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08-11-2012, 11:45 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Everyone draws their line in a different place. I definitely have room for players from 1910-1925 in my top 100, if at a bit of a discount. Before that I don't see top level hockey as a competitive enough endeavor as compared to other sports and careers. Others probably disagree.
That sounds reasonable. I just think people are paying a premium or giving a slight discount to eras that should be at near clearance sale level in terms of proportion of players included on any top Y list of all-time. I'm trying to determine a proper estimate for such.

Re drinking, smoking, partying, etc, I don't know but suspect that the partying lifestyle was probably at a high point in the 1970s when society and professional hockey were both rapidly changing. I imagine players were probably better conditioned in earlier eras (although many would still drink and smoke.)
I would guess you're correct and that the late 60s to early 80s (the 70s) would have more of that for the cultural/hockey reasons given.

For the rest, I don't mean to say that unstructured hours on the pond are the only factor. Training by a good coach is also very important. Structured training and unstructured play have different strengths when it comes to developing hockey players. The best results come when both are present, IMO. And I would agree that coaching has become more consistently good across the board in the last decade, at least in Canada. There are different ways for players to maximize their skill. I don't think that the combination of those factors have continuously increased since the beginning of hockey.

In the end the test is how players perform on the ice. I'm just throwing out some theories as to why, say, the quality of Canadian players dropped so much going from the 1980s drafts to the 1990s drafts (and it's not just the increased competition from Europeans - the 80s Canadians were still matching or beating the 1990s Canadians when the latter we're in their prime.)
Certainly there may be different paths to similar destinations. I agree we can only judge performance on the ice.

As far as the quality of Canadian players, it may be partly due to coaching issues or more preference for and opportunity given to larger players, but population demographics would have predicted a decline.

Last edited by Czech Your Math: 08-12-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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