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11-23-2012, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ContrarianGoaltender View Post
Yes, it worked in Tretiak's favour in terms of North American recognition that he played more against Canadian internationals, I agree with that. He also played far better against Canadian internationals than Holecek did. It's tough to handle that, because we don't really want to penalize Holecek too much because of lack of opportunity, but at the same time you absolutely have to credit Tretiak for what he did as well, and a Canada Cup MVP and a string of elite performances against NHLers is something that Holecek simply doesn't have on his resume.
I agree with crediting Tretiak for what he did against North America. But we already did that - he's already ranked above Holecek, who seems to have played at least as well against European competition and probably a little better.

I'm not dismissing it as random. It definitely counts. The question is whether it is significant enough to make up for the rest of the story, particularly with regard to the balance of Tretiak's career. Because there is piles of evidence for Vladislav Tretiak as an all-time great:

Rejean Houle, 1974: "[Tretiak] is one of the best goalies I've ever been up against."

Bob Pulford, 1976: "The Soviets are a good team and they capitalized on their opportunities. I don't think they are as good as Canada but they have Vladislav Tretiak and you never know."

Scotty Bowman, 1979: "He's the kind of goalie who's good on everything. He's especially good on the angles."

Sam Pollock, 1981: "He ranks with the great goaltenders of all time."

Serge Savard, 1983: "I think he's the best goaltender in the world."







Many of those are higher praise than Holecek ever got outside of one comment by Bobby Hull. Given all of that, I just don't see why a few world championship best goalie awards won by a much older goalie over a younger one are the decisive evidence in the debate. It just seems like a way of framing the debate that ends up slanting it in Holecek's favour. Being widely considered the best in the world from 1979 to 1984 by both North American and European observers should surpass being considered the best in Europe from 1973 to 1978, shouldn't it (if that was even actually the case)?

If Holecek was on Tretiak's level then he should easily go #1 this round, and I don't see the support for that relative to the other candidates. I still have Esposito fairly comfortably ahead of Holecek, for one.
It seems that you are taking the position that only opinions by North American observers matter.

Edit: Don't get me wrong, I would love to see more first hand accounts of people praising Holecek, but when google archives seems limited to North American sources, I wouldn't even know how to go about doing it. Right now, I see no better option than assuming that the awards voters (both for the WCs and Extraliga) and after-the-fact biographies know what they are talking about

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-23-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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