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05-15-2013, 09:24 AM
  #11
Chief
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The major difficulty in comparing players from different eras is trying to place values on accomplishments because of the different factors that impact those accomplishments (number of teams in league, games played, etc...)

Although I welcome as much info as we can find, I think that "Top 10" lists from different eras really distort the facts.

To be a Top 10 regular season scorer in 1927-28, means you were in the top 10% of scorers for that season.

To be in the Top 10% of a regular season scoring category in 1974-75, means you would have been in approx. the Top 32 of any scoring category.

To be in the Top 10% of a regular season scoring category in 1996-97, means you would have been in approx. the Top 46 of any scoring category.

If we're going to be fair to players from the last few decades, I think we have to look at where their stats placed them in terms of percentages of the applicable season's player pool and not just the place where they ranked on lists. Without doing any more research right now, I would think that Ratelle's and Messier's scoring accomplishments would compare more favorably and, in Ratelle's case, maybe even surpass Boucher's.

On it's face, Boucher seems to have many more accomplishments than Ratelle and Messier but when you try and quantify the differences in their eras, I think they all wind up a lot closer, which then opens up the discussion to other factors.

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