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02-02-2011, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
one thing i'd add about the league's O6 talent level vs. later periods is we don't know where the talent drop-off was. or at least i don't know-- i'm open to evidence or arguments from anyone who might have an idea.

maybe the third liners and bottom pair d-men on most teams were virtually interchangeable with 50 or more other guys who were stuck in the minors. obviously, expansion would have still created more jobs than this hypothetical talent pool could have filled, but i still don't know the degree to which the first wave of expansion and the subsequent waves diluted the league's competitiveness.

two things can probably be surmised though:

1. that the bottom end of the O6 talent pool would have very likely been more competitive due to the extreme level of competition for those last spots on every team. for example, if there were hypothetically any number of guys in the minor leagues who were talented enough and ready to take NHL roster spots, then the guys who were occupying third lines and bottom pairs in the O6 league would have almost literally had to give "110%" every shift just to keep their jobs.

2. the goaltending in the O6 era was likely the best ever, top to bottom. if the best four goalies in the league in any given era are probably hall of famers, you have a situation like boston's "uke line" facing a hall of famer in net every single night the opposition wasn't playing their backup (the other five teams had plante, hall, sawchuk, bower, and worsley).
I agree with 100% of the content in this post.

Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Similar to Hockey Outsider's thread about Sakic, I decided to look up Messier's gamelogs to see if there was a significant difference in how his teams did when he was and wasn't in the lineup. Unfortunately, the logs of Hockey-Reference only go back to the '87-'88 season, so I don't have the data from his first 8 seasons, but here's the rest of his career:

Edmonton ('87-'88 to '90-'91):
With Messier: 142-103-36; .569
Without Messier: 15-21-3; .423

NY Rangers ('91-'92 to '96-'97):
With Messier: 224-152-45; .586
Without Messier: 13-20-6; .410

Vancouver ('97-'98 to '99-'00):
With Messier: 71-103-33; .423
Without Messier: 7-24-8; .282

NY Rangers ('00-'01 to '03-'04):
With Messier: 108-145-24; .433
Without Messier: 20-29-2; .412

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