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12-05-2012, 04:47 PM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
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.
Yes, it appears we'll agree to disagree. Nothing new in that.

I understand not wanting to give as much credit for playing in Switzerland. I see both sides there: It's not one of the best leagues, but North American players are also accustomed to a certain lifestyle that's more easily found in/near Switzerland.

Considering the (lack of) quality of the Swiss league, it looks like Thornton coasted a bit in his 40 regular season games there. He still finished top 10, despite missing 4 games, but he was one point ahead of 33 y/o Oleg "I was in consideration for worst player to ever lead my NHL team in points" Petrov, and would not have caught the scoring champ... Randy Robitaille. Thornton played very well in 14 Swiss playoff games and 15 games of international tourneys. I think he deserves substantial, but not full credit for that season... at least half, but no more than 75% IMO.

I can't believe you have resorted to labeling NHL players as "scabs" for continuing to play hockey at a high level. Seems like they're damned if they do, damned if they don't, in your eyes. Yes, some are just staying in shape, but others are playing in their home countries and even hometowns (Jagr, Malkin, etc.).

I also can't agree with you saying it's just "nickel and diming" when some players may miss two full seasons if the current lockout isn't resolved soon. I agree that the players collectively share the responsibility, at least to some degree, for shortened/canceled seasons. However, I don't agree that they should be penalized as individual players for this. I know it's an absurd situation to most of us, but to me it's irrelevant to evaluating a hockey player's greatness.

As far as chances at the HOF, the lockouts may affect the most those players which aren't near-locks anyway, and who either A) lost more than one good season or B) lost at least one peak season when they or their team may have contended for hardware. That would seem to include:

Thomas- only if one believes his declared absence from hockey was affected by the impending lockout

Kiprusoff- he loses two good seasons, a "peak" season in '05 and what still may have been a very good season currently.

Hossa & Alfredsson- they would have been dark horses for individual hardware, but combined with Ottawa's chance for a deep playoff run, the '05 lockout may have hurt them significantly.

Elias- more of a longshot to contend for hardware, but may lose two prime seasons (plus part of '06 indirectly), which significantly hurts his career totals.

Naslund- if not for Bertuzzi incident already happening before end of '04, I would see him as more of a victim of lockout, since he really needed another strong season to give him a good chance.

Datsyuk- may miss two prime seasons, and his team would have been a strong contender in '05.

I believe Iginla, Thornton, St. Louis and Kovalchuk should all be near-locks by the end of their careers. If not, then the lockouts substantially hurt their chances.

I understand the theory that a really HOF-worthy player will get in anyways, but the NHL is on the verge of a second canceled season and one just never knows what would have happened. It's not so much the career totals, where the affects can be roughly estimated. It's the unknown "what would have been?" While I think St. Louis will probably be inducted, what if the lockout had been in '04 instead of '05? His case looks a lot shakier without a Ross, Hart and Cup included in his record. Same with Thornton: a lockout in '06 turns a highly probable induction into a more questionable one. I would guess Daniel Sedin is glad the lockout wasn't in 2011, as a Ross and SCF appearance actually give him a a decent chance, instead of a very slim one. I'm sure there must be other less recent examples of HOFers, which if you deducted their best (or one of their very best) seasons, would have been much less likely to be inducted... and we're looking at possibly two missed seasons out of nine now. It might be a Norris... or a Cup... or a top 3 finish in goals/points... we will never know who would have been helped substantially if they played the 2005 season (let's just hope this one isn't canceled as well).

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