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10-17-2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I agree with the conclusion, and I’d rather not bicker over what degree of edge still constitutes “close”. But just to raise this question: Gilmour has two very obvious edges and those are three seasons top-5 in Hart voting, something Francis just can’t claim, and otherworldly playoff scoring, while Francis saw the usual expected decline in his playoff scoring. In a lot of other respects they are hair-splittingly even. Is there an area where Francis has a huge, obvious edge to make up for at least one of Gilmour’s?
Longevity would be the big one, and that's not a bash on Gilmour's as he had a majority of his career as a legit #1, but with Francis it was outright freakish. He basically had a span of 20 years where he was a legit #1 center in the NHL (yeah, I know his stint in Pittsburgh he was #2 behind Mario, but he would have been a #1 on the majority of teams at that time). I really can't think of anyone else at the position who did that. Messier maybe? But even then after his first year in Vancouver I'd say "probably not", there's really not a time you could say that about Francis's career until his final one in the league where Brind'Amour and Staal started to take over.

Now playing style had a lot to do with that too. Francis's game lended itself to very methodical, low tempo play but also allowed him to function at a much higher level then most players even past what would be "best by date" realistically for most any player. Stylistically he was prettymuch the opposite of Gilmour in that regard, as someone fairly accurately described him earlier as playing in a way that would lead someone to believe he took years off his life in the process.

Last edited by DaveG: 10-17-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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