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08-19-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur
Personally, I would like to see some contemporary opinions on the guys. The only descriptions of Paton we have are from Utimate Hockey ( was the online version until it was taken down). All we really know about Paton was that he was the starting goalie on an excellent team. To me, that means he was likely one of the better goalies of his time, but it's not enough to say he was elite.

Billy Nicholson is kind of in the same boat. We have a few contemporary reports, but very little that talks about how good he actually was. "He made a tough" is nice, but how many goalies don't make tough saves now and again? Like Paton, the best evidence we have for him was that he played for a championship team.
Even if Paton was the best goalie of his day (and I think he probably was), what does that even mean? Can anyone here even name another goalie who played before 1895 off the top of your head? (No cheating!)

Originally Posted by VanIslander
So,... you think we know a lot about a guy who did great in a third-tier level (Czech league 50s) and well in second tier play (international 1940s-1950s), but we don't know enough about a guy who did very well in the top tier level of his time, against the best of his era?

I don't get how one person could hold both judgements, about Zabrodsky and Paton, unless one appeals to the fact that Zabrodsky is on your squad versus Paton being on a divisional rival's. Why the scepticism on the one hand and faith on the other? especially given the two radically different levels of competition?
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zabrodsky was the best European hockey player in the late 1940s (and that he continued to perform reasonably well into the 1950s). There is uncertainty as to how that translates, as European hockey was still in its early developmental stage in the 1950s. With Nicholsson, we have no frame of reference; no idea how he ranks versus his peers, other than raw GAA. I don't find the newspaper accounts provided to be that compelling. Right now, the best evidence for Nicholsson is that he kept his starting job in a small league for a number of years; I just don't see that can be more impressive than someone who was considered a top 5 goalie in the NHL for a few years, like a lot of the other starters here.

Originally Posted by Hobnobs
I've got to ask and I think it's an important question. Should europeans be cross-compared to their canadian counterparts in the earlier eras?

When the soviets started to play hockey they were basically at the same level as canadians when they started, correct. Isn't it unfair then to compare them to a culture who has played hockey for nearly 5 decades longer?

For example, Tom Paton gets great recognition here and Im fine with it. No doubt he was a great goalie but were he greater than a Soviet/Swedish/Finnish/Czech goalie at the same level or era?

Obviously it would be pretty complicated to determine what era each country is in at a certain given time but I feel its something that should atleast be explored.
For a long time, I've said that Europeans from the development period (pre-1960s) should be considered on par with Canadians from the developmental period (before 1895 or so?). Basically, if you come from a culture where there was no competitive hockey when you were a child (affects development), you should be treated similarly.

I have no idea why Tom Paton and Allan Cameron are treated differently from someone like Zabrodsky, but that isn't a popular opinion here

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