Thread: Sergei Fedorov
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11-09-2012, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Hey, either way I'm just glad we're having this kind of exchange about it. I'm certainly not going to begrudge a ~40 spot divide. I'm hardly even prepared to argue at length as to whether 30 or 50 would be a step in the "right direction", for example. There are lots of great players in history, so anywhere in the top 100 is something special as it is. Heck, once goalies are considered, there's not as much room left as one might think. But as much as I give Yzerman kudos for his high-flying offense in the 80s, his longevity/consistency, guts, toughness, and dedication, these guys aren't separated by that much age-wise, and like I said before, there's over a decade of playing hockey together under the same conditions where Yzerman didn't look that much better than Fedorov (and I would argue, in fact, that there are periods in the middle where Fedorov looked better than Yzerman, so it's not even a consistent decade of Yzerman's "second fiddle" or anything).
I think it is fair to compare them when they played together. Fedorov did look better at times but over the entire time they played together I'd still say Yzerman was more important to the Wings and the better player.
It's very much a Sakic/Forsberg comparison for me (Sakic with the head start in a higher scoring era, Forsberg shooting past to his peak during their time together, Sakic having the career numbers and intangibles advantage at the end of everything and never being considered on a distinctly lower level at any time along the way), and I don't think anyone has them separated by many spots on their list.
i think would rate them in order of Sakic, Yzerman, Forsberg, then Fedorov. I think Sakic and Yzerman are closer together ad both top 35 players of all time. Forsberg falls to around 50th on my list and Fedorov is a little lower than that. It's a great comparison however.

Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
That would be accurate. Looking at scoring lists, probably a better comparison based on style, as well as where they ranked in scoring over their career would be Datsyuk v. Kovalchuk; Datsyuk is jut inside the top ten in scoring during his career, Kovalchuk is top five.
Another intriguing comparison. However I still think the gap in offense between Fedorov and Lafluer is larger than that of Kovalchuk and Datsyuk in their primes.
Lafleur dominated during a period of time when there were just as many teams as there are now (if you include the WHA) but talent distribution was far more lopsided. He enjoyed the benefits of playing on what is arguably the most stacked team ever, against team full of players that would be in the AHL today. He was a dominant player and a great player, one of the best of his era. But if you were to have the choice between a prime Lafleur or a prime Fedorov - a they actually were, not adjusting their conditioning to the era or assuming their talent level follows the league's continued increase - the answer is clearly Fedorov.

I don't know what more I can say other than that a very good NHL player is almost always better than the best player outside the NHL.
Is that really a fair way to compare players though? Just taking players out of their era and comparing them head to head on an absolute scale is really meaningless in my opinion. Obviously players today would dominate players of the 40s and 50s. Kovalchuk would probably break goal scoring records if playing in the 80s. But you have to look at how players compare against their peers. Yes there was probably more talent in the NHL when Fedorov played but then again Fedorovs talent level according to you is higher. So shouldn't he be able to dominate just a little bit more on offense than he actually did?

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