HOH Top 60 Centers of All-Time: Round 1 Preliminary Discussion Thread
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09-02-2013, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Originally Posted by
I'd always been under the impression that Keats and Fredrickson were both clearly ahead of Dunderdale, but these achievements seem to favour him.
How would you rate the strength of the 1910s PCHA to the PCHA and WCHL of the 1920s? Would it be safe to say that Keats and Fredrickson had stronger competition?
I used to have Dunderdale ahead of Keats and Fredrickson, mostly because of the PCHA All-Star Teams, but recently I've reversed that decision. My current thinking is that Keats and Fredrickson are the best of the western centers not named Cyclone Taylor (edit: Maybe Mickey MacKay too as a C/rover), though I'll also have Dunderdale on my list somewhere. A couple of thoughts:
1) To answer your question about competition - sort of.
The PCHA folded in 1924 and their best players were absorbed into the WCHL. So the 1925 and 1926 WCHL/WHL was probably stronger than the PCHA ever was. In fact, it was probably stronger than the NHL at the time, as 6 of the top 10 scorers and the top 4 in Hart voting in 1926-27 had all spent the previous year in the WHL.
I'm under the impression that the PCHA wasn't really a threat to the NHL until 1914 or so, so the 1912 and 1913 PCHA was probably fairly weak. Not entirely clear on this one though.
World War I seems to have been particularly hard on the PCHA. The league's peak was probably 1915-1917 when PCHA teams won 2 of 3 Cups. The 1919 finals were tied before the flu epidemic, but at that point, both the NHL and PCHA were affected by WWI.
2) Perhaps most importantly -
Keats and Fredrickson had significant seasons in the NHA/NHL.
As I posted above, Keats was a top 5 scorer in the NHA before he left to go fight in World War I. He came back and played in the Big 4 (a predecessor of the WCHL), which didn't have All-Star Teams. After the WCHL/WHL folded, Keats was a top 10 scorer in the NHL the next two seasons at the ages of 31 and 32. Keats has a pretty large advantage in longevity as an elite player over the other guys.
Fredrickson only has one notable season in the NHL, but it was a great one - finishing 4th in scoring in 1926-27 at the age of 31 after the WCHL/WHL folded.
3) Also, if you look at the Vs2 study posted above, Fredrickson seems to have peaked just a bit higher than any PCHA player not named Taylor. Additionally, Fredrickson was a big part of the 1925 Victoria Stanley Cup championship team, outplaying Howie Morenz head to head.
4) As noted elsewhere, the PCHA All-Star Teams are the opinion of one man. Though if you want the opinion of just one man, I can't think of anyone better than the man who refereed all the games. But it's still one man.
5) It's a small point, but Keats and Fredrickson were inducted into the HHOF much earlier than Dunderdale.
Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 09-02-2013 at
. Reason: grammar
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