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Top-100 European Players of All-Time

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Old
09-09-2010, 05:26 PM
  #151
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
The two-time Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs wanted to acquire Andy Bathgate. Granted, it wasn't a good fit (just like Dick Duff in New York wasn't a good fit). But reality is that the champs wanted Bathgate. The Kings, meanwhile, were a team that had missed the playoffs the year before, and in five of the six years prior. I'm sorry you can't see the difference. They were a bad organization when Palffy arrived. For a variety of reasons, they had three years in which they were decent to good (although never a threat, never a contender), and they were bad in Palffy's final two years. He just wasn't a guy that a top team could build around. He not the guy who was going to be a top player on a top team.

When a guy makes the playoffs three times, and wins one playoff series, in essentially a 10-year career when player movement is rampant, then it's time to sit back and ask why. Maybe it's because the powers that be knew the truth. Eventually, it's time to stop blaming the team, and start questioning the player.

On Hawerchuk's Jets: I was part of a press conference with Lanny McDonald last year. The first question (not from me) in the scrum was "How many Cups do the Flames win if not for the Oilers?" Lanny's response. "I don't know, but the Jets probably ask themselves the same thing, how many Cups do they win if not for the Oilers?" It goes to show how widely respected the Jets were around the league. That was an awesome Winnipeg team in 85. They were probably the second-best team in the league. (They beat the Flames in the first round to earn that distinction). But there's no way that team, with Dale Hawerchuk out and Brian Hayward in net, was going to beat Edmonton. (Note: you could have had a healthy Hawerchuk and a Vezina winner in goal, and Winnipeg doesn't beat Edmonton. Not enough depth. But Winnipeg would have defeated any team outside of the Smythe in a best-of-seven.

When looking at GF/GA, keep in mind that teams in the Smythe had to play each other eight times a year. Winnipeg only had three games against teams from the Norris (which was emergining but still the Smythe's JV league) and the Patrick (which was truly abysmal).

Kovalchuk: Are the Devils still a top team? They've been ousted from the playoffs in the first round four of the last six years. They haven't made it past the second round since 2003. Is that really a top team? Or is that a team living on its reputation? Now, Kovalchuk isn't even the best LW in New Jersey (Zach Parise is), but I can't believe that New Jersey would give a 15-year contract to a guy who has never won a playoff series.

A quick aside. 70s, am I going crazy, or did someone point out that my favourite Swede of all-time, Thomas Steen, isn't on your list?
Not sure if you realized, but teams win as a whole, not because of any individual. When people are going to learn this, I do not know.

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09-10-2010, 12:11 AM
  #152
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Not sure if you realized, but teams win as a whole, not because of any individual. When people are going to learn this, I do not know.
I fully agree, too often here and in general, people give to much credit to secondary players who win cups, ie. not the actual 1 or 2 stars on the team that carry the Cup team at times) and lay too much blame to players who don't win a cup all on their own.

This is even more so in modern times with a 30 team league and only 1 cup to go around.


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Old
09-10-2010, 12:15 AM
  #153
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I like your top 10. Plug Staschny and Selanne in at 11 and 12, would be about right.

one name, 69. Reijo Ruotsalainen, brings back some memories as on Oil fan. Whatever happen to...

How about Risto Siltonen and Matty Hagmen.

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09-10-2010, 12:39 AM
  #154
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I wasn't at the training camp but from what I heard from good sources is that Svedberg did extremely well against players like Howe. He was the fastest skater at Detroits camp and a lot of people thought he could be their top 2 defenseman if he wanted too. It's a shame he went home again as we would have more meat on the bones if he stayed in the NHL.

He did alot of Orresque moves too like killing penalties by simply outskating and outmanouvering the opposition but comparing him to Harvey would be accurate.
Roland Eriksson apparently looked world class in a Canucks training camp as well. He had a great skill set but it never actually transferred itself to actual NHL games for any period of time.

My point here is that it is more important to actually rate guys on what they did and where and when they did them as well. context is everything.

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09-10-2010, 12:52 AM
  #155
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Nedomansky at 22 and Mats Sundin at 26 really stood out for me.

Unfortunately Big Ned didn't come to North America until he was 30 and 5 of his 1st 6 years was pretty decent given his age although it was in the high flying late 70's and early 80's.

i know all about his international record but looking at most international guys who never played in the NHL and those that have pre 1980 or so, they tend to pad their stats against weaker teams and there is a general drop off in their scoring numbers against marginal NHL or non NHL players who represented Canada at these tournaments.
To me other guys value the top dog status of some players in a less competitive environment or there is a "what if they had been able to play in the NHL, they would have done as well assumption or something."
IMO when I compare what Nedomansky did and the level of competition he did it against he doesn't belong in the same room as Sundin and it's not even really close.

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09-10-2010, 01:40 AM
  #156
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Vlad Ruzicka should probably be in there. didn't do much in the NHL, but he's a god in the Czech. From what I saw with the Oil, he had no defense to speak of, but his offensive skills were up there with Mario. Maybe closer to say, Malkin.

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09-10-2010, 06:55 AM
  #157
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My top 10

1. Hasek
2. Fetisov
3. Lidstrom
4. Jagr
5. Kharlamov
6. Makarov
7. Stastny
8. Kurri
9. Forsberg
10. Salming

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Old
09-10-2010, 07:23 AM
  #158
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Originally Posted by RustE View Post
Vlad Ruzicka should probably be in there. didn't do much in the NHL, but he's a god in the Czech. From what I saw with the Oil, he had no defense to speak of, but his offensive skills were up there with Mario. Maybe closer to say, Malkin.
I agree, Ruzicka just might have a chance to make European top100 imho. Interesting list, though it seems to me it was just throwing names in lower half of the list and it needs some serious revising.

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Old
09-10-2010, 12:27 PM
  #159
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Originally Posted by RustE View Post
Vlad Ruzicka should probably be in there. didn't do much in the NHL, but he's a god in the Czech. From what I saw with the Oil, he had no defense to speak of, but his offensive skills were up there with Mario. Maybe closer to say, Malkin.
Agreed, he should be somewhere on the list. I recall Lemieux's interview with Czech media a couple of years ago where he mentioned he was following Růžička very closely during the Prague World Championship in 1985 since he considered him a similar type of player.

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09-11-2010, 01:58 AM
  #160
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
i know all about his international record but looking at most international guys who never played in the NHL and those that have pre 1980 or so, they tend to pad their stats against weaker teams and there is a general drop off in their scoring numbers against marginal NHL or non NHL players who represented Canada at these tournaments.
???

Where can you find such 'stats'? I'd like to see them. Nedomansky did very well in the scoring races vs. guys like Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Petrov, Maltsev, Firsov and was head and shoulders above Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson (internationally) and that sort. Nedomansky was one of the players (along with Martinec and Hlinka, at least) who excelled against the Soviet Union, and that's a pretty good indication of his capabilities against top competition. Damn straight.

And heck, if anyone, the [big] NHL stars who played at the World Championships, were rarely as good and productive against the so called weaker opposition as in the NHL and as their reputation would have you believe. Why couldn't they dominate against those 'bums' - let alone against genuinely good opposition like the Russians and the Czechs - in the World Championships? When did you see a Canadian win the scoring race - other than Gretzky in 1982?

Comparing Sundin and Nedomansky is very hard and unfair IMO. Even as a 30-year old rookie, I do think Nedo should have done a little better in the WHA, but he was still a pretty consistent performer in his 30s who aged quite well. But I have no reason to believe that a 30-year old Sundin (as a rookie) would have done any better in a similar situation.


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Old
09-11-2010, 05:03 AM
  #161
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
On Hawerchuk's Jets: I was part of a press conference with Lanny McDonald last year. The first question (not from me) in the scrum was "How many Cups do the Flames win if not for the Oilers?" Lanny's response. "I don't know, but the Jets probably ask themselves the same thing, how many Cups do they win if not for the Oilers?" It goes to show how widely respected the Jets were around the league. That was an awesome Winnipeg team in 85. They were probably the second-best team in the league. (They beat the Flames in the first round to earn that distinction). But there's no way that team, with Dale Hawerchuk out and Brian Hayward in net, was going to beat Edmonton. (Note: you could have had a healthy Hawerchuk and a Vezina winner in goal, and Winnipeg doesn't beat Edmonton. Not enough depth. But Winnipeg would have defeated any team outside of the Smythe in a best-of-seven.

When looking at GF/GA, keep in mind that teams in the Smythe had to play each other eight times a year. Winnipeg only had three games against teams from the Norris (which was emergining but still the Smythe's JV league) and the Patrick (which was truly abysmal)
Jets were not beating the Flyers in 85, no chance there. As for the Patrick, the Devils and Pens (pre-Mario) were brutal, kind of like the Canucks, but the Flyers and Caps were very good, and the Isles still new how to win come springtime.

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09-11-2010, 05:14 AM
  #162
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Expectations

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???

Where can you find such 'stats'? I'd like to see them. Nedomansky did very well in the scoring races vs. guys like Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Petrov, Maltsev, Firsov and was head and shoulders above Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson (internationally) and that sort. Nedomansky was one of the players (along with Martinec and Hlinka, at least) who excelled against the Soviet Union, and that's a pretty good indication of his capabilities against top competition. Damn straight.

And heck, if anyone, the [big] NHL stars who played at the World Championships, were rarely as good and productive against the so called weaker opposition as in the NHL and as their reputation would have you believe. Why couldn't they dominate against those 'bums' - let alone against genuinely good opposition like the Russians and the Czechs - in the World Championships? When did you see a Canadian win the scoring race - other than Gretzky in 1982?

Comparing Sundin and Nedomansky is very hard and unfair IMO. Even as a 30-years old rookie, I do think Nedo should have done a little better in the WHA, but he was still a pretty consistent performer in his 30s who aged quite well. But I have no reason to believe that a 30-year old Sundin (as a rookie) would have done any better in a similar situation.
Let's see, Canada featured players from eliminated NHL teams after an 80+ game schedule, picked practically at random, thrown together at the last minute, without the best coaching and management, without benefit of practice time or exhibition games to adjust to a larger ice surface or having previous experience against the opposition.

Why couldn't the NHL players dominate against weaker opposition, "bums" - your description. Perhaps it is the nature of the event. European hockey targeted, still does, elite tournaments as a measure of success, one game or nothing. NHL hockey measures success based on a long season - presently 80 games plus sets of best of 7 playoff series. Very different game.

As for your Gretzky in 1982 analogy. It is rather interesting that in head to head international tournament match-ups Sergei Makarov never beat Wayne Gretzky in the scoring race - WJC 1978, WC 1982,
Canada Cup - 1981, 1984, 1987. Wayne Gretzky was better in everyone.

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09-11-2010, 08:18 AM
  #163
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Let's see, Canada featured players from eliminated NHL teams after an 80+ game schedule, picked practically at random, thrown together at the last minute, without the best coaching and management, without benefit of practice time or exhibition games to adjust to a larger ice surface or having previous experience against the opposition.

Why couldn't the NHL players dominate against weaker opposition, "bums" - your description. Perhaps it is the nature of the event. European hockey targeted, still does, elite tournaments as a measure of success, one game or nothing. NHL hockey measures success based on a long season - presently 80 games plus sets of best of 7 playoff series. Very different game.

As for your Gretzky in 1982 analogy. It is rather interesting that in head to head international tournament match-ups Sergei Makarov never beat Wayne Gretzky in the scoring race - WJC 1978, WC 1982,
Canada Cup - 1981, 1984, 1987. Wayne Gretzky was better in everyone.
Good point.

Not all of the best that were available from the non-playoff teams always went for Canada either. And some joined the team during the tournament, after elimination from the playoffs.

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09-11-2010, 11:00 AM
  #164
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Let's see, Canada featured players from eliminated NHL teams after an 80+ game schedule, picked practically at random, thrown together at the last minute, without the best coaching and management, without benefit of practice time or exhibition games to adjust to a larger ice surface or having previous experience against the opposition.
Well, exactly!

Now, was Vaclav Nedomansky in some sort of ideal situation in 1974 when he defected as a 30-year old? Is it fair to talk about his NA career in comparisons with the Mats Sundins of this world? And is there some proof that Sundin did better against better competition in international tournaments?

The only thing 'against' him is that he obviously wanted it (i.e. to play in North America unlike maybe Krutov or somebody like that)... but still, I just find it downright silly that people still even bother to mention that a 30-year old rookie wasn't able to set North America on fire, or did not look as dominant as he did in Europe.


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Old
09-11-2010, 03:45 PM
  #165
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Originally Posted by RustE View Post
Vlad Ruzicka should probably be in there. didn't do much in the NHL, but he's a god in the Czech. From what I saw with the Oil, he had no defense to speak of, but his offensive skills were up there with Mario. Maybe closer to say, Malkin.
Up there with Mario and Malkin?

This is a stretch of huge proportions IMO.

Maybe he looked that way in certain Czech league games and certain international games but once again context and the level of competition is everything.

Heck i would even put him under Joe Thorton in terms of value or best of all time. (Another big guy who looks good in certain situations)

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09-11-2010, 04:05 PM
  #166
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Up there with Mario and Malkin?

This is a stretch of huge proportions IMO.

Maybe he looked that way in certain Czech league games and certain international games but once again context and the level of competition is everything.

Heck i would even put him under Joe Thorton in terms of value or best of all time. (Another big guy who looks good in certain situations)
Style-wise, I can see similarities. In terms of actual accomplishments, not even close to Mario or Malkin. And yes, he is far behind Joe Thornton as well.

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09-11-2010, 04:34 PM
  #167
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???

Where can you find such 'stats'? I'd like to see them. Nedomansky did very well in the scoring races vs. guys like Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Petrov, Maltsev, Firsov and was head and shoulders above Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson (internationally) and that sort. Nedomansky was one of the players (along with Martinec and Hlinka, at least) who excelled against the Soviet Union, and that's a pretty good indication of his capabilities against top competition. Damn straight.

And heck, if anyone, the [big] NHL stars who played at the World Championships, were rarely as good and productive against the so called weaker opposition as in the NHL and as their reputation would have you believe. Why couldn't they dominate against those 'bums' - let alone against genuinely good opposition like the Russians and the Czechs - in the World Championships? When did you see a Canadian win the scoring race - other than Gretzky in 1982?

Comparing Sundin and Nedomansky is very hard and unfair IMO. Even as a 30-year old rookie, I do think Nedo should have done a little better in the WHA, but he was still a pretty consistent performer in his 30s who aged quite well. But I have no reason to believe that a 30-year old Sundin (as a rookie) would have done any better in a similar situation.
I'll try to find the site, it was on another thread here or maybe this thread regarding some Russians.

Basically it has the international games against different countries listed in the far right column along with goals against those countries. A lot of the exhibition games against Canadian teams don't have Canadian rosters but it is fair to say that there were not NHL players.

Typically in the world championships the top scorers tend to pad their stats with huge games against weak competition and there is never the top team from Canada or the US represented there either.

Competitions like the Canada Cup or challenge series has more value with the higher level of competition and the more even playing filed of preparation for all teams involved.

Hedberg by the way had a pretty decent international career, while Ulf Nilsson had a pretty decent World championships at the age of 22 and played only 2 games in his age 23 season (injury perhaps I don't have any info on it) and had decent totals in his 2 Canada cups which had a higher level of competition overall than any tournament that Neds was ever in.

Also the performance and motivation of the Czech players against Russia was huge in terms of their hatred for all things Russian back in those days.

The goals per game of several players I looked at were a lot higher against teams like Finland and Switzerland for example than the Canadian teams, who I repeat were not the best Canadian players of the day either.

Sundin also performed very well both in the NHL and in the international stage up to his age 34 season with a 8-3-5-8 line in the 06 Olympics.

IMO Sundin should rank quite a bit higher than Neds on the list and maybe even in the top 8-15 range.

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09-11-2010, 09:17 PM
  #168
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A quick aside. 70s, am I going crazy, or did someone point out that my favourite Swede of all-time, Thomas Steen, isn't on your list?
You're going crazy. He's always been there... at 59th.

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I agree, Ruzicka just might have a chance to make European top100 imho. Interesting list, though it seems to me it was just throwing names in lower half of the list and it needs some serious revising.
I definitely wasn't just throwing in names.

Ruzicka doesn't even get selected in the MLD, and I don't think he should be.

Look who dots the bottom of the list - Yashin, Kovalev, Gaborik, and other one-dimensional scoring forwards who starred in the NHL for many years. There simply is not reason to believe he had a better career than them, or that hs should be in there with them.

Everyone has their pet player that they think should get in, there just isn't room for them all.

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09-12-2010, 01:40 AM
  #169
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I'll try to find the site, it was on another thread here or maybe this thread regarding some Russians.

Basically it has the international games against different countries listed in the far right column along with goals against those countries. A lot of the exhibition games against Canadian teams don't have Canadian rosters but it is fair to say that there were not NHL players.

Typically in the world championships the top scorers tend to pad their stats with huge games against weak competition and there is never the top team from Canada or the US represented there either.

Competitions like the Canada Cup or challenge series has more value with the higher level of competition and the more even playing filed of preparation for all teams involved.

Hedberg by the way had a pretty decent international career, while Ulf Nilsson had a pretty decent World championships at the age of 22 and played only 2 games in his age 23 season (injury perhaps I don't have any info on it) and had decent totals in his 2 Canada cups which had a higher level of competition overall than any tournament that Neds was ever in.

Also the performance and motivation of the Czech players against Russia was huge in terms of their hatred for all things Russian back in those days.

The goals per game of several players I looked at were a lot higher against teams like Finland and Switzerland for example than the Canadian teams, who I repeat were not the best Canadian players of the day either.

Sundin also performed very well both in the NHL and in the international stage up to his age 34 season with a 8-3-5-8 line in the 06 Olympics.

IMO Sundin should rank quite a bit higher than Neds on the list and maybe even in the top 8-15 range.
Of course they would score more vs. Poland, Switzerland and that sort, but I think that is fairly natural and would apply to all players. IMO much bigger reason for the lower scoring than Canada's return/presence in world championship play, was the preliminary/medal round system after 1976, which meant that the good teams would face the bad teams only once at best.
I don't think anyone looks at Vladimir Petrov's 34 points in 10 games at the 1973 World Championships (the clearest example of disparity between the teams at the WC) and just says, "wow, that Petrov was an awesome player and would have scored 150-200 points in the NHL" or anything like that. But it is fairly easy to also see that the players who feasted on the weak teams, were usually the top scorers against the good teams too.
The goals scored by USSR players at least are available on Chidlovski's site (http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1954/00games.htm), and the most convinient way is probably looking at the 'bios' of individual players; here's for example Mikhailov, Petrov and Kharlamov (respectively):

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=m018

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=p007

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=k011

If you scroll down, you can see on the right the games played vs. opposing countries and below that the goals scored on them. Obviously their goals per game average is clearly higher against the weak teams, but like said, I think that would be expected.

The only real question mark for me is Mikhailov's low GPG average in games against Czechoslovakia (GP: 57 G: 21), maybe partly compensated by his good numbers vs. Sweden (GP: 61 G: 45) and various Canadian teams (GP: 46 G: 30) and the fact that Petrov has 33 goals in 53 games against Czechoslovakia. Usually Petrov was much more of a playmaker than Mikhailov, but maybe in these games their roles were somewhat reversed for some reason? The lack of the assist data is a shame, so that is only a guess (maybe Jiri Holecek simply had Mikhailov's number?).

I don't think NHL players or Canadian teams were that big a factor in the world championships. The Soviets beat them 8-1 and 11-1 in 1977, 4-2 and 5-1 in 1978, 5-2 and 9-2 in 1979 etc. Czechoslovakia wasn't that dominant against them, but usually won the games fairly comfortably.
I think the only other team who had some NHL players fairly consistently was Sweden, and they usually got badly beaten by USSR and to a lesser extent, by CSSR.

I talked about Hedberg and Nilsson, because they - along with Salming - were really the first European players to make it big in North America, even if it was only the WHA. They played some decent international tournaments but were nowhere near the forces/players Nedomansky was. IMO the real reason why they did better in the WHA (and NHL), was simply their young age and probably the teams they played on (Jets, Bobby Hull - even an aging one - as a linemate).

By using your standards, I guess Sundin would be ahead of many other players too (Mikhailov, Firsov, even Kharlamov???); I just don't quite understand why Nedomansky was your 'whipping boy'.


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09-12-2010, 06:59 AM
  #170
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Well, exactly!

Now, was Vaclav Nedomansky in some sort of ideal situation in 1974 when he defected as a 30-year old? Is it fair to talk about his NA career in comparisons with the Mats Sundins of this world? And is there some proof that Sundin did better against better competition in international tournaments?

The only thing 'against' him is that he obviously wanted it (i.e. to play in North America unlike maybe Krutov or somebody like that)... but still, I just find it downright silly that people still even bother to mention that a 30-year old rookie wasn't able to set North America on fire, or did not look as dominant as he did in Europe.
You raise two interesting and important points. Indulging in comparisons across extremely different versions of the same sport. Like trying to compare F1 drivers against all-time NASCAR drivers or developing a master list of all-time F1/ Indy / NASCAR drivers without a definitive list of the top drivers in each before starting.

The in the NHL or in NA speculation or past thirty so what would he have done much younger fantasy reasoning. Rather quaint since it is one way logic, agenda based, giving credit for something that never happened. After all does anyone ever dedicate any serious thought to how a Bobby Orr would have done in any of the European leagues between 1966 and 1976? So yes it is silly that people mention that a 30 year old experienced international star was unable to set the NHL or WHA on fire just as it is silly that people refer to such a player as a rookie which in a roundabout way conveys the impression that international play really does not matter while creating a cushion for a soft landing when hopes and dreams were not fulfilled.


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Old
09-12-2010, 08:16 AM
  #171
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
So yes it is silly that people mention that a 30 year old experienced international star was unable to set the NHL or WHA on fire just as it is silly that people refer to such a player as a rookie which in a roundabout way conveys the impression that international play really does not matter while creating a cushion for a soft landing when hopes and dreams were not fulfilled.


It took you some time, but there in the last sentence came the crushing blow. Ouch.

PS. If you have a better word than a 'rookie' for a player playing his first season in a new league/system, I'd love to learn. Anyway, I think people are clever enough to set that word in the right context in Nedomansky's/Makarov's/whoever's case.

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09-12-2010, 08:30 AM
  #172
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Trans International

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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post


It took you some time, but there in the last sentence came the crushing blow. Ouch.

PS. If you have a better word than a 'rookie' for a player playing his first season in a new league/system, I'd love to learn. Anyway, I think people are clever enough to set that word in the right context in Nedomansky's/Makarov's/whoever's case.
If you want a single word then perhaps PIONEER or TRAILBLAZER would best describe the situation.

If a single word would not be sufficient perhaps a phrase TRANS INTERNATIONAL. I would favour the phrase.

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09-12-2010, 11:35 AM
  #173
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Of course they would score more vs. Poland, Switzerland and that sort, but I think that is fairly natural and would apply to all players. IMO much bigger reason for the lower scoring than Canada's return/presence in world championship play, was the preliminary/medal round system after 1976, which meant that the good teams would face the bad teams only once at best.
I don't think anyone looks at Vladimir Petrov's 34 points in 10 games at the 1973 World Championships (the clearest example of disparity between the teams at the WC) and just says, "wow, that Petrov was an awesome player and would have scored 150-200 points in the NHL" or anything like that. But it is fairly easy to also see that the players who feasted on the weak teams, were usually the top scorers against the good teams too.
The goals scored by USSR players at least are available on Chidlovski's site (http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1954/00games.htm), and the most convinient way is probably looking at the 'bios' of individual players; here's for example Mikhailov, Petrov and Kharlamov (respectively):

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=m018

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=p007

http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=k011

If you scroll down, you can see on the right the games played vs. opposing countries and below that the goals scored on them. Obviously their goals per game average is clearly higher against the weak teams, but like said, I think that would be expected.

The only real question mark for me is Mikhailov's low GPG average in games against Czechoslovakia (GP: 57 G: 21), maybe partly compensated by his good numbers vs. Sweden (GP: 61 G: 45) and various Canadian teams (GP: 46 G: 30) and the fact that Petrov has 33 goals in 53 games against Czechoslovakia. Usually Petrov was much more of a playmaker than Mikhailov, but maybe in these games their roles were somewhat reversed for some reason? The lack of the assist data is a shame, so that is only a guess (maybe Jiri Holecek simply had Mikhailov's number?).

I don't think NHL players or Canadian teams were that big a factor in the world championships. The Soviets beat them 8-1 and 11-1 in 1977, 4-2 and 5-1 in 1978, 5-2 and 9-2 in 1979 etc. Czechoslovakia wasn't that dominant against them, but usually won the games fairly comfortably.
I think the only other team who had some NHL players fairly consistently was Sweden, and they usually got badly beaten by USSR and to a lesser extent, by CSSR.

I talked about Hedberg and Nilsson, because they - along with Salming - were really the first European players to make it big in North America, even if it was only the WHA. They played some decent international tournaments but were nowhere near the forces/players Nedomansky was. IMO the real reason why they did better in the WHA (and NHL), was simply their young age and probably the teams they played on (Jets, Bobby Hull - even an aging one - as a linemate).

By using your standards, I guess Sundin would be ahead of many other players too (Mikhailov, Firsov, even Kharlamov???); I just don't quite understand why Nedomansky was your 'whipping boy'.
Yes that was the site and it was my initial 1st impressions as some of the data is incomplete. As for Neds he isn't my whipping boy, it was that he was close on the list to Sundin and as great as Ned was in his context Sundin was quite a bit better IMO.

Honestly I would have to do more research on NED on where he would fit on a top 100 players from Europe list.

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