Argument for Oates
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05-12-2005, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Originally Posted by
I agree with the notion of higher standards and while I can see the effect that longevity has had on modern players are you discounting it in past players as well? Long careers are not simply a recent phenomenon. Gordie Howe played for 25 years. Jean Beliveau for 18. Henri Richard played for 20. Red Kelly played for 20.
Do you diminish these players as well for their longevity too?
I'm not attacking you here, I'm just curious as to how you treat longevity of past players versus longevity of modern ones.
As far as eras go you have mentioned that you attach less weight to numbers piled up in the offensive era of the mid-80s and early 90s. By that definition points accumulated in the last 7-8 years would should not suffer that distinction because the current era is definitely defensive. Again just curious as to how these variables fit in your system.
Actually players like Howe, Beliveau, and Kelly excelled for a large portion of their careers so, their long careers were also very productive careers.
What I do is level the playing field. I consider all eras equal - it is not the individual players fault that they played in the high scoring 80s, the defensive 2000s or the 30 game seasons of the 20s. I believe that all things should be equal so that all players have an equal chance to be compared.
There are two pieces of evidence that we can use to determine the all time greats. Statistics and actually watching the players play. On one hand stats don't tell us everything and on the other, nobody alive has seen every player in NHL history play. So, we have to use eyewitness accounts of who the all time greats are. How do we do that? Hart Trophy and runners up, Norris trophy and runners up, post season all stars, Conn Smythe Trophy. These awards were voted on by the hockey writers that actually saw the players play. It is perfect? Heck no. But, it is better than taking a panel of people and having a vote when they have never seen Eddie Shore or Howie Morenz play. If the NHL trusted the voters to hand out the hardware, I will trust them as my eyes for seasons past.
Also, NHL scoring stats are useful tools in telling us who the greats are. If a player can consistently score a lot of points, he is a great player. But, how do we account for things like greats of the 20s winning scoring titles with only 35 points compared to the 80s where the norm was into the mid 100s or more? I use the 7 point system.
I treat every single scoring race as equal. If you win the scoring title in 1923 that is the same thing as winning the scoring title in 2003. You are the best scorer in the NHL so that is equal to being the best scorer in the NHL any season. I give the leading scorer 7 points. 2nd gets 6, 3rd gets 5, 4th gets 4, 5th gets 3, 6th gets 2 and 7th in scoring gets 1. I only used the top 7 because I wanted to focus on the greatest players of all time. Guys who consistently finish 12th or 15th are good hockey players but they are not great players.
The one change to the 7 point system that I had to add was extra points for extreme domination. Howie Morenz, Bill Cowley, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Wayne Gretzky have all won scoring titles by more than 25% over the second leading scorer. That is significantly more impressive than winning by a point or two. So, for winning by 25% + I gave a player 2 extra points. Wayne Gretzky even blew that away by winning several scoring titles by more than 50%. To accurately reflect that domination, I added 4 points to the 7 for winning the title.
With the awards, I am still updating my ratings with some new information that I have been given (thanks fellow posters). Major award winners and runners up get points on the system. Stanley Cup winners get points. I am also going to include playoff scoring and great goal scoring and assist seasons.
So, when my next edition of the list is finished I will post it. I think it does a nice job of creating a level playing field for all NHLers and does not give undue credit to players like Messier, Francis and Gartner who are well up the all time scoring list because of longevity during an offensive era.
Hope that explains my thought process.
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