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10-16-2012, 04:45 AM
I voted for Kodos
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I have nothing against projects like the ATD, just against the conceit that can apparently overcome someone just from having been a participant.
You apparently haven't paid attention to who has actually won the ATDs.

The issue is that the evidence being thrown forward by the poster I quoted boils down to essentially: "If you only knew more about these old players, you would know how wrong you are!" which is terrible evidence based upon some problematic assumptions. I can accept not picking Ovechkin or Lindros based on longevity issues, but not based on assumptions that those that disagree are ignorant. It is quite apparent that no one here is attacking older players, despite the assumptions that some may make.
You've got your panties in such an enormous bunch about this, but there has been plenty of ignorance thrown around about older players/eras in this thread. When I stop seeing shallow and dismissive analysis of older players like Keon = Toews, or this:

You're overrating older players if you think a stanley cup in a 6-team NHL (top 17% of teams) is worth that much more than a 2nd round exit (top 25% of teams) in a 30-team NHL. The first is better, but not by much.
...I will stop chiding people for being uninformed or biased against older players. I actually try as hard as I can not to overrate older players. The ATD was essentially a project of hagiography when I started, and old-timers were consistently and often terribly overrated. I was one of the people who pushed back against that, and had to endure being called a fool for suggesting that Zdeno Chara is similar to Butch Bouchard, for having the audacity to pick Teemu Selanne in the top-150 and for being dumb enough to take Nicklas Lidstrom 18th and suggest that he may be just as good as Denis Potvin. Of course, I won the draft in which Lidstrom was my first rounder (and with a quite modern core - Lidstrom, Sakic, Savard and Fuhr were four of my first six picks), and thankfully the ATD has moved away from the pathological overrating of older players to the much more nuanced discussions one finds today.

The problem is that it's a huge discussion involving loads of information, and nobody has the time to get into specifics for the sake of this thread. If you want a knock-down, drag-out argument about the top-100 players of all time, I'll give you one, but you'll have to wait either until the next HOH top-100 project (which ended at top-70 last time), or you'll have to join the ATD. I'll give you one specific piece of information, though. In the period of hockey that basically covers the first 40 years of the sport (late 1880's to late 1920's - so, until Howie Morenz came on the scene), I've only got one player who I think is borderline top-20 all-time. Care to guess who that player is?

There are people who think that athletes should be judged against their peers only, regardless or era or level of competition, and that Gretzky-level dominance in 1889 makes you just as good as Gretzky. Iain Fyffe takes precisely this position in his blog, and while his work is otherwise excellent, I find this argument frankly ridiculous. In fact, I waged a campaign of guerilla warfare against "first generation" players (Bowie, et al) in the last ATD because I felt they were becoming quite overrated, and their flaws (specifically the tiny size of the talent pool against which they competed) were being glossed over. The problem is that there are many more people who err in the opposite direction, and dismiss older players whose names they might not even know. This does a disservice to the discussion.

Last edited by Sturminator: 10-16-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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