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07-06-2013, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
The 65 AS may very well have been well deserved, it's just unusual that he barely showed up at all on the Norris or all-star radar the previous 3 years. It could be inconsistency or that he had some poor years and other guys had a poor year in 65 or that it was a reward vote, much like Lidstrom's last Norris, but it sure raises some legitimate questions.
I can't speak with ultimate authority on Gadsby as I never saw him play live. But Lidstrom's last Norris was not a "reward vote". He was second in defense scoring, and played only eight seconds fewer per game of PK than Zdeno Chara and 34 seconds more than Shea Weber. There were no other names bandied about as "should have beaten Lidstrom" and those two were chosen by different faction for different reasons; Weber is a younger, Canadian defenseman with an offensive game, while Chara is an older European defenseman with a defensive game. Much of the "Lidstrom won on reputation" some people associate with that 2011 award is the fact that he was no longer the dominant world-beater he was in his prime. Which means, of course, that 2011 Lidstrom is unlikely to win six of seven Norrises from 2001 through 2008. But it does NOT mean he was not still the best defenseman in the league in 2011; if an all-time great player declines considerably and noticeably, he can still be much better than most or all of his competitors. If 10 is peak for a top ten/twenty all-time player, and 5 is an average NHLer, Lidstrom declining from a 10 to a 9 or even an 8 is noticeable but he may very well still be the best defenseman in the league. All of that said, in voting Lidstrom only just barely edged out Weber (nine points back) and Chara (48 points back) so it's hard to argue that he was "given" the award.

Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Honestly I would have him in around the 40ish range, the competition outside of Harvey and Kelly isn't overly impressive and maybe the best 24 Dmen in the world were in the league then but the best Canadians have always been in the league and a guy like Nieds also has to compete against the best of the rest of the world, in terms of competition.
The fact that you just started to compare Scott Niedermayer to Bill Gadsby is a bit wrong. Let's continue.

the pros for Bill are

1) a long peak, prime and career
2) the all star selections and voting, although it's a pro and a con so maybe a bit neutral given the competition of a guy like Nieds and never being a true #1 Dman in the world.
3) coming along in the 06 era (most of us tend to do these lists chronologically)

some not so strong points about Bill's case

1) not a great playoff record or resume, in part to
2) not playing on great teams but we don't have enough advanced information to tell if he was really that good or not, even the all-star or Norris voting has him a clear step down from both Kelly and Harvey

I just have a hard time giving him some kind of credit of playing when Harvey and Kelly played, it's not like we should do the same for guys who played while Orr and Park and Potvin were around or Chelios, Bourque and that era.

I know it's not a popular thing here but the guys playing in a fully integrated league tend to be downgraded while the guys in the late 60's and 70's especially tend to be treated with the benefit of the doubt all too often.

Guys like Vasiliev and Savard come to mind here.

I for one would have guys like Chara and Nieds ahead of him due to a couple of reasons.

1) Chara has been at times the best and near the best Dman in the world, in a larger and more competitive filed.

2) Chara at his best simply dominated more and had more to do with his team fortunes that Bill did IMO.
Chara could pass Gadsby on an all-time list. But his biggest problem is that he was not terribly good in his early career in NYI and the beginnings of his time with Ottawa; Gadsby has a defined quality advantage in non-peak/prime years.

2) The "historical" taking precedent over the "better" when cases come close. This is closely related to a weird interpretation of the sticky where all eras are treated more or less the same or the best are always the best is brought up as well sometimes.
If we're talking about absolute better player, not just "better compared to peers", then Chara is easily the pick over Gadsby. Also Pronger, Weber, Housley, Kevin Hatcher, pretty much anyone who could manage to be "very good" for any significant period of time in the post-1990 NHL.

to be fair this would ahve more legitimacy if the NHL had remained an almost exclusive Canadian fed league but given the rise of non Canadian players and their quality in terms of elite players then this notion is really unfair to the modern player.
I thought the "general wisdom" was that no players in other countries would have made the NHL during the O6 era anyway?

3) #2 is further compounded by the 3rd one which is way more information, which is often used to downgrade current players when compared to past ones where information is largely in the form of 2nd hand eye witness reports written Joe Pelletier style (which is a great resource but has to acknowledged as more of a cheer leading style of documenting players rather than a complete and critical look at them).
Scott Niedermayer has certainly suffered from this bias against modern players; nobody thinks as highly of him as they should with his above average first several seasons before he became a legitimate top pairing defenseman who occasionally received Norris or AST votes, and finally peaked in 2006.

The conditions in the NHL and the player makeup has changed too radically, especially in the last 20-30 years to fairly compare them to a totally Canadian NHL pre late 1970's.
While I agree with this in theory, it's impossible in practice; you can't say "these are the 100 best players ever" and only have a list from 1979-now or only a list from 1967-1979, or the O6, or pre-O6. Make separate lists if you want. But players will cross over and be on multiple lists (such as Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Marcel Dionne, Larry Robinson, etc.)

It might not be a popular opinion here but the simple numbers have told us how the league has changed and how dramatic it has been.
Simple numbers tell us the following:
League scoring has fluctuated up and down.
Defensemen are consistently responsible for approximately 15% of goals scored.
Regardless of the league scoring average, the top scorers are generally around 1.1-1.4 PPG; increased scoring years will typically see better depth scoring. This obviously does not account for outliers in terms of players (such as Gretzky, Lemieux) or seasons (such as 1992-93).

Simple numbers tell us nothing about skill level. But they do tell us that close to three times as many Canadians are playing in the NHL now (and during Niedermayer's career) as did during Gadsby's career. And those Canadians are spread over 24-30 teams, rather than 6.

That all said, here's Niedermayer's career voting, voting against only North Americans, and then only Canadians.

North Americans only
Canadians only

Even reducing it all the way down to Just Canadians doesn't get Niedermayer any more AST nods; granted he does get two more Norrises but Gadsby made the AST seven times in twenty seasons compared to Niedermayer's four in eighteen.

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