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08-28-2010, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Wow, and I mean no disrespect to Clarke or anything but there is no way I'd pass up Jagr for Clarke. Clarke over Forsberg? Sure. But Clarke's two way game still does not make up for the tantalizing talent of Jagr. There are some players who were so good on the offensive side of the game that they can be forgiven for not being elite defensively. Jagr fits this bill. He elevated the play of his teammates. He took the Pens further in the playoffs than they deserved. He scored 127 points with Straka and Barnes. He was impossible to knock off the puck, he was a much better goal scorer than Clarke, in fact it isn't even close. If you said he was a better playmaker I would likely agree with that as well.

Give me Jaromir 8 days a week
I agree but a lot of people tend to buy into the "Canadian salt of the earth" grit and two-way ability Clarke possessed. He was great at faceoffs, playmaking and captaining but his tactics and the Flyers play overall may have been effective but Jagr dominated without that support or having to whack at ankles to get respect on the ice. It's close but Clarke never showed great goal scoring ability (never hit 40 and only cracked 30 a few times in a higher scoring era than most of Jagr's career) much like Foppa. Clarke's 3 Hart trophies to Jagr's 1 is an advantage but Jagr won 5 scoring titles from the right wing. Jagr had even more proficient linemates for a while but from 1997-2000 he played his best hockey with average talent around him.

If Clarke won a scoring title or two, picked up some 40 goal years and stuff then he'd be higher than Jaromir IMO. I think a better argument would be Forsberg vs. Clarke or Trottier vs. Jagr. I always find it tough to compare wingers and centres but not when they did what Jags did. He didn't just score goals from the wing like he was supposed to do, he set up even his own centres. He holds the record for assists by a RW with 87 and didn't need the 80s to do it. Now, the real incredible mark is his 83assists in 1998-99 done without Mario and with a very low scoring season in the NHL. But Jagr was good enough to make a mediocre team dangerous. I'm not sure Clarke could've done that in 1975 if he was top centre of, say, Pittsburgh or Vancouver (average but not lousy teams that year).

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