Thread: "Top 6"
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07-06-2013, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
This is always a great discussion and interesting to say the least. I try not to define it as a top 6 forward but as 1st line talent, 2nd line talent and so on. There is a school of thought on the main boards that if a guy is on the "first" line, he's a first line talent. I don't buy that because some teams, not many, have two guys that are first line talents that play the same position. Pittsburgh is the perfect example. Is Malkin a top 6 forward, a top 3(elite player) or 1st line center? Well, depending on how you look at it, Malkin is either a 2nd line center or Crosby is. I don't buy that. I think it's based on talent and talent alone.

So how do you define a top 6? Like I said earlier, I think it's easier if you base it off of 1st line, 2nd line and so on. So let's use Chicago as an example. They roll two very good lines. Toews/Hossa/Saad and Kane/Sharp/Handzus. Now are all those guys top 6 talents? I don't think Saad is quite there yet and Handzus is more of a 3rd line center. To me they have 3 top 3 or elite forwards in Toews, Hossa and Kane. They are game breakers. I'd say Sharp is as solid a 2nd line talent as there is in the league.

Now people will say, there are 60 top 6 players in the league but if that's the case, is there really that sort of talent dispersed around the league as I've put before you, not at all. So my system is flawed to some degree but if you use stats/points solely, I don't think that's a fair representation of top 6 talent either. That would mean the top 60 scorers at each position would be top 6 talents. I don't always think that's accurate either. Injuries play a factor in that. If you look at Wilson at the time of his injury, he was definitely a top 6 forward by his production and play on the ice. So do you base it on PPG? I think PPG would define it would clearly than actual points scored. Now granted, you can't say Wilson was or wasn't one last year because it was an incomplete body or work. So if we based it on points, the Preds probably don't have any top 6 forwards on last years roster but we all know, there are guys that play here that are top 6 talents.

I just don't know that there's a perfect way to define it. I had gotten into a discussion if Mark Streit was a top pairing defenseman. I said no and they said yes. Granted, they got to watch him on a nightly basis but just because he played on the top pair, does that mean he was a top pairing guy. Offensively yes but defensively I think he's weak so how do you judge a talent like that?

I think it's easy to define some guys who are sure fire top 6 talents but it gets a bit washy when you get in to the next tier of guys. The elite players are easy, it's after you get through the guys like Sharp and Ribeiro where it gets iffy. I'd be interested to see what people's list would be at each forward position. I wonder if we start with a list of top 30 at each position and then go to 31-60 to make it easier?
Well thought-out post. Very helpful. Thanks, Glenn.

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