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01-22-2012, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post

This is based on NHL seasons (even though I realize that not every defenseman listed played in the NHL). For example, Harvey's "1947-1969" career span translates into "1947-48" to "1968-69" when I summed the data. There may be some minor errors, but nothing significant.

1983 featured fifteen active players: Savard, Vasiliev, Lapointe, Park, Salming, Robinson, Potvin, Howe, Fetisov, Kasatonov, Langway, Bourque, Coffey, MacInnis and Stevens. Obviously, they weren't all in their primes that particular year. Also note that 1984 featured fifteen active players - Savard retired, but Chelios played his first dozen NHL games.

Twenty-nine of the defensemen (64%) played at least one year after expansion. Only six (13%) player at least one year before the consolidation of all of the professional North American leagues into the NHL in 1925-26 (Shore, Clancy, Cleghorn, Gerard, Stuart, Johnson).

Do any eras look over- or under- represented?
Thanks, interesting graphs. It's interesting that 2011 is the first year since 1921 with only three all-time greats playing. Unless we think that the quality of today's defencemen is really the worst in ninety years, it seems we are underrating some of the players of today. Is the case for Harry Howell really that much stronger than the case for Duncan Keith?

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