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HOH Top 70 Players of All Time (2009)

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10-25-2012, 05:15 PM
  #676
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
That top 70 does include Kharlemov (33), Fetisov (35), Tretiak (44), Makarov (61) and Mikhailov (68).
What idiots made that list?

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10-25-2012, 05:18 PM
  #677
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What idiots made that list?
Voters on the site, in the stickied thread above.

What you posted constitutes flaming by the site's rules, and I'll suggest that you refrain from doing it again.

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10-25-2012, 05:21 PM
  #678
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I consider Makarov to be the greatest Russian player of all time.

"Greater than the sum of its parts" is a popular argument, but it's far from being the proper justification for only 5 Russians being on the list. I don't care if Tikhonov was the greatest coach of all time (which he wasn't): with a team of nobodies he had no prayer of defeating Canada's superstars, like Gretzky, Bossy, etc. Makarov should be in the Top 10.
So which Russians would you have placed on the top 70 list?

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10-25-2012, 05:22 PM
  #679
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Originally Posted by Peter25 View Post
What idiots made that list?
So which Russians would you have placed on the top 70 list?

Signed,
One of the Idiots

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10-25-2012, 06:06 PM
  #680
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I do think Makarov is way too low, however.
Agreed, Top 40 for sure. Andy Bathgate, Frank Mahovlich, Bernie Geoffrion...as great as they were: if you don't give international hockey next to no credit they don't rank higher than Makarov. I also think Fetisov should be in the Top 30, in front of Robinson and closer to the Kelly/Lidström/Potvin group. Hell, people who had seen Potvin described early-1980s Fetisov as the best defender since...not Potvin, but Bobby Orr! Given that many people think Potvin had a better peak than Bourque and Lidström, wouldn't that make peak Fetisov the second best defender post-1967 after Orr and before Potvin, Bourque, Lidström?

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10-27-2012, 02:58 PM
  #681
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Seems reasonable to me. I realize that Russian hockey declined after the fall of the USSR, but look at how many fewer Russians there are than Canadians in the NHL now that it's more or less integrated.

I do think Makarov is way too low, however.
And why is that? I tell you... many average NHL-level players stay in Russia. In the end you have absolutely top Russians here and youngsters who try to make it big time. All other average NHL-level talent left or never even came to NA.

And to counter with one extra point. Why you could make a case that Malkin, Datsyuk, Ovechkin and Kovalchuk are among top 10 players in the NHL? So you have ten best players in the world and 4 of them might be Russians, while two of them are for sure.

Now, consider this. Until just 4-5 years ago Russian youth hockey system was a chaos. There were no system. And all those 4 players were playing their youth hockey in such conditions.

So somehow this "chaos system" produces better top talent than Canada and yet, all the Russians who never played in the NHL during Soviet times can't be possibly as good as top NA players. Players that trained and were developed when Russian hockey had actually a strong system in place. Makes sense. It really does.

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10-27-2012, 03:30 PM
  #682
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
And why is that? I tell you... many average NHL-level players stay in Russia. In the end you have absolutely top Russians here and youngsters who try to make it big time. All other average NHL-level talent left or never even came to NA.

And to counter with one extra point. Why you could make a case that Malkin, Datsyuk, Ovechkin and Kovalchuk are among top 10 players in the NHL? So you have ten best players in the world and 4 of them might be Russians, while two of them are for sure.

Now, consider this. Until just 4-5 years ago Russian youth hockey system was a chaos. There were no system. And all those 4 players were playing their youth hockey in such conditions.

So somehow this "chaos system" produces better top talent than Canada and yet, all the Russians who never played in the NHL during Soviet times can't be possibly as good as top NA players. Players that trained and were developed when Russian hockey had actually a strong system in place. Makes sense. It really does.
I hate to burst your bubble but it all really comes down to numbers. The number of elite hockey players that a country produces is directly related to their hockey infrastructure and ultimately the number of kids they have playing the game. If you look at the IIHF's Survey of Players you will see that roughly 70% of the world's hockey arenas and players are in North America and that is the main reason why there are so many NHLers from NA. As I recall Sweden, Finland, Czech and Russia all have approximately the same number of arenas and players, each country represtenting roughly 5% of the world total. As you know almost all the players from Czech, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, USA, Canada, and the rest of the world, excluding Russia, that are good enough to make the NHL are in the NHL. When you look at the percentage of NHLers from each country you will see that it correlates with the numbers from the IIHF's survey. Again the exception is Russia which is slightly under represented in the NHL because some of the 3rd and 4th line NHL quality Russians choose to play in the KHL.

To suggest that with roughly 5% of the world's hockey players that Russia is producing much more than 5% of the world's NHL calibre players is not a notion based in reality. If you want to check look back at the number of Russians in the league in the 90's, when virtually every Soviet trained player that could get a job in the NHL came over. The percentages still correlate to one another.

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10-27-2012, 03:53 PM
  #683
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As you know almost all the players from Czech, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, USA, Canada, and the rest of the world, excluding Russia, that are good enough to make the NHL are in the NHL.
I'm really not so sure about this. Especially if we talk about Sweden. There many good Swedes playing in SEL and KHL.

And in the end we are talking about absolute top talent, not average NHLers. Look at Swedes. Sweden has just a fraction of NHL players compared to Canada, but Sedins, Lundqvist, Backstrom and Zetterberg are absolute top talent. A few years ago with Alfie and Nick Lidstrom it was even better.

Or Slovakia. I agree, that pretty much all Slovak players that are good enough are in the NHL. So in the end you have a very small talent pool, but Chara, Hossa, Gaborik and Halak are better than most of the talent that has come from Canada.

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10-27-2012, 05:21 PM
  #684
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
I'm really not so sure about this. Especially if we talk about Sweden. There many good Swedes playing in SEL and KHL.

And in the end we are talking about absolute top talent, not average NHLers. Look at Swedes. Sweden has just a fraction of NHL players compared to Canada, but Sedins, Lundqvist, Backstrom and Zetterberg are absolute top talent. A few years ago with Alfie and Nick Lidstrom it was even better.

Or Slovakia. I agree, that pretty much all Slovak players that are good enough are in the NHL. So in the end you have a very small talent pool, but Chara, Hossa, Gaborik and Halak are better than most of the talent that has come from Canada.
There are some great Swedes playing in the SEL and KHL but I think the list of those who have turned down NHL contracts is pretty short. I haven't checked but I have a feeling there are more Swedes in the AHL than the KHL.

Last year 68 Swedes played in the NHL and 5 of them finished in the top 30 of scoring (I'm sure you meant to include Erik Karlsson in your list). The vast majority of the Swedish NHLers however were not what you would call "top talent" in the league, just as is the case with every other nation. I'm sure if you look at the averages over the last 10 years or so that you will find the percentages of Swedes who finish in the top 30 or top 60 of league scoring are pretty much in line with the IIHF survey numbers. Certainly though there will be variations from season to season. For example in the 2000/2001 season Forsberg was the only Swede to finish in the top 30. I should also add that the smaller the sample size the higher the error. If you increased from top 30 to top 300 the percentages would probably become more constant.


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10-27-2012, 06:18 PM
  #685
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Re: the other thread about lack of Russians. Firsov is sorely missing here.

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10-27-2012, 06:34 PM
  #686
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In quick tally I counted 39 players who had the bulk of their career before 1970, a couple of whom were borderline, and that seems about right in a top-70 list.

So Europeans make 10 of the top 30-35 players after 1970, which is about the time Europe/Russia caught up to Canada in the production of talent. 10/30 still seems slightly low, but it's not a criminally low number really. As many as 3 (Firsov, Salming, Stastny) could have been added in the next vote.

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10-27-2012, 07:04 PM
  #687
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Originally Posted by Cruor View Post
Re: the other thread about lack of Russians. Firsov is sorely missing here.
Seriously, do you really think that Firsov is one of the BEST 70 players of all time?

He was an extremely good player on the Russian scene as they entered the explosion in the early 70's onto the international scene but there is no evidence to suggest that he belongs even in a top 100 of all time unless one is trying to fill all time slots from all hockey playing countries or something.

Here is a quick look at his goal scoring breakdown 134 in his 166 games from 1962-72

Games and goals and GPG against all countires

Canada 35-26 .74
Sweden 31-24 .77
Czech 28-16 .57
Finland 25-15 .60
US 15-14 .93
West Germany 12-16 1.33
East Germany 10-13 1.30
Poland 6-2 .33
Italy 1-4 4.00
Hungary 1-2 2.00
Japan 1-1 1.00
Switzerland 1-1 1.00

It should also be noted that the level of competition was considerably less than the NHL at this time as well, even from the Canadian and US teams and even the level of competition from the other "big 3" in Europe at the time is very difficult to evaluate but in no way was it in any way as good as in the NHL over the same time period.


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10-27-2012, 07:23 PM
  #688
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I voted for Firsov to be added in the 71-80 range before the project died

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10-27-2012, 07:52 PM
  #689
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I voted for Firsov to be added in the 71-80 range before the project died
It will be interesting to note where he places on the all time center or LW list when we get to it and determine his position.

If he is on the center list, does he rank higher than Francis or Gilmour that we recently compared in another thread?

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10-27-2012, 08:48 PM
  #690
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
In quick tally I counted 39 players who had the bulk of their career before 1970, a couple of whom were borderline, and that seems about right in a top-70 list.

So Europeans make 10 of the top 30-35 players after 1970, which is about the time Europe/Russia caught up to Canada in the production of talent. 10/30 still seems slightly low, but it's not a criminally low number really. As many as 3 (Firsov, Salming, Stastny) could have been added in the next vote.
For all intents and purposes the Soviets had a full time national team that was concentrated into 2 or 3 club teams in order to provide meaningful competetion between international tournaments. If you are basing your assumption on the degree of individual talent production from international team results you are going to be way off the mark. Russia / USSR alone never came close to equalling Canada in terms of the production of talent. I would say that all of Europe combined started to come close to Canada in that regard in the mid 1990's when Sweden and Finland started producing more stars.

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10-27-2012, 08:54 PM
  #691
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It will be interesting to note where he places on the all time center or LW list when we get to it and determine his position.

If he is on the center list, does he rank higher than Francis or Gilmour that we recently compared in another thread?
Firsov is was definitely a LW primarily. There's a legit case that he was as good as Kharlamov, but there are more questions involved, so he gets ranked lower than Kharlamov. It's really hard to say how much lower.

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10-27-2012, 09:26 PM
  #692
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Firsov is was definitely a LW primarily. There's a legit case that he was as good as Kharlamov, but there are more questions involved, so he gets ranked lower than Kharlamov. It's really hard to say how much lower.
Funny I was just doing some research on both guys and it will be very interesting to see how they are both treated in the best LW or Winger part of this ongoing project.

It will be interesting to compare both of them say to AO who was a 1st team all star in his 1st 5 NHL years and a 2nd team in his 6th before missing out in 12 to Ray Whitney of all people.

We can also add Krutov into the mix of Russian LW and Kovy too

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10-28-2012, 05:35 AM
  #693
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There are some great Swedes playing in the SEL and KHL but I think the list of those who have turned down NHL contracts is pretty short. I haven't checked but I have a feeling there are more Swedes in the AHL than the KHL.

Last year 68 Swedes played in the NHL and 5 of them finished in the top 30 of scoring (I'm sure you meant to include Erik Karlsson in your list). The vast majority of the Swedish NHLers however were not what you would call "top talent" in the league, just as is the case with every other nation. I'm sure if you look at the averages over the last 10 years or so that you will find the percentages of Swedes who finish in the top 30 or top 60 of league scoring are pretty much in line with the IIHF survey numbers. Certainly though there will be variations from season to season. For example in the 2000/2001 season Forsberg was the only Swede to finish in the top 30. I should also add that the smaller the sample size the higher the error. If you increased from top 30 to top 300 the percentages would probably become more constant.
Using ranking based on scoring is somewhat flawed. That dismisses dmen and goalies. You can easily add Kronwall and Enstrom to the list of elite Swedes. Possibly Hedman already. And of course majority of Swedes are not top players. But I'm sure compared to Canada a higher percentage among Swedish NHLers are top players. Plus, add that a lot of Swedes are still young and try to make it big.

So logic that Canada produces x% of NHLers means that Canada should produce the same number of top players is somewhat flawed. Not because Canada is somehow worse at developing top talent, but because pretty much every Canadian worth a dime is playing in the NHL. Same can't be said about the Euros. And it's really a normal situation, why should NA teams sign some random Euro role players, when they can have their own who are just as good.

Again, how many Euro veteran role players are there in the NHL? Majority of them are either established NHL stars, young players or former elite players. On the other hand Canada has plenty of Dan Cleary-type players and even simply borderline NHLers.

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10-28-2012, 10:32 AM
  #694
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Using ranking based on scoring is somewhat flawed. That dismisses dmen and goalies. You can easily add Kronwall and Enstrom to the list of elite Swedes. Possibly Hedman already. And of course majority of Swedes are not top players. But I'm sure compared to Canada a higher percentage among Swedish NHLers are top players. Plus, add that a lot of Swedes are still young and try to make it big.

So logic that Canada produces x% of NHLers means that Canada should produce the same number of top players is somewhat flawed. Not because Canada is somehow worse at developing top talent, but because pretty much every Canadian worth a dime is playing in the NHL. Same can't be said about the Euros. And it's really a normal situation, why should NA teams sign some random Euro role players, when they can have their own who are just as good.

Again, how many Euro veteran role players are there in the NHL? Majority of them are either established NHL stars, young players or former elite players. On the other hand Canada has plenty of Dan Cleary-type players and even simply borderline NHLers.
I agree that using the top 30 is not the most accurate, but it was the quickest for me to do some calculations on. A better survey would take in the biggest sample size possible, such as the total number of NHLers. You have to have some way of quantifying who is an elite player or else it just comes down to peoples opinions, which are arbitrary at best and often biased. You have to also remember that for the coaches the NHL is all about winning. There is no such thing as two identical players. The coaches will always select the one who they thinks gives them a better chance of winning, regardless of where they are from.

Here are some more numbers to support my argument.


COUNTRY % Registered U20 players % Indoor Rinks % NHL Skaters
CAN 45.2 38.1 53.8
USA 29.2 27.6 24.6
RUS 5.9 5.2 2.7
SWE 4.0 5.2 6.6
FIN 3.4 3.8 2.3
CZE 2.2 0.9 4.5

Obviously the percentages won't be exactly the same and they fluctuate with time. For example the current percentage of NHLers will be more closely related to the U20 players and rinks from ~10 years ago, whereas these numbers are all for 2011. However the trend shows overwhelming proof that there is a direct correlation between the number of kids playing hockey, the size of the hockey infrastructure (ie rinks) and the number of elite players (NHLers) a nation develops.


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10-28-2012, 01:33 PM
  #695
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I agree that using the top 30 is not the most accurate, but it was the quickest for me to do some calculations on. A better survey would take in the biggest sample size possible, such as the total number of NHLers. You have to have some way of quantifying who is an elite player or else it just comes down to peoples opinions, which are arbitrary at best and often biased. You have to also remember that for the coaches the NHL is all about winning. There is no such thing as two identical players. The coaches will always select the one who they thinks gives them a better chance of winning, regardless of where they are from.

Here are some more numbers to support my argument.

COUNTRY, % Registered U20 players, % Indoor Rinks, % NHL Skaters

CAN 45.2 38.1 53.8
USA 29.2 27.6 24.6
RUS 5.9 5.2 2.7
SWE 4.0 5.2 6.6
FIN 3.4 3.8 2.3
CZE 2.2 0.9 4.5

Obviously the percentages won't be exactly the same and they fluctuate with time. For example the current percentage of NHLers will be more closely related to the U20 players and rinks from ~10 years ago, whereas these numbers are all for 2011. However the trend shows overwhelming proof that there is a direct correlation between the number of kids playing hockey, the size of the hockey infrastructure (ie rinks) and the number of elite players (NHLers) a nation develops.
Sorry, mate. We are talking about different things. You about NHLers. I'm about elite NHLers (This is about Top 70 Players of All Time after all). I'm not arguing that Canada produces by far the most NHLers. It's a fact. I'm just saying that it does not mean that Canada produces highest percentage of elite NHLers out of those same NHLers. You take a sample from the entire hockey population, I take a sample from the NHLers only. Big difference.

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10-28-2012, 01:45 PM
  #696
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Sorry, mate. We are talking about different things. You about NHLers. I'm about elite NHLers (This is about Top 70 Players of All Time after all). I'm not arguing that Canada produces by far the most NHLers. It's a fact. I'm just saying that it does not mean that Canada produces highest percentage of elite NHLers out of those same NHLers. You take a sample from the entire hockey population, I take a sample from the NHLers only. Big difference.
In 2011-12, 4 of the top 60 NHL scorers were Russian.
In 1993-94 (perhaps the best season ever for Russians in the NHL), 6 of the top 60 scorers were Russian.

I'm not checking every year, but I don't think these numbers are out of the ordinary.

Given that perhaps 10% of the top NHL talent is Russian, I don't see a 9-5 advantage for Canadians over Russians born in the same time period on the top 70 list to be out of whack.

If there's any issue with the list, it's that the Original 6 period is more represented than any other time period. I think in 2008 and 2009 on this board, there was a sense that the Original 6 was the Golden Age of Hockey and that in turn, a disproportionate number of the best players played during that time period.

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10-28-2012, 02:14 PM
  #697
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Sorry, mate. We are talking about different things. You about NHLers. I'm about elite NHLers (This is about Top 70 Players of All Time after all). I'm not arguing that Canada produces by far the most NHLers. It's a fact. I'm just saying that it does not mean that Canada produces highest percentage of elite NHLers out of those same NHLers. You take a sample from the entire hockey population, I take a sample from the NHLers only. Big difference.
We are talking about the same thing. The only difference is that you have not backed up your claim with any sort of evidence. The term "elite NHLer" is completely subjective and based on your last few posts I am also going to guess that you are probably biased. Unless you have some facts to back up your argument I don't know what else there is to say.

Once again my numbers do show that Russians are slightly underrepresented in the current NHL. As you said these are mostly the Russians who would fill 3rd or 4th line roles in the NHL. Also remember that 18% of the players who skated in the NHL last year appeared in 10 or less games. I would more call these AHL calibre players who had very short call ups in the NHL. A good number of the Russians who chose the KHL over the "NHL" would also fall into this 18% group had they chose to play in North America.


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10-28-2012, 02:17 PM
  #698
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In 2011-12, 4 of the top 60 NHL scorers were Russian.
In 1993-94 (perhaps the best season ever for Russians in the NHL), 6 of the top 60 scorers were Russian.

I'm not checking every year, but I don't think these numbers are out of the ordinary.

Given that perhaps 10% of the top NHL talent is Russian, I don't see a 9-5 advantage for Canadians over Russians born in the same time period on the top 70 list to be out of whack.

If there's any issue with the list, it's that the Original 6 period is more represented than any other time period. I think in 2008 and 2009 on this board, there was a sense that the Original 6 was the Golden Age of Hockey and that in turn, a disproportionate number of the best players played during that time period.
Top 60 scorers is fairly big number and has little to do with TOP 70 Players of All Time.

And those 4 Russians were #1, #5, #31 and #35 and that includes Datsyuk who missed 12 games.

I just find it strange that during Soviet time Russia and Canada were neck-to-neck. Despite the fact that usually Canada had the best player or two on their team (Wayne, Mario, Orr, Hull or whoever). Soviets had few stars who were pretty good and are nowadays recognized as such, but other players are totally dismissed. While Canada had other superstars who were miles better than any of those average Soviet players. And yet, games were as close as they could get. And no, no training camps can close the gap if difference in talent was so large as many think. So something is clearly out of sync here. My bet is that those other Soviet players were better than given credit.

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10-28-2012, 02:48 PM
  #699
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We are talking about the same thing. The only difference is that you have not backed up your claim with any sort of evidence. The term "elite NHLer" is completely subjective and based on your last few posts I am also going to guess that you are probably biased. Unless you have some facts to back up your argument don't know what else there is to say.
What evidence do you need?

The fact that 4 out top 20 players are Russians (without even blinking an eye). That's 20%. There are 2.7% Russians among all NHLesrs as you kindly demonstrated before. With a bit bias I can make a case to squeeze those 4 into top 15 or even top 10.

Swedes. Top 20 talent: both Sedins, Karlsson, Lundqvist. That's also 4 (20%) and I'm kindly leaving Zetterberg and Backstrom out. There are 6.6% of Swedes based on your number.

Slovaks. Top 20 talent: Chara and Hossa. (substitute with Gaborik or Halak if you wish). That's 2 (10%).

That's already 50% that are not from Canada. You can add USA yourself.

Of course those numbers change over time. Russians are very strong right now, while Czechs and Finns have pretty much no players at such level. All I'm saying that you can't say Canada produces 55% of NHL talent = 55% of elite NHL talent. In current discussion (Top 70 Players of All Time) term elite NHL talent should be defined by very strict criteria. Something like players who are in discussion at being one of the best at their respective position.

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10-28-2012, 02:49 PM
  #700
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
Top 60 scorers is fairly big number and has little to do with TOP 70 Players of All Time.

And those 4 Russians were #1, #5, #31 and #35 and that includes Datsyuk who missed 12 games.

I just find it strange that during Soviet time Russia and Canada were neck-to-neck. Despite the fact that usually Canada had the best player or two on their team (Wayne, Mario, Orr, Hull or whoever). Soviets had few stars who were pretty good and are nowadays recognized as such, but other players are totally dismissed. While Canada had other superstars who were miles better than any of those average Soviet players. And yet, games were as close as they could get. And no, no training camps can close the gap if difference in talent was so large as many think. So something is clearly out of sync here. My bet is that those other Soviet players were better than given credit.
Imagine if Canada had a full time national team program where their best players practiced and played together year round. If you don't think they would have been a MUCH MUCH better team then you're just not being honest. Look at how long it takes an NHL club to come into form, look how long it can take one player to adjust to a new team, ignoring these things and how they effected Soviet era international hockey is just silly.

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