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12-15-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It really seems that to favor Yzerman in this comparison, you have to believe that he deserved his Selke votes, but Messier didn't deserve his Hart votes, even though they come from the exact same voting pool.
That doesnt seem to be the case at all. Aside from the fact that the voting pool most certainly seems to have changed throughout the early 80s to the early 00s in terms of ballots and ballot format, and also most likely changed in terms of writers themselves, we can see implicit changes in voting standards throughout the years. And of course that different years have different competition for the Hart. It seems very doubtful that Messier would finish 1st/2nd/3rd had his 90/92/96 years occurred in 89.

Since most people concede that Yzerman was better offensively even without accounting for his worse context (and the only counterargument about racking up points in the Norris division is completely unsubstantiated as not only throughout the period but at a year by year standard Yzerman does significantly better in goal scoring/point production against other divisions), in order to make a conclusion that Messier's two way game was notably above Yzerman's before the mid 90s you need to put a lot of stock that Messier got a mere handful more of Selke votes from a large period of 84-94 (a more reasonable conclusion is that both players simply had almost non existent support for the Selke). Or that anecdotes about Messier's complete play, which seem to focus a lot on his physicality, can be extrapolated to provide evidence of a two-way game, while ignoring that Yzerman has the same types anecdotes going for him, and they don't focus on physicality either. Or that Messier's matchup against Trottier early in his career proves the same thing, while ignoring that Yzerman had a similar matchup against Gretzky early in his career.

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