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Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Defensemen)

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Old
12-06-2011, 02:55 PM
  #276
TheDevilMadeMe
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If Clapper had his prime 10 years before, no he probably wouldn't have been better than Shore or Clancy. But neither would Earl Seibert, right?

The competition argument for Clapper is being overblown, considering he played at the exact same time as Earl Seibert and for 3 straight years, was better. Yeah, the competition wasn't the strongest, but it wasn't the worst historical competition either. Not a single hockey player left for World War 2 before 1941-42. The relatively weak competition was possibly a result of the Great Depression, but it was nowhere near as bad as it would be in the 43-44 and 44-45 season.

The legitimate question IMO is, how elite was Clapper outside of those 3 seasons?

PS. I really need to buy that new Eddie Shore book. Based on the excerpts I've read, it doesn't just gloss over the warts of older players like most history books.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-06-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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Old
12-06-2011, 03:44 PM
  #277
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Strange to see Clapper being knocked for having leadership and character,
Who's knocking him? The truth is that his leadership and character factored heavily into his legacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If Clapper had his prime 10 years before, no he probably wouldn't have been better than Shore or Clancy. But neither would Earl Seibert, right?
Exactly. Seibert has a better overall resume than Clapper at the defense position, yet he is ranked decently far behind the guys who were considered the cream of the crop 10 years before or after Clapper's peak. It's a reasonable inference that Clapper's AS record shouldn't be taken at face value.

Hell, even at face value his AS voting falls short of MacInnis, Gadsby and Horton. So there you have 4 already ahead of him at pure face value, not yet discussing Pronger's Hart. I can't see how Clapper could reasonably be ranked highly in this group without glossing over differences in competition and giving him a very large bonus for character and for his forward years (which is effectively double-counting for character if you believe it influenced his voting record).

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12-06-2011, 04:45 PM
  #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
PS. I really need to buy that new Eddie Shore book. Based on the excerpts I've read, it doesn't just gloss over the warts of older players like most history books.
It's an excellent book.

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12-06-2011, 05:02 PM
  #279
BM67
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Who's knocking him? The truth is that his leadership and character factored heavily into his legacy.

Exactly. Seibert has a better overall resume than Clapper at the defense position, yet he is ranked decently far behind the guys who were considered the cream of the crop 10 years before or after Clapper's peak. It's a reasonable inference that Clapper's AS record shouldn't be taken at face value.
You say his award voting record is mostly because of his leadership and character, as if it has little or no value. I don't see you saying the same things about Stevens or any other player where the same traits are seen as positives to move them up the rankings.

Clapper during the 10 years he played D has at least as good an award voting record (has more 1st team all-star votes), scored more points and had more team success than Seibert. Do 5 more years at D really make Seibert that much better?

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12-06-2011, 05:08 PM
  #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Over his career as a defenseman (and, to be fair, excluding his shortened final season) he was 3rd in goals among defensemen (61) to Babe Pratt (70) and Flash Hollett (110) and also 3rd in points (191/267/258, respectively). If you look at his goals-per-game and points-per-game numbers, he ranks 7th and 6th respectively. To me, it's pretty questionable whether he was actually better as a hockey player during this period than when he was a forward. Better as a leader, almost certainly, and that's likely a large part of why he got so many Hart votes.
I don't think Hollett's stats can be fairly compared to Clapper's. Hollett spent a fair bit of time at forward.

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Jan 25, 1939:
Quote:
Hollett, however, has played part of the season on the forward line because of an injury which kept centreman Bill Cowley more than a month.
Calgary Herald, Dec 22, 1942:
Quote:
Now playing a dual role as forward and defenceman, Hollett has pumped 10 goals behind rival National Hockey League netminders and assisted on eight others.
And this is without getting into the ways in which defencemen contribute without accumulating points. Offensive stats fail to measure the biggest part of a defenceman's job.

I have very little doubt that Clapper was better as a defender than as a forward, based on the voting results. If he got more credit for leadership and character as a defenceman, why should that be discounted?


Last edited by overpass: 12-07-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Removed boxscore links. I misread them earlier.
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12-06-2011, 05:08 PM
  #281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post

Clapper during the 10 years he played D has at least as good an award voting record (has more 1st team all-star votes), scored more points and had more team success than Seibert. Do 5 more years at D really make Seibert that much better?
Yes, and the point about " team success " basically sounds like somebody being " on a mission, especially when one considers that the Bruins would have been a better team than the Hawks, regardless of Clapper'S presence.

This argument also, basically, means Scott Stevens should NOT be voted in this round.

Also, during the overlap of their careers, Butch Bouchard trumped Dit Clapper in All Star voting. Are we all collectively stupid not to vote Bouchard in at this point?


Last edited by MXD: 12-06-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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12-06-2011, 05:11 PM
  #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
You say his award voting record is mostly because of his leadership and character, as if it has little or no value. I don't see you saying the same things about Stevens or any other player where the same traits are seen as positives to move them up the rankings.

Clapper during the 10 years he played D has at least as good an award voting record (has more 1st team all-star votes), scored more points and had more team success than Seibert. Do 5 more years at D really make Seibert that much better?
How did you come to that conclusion?

Earl Seibert

1934-35 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1935-36 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1936-37 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1937-38 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1941-42 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1942-43 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)


http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...seibeea01.html

Aubrey "Dit" Clapper

1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)

1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...clappdi01.html

Moreover, pointing to Clapper's superior team record is somewhat disingenuous given the fact that Seibert played for one of the worst teams in the league and still managed to be a major factor in two Stanley Cup championships, one of which (1938) Chicago had no business winning without Seibert's dominant play. The Bruins during the era of Shore, Cowley, and Clapper were actually somewhat disappointing in the post-season given their supremely impressive record of regular-season successes and it is generally acknowledged that Boston probably should have won more than the three Stanley Cup championships that they did over the course of Clapper's tenure in Boston.

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Old
12-06-2011, 05:15 PM
  #283
MXD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
How did you come to that conclusion?

Earl Seibert

1934-35 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1935-36 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1936-37 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1937-38 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1941-42 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1942-43 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)


http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...seibeea01.html

Aubrey "Dit" Clapper

1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)

1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...clappdi01.html

Moreover, pointing to Clapper's superior team record is somewhat disingenuous given the fact that Seibert played for one of the worst teams in the league and still managed to be a major factor in two Stanley Cup championships, one of which (1938) Chicago had no business winning without Seibert's dominant play. The Bruins during the era of Shore, Cowley, and Clapper were actually somewhat disappointing in the post-season given their supremely impressive record of regular-season successes and it is generally acknowledged that Boston probably should have won more than the three Stanley Cup championships that they did over the course of Clapper's tenure in Boston.
It seems 2nd AST berths don't count anymore.

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12-06-2011, 05:17 PM
  #284
MXD
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While we're at it, Seibert and Clapper won the exact same number of Cups as D-Mens...

Next time :Yvan Cournoyer, Top-5 winger to ever play the game.


Last edited by MXD: 12-06-2011 at 05:27 PM.
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12-06-2011, 05:31 PM
  #285
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Eddie Shore

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Strange to see Clapper being knocked for having leadership and character, I guess there goes much of the case for Stevens being on the list.

Here's a quote from Bobby Bauer talking about Clapper - "He was so very good in so many ways, but he stood out for one thing. He made so few mistakes." - I believe this came from him talking about how Clapper took the young Kraut Line under his wing when they got to Boston.
Not sure if Dit Clapper is being knocked for having leadership and character. Sense that the antics of Eddie Shore tended to push these qualities into the background.

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12-06-2011, 05:59 PM
  #286
BM67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
How did you come to that conclusion?

Earl Seibert

1934-35 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1935-36 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1936-37 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1937-38 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
1941-42 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1942-43 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)


http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...seibeea01.html

Aubrey "Dit" Clapper

1938-39 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1939-40 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
1940-41 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)

1943-44 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...clappdi01.html

Moreover, pointing to Clapper's superior team record is somewhat disingenuous given the fact that Seibert played for one of the worst teams in the league and still managed to be a major factor in two Stanley Cup championships, one of which (1938) Chicago had no business winning without Seibert's dominant play. The Bruins during the era of Shore, Cowley, and Clapper were actually somewhat disappointing in the post-season given their supremely impressive record of regular-season successes and it is generally acknowledged that Boston probably should have won more than the three Stanley Cup championships that they did over the course of Clapper's tenure in Boston.
Clapper played D from 37-38 on, so the first 3 of Seibert's all-star teams didn't factor in. From 37-38 on, Clapper has more 1st team all-star votes, and has a 2nd and 3rd in Hart voting to Seibert's 4th place finish.

Clapper was 4 years older and played half his time on D after a career threatening injury. Why doesn't Seibert beat Clapper out for the 1st team all-star until after Clapper severs his tendon? And during the war years to boot.

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12-06-2011, 11:21 PM
  #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Clapper played D from 37-38 on, so the first 3 of Seibert's all-star teams didn't factor in. From 37-38 on, Clapper has more 1st team all-star votes, and has a 2nd and 3rd in Hart voting to Seibert's 4th place finish.

Clapper was 4 years older and played half his time on D after a career threatening injury. Why doesn't Seibert beat Clapper out for the 1st team all-star until after Clapper severs his tendon? And during the war years to boot.
That's a fair point. A cursory review of the newspaper archives shows a pretty much unanimous opinion that Clapper was the best defenseman in the game at his 38-41 peak.

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12-06-2011, 11:56 PM
  #288
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12-07-2011, 01:50 AM
  #289
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
See the following boxscores where Hollett is listed at centre: Taken from the first page of a Google News archive search.

Apr 9, 1943
Mar 3, 1943
Mar 18, 1946
Nov 6, 1944
Mar 15, 1943
Feb 23, 1945
Mar 19, 1945
Feb 5, 1945

And this is without getting into the ways in which defencemen contribute without accumulating points. Offensive stats fail to measure the biggest part of a defenceman's job.

I have very little doubt that Clapper was better as a defender than as a forward, based on the voting results. If he got more credit for leadership and character as a defenceman, why should that be discounted?
Sorry, but to me it seems as if you are misreading the texts. I followed the two first links, and to me Hollett is definitely listed as defenceman. I would think you agree if you re-read the texts. Start with the goalie, then there are two defencemen (of which Hollett is one), and then comes the centre.

Edit: I have now checked all 8 links, and all of them actually lists Hollett as defenceman.

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12-07-2011, 02:36 AM
  #290
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Only 13 vote so far. Hopefully a lot of you are waiting until tomorrow to vote.

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12-07-2011, 07:12 AM
  #291
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I just voted.

(Surprisingly easier than last round!)

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12-07-2011, 09:59 AM
  #292
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Injury

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Clapper played D from 37-38 on, so the first 3 of Seibert's all-star teams didn't factor in. From 37-38 on, Clapper has more 1st team all-star votes, and has a 2nd and 3rd in Hart voting to Seibert's 4th place finish.

Clapper was 4 years older and played half his time on D after a career threatening injury. Why doesn't Seibert beat Clapper out for the 1st team all-star until after Clapper severs his tendon? And during the war years to boot.

The injury factor again. Definitely a factor that deserves consideration. Doing it equitably is the challenge.

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12-07-2011, 10:00 AM
  #293
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Votes received from: BiLLY_ShOE1721; Canadiens1958; Dennis Bonvie; Der Kaiser; Epsilon; Hardyvan123; Hockey Outsider; intylerwetrust; JaysCyYoung; MXD; overpass; pappyline; reckoning; TheDevilMadeMe; tony D; VanIslander

Need votes from: chaosrevolver; DaveG; Dreakmur; Hawkey Town 18; McNuts; seventieslord; tarheelhockey;

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12-07-2011, 10:53 AM
  #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Clapper played D from 37-38 on, so the first 3 of Seibert's all-star teams didn't factor in. From 37-38 on, Clapper has more 1st team all-star votes, and has a 2nd and 3rd in Hart voting to Seibert's 4th place finish.

Clapper was 4 years older and played half his time on D after a career threatening injury. Why doesn't Seibert beat Clapper out for the 1st team all-star until after Clapper severs his tendon? And during the war years to boot.
So basically if you massage the overall body of evidence to the detriment of Seibert and to Clapper's benefit Clapper comes out on top? Gotcha'.

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12-07-2011, 11:03 AM
  #295
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So basically if you massage the overall body of evidence to the detriment of Seibert and to Clapper's benefit Clapper comes out on top? Gotcha'.
Well said. That is a very common approach around here.

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12-07-2011, 11:21 AM
  #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plusandminus View Post
Sorry, but to me it seems as if you are misreading the texts. I followed the two first links, and to me Hollett is definitely listed as defenceman. I would think you agree if you re-read the texts. Start with the goalie, then there are two defencemen (of which Hollett is one), and then comes the centre.

Edit: I have now checked all 8 links, and all of them actually lists Hollett as defenceman.
You are correct. I was moving a little too quickly and didn't look closely enough.

The first two links are legitimate, but the box scores can be disregarded.

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12-07-2011, 11:29 AM
  #297
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So basically if you massage the overall body of evidence to the detriment of Seibert and to Clapper's benefit Clapper comes out on top? Gotcha'.
I'm pretty sure that's not what he's doing. There are multiple ways to judge players, and it seems very likely that for three straight seasons, Clapper was a better defenseman than Seibert ever was.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-07-2011 at 11:46 AM.
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12-07-2011, 12:14 PM
  #298
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It's selective posturing. The fact of the matter is that looking at the totality of the overall body of evidence Seibert was held in higher regard than Clapper was as a defenceman. It's certainly possible that for a specific, isolated period in time Clapper peaked at a level higher than Seibert did, but to me the overall body of work should be employed as the trump card, and I think it's clear that Clapper's time spent at forward detracts from his merit as a defenceman in an all-time ranking of men who are being judged as defenders.

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12-07-2011, 12:23 PM
  #299
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Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
It's selective posturing. The fact of the matter is that looking at the totality of the overall body of evidence Seibert was held in higher regard than Clapper was as a defenceman. It's certainly possible that for a specific, isolated period in time Clapper peaked at a level higher than Seibert did, but to me the overall body of work should be employed as the trump card, and I think it's clear that Clapper's time spent at forward detracts from his merit as a defenceman in an all-time ranking of men who are being judged as defenders.
I don't see anything selective about it. It's valid to judge players based on their peak, and if so, there's a good case that Clapper peaked higher than Seibert, as a defenseman.

Obviously, there are other factors to consider than just peak 3 years, though.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-07-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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12-07-2011, 01:31 PM
  #300
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First Team All Star Consideration

Re the Clapper / Seibert debate, perhaps the key issue is how many defensemen from non-playoff teams have received First Team All Star recognition.

From the pre 1967 expansion era Earl Seibert and Bill Gadsby are the only two true defensemen to be so honoured. The others - Tommy Anderson and Ebbie Goodfellow were two position players.

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