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01-05-2013, 12:04 AM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
What elite seasons did Kariya have without Selanne? Not that Kariya wasn't an elite talent, better than Simmer, but he didn't really stand out, for whatever reason, without Selanne on the other wing. With Selanne, he finished first among Canadians in points in '99, second in '00 and second to Lemieux in '97.
Was still a 2nd team all-star as late as 2003, more or less on his own. No it wasn't his best year by any means, but the point I was making is that Kariya benefitted from Selanne more or less the same either way while Simmer was clearly the bigger beneficiary of playing with Dionne.

You just brought it up, but I don't fully agree with you. Yes, it was easier from '02-'04, because the stars of the 90s were older and the DPE was so brutal from an injury standpoint that most of them were no longer in peak form. When Count Bettman didn't enforce the rules, players got held, hooked, slashed, charged, etc. and (with help from other factors) scoring decreased. Don't confuse low point totals in DPE with lack of talent. If you want an era without depth of scoring talent, like '02-'04, it was the Espo era, when players like Clarke and Ratelle were often the strongest competition. Selanne's prime was mainly ~'93-'01 and there was plenty of competition during that time. It may not have been the strongest era for Canadian forwards, but the increased talent from the US and overseas made the Canadian forwards appear weaker than they really were. Maybe non-Canadians wouldn't have been much additional competition in the 70s, but they were in the 90s and are to this day, and that's all that matters in Selanne's case.
You brought up Esposito's heyday as a weaker time for forwards but it doesn't really coincide much with Dionne's best years. His first big breakthrough was 1974-'75. The talent was certainly there in the NHL at that time and look at a team like the 1976 Canada Cup. That was basically the NHL superstars at the time. You can't tell me that isn't some elite talent. Canada did take a dive since then and it showed in the late 1990s during Selanne's prime. I don't know if the fact that some European countries and the odd American got better and it pushed more Canadians out or if we were just in a bit of a lull in producing more top end players but either way it is probably a combination of both. What that means is that Selanne had different competition from other parts of the world and not necessarily better competition. Not if you look at the names of the players in the NHL during each player's prime. But my point was that if there was an era to pick when the weakest group of forwards existed (just during Selanne or Dionne's primes) then the late 1990s is that time. Sure Ziggy Palffy was from Slovakia and not Montreal but that's not the point. The top end talent was still the top end talent regardless of era. I will reiterate that if you are digging this much to make a case for Selanne than you are trying to hard to justify his argument. It shouldn't be this tough. Dionne just stood out for longer and at a higher peak, even in a Wayne Gretzky led NHL.

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