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08-09-2012, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Yeah, they might have done well in the NHL if they had been young, but would they have done any better than, say, Makarov or Larionov, in their 30s? (I can agree that neither would've been as bad as overweight, out of shape Krutov [Mikhailov, for one, certainly had more discipline])

I like Mikhailov, he is my 2nd favourite player of all-time after a certain Mr. Martinec, but I can't quite agree that Mikhailov was less-dependent on his linemates/unit than the likes of Kharlamov and Makarov. Mikhailov with weak linemates, hmmm, I don't think much would have happened, but Kharlamov and Makarov, with their skating and 1-on-1 skills would have created at least something. And while Mikhailov had more talent than Cashman, there's no question that Cashman was also a lot bigger & stronger and had more 'authority' in the corners. Not even comparable IMO. And I don't know if a Wayne Cashman like career would have been something to drive for anyway. I think everyone would already agree now that Mikhailov is the better player, even without having played a single game in the NHL.

So have I understood correctly... you rank the Soviet players based on whether they have 'NHL skills' or not, is that what you're saying?

Hypothetical: A Soviet player X, who did not do much in the Soviet league or internationally but who in your opinion had those 'NHL skills' is better than a Soviet player Y, who was destroying opponents in USSR and international tournaments, but who didn't have - again, in your opinion - the skills needed in the NHL? Sorry for an 'extreme example'...

And no, I don't think Mikhailov - although he aged very well - or Yakushev would have done much in the NHL as 30-year old 'rookies'.
Mikhailov had more authority in the corners /boards than Cashman because he had a more versatile skill set. Also he had a much greater presence in all parts of the ice.

Issue is whether the skills will adapt well to the NHL and vice versa. Example Vic Hadfield's skills did not translate from the NHL game to the international game very well.

Post 30 years old in the NHL. If you look at NHL players from the early 1970's who did well you would see Frank Mahovlich and John Bucyk who are comparable to Yakushev and Mikhailov respectively.As for Kharlamov and Makarov their skills were similar to a Guy Lafleur whose performance after the age of 30 was nothing special.

You have to appreciate Mikhailov's main skill - creating space and time on the ice for his linemates. Weak linemates given more space and time improve performance.See Rob Brown with Mario Lemieux.

I am not ranking just recognizing what skills worked effectively in the NHL of a specific era. No different than a player moving from junior/university/minor leagues to higher leagues or parallel leagues. Certain weak European players surprised in the NHL. Kjell Dahlin is a good example. Those whose skating was not strong enough for the large international rinks could and did find a niche on the smaller NHL surface. Issue is not better but adaptability.

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