Best player in the world - not in NHL?
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01-02-2013, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
I think its a given that in any year the best player in the world is an NHL player. But is there a year where that was not the case?
I think its fair to say that from at least the mid 20s until the mid 70s the best player was an NHL player unquestionably.
Yes, i'd agree with that
From there on out it gets a little more interesting.
Is there a year in the late 70s where a Russian (Fetisov, Tretiak, Kharlamov) could be considered the best player?
I doubt it, Lafleur then Trottier and Potvin were all peaking
How about earlier with Howe and Hull in the WHA?
Unlikely unless you thought they were better than Orr, maybe 76 is the one year window but who was better than Clarke and his 2 way play?
From 1980 onwards its pretty much a Gretzky, Jagr, Lemieux and Hasek show until at least 2002.
2004-05 is certainly a year due to lockout. St. Louis? Jagr? Thornton?
Even in the lockout year it was an NHL player who was locked out.
Can an argument be made that Lemieux was the best player in the world in 98 even though he wasn't in the NHL?
Well 2 things here, first you can be the best player in the world if you are injured or can't play due to illness. 2nd Lemieux might have still been the best scoring forward in the world but in 97 when he played pretty much a full season the Pens were 10th in the NHL, in 98 without him they were 5th.
Hasek won the Hart, deservedly so but I'm not a big fan of goalies getting harts, or even Dmen really, as they have separate trophies and Forsberg would have been my choice for his 2 way play and finishing 2nd in scoring 9 points behind Jagr.
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