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01-24-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Luigi Lemieux View Post
I think it's Thornton. IMO his 92 and 96 assists in 2006 and 2007 are more impressive than Oates' 90 assists and 97 assists in 1991 and 1993. Not to mention Thornton has an art ross to his name. Also Oates was dishing it to Brett Hull and Cam Neely while Thornton turned Cheechoo into a 56 goal scorer.
Oates took Hull and Neely and turned them from "very good" to "some of the best seasons ever". Neely is in the HHOF because he played with Oates. Hull broke 60 goals because he played with Oates. Oates was traded away late in the 91-92 season. In 92-93 Hull scored 54 in 80 with Janney (Shanahan was on the other wing and scored 51 in 71). It was 57 for Hull and 52 for Shanahan the next year. Hull had 29 in 48 during the 95 season, followed by 43, 42, and then didn't reach 40 again (he hit 39 in 79 during the 00-01 season with Dallas, when Modano was at his peak).

Hull was a 50-60 goal scorer who Oates pushed to 86. Cheechoo was

Originally Posted by Luigi Lemieux View Post
Remove Gretzky, Lemieux, and Jagr from history and Oates still has 0 art rosses.
And the same would be true of a number of other great playmakers. A number of elite goal scorers also would not have an Art Ross.

Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
I saw both of them and there starts to be a good case for Thornton. Now it's still Oates.
I don't know what exactly has an Art Ross Trophy to do with playmakers.

Both of them led NHL in assists 3 times.
Oates was TOP10 in A's 12 times, Thornton 8.
There are just three person who created more A's than Oates (Wayne, Mario, Bobby) so Oates is still a player who came the closest to 100 asissts threshold. On the other hand Thornton had way worse player on his wings [(Murray, Cheechoo) - Joe was the man who created them] than Oates (Hull, Neely) - where were more chemistry.
Murray and Cheechoo were skilled players in their own right. Maybe not stars, but they had good shots and could finish a play. And as has been noted before, Oates didn't spend his entire career feeding Hull and Neely as you're suggesting.

And Patrick Marleau is highly relevant; he has played several years with Thornton as a teammate both as a linemate and not as a linemate. Marleau was 237GP, 85-127-212 (29-44-73 per-82) from 05-06 through 07-08. Marleau played center those years, and those were Thornton's first three (2 1/2, really) seasons with San Jose. Since then, he has played on Thornton's LW. Not including this year, He has put up 322GP, 149-142-291 (38-36-74 per-82) in those four seasons. Did Thornton make Marleau a better player, or even scorer? Marleau scored 30+ twice before playing with Thornton on his line. He averaged basically the same number of points, so the difference really comes down to Marleau shifting his style of play to shoot more; he averaged 216 shots per 82 games from 05-06 through 07-08, then averaged 269 shots per-82 over the next four seasons, never shooting fewer than 251 times.

Glen Murray's 41-goal 2001-02 season was partially the result of help from Thornton. But had he spent the entire 82 games in Boston at the pace he scored at as a Bruin, he would only have posted 39 goals. He started the season with 6 goals in 9 games with the Kings and was then traded to Boston with Bryan Smolinski for Kevin Stevens and Shawn McEachern. He already had two 29-goal seasons on his resume. In 2006-07, Murray scored 28 in 59 - which is pace for 39 goals in 82 games. He had scored 24 in 64 the previous season (31-goal pace), and he led into the lockout with 44 and 32 goal seasons.

Originally Posted by beowulf View Post
Oates was the better play maker. Thorton is the better overall player.
Originally Posted by SensFanDan View Post

Spezza couldn't even make Cheechoo score close to 30 or 40, that Thornton gave him 50 is nothing short of a hockey miracle, though I'm sure attenuating circumstances will be brought up (power plays among them).
Cheechoo's performance in Ottawa is irrelevant. He was traded because he had become ineffective due to injuries. Why you would use the fact that Spezza couldn't make him as effective as he was before his injuries as a reason that Thornton is better than Oates is beyond logic. Maybe you could use Cheechoo to compare Spezza against Thornton, but even then you have to go back to Heatley. Heatley was far more productive on Spezza's wing than on Thornton's. If Thornton's such an incredible playmaker, why did Heatley have more scoring success with Spezza? Does this mean Spezza>Thornton>Oates?

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