Gretzky & Lemieux: impact on stats & awards
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01-07-2013, 12:43 PM
Czech Your Math
Join Date: Jan 2006
NOTE: Posted this in another thread, but copied it here as it actually seems more relevant to this thread.
It's impossible to have an exactly level field to compare between seasons, but when people compare the pre-(WHA merger) NHL to the past ~30+ seasons, there's quite a difference. Think of an NHL with no Gretzky/Lemieux/Jagr level of top player, and no players from the US or overseas (this is essentially how it was most years before WHA merger). Which players could have won a Ross... or even two?
Dionne- wins it outright in '80, and '81 as well (second in '85)
Bossy- wins in '82... and wins in '86 as Coffey drops down (second in '81, '83 & '84... may have won in '84 as Goulet doesn't have Stastny)
Stastny- wins in '83 (second in '84 & '86, as Coffey drops down)
Savard- wins in '83 & '88 (second in '86)
Goulet- wins in '84... but does he w/o Stastny?
Hawerchuk- wins in '85 (second in '88)
Kurri- drops of 10, 10 and 2 points w/o Gretzky from '85-'87 each drop him from the actual/hypothetical top two
Messier- wins in '87 w/o Gretzky?... wins in '90... second in '92
Gilmour- if Messier doesn't win in '87, then he does (second in '94)
Yzerman- wins in '89 (second in '90 & '93)
Hull- wins in '91 & '92
Recchi- wins in '00
Lafontaine- wins in '93
Oates- wins in '93 & '94, second in '91
Fedorov- wins in '94
Jagr- actually wins in '95, '98, '99, '00 & '01 and wins in '96... '97 is first or second, depends on how he does w/o Lemieux and how Kariya does w/o Selanne (second in '02 & '06... not sure what to do about lost '05 season)
Lindros- wins in '95 (second in '96 as Francis drops down)
Sakic- wins in '96 & '01 (second in '95, '99, '04 & '02 as Bertuzzi drops down)
Selanne- wins in '97 & '99 (second in '98)
Kariya- wins in '97 & '99 and second in '00, all w/o Selanne?
LeClair- if Kariya doesn't win in '97 w/o Selanne, then he does... wins in '98
Forsberg- wins in '98 and actually won in '03... (second in '96 & '99... if Kariya doesn't win in '99 w/o Selanne, then he does)
Bure- wins in '98 & '00
Palffy- wins in '98
Iginla- actually won in '02 & wins in '08
Naslund- wins in '03 (actually second in '02)
Thornton- wins in '03 and actually won in '06 (actually second in '07, second in '08)
St. Louis- actually won in '04 & wins in '11
Crosby- actually won in '07, wins in '09 & '10
Ovechkin- actually won in '08, wins in '09 & '10 (second in '06)
Malkin- wins in '08 and actually won in '09 & '12
H.Sedin- actually won in '10
D.Sedin- actually won in '11
Stamkos- wins in '12 (2nd in '10)
1st-2nd place finishes in hypothetical multi-verse (includes Lafleur, who would also have finished second in '80):
Gretzky 16-0 or 15-1 (13 in a row)... depends on Kariya w/o Selanne in '97
Jagr 8-2 to 6-3??? tough to pinpoint
Bossy 3-2 or 2-3?
Forsberg 3-1 or 2-2?
Messier 2-1 or 1-2?
Kariya 2-1 or lower??? tough one
St. Louis 2-0
LeClair 2-0 or 1-1?
Goulet 1-0 or 0-1?
Gilmour 1-1 or 0-2
So what stands out:
- Gretzky just continues to extend his dominance, winning 13 in a row from '80-'92 and 14/15, with a total of 15 or 16. Simply amazing.
- Lemieux wins 4 in a row, 6/8 and 8/12.
- Jagr at the very least would have been first or second in 8 consecutive seasons and potentially winning 7 in a row if he won in '97 (if not, was due to missing 19 games). Injury cost him a battle to the wire in '02 (missed 13 games), he lost the '05 lockout season (when he and Thornton should have been the two favorites) and he had a two point loss in '06 when Thornton had two extra games available due to trade. So one could argue for him deserving 7, 8 or even 9 Rosses, or just having 5 or 6 (with all 4 runner-ups being to potential multiple winners: Kariya, Sakic, Iginla and Thornton... only 5 if take away '01 Ross due to Lemieux's presence for half season, and seems rather unfair to deduct a Ross in this type of scenario, as he was never second fiddle that year).
- The post-lockout triumvirate of Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin is impressive, as they are the only other players besides the "big 3" who would have definitely won 3 times each. Crosby's major injuries have prevented him from separating from the pack.
- Sakic's 6 top two finishes are only surpassed by the big 3. He also has a decent argument for potentially a 3rd or even 4th. In '95, he was 8 points behind Lindros after 48 games, but as we know Lindros had trouble staying healthy for a full season, so who knows how that ends up. In '99, he was 5 points behind Kariya, who actually played on the same line as Selanne (unlike Sakic & Forsberg).
- Three other players, Bossy, Messier and Forsberg, had potential to win 3 times.
- Players who could have finished top two at least 3 times since WHA merger: Dionne, Gretzky, Bossy, Savard, Stastny... Lemieux, Messier, Yzerman, Oates... Jagr, Sakic, Forsberg, Selanne, Kariya... Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Thornton.
- Players who could have won at least twice: Gretzky, Bossy, Dionne, Savard... Lemieux, Messier, Hull, Oates, Recchi... Jagr, Forsberg, Sakic, Selanne, Bure, Kariya, LeClair... Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Thornton, Iginla, St. Louis.
- There's always overlap between eras, but particularly difficult are the mid-80s to mid-late 90s. It starts with Gretzky & Lemieux in the league together in the mid-80s, then as they become less consistent factors due to age/injury, the US/overseas talent really becomes strong during the 90s. With Jagr being a force from '95-'02, Lemieux still on top '93, '96 & '97, and Gretzky still good in '94, '97 & '98, on top of the otherwise normal competition, the 90s were no picnic.
Last edited by Czech Your Math: 05-25-2013 at
. Reason: Hull = Canadian
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