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02-19-2013, 10:18 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
In determining Jagr's placement on an "all-time" list, I find the following players are the most relevant ones to sort out:

1. Guy Lafleur: Before tackling Jagr vs. Richard, Beliveau, or Hull, it's imperative to determine which of these two (clearly the two greatest wingers of the post-expansion era) ranks highest.

2. Nicklas Lidstrom: One of Jagr's closest contemporaries in terms of time period and also rough placement on all-time lists. Arguable easier to compare with Jagr (both being position players) than Hasek if one is concerned with determining the "best European ever" title.

3. Mark Messier: The other top contender for "best forward outside of 99/66 in the Gretzky era onwards". Different style of game than Jagr but determining which of these two you rank higher will give you some idea of what attributes you consider more important.

If one is inclined to rank Jagr ahead of these three, then that probably lands him squarely in the Top 15 and then the tougher comparisons to his contemporaries start: Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek.
Interesting choices for comparison. I would agree that Beliveau is probably not the best comparison for Jagr. I think the closest comparisons are Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito. AFAIC, you might as well compare Jagr to Lemieux & Howe as Lafleur & Messier (no insult intended to any of those players). Given the era in which Espo thrived, and the fact that he excelled exclusively with Orr, it's pretty clear to me that Jagr was better than Espo (among other reasons). That leaves Jagr vs. Bobby Hull, which I've always thought was the best comparison. Lafleur doesn't have near Jagr's longevity, while Messier's peak is wanting IMO (his Harts notwithstanding). Similarly, it's not an easy road comparing to Howe's longevity and Lemieux's peak.

Here is a pretty interesting list of career "Adjusted Goals Created over Replacement Level." I used a RL of 0.20 GC/game (which would be about 16 G & 27 A per 82 games in a 6.0 GPG environment):

1 Gretzky 589
2 Howe 505
3 Lemieux 398
4 Jagr 391
5 Esposito 358
6 Sakic 347
7 Beliveau 318
8 Dionne 313
9 RichardM 311
10 Yzerman 309
11 HullBo 306
12 HullBr 300
13 Mikita 294
14 Selanne 290
15 Messier 286

If you give credit for missing time due to WHA, KHL & lockout seasons, it might look more like this:

1 Gretzky 611
2 Howe 571
3 Jagr 480
4 HullBo 405
5 Lemieux 398

What makes Jagr stand out is that he's not near the top in one or two metrics, but virtually every important and/or comprehensive metric there is:

- Career adjusted Points: He's third in career totals and a very close fourth (to Lemieux) in career above RL, even without crediting him for missed time.

- Peak/Prime adjusted Points: It's close between he and Espo for third, depending on how many seasons one compares. Once you consider that Espo played in an era which was much easier for points (and adjusted points as well), then he slips down to fourth behind Jagr.

- Adjusted Plus-Minus: I think he's third, although data is only since expansion. The only pre-expansion players that were likely to be near his level in this metric were Howe and possibly Hull.

- Hart shares: Again, look at the list, and consider that Jagr was competing with Lemieux & Hasek for much of his prime:

1 Wayne Gretzky 901
2 Gordie Howe 605
3 Mario Lemieux 486
4 Jaromir Jagr 399
5 Bobby Orr 349
6 Bobby Hull 293
7 Dominik Hasek 289
8 Jean Beliveau 283

- Playoff points: He's one point away from having as many playoff points as any non-Oiler.

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