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12-10-2012, 01:28 AM
vadim sharifijanov
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post

So Modano is better to build around because he was present on one of only four teams to actually accomplish something in those 9 years? It wasn't just Modano and Nieuwendyk; Dallas had Zubov, Hatcher, Lehtinen, and Belfour. It wasn't just Arnott and Holik; New Jersey had Stevens, Niedermayer, Elias, and Brodeur. It wasn't just Sakic and Forsberg; Colorado had Ozolinsh, Foote, Lemieux, and Roy. It wasn't just Fedorov and Yzerman; Detroit had Shanahan, Lidstrom, Murphy, and Chelios.

At any point from 1997-2000, an elite winger like Jaromir Jagr or Teemu Selanne or Paul Kariya would have been the best skater on these teams, but it takes more than one or two skaters to win a Stanley Cup; it takes a village. Who was the HOF defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim? Who was the HOF goaltender? Dallas, New Jersey, Colorado, and Detroit: They didn't just have two centers; they're the three best defensive teams and the team with the best playoff goaltender. Hell, New Jersey and Colorado both won without a #2 center, because of the defense and goaltending.
no. modano is better to build around because every relevant team had big or elite centers (or guys that were both) that you would have to shut down.

the DPE was a big centers arms race, which is why holik got that crazy contract. it was obviously an ill-advised signing, but it speaks to the severity of that arms race.

detroit had fedorov and yzerman.

colorado had sakic and forsberg.

new jersey had arnott and holik.

philadelphia had lindros and brind'amour/primeau/roenick

in the rangers' last relevant year they had messier and gretzky

toronto had sundin.

pittsburgh never got to the conference finals without mario.

the year carolina made the finals, it was francis and brind'amour.

the only team that consistently did anything without a big or elite center was buffalo, who happened to have hasek, the single most dominant player of that era.

whereas ottawa consistently underperforms with a team of elite wingers. pittsburgh doesn't get anywhere without mario. even with pronger and/or macinnis on the back end, st. louis consistently disappoints.

you needed a big modano type not only to power through the offensive zone with adam foote piggybacking you, but also because you need that big two-way horse in the middle to match up against sakic/forsberg or yzerman/fedorov. it was just the nature of the game at that time.

like, for example, take the same colorado teams but replace sakic and forsberg with kariya and selanne. or those wings teams with kariya and selanne instead of fedorov and yzerman. you can't tell me with a straight face that those teams would have won any cups. what are kariya and selanne going to against the real versions of colorado and detroit with their center depth? you can't just outscore those teams, you also have to contain them.

and i'm not even saying that in the DPE you have to go with modano over selanne. i'm just saying that in that particular era, there is an argument for it. in most other eras, i acknowledge that it's selanne all day, ever day.

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