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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Peter Forsberg was the most complete hockey player who ever lived.

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Old
04-14-2017, 12:08 PM
  #226
jj cale
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
He loved him so much he put him on defense and limited his IT. Feds kept quiet and didn't reveal his frustrations until after the end of his his career.
Putting him on defense was the highest compliment he could give him. You think he would have done that with any other forward with confidence? He knew Sergei could pull it off and to his credit he did pull it off.

He was that talented a hockey player and I don't see what bowman did as a sleight in the least, if you asked Scotty Bowman to name a complete 23 man all time team I bet Fedorov would be on it.

What more can you say?

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04-14-2017, 12:58 PM
  #227
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Originally Posted by jj cale View Post
Putting him on defense was the highest compliment he could give him. You think he would have done that with any other forward with confidence? He knew Sergei could pull it off and to his credit he did pull it off.

He was that talented a hockey player and I don't see what bowman did as a sleight in the least, if you asked Scotty Bowman to name a complete 23 man all time team I bet Fedorov would be on it.

What more can you say?
Well, I can say that to me, at the time (in the late 96/97 I think), Fedorov on defense felt like a lesson and punishment.

It did raise eyebrows.

And I think the way he handled it was his revenge. I think there was some sort of some little something between him and Bowman (or rather between Bowman and him) and I think it had little something to do with Sergei not always sweating to deliver his best.

I also think the conflict had a lot of mutual respect in it, which is why nothing specific ever went public.

Later on, Bowman re-presents it as a compliment and one of the ultimate proofs of Fedorov's versatility and ability, and Sergei seems all laughs about it, but I smell there was little something these gentlemen decided to keep hidden from us. I call it the truth.

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04-14-2017, 02:01 PM
  #228
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Well, I can say that to me, at the time (in the late 96/97 I think), Fedorov on defense felt like a lesson and punishment.

It did raise eyebrows.

And I think the way he handled it was his revenge. I think there was some sort of some little something between him and Bowman (or rather between Bowman and him) and I think it had little something to do with Sergei not always sweating to deliver his best.

I also think the conflict had a lot of mutual respect in it, which is why nothing specific ever went public.

Later on, Bowman re-presents it as a compliment and one of the ultimate proofs of Fedorov's versatility and ability, and Sergei seems all laughs about it, but I smell there was little something these gentlemen decided to keep hidden from us. I call it the truth.
This was definitely the way it was presented at the time. Whether it was the media making it a bigger story and/or lingering "lazy Russian" bias, I never heard Fedorov's move to defense at the time considered anything but Bowman sending a message.

I also don't understand this idea that Fedorov playing defense is this amazing feat that's completely unheard of. Lots of players have switched over the years and many of Hall of Famers did it pre-expansion and excelled at both. Burns has had excellent success at both recently, and hell, Dandenault played both on those same teams.

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04-14-2017, 03:18 PM
  #229
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According to the main board, Matt Duchene is better than Forsberg.

So no.

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04-15-2017, 03:25 AM
  #230
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He was good physically. I won't take that away from him, he was good. However, a lot of that was based on him being hard to knock off the puck or stuff like that. He was good in the corners and such. Was he known as a punishing checker? I don't know if I put him there. Trottier was known as that. Ovechkin is known better as one than Forsberg as well. I think sometimes his physicality is overblown.
I'd say me and alot of people disagree with you if you don't think he was known as a punishing checker. I'm surprised even, as he was very well known for that.

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04-15-2017, 04:09 AM
  #231
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Had Fedorov not played in the era he did and in the Bowman's system he did, he would most likely be used differently. To put it simply, he did what the coach asked of him, and it benefitted the team. Yzerman's numbers tanked under Bowman as well, but the team benefitted.

I know it's speculation, but there is no doubt in my mind that in a more offensive system, with more conventional first-line minutes and first-line partners, Fedorov would flash far sexier numbers.
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Originally Posted by bathdog View Post
Agree (at least if he gave 100%, and I don't think it's even that speculative), the majority of his RS prime numbers are a bit deflated.
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Originally Posted by jj cale View Post
I don't doubt that, Fedorov was probably one of the most talented players I have ever seen, and I go back quite a ways.

Not much he couldn't do.
To what extent can this be backed up by facts, however? Not as in back up that he was amazing, of course he was, but the claim that his status as a points producer would be higher had he not been with the Wings? There are tons of players with great skill that you hear fans mention as "had he only played in that system, on another team, in some other circumstances etc." But how much offensive opportunity can you really give up if you're on a top team's first or second line, and first powerplay unit? And how much offense did the Wings "give up" because of a defensive system?

I'll post Fedorov's positions in P/G again (first number after season indicator), but also add the Wings' position in G/G as a team for each of his seasons with them (second number after season).

Entered league at age 21

Season

90/91 31 10
91/92 26 4
92/93 29 1
93/94 5 1
94/95 10 3
95/96 7 3
96/97 41 6
97/98 TFG (40) 2
98/99 39 3
99/00 28 1
00/01 48 5
01/02 41 2
02/03 14 1
03/04 38 2
04/05 DNP (lockout)
05/06 144
06/07 167
07/08 139
08/09 132

Retired at age 40

19 seasons included in survey.
Number of seasons as 1st: -
Number of seasons in top 5: 1
Number of seasons in top 10: 3
Years in/outside top 10 ratio: 3/16, 15.78%

I skipped the Wings G/G rank the last years as he was older and not with the Wings anymore.

Anyway, looking at this: A top forward with a top team, how hampered were his numbers really by a defensive system? Detroit wasn't just fine at scoring. They were elite at it over this era. Some of those 1st places by them in G/G are with quite some margin even. So, again, how much offense did the Wings "give up" due to this very defensive system you refer to? Were they the Harlem Globetrotters of the NHL that opted to be the top scoring team with lesser margin than they could´ve?

Also, again, really not trying to be a Fedorov hater Far from it. It's just interesting to actually look at facts to the extent it's possible. I'm not saying this gives us a definitie truth, but it shows at least how it's very hard to claim the Wings held back offense because of a defensive system. They were the elite team at scoring goals during this era. As a first/second line player and first PP unit player (correct me if Im wrong on this one) on such a team, the team really can't be an excuse for not being an elite point producer.

A more valid argument I guess is how stacked teams sometimes divide the scoring more equally over more players, without one or two stand outs. This could be said about the Avs too in Forsberg's years (that they were stacked), however. And at the same time there are plenty of examples of the top team also having the flashy top scorer.

I say Fedorov was an amazing player, of course. An elite two way center. Among the best of his generation. It's really hard to claim he was an elite point producer, however. He was top 10 in P/G 3 out of his 18 seasons. Top 5 once. And he did this playing the first two thirds of his career on the top scoring team in the league (a few times by quite some margin too). That's not personal opinion or assessment of talent level by the eye (one could praise Kovalev for that too, and so on). It's facts.

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04-15-2017, 04:43 AM
  #232
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Originally Posted by Deas View Post
To what extent can this be backed up by facts, however? Not as in back up that he was amazing, of course he was, but the claim that his status as a points producer would be higher had he not been with the Wings? There are tons of players with great skill that you hear fans mention as "had he only played in that system, on another team, in some other circumstances etc." But how much offensive opportunity can you really give up if you're on a top team's first or second line, and first powerplay unit? And how much offense did the Wings "give up" because of a defensive system?
For the relevant time we have ice time breakdowns for (97-04), he avg 55s less TOI than Forsberg overall while playing 48s more SH, and Forsberg generally saw less TOI than other superstars.

Besides playing on defense for a shorter time, he was also a little bit lazy at times.

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04-15-2017, 06:03 AM
  #233
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For the relevant time we have ice time breakdowns for (97-04), he avg 55s less TOI than Forsberg overall while playing 48s more SH, and Forsberg generally saw less TOI than other superstars.

Besides playing on defense for a shorter time, he was also a little bit lazy at times.
Yeah that's a factor of course, and I saw your great work on this in that thread. I can not see that minute (well 1:40 of "offensive ice time") be a heavier argument than mine above, however. Fedorov still played plenty, on the top scoring team, and most often ranked 15-40 in P/G (before he got older and fell to around 150-200th place), with three or four seasons of his 19 as the only exceptions.

It's not a humble way to phrase it, but if we talk strictly points production I dare say it's a fact he wasn't elite (most of the time not close to), and pointing to being trapped in a defensive system seems a weak argument for sure when he wasn't on just a high scoring team, he was on the very highest scoring team looking over this era.

To say he was a better point producer than Forsberg, who was top 10 in P/G 8 out of his 11 seasons and 1st twice just doesn't hold up. Granted I'm not sure how straight forward someone was in saying this, but I seem to recall having seen it earlier in the thread, unless that was specifically about goal scoring.


Last edited by Deas: 04-15-2017 at 06:09 AM.
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Old
04-15-2017, 08:17 AM
  #234
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Originally Posted by Deas View Post
To what extent can this be backed up by facts, however? Not as in back up that he was amazing, of course he was, but the claim that his status as a points producer would be higher had he not been with the Wings? There are tons of players with great skill that you hear fans mention as "had he only played in that system, on another team, in some other circumstances etc." But how much offensive opportunity can you really give up if you're on a top team's first or second line, and first powerplay unit? And how much offense did the Wings "give up" because of a defensive system?

I'll post Fedorov's positions in P/G again (first number after season indicator), but also add the Wings' position in G/G as a team for each of his seasons with them (second number after season).

Entered league at age 21

Season

90/91 31 10
91/92 26 4
92/93 29 1
93/94 5 1
94/95 10 3
95/96 7 3
96/97 41 6
97/98 TFG (40) 2
98/99 39 3
99/00 28 1
00/01 48 5
01/02 41 2
02/03 14 1
03/04 38 2
04/05 DNP (lockout)
05/06 144
06/07 167
07/08 139
08/09 132

Retired at age 40

19 seasons included in survey.
Number of seasons as 1st: -
Number of seasons in top 5: 1
Number of seasons in top 10: 3
Years in/outside top 10 ratio: 3/16, 15.78%

I skipped the Wings G/G rank the last years as he was older and not with the Wings anymore.

Anyway, looking at this: A top forward with a top team, how hampered were his numbers really by a defensive system? Detroit wasn't just fine at scoring. They were elite at it over this era. Some of those 1st places by them in G/G are with quite some margin even. So, again, how much offense did the Wings "give up" due to this very defensive system you refer to? Were they the Harlem Globetrotters of the NHL that opted to be the top scoring team with lesser margin than they could´ve?

Also, again, really not trying to be a Fedorov hater Far from it. It's just interesting to actually look at facts to the extent it's possible. I'm not saying this gives us a definitie truth, but it shows at least how it's very hard to claim the Wings held back offense because of a defensive system. They were the elite team at scoring goals during this era. As a first/second line player and first PP unit player (correct me if Im wrong on this one) on such a team, the team really can't be an excuse for not being an elite point producer.

A more valid argument I guess is how stacked teams sometimes divide the scoring more equally over more players, without one or two stand outs. This could be said about the Avs too in Forsberg's years (that they were stacked), however. And at the same time there are plenty of examples of the top team also having the flashy top scorer.

I say Fedorov was an amazing player, of course. An elite two way center. Among the best of his generation. It's really hard to claim he was an elite point producer, however. He was top 10 in P/G 3 out of his 18 seasons. Top 5 once. And he did this playing the first two thirds of his career on the top scoring team in the league (a few times by quite some margin too). That's not personal opinion or assessment of talent level by the eye (one could praise Kovalev for that too, and so on). It's facts.
You have certainly taken the time here to dig up pertinent information, good work.

Still think Feds could and would have put up better offensive numbers if he had offense as his sole focus, he was very talented. He was an elite 2 way guy though and Detroit was unquestionably a better team because of it.

For me, when talking about pure talent, he would be one of the best guys I have ever seen.

But that's me, others may see it differently.

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04-15-2017, 10:06 AM
  #235
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I'd say me and alot of people disagree with you if you don't think he was known as a punishing checker. I'm surprised even, as he was very well known for that.
You'd say a "punishing" checker? I don't know. That's high praise, I don't deny he was a good hitter though.

By the way, I love the thread title to be honest. It doesn't hold back. The guy thinks Forsberg is the most complete hockey player ever and he puts it out there knowing he'll get some flack. I like that.

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04-15-2017, 10:31 PM
  #236
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What's your take on Fedorov in Anaheim? Obviously Fedorov never played for Babcock in Detroit, but he did play for Babcock in Anaheim, and I'm not sure Babcock liked him that much.
After a terrific 02-03 season (83 pts) Feds went back to his usual production of 60+ pts. IIRC that time was the peak for his personal and financial problems. From what I understand he still performed well, but he was not a good fit in Babcock's system. He was flat out miserable in Columbus (plus was injured and missed the 06 Olympics), but had something of a resurgence in Washington. The 08 WHC was the last time we saw Fedorov of old. He was terrific and was given a standing ovation by the Quebec City crowd.

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04-15-2017, 10:34 PM
  #237
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Originally Posted by jj cale View Post
Putting him on defense was the highest compliment he could give him. You think he would have done that with any other forward with confidence? He knew Sergei could pull it off and to his credit he did pull it off.
Bowman did put another forward on defense: Mathieu Dandenault. Not exactly a great move.

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He was that talented a hockey player and I don't see what bowman did as a sleight in the least, if you asked Scotty Bowman to name a complete 23 man all time team I bet Fedorov would be on it.
Yet Feds went on record saying that he wished that things would've happened differently between him and Bowman.

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04-16-2017, 02:49 AM
  #238
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Putting him on defense was the highest compliment he could give him. You think he would have done that with any other forward with confidence? He knew Sergei could pull it off and to his credit he did pull it off.

He was that talented a hockey player and I don't see what bowman did as a sleight in the least, if you asked Scotty Bowman to name a complete 23 man all time team I bet Fedorov would be on it.

What more can you say?
Sorry Fedorov on D was a punishment to Fedorov not a compliment. He was good playing on D sure. But he did not want to play D and he was not put on D because if a lack of defencemen... he was put there because the coach wanted him to play better at forward.

Gordie Howe playing D at times was the highest compliment. Several injured D? Well play Howe 35-40 minutes a game and double shift him at D.

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04-16-2017, 03:02 AM
  #239
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You have certainly taken the time here to dig up pertinent information, good work.

Still think Feds could and would have put up better offensive numbers if he had offense as his sole focus, he was very talented. He was an elite 2 way guy though and Detroit was unquestionably a better team because of it.

For me, when talking about pure talent, he would be one of the best guys I have ever seen.

But that's me, others may see it differently.
The problem was not Detroit's system it was Fedorov himself. He was not driven to score more. His coach's wanted him to take more offensive chances and to shoot more and he just did not have the drive to do that until the playoffs were on.

Fedorov was frustrating because he was content with being safe and kinda just doing his job until the playoffs were on and he went from very good to excellent. If you are the coach and know full well Fedorov could score 100 points but is content getting 75 points it would make you frustrated.

Forsberg was actually similar in this manner as well in the regular season. He did give 100% but he would not shoot nearly as often as he should have in the regular season. Guy had a lethal shot yet he did not use it near enough in the regular season. But come playoffs when it mattered more he did finally stop looking to always pass and rarely shoot. The Avs were always a playoff team so it did not matter that much. But I imagine if the Avs were a bubble playoff team many years the coaches would have got on his case about his reluctance to shoot in the regular season.

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04-16-2017, 07:03 AM
  #240
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Well, I can say that to me, at the time (in the late 96/97 I think), Fedorov on defense felt like a lesson and punishment.

It did raise eyebrows.

And I think the way he handled it was his revenge. I think there was some sort of some little something between him and Bowman (or rather between Bowman and him) and I think it had little something to do with Sergei not always sweating to deliver his best.

I also think the conflict had a lot of mutual respect in it, which is why nothing specific ever went public.

Later on, Bowman re-presents it as a compliment and one of the ultimate proofs of Fedorov's versatility and ability, and Sergei seems all laughs about it, but I smell there was little something these gentlemen decided to keep hidden from us. I call it the truth.
Bowman did it with Gainey now and then. Bowman had huge respect for Gainey and his versatility. I don't think he's being a liar here.

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04-16-2017, 10:18 AM
  #241
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Forsberg was actually similar in this manner as well in the regular season. He did give 100% but he would not shoot nearly as often as he should have in the regular season. Guy had a lethal shot yet he did not use it near enough in the regular season. But come playoffs when it mattered more he did finally stop looking to always pass and rarely shoot. The Avs were always a playoff team so it did not matter that much. But I imagine if the Avs were a bubble playoff team many years the coaches would have got on his case about his reluctance to shoot in the regular season.
Far from it.

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04-16-2017, 10:40 AM
  #242
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Sorry Fedorov on D was a punishment to Fedorov not a compliment. He was good playing on D sure. But he did not want to play D and he was not put on D because if a lack of defencemen... he was put there because the coach wanted him to play better at forward.
Yeah the recent video on the NHL top 100 players showed Larry Murphy politely saying the Fedorov played defense rather uniquely.. sometimes not skating backwards but skating forwards when defending. But he got the job done well enough, apparently.

This hfboards idea that Fedorov was a Norris-level defenseman really has to stop.

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04-16-2017, 03:23 PM
  #243
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Sundin was always the better player than Forsberg. It was just that Forsberg was in Colorado and a very flashy player.

Sundin was a beast though. But all in all, that era of swedish players are highly overrated. Just look at what they did not achieve at international level.

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04-16-2017, 03:53 PM
  #244
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Just look at what they did not achieve at international level.
This reminds of that legendary thread on the main board which told us to look at the size of Hasek's equipment.

So I'm looking. And it works! I see even less than Hasek was wearing.

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04-17-2017, 02:05 PM
  #245
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Last I checked, they don't call Forsberg, "Mr. Hockey".

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04-17-2017, 03:06 PM
  #246
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Sundin was always the better player than Forsberg.
No. No he wasn't.

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04-17-2017, 05:15 PM
  #247
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Yeah the recent video on the NHL top 100 players showed Larry Murphy politely saying the Fedorov played defense rather uniquely.. sometimes not skating backwards but skating forwards when defending. But he got the job done well enough, apparently.

This hfboards idea that Fedorov was a Norris-level defenseman really has to stop.
Well, all we can say with certainty is that he wasn't a Norris level defenseman in 1997. There is adjustment, you know. Whether he'd be a Norris level player, had he stayed in this position for an extended period of time, we'll never know. He had the tools for it.

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04-18-2017, 08:28 PM
  #248
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Far from it.
Well good thing we have video evidence that proves otherwise.

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