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11-26-2012, 04:34 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yes it will hurt some guys. I think we may have a different view of Markus Naslunds' career had the entire 2004-'05 not been wiped out. He more or less has 3 very elite seasons. Maybe he has 4 of them with a full season and all of the sudden there is a better case for him. As it was, the year off hurt him, and at the age of 32 starting in 2005 he was never the same.

Same goes for Alfredsson or Hossa for example. Both have decent chances, and if they are ever interested in playing NHL hockey again Hossa has some time left on his career while Alfredsson is more or less done. You have to remember, Alfredsson was on the NHLPA bargaining committee in 2004. He was part of the problem, not the solution (not saying the owners were angels either). In many ways Alfredsson has a role in losing a year of hockey right in the prime of his career.

St. Louis has done so well post lockout and seems to have some steam left so I don't know if either lockout will effect him. Tim Thomas will be one of the most bizarre discussions if he never plays again. On one hand his peak was out of this world but on the other hand his longevity is incredibly short.

But either way, you can't reward players for games they didn't play. Maybe Kariya gets 1000 points without a lockout. But when you preface with the word "might" or "shoulda, coulda, woulda" then that means he "didn't", and I prefer to judge players on what they actually did accomplish not because of lost time that was partly their fault.
You might be right about Naslund, but his lack of longevity as even nearly an elite player really hurts him. He only scored 70+ points five times. He also didn't play in Sweden, so if he was rusty after the lockout, there's a big reason. I don't see him winning the Ross or a Cup in '05, due to his age and the damage (literally) already being done before the end of '04, and that's probably what it would have taken for him to make HHOF.

St. Louis is a different story. He wasn't playing next to Lemieux at age 22 like Naslund was. He was coming off a Ross/Hart season. He also played a couple months in the Swiss league, which is at least something, esp. for a NA player. He has eight 70+ points seasons out of nine, and the one he didn't was after the lockout. He's been very good for basically 10 consecutive years, if we give him fair credit for the lockout season. He has the hardware and the longevity as a top player and I think doing so as a late bloomer should only help his cause. It probably hurts his teammates Richards and Lecavalier though, who would at least have more of a case with another ~150 points each.

Alfredsson's role in the NHLPA shouldn't be considered IMO, for better or worse. I also "see" him making it, although I don't see why his case should be any stronger than Hossa or Elias, who I see as less certain inductees.

Thomas may just need to come back for another ~3 years and solidify his career numbers enough to not take away from his hardware. How many goalies have a Vezina & Cup and are not in HHOF? Do we have to go back to Barrasso's Vezina almost 30 years ago? Thomas has 2 Vezinas, a Cup and a Smythe to boot, in a very deep era for goalies. Boston not winning the Cup for 37 years only helps the aura of that Vezina/Smythe performance.

The goalie who may be hurt most by the lockouts is Kipper. He was 1st & 3rd in SV% before/after the '05 lockout and still top 10 in SV% last season, so he could have had another Vezina or at least AS season. Another deep playoff run would have helped as well. He may miss two lockout seasons, which especially hurts a later bloomer who looks to be more reliant on career totals. Another 70-75 wins puts him in the top 15 and probably surpassing 400 wins and entering the top 10 sometime in '14.

I agree with did over "coulda, woulda", but in the case of a lockout for many it is "coulda, woulda"... especially those that "did", just not in the NHL. One has to look at the data and interpret what the player did to a large extent, then decide what he probably "coulda, woulda done" given what he did do and his abilities at the time. For instance in '05:

Jagr- Split a whole season in Czech/Russia, finishing in the top 10 in RSL in only 32/60 games. He would have run away with the RSL scoring title (1.22 PPG) if he played the whole season in Russia. He also led Czechs to best on best WC gold. That was a long, successful season in the best venues available, only split between Kladno, Omsk and the national team. He played about as much hockey as possible, mostly in the strongest available league and in high level international tourneys, and was highly productive. I would give him full credit for his likely Ross-contender level production.

Elias- Split whole season between Czech/Russia.
Thornton- Played whole season in Switzerland.
Hossa- Split whole season between Slovakia/Russia.

They deserve credit for playing whole season, although Thornton played the entire year in a lesser league. I would give them full credit for their likely production, but even in Thornton's case that is less than Jagr (1.35 PPG in Swiss not the same as 1.22 PPG in Russia).

Alfredsson, Forsberg, Naslund, etc.- Played a couple months in Sweden and some internationally. They deserve partial credit, perhaps most of their likely production, but not full credit IMO.

Sakic, Selanne, Lidstrom, etc.- Only played for national team. They deserve some credit, because we know they could have been productive, but probably no more than half their production. They decided to rest and heal, which may have helped their future production, since they had less wear and tear. This is "coulda, woulda" territory and I could even understand giving them basically no credit for their lost seasons.

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