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Alexei Morozov and Alexander Radulov

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08-09-2012, 09:30 AM
  #1
Stephen
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Alexei Morozov and Alexander Radulov

When their careers are over, is it at all possible to make the claim that Morozov and Radulov are among the all-time greats in the history of hockey given their level of dominance in the KHL?

Assuming the answer is going to be an indignant NO, how is their circumstance different than when Soviet era greats who are highly regarded by historians despite the fact that North American audiences mostly know these Soviet era greats in limited international competitions or as past their prime NHLers?

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08-09-2012, 09:50 AM
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When their careers are over, is it at all possible to make the claim that Morozov and Radulov are among the all-time greats in the history of hockey given their level of dominance in the KHL?

Assuming the answer is going to be an indignant NO, how is their circumstance different than when Soviet era greats who are highly regarded by historians despite the fact that North American audiences mostly know these Soviet era greats in limited international competitions or as past their prime NHLers?
The top Soviets of the 70s and 80s were seen many times and judged to be approximately as good as the best Canadian players. That is still the case. But all the "best" soviets are in the NHL right now; there is no guesswork or extrapolation involved with them. Morozov and Radulov are third-rate Soviets; they are dominating what is clearly a lesser league (whereas the old Soviet league was "a lesser league, but their top-end players were just as good") and when they are in the NHL they are not stars. If they were, this would be a whole other story. But Morozov appeared to be turning into a decent career 2nd liner when he was here, and Radulov is probably a decent career 1st liner, but not the type of player who's ever going to seriously challenge the top-20 in scoring.

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08-09-2012, 10:13 AM
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Let the KHL grow. The quality of players will either improve or decrease. Let their careers play out and then an accurate answer will be available.

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08-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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Let the KHL grow. The quality of players will either improve or decrease. Let their careers play out and then an accurate answer will be available.
You are right; things can change.

I am speaking in terms of what appears most likely from here on. They would not be all-time greats based on likely occurrences, but lots can still happen.

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08-09-2012, 10:35 AM
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The top Soviets of the 70s and 80s were seen many times and judged to be approximately as good as the best Canadian players. That is still the case. But all the "best" soviets are in the NHL right now; there is no guesswork or extrapolation involved with them. Morozov and Radulov are third-rate Soviets; they are dominating what is clearly a lesser league (whereas the old Soviet league was "a lesser league, but their top-end players were just as good") and when they are in the NHL they are not stars. If they were, this would be a whole other story. But Morozov appeared to be turning into a decent career 2nd liner when he was here, and Radulov is probably a decent career 1st liner, but not the type of player who's ever going to seriously challenge the top-20 in scoring.
But what about the tendency of the Soviet era to stack its CSKA Moscow club with basically the cream of the crop, making it a basically non competitive league? How do we evaluate the greatness of individual players who weren't playing against meaningful competition?

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08-09-2012, 11:11 AM
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But what about the tendency of the Soviet era to stack its CSKA Moscow club with basically the cream of the crop, making it a basically non competitive league? How do we evaluate the greatness of individual players who weren't playing against meaningful competition?
While Red Army (or CSKA) was stacked other Soviet league clubs (like Spartak, Dynamo, Krylya Sovetov) weren't bad either, they had plenty of meaningful competition.

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08-09-2012, 01:09 PM
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Radulov definitely is a player who could achieve TOP-20 in scoring. His talent level and skills are one of the very best in the world.
Morozov was similar in lesser degree. 2002-3 he was TOP-10 in scoring before his injury.

As always, if the cream of the crop of canadian NHLers have to play in Russia, percentage of dissapointments is similar. There is too many off-ice factors.

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08-09-2012, 01:18 PM
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Morozov and Radulov are third-rate Soviets; they are dominating what is clearly a lesser league (whereas the old Soviet league was "a lesser league, but their top-end players were just as good") and when they are in the NHL they are not stars. If they were, this would be a whole other story. But Morozov appeared to be turning into a decent career 2nd liner when he was here, and Radulov is probably a decent career 1st liner, but not the type of player who's ever going to seriously challenge the top-20 in scoring.
I think you might be underrating Radulov's potential as a scorer. He only had 2 seasons in the NHL, the second of which he was 18th in ES goals at age 21 and had 58 points. I certainly think he could have challenged for top 20 in some seasons, possibly top 10.

Morozov was not as dangerous as Radulov. He was a solid overall player though, 2nd liner sounds about right.

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08-09-2012, 01:38 PM
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But what about the tendency of the Soviet era to stack its CSKA Moscow club with basically the cream of the crop, making it a basically non competitive league? How do we evaluate the greatness of individual players who weren't playing against meaningful competition?
certainly their international play was against meaningful competition.

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I think you might be underrating Radulov's potential as a scorer. He only had 2 seasons in the NHL, the second of which he was 18th in ES goals at age 21 and had 58 points. I certainly think he could have challenged for top 20 in some seasons, possibly top 10.
No need to speculate - we'll see for ourselves! He's back in the NHL and entering what should be his most productive years. I could be wrong, I could be right.

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08-09-2012, 01:42 PM
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certainly their international play was against meaningful competition.



No need to speculate - we'll see for ourselves! He's back in the NHL and entering what should be his most productive years. I could be wrong, I could be right.
He returned to the KHL.

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08-09-2012, 01:48 PM
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certainly their international play was against meaningful competition.



No need to speculate - we'll see for ourselves! He's back in the NHL and entering what should be his most productive years. I could be wrong, I could be right.
hmm?

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08-09-2012, 01:54 PM
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Morozov is dominating a lesser league and was so overrated at the nhl level it's almost scary.

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08-09-2012, 02:03 PM
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Compare the quality of the Soviet forwards in the Summit Series and Canada Cups with the pitiful performance of the "KHL line" in the 2010 Olympics and you have your answer

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08-09-2012, 02:05 PM
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No, who doesn't like the mysteriousness of these guys but when here, they don't impress.

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08-09-2012, 02:33 PM
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He returned to the KHL.
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hmm?
whoops.

well then he will continue to be an enigma. We'll see how he does in the next few best-on-best tournaments.

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08-09-2012, 03:24 PM
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I know it's difficult to speculate, but I wouldn't use an occasional international tournament (nor the KHL) as the main basis of comparison.

Radulov scored 58 points at age 21 in 2008 and was particularly good at ES with 22 ESG. That stacks up pretty well to seasons at similar ages from some very good (not great) young players. After he left the NHL, he went from 48 points in his first KHL season to 63 and then 80, so he definitely seems to have improved his playmaking while maintaining his goal-scoring.

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08-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I know it's difficult to speculate, but I wouldn't use an occasional international tournament (nor the KHL) as the main basis of comparison.

Radulov scored 58 points at age 21 in 2008 and was particularly good at ES with 22 ESG. That stacks up pretty well to seasons at similar ages from some very good (not great) young players. After he left the NHL, he went from 48 points in his first KHL season to 63 and then 80, so he definitely seems to have improved his playmaking while maintaining his goal-scoring.
But I think their performances in best-on-best tournaments is a good proxy for the overall quality of the league. It's clear as day to me that the pace and quality of hockey in the KHL is closer to that of the AHL than the NHL.

The OP should be comparing Kharlamov and Makarov to Fedorov and Ovechkin he wanted to make a point, not to schlubs like Radulov and Morozov

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08-09-2012, 04:59 PM
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But I think their performances in best-on-best tournaments is a good proxy for the overall quality of the league. It's clear as day to me that the pace and quality of hockey in the KHL is closer to that of the AHL than the NHL.

The OP should be comparing Kharlamov and Makarov to Fedorov and Ovechkin he wanted to make a point, not to schlubs like Radulov and Morozov
The OP chose those players, it's his choice. They are not even close to being all-time greats of course.

However, it was stated that Radulov would never even threaten the top 20 in scoring, and that seems quite debatable. If Radulov is assumed to play his entire prime in the NHL, and a wager was offered that he wouldn't ever finish top 20 in scoring, I would take that without second thought.

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08-09-2012, 05:28 PM
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But I think their performances in best-on-best tournaments is a good proxy for the overall quality of the league. It's clear as day to me that the pace and quality of hockey in the KHL is closer to that of the AHL than the NHL.

The OP should be comparing Kharlamov and Makarov to Fedorov and Ovechkin he wanted to make a point, not to schlubs like Radulov and Morozov
The reason why I've used Morozov and Radulov is exactly because they were schulbs in the NHL. Morozov largely struggled as a young player but dominated the KHL in his prime.

If we de-mystified the legend of the Red Army teams, could we actually draw the conclusion that some of those seldom seen individual legends were actually completely overrated? I mean

a) we just didn't see that much of those players other than in international tournament formats or else way past their primes

b) a lot of what we know about them is hearsay. I remember an anecdote about scouts claiming that a 17 year old Vyacheslav Kozlov was better than Bure, Fedorov and Mogilny, but with empirical NHL observation, we know this isn't the case. What other historical distortions are informing our notions of the Soviet greats?

c) and the competition in the Soviet leagues was kind of dubious given that CSKA Moscow was completely stacked.

This isn't to discredit the Soviet era players at all, I'm just questioning to what degree do people get overly excited about placing them among the all-time greats without proper contextualization.

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08-09-2012, 05:38 PM
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The reason why I've used Morozov and Radulov is exactly because they were schulbs in the NHL. Morozov largely struggled as a young player but dominated the KHL in his prime.

If we de-mystified the legend of the Red Army teams, could we actually draw the conclusion that some of those seldom seen individual legends were actually completely overrated? I mean

a) we just didn't see that much of those players other than in international tournament formats or else way past their primes

b) a lot of what we know about them is hearsay. I remember an anecdote about scouts claiming that a 17 year old Vyacheslav Kozlov was better than Bure, Fedorov and Mogilny, but with empirical NHL observation, we know this isn't the case. What other historical distortions are informing our notions of the Soviet greats?

c) and the competition in the Soviet leagues was kind of dubious given that CSKA Moscow was completely stacked.

This isn't to discredit the Soviet era players at all, I'm just questioning to what degree do people get overly excited about placing them among the all-time greats without proper contextualization.
The 1972 and 1974 Summit Series, the 1979 Challenge Cup, the 1976, 1981, 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups and approximately 100 exhibition games between Soviet and NHL clubs isn't enough of a sample?

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08-09-2012, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I think you might be underrating Radulov's potential as a scorer. He only had 2 seasons in the NHL, the second of which he was 18th in ES goals at age 21 and had 58 points. I certainly think he could have challenged for top 20 in some seasons, possibly top 10.

Morozov was not as dangerous as Radulov. He was a solid overall player though, 2nd liner sounds about right.
Radulov had very good ES advanced stats as well. But he was placed in very favourable offensive situations.

Martin Havlat might be a good comparable.

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08-09-2012, 05:46 PM
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The reason why I've used Morozov and Radulov is exactly because they were schulbs in the NHL. Morozov largely struggled as a young player but dominated the KHL in his prime.

If we de-mystified the legend of the Red Army teams, could we actually draw the conclusion that some of those seldom seen individual legends were actually completely overrated? I mean

a) we just didn't see that much of those players other than in international tournament formats or else way past their primes

b) a lot of what we know about them is hearsay. I remember an anecdote about scouts claiming that a 17 year old Vyacheslav Kozlov was better than Bure, Fedorov and Mogilny, but with empirical NHL observation, we know this isn't the case. What other historical distortions are informing our notions of the Soviet greats?

c) and the competition in the Soviet leagues was kind of dubious given that CSKA Moscow was completely stacked.

This isn't to discredit the Soviet era players at all, I'm just questioning to what degree do people get overly excited about placing them among the all-time greats without proper contextualization.
How are scouts being wrong on one of many proclamations somehow evidence of an overarching problem causing Soviets to be overrated?

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08-09-2012, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The 1972 and 1974 Summit Series, the 1979 Challenge Cup, the 1976, 1981, 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups and approximately 100 exhibition games between Soviet and NHL clubs isn't enough of a sample?
Definitely not!

Imagine if you had only seen Mats Sundin dominate at the Olympics in 2002 and 2006, and at the 1996 and 2004 World Cups, and the random World Championship and Canada Cup tournaments over a 20 year period. How well would you understand his abilities in relation to a more every day NHL player? Your characterization of him would probably be completely different than what you saw night after night in the NHL.

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08-09-2012, 05:53 PM
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Compare the quality of the Soviet forwards in the Summit Series and Canada Cups with the pitiful performance of the "KHL line" in the 2010 Olympics and you have your answer
Pitiful performance?

Zaripov-Zinvoiev-Morozov was Russia's most consistent line start to finish at the 2010 olympics.....and that was even with Zinoviev playing through a severe leg injury which sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Yes they sucked vs Canada, but so too did Russia's "NHL superstars".

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08-09-2012, 05:54 PM
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How are scouts being wrong on one of many proclamations somehow evidence of an overarching problem causing Soviets to be overrated?
The main issue here is legends built on limited viewings and hyperbole. We had the chance to see Slava Kozlov de-mystified in NHL format. In some ways the same can be said of a Valeri Kamensky. We don't really know what a lot of the other Soviet greats would have done in the NHL.

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