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Has Selšnne surpassed Kurri?

View Poll Results: Has Selšnne surpassed Kurri?
Yes, he has done enough already 26 37.68%
Not yet, he needs one or more good season(s) 6 8.70%
No and he'll never do it either 26 37.68%
Me can't decide 11 15.94%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-03-2010, 01:41 PM
  #1
VMBM
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Has Selšnne surpassed Kurri?

(... as the greatest Finnish hockey player ever)

I'm sure this has been discussed many times before, but I don't remember an actual thread about it (on HOH).

For my money, Selšnne at least WILL BE the best Finnish hockey player of all-time when he finally decides to call it a day. This despite his fairly moderate playoff numbers (but it's not like he has ever played for a team like the '80s Oilers) and career plagued with injuries. Teemu was so much better in his 30s than Kurri was, and in their 20s they were about even - with Kurri having the clear edge career-/numbers-wise, for mostly obvious reasons. I know that 'what ifs' don't really count, BUT if Selšnne had had a more injury-free career, I don't think there would be any debate about this at all.

Kurri is a pioneer (i.e. the first super star calibre Finn in the NHL), no doubt about that. And already since the Eighties, he has been hailed - quite rightly so - the best Finnish hockey player ever, without anyone questioning it. That is about to change, however. Even what he did inside the rink will be enough IMO, but especially here in Finland, Selšnne's case will be helped by the fact that he is so much more jovial and accessible feller (IMO Kurri is the dullest man in the world, basically). Not that I would suggest that the sort of thing should have any effect on you cynical hardcore statisticians

Back to the question: has Selšnne already surpassed Kurri? Or does he still need one or more good season(s)? Or is it ever going to happen?

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11-03-2010, 02:00 PM
  #2
kmad
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Kurri was a better two-way player, has a better playoff resume, and more championships.

Kurri tailed off while Selanne had a resurgence, but if you compare Selanne's nadir to Kurri's twilight, it breaks even in a sense.

I have to go with Kurri.

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11-03-2010, 02:04 PM
  #3
TheDevilMadeMe
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They might be close in the regular season (Selanne with better numbers in the end, Kurri with a better two-way game).

However, rightly or wrongly, North Americans value playoffs much more than International play, so Kurri will always be well ahead, at least in rankings compiled by North Americans. But for that reason, I don't blame Finns for ranking Selanne higher in the end.

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11-03-2010, 02:08 PM
  #4
kmad
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Kurri's entire prime was spent during a time where only amateurs could play in the Olympics. Kurri didn't have much of a chance to post an impressive international resume. Not to mention the historical weakness of the Finnish international teams overall until the last 15 years or so. Kurri wouldn't have had supplemental players like Kiprusoff, Lehtinen, Numminen, etc.

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11-03-2010, 02:18 PM
  #5
Hawkey Town 18
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I feel like they are each better players in different situations.

Situation A: You have a team where they will have to be THE MAN... Selanne is the better choice.

Situation B:
You have a team that already has a superstar center who is THE MAN...Kurri is the better choice to be a sidekick.

The problem is Situation A will probably never be a Cup contender, while Situation B will be.

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11-03-2010, 02:20 PM
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If he had Kurri's playoff record, it would be a slam dunk for Selanne. But he doesn't, not even close, and therefore Kurri will continue to be seen as greater,a nd rightly so. Selanne is generally underrated though.

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11-03-2010, 02:29 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
Kurri's entire prime was spent during a time where only amateurs could play in the Olympics. Kurri didn't have much of a chance to post an impressive international resume. Not to mention the historical weakness of the Finnish international teams overall until the last 15 years or so. Kurri wouldn't have had supplemental players like Kiprusoff, Lehtinen, Numminen, etc.
Absolutely, as the first any kind of medal Finland got was the silver at the 1988 Olympics; in the World Championships it took even 4 years longer.

However, doesn't that somewhat apply to Selšnne regarding his post-season performances? I mean, how many times did his team(s) even make it to the playoffs in the 1990s?


Last edited by VMBM: 11-03-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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11-03-2010, 02:31 PM
  #8
Hawkey Town 18
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
If he had Kurri's playoff record, it would be a slam dunk for Selanne. But he doesn't, not even close, and therefore Kurri will continue to be seen as greater,a nd rightly so. Selanne is generally underrated though.
How close is Selanne to the HOH Top 100? Does he have a shot of making it the next time there is voting?

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11-03-2010, 02:33 PM
  #9
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
How close is Selanne to the HOH Top 100? Does he have a shot of making it the next time there is voting?
I think he has no shot, but perhaps he should (have a shot, not necessarily make it). I'll dig up how close he was to making the 2008 version.

Edit: Selanne was 117th in the aggregate list from 2008: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=539903

That's honestly a lot closer than I thought he would be. I don't see him realistically making the Top 100, though, especially when Pronger, Crosby, Ovechkin, and Iginla are also going to be in serious contention to make it.

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11-03-2010, 03:18 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Absolutely, as the first any kind of medal Finland got was the silver at the 1988 Olympics; in the World Championships it took even 4 years longer.

However, doesn't that somewhat apply to Selšnne regarding his post-season performances? I mean, how many times did his team(s) even make it to the playoffs in the 1990s?
Once with Jets and twice with Mighty Ducks 21gp 13g 7a

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11-03-2010, 04:14 PM
  #11
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Got to go with Teemu, he played on worse teams than Kurri and Kurri had the greatest ever feeding him.

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11-03-2010, 04:28 PM
  #12
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I have to vote for Selanne.

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11-03-2010, 04:57 PM
  #13
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Kurri. Much better in the playoffs and much better two way player. Selanne was the more talented offensive player though, but he'd need a bigger edge in that department to trump Kurri's accomplishments. Maybe if he hadn't had the injuries early in his career and had a good part of his potential prime wiped out it would be a different story. He was never quite the same player he was in his rookie year.

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11-03-2010, 05:05 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
Kurri's entire prime was spent during a time where only amateurs could play in the Olympics. Kurri didn't have much of a chance to post an impressive international resume. Not to mention the historical weakness of the Finnish international teams overall until the last 15 years or so. Kurri wouldn't have had supplemental players like Kiprusoff, Lehtinen, Numminen, etc.
I find this hilarious. If Kurri wasn't able to put up gaudy numbers on weak Finnish teams it owuld be unfortunate, but when people put Kurri over Selanne in the playoffs because Kurri got to ride shotgun to Gretzky while Selanne was centered by Steve Rucchin we're just supposed to look the other way.

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11-03-2010, 05:10 PM
  #15
Kyle McMahon
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Kurri's playoff resume is too overwhelming for him not to win this poll. People can say he had more opportunity than Selanne, and he did, but damn did he ever make good on those opportunities.

In addition, I'm not even sure Selanne's regular season portfolio is that much better than Kurri's, if at all. Both players had about 10 elite seasons at a glance. Kurri's just happened to be in succession while Selanne's were spread out over 15 years. Selanne has the longevity edge in terms of being productive at a much later age than Kurri, but he needed that to make up for the crater that was the San Jose/Colorado years. Selanne's "top-10" portfolio is marginally better, but Kurri's excellent defensive play and versatility should bridge that gap.

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11-03-2010, 05:11 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by timekeep View Post
Got to go with Teemu, he played on worse teams than Kurri and Kurri had the greatest ever feeding him.
Got to go with Kurri, precisely because he played on better teams and converted the passes the greatest was feeding him.

And that tell only part of the story. He was superb for 200 feet of ice. If one bothers to care to look beyond the numbers, that matters, especially when evaluating to relative greats.

A great player (not just scorer) on a dynastic winner.

On HF, that gets held against you.

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11-03-2010, 05:12 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
I find this hilarious. If Kurri wasn't able to put up gaudy numbers on weak Finnish teams it owuld be unfortunate, but when people put Kurri over Selanne in the playoffs because Kurri got to ride shotgun to Gretzky while Selanne was centered by Steve Rucchin we're just supposed to look the other way.
In the 2 seasons with Edmonton after Gretzky was traded to LA, Kurri notched 102 and 93 pts. Of course he was lucky to play with Gretzky, but he was a star in his own right.

We turn my argument against me with the playoff performances - but why wasn't Selanne able to help those Ducks teams get to the playoffs in the first place?

Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that Selanne would be the kind of offense you build a team around. His multitude of playoff absences in the 90s argues against that.

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11-03-2010, 05:18 PM
  #18
Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
I find this hilarious. If Kurri wasn't able to put up gaudy numbers on weak Finnish teams it owuld be unfortunate, but when people put Kurri over Selanne in the playoffs because Kurri got to ride shotgun to Gretzky while Selanne was centered by Steve Rucchin we're just supposed to look the other way.
You (and others in here) have managed to completely overlook the fact that Selanne had Paul Kariya on his opposite wing. Not Gretzky, but not chopped liver either. In the late 90's, Kariya might have been the most explosive offensive player in the game not named Jagr. Selanne was of course right up there with them in that category.

Not that I hold having great linemates against a player, but those who for some reason do, should at least be balanced in their approach.

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11-03-2010, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
In the 2 seasons with Edmonton after Gretzky was traded to LA, Kurri notched 102 and 93 pts. Of course he was lucky to play with Gretzky, but he was a star in his own right.

We turn my argument against me with the playoff performances - but why wasn't Selanne able to help those Ducks teams get to the playoffs in the first place?

Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that Selanne would be the kind of offense you build a team around. His multitude of playoff absences in the 90s argues against that.
first of all, Selanne did help the Ducks to the playoffs a few times, which is a miracle since they were a two player team without any sort of goaltending, defence, forward checking or secondary scoring. We are talking about teams led by Guy Hebert, JJ Daigneault, Steve Rucchin and Mironov after the big 2. Those teams were some of the worst in the NHL and 2 players single handedly had them in or close to the playoffs most years. To say that Kurri was in a better situation is like saying Nicklas Lidstrom was in a better position than Rob Blake during the 1990s.

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11-03-2010, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
You (and others in here) have managed to completely overlook the fact that Selanne had Paul Kariya on his opposite wing. Not Gretzky, but not chopped liver either. In the late 90's, Kariya might have been the most explosive offensive player in the game not named Jagr. Selanne was of course right up there with them in that category.

Not that I hold having great linemates against a player, but those who for some reason do, should at least be balanced in their approach.
That was it though. After the big 2 (Kariya was also constantly injured too don't forget) the Ducks were a bunch of scrubs. After Gretzky, Kurri still had at least 4 or 5 other hall of famers, whereas Selanne after Kariya was lucky to have 4 or 5 legit nhl players.

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11-03-2010, 05:28 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
first of all, Selanne did help the Ducks to the playoffs a few times, which is a miracle since they were a two player team without any sort of goaltending, defence, forward checking or secondary scoring. We are talking about teams led by Guy Hebert, JJ Daigneault, Steve Rucchin and Mironov after the big 2. Those teams were some of the worst in the NHL and 2 players single handedly had them in or close to the playoffs most years. To say that Kurri was in a better situation is like saying Nicklas Lidstrom was in a better position than Rob Blake during the 1990s.
i'm not wading into the selanne discussion, but feel as if i should stick up for guy hebert. he had the seventh best sv% of any goalie who played 100 or more games in the 90s. 18th in GAA, 8th in shutouts. he wasn't hasek, but he was no scrub either.

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11-03-2010, 05:32 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Teemu was so much better in his 30s than Kurri was, and in their 20s they were about even
I think Kurri's decline in his 30's compared to Selanne's has to do with the fact that Kurri played 136 playoff games until 30, while Selanne played 21.
In their respective 30's Selanne's rejuvenated regular seasons for the Ducks are much better, but I prefer Kurri's 92/93 (32) playoffs over any of Selanne's.

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11-03-2010, 05:58 PM
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If you're going to compare Selanne and Kurri in terms of the tail end of their careers, you have to compare their middles too. Selanne was mediocre for a while - there's a reason his 40 goal season in Anaheim was considered a "comeback" year.

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11-03-2010, 06:10 PM
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seventieslord
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Hey! Guy Hebert was a very good goaltender. Throughout the mid-late 90s I consistently rated him from 5th-10th in the league.

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11-03-2010, 06:42 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
first of all, Selanne did help the Ducks to the playoffs a few times, which is a miracle since they were a two player team without any sort of goaltending, defence, forward checking or secondary scoring. We are talking about teams led by Guy Hebert, JJ Daigneault, Steve Rucchin and Mironov after the big 2. Those teams were some of the worst in the NHL and 2 players single handedly had them in or close to the playoffs most years. To say that Kurri was in a better situation is like saying Nicklas Lidstrom was in a better position than Rob Blake during the 1990s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
That was it though. After the big 2 (Kariya was also constantly injured too don't forget) the Ducks were a bunch of scrubs. After Gretzky, Kurri still had at least 4 or 5 other hall of famers, whereas Selanne after Kariya was lucky to have 4 or 5 legit nhl players.

Well put, too many looking at the stats, Kurri played on the last dynasty and even after Gretzky left they still won the cup. Yes, Kurri was a major part of those teams too.

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