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12-29-2010, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cognition View Post

If we decided to expand to 60 teams today would all those second liners that are now first liners magically become better because they're playing in a larger league?

If we decided to contract to 15 teams today would all those first liners that are now second liners magically become worse because they're playing in a smaller league?

The best players in the world play in the NHL. The ones who aren't in the league wouldn't be competing for trophies anyway. Gordie Howe would have been winning his Hart trophies regardless of whether Colby Armstrong was in the league.

There's other factors over time, yes, and if people want to adjust for development and the pool of players and Europe, that's another discussion, but to act like the number of teams specifically has a proportionate effect is obnoxiously ignorant.

I can only assume anyone defending it is just doing so because they're embarrassed to have made the mistake in the first place or because they're the type of person to never accept it when they've been corrected.
That's not really the argument though. For the most part the best players will be the best players regardless, but there's more chance for freak seasons when more players are put in first line roles, and while I don't think the talent has increased as much as some believe, I think it's pretty clear there's more competition for the top 10. While you can peg guys like Crosby and Ovechkin and Stamkos as good bets to finish top 5, how many guys have a chance at a top 10 spot? There's probably about 25 players in the league that wouldn't be surprising if they finished top 10 in scoring.

I think rather than expanding to 60 teams, the better analogy is contracting to 15 teams. Now you have guys who are getting top line minutes with first liners relegated to second line duty, and a possible decrease in their numbers. Guys like Getzlaf, Kopitar, Staal are all star PPG centres around the same level and any of them could get hot and pull off a a top 10 season. However, say Getzlaf is put on the same team with Crosby, and perhaps he doesn't have that chance anymore. He's not worse than he is now, but scoring levels aren't always dependent on how good you are, but also situation and opportunity. (and even if you look at a guy like Malkin, he would probably be scoring more being the go to guy on a team that could afford better wingers)

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