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01-07-2012, 01:38 AM
Ollie Queen
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Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
The term 'top 6 player' isn't necessarily a term used to just describe the top 6 players on a team, or the top 180 forwards in the league. Yes technically with 30 teams you need 180 top 6 players, but not all those players are 'top 6 players.'

PAP is the perfect example. He has a 50pt season and plays on a top line, however if you took a poll of HF, there would be very few people who would describe him as a 'top 6 forward' or select him in that spot on a team wanting to make a cup run. yes he's put up the numbers, but quite a bit of that has to do with the fact that he is playing top line minutes with legitimate top 6 players. Likewise, AA will likely put up top 6 type #s as he's given the ice-time.

IMO, in an ideal world, on a cup contender, AA would center a 3rd line, or pinch hit on the 2nd as required. With the salary-cap, it's very hard to get the ideal, but that doesn't mean that everyone playing on the top 2 lines is a 'top 6 forward'.
That's because HF posters' idea of what makes a top six forward is completely unrealistic. Ok, maybe you wouldn't put him in the top six on a Cup competitor, but just because he's not your IDEAL top six forward doesn't mean he's NOT a top six forward. Not every team has the luxury of being built for a deep playoff run; half the teams don't even make the playoffs, yet they all need to ice a full roster including six guys on their top two lines. HF posters have taken the idea of the IDEAL in each position and turned it into the standard. The ideal and the standard, however, in reality, are not always in line with one another and there are plenty of forwards who simply ARE top six forwards even if the almighty HF posting populace disagrees. The armchair GMs on this website (myself often included) think way too highly of their own opinions.

Face it, even if your argument that not all "top-six forwards" are truly top-six forwards has merit, the fact remains that 180 players play IN the top six in the NHL (more in reality, because most lineups aren't static/some players get top six PP minutes but not ES, etc.) and barely 90 forwards scored more than 50 points last year. That's barely HALF the number of players populating the top 6 who actually managed to put up 50+ points. No matter how you slice it, there aren't enough IDEAL top sixers out there for every team to fill their lineup with. That's why the standard for a top six player and the ideal, realistically, can't be the same. So while (to use your own words) the numbers don't necessarily mean that "everyone playing the top 2 lines is a top six forward" it remains a fact that what constitutes a top six forward in reality is far different from what HF posters believe is the requisite for being an effective top six player. Count me the teams that have the perfect, ideal top six... as in there isn't a single player in their top six that would be better suited on a third line or lower.

Last edited by Ollie Queen: 01-07-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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