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Gilmour or Francis?

View Poll Results: Overall who was better
Dougy 48 54.55%
Ronny franchise 40 45.45%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-18-2012, 05:16 AM
  #51
TheDevilMadeMe
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However, just to drive home how highly thought of Gilmour was at his best, here are the only 4 seasons where either player received more than 1 top 3 vote for the Hart:

1986-87
HART: Wayne Gretzky 255 (49-3-1); Ray Bourque 95 (2-24-13); Mike Liut 39 (1-7-13); Mario Lemieux 34 (2-6-6); Doug Gilmour 30 (0-9-3); Dale Hawerchuk 11 (0-2-5); Steve Yzerman 5 (0-1-2); Mark Howe 5 (0-1-2)

1992-93
HART: Mario Lemieux 248 (49-1-0); Doug Gilmour 99 (0-29-12); Pat LaFontaine 52 (1-12-11); Adam Oates 28 (0-6-10); Pierre Turgeon 12 (0-2-6); Teemu Selanne 5 (0-0-5); Chris Chelios 3 (0-0-3); Steve Yzerman 2 (0-0-2)

1993-94
HART: Sergei Fedorov 194 (31-11-6); Dominik Hasek 86 (6-15-11); John Vanbiesbrouck 74 (7-11-6); Doug Gilmour 50 (4-7-9); Patrick Roy 26 (3-3-2); Ray Bourque 18 (2-2-2); Scott Stevens 13 (1-1-5); Adam Graves 8 (0-1-5); Cam Neely 5 (0-1-2)

2001-02
HART: Jose Theodore, Mtl 434 (26-16-9-5-2); Jarome Iginla, Cgy 434 (23-18-12-5-3); Patrick Roy, Col 283 (8-15-12-11-5); Sean Burke, Phx 172 (2-5-16-10-7); Markus Naslund, Van 64 (0-0-4-10-14); Ron Francis, Car 48 (1-2-3-2-3); Joe Sakic, Col 41 (2-1-2-1-1); Mats Sundin, Tor 35 (0-2-0-5-6); Brendan Shanahan, Det 24 (0-2-1-1-2); Michael Peca, NYI 11 (0-1-0-1-1)

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Old
10-18-2012, 08:47 AM
  #52
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It'd be interesting to see the poll results if biased votes were taken out. I have a feeling Leaf fans are skewing the results..

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Old
10-18-2012, 11:49 AM
  #53
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Here's the vs. #2 numbers with Gretzky/Lemieux factored out and Francis' 1995-1998 years bolded.

Gilmour: 100, 99, 89, 83, 81, 78, 77, 72, 71, 70, 63, 58, 52, 47, 46, 45, 45, 43, 40, 29
Francis: 103, 96, 91, 89, 86, 84, 83, 80, 78, 76, 74, 70, 70, 70, 68, 64, 63, 62, 55, 50, 49, 49, 46


Here's what it looks like if you adjust the 4 Pittsburgh years down to an average of 84, which is worse than his two best non-Pittsburgh seasons and only one better than his 3rd best.

Gilmour: 100, 99, 89, 83, 81, 78, 77, 72, 71, 70, 63, 58, 52, 47, 46, 45, 45, 43, 40, 29
Francis: 89, 86, 84, 84, 84, 84, 83, 80, 78, 76, 74, 70, 70, 70, 68, 64, 63, 62, 55, 50, 49, 49, 46

With this adjustment...
Best 5 years
Gilmour: 452
Francis: 427
Gilmour +25

Next Best 5 years

Gilmour: 368
Francis: 401
Francis +33

Next Best 5 years
Gilmour: 266
Francis: 352
Francis +86

Next Best 5 years
Gilmour: 202
Francis: 294
Francis +92
This is a more fair comparison. That is what I’m looking for when it comes to viewing Francis’ 95-98 seasons realistically. It’s ok to give “some” credit because he actually did it, so calling them his 3rd-6th best seasons is appropriate.

As far as adding up their best scores, I am all for that too. But what I was doing in the last ATD (which I won, heh) to make sure I didn’t give a player’s 8th-best season as much weight as their best, was paste their top percentage scores into excel boxes where I had a weighting formula set up. If I use it for Gilmour and Francis’ best seasons (and factor out all beneficiaries of Lemieux/Gretzky, which benefits both of them), we get this:

Gilmour: 100, 99, 89, 83, 81, 78, 77, 72, 71, 70
Francis: 89, 86, 84, 84, 84, 84, 83, 80, 78, 76

Weighted using a 20-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10 system:

Gilmour: 84.1
Francis: 83.5

And I think most people would agree that my formula is very generous to longevity players, considering their 10th best season is half as important as their best.

In the end, I think comparing them offensively at their best is splitting hairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Because someone implied Francis benefited from Jagr, offensively, when they played together.

The comparison was merely to point out that it wasn't that big of a factor for the first few years in Pittsburgh.
You’re right, it wasn’t, because Jagr was young and Francis was better at that point. But those aren’t the years anyone is all that concerned about when they point out that Francis benefitted from Jagr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
The peak worship is getting atrocious here. Yeah, Gilmour has the two clearly best seasons here. But looking at careers, his peak is an aberration, much more so than Francis' years with Jagr.

Gilmour has two seasons above 90 adjusted points (his 92-94 spike), Francis has four (the Jagr seasons). If we take those years out for both of them, Francis comes out far ahead. It doesn't make sense to me to utterly venerate a two-year perfect storm of Gilmour's on one hand, and to completely discount Francis' Pittsburgh years on the other one - and that's basically what's being done here.
When Gilmour’s “perfect storm” was of his own doing, and Francis’ was mainly Jagr-driven, yes, it does make sense.

Quote:
Gilmour also gets some mileage out of his playoffs, but...

In 1993, Gilmour leads the playoffs in assists, is 5th in goals and finishes second in points. That's truly great playoffs, and it gets recognized as such and Gilmour is basically worshiped for it. Yet when Francis led the playoffs in assists, finished 3rd in points (by a point to leading Lemieux's linemate Stevens) and 5th in goals, it gets swept under the rug. And he did that as second line center.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that’s because 1.67 is a lot higher than 1.29.

One has been done just 33 times by a player with 10+ GP in a playoff, and just 15 times by a player with 15+ GP, by ten unique players.

The other has been done 177 times by a player with 10+ GP, and 88 times by a player with 15+ GP, by 58 unique players.

Quote:
You say Gilmour had a great playoff in 94 too, and that he didn't even make the finals in 93 & 94? Well, Francis finished 3rd in 95, despite the fact that Penguins lost in second round already...
Yes, good for Francis; he scored 1.42 PPG for 12 games. That’s not as good as scoring 1.56 PPG for 18 games (which Gilmour did in 1994)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommygunn View Post
It'd be interesting to see the poll results if biased votes were taken out. I have a feeling Leaf fans are skewing the results..
What makes you think Leafs fans are casting a disproportionately high number of votes? And of course 1987 is not affected by that, regardless.

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Old
10-18-2012, 01:18 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
What makes you think Leafs fans are casting a disproportionately high number of votes?
Look at the voters list. At a quick glance, I count at least 7 confirmed Leafs fans amongst Gilmour supporters. Who knows how many others..

Not sure how that would be surprising to you, considering how revered he is among Leafs faithful.

There's a few Canes/Pens fans on Francis' side, but not nearly as many Leaf fans on Gilmour's.

Thus, my interest on poll results if biases were not counted..

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10-18-2012, 01:20 PM
  #55
Hawkey Town 18
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
This is a more fair comparison. That is what I’m looking for when it comes to viewing Francis’ 95-98 seasons realistically. It’s ok to give “some” credit because he actually did it, so calling them his 3rd-6th best seasons is appropriate.

As far as adding up their best scores, I am all for that too. But what I was doing in the last ATD (which I won, heh) to make sure I didn’t give a player’s 8th-best season as much weight as their best, was paste their top percentage scores into excel boxes where I had a weighting formula set up. If I use it for Gilmour and Francis’ best seasons (and factor out all beneficiaries of Lemieux/Gretzky, which benefits both of them), we get this:

Gilmour: 100, 99, 89, 83, 81, 78, 77, 72, 71, 70
Francis: 89, 86, 84, 84, 84, 84, 83, 80, 78, 76

Weighted using a 20-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10 system:

Gilmour: 84.1
Francis: 83.5

And I think most people would agree that my formula is very generous to longevity players, considering their 10th best season is half as important as their best.

In the end, I think comparing them offensively at their best is splitting hairs.
Not a bad system, but when both players have careers as long as these two guys (Gilmour played 20 NHL seasons and Francis even more than that) I think you need to go 15 seasons out instead of 10.



EDIT: Here's what I got for 15 seasons...

Gilmour: 78.1
Francis: 81.0


EDIT 2: Here's what I got for 15 seasons if the weighting went no lower than 10 (I feel like at some point it needs to level off, seems wrong for the 10th best to be worth double the 15th best).

Gilmour: 75.9
Francis: 80.2


Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 10-18-2012 at 01:29 PM.
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Old
10-18-2012, 01:36 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Not a bad system, but when both players have careers as long as these two guys (Gilmour played 20 NHL seasons and Francis even more than that) I think you need to go 15 seasons out instead of 10.



EDIT: Here's what I got for 15 seasons...

Gilmour: 78.1
Francis: 81.0


EDIT 2: Here's what I got for 15 seasons if the weighting went no lower than 10 (I feel like at some point it needs to level off, seems wrong for the 10th best to be worth double the 15th best).

Gilmour: 75.9
Francis: 80.2
You extend the time frame long enough and guys like Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy drop out of the top 100 players of all time. At some point, peak matters.

I guess if you're trying to measure the nebulous concept of "career value," it makes as much sense as any cutoff.

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10-18-2012, 01:50 PM
  #57
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommygunn View Post
Look at the voters list. At a quick glance, I count at least 7 confirmed Leafs fans amongst Gilmour supporters. Who knows how many others..

Not sure how that would be surprising to you, considering how revered he is among Leafs faithful.

There's a few Canes/Pens fans on Francis' side, but not nearly as many Leaf fans on Gilmour's.

Thus, my interest on poll results if biases were not counted..
Thought you were talking about the awards voting posted just before your post.

Regardless, why can't a Leafs fan have a well-informed and objective opinion?

FWIW, I'm a Leafs fan and I had Francis a good deal ahead of Gilmour (my favourite player) on my all-time lists until about 2009. I have only become more informed and objective since then, I'm pretty sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You extend the time frame long enough and guys like Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy drop out of the top 100 players of all time. At some point, peak matters.

I guess if you're trying to measure the nebulous concept of "career value," it makes as much sense as any cutoff.
Agree.

And I think most would agree that by looking at their best 10 seasons I already went further than most would care to.

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Old
10-18-2012, 01:52 PM
  #58
Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You extend the time frame long enough and guys like Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy drop out of the top 100 players of all time. At some point, peak matters.

I guess if you're trying to measure the nebulous concept of "career value," it makes as much sense as any cutoff.
I understand why 15 seasons wouldn't work for everyone, especially guys from earlier eras where the average player didn't last as long, but these two guys were from the same era and both had long careers, why not use the data if it's available?

10 seasons is only half of Gilmour's career...why would you only look at half? Looking at 15, gets you to 3/4 of his career and still gives him 5 seasons of leeway for injuries, bad years, etc. to be thrown out.


EDIT: Just to be clear, even if we give Francis a small edge in regular season offense, I still think Gilmour wins this comparison because of his outstanding playoff resume...I just think it's closer than most think

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10-18-2012, 01:58 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Thought you were talking about the awards voting posted just before your post.
Nope, would have quoted that post if that was the case.

Quote:
Regardless, why can't a Leafs fan have a well-informed and objective opinion?
Not saying they can't. It's just that with any responsible poll, a conflict of interest would have been cited with certain voters abstaining. And if that were done here, the results would be quite different, IMO.

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10-18-2012, 02:11 PM
  #60
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommygunn View Post
Nope, would have quoted that post if that was the case.


Not saying they can't. It's just that with any responsible poll, a conflict of interest would have been cited with certain voters abstaining. And if that were done here, the results would be quite different, IMO.
OK, fair enough. If this was the NHL or polls section I’d agree with you 100%. But here in the HOH section, poll results tend to be a lot more trustworthy.

What I like to do is take a look at who voted, and count only the people I can personally vouch for, regardless of what I think of them personally – so they are either frequent HOH or ATD members, and not just some kid who saw there was a poll from the index and jumped in.

By that metric, it’s 20-8 for Dougie. An inexact science, admittedly.

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Old
10-18-2012, 02:46 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
When Gilmour’s “perfect storm” was of his own doing, and Francis’ was mainly Jagr-driven, yes, it does make sense.
First of all, Francis was nowhere near the leech you guys try to paint him as in the Jagr-Francis relationship. They benefited eachother, and sure Jagr was the bigger factor, maybe by a 60-40 or 65-35 - but I don't see players like Kurri, Kariya, Leclair or Shanahan taking flak for playing with a better player and benefiting from it. And it's only right, since they (and Francis) were all great players in their own right.

And second, it's four seasons of greatness marred by Jagr's influence compared to just two. Gilmour's peak was short, distinct from his usual play level and came in extremely high scoring years, making it look better than it really is.

Quote:
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that’s because 1.67 is a lot higher than 1.29.
Except average GPG in 1993 playoffs was 6.84, and in 1992 just 6.40. Gilmour still comes out ahead, but not by 'a lot'.

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10-18-2012, 03:09 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
First of all, Francis was nowhere near the leech you guys try to paint him as in the Jagr-Francis relationship. They benefited eachother, and sure Jagr was the bigger factor, maybe by a 60-40 or 65-35 - but I don't see players like Kurri, Kariya, Leclair or Shanahan taking flak for playing with a better player and benefiting from it. And it's only right, since they (and Francis) were all great players in their own right.
It's not about giving anyone "flak" but we attempt to view everyone's numbers in proper context, and the above players are no exception. There's no double standard there.

Quote:
And second, it's four seasons of greatness marred by Jagr's influence compared to just two. Gilmour's peak was short, distinct from his usual play level and came in extremely high scoring years, making it look better than it really is.
1993 and 1994 were not "extremely high scoring years". 1993 was lower scoring than even the lowest from the 80s, and 1994 was only the 6th highest scoring of the decade.

Quote:
Except average GPG in 1993 playoffs was 6.84, and in 1992 just 6.40. Gilmour still comes out ahead, but not by 'a lot'.
If you adjust linearly based on league scoring, that takes a 29% edge down to 22%. that's still "a lot".

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10-18-2012, 05:09 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
It's not about giving anyone "flak" but we attempt to view everyone's numbers in proper context, and the above players are no exception. There's no double standard there.
Are they not? Again, I do not see people often mentioning, let alone trumpeting the fact that Kurri had his best years alongside a superior talent, and then use it to downplay his achievements - even when the gap between him and Gretzky was many times greater than that between Francis and Jagr.

Quote:
1993 and 1994 were not "extremely high scoring years". 1993 was lower scoring than even the lowest from the 80s, and 1994 was only the 6th highest scoring of the decade.
1993 was also the year of extreme imbalance and large amount of very high point getters, courtesy of expansion. Gilmour's totals look huge, but when you look at his adjusted points, it's a whole different story.


Last edited by MadArcand: 10-18-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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10-18-2012, 06:25 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
Are they not? Again, I do not see people often mentioning, let alone trumpeting the fact that Kurri had his best years alongside a superior talent, and then use it to downplay his achievements - even when the gap between him and Gretzky was many times greater than that between Francis and Jagr.


1993 was also the year of extreme imbalance and large amount of very high point getters, courtesy of expansion. Gilmour's totals look huge, but when you look at his adjusted points, it's a whole different story.
Kurri would be slam dunk ahead of, say, Selanne and Hull if not for the Gretzky factor... but he's not.

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10-18-2012, 06:39 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
I understand why 15 seasons wouldn't work for everyone, especially guys from earlier eras where the average player didn't last as long, but these two guys were from the same era and both had long careers, why not use the data if it's available?

10 seasons is only half of Gilmour's career...why would you only look at half? Looking at 15, gets you to 3/4 of his career and still gives him 5 seasons of leeway for injuries, bad years, etc. to be thrown out.


EDIT: Just to be clear, even if we give Francis a small edge in regular season offense, I still think Gilmour wins this comparison because of his outstanding playoff resume...I just think it's closer than most think
seems to me if people are going to do year-by-year comparisons, then it needs to be on a sliding scale. say, best two or three years (peak) are weighted by five; prime years (say, next three to five) are weighted by three; next handful (early/late) weighted by two; anything else (longevity bonus) weighted by one. those numbers i just came up with off the top of my head, but something like that makes me most sense to me.

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10-18-2012, 08:05 PM
  #66
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seems to me if people are going to do year-by-year comparisons, then it needs to be on a sliding scale. say, best two or three years (peak) are weighted by five; prime years (say, next three to five) are weighted by three; next handful (early/late) weighted by two; anything else (longevity bonus) weighted by one. those numbers i just came up with off the top of my head, but something like that makes me most sense to me.
That's basically what I did, except I am more longevity-friendly.

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10-19-2012, 12:35 AM
  #67
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I voted Francis. It is close and to be honest Gilmour at his best did more than Francis at his best but the issue is Dougie never had a great season - or one that stood out - after 1994 when he was 31. Francis thrived in his 30s and was consistently a high point producer even in his 20s peaking at 101. Even as late as 2002 when Francis was 39 he took a team to the final and was a top 10 scorer in the NHL. Gilmour was more or less an afterthought by 2002 and had been on quite the decline by then even though he did fine in the 2002 playoffs.

The thing with Francis is that it is tough to gauge his prime. Dougie's is 1993 and 1994 no doubt. Francis had 90 point seasons in the 1980s and 101 in 1990. Then two years as a Cup champion in which he was a classic second banana (nothing wrong with that) and high point totals on his team and throughout the NHL up until 1998. Really he didn't have much of a lull in his career while Gilmour had gaps which hurts him.

Francis and Gilmour were relatively even defensively. Same with offensively if not an edge to Francis. Both were good leaders but Gilmour illustrated the ability to carry a team on his shoulders while Francis had Mario in Pittsburgh and a less memorable run in 2002. Give the edge to Gilmour in the postseason but longevity and consistency to Francis.

Lastly, even if you hate hearing this, Gilmour left two franchises in shambles when he left and despite being adored by Leaf fans to this day he only lasted 5 years there. It was hard to identify a franchise with him.

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10-19-2012, 12:54 AM
  #68
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Both were good leaders but Gilmour illustrated the ability to carry a team on his shoulders while Francis had Mario in Pittsburgh and a less memorable run in 2002.
Just to be fair here, Francis did carry the Pens on his shoulders against the Rangers in the '92 playoffs after they lost Lemieux and Mullen for the series.

7 goals and 5 assists in 6 games, plus that game-winning hat-trick when the Pens were on the brink of elimination. Not too shabby. And sure, that's just one series--Gilmour obviously had many many more great playoff moments--but Francis showed he could carry a team when it counted.


Last edited by Dissonance: 10-19-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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10-19-2012, 04:57 AM
  #69
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These are the raw numbers of the percentage of their teams' total GF have Gilmour and Francis been responsible over the course of their careers. This metric favors Gilmour a bit (as he missed fewer games with injuries in his prime), I might do one based on PPG later. It also puts Francis' years with Pens down to Earth a bit, which is fine.

Gilmour: 18, 19, 18, 37, 31, 24, 26, 24, 33, 44, 40, 24, 29, 36, 24, 28, 32, 17, 20, 15

Francis: 26, 34, 29, 30, 23, 32, 30, 26, 37, 35, 16, 27, 31, 33, 33, 32, 38, 25, 34, 31, 35, 33, 22

Seasons over:
40% - Gilmour 2, Francis 0
30% - Gilmour 7, Francis 15

Seasons below 20% - Gilmour 5, Francis 1

Average contribution: Gilmour 27%, Francis 31%

The difference in consistency is staggering. No matter the team, age or league scoring level, Francis was almost always contributing greatly to his teams' offense. Francis was contributing one third of his team's offense at age 39. Gilmour peaked higher - for two seasons. Otherwise, he's quite a way off. Francis was 13% greater contributor to his teams' offense on average than Gilmour, and he did so in a career that was longer.

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10-19-2012, 07:27 AM
  #70
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Originally Posted by tommygunn View Post
Look at the voters list. At a quick glance, I count at least 7 confirmed Leafs fans amongst Gilmour supporters. Who knows how many others...
Not sure how that would be surprising to you, considering how revered he is among Leafs faithful.
There's a few Canes/Pens fans on Francis' side, but not nearly as many Leaf fans on Gilmour's.
Thus, my interest on poll results if biases were not counted..
I´m neither Leaf or Pens/Canes fan, even if I´ve followed Leafs/Pens more closely than many other teams because of especially Sundin/Lemieux.

I voted Gilmour. Those peak years are just too good, but as I´ve admitted in the past I´m often driven towards peak. Not saying Francis didn´t have a great one either, it was a though choice. That Gilmour was "the man" during his absolute peak years and Francis can be argued "the third man" or at least "the second man" (at least Lemieux, Jagr, Stevens just counting forwards all trumping him some years...) is the differencemaker. And 35 points when you´re next teammate has 20 and you´re not just relied upon to score and 28 to 18 in the next season is almost Gretzky/Lemieux-good. If "only" for two seasons. Add a couple of great/good PO in the Blues- and Flames-uniform and it trumphs Francis for me.

I do agree that Francis has an unfair repitation because he played on some stacked Pens-teams. He had some really great years in Hartford and some good ones in Carolina (a fantastics 01-02 season of course...). Francis always gave you a good/great chance to win, when Gilmour on the other hand almost carried a couple of teams to the top on his own. Some people obviously don´t like the "almost".

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10-19-2012, 10:36 AM
  #71
seventieslord
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These are the raw numbers of the percentage of their teams' total GF have Gilmour and Francis been responsible over the course of their careers. This metric favors Gilmour a bit (as he missed fewer games with injuries in his prime), I might do one based on PPG later. It also puts Francis' years with Pens down to Earth a bit, which is fine.

Gilmour: 18, 19, 18, 37, 31, 24, 26, 24, 33, 44, 40, 24, 29, 36, 24, 28, 32, 17, 20, 15

Francis: 26, 34, 29, 30, 23, 32, 30, 26, 37, 35, 16, 27, 31, 33, 33, 32, 38, 25, 34, 31, 35, 33, 22

Seasons over:
40% - Gilmour 2, Francis 0
30% - Gilmour 7, Francis 15

Seasons below 20% - Gilmour 5, Francis 1

Average contribution: Gilmour 27%, Francis 31%

The difference in consistency is staggering. No matter the team, age or league scoring level, Francis was almost always contributing greatly to his teams' offense. Francis was contributing one third of his team's offense at age 39. Gilmour peaked higher - for two seasons. Otherwise, he's quite a way off. Francis was 13% greater contributor to his teams' offense on average than Gilmour, and he did so in a career that was longer.
and if you weigh that based on the same formula I used above, Gilmour's weighted "best 10" average is 34.7 and Francis' is 34.6.

no one is going to judge players like this: "_____ was much better at his best, but oh boy, in their respective 13th-best seasons, _____ was so much better than it makes up for it!"

any metric that attempts to take all factors into consideration seems to point to the same thing - comparing them based on offensive output is splitting hairs.

which leaves us looking at other factors. playoffs and hart voting, to start with...

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10-19-2012, 10:39 AM
  #72
Dennis Bonvie
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Just to be fair here, Francis did carry the Pens on his shoulders against the Rangers in the '92 playoffs after they lost Lemieux and Mullen for the series.

7 goals and 5 assists in 6 games, plus that game-winning hat-trick when the Pens were on the brink of elimination. Not too shabby. And sure, that's just one series--Gilmour obviously had many many more great playoff moments--but Francis showed he could carry a team when it counted.
Even though I got to see Francis play from the very start of his NHL career and knew how good he was, it was that series that elevated him in my mind. In the 6th game of the series, Francis had a goal, 2 assists and a +2 while Mark Messier put up a -4 for the Rangers in a 5-1 Pens win.

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10-19-2012, 11:59 AM
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Let's look at their careers from the start.

At 18 Francis started in the OHL and ended up a star in the NHL for 59 games and had a 1.15 PPG average. His "peak" was basically until he was 38. 20 years. Then he added two more decent seasons. I don't really think of the Penguins years as an abberation at all. Like say Ray Bourque.. Francis was just consistently good for 20 years. Only a very select few players can lay claim to that kind of consistently great play. Howe, Beliveau, Sakic, Bourque. Maybe he was not on as high a level as those others but it would be hard to find a more consistent player.

Gilmour had a bias against him because of size. But as a 17 year old he won the Memorial Cup and then utterly dominated the OHL as an 18 and 19 year old. He likely could have played in the NHL then but didn't start until he was 20. He was an excellent defensive forward and finally bloomed in the playoffs at age 22 and became the PPG great elite centre he was for quite a while. While his 2 Toronto years are an amazing peak... much higher than Francis peaked, I think his years in St. Louis and Calgary get underrated. For instance in 1989 in the playoffs he was a beast. He was everywhere, all the time. He only scored a PPG but got 11 goals... but the way he played, he could easily have won the Conn Smythe. He became one of my favourite players following that playoffs. I think that Gilmour beats Francis for peak in more than just 93 and 94. But no one could play the way Gilmour did for that long because it was so physically taxing.

I vote Gilmour because he went man to man vs Gretzky in 1993 playoffs and came so close to beating the Great One. And Gretzky was his old self in the playoffs that year. Watching Gilmour vs Gretzky... as they both utterly dominated a hard fought series. I can't really picture anyone aside from Mario really being able to do that. I guess he did fall short.... but that series is probably the best one I ever watched. It was almost like a basketball game because you just don't see individual hockey players be so pivotal to a game or series. I bet both of them played almost 30 minutes a game.

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10-19-2012, 12:19 PM
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I don't really think of the Penguins years as an abberation at all.
Statistically, four of them were.

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Old
10-19-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Statistically, four of them were.
That's true(albeit the 4th sort of barely). Just like Gilmour's 92-94 stretch is far above the rest, stats-wise.

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and if you weigh that based on the same formula I used above, Gilmour's weighted "best 10" average is 34.7 and Francis' is 34.6.

no one is going to judge players like this: "_____ was much better at his best, but oh boy, in their respective 13th-best seasons, _____ was so much better than it makes up for it!"

any metric that attempts to take all factors into consideration seems to point to the same thing - comparing them based on offensive output is splitting hairs.

which leaves us looking at other factors. playoffs and hart voting, to start with...
C'mon, it's far earlier than 13th best season when Francis gets ahead.

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