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Selänne vs Modano

View Poll Results: Choose a player (all-time):
Teemu Ilmari Selänne 136 89.47%
Michael Thomas Modano, Jr. 14 9.21%
I'm sorry I can't, they are way too close 2 1.32%
Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-11-2010, 09:28 PM
  #76
overpass
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Upon scoring 50 goals in his first full season, Paul Kariya was widely referred to as "the Next Gretzky" by "a sizable majority" of the hockey world and seemed destined to overtake Selanne as top dog on that team (in terms of production, of course... Kariya's leadership and "intangibles" were always regarded more highly than Selanne, right or wrong, even at a young age). The very next year, despite 4 years of age/development difference between them, their production was quite similar. Fault the pundits for translating notions of potential unfairly and prematurely in his favour over Selanne, but that's how it was.

Kariya's big injury brought said comparisons back down with a huge reality check (especially with Selanne leading the league in goals that year, I believe), but even now I'm sure there are a LOT of people who will share the opinion that if you erase the concussion issues we are sitting here in agreement that Kariya should be considered the "better" player of the two. After all, he did start off his first 200 games or so at around a 1.3/1.4 PPG clip (whatever the actual number is, I'm pretty sure it compares quite favourably to whatever Selanne's was for his first 200 games).

It's all hypothetical garbage now, but at the time (up to, and including, the start of the '97/98 season, as brought up by Phil) I have a hard time believing that there was any widespread opinion that Selanne was (nor would be) the superior player of the two. I certainly never read anything of the sort in the sports section of either of the two major newspapers that came to my door every day at the time, nor heard any of it on Sportsdesk/whatever. North American bias? Perhaps. But how many Anaheim games were being televised in Europe/overseas at the time anyways, and who would know better?
A hockey preview magazine (I don't remember which) before the 1996-97 season had an article on who would be the next best forward, after Lemieux. Their candidates were Forsberg, Jagr, Lindros, and Kariya, and they ended up choosing Kariya. (IIRC their reasoning was Forsberg didn't score enough goals, Jagr benefitted from Lemieux, and Lindros was injury-prone.)

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08-11-2010, 10:10 PM
  #77
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
A hockey preview magazine (I don't remember which) before the 1996-97 season had an article on who would be the next best forward, after Lemieux. Their candidates were Forsberg, Jagr, Lindros, and Kariya, and they ended up choosing Kariya. (IIRC their reasoning was Forsberg didn't score enough goals, Jagr benefitted from Lemieux, and Lindros was injury-prone.)
i remember an old magazine, i want to say the sporting news, where the cover story was "the next one?" its candidates were jagr, lindros, bure, fedorov, and roenick, and they picked roenick. this was right before lindros' rookie year. the rationale was that the other guys were too "european" and lindros was completely unproven at the time, so jr was the guy to lead the post-expansion NHL into the new millennium. not exactly the same situation as described above, but i think kariya, as great as he was pre-suter, got a lot of juice from being articulate and working for disney. lindros was a jerk, jagr and others didn't speak perfect english, and kariya just seemed like such a wholesome ken griffey jr. type.

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08-11-2010, 10:55 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i remember an old magazine, i want to say the sporting news, where the cover story was "the next one?" its candidates were jagr, lindros, bure, fedorov, and roenick, and they picked roenick. this was right before lindros' rookie year. the rationale was that the other guys were too "european" and lindros was completely unproven at the time, so jr was the guy to lead the post-expansion NHL into the new millennium. not exactly the same situation as described above, but i think kariya, as great as he was pre-suter, got a lot of juice from being articulate and working for disney. lindros was a jerk, jagr and others didn't speak perfect english, and kariya just seemed like such a wholesome ken griffey jr. type.
That's selling the guy way short. His list of accomplishments/accolades BEFORE even suiting up in the NHL were quite extraordinary. Torched the NCAA as a rookie, best forward and all-star of the '93/94 WC, a great showing as a youngster on the Olympic silver medal team the same year, etc. And then he was in the top 50 NHL scorers in his lock-out shortened rookie season, and post season 1st team all-star (first of 3 in a row) as a sophomore. Dude was pretty good (not simply "articulate", "connected", and/or "wholesome"), but sure, he obviously has Selanne to thank for a lot of that (and vice versa).

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08-11-2010, 11:25 PM
  #79
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
That's selling the guy way short. His list of accomplishments/accolades BEFORE even suiting up in the NHL were quite extraordinary. Torched the NCAA as a rookie, best forward and all-star of the '93/94 WC, a great showing as a youngster on the Olympic silver medal team the same year, etc. And then he was in the top 50 NHL scorers in his lock-out shortened rookie season, and post season 1st team all-star (first of 3 in a row) as a sophomore. Dude was pretty good (not simply "articulate", "connected", and/or "wholesome"), but sure, he obviously has Selanne to thank for a lot of that (and vice versa).
whoa, where did i say that kariya wasn't a fantastic player pre-suter? we have been talking in this thread about the merits of kariya relative to selanne, and why two players who seem close in retrospect were not generally considered close at the time. the articulate, boy next door thing i'm sure played a role in that.

believe me, i was there and i remember teenage kariya. watching him in his first wjc, it seemed crazy to me that he was pegged as low as sixth in that draft, behind kozlov, gratton, and niedermayer.

and kariya could do a lot worse than be compared to ken griffey jr, by the way.

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08-12-2010, 12:44 PM
  #80
jepjepjoo
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
In other words: I discussed 1993-2004, and post-lockout. Overall that discussion is complete because it covers Selanne's entire NHL career.

I'm not sure what you wanted me to do, exclude some of Selanne's years?
No, I'm saying that including 01-04 makes it seems like they were close in production in 92-01. Is that so hard to understand? Your argument was that Modano was better 92-04 since their scoring was close. Modano was better in 01-04, but Selanne blew his production away in 92-01 and 05-10 so much that it doesn't matter how good Modano was defensively(which is overrated. Playing with Jere "Selke" Lehtinen helps you alot)

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08-12-2010, 12:48 PM
  #81
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Teemu Selanne

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08-12-2010, 12:48 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
Selanne blew his production away in 92-01 and 05-10 so much that it doesn't matter how good Modano was defensively(which is overrated. Playing with Jere "Selke" Lehtinen helps you alot)
Playing with Lehtinen would help for sure but we're comparing Modano and Selanne here.. and of those two, Modano is by far the better defensive player, especially while playing in that defensive system Dallas had during his prime.

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08-12-2010, 06:18 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
No, I'm saying that including 01-04 makes it seems like they were close in production in 92-01. Is that so hard to understand?
If you want to be fair and objective you need to look at Selanne's entire career. You can't just exclude his bad years because he's obviously one of your favourite players.

I looked at Selanne's entire career. I've argued that Selanne had the better career overall, but it's close because Modano was a bit better pre-lockout while Selanne was clearly better post-lockout.

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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
Your argument was that Modano was better 92-04 since their scoring was close. Modano was better in 01-04, but Selanne blew his production away in 92-01 and 05-10 so much that it doesn't matter how good Modano was defensively
No, you misunderstood. I've argued that, from 1993 to 2004, Modano's significant advantages in defensive play and playoff performances -- which nobody here has even debated -- more than offsets Selanne's small advantage in scoring (5 points per year).

For over a decade, Modano and Selanne were virtually even in scoring so you can't seriously tell me that Modano's clear advantages in defensive play and playoff performances don't matter.

After the lockout, it's a different story (Selanne is clearly ahead and I don't know why you keep bringing it up, because nobody here disagrees with you).

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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
(which is overrated. Playing with Jere "Selke" Lehtinen helps you alot)
I don't see what this has to be with respect to my argument, specifically that Modano's defensive play is clearly superior to Selanne's. Are you disputing this?

Lehtinen is one of the greatest defensive forwards of all-time. Is it a bad thing that Modano learned from one of the best? I really don't understand your argument here.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 08-12-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old
08-12-2010, 08:17 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
If you want to be fair and objective you need to look at Selanne's entire career. You can't just exclude his bad years because he's obviously one of your favourite players.
They weren't bad years; they were injury years. I've brought this up with TDMM before: Teemu Selanne is one of the few players that HOH looks upon negatively because he happened to play with a degenerative injury. Every argument against Selanne stems from 2000-2004, because those years absolutely tank his career averages and give him a horrific playoff reputation because they make up a much bigger percentage of his career playoff games than the playoff games in his prime.

If it were as simple as saying "Oh, he only averaged 5 points more than Modano prior to the lockout," then yes, we'd all agree that Modano's defensive abilities make up for it. But the fact that from 1992-93 to 1999-2000, it looked like this:

Selanne - 346 Goals (1st), 729 Points (2nd); .61 GPG (3rd), 1.29 PPG (4th)
Modano - 259 Goals (16th), 600 Points (14th); .47 GPG (17th), 1.09 PPG (17th)

And in 2000-01 to 2003-04, it looked like this:

Selanne - 106 Goals (31st), 222 Points (53rd); .34 GPG (44th), .70 PPG (79th)
Modano - 109 Goals (27th), 290 Points (13th); .35 GPG (40th), .92 PPG (23rd)

Means that those "5 points per year" that you've mentioned used to be 16 points per year, until Selanne broke during the last four seasons of your analysis. I know it's easier to use the lockout as a cutoff, but if you don't acknowledge how much better Selanne was offensively pre-lockout and pre-injury (one that was so bad that the league gave him a Masterton for becoming a top ten player once again), then you're really being naive.

I mean...

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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
For over a decade, Modano and Selanne were virtually even in scoring
Do you really want to go there?

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08-13-2010, 08:51 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
If you want to be fair and objective you need to look at Selanne's entire career. You can't just exclude his bad years because he's obviously one of your favourite players.

I looked at Selanne's entire career. I've argued that Selanne had the better career overall, but it's close because Modano was a bit better pre-lockout while Selanne was clearly better post-lockout.



No, you misunderstood. I've argued that, from 1993 to 2004, Modano's significant advantages in defensive play and playoff performances -- which nobody here has even debated -- more than offsets Selanne's small advantage in scoring (5 points per year).

No, you misunderstood. I've argued that, from 1993 to 2004, Modano's significant advantages in defensive play and playoff performances -- which nobody here has even debated -- more than offsets Selanne's small advantage in scoring (5 points per year).
Somehow you still dont understand... I dont really know what else to do, but repeat: including 01-04 makes their scoring in 92-01 look alot closer than it really was.

Quote:
Lehtinen is one of the greatest defensive forwards of all-time. Is it a bad thing that Modano learned from one of the best?
No, I´m saying that one of the best defensive forwards of all-time made him look alot better defensively and gave him more liberties.

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08-13-2010, 01:45 PM
  #86
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Somehow you still dont understand... I dont really know what else to do, but repeat: including 01-04 makes their scoring in 92-01 look alot closer than it really was.
We're going in circles here.

Based on what they actually accomplished on the ice, Selanne and Modano were very close offensively before the lockout. (And, for the third time, nobody here is disputing that Selanne has been clearly better post-lockout). It's too bad that Selanne was injured, but that's part of the game.

This isn't some type of anti-Selanne bias. (He's actually quite a likeable player IMO). You can read through my post history - you'll see that I don't give players credit for what they failed to accomplish due to injuries. You can disagree with me in principle, but I'm consistent with my position (see my discussions about Lemieux, Orr, Bossy, Neely, etc).

I fully agree that Selanne has more talent or natural ability than Modano. If you could promise me an injury-free Selanne, I would take him over an injury-free Modano.

Their scoring "really was" close. It's too bad that Selanne got injured, but you don't win hockey games by extrapolating injured players' statistics. Only what happens on the ice counts on the scoreboard. The value that Modano contributed was close to Selanne's value (Modano's contributions were steadier and more consistent year by year; Selanne had a higher peak and lower lows).

I really don't think we disagree on very much here. We both think Selanne is the better player overall, and we both think Selanne has more talent and a higher offensive peak. The only thing you seem to disagree about is that Modano was better pre-lockout, and I think that comes from our differences in philosophies (I don't give credit to players who are injured, while you seem to).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
No, I´m saying that one of the best defensive forwards of all-time made him look alot better defensively and gave him more liberties.
How would you rate Modano defensively?

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08-13-2010, 02:14 PM
  #87
jepjepjoo
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
We're going in circles here.

Based on what they actually accomplished on the ice, Selanne and Modano were very close offensively before the lockout. (And, for the third time, nobody here is disputing that Selanne has been clearly better post-lockout). It's too bad that Selanne was injured, but that's part of the game.

This isn't some type of anti-Selanne bias. (He's actually quite a likeable player IMO). You can read through my post history - you'll see that I don't give players credit for what they failed to accomplish due to injuries. You can disagree with me in principle, but I'm consistent with my position (see my discussions about Lemieux, Orr, Bossy, Neely, etc).

I fully agree that Selanne has more talent or natural ability than Modano. If you could promise me an injury-free Selanne, I would take him over an injury-free Modano.

Their scoring "really was" close. It's too bad that Selanne got injured, but you don't win hockey games by extrapolating injured players' statistics. Only what happens on the ice counts on the scoreboard. The value that Modano contributed was close to Selanne's value (Modano's contributions were steadier and more consistent year by year; Selanne had a higher peak and lower lows).

I really don't think we disagree on very much here. We both think Selanne is the better player overall, and we both think Selanne has more talent and a higher offensive peak. The only thing you seem to disagree about is that Modano was better pre-lockout, and I think that comes from our differences in philosophies (I don't give credit to players who are injured, while you seem to).
Oh, wow. You still manage to miss the point. I'm done.

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08-13-2010, 03:01 PM
  #88
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Oh, wow. You still manage to miss the point. I'm done.
I don't think he misses the point, it's that he rates players based on the value of everything they do, including injuries and down seasons. Since Modano and Selanne played at the same time and a similar number of games, they can then be compared easily across seasons as a whole.

It's not the way I would personally do it, but it's as least a consistent method for comparing players

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08-13-2010, 08:36 PM
  #89
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Well I'd still have likely put him in the top 10 in 2000. Recchi was fine statistically but if you asked a GM who they wanted on their team it would be Selanne from all of them.
Are you sure? I realize there is no doubt selanne has had the better career, but why would it be so hard to accept that recchi was better at that particular time? He was his usual dependable, gritty, lunchpail self and led the nhl in assists.

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08-14-2010, 02:08 PM
  #90
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Are you sure? I realize there is no doubt selanne has had the better career, but why would it be so hard to accept that recchi was better at that particular time? He was his usual dependable, gritty, lunchpail self and led the nhl in assists.
I would've taken Recchi over Selanne in 2000. Selanne was in the beginning stages of (what was to me, at least) an obvious decline. A healthy Selanne would've scored a lot more than 33 Goals in a full season. Whether or not he still qualifies as being a top ten player at that point is debatable, but Recchi was almost certainly better.

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12-09-2012, 06:53 AM
  #91
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Better scorer: Selanne

Better player: Modano.

I would prefer the better player be on my team.

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12-09-2012, 12:21 PM
  #92
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Better scorer: Selanne

Better player: Modano.

I would prefer the better player be on my team.
Both were born the same year, drafted the same year and one of them aged very well (still to this day) and the other one is retired probably trying to find a way to feed his dogs financially (a little 2004 lockout humour from an ill-advised Modano comment).

Honestly, peak wise it is hard to take Modano over Selanne considering we saw so much of what Selanne could do on his own and how high his ceiling was.

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12-09-2012, 04:15 PM
  #93
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Both were born the same year, drafted the same year and one of them aged very well (still to this day) and the other one is retired probably trying to find a way to feed his dogs financially (a little 2004 lockout humour from an ill-advised Modano comment).

Honestly, peak wise it is hard to take Modano over Selanne considering we saw so much of what Selanne could do on his own and how high his ceiling was.
Yes Modano would never really get to close to that rookie year of Selanne scoring 76 goals even with the same league/team context. And yes even in a similar context as Selanne in the late 90s he isnt scoring at the same levels. So did Selanne peak higher by virtue of his rookie ssn? Yes. And was he a better player in the late 90s than Modano? Most likely yes but not by that much. But while Modano and Selanne were close throughout the late 90s Modano also continued to be all that in the early 00s whereas Selanne got hurt. That has to make up for something.

This was a guy who was seriously held back offensively in Dallas. This isnt like a Colorado situation where Sakic/Forsberg might have to play some decent D. His numbers were held back by a significant amount. What did Modano score in his prime? 80 points avg? I would hazard a guess that he could have gotten 20 points more not playing somewhere like Dallas. You would be right to say that a significant part of his defensive advantage is also conferred by his team context but make no mistake Modano in a more free environment would still be individually better than say Sakic/Forsberg defensively.

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12-09-2012, 04:25 PM
  #94
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Yes Modano would never really get to close to that rookie year of Selanne scoring 76 goals even with the same league/team context. And yes even in a similar context as Selanne in the late 90s he isnt scoring at the same levels. So did Selanne peak higher by virtue of his rookie ssn? Yes. And was he a better player in the late 90s than Modano? Most likely yes but not by that much. But while Modano and Selanne were close throughout the late 90s Modano also continued to be all that in the early 00s whereas Selanne got hurt. That has to make up for something.

This was a guy who was seriously held back offensively in Dallas. This isnt like a Colorado situation where Sakic/Forsberg might have to play some decent D. His numbers were held back by a significant amount. What did Modano score in his prime? 80 points avg? I would hazard a guess that he could have gotten 20 points more not playing somewhere like Dallas. You would be right to say that a significant part of his defensive advantage is also conferred by his team context but make no mistake Modano in a more free environment would still be individually better than say Sakic/Forsberg defensively.
You have to also take into consideration their post lockout careers. Modano and Selanne are vastly different. Selanne had a rejuvenation with that lockout while Modano it seemed was never the same player. That is taken into context with me as well. And yes, in the late 1990s I'd have wanted Selanne on my team over Modano. Not by a large amount, but by a clear enough distance.

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12-09-2012, 04:33 PM
  #95
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You have to also take into consideration their post lockout careers. Modano and Selanne are vastly different. Selanne had a rejuvenation with that lockout while Modano it seemed was never the same player. That is taken into context with me as well. And yes, in the late 1990s I'd have wanted Selanne on my team over Modano. Not by a large amount, but by a clear enough distance.
Yeah ob post lockout Selanne kills Modano and has clearly had the better career. And while Modano has elite playoffs (Selanne never got the chance) Selanne is one of the best ever on big ice so. But before the lockout or during the late 90s it is close enough between the two that i would just have to decide on team need rather than determining who was better.

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12-09-2012, 04:42 PM
  #96
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I can't believe it's so lopsided, I thought this would be close. Selanne was one of his generations best goal-scorers. Modano at his peak was a much more complete player I'd say. 80 points a season in that Dallas system playing the way he played is nothing to sneeze at.

Big Phil, I'm puzzled by you declaring Selanne had more elite seasons. I'd say both players had around 10.

I think Selanne's late career success and Modano's somewhat lengthy decline have perhaps influenced some people's recollections. I know if I was starting a team up, I'd be drafting Modano ahead of Selanne, and that's who I voted for. I think both players should end up as worthy HOF inductees.
Truth.

Just totally different players on different teams with different responsibilities and expectations. Selanne obviously had the big jump and was still scoring in the latter years, but that major chunk in between I'm taking Modano on my team ahead of Selanne every single time. Selanne's not going head to head vs Joe Sakic etc etc in playoff battles. Modano did. And won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
Better scorer: Selanne

Better player: Modano.

I would prefer the better player be on my team.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-09-2012 at 05:00 PM. Reason: merged short posts
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12-09-2012, 04:51 PM
  #97
vadim sharifijanov
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i think the question of greater career has long been determined. it's selanne.

on the contentious question of who you would want in their primes, maybe era needs to be taken into account. obviously both guys were great, HHOF calibre players who would have thrived in any era. in most eras, you go with the guy who can score his way to a hart nomination over the consistent two-way guy who isn't offensively elite. but in the years of their actual primes, the idiosyncratic situation of the DPE makes this a legitimate question. no team built around an elite scoring winger won anything in that era (case in point: jagr's pens when mario was out of the lineup). every team that won was either deep with two-way talent down the middle or had two giant centers (modano/nieuwendyk, arnott/holik, sakic/forsberg, fedorov/yzerman). so in those years, if your end goal is to win playoff rounds and not rack up hart nominations, i think yeah you could make a reasonable argument that you'd rather build your team around modano.

but if it's 2012, where a team built around kovalchuk and parise can come within two wins of the cup, an era where daniel briere (playing wing half the time) is one of the most iconic year-in, year-out playoff performers? hard not to go with selanne there.

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12-09-2012, 04:54 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by jepjepjoo View Post
Somehow you still dont understand... I dont really know what else to do, but repeat: including 01-04 makes their scoring in 92-01 look alot closer than it really was.



No, I´m saying that one of the best defensive forwards of all-time made him look alot better defensively and gave him more liberties.
People tend to always assume that it's gotta be one guy helping the other. Like a "Who's the catalyst?" QB vs WR debate in football. It is possible that both are. Rather than making the assumption that because Lehtinen was one of the best defensive forwards he must have been the reason for Modano's defensive success, give Modano his credit. Watching him you would know that he was that good defensively.

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12-09-2012, 05:14 PM
  #99
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by toob View Post
Yeah ob post lockout Selanne kills Modano and has clearly had the better career. And while Modano has elite playoffs (Selanne never got the chance) Selanne is one of the best ever on big ice so. But before the lockout or during the late 90s it is close enough between the two that i would just have to decide on team need rather than determining who was better.
Points from 1992-'04
Selanne - 951
Modano - 890

You might say that isn't a huge difference but we are also taking into account Selanne's poor injury riddled seasons from 2001-'04. To me, it is obvious who peaked higher in that time frame. Even if you don't count Selanne's rookie season you have to look at the time frame of 1995-'00 and ask who do you think was better at that time? Did Modano ever hit the level that Selanne did especially from 1996-'99? I don't think he did.

Points from 2005-'11
Selanne - 389
Modano - 268

Modano retired in 2011. Selanne had a 66 point season in 2012. He's still playing and he blew Modano out post lockout. If anyone had any questions about these two players I think it was answered in the last 10 years.

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12-09-2012, 06:15 PM
  #100
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Points from 1992-'04
Selanne - 951
Modano - 890

You might say that isn't a huge difference but we are also taking into account Selanne's poor injury riddled seasons from 2001-'04. To me, it is obvious who peaked higher in that time frame. Even if you don't count Selanne's rookie season you have to look at the time frame of 1995-'00 and ask who do you think was better at that time? Did Modano ever hit the level that Selanne did especially from 1996-'99? I don't think he did.

Points from 2005-'11
Selanne - 389
Modano - 268

Modano retired in 2011. Selanne had a 66 point season in 2012. He's still playing and he blew Modano out post lockout. If anyone had any questions about these two players I think it was answered in the last 10 years.
You're only looking at points though. Modano brought a lot more to the table in other areas than Selanne did during the late 90's/early 00's. I'd say Modano from 98-03 was the best stretch either player had, goal totals be damned. I said it previously, maybe even in this thread, that Selanne was in a perfect situation to go rack up points in the late 90's, while it was just the opposite for Modano under Hitchcock.

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