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08-09-2012, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
What is difficult in comparing players to the best players that existed at the time? Even if they're only the best that can arise in the circumstances at the time, they are still the best in their time.

It's the circumstances that the player played in that matters, not something that arose later, that (1) the player has no control over and (2) had no effect on the player since he did not play under that circumstance.

How is the bar raised? Modern players, who have all the advantages available to modern players, are compared against other modern players, who play in basically the same circumstances.

Historical players are instead compared against other historical players from their time.

This is the only way you can do it, and still be fair to players from all times.

Yes, players of a particular talent level have to "compete" against more players of that talent level in terms of being ranked on an all-time list. But this fact by itself means that there will already be more modern players on any such list, and suggesting that modern players are therefore somehow disadvantaged seems strange.

Now, whether O6-era players are fairly rated is another matter. But that's a separate issue from whether historical players can be ranked fairly.

Edit: Perhaps you believe that when I say "respect" older players, that I mean players from every era must have equal numerical representation on a list of X of the best players. That is not the case. Just that all players of a certain level should be included, and not have some disregarded because they played too long ago.
Maybe there has been some misunderstanding here, I will try to be more clear.

If there is too much emphasis on how players did against their peers how is it fair to guys who played in pre NHL times with various volatile leagues and little information, comparatively speaking left from those times compared to say a guy like Nieds who competes in fully integrated NHL with many top players being non Canadians.

If the league had stayed the same and sued a somewhat similar player pool it would be one thing but we know how much the game has changed and how many new top skilled players have entered the NHL from the US and other non Canadian systems.

If we look at all the players over time that have been able to play at the NHL level, or equivalent would it not look like an inverted pyramid and all things being equal would it be unfair to expect any list of top players from all time have a similar look?

In reality we had a project like the top 60 Dmen of all time that predetermined, for the most part, the outcome (of the top 60 but not the order) by the necessary inclusion of players from all time. when there are only 5 guys from say the 20's to even enter the conversation and maybe 4 or 5 times more from a more recent time there will be less consensus on the larger group.

Also I'll bring up the case of Nieds again and how he finished in Norris voting, his competition included players from other non Canadian sources and a guy like Pierre Pilote didn't.

But the lists and thinking acted like the NHL was the same for both players, which is what I'm talking about with raising the bar.

It's not enough that Nieds has to dominate on the same or better level as his predecessors but he has to compete against other elite Dmen as well.

That's just one example but hopefully you understand what I'm getting at.

In all honesty it would be more fair to both groups of players at either end of the historical timeline to break down separate lists in eras or something because there is more possibility of error or misjudging given the two extremes of information and the differences in play form one end of the spectrum to the other IMO.

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