Does this season do anything for Malkin?
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01-06-2013, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Originally Posted by
Actually Jagr doesn't get much credit for his time in the KHL, especially the second time around. He didn't particularly dominate that league and because of that league, when he returned to the NHL, most fans thought he was washed up. Since the KHL is different from the NHL game, it took Jagr a while to re-accustom himself with the faster, more aggressive game in North America. He also struggled the second half of the season in his NHL return. Some see his time away from the NHL as time wasted, just imagine how many points he could have registered had he stayed in the NHL, another 200 to 300 Pts lost?
The WHL was a direct competitor to the NHL back in the 70's and the game itself was quite similar. The KHL and NHL are vastly different though.
Fair or not, what Malkin did in the KHL this year will be overlooked when it comes to HHOF voting unfortunately. I don't want to jinx it but if Malkin were to get injured now and not challenge for the Art Ross, a lot of North American and NHL hockey fans will point fingers at his playing time in Russia during the lockout instead of resting and blame his time there for wearing him down.
Of course they are going to look at what he does in the NHL in 48-50 games for this season to give him credit. Many fans in North America view the KHL and for that matter any other Eseasn league as lower tier leagues and they put them more on par with the AHL, in fact because of some of the good young talent that played in the AHL this year, some would have argued that the AHL is a better league than the European Elite leagues. They point to things like "Radulov can dominate the KHL but can't even keep his spot on an NHL team" and things like that to discredit the KHL.
Similarly what Jagr has done in the Czech Extraliga is every bit as impressive as what Malkin has done in the KHL. Malkin is neck and neck with his linemate Mozyakin in scoring, while Jagr has a 10 Pts lead over Plekanec his linemate. Jagr leads his team in goals, assists, points, +/- and his 2nd overall in league scoring. Do you think Jagr will get credit for what he's done in the Czech Republic this year? I doubt it and especially if he isn't successful in the NHL when it resumes in a few weeks.
It's a double standard unfortunately.
You're right, Jagr doesn't get the same credit for his KHL years as Hull does for the WHL, though I think in large part to, as you said, the similarity of the leagues as well as the fact it was the sane audiences watching the two leagues. However, I've seen many people talk about the extra points Jagr could have had if he had stayed in the NHL, and in fact there was a thread on the main board about if he would have passed Messier for points, with many people agreeing that he would. I think most people take those seasons as extra credence to their 'what if' scenarios, rather than at face value. Jagr scored 71 points in his last year before the KHL, playing with a bum shoulder I believe, and then had a great playoffs. I think that season, plus his KHL time, and then him coming back last year and having a solid season, particularly in the first half, makes a lot of people add value to those seasons away, that at the very least, he'd probably put up 70 point sesasons in the NHL. I think Malkin, had the lockout lasted a full season, would have been in a similar situation, where the fact that he left as the league MVP and Art Ross winner and showed he was healthy and great in the best league available shows that he most likely would have competed for another Art Ross here. Perhaps I'm wrong, considering you don't see players who missed a season in the last lockout brought up much, but as this become more common (hopefully not) I think more people will consider it. Again, not so much for what they did in the particular league they plagued in (rightly or wrongly) but for what people think they would have done in the NHL. As is, provided Malkin stays healthy and has a dominant half-season, I doubt it will be anything more than a footnote, however. A feather in his cap that he can succeed in multiple leagues with various playing styles.
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