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Al MacInnis: what could have been?

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04-19-2017, 11:30 PM
  #1
crobro
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Al MacInnis: what could have been?

Had maybe the best season by an NHLer in his 22 pro season with 68 points his best season in 13 years his last 10 seasons in St. Louis there was no sign of him slowing down

If he didn't suffer his career ending eye injury how much longer would he have played?

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04-20-2017, 02:53 AM
  #2
Rhiessan71
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Not much longer to be honest.
Big Al's only real weakness to his game was his foot speed and would've been exposed just like all the other weak skating Dmen were after the LO in the "new" open game.
BUT the argument could also be made that with all the PPOs going around immediately after the LO, he would've thrived for at least a couple of years pointswise playing reduced ES minutes.

I mean if Lidstrom could pump out a career high 50 PP points the first year after the LO, I think it's a fair bet Al would've topped that by a significant margin.
Nothing against Lidstrom, he was a very good PP QB but he wasn't on MacInnis' level in that regard. Only Orr himself was better than Mac on the PP imo.


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04-20-2017, 02:57 AM
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Sticks and Pucks
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Like Yzerman and Hull, probably the 05-06 season when he realizes that all the new young players are much faster and it's hard to keep up with them. I don't think he would have been as effective as a guy like Chelios playing a smaller role on the team so I don't think MacInnis would have lasted as long as Chelios did.

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04-20-2017, 07:31 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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one variable is if he would have stayed on the blues. that team was capped out and fell apart, post-lockout. if macinnis would have left and signed on with a good team that could give him a meaningful role, i think he had some years left in him as (like rhiessan71 suggests) a PP specialist and bottom 3 at ES. not so different than chelios post-lockout, except getting his minutes on the PP instead of PK.

macinnis became a really smart player, which is quite frankly surprising given what he was like when he was young. but yeah, footspeed.

i will say, though, that '03 macinnis might have been the best all-round year of his career, including his norris year and including the incredibly '89 to '91 run where against almost anyone else ever macinnis would walked away with at least one norris to go with that conn smythe. to this day i still think he should have won the hart in '03, by the literal definition of the award. 39 years old, 27 minutes a night, carries rookie barret jackman to the calder, pronger's out all year so he has no other legit top four guys on his team, his goalies are brent johnson and fred brathwaite, and his team still cruises to a 5 seed in the loaded western conference.

but then i generally think defensemen get the short end of the MVP stick; i also think coffey should have won the '95 hart.

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04-20-2017, 08:48 AM
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The Panther
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Love MacInnis, but I don't know if I agree he was as great as ever by 2002-03. He was probably more important to his team, however -- that's true.

It's nice that he was more-or-less able to go out on top.

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04-20-2017, 11:43 AM
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tony d
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MacInnis was 40 at that point so I think injury or not he would have retired anyway by 2005-2006.

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04-20-2017, 01:28 PM
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AmericanDream
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I was confused by the title as Big Al played like 20 damn years, so not sure what else could have been??

I originally thought we were going to discuss the real "what if" Al Iafrate, and what he would have been if not for that horrible back he had...

that one makes more sense to me.

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04-20-2017, 02:32 PM
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Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanDream View Post
I was confused by the title as Big Al played like 20 damn years, so not sure what else could have been??

I originally thought we were going to discuss the real "what if" Al Iafrate, and what he would have been if not for that horrible back he had...
Unfortunately Iafrate's 10 cent head would have held him back regardless of his back issues.
Big, strong, fast, hands, shot with the hockey IQ of a german sheppard and I might be insulting german sheppards heh

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04-20-2017, 02:53 PM
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BraveCanadian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony d View Post
MacInnis was 40 at that point so I think injury or not he would have retired anyway by 2005-2006.
Agreed.

He aged really well as a defenseman, but with a year off at that point in his career.. I think he would have packed it in.

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04-20-2017, 03:18 PM
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feffan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I mean if Lidstrom could pump out a career high 50 PP points the first year after the LO, I think it's a fair bet Al would've topped that by a significant margin.
Nothing against Lidstrom, he was a very good PP QB but he wasn't on MacInnis' level in that regard. Only Orr himself was better than Mac on the PP imo.
Canīt agree with this. 95/96-02/03 MacInnis had 0,39 PPP/game and Lidstrom 0,41. During that span MacInnis scored the most total PP points 2 times and Lidstrom 6 times. MacInnis had an greater PPP/game 3 off those seasons and Lidstrom 5. Canīt see an 42 yo MacInnis scoring more points than Lidstrom age 35 and in full prime (saying prime, as even if he won three straight Norris there, I insist his real peak was before that lockout... about from 95-03...).

Prime QB versions of MacInnis v.s. Lidstrom is an interesting debate that I also see MacInnis winning. But also an topic I see Lidstrom probably being underrated as he didnīt have that "sexy" hard slapshot MacInnis had. One that challenges for the greatest of all time. But I donīt think Lidstroms quite way of leading an PP is that far off. If at all.

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04-20-2017, 05:49 PM
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crobro
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In his 22nd pro season he led all NHL D men in scoring.

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04-21-2017, 02:08 AM
  #12
Big Phil
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I think it is a bit of a sad way for such a legend to go, but keep in mind, lots of guys his age went the same way with the lockout erasing an entire year. I remember John Davidson in the 2004 season talking about how MacInnis was out the rest of the year and with the lockout looming that we were probably going to never see him play again. Which we never did. He had a heck of a year in 2003. Wow. I was impressed. This guy was 39. Then he played three games the following season and that was it.

I really don't think it matters anyway. Even if he played a full season in 2004 does his legacy change much? I think the Blues end up with more than 91 points though and might have gotten an easier opponent in the first round but either way they still likely lose somewhere along the way. Even so, MacInnis joined guys like Francis, Messier and Stevens as legends who never played after 2004. The lockout does that to you at that age. MacInnis coming back after the lockout makes him 42. I just don't see it happening anyway. He had an excellent career and even though he missed his last season more or less it doesn't change much at all. The Norris was a bit more wide open in 2004 so it isn't out of the question that he has a season as good as Niedermayer to win it. However, what is more likely is MacInnis being there means Pronger - who finished as a 2nd team all-star - has a better year and might have a better crack at it.

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04-21-2017, 04:47 AM
  #13
Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feffan View Post
Canīt agree with this. 95/96-02/03 MacInnis had 0,39 PPP/game and Lidstrom 0,41. During that span MacInnis scored the most total PP points 2 times and Lidstrom 6 times. MacInnis had an greater PPP/game 3 off those seasons and Lidstrom 5. Canīt see an 42 yo MacInnis scoring more points than Lidstrom age 35 and in full prime (saying prime, as even if he won three straight Norris there, I insist his real peak was before that lockout... about from 95-03...).

Prime QB versions of MacInnis v.s. Lidstrom is an interesting debate that I also see MacInnis winning. But also an topic I see Lidstrom probably being underrated as he didnīt have that "sexy" hard slapshot MacInnis had. One that challenges for the greatest of all time. But I donīt think Lidstroms quite way of leading an PP is that far off. If at all.
In Mac's last 10 seasons (age 30-40) he had 285 PP points in 685 games (0.42/game) vs Lidstrom's 292 PP points in 771 games (0.38/game).
Lidstrom finished with more PP points 7 times and ahead in PP points/game 5 times in those 10 seasons

Point taken though.
I was guilty of projecting a prime Mac.
That while prime Mac blows away prime Lidstrom in PP points and PP points/game, prime Lidstrom has a slight edge over an aged Mac.

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