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11-06-2007, 07:47 AM
Hockey Outsider
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Sadly, we don't have the actual all-star voting for the 30's
See the awards & voting thread (History forum). I dug up a lot of the historical all-star team voting numbers, from 1931 until around 1950, over the summer (I believe it starts on the bottom of page 5). My work was mostly summarizing the data rather than analyzing it, but I agree that there are some weird results. For example, one year, Hap Day deserved a spot that went to another player (I think Lionel Conacher) because he had more votes both at his position and in total! There was another weird vote (I think with Aurel Joliat?), who won the Hart but easily got beaten for the first-team spot. Tie-breaking was handled differently as well (two players tied for the first-team spot one year when they would have been split between the first and second team by today's rules). I'm not saying that the early all-star teams are worthless, but I agree that we should look at them with some scepticism. (Though I believe we should use some scepticism for any award in any era).

One thing that might have worked against Horner is that, in the 1930s, they had voting on a left D/right D basis. Nowadays, all defensemen eligible for any of the first or second team spots. I don't remember offhand if Horner is a left or right D, but if he was the same position as Shore, he had no chance at making the first team for virtually his entire career.

Two more quick points. First, Nels Stewart's two best seasons (he won the Hart twice) came before all-star teams were around. He clearly would have been an all-star twice. However, the rest of his career, he was consistently hanging around 5-10 in goals and points. That's still quite good obviously, but none of them were necessarily all-star calibre seasons. So I don't think he necessarily lost out on undeserved spots.

Second, based on my work, I'd say that the voting was too complex and widespread for there to be any intentional biases against young players or any "lifetime achievement awards". But sometimes there are biases where a lot of sports writers think and vote the same way. A bias is possible, but it's not like the NHL decided to give Bill Cook a career achievement award.

Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-06-2007 at 08:01 AM.
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