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Best offensive defensemen?

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Old
11-11-2010, 07:14 AM
  #51
pluppe
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I think too much importance when judging offensive ability is put on raw and accumulated numbers when it comes to defencemen. nobody (in this section at least) would compare forwards from different eras by comparing number of 100 point seasons or career points. you would compare them by how they did against their peers, as you should.

so I wonder if anybody has any such numbers for defencemen. something like most scoring race wins, top-3s, top-5s, top-10s? that would be interesting to see and would in my opinion give a much better knowledge about whom the greatest were.

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11-11-2010, 08:16 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by pluppe View Post
I think too much importance when judging offensive ability is put on raw and accumulated numbers when it comes to defencemen. nobody (in this section at least) would compare forwards from different eras by comparing number of 100 point seasons or career points. you would compare them by how they did against their peers, as you should.

so I wonder if anybody has any such numbers for defencemen. something like most scoring race wins, top-3s, top-5s, top-10s? that would be interesting to see and would in my opinion give a much better knowledge about whom the greatest were.
Most of these guys were contemporaries because there was an influx of defenseman emulating Orr by the mid-70s until the 90s when things clamped down again.

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11-11-2010, 08:57 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Most of these guys were contemporaries because there was an influx of defenseman emulating Orr by the mid-70s until the 90s when things clamped down again.
yes. but I think maybe we should question if these are the best offesively or if they were just in the right place at the right time for scoring many points. maybe defencemen from other eras were relatively better but are underrated because of these "contemporaries" scoring so much.
that the 80ies was so perfect for defenceman scoring just hightens the need for other measures when it comes to comparing across eras, which is what I thought the point of this thread was.

the best way to see it from a different perspective is to compare against peers. or are you not interested in a breakdown of top placements?


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11-11-2010, 09:43 AM
  #54
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yes. but I think maybe we should question if these are the best offesively or if they were just in the right place at the right time for scoring many points. maybe defencemen from other eras were relatively better but are underrated because of these "contemporaries" scoring so much.
that the 80ies was so perfect for defenceman scoring just hightens the need for other measures when it comes to comparing across eras, which is what I thought the point of this thread was.

the best way to see it from a different perspective is to compare against peers. or are you not interested in a breakdown of top placements?
I think they were in the right place at the right time AND the best offensively. They are a product of the environment to some extent. Pre-Orr even the most offensive defenseman was probably much more conservative than most of the guys on these lists.

You're right in that there may be other defensemen from other eras which are more dominant compared to their competition than some of the more modern ones.. and the finishes might show that.

I just think that TDMM hit the nail on the head in that the position fundamentally changed from an offensive perspective when Orr put rushing and attacking into vogue.

It has settled back down now but I think there is a pretty clear marker there with pre-Orr and post-Orr offensive defensemen, at least in the NHL.

I mean sure the finishes are still interesting but to me its like comparing goaltenders now to goaltenders before they were widely using a mask. So hard to compare when so much has changed.

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11-11-2010, 10:08 AM
  #55
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Personal favorites to watch, after Orr of course - MacInnis and Lidstrom. MacInnis' shot always looked like it would feel like a ton of bricks.

As for Seals/Barons franchise, it's a pretty short list.
1- Carol Vadnais
2- Rick Hampton
3- Greg Smith
some others had decent seasons but it was their only season with the club

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11-11-2010, 10:50 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I think they were in the right place at the right time AND the best offensively. They are a product of the environment to some extent. Pre-Orr even the most offensive defenseman was probably much more conservative than most of the guys on these lists.

You're right in that there may be other defensemen from other eras which are more dominant compared to their competition than some of the more modern ones.. and the finishes might show that.

I just think that TDMM hit the nail on the head in that the position fundamentally changed from an offensive perspective when Orr put rushing and attacking into vogue.

It has settled back down now but I think there is a pretty clear marker there with pre-Orr and post-Orr offensive defensemen, at least in the NHL.

I mean sure the finishes are still interesting but to me its like comparing goaltenders now to goaltenders before they were widely using a mask. So hard to compare when so much has changed.
I disagree to a certain extent. then you could argue that Ron Francis was better offensively than Jean Beliveau. he created more offence due to changes in the game.

or that Bure was a better Goalscorer than Bobby Hull since the times had changed and he was allowed to float more. I donīt think you could argue that way.

so what if defencemen were less offensively allowed in earlier or later periods. someone was still the best and to me that means something.

I think your analogy about goaltenders could be done better. I would instead of comparing to pre/post mask make a parallell to pre/post butterfly. should we not be able to call Plante better than Belfour, even though the position had changed in a way so that Belfour was probably better at stopping the puck.

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11-11-2010, 10:52 AM
  #57
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by pluppe View Post
I think too much importance when judging offensive ability is put on raw and accumulated numbers when it comes to defencemen. nobody (in this section at least) would compare forwards from different eras by comparing number of 100 point seasons or career points. you would compare them by how they did against their peers, as you should.

so I wonder if anybody has any such numbers for defencemen. something like most scoring race wins, top-3s, top-5s, top-10s? that would be interesting to see and would in my opinion give a much better knowledge about whom the greatest were.
It would be semi-useful for post-expansion defensemen but that's it. Before that, there were a small handful of guys putting up the points and then a bunch of guys getting 15-25. The small NHL represented a sample of the best overall defensemen in north america, and the scoring leaders were just the best offensive players among those.

When the NHL expanded, there was much more room for guys that otherwise wouldn't have had a place. And of course Orr changed the position. Starting in 1968, the concept of collecting data on top-2, top-5, etc makes sense. But even in those early days, there wasn't much "parity" among the top-scoring defensemen. there was Orr and then everyone else. With Park often leading that pack. Looking at the overall percentages might make more sense. Instead of collecting top-2, top-5, top-10, etc, we could collect seasons with at least 90% as much as #2, 80%, 70%, 60%. This would result in better recognition of later players, 50-point defensemen who still found themselves out of the NHL's top-15 in higher-scoring, higher-number of teams seasons.

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11-11-2010, 05:23 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
It would be semi-useful for post-expansion defensemen but that's it. Before that, there were a small handful of guys putting up the points and then a bunch of guys getting 15-25. The small NHL represented a sample of the best overall defensemen in north america, and the scoring leaders were just the best offensive players among those.

When the NHL expanded, there was much more room for guys that otherwise wouldn't have had a place. And of course Orr changed the position. Starting in 1968, the concept of collecting data on top-2, top-5, etc makes sense. But even in those early days, there wasn't much "parity" among the top-scoring defensemen. there was Orr and then everyone else. With Park often leading that pack. Looking at the overall percentages might make more sense. Instead of collecting top-2, top-5, top-10, etc, we could collect seasons with at least 90% as much as #2, 80%, 70%, 60%. This would result in better recognition of later players, 50-point defensemen who still found themselves out of the NHL's top-15 in higher-scoring, higher-number of teams seasons.
those are some good points. but I would still like to know who these "guys" were. I donīt now so it would be very educational.
and since I refuse to believe that the 10 greatest offensive defencemen just happened to play at the same time I would very much like the numbers for 70 until now to have something to balance the raw numbers that I see most using in the debate. i could go through all the years in hockey-reference but since I work a lot and somebody might already have these I thought I could ask.

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11-11-2010, 06:12 PM
  #59
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since I refuse to believe that the 10 greatest offensive defencemen just happened to play at the same time
Exactly.

I have a file that lists the top scoring defensemen year by year, with all the multi-positional guys properly accounted for. If you want to do some work with it, just let me know.

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11-12-2010, 06:54 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Exactly.

I have a file that lists the top scoring defensemen year by year, with all the multi-positional guys properly accounted for. If you want to do some work with it, just let me know.
I would really like to see that. could you send it to me or do you know somewhere on the internet where I could find it?

I canīt promise to produce anything though since I donīt know if I have the time.

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