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12-14-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Three years and only 25 games on the national team, scoring no goals ever against Czechoslovakia nor Sweden, just one against Canada and a total of ten internationally in all for a career center. Does he have intangibles? Was he defensive? Or... was he the domestic league scorer who couldn't cut it on the national team he seems to be? Hundreds of players are talked about in Lawrence Martin's The Red Machine and Tarosov's Road to Olympus but not a single mention of the short term national team center whose only claim to historical mention is one statistically superior domestic regular season in goals scored and two other all-star seasons, all three in the domestic league.

BTW, Nikolai Makarov would be a half-decent pick at this point, or some time soon. Players whose resume relies on domestic European league play without international success, or even tenure during their nation's greatest era for international level of play is just... so B draft material!

I appreciate the heck out of so many Soviets... but Groshev? .. I must be missing something... or else you value domestic European league scoring in the late 50s/early 60s much higher than I do!! Which is it?
Groshev played in 15 international games that mattered, scoring 18 points. In 1959 he scored 10 points in 8 games, tying for 6 th in the tournament. Red Berenson, Josef Golonka, Tommy Williams, and Jaroslav Jirik (known quantities) scored between 8 and 13 points themselves. Groshev is listed as USSR’s points leader, but at 6-4-10 all that is certain is that he was their goals leader, since he’s the only Soviet forward with assists listed. (he most likely was the point leader though). In 1960 he had 8 points in 7 games, tied for 4 th on the team. The only guy with more than 9 points on the soviets was Alexandrov with 13. The exploits of the Alexandrov line in the 1955-1970 range (the exact range in which Groshev’s career occurred) are well-recognized by this point, and Groshev was some degree below them, just as Earl Ingarfield was some degree below Dave Keon. Don’t be so fast to just pigeonhole a player into a caliber of draft due to one perceived flaw.

I’m not really concerned with what happened in the other international games you speak of – should I be? The level of competition is not anywhere close to a sure thing, as opposed to the IIHF events like the Olympics and the Worlds.

Groshev is a 3-time First team all-star in the Soviet league (1959, 1960, 1962). There was no available player who had done this even twice. Just six one-timers, all from the 1958-1963 era, now remain. (plus a few 80s goalies and two post-1990 players)

I can’t tell you much about him as a player, but I can tell you that in 1959, the first team all-star forwards were Loktev (2 nd in scoring), Mayorov (3 rd in scoring), and Groshev (not sure, but he is not listed in the top-10 in scoring). What did he do right to get the all-star spot over already drafted players Viktor Yakushev (1 st ), Stanislav Petukhov (5 th ), and the rest of the guys in the top-10?

In 1960 again, Groshev was not among the top scorers listed (top-6), but he was a 1 st team all-star.

In 1962, Groshev not only led the league in scoring, but was 8 ahead of 2 nd place Boris Mayorov (who led Starshinov and Almetov), who was only three goals ahead of 10 th . Let me repeat: Groshev was 8 goals ahead ahead of 2 nd place, and 2 nd was just three ahead of 10 th . As far as scoring was concerned, it was really just Groshev and everyone else that year.

Groshev scored 236 goals in 450 USSR league games for an average of 0.52 per game. Konstantin Loktev, considered a bonafide ATDer, scored 0.63 per game, in 110 fewer games, with far superior linemates, in a career that both started and ended a few years earlier, meaning he faced slightly lesser competition domestically. Who was the more offensively talented player? Let’s pretend the other factors don’t matter and simply look at raw GPG. Groshev scored at 84% Loktev’s rate. You tell me, where do most players who score at a rate of 84% of a bonafide ATDer get selected? Starshinov’s average was 0.75 per game domestically, meaning Groshev scored at about 69% his rate. You tell me – where do most players who score at a rate of 69% of a bonafide ATD second liner get selected?

I know that is boiling it down rather simply, but I also ignored points that work in Groshev’s favour (linemates, era, more GP). There is far more than enough here to ignore his relative lack of an international resume and consider him intriguing enough.

To recap:
He had three 1 st all-star teams, no one else available had two
He had a habit of being selected for the all-star teams despite not having the scoring stats of some other players
He had a soviet scoring title by a margin of victory of 27% over a bonafide ATDer
When he did play internationally he performed very well
His long term sustained production is similar enough to well-known players to make a reasonable judgment as to where he slots in.

As for Makarov… why snipe at me now over this? I would address your points but I addressed them all very well back in the AAA and received nary a response from you – AS USUAL

Both The Red Machine and Road To Olympus are excellent books that document the soviet history and systems rather well, but don’t try to tell someone who has read them both, that they are excellent resources on individual players. They aren’t anything close to that. There are fleeting references to perhaps 100 players, most of whom are mentioned once and never again.

All this from a guy who just drafted a Czech with a whopping 15 points in 45 legitimate international games and absolutely no accolades associated with him. Are we supposed to believe that he’s a good pick because he played in 43 international games (which, if you take a look at all the available Soviets, Czechs, Swedes and Finns from the 70s and 80s, is a relatively small number)?*

I am all for drafting a good, fair number of international players from the 50s, right up to 1990, and perhaps even a couple isolated cases before and after those points. Comparing these types of players to the “main pool” of players (NHLers) is not an exact science, though we do our best (seemingly we start from the fact that we think Kharlamov was a potential NHL superstar, Mikhailov, Maltsev, Yakushev and Petrov stars, and the rest below them to relative degrees). I think we have generally done an ok job. I can’t say for sure that a guy like Augusta wasn’t just as good as the number of mediocre NHL scoring forwards being taken at this time. No one can for sure. But I can say that it is not the least bit difficult to find three dozen undrafted European forwards from this period with more impressive resumes (domestic and international). For that reason I don’t see the point in that selection. If one is going to draft a European player at any time, one should make the effort to ensure that European player is one of the very best available, and not just “some player” – Much like you have been doing with your early era picks. You have been clearly demonstrating with easy to understand cases, why they are the “next best” player from that era worthy of selection. I like that.

*(Novak’s 23 points in 40 games are nothing to write home about either, but at least he has that intriguingly high goal per game average)

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