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12-05-2012, 04:08 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
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.
I guess we have to disagree here. I don't care for giving them credit for playing in Switzerland. This isn't the NHL and it doesn't feature the best players in the world. It is a moot point. I have seen a million threads on Gretzky and I'll bet many people don't even remember him playing overseas during the 1994 lockout. Even the players playing overseas now, not only are they scabs for taking someone else's job, but their heart cannot possibly be in it 100% since they are basically over there for one reason and that is to stay in game shape. The second a CBA is signed they are splitting. So to me, it is a "nothing" season. Good for Thornton that he has been succesful over there, but try doing it with the true elite talent.

I guess my knock with rewarding players for lost time with the lockout is that for starters the players are 50% to blame for their own mess and secondly a true HHOFer has the career in spite of the lockout. When you start nickel and diming what a player "might" have done had their been hockey then you're giving them charity for something they never accomplished.

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