HOH Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time
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11-19-2012, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
Originally Posted by
I never stated the talent pool increased 5 times as fact.
No, but you said it was "probably about right". Presumably that means you believe 5x to be an accurate estimate?
You've apparently researched and certainly done a lot of cross era comparisons so what has your estimate been? Surely you must have considered this in your comparisons and thought about how it would affect elite competition. Please let me know your estimate.
I think it's actually wavered over time.
Let's take 1960 as our 1x.
Very roughly speaking, I think we hit something like 3-4x by the mid-1990s. From what I have seen, hockey was virtually universal among Canadian boys in the mid-1970s when those players were born, so the upper-class-ization of the sport was less of an issue for that generation. Russia was probably coming off its peak at that time, Sweden was in its Forsberg/Sundin/Naslund/Lidstrom phase, and the USA was producing elite talent at about the same rate it does today. Also, the former Czechoslovakia was producing talent at a rate it no longer matches. On top of all that, there was no competition to speak of from overseas leagues. If we take into account the excellent aging of the 1980s classes, which featured at least 4 players who are all-time top-3 in their positions, we can probably pin down "Peak Talent" somewhere around 1996. And that's not just nostalgia speaking -- go back and look at NHL rosters from that season. Nearly all teams were built around one or more Hall of Famers, and some were just flush to the gills with talent. Look at the All Star Team rosters. The difference in across-the-board eliteness between then and now is noticeable.
Today I think we're back at 3x, maybe even a little lower. Canadians aren't playing the game at the same rate any more, and fewer elite Canadian talents stick with hockey after childhood. American talent has grown, but mostly in expansion markets which are just starting to produce real talent. The Russian program is a ghost, the Slovaks virtually non-existent. The Czechs have declined. Sweden and Finland are still where they used to be. And, maybe even more important, virtually every major talent from Lindros to Crosby has been injury-plagued or inconsistent. The league is no longer producing Gretzkys and Bourques who dominate for 15+ years without a break. Expansion has spread the remaining talent too thin, to the point that a team like Pittsburgh is seen as "stacked" because they managed to get three good centers, an above-average top defenseman and a competent goalie. Compare them to the "stacked" 1996 Red Wings, it's really not close. I'll give this league the benefit of the doubt and say 3x, but my suspicion is that it's worse than we think. A lot of the deficiencies are covered up by increases in technology -- better skates, lighter sticks that make these guys look a little better against their predecessors than they probably deserve.
You don't remember any key counter arguments at all?
We're already going through them. What we're talking about has been discussed in greater detail before (the country-by-country breakdown, for example). I'm just telling you that the information is on this website if you want it.
You refuse to estimate on the talent pool change and have really only offered up empty denial. It's time you stopped dancing around this.
All you had to do was ask.
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