HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

HOH Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
11-20-2011, 02:01 PM
  #26
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,808
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
I just don't like when say someone my age for example ( early 30s ) really breaks down a comparison between say Lidstrom and Shore and then ranks one ahead of the other, or ranks say Sid Abel at a certain position and then say Ron Francis like 30 spots below. But I know it's not an exact science or a definitive list. I just want to see a little more open mindedness when a more modern day player say from the 80s or 90s is compared to a guy like say Abel or Denneny or a Conacher.
What makes you think that such a conclusion would be the result of a lack of open-mindedness?

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2011, 04:41 PM
  #27
tjcurrie
Registered User
 
tjcurrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Posts: 3,744
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
What makes you think that such a conclusion would be the result of a lack of open-mindedness?
Because there's now way anyone here can truly compare a guy from say the 1930s to a guy from the modern era. I believe there's a certain amount of legend status that's given to the oldies because they're from way back when that plays a huge role in their rankings. Anyone who thinks they can truly rank a player from so far back compared to a modern day player is kidding themselves. The most honest answer would be, ".........., but I'm not really sure because I wasn't around back then and the game was so different so it's impossible to say."

I'm not trying to be insulting or ignorant here, I'm just saying that because some of these oldies were so good in their day and are given the status of legend, let's keep in mind how much different the game was and that it's entirely possible for more players from the modern era to compare to them rather than ranking a guy from the 1920s or 30s as one of the best players ever, then having a huge gap between that guy and a guy like say Adam Oates or Doug Gilmour or Ron Francis. To me it's really overlooking our modern day players.


Last edited by tjcurrie: 11-20-2011 at 04:47 PM.
tjcurrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2011, 04:47 PM
  #28
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
Because there's now way anyone here can truly compare a guy from say the 1930s to a guy from the modern era. I believe there's a certain amount of legend status that's given to the oldies because they're from way back when that plays a huge role in their rankings. Anyone who thinks they can truly rank a player from so far back compared to a modern day player is kidding themselves. The most honest answer would be, ".........., but I'm not really sure because I wasn't around back then and the game was so different so it's impossible to say."
I think that if one becomes familiar enough with hockey history, then he can get a rough idea of the talent pool over time, and then comparing players vs. their peers isn't all that difficult.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2011, 04:53 PM
  #29
tjcurrie
Registered User
 
tjcurrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Posts: 3,744
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think that if one becomes familiar enough with hockey history, then he can get a rough idea of the talent pool over time, and then comparing players vs. their peers isn't all that difficult.
I just think it's impossible to truly grasp the talent pool from so far back since the game was so different and playing hockey professionally was fairly new.

For example, Nels Stewart led the Maroons in scoring back in 1928-29 and was second in league scoring with 29 points in 44 games. If I wanted to create an argument that either Mike Modano, or Ron Francis, or Doug Gilmour, or even all three was better than him I may get somebody arguing me. If some were to create a top 100 list and Stewart was on there while one of the other guys wasn't, is that fair ? What's it based on ? Is it an honest ranking ? I don't believe so.

Maybe I need to learn more from the ones that have been on here for longer and have developed a real good grasp on how to compare in a fair manner, but I believe that no matter what, there's always a large degree of error when comparing players who's careers are so vastly separated by era.

Like if someone believes Eddie Shore is better than say Denis Potvin, and I countered that by saying I would go with Potvin, both parties have to be open to the possibllity that the other has just as good a chance of being right, rather than being adamant about their own stance.


Last edited by tjcurrie: 11-20-2011 at 04:59 PM.
tjcurrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2011, 05:00 PM
  #30
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
I just think it's impossible to truly grasp the talent pool from so far back since the game was so different and playing hockey professionally was fairly new.

For example, Nels Stewart led the Maroons in scoring back in 1928-29 and was second in league scoring with 29 points in 44 games. If I wanted to create an argument that either Mike Modano, or Ron Francis, or Doug Gilmour, or even all three was better than him I may get somebody arguing me. If some were to create a top 100 list and Stewart was on there while one of the other guys wasn't, is that fair ? What's it based on ? Is it an honest ranking ? I don't believe so.
Nels Stewart was part of hockey's great generation of the late 20s and early 30s. At the time, I believe that professional hockey had surpassed lacrosse as the highest paying sport in Canada, so it was the #1 choice for working class Canadians who wanted to escape working in the mines or working on the fields. I would think that it led to a talent pool that was quite strong. More evidence of the strength of the talent pool comes from the fact that since the Howie Morenz/Nels Stewart generation supplanted the one before it, you never again had such an abupt transition where one generation was clearly better than the one before it.

Evaluating players from before the 1920s is much tougher, as the talent was spread ot among different leagues and it because much harder to get an idea of the talent pool, as hockey wasn't such a draw (Newsy Lalonde, from the generation before Stewart famously made more money playing lacrosse than hockey).

You do present an interesting point, but accusing posters here of dishonestly for evaluating players in a way you don't agree with (or don't understand) is not justified.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-21-2011, 02:25 AM
  #31
tjcurrie
Registered User
 
tjcurrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Posts: 3,744
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Nels Stewart was part of hockey's great generation of the late 20s and early 30s. At the time, I believe that professional hockey had surpassed lacrosse as the highest paying sport in Canada, so it was the #1 choice for working class Canadians who wanted to escape working in the mines or working on the fields. I would think that it led to a talent pool that was quite strong. More evidence of the strength of the talent pool comes from the fact that since the Howie Morenz/Nels Stewart generation supplanted the one before it, you never again had such an abupt transition where one generation was clearly better than the one before it.

Evaluating players from before the 1920s is much tougher, as the talent was spread ot among different leagues and it because much harder to get an idea of the talent pool, as hockey wasn't such a draw (Newsy Lalonde, from the generation before Stewart famously made more money playing lacrosse than hockey).

You do present an interesting point, but accusing posters here of dishonestly for evaluating players in a way you don't agree with (or don't understand) is not justified.
Even the Nels Stewart/Howie Morenz era is so difficult to get a true grasp on I still believe, especially in comparison to players so from the 1970s or 80s and beyond. Guess we'll leave it at that.

I'm not trying to accuse posters. I'm not trying to be insulting. I know that we all go off of what we have placed in front of us by others if we don't know first hand and that's really all we can do. I just think that as the decades go further and further back, that becomes a little more jaded and is a lot tougher to I guess translate in to something that can be compared to more modern day players in a truly fair manner. Just too many variables and too much guess work. We can come up with an estimation, but I just don't locking things in like "this guy is definitely better than that guy" etc etc.

With all that said, by all means let's use these this hockey history section what it's for. I enjoy reading everything everyone has to offer up. Anyone who comes on here is better for it. Including myself.

tjcurrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2011, 09:16 PM
  #32
BenchBrawl
joueur de hockey
 
BenchBrawl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 14,105
vCash: 800
Was Potvin really 6'0''? I truly thought he was 6'1'' or 6'2''

BenchBrawl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-23-2011, 12:04 AM
  #33
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,808
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcurrie View Post
Because there's now way anyone here can truly compare a guy from say the 1930s to a guy from the modern era.
I think that fact that we like to honestly try our best at that is a symptom of open-mindedness, personally.

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-23-2011, 11:08 AM
  #34
tjcurrie
Registered User
 
tjcurrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Posts: 3,744
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I think that fact that we like to honestly try our best at that is a symptom of open-mindedness, personally.
That's fair. By all means. We should all try.

I just mean that if people have different beliefs as to which of the two players from vastly different eras is the better, or a disagreement where a more modern day player would rank as compared to some of the real legends from the 1920s, 30s, or 40s, people should be open minded enough to the possibility of either being correct or even somewhere in between, within reason, since our dissection of the real old timer players especially can only go so far. There's gotta be a margin of error or unknown taken in to consideration.


Last edited by tjcurrie: 11-23-2011 at 11:15 AM.
tjcurrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-23-2011, 11:21 AM
  #35
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReenMachine View Post
Was Potvin really 6'0''? I truly thought he was 6'1'' or 6'2''
hockey-reference, hockeydb, and wikipedia all have him at 6'0" 205 lbs.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-23-2011, 07:23 PM
  #36
tjcurrie
Registered User
 
tjcurrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Posts: 3,744
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
hockey-reference, hockeydb, and wikipedia all have him at 6'0" 205 lbs.
I met him last week. I'm 5"10 and he didn't seem much, if any, taller than me. I would say 6' even is more accurate. Of course, I didnt break out my Ronald McDonald measuring chart though.

tjcurrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 08:19 AM
  #37
Pear Juice
Registered User
 
Pear Juice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gothenburg, SWE
Country: Sweden
Posts: 801
vCash: 500
[Mod edit: The following couple of posts are from a discussion in one of the voting threads that went off-topic. I think it's a topic that is highly likely to come up here, so here they get moved]

Either it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of all time or it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of a specific time, say post WWII. We chose to make it all time which means we have to, in respect of the project we ourselves created, respect players from all eras of professional hockey. I honestly don't understand how this is an issue. The parameters of the project itself determines that it shouldn't be an issue.

I believe this whole strength-of-competition thing is getting out of hand. It's important to understand the different compositions of star defensemen that have existed over time and that they are not all equal. But sometimes you'd think that strength of competition is the single most important parameter in these discussions.

Cleghorn didn't have enough competition. Pilote didn't have enough competition. Lidström didn't have enough competition. Orr didn't have enough competition. Fetisov didn't have enough competition. Bourque had too much competition. Coffey, Stevens and MacInnis out-competitioned each other. Park didn't have enough competition, or did he actually have too much competition?

It's tiresome and it's becoming a repeat record.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-25-2011 at 12:32 PM.
Pear Juice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 08:33 AM
  #38
plusandminus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 980
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If you want to compare the developmental phase of hockey in Europe with pre-World War I hockey in North America, then you might have a point. But hockey was quite strong in Canada by Cleghorn's generation. Not quite as strong as it would later become (which is why Cleghorn wasn't in our top 10 and isn't guaranteed to be in our top 15), but definitely well past its developmental stage. Remember, the Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893 and there was semi-organized hockey even before then.
Thank you for the interesting quotes from the ATD (Sturminator and others). If you want to direct me to similar sources/discussions, you are welcome.
I do find the subject interesting.
(I would actually like a special section for these kind of discussions, that seem to take place pretty often. The forum veterans who have participated in discussions like ATD may built up some sort of knowledge base that newcombers don't have, which makes us now and then question things that veterans consider having already been "settled". At least to me, trying to determine strength of different environments is very interesting and also educating.)

I suppose it is wise to divide into two things:
N: development within North America
E: development within Europe (maybe split into subparts) and compare that to N.

I think the European hockey (including pre 1972) is being underestimated here on this forum. Others may think I may be overestimating it. I suppose it won't be resolved here now, so I would want to point out that national championships were played in different European countries since around 1920 or so. I also think I make some points my bandy paragraph.

Regarding North American hockey, I'm pretty novice and thus often uses different forms of logic to present my thoughts. Sometimes one may not have awareness of all the factors contributing, and "logical assumptions" may not hold up in reality.
I want to know basically how many guys, with talent (etc.) to succeed in a hockey like sport, that are/were trying hard to become as good and successful hockey players as possible.
I'm aware of other sports robbing hockey today, perhaps (far?) more so in Canada today than in 1920s-1970s. But I don't know how many who attempted a sports career in the first place.

If there was about as many Canadian guys attempting a hockey career (or play at high level) during the 1930s, as today, that to me would be a sign of pretty equal environments.

If so, it might also indicate in itself it was as easy to shine, or to dominate in ones environment.

Then comes the question about preparations, etc. Today, "all" players train hard and get hockey education. Back then I suppose it was a wider spread. A guy back then who decided to really devote himself to hockey (and was able to), might get himself a domination compared to his contemporaries by doing so. That may be harder today. How do you think one should approach that (if this is the right place)? Should the "inventors"/"pioneers" regarding preparation get credit for that? (I suppose they should, but am not wholly comfortable with it.)

plusandminus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 08:48 AM
  #39
plusandminus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 980
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Kaiser View Post
Either it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of all time or it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of a specific time, say post WWII. We chose to make it all time which means we have to, in respect of the project we ourselves created, respect players from all eras of professional hockey. I honestly don't understand how this is an issue. The parameters of the project itself determines that it shouldn't be an issue.
Yes, hopefully everyone wants to, and tries to, respect every era and environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Kaiser View Post
I believe this whole strength-of-competition thing is getting out of hand. It's important to understand the different compositions of star defensemen that have existed over time and that they are not all equal. But sometimes you'd think that strength of competition is the single most important parameter in these discussions.
I think you're exaggerating.
1. How good was the player in the environment he played.
2. How good was the environment itself, compared to other environments? How easy was it do dominate?

1 is for older players being determined by looking at Hart, Norris, AST, Stanley Cups, scoring stats and words from others. With newer players, we have more stats and also the opportunity to have watched them ourselves.

2 is probably much more difficult to determine, thus the need for some to discuss it. Hopefully everyone wants to be fair towards every player, no matter what era or environment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Kaiser View Post
Cleghorn didn't have enough competition. Pilote didn't have enough competition. Lidström didn't have enough competition. Orr didn't have enough competition. Fetisov didn't have enough competition. Bourque had too much competition. Coffey, Stevens and MacInnis out-competitioned each other. Park didn't have enough competition, or did he actually have too much competition?
Good summary.
But the opposite would be to just look at the stats. And the majority here think context is important.


Last edited by plusandminus: 11-25-2011 at 08:58 AM.
plusandminus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 10:51 AM
  #40
RabbinsDuck
Registered User
 
RabbinsDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Brighton, MI
Country: United States
Posts: 4,761
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Kaiser View Post
Either it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of all time or it is a list of the top 60 defensemen of a specific time, say post WWII. We chose to make it all time which means we have to, in respect of the project we ourselves created, respect players from all eras of professional hockey. I honestly don't understand how this is an issue. The parameters of the project itself determines that it shouldn't be an issue.

I believe this whole strength-of-competition thing is getting out of hand. It's important to understand the different compositions of star defensemen that have existed over time and that they are not all equal. But sometimes you'd think that strength of competition is the single most important parameter in these discussions.

Cleghorn didn't have enough competition. Pilote didn't have enough competition. Lidström didn't have enough competition. Orr didn't have enough competition. Fetisov didn't have enough competition. Bourque had too much competition. Coffey, Stevens and MacInnis out-competitioned each other. Park didn't have enough competition, or did he actually have too much competition?

It's tiresome and it's becoming a repeat record.
I'm getting lumped in with the "newer is always better" crowd, which I can understand, but that is not my view point. I don't think Pronger is better than Shore, for instance, but perhaps better than Cleghorn. Appreciate the responses and info!


Last edited by RabbinsDuck: 11-25-2011 at 11:16 AM.
RabbinsDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 11:03 AM
  #41
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,808
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
There were some great posts in the last ATD about the talent pool in the pre-WW2 period, mostly from Sturminator.

Edit: And as a full disclosure, I was an advocate of the "the talent pool scaled according to the Canadian population" theory until quite recently.
These are all compelling arguments. I am a believer in the population size relating to the size of the talent pool but yes there are caveats to that,most importantly the fact that the 18-40 population is much more important than gross population,and immigrants don't add much to the pool.

Sturm's last post,I think,was a reply to me from last ATD and I just want to point out,as I did then,that my case was being misstated. I DO NOT think that if the talent pool got 2-3 times better,it makes a player from the deeper period 2-3X better. It means that,all things being equal,you should expect there to be 2-3 times as many comparable players in the deeper era. And there is a massive difference between what I was saying and what he thought I was saying.

Further,this can really only be applied in any reliable way further down,i.e. 20th in a the shallow time roughly equals 40th-60th in the deeper time. It can not be simply extrapolated to mean 2nd = 4th-6th or 3rd = 6th-9th. There are ebbs and flows throughout the years that affect these things too much,and the players at the top would be the ones where talent pool size arguments would be the biggest failures. The arguments that are currently being made about these players in regards to how they played,what they achieved on the ice,and who their top-end competition was,are what really matters. Not how big the talent pool was in their era. We can talk about talent pool size when we're comparing Bert Corbeau to Normand Rochefort. Or Bill Brydge to Brad Marsh.

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 12:09 PM
  #42
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Talent Pool Before World War 2

The last few post posts were responding in part to the following in one of the voting threads but were becoming off-topic.

There were some great posts in the last ATD about the talent pool in the pre-WW2 period, mostly from Sturminator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
One also needs to consider the impact of age.

Canadians (and all people, really) are living longer now than ever before. Canada's population has probably increased four-fold since 1920, but how much of that growth is due to the aging segment of the population? Only two freaks of nature have ever played in the NHL beyond age 44, therefore it probably makes sense to simply consider the growth in the age of the Canadian population from ages 18 to 44. It doesn't matter if there are 1 million or 10 million Canadians aged 45+, none of them are going to play in the NHL and they simply skew the population increase statistics.

Clearly, there has still been an enormous increase in Canada's population since then, but we should strive to be as accurate as possible. Maybe if we're only looking at relevant age groups, the population has increased three (rather than four) times.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
You seem to be forgetting that a disproportionate number of professional athletes in North America played hockey in the prewar era, as hockey and baseball were the only real paying sports on the continent. There is tons of anecdotal evidence that athletes from other sports (football, lacrosse, etc.) were attracted to hockey and became professionals because of the money. The Conacher family is the best example that comes to mind, but there are many more, including Newsy Lalonde, who was a great lacrosse player in the offseason, Tommy Phillips, who was a great rower, and Joe Hall, who wrestled bears and killed crocodiles with his bare hands (I made that part up).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
North America was, on the whole, a good deal poorer in the prewar era than it is today. The fewer other opportunities there are for people, the more attractive sport becomes; this is simply common wisdom. Middle and upper class kids pursue sports, but many talented athletes give up sport at an early age in order to pursue a more stable, comfortable life when the opportunity presents itself. The existence of the professional athlete is a hard one, in which a single moment of bad luck can essentially ruin all that you have worked for. It is not a coincidence that the countries with relatively high poverty levels (like the United States and Brazil) produce a disproportionate number of the world's best athletes in comparison to more "civilized" western nations (yes, I called the United States uncivilized).

North America in the prewar era (even before the Great Depression) had a considerably lower standard of living than we enjoy today. It is only logical that more talented athletes would have attempted to become professionals in lieu of other pursuits. Add to that the fact that hockey was the only major professional sport in Canada (very few Canadians played baseball professionally), and we have every reason to believe that the Canadian population produced a significantly higher proportion (as a percentage of population) of elite hockey players than it does today. For quite a long time, basically every Canadian kid who wanted to make money as an athlete was funneled towards hockey. The cold part of America produced its share of stars, as well (Brimsek, Dillon, etc.)

The size of the North American population is often cited as evidence of the increased talent pool of North American hockey, but this is a superficial analysis which completely ignores the hugely increased affluence of the population and the explosion of competing professional sports leagues, both of which significantly dilute the amount of elite athletic talent that ends up in the NHL. Instead of one major professional sport, Canadian kids now play four. It is also sadly the case that an extremely small percentage of the black, hispanic and asian population in North America is interested in hockey enough to pursue it professionally, and this exact segment constitutes a very large portion of the population increase in North America over the last 100 years. North America is an extremely diverse continent, but sadly the hockey-playing pool of talent has hardly diversified itself, at all. Minority players exist, but they are the exceptions to the rule. The North American hockey hotbeds that produced elite talent 90 years ago are mostly the same ones that produce it now, and these segments of the population haven't grown nearly as fast as the population as a whole. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that Canada produces any more elite hockey talent today than it did in the 1920's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
Affluence may not be a strong deterrent in the era of the superrich athlete, but poverty is, has and always will be a strong encouragement for kids to pursue sports. I happen to be in possession of a great article on Charlie Conacher written shortly after his death which talks about his family life growing up and the crushing poverty that the Conachers faced. I'll let Charlie do the talking:

Quote:
Conacher was born and raised in downtown Toronto in an area he described as "one of Toronto's high-class slums in the 1920s." His brother Lionel, Canada's athlete of the half century who died of a heart attack in 1954, had a meteoric career in the NHL and this lured Charlie into the NHL.

"It represented money," Charlie said. "We didn't have a pretzel. We didn't have enough money to buy toothpaste." Charlie played hockey in the streets, without skates, sharpening his shooting skills. He later was achnowledged as the man with the hottest shot in the game. "If I developed the hardest shot in hockey as they said," he once remarked, "then I did it the hard way."

He was a poor skater until Lionel, nine years his senior, made it big in the game and then, out of pride, "I skated until I thought my legs would drop off." Charlie played as hard as he worked at the game. Once, during a heated argument, Conacher grabbed room-mate Baldy Cotton and held him out a seventh-floor hotel window until Cotton conceded the point.
Here we have a clear example of crushing poverty in Canada driving fully three of the top 120 or so greatest hockey players of all time to the sport. Lionel Conacher, had he been born in the 21st century, never would have played hockey, as football was his great sporting love. But he couldn't make any money at it, and turned to the sport through which he could support his family. His brothers followed him, and hockey gained three superstars in the process.

Thankfully, the kind of poverty the Conachers suffered is all but extinct in Canada these days. While high salaries may provide incentive even for affluent kids to pursue professional sports, those incentives pale in comparison to the forces that drove the Conachers into hockey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
Well...it's not hard to argue (I won't use the word "prove" and neither should you) that the Conachers went into hockey because they were dirt poor. That the Canadian population in the historical (and current) hockey hotbeds has grown more slowly than the population as a whole (largely due to immigration) is also a known fact, just like changes in demographics due to aging, which HO pointed out, have created a false perspective when one looks at raw population data. That Canada loses a significant number of elite athletes to other sports is also easy enough to argue. Look at Steve Nash, Justin Morneau, Kurt Warner, Joey Votto, Eric Bedard, etc. That's a lot of talent which would have almost certainly been playing hockey rather than some other sport in prewar Canada, and that doesn't even touch on Canadian Olympic athletes who are now able to make sport their (less well paid than hockey) vocation.

This "Canada's population is biggor now! Old-timers were teh suck!" Bilrosian **** needs to be put to bed. The idea that players today are several times better than players in the twenties is absolutely laughable. It does a terrible violence to history and is built on a foundation of entirely superficial insights. If we actually take this perspective seriously, then a huge number of ATD players do not deserve their status. Why are we drafting Eddie Shore in the top-10 draft after draft if his accomplishments were really only a third or a quarter the value of their modern equivalent? Welcome to the age of Bilros.

Any serious hockey historian must take into account the influx of European talent when comparing performance across eras, but the case for a greatly increased talent pool of North American hockey players is absolutely riddled with holes. I guess this was a discussion we needed to have in the ATD. Now is as good a time as any, I suppose.
Edit: And as a full disclosure, I was an advocate of the "the talent pool scaled according to the Canadian population" theory until quite recently


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-25-2011 at 12:16 PM.
TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 12:23 PM
  #43
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Sturm's last post,I think,was a reply to me from last ATD and I just want to point out,as I did then,that my case was being misstated. I DO NOT think that if the talent pool got 2-3 times better,it makes a player from the deeper period 2-3X better. It means that,all things being equal,you should expect there to be 2-3 times as many comparable players in the deeper era. And there is a massive difference between what I was saying and what he thought I was saying.

Further,this can really only be applied in any reliable way further down,i.e. 20th in a the shallow time roughly equals 40th-60th in the deeper time. It can not be simply extrapolated to mean 2nd = 4th-6th or 3rd = 6th-9th. There are ebbs and flows throughout the years that affect these things too much,and the players at the top would be the ones where talent pool size arguments would be the biggest failures. The arguments that are currently being made about these players in regards to how they played,what they achieved on the ice,and who their top-end competition was,are what really matters. Not how big the talent pool was in their era. We can talk about talent pool size when we're comparing Bert Corbeau to Normand Rochefort. Or Bill Brydge to Brad Marsh.
Oh, I do agree with this. It's why our top 10 has 7 players post-expansion, for example...

A talent pool twice as large doesn't mean the best players are twice as good - it just means that, on average, there will be twice as many of each level of player. When talking about the very best of all-time, it breaks down, as they are much more randomly distributed. But if we did a list of the top 200 defensemen of all time, I'd expect there to be about twice as many from any random year in the 90s as there were from any random year in the 30s.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 01:07 PM
  #44
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,808
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Oh, I do agree with this. It's why our top 10 has 7 players post-expansion, for example...

A talent pool twice as large doesn't mean the best players are twice as good - it just means that, on average, there will be twice as many of each level of player. When talking about the very best of all-time, it breaks down, as they are much more randomly distributed. But if we did a list of the top 200 defensemen of all time, I'd expect there to be about twice as many from any random year in the 90s as there were from any random year in the 30s.
Exactly.

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-25-2011, 10:34 PM
  #45
Hardyvan123
[email protected]
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,553
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Exactly.
Agreed that it is about general expectations and variances can happen.

Another key is that we are talking about averages and populations and not any other factors.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
12-02-2011, 11:23 PM
  #46
SidGenoMario
Registered User
 
SidGenoMario's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,923
vCash: 500
What are the odds Gonchar lands on this list?

SidGenoMario is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
12-02-2011, 11:37 PM
  #47
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 28,808
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
What are the odds Gonchar lands on this list?
slim.

seventieslord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
12-03-2011, 08:16 PM
  #48
Hardyvan123
[email protected]
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,553
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
What are the odds Gonchar lands on this list?
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
slim.
I would think that the odds are slim but Gadbsy is in the mix for top 20 so who really knows?

Seriously though people can get a general idea on when a player might come up by looking at their ATD ranking

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
12-03-2011, 09:14 PM
  #49
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,404
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I would think that the odds are slim but Gadbsy is in the mix for top 20 so who really knows?

Seriously though people can get a general idea on when a player might come up by looking at their ATD ranking
I'm not sure why it's surprising that Gadsby came up when he did.

Despite the (overly) contentious back-and-forth that pappy and I had on Gadsby, our difference of opinion really isn't that large in the grand scheme of things. He seems to think that Gadsby came up a round too late (correct me if I'm wrong) and I think he came up more or less where he should - which means I think it's a round or so too early for him to be added to the list.

I'm pretty sure that pappy agrees with me when I say that Gadsby was, without a doubt, the third best defenseman of the 1950s. Our disagreement seems to lie in how close he was to Harvey and Kelly.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
12-03-2011, 10:50 PM
  #50
pappyline
Registered User
 
pappyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mass/formerly Ont
Country: United States
Posts: 4,273
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm not sure why it's surprising that Gadsby came up when he did.

Despite the (overly) contentious back-and-forth that pappy and I had on Gadsby, our difference of opinion really isn't that large in the grand scheme of things. He seems to think that Gadsby came up a round too late (correct me if I'm wrong) and I think he came up more or less where he should - which means I think it's a round or so too early for him to be added to the list.

I'm pretty sure that pappy agrees with me when I say that Gadsby was, without a doubt, the third best defenseman of the 1950s. Our disagreement seems to lie in how close he was to Harvey and Kelly.
It is not relavent how close that Gadsby was to Harvey & Kelly since everyone in this round is far below those guys. Our difference was your downplaying Gadsby's defensive skills because he played most of his career on bad teams. Not his fault. & should not be a factor. Nough said

pappyline is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:13 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2016 All Rights Reserved.