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09-24-2012, 05:18 PM
seventieslord's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,310
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Ugh, what a mess. I don’t see any players here that make great comparisons with eachother, with the exception of Gibbs and Brewer (Brewer is Gibbs-lite) and Brewer is not even in the starting lineup. Connecticut has no young, active players for me to compare to Doughty or Seabrook. I have no one who qualifies as a stay at home, zero offense, elite shutdown player like Willie Mitchell. Connecticut has no PCHA-era guy like Fraser, and Regina has no pre-Stanley Cup era guy like Cameron. Regina also has no European to compare to Eldebrink and no offensive specialist to compare to Olausson (preferring instead to go with two-way guys)

McCabe and Jonsson are, to an extent, the only two starters who are make a decent comparison. Both 1993 draftees and even played together for close to 2 full seasons. In New York. During this time McCabe averaged 22.51 minutes per game (17.44 ES) and Jonsson averaged 23.70 (17.12 ES). Surprisingly, considering how the rest of their careers went, Jonsson was more relied on for PP scoring, particularly in 1998 prior to the Linden trade, and they were almost even on the PK and at ES. Not sure what it says about them both though, considering they were 21-23 at the time.

Jonsson started out his career as a #6 on Toronto, then again was a #6 in 2006 despite getting 3 more minutes a game. In 1997 he took off though, leading NYI in ice time in 97, 98, 99, and 00, before being overtaken by a couple of “McCabe lites” – Hamrlik in 2001, Aucoin in 2002, both by considerable margins in 2003, and then both plus Niinimaa in 2004.

McCabe holds the longevity edge, obviously, and should be considered the better overall player, but longevity isn’t the only reason why - it appears that he was the better player at his peak, too. Jonsson was the #1 defenseman on four terrible Isles teams, then, In the 2002, 03, and 04 seasons, the Isles began to emerge into a playoff team but could only do so with Jonsson in a lesser role. At the same time, McCabe had been spending two years apprenticing as the #2 on non-playoff teams before he jumped right onto a strong Toronto team, playing as their #2 (Yushkevich), 2 (Kaberle), 3 (Kaberle, Svehla), and 1, as they made the playoffs 4 times, and won a round three of four times, with McCabe logging heavy minutes agains the opposition’s best. Post-lockout, he played a minimum of 25:55 a game over three seasons for Leaf teams that, excluding shootouts, lost just three more games than it won over that time. (interesting stat that many probably don’t know! Those post-lockout Leafs were a luxury compared to now)

Would Kenny Jonsson have been the #1 on a team as strong as Toronto was for that time (2001-2004)? I can’t say for sure, but it doesn’t look like it.

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