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06-28-2013, 08:35 PM
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Kovalchuk vs Selšnne

Made this poll around four years ago. To some, it might be a surprise that they are both still playing in this league. One could've gone to the KHL, the other could've retired by now.

Random excerpts from the former thread:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
The reason I say it's impossible to compare them at this point is because Kovalchuk does not have enough of a career to prove that he will turn out better than Selanne did. Honestly, I think he will end his career considered a better player (higher on the all-time list) than Selanne, but I'm not ready to say it until Kovalchuk has around 10 seasons in the league.

IMO, Kovalchuk will have a better career, but we'll never know what Selanne could have done if he didn't have all those injury problems and he didn't play in the peak of the "old" NHL. Selanne had a few seasons that he was at a level of dominance so high that even Kovalchuk, even with his Rocket Richard and two 50 goal seasons hasn't reached yet.

1998-99, when he led the league in goals and was the only player other than Jagr to cross 100 points. The year before, when Kariya only played 22 games, he led the league in goals with 52. And the year before that, finished second in the league with 51 goals, and was the only player other than a Penguin (Lemieux) with over 100 points. To me, Kovalchuk hasn't shown quite that level of dominance yet. A lot of people say Kariya made Selanne that great, but Selanne's best seasons were during years Kariya missed large chunks of the season. If his knee, among other areas, didn't give out, and he didn't have to play under Darryl Sutter in San Jose, he probably would have a few more 50 goal seasons.

Not to mention, Selanne was nearly as good, if not better, than Kovalchuk, during the former's last two full seasons. In his mid-to-late 30's.

Kovalchuk, IMO, will have a better career. But I'm not ready to give it to him yet. It's funny, though, because both of these players had/have obstacles that prevent them from being considered the best player at their positions. Selanne was the second best RW for a long time behind Jaromir Jagr, while Kovalchuk has Alexander Ovechkin directly in front of him.
Originally Posted by Sykie View Post
The thing most people fail to understand : the key numbers here are not the assists total, but the year where these totals were achieved.

Now if you compare players when they played in the same time :

2001-02; Kovalchuk : 51 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.
* At 18 and playing only 65 games, still managed to produce as much as Selanne.
2002-03; Kovalchuk : 67 pts. Selanne : 64 pts.
2003-04; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 32 pts.
2005-06; Kovalchuk : 98 pts. Selanne : 90 pts.
2006-07; Kovalchuk : 76 pts. Selanne : 94 pts.
2007-08; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 23 pts.
2008-09; Kovalchuk : 91 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.

Breakdown : Kovalchuk outscored Selanne from day 1, at 18. Except for one year, Kovalchuk outscored Selanne each and every year as soon as he stepped up on the NHL ice.

Selanne is a great player, and showed great durability. As usual old players will win pools on HF, especially when this player have a boatload of finnish fans pushing him . But Kovalchuk is a superior player and has been since day 1.
With the amount of seasons that Kovalchuk has played in this league, he is about to reach the 2004 lockout point of Selanne's career. That's a pretty good sample size to go off from. The question is whether Kovy's lower body will wear out on him or does he continue to stay relatively healthy.

Who will be the better player of all-time?
Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk or Teemu Ilmari Selšnne

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