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10-16-2012, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
You apparently haven't paid attention to who has actually won the ATDs.

A nice, healthy round of applause for you champ.

Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
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:
Keon = Toews underrates Keon and does not fit stylistically, but is by no means dismissive of Keon. A complete overreaction. That bit of Chamberlain math that you quoted is extremely low hanging fruit that no one took seriously, other than the poster who made the statement. In any event, I suppose I will unbunch my panties when I see fewer smug, dismissive comments bring lobbed around in response to reasonable opinions.

Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
...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.
I don't disagree with anything you said here, and if you want credit for bringing a more appropriate level of discourse to the ATD then I suppose I will give it to you. We still disagree philosophically on comparing these players, and I doubt that a monumental shift is suddenly going to occur in either case.

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