Marcel Dionne vs. Teemu Selanne
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12-31-2012, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Czech Your Math
Dionne elevated Simmer, just like Selanne elevated Kariya:
before Selanne arrived('95, first 2/3 of '96): 103 points in 100 games
after Selanne arrived (last 1/3 '96, '97, '98): 174 points in 120 games
I can be as big of a Kariya critic as the next guy but there is hardly a comparison as to who was the more individually talented player between him and Simmer. If this is 1997, you just very well might have thought Kariya was the slightly better player than Selanne. In no galaxy is Simmer close to Dionne. And I don't think it really matters with Simmer, because Dionne scored all the time with or without him. Simmer didn't necessarily. Kariya did fine even without Selanne, at least compared to Simmer.
In the above quote, I reduced it to Canadian players. I'm not trying to discredit Dionne, but rather give Selanne proper credit for playing during an era with substantially more competition. The problem is that our perceptions of both the Canadian & non-Canadian players during Selanne's era are colored by the fact that they competed against each other, which damages our perceptions of both groups. Selanne vs. Canadian players:
1993 Lemieux Oates Yzerman
1996 Lemieux Sakic Francis Lindros
1998 Gretzky Francis
Kariya Sakic Lindros
2000 Recchi Kariya
2011 St. Louis Perry Stamkos Iginla
Dionne won once, and was deprived of wins by Gretzy, Orr/Espo, Lafleur and Trottier. Selanne beat all Canadians once, and was deprived of wins by Lemieux and an older Gretzky (Francis isn't finishing ahead w/o Jagr). Dionne had some other seasons where he was behind more than one player: Gretzky, Bossy, Savard, Trottier, Hawerchuk, etc. Selanne had some other seasons where he was behind more than one player: Lemieux, Sakic, Lindros, Oates, Yzerman, Kariya, Recchi, etc. Recchi may seem a bit out of place, but not as much as players like Maruk and Perry. Among Canadians only, Recchi won in 2000, was third in '94, and was 4th to Gretzky and Hull & Oates in '91, and 7th in '98, which would be quite a respectable record. Again, I see more similarity than difference when comparing the two. It doesn't matter which non-Canadians were at/near Dionne's level in his own era, but the many who were at/near the level of Dionne or Selanne in Selanne's era, since that affected Selanne's finishes and therefore our perception of him.
I am not a fan at all of the cherrypicking of Selanne's talent. I think this alone proves Selanne isn't the player Dionne was if you have to do this type of thing. You miss a few players during those years that were better than Selanne but ignore it because of their place of birth. That concept just doesn't hold any weight. You can look at the names yourself from both eras and see that there was never an easy time to win a scoring title. I didn't bring this up before, but if push comes to shove, then the era with the least amount of top end talent among forwards was easily the late 1990s/early 2000s. This was a weird transition period where there were a lot of injuries, Mario retiring, Gretzky either retired or on the decline and a bit of a gap when Yzerman, Francis, etc. were getting older and the likes of Thornton and Iginla, etc. hadn't broken out yet (thank the weak 1990s drafts for that).
However, the NHL was still the NHL in the late 1990s even if there were gaps with top shelf talent. I don't hold it against Selanne because it would be a disservice to the other great players who competed at that time and there were enough. I'm just saying if you want to find a time when it would have been easier to win some awards between the two players then Selanne does have the easiest period of all. I didn't bring it up, I am just saying.
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