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11-26-2012, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
The NHL was a lesser league until the Russians joined. They were the other hockey power during the 80's so their absence was huge. Czech players also had to defect in order to play in the NHL so we were missing other great players from that nation.
Yet Bourque still managed to be far and away the best defenseman during the 1990s, in a fully integrated league. In 1994, Fedorov and Hasek were 1-2 in Hart voting and 33-year-old Bourque won the Norris with Lidstrom, Zubov and Ozolinsh in his rearview. In 1996, age 35, he had the most 1st-place Norris votes and missed the award by 5 voting points -- behind him were Konstantinov, Lidstrom, Hamrlik, Numminen, Zubov, and Johanssen. I'm not sure why we're supposed to think he would have done worse in his younger prime.

The more I read these threads, the more it seems that it's not so much Lidstrom being overestimated as Bourque being grossly underestimated.

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