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12-11-2011, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Distribution of defensemen by year

- I used the seasons in the first post in this thread (i.e Bobby Orr's career spans 1966-1979, so he got credit for playing from the 1966-67 season to the 1978-79 season). I haven't taken into accounts "gaps" in players' careers (i.e. Orr did not actually play during 1977-78 season).

- Starting from 1910-1911 (Cleghorn's roookie season), only one year, 1946-47, fails to include a top twenty defenseman.

- Two consecutive seasons (1983-84 and 1984-85) feature nine of the top twenty defensemen (Bourque, Chelios, Coffey, Fetisov, MacInnis, Park, Potvin, Robinson and Stevens).

- Fifteen of the top twenty defenseman (all except Clancy, Cleghorn, Kelly, Seibert and Shore) played at least part of their career after expansion.

More comments/observations welcome.
Seems fairly reasonable, though I think pre-cosolidation defensemen could stand to be more represented as we move along.

The late 70s - early 90s is generally considered a sort of Golden Era for two-way defensemen, as you have players who might have played forward in the past play D instead in the wake of Bobby Orr. And the very recent years are underreprested because active players are still making their legacies.

Curious - what do the numbers look like if you only use Canadians? (which would mean no Lidstrom, Fetisov, or Chelios basically).

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