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11-17-2005, 10:54 AM
marcel snapshot
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Slugging Percentage

In baseball, slugging percentage is at-bats divided by total bases. Let's decide that in hockey slugging percentage is penalty minutes + total points. And let's say you have to have, at a minimum, 200 penalty minutes (so we weed out the softies who pile up points 'cuz of the protection provided by the sluggers) and 40 points (so that we're dealing with players that have some actual skill).

So, since 1970, who would we expect the top sluggers to be?

No doubt Dale Hunter would be on the list -- His best year as a slugger -- 1981-82 with Quebec: 22 goals 50 assists and an impressive 272 penalty minutes for a slugging score of 344.

Terry O'Reilly had a good slugging year in '79-80: 19 goals 42 assists and 265 PIM for a score of 326. Willi Plett was another well-known slugger and got 21 goals, 36 assists and 288 penalty minutes for Calgary in '81-82 for a score of 345

Gary Roberts had a nice slugging year as a 50 goal scorer with the Flames in '91-'92: 53 goals 37 assists and 207 penalty minutes for a socre of 297. That might be the only instance in which a 50 goal scorer got the minimum 200 penalty minutes.

Another impressive slugging year from an offensive production standpoint may belong to Al Secord of the Black Hawks in 1982-83: 44 goals 31 assists and a very respectiable 303 penalty minutes for a score of 378.

Another "well-balanced" slugging year was had by Dave "Tiger" Williams in 1980-81 for Vancouver -- he tallied 35 goals, 27 assists and a whopping 343 penalty minutes for a score of 405.

Tiger's year was bested by Dave Manson of the Black Hawks in 1988-89: 18 goals 36 assists and a formidable 352 penalty minutes for a score of 406

But the top prize goes to Marty McSorley with the LA Kings in 1992-93 (the year they went to the Finals). He barely satisfied the minimum point requirement, getting only 15 goals and 26 assists, but that was more than compensated for by the eye-popping 399 penalty minutes he accumulated for a total score of 440.

And how do modern day sluggers like Todd Bertuzzi measure up against these ancient warriors -- they're nancy boys by comparison. Bertuzzi's best slugging year 2002-03, he doesn't even crack 250: 46 goals, 51 assists and a Euro-like 144 penalty minutes for a feeble slugging percentage of 241.

Matthew Barnaby got to 366 in 1995-96, but he only had 31 points, so he doesn't qualify as a bona fide slugger. Tie Domi also has never reached 40 points in a year.

They don't make 'em like they used to.

Here's a link into Hockey DB for anyone who wants to pull up some other sluggers. I'd be interested to know the best "play-making slugger" -- i.e., best combination of penalty minutes and assists.

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