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11-08-2012, 12:04 PM
Morgoth Bauglir
Master Of The Fates
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Agreed. I just don't see Gretzky (or anyone else)today winning scoring titles by nearly the margins that he did in the 80s. There's just too much competition and the narrowing (compression) of the gap between the top and marginal players. However, I can envision the best players of the past 20 years playing in the 80s and scoring 150+ points in their peak seasons, when defenses were thin, disorganized and relied on goalies laden with small, heavy pads stood up and motioned at the puck with their legs (okay, I exaggerate slightly ).

Does Malkin have more offensive and defensive skill than your typical top 3 player from years gone by? Not significantly so IMO. Does the average lower line player today have more offensive and defensive skill than in the 70s or 80s? Definitely. What's he going to use that additional skill for? He's going to score more himself and/or help prevent top liners from scoring as much as they otherwise would. The former raises the league gpg without helping the top line player... the latter hurts the top line player. How does this combination suggest that lower line players are going to be hurt more than top line players in terms of adjusted points in an environment with compressed talent (talent pool which increases faster than league size)? It doesn't, it suggests the opposite. Compressed talent tends to lower scoring and diluted talent tends to increase scoring. I believe the compressed talent has led to the scoring decreases and has also made it more difficult for top players to stand out (e.g. in adjusted points) as well.
I wonder, though, just how "compressed" the talent really is. The talent pool has grown with the influx of European players but the league has grown in size right along with it. It seems to me that expansion in the 90s for all intents and purposes has mitigated the effects of the growing talent pool so that while there are more top players now courtesy of the larger talent pool they are spread across more teams resulting in that the proportion of top talent players versus lesser talent players per team has remained effectively the same.

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