier 02-16-2009 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MXD (Post 17972862)
...Peeters. I said it many times, but that season ranks among the Top-10 ever recorded by a goalie of any era.

...Only to be put away quietly by NYI in the postseason.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. Brought back sweet memories. :)

reckoning 02-16-2009 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lard_Lad (Post 17972423)
Good post, thanks. One other facet of a 99/66-less universe that'd be worth looking at is the effect on the Cup. If you take the extreme position (especially in Gretzky's case) that the Oilers and Pens would have no wins other then the Gretzky-less Edmonton one in 1990, and assume the team they beat in the finals would have won, the Flyers get a couple of 80's Cups, the Islanders extend their streak to 5, and Boston, Chicago, and Minnesota (Dallas) all get one.

I think Boston who have three Cups. They definitely would've beaten Minnesota in '91, and probably Chicago in '92. Which would really put Bourque's career in a better light.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MXD
Well... It depends on many things. IMO, the only guys in this list that would have been a sure shot to win the Hart (no matter what) is... maybe the least heralded of those guys -- Peeters. I said it many times, but that season ranks among the Top-10 ever recorded by a goalie of any era.

Unless some of the writers refused to vote for Peeters as payback for the alleged lightbulb incident.

Big Phil 02-16-2009 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17970584)
Awesome job, as usual.

What does Graves have to do with this? I'm lost.

Well I guess you could look at it and try to imagine Graves blatantly slashing Francis' wrist in '92 instead of Mario's...............

lextune 02-16-2009 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Phil (Post 17975101)
Well I guess you could look at it and try to imagine Graves blatantly slashing Francis' wrist in '92 instead of Mario's...............

...lol

Ohashi_Jouzu 02-16-2009 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider (Post 17971183)
Personally I don't think there should be a huge difference between a player who wins an award, and one who finishes 2nd to Gretzky or Lemieux. But a lot of fans take a more superficial look and look at awards with an all-or-nothing approach.

Agreed. It's just easier for the more casual fan to go to the NHL page and get the winners lists, or go to a TSN or hockeyreference page and see a player's awards/accomplishments. It is very difficult (outside of this board) to access voting results historically for the awards. It is even harder to use the different sources together quickly and comprehensively when considering different topics.

Just some of the reasons why I appreciate all the hard work guys like you, pnep, Thornton_19, Trottier and the boys (many I am leaving out unintentionally) do.

Hockey Outsider 02-17-2009 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reckoning (Post 17971997)
- Regarding years where a defensive player was 2nd in Hart voting to Gretzky (Liut, Peeters, Langway, Howe, Bourque): I'm just wondering that if there was no Gretzky if maybe his votes may have gone to the Art Ross winner instead and possibly pushed them ahead of those goalies and defencemen. There's always a significant number of voters who give their Hart vote to whoever the scoring champion is. As much as I would've loved to have seen Howe or Bourque win the Hart, I'm not sure it would've happened even without Gretzky and Lemieux.

Good point. It's certainly possible that, say, Peter Stastny could have won a Hart or two as he would likely be recognized as the best scorer outside of Gretzky.

On the other hand, there's clearly been a bias in favour of forwards in Hart voting over the past three decades. I think that's because, intentionally or not, a lot of writers must be comparing Bourque, Lidstrom, etc, to Bobby Orr. Maybe if Langway or Howe could have won a Hart in the 1980s, the award voters would have relaxed their standards for defensemen winning the Hart then we could have seen a better representation for Bourque, Lidstrom etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reckoning (Post 17971997)
-Regarding Yzerman in '87-'88. He was getting a lot of Hart support throughout the season, not quite as much as Lemieux, but close. What really hurt his chances was when he got injured and missed the last 16 games of the year. Somehow Demers was able to rally the other Wing players to pick the slack and the team ended up going on their best run of the season, losing only 4 of those 16 games. This caused a lot of writers to ponder how valuable Yzerman was if they were doing well without him. Hypothetically, if he never got injured, or if Detroit fell apart without him, maybe he would've won the Hart even with Lemieux and Gretzky as competition.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Do you remember who stepped up in Yzerman's absence?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trottier (Post 17972302)
As a Trottier and NYI fan during that time, once #99 arrived on the scene, never once did I expect any individual awards of note to be coming his way. Didnt make #19 any less of an all-time great, of course. He was simply going up against a legend who produced offense at a clip which no one had ever seen.

Moreover, the Cups softened any blow. ;)

Thanks. One thing I didn't mention -- without Gretzky, you'd have to think the Isles would have been successful in their Drive for Five.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lard_Lad (Post 17972423)
Good post, thanks. One other facet of a 99/66-less universe that'd be worth looking at is the effect on the Cup. If you take the extreme position (especially in Gretzky's case) that the Oilers and Pens would have no wins other then the Gretzky-less Edmonton one in 1990, and assume the team they beat in the finals would have won, the Flyers get a couple of 80's Cups, the Islanders extend their streak to 5, and Boston, Chicago, and Minnesota (Dallas) all get one.

If the Flyers won at least one Cup, I think Howe would have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. It would also increase the chances for Propp and Kerr (maybe not enough to get them inducted though).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lard_Lad (Post 17972423)
Howe- and Orr-less scenarios would be interesting, too - with no Howe, Maurice Richard would have been the first team all-star RW 13 years in a row.

I'll probably get to this one day. I know from past research that Brad Park would have won four Norris trophies if not for Bobby Orr.

Hockey Outsider 02-17-2009 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by poise (Post 17974298)
While it's clear that Kurri and Coffey got to play more with Gretzky than Mark Messier, Messier played a ton with all three as well, and I just feel if Messier gets credit for an Art Ross win in 1986-1987 (where he was 1 point behind Kurri and 2 points ahead of Doug Gilmour) than Coffey and Kurri should get credit for their finishes as well. Until the late 80's, I feel that Kurri and Coffey were the clear #2 and #3 Players of the Oilers and this feeling seems backed up by the various people in Hockey at the time (though it seems they preferred Coffey to Kurri).

Thanks - great post. There's definitely a lot of judgment going into my assumptions. I don't think Kurri could have scored 60 goals or 130 points without Gretzky, but 50/110 sounds reasonable. The post I made could definitely be modified with more generous assumptions for Kurri & Coffey.

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17974499)
But Lemieux has zero because now he doesn't exist :)

Haha. I'm confused by my own alternate reality logic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu (Post 17976884)
Agreed. It's just easier for the more casual fan to go to the NHL page and get the winners lists, or go to a TSN or hockeyreference page and see a player's awards/accomplishments. It is very difficult (outside of this board) to access voting results historically for the awards. It is even harder to use the different sources together quickly and comprehensively when considering different topics.

Just some of the reasons why I appreciate all the hard work guys like you, pnep, Thornton_19, Trottier and the boys (many I am leaving out unintentionally) do.

Thank you. I don't think any other resource has as much detailed information as the HFBoards history section (and that includes the NHL Awards Media Guide (which only goes to 5th place for major awards and doesn't have all-star voting data).

Bluefan75 02-18-2009 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider (Post 17996169)
Good point. It's certainly possible that, say, Peter Stastny could have won a Hart or two as he would likely be recognized as the best scorer outside of Gretzky.

On the other hand, there's clearly been a bias in favour of forwards in Hart voting over the past three decades. I think that's because, intentionally or not, a lot of writers must be comparing Bourque, Lidstrom, etc, to Bobby Orr. Maybe if Langway or Howe could have won a Hart in the 1980s, the award voters would have relaxed their standards for defensemen winning the Hart then we could have seen a better representation for Bourque, Lidstrom etc.


Sorry if this is a bit of threadjacking, but do you suppose some of this bias is similar to baseball in that they don't vote for pitchers for MVP often because they have their own award? Ie. defensemen have the Norris trophy, so why should they get a Hart trophy as well? Not saying it is right or wrong, simply that it exists in baseball, and I could very easily see that existing in hockey as well.

Hockey Outsider 02-18-2009 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluefan75 (Post 18012276)
Sorry if this is a bit of threadjacking, but do you suppose some of this bias is similar to baseball in that they don't vote for pitchers for MVP often because they have their own award? Ie. defensemen have the Norris trophy, so why should they get a Hart trophy as well? Not saying it is right or wrong, simply that it exists in baseball, and I could very easily see that existing in hockey as well.

Although it's not possible to know for sure, your theory makes sense.

I don't have the number handy but I know that in the 1930s and 1940s, 25-30% of all Hart finalists (top five) were defensemen. Since 1954, when the first Norris trophy was awarded, defensemen have made up perhaps 10% of Hart finalists. (These numbers aren't exact but I know somebody made a detailed post about this a few months back).

It's possible that the decrease was coincidental, but it's also possible that voters intentionally decided to give defensemen fewer Hart votes because they had their own award.

Obviously Shore fared better in Hart voting than Harvey -- but sometimes I think that Harvey may have won 2-3 Harts had there not been a Norris trophy when he was around. Maybe Shore would have won 8 Norris trophies but only 1 Hart.

lextune 02-18-2009 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider (Post 17996169)
I think that's because, intentionally or not, a lot of writers must be comparing Bourque, Lidstrom, etc, to Bobby Orr.

There is no doubt about it.
Even here, (in Boston), where we worshiped Ray. At the end of the 89/90 regular season when it seemed like an absolutely lock that Ray would be the first defensemen to win the Hart since Orr, slightly snide articles started to show up in the local papers. Thinly veiled caveats telling us that while Bourque was certainly deserving of the award, it was not going to mean that he was as great as Orr was, etc. etc.


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