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12-07-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
I think at the top (of NHL Russians) there exists a three person tier of Federov, Malkin and Ovechkin. They are the only three Russians to win the Hart and all have demonstrated an ability to dominate the game.

As much as Kovalchuck and Datsyuk are a treat to watch, neither have come close to the domination of the first three.

On the Federov/Ovechkin/Malkin tier I find it hard to rank them. Ovechkin has the 2 Harts/1 Art Ross/3 Pearsons. Federov has the best individual season out of anyone (94) and was consistently the best playoff performer. Malkin has the Hart/Smythe/Pearson and 2 Art Rosses. You could make a valid argument for any of them to be anywhere on that three man list.
I'm more wondering where the Malkins and Ovechkins of the World could rank among all Russian hockey players, not just NHLers. Was there a given stretch of time where you could say a Russian hockey player was the best in the World? Or even top 3 like Malkin and Ovechkin have arguably been throughout their careers? I know Fedorov and maybe Bure have had claims to that title in individual years, but I'm more talking about a couple year stretch

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