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Old
10-30-2012, 01:33 PM
  #101
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The strongest competition for the Norris ever was in the late 80s and early 90s, and for some reason people exaggerate how weak Lidstrom's competition was, just because it followed the strongest peak ever. In no way is Lidstrom's competition weaker than the late 60s/early 70s (yes, Bobby Orr faced weaker competition than Lidstrom, though he definitely dominated it) or the early 80s.
Lidstrom's competiton was average at best. There was increased competition purely due to population growth, but not of nearly the same quality as Hasek's (Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, etc.), and he was fortunate to have a lull after the intense top end competition in the 80s and early-mid 90s. The last decade has been pretty weak, aside from the oft-injured Pronger. Neither Lidstrom nor Hasek faced the same influx of competition from overseas (Zubov and Chara do not match Forsberg, Selanne, Bure, Mogilny, Fedorov, Sundin, etc.). In Hasek's case, Roy wasn't as stellar during Hasek's prime, similar to Gretzky in his last few years.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Jagr played for a long time at a solid level, but not necessarily at an elite level. Take a look at their postseason All-Star Teams:

Hasek
6X 1st Team All Star (1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001)

Lidstrom
10 X 1st Team All Star (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011)
2 X 2nd Team All Star (2009, 2010)

Jagr
7 X 1st Team All Star (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006)
1 X 2nd Team All Star (1997)

Jagr's longevity as an elite player is closer to Hasek than to Lidstrom.
Lidstrom didn't have nearly as tough of competition, certainly not the equivalent of Selanne, Bure, Mogilny, Fleury, Hull, etc. Forwards tend to be judged on points, there was no "well, it's kinda close and we know who the better player is" type of voting for Jagr.

Hasek doesn't have too much outside those all-star years, while Jagr's non AS years included 12th in ES points/6th 5 ES goals/big playoffs during '92 Cup... 94 points and 10th in ES points in '93... top 10 in points/assists and 2nd in ES points in '94... top 5 in points and top 3 in PPG in '02... top 10 in points and strong playoff (Nylander leader in PPG) in '07... strong playoff (PPG leader) in '08... and a missed '05 lockout season during which he led the Czech/Russian leagues in PPG and led Czechs to gold in best on best WC.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Jagr has a case for being the best forward since expansion other than Gretzky and Lemieux, but in no way is it a consensus. There are definitely people who would pick Messier and/or Lafleur over Jagr.
Consensus may not be the best term, but he won both (HoH and poll section) polls in a landslide for 3rd best forward since expansion. He was not that far from getting the majority of votes in both polls:

Poll: 3rd Best Forward Since Expansion

HoH 3rd Best Forward Since Expansion

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I used to think that way, but I've since decided that Orr and Gretzky were even farther above their peers than Howe.
I'm not sure if that was the case, but their competition was stronger than Howe's IMO... certainly stronger than Morenz's.

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10-30-2012, 01:36 PM
  #102
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
I hope you are okay over there.

That's a good point obviously. But in my opinion when two players are so close in "pure" talent and being above peers, then something like a career length has to separate them.

Lets suppose Crosby never has a healthy season and he is forced to hang them up. While Malkin continues to play at his current level until he is 35-36 years old. Wouldn't you rank Malkin above Crosby on such all-time lists?

To explain further, I think that Crosby is a slightly better player, but Malkin already has a bit more accomplishments in his career. All this is arguable and I don't wish to discuss fairness of my opinion regarding Crosby and Malkin.
I understand your thinking.

In fact, I would say that's the way the majority look at these comparisons.

I guess I just see Orr as that much better than all the rest.

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10-30-2012, 01:41 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post

Consensus may not be the best term, but he won both (HoH and poll section) polls in a landslide for 3rd best forward since expansion. He was not that far from getting the majority of votes in both polls:

Poll: 3rd Best Forward Since Expansion

HoH 3rd Best Forward Since Expansion
I wouldn't use hfboards polls to show "consensus" about anything. The majority of users on this site are probably too young to have seen Messier play even when he was a shell of himself.

I'm sure if you just looked at long term members of the history board, it would have been a lot closer.

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Old
10-30-2012, 01:50 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I wouldn't use hfboards polls to show "consensus" about anything. The majority of users on this site are probably too young to have seen Messier play even when he was a shell of himself.
Would you say that about the posters in the History section? Many on here have a very broad yet extensive grasp of the history of the NHL.

Messier dragged a star-studded New York team down in his second tenure with them and his 2 Hart trophies are largely contested among the History section posters. His 6 Stanley Cups are the sole reason for his overrating position among the all-time best. Messier is not even among the top 10 all-time two-way forwards (an attribute that is vastly overrating him) while Jagr is easily a top 5 all-time offensive forward/ player. Give Jagr better talent in those Lemieux-less teams he led and I'm sure he would have won 1 or 2 Cups with him as Conn Smythe winner. Messier played most of his career with sure-shot Hall of Fame talent; Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson, Coffey, Leetch, Fuhr, not to mention great role players like Tikkanen, Richter, Graves...

Give Jagr a better defense in 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2005-08 for instance and he would have made his spot in the top 10 be a slam dunk. Yes I know this is pure speculation but Jagr is a victim of playing on some mediocre defensive teams while Messier was fortunate enough to play on so many great teams. It's no surpise that the top 10 scorers in playoffs history feature Messier, Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson and Coffey all of which played on the same team. The Dead Puck Era was all about defense and the Penguins lacked it which made it nearly impossible for them to contend with such powerhouses as the Devils, Flyers, Stars, Red Wings and Avalanche. Jagr did his part by scoring in bunches and carrying those teams on his back while also stepping up his forechecking game in the playoffs (contrary to popular belief that he was a cherrypicker).

... and before you star mentioning the talent that Pittsburgh had in the early 90's, don't forget that Jagr wasn't in his prime yet. A prime Jagr never had half the All-Star, Hall of Fame support that the other players in the top 10 had.

Lemieux, Howe, Orr, Gretzky, Morenz, Beliveau, Richard were all surrounded with tremendous talent during their primes. I'm not going to argue that given the circumstances that Jagr could have supplanted any of those players from the top 10 but at least the argument could have been more interesting.


Last edited by livewell68: 10-30-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old
10-30-2012, 02:04 PM
  #105
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Measuring Gretzky by +/- is rather silly. You are trying to show he is overrated with a neg ratio over his last eight seasons but ignoring that he has the best +/- of any forward ever. So:
1. If +/- is not important this is a meaningless statement.
2. If it is somehow a measurement of defensive ability then we must conclude he is the greateest defensive forward ever. His good +/- at the start of his career doesnt prove anything, in reality. And neither do the bad seasonat the end of his career.

As for giving up so many points while on the ice, this is a combination of highscorjng era on a team ghat didn't play much defense and playing on the first unit pk most his career. According to your method, Gretzky would have been better defensively if he hadnt killed penalties.

It just seems to me like you are trying to have it both ways - you want to diminish his accomplishments due to era but hold high scoring against him in that same era.

Ps wrote this on a phone so forgive my spelling.
Regardless of +/-, Gretzky (and Mario) were less than average defensive players at best.

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10-30-2012, 02:16 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Regardless of +/-, Gretzky (and Mario) were less than average defensive players at best.
Which means given their position on the all-time list, that their offense was that much more effective and dominant compared to their peers and fellow top 10 players.

In my eyes, the top 4 can have Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr and Howe at any position and they all have strong arguments for being the best player of all-time but what is not contested is the fact that no one has yet come along (and it seems very unlikely that anyone anytime soon will) that can supplant them from the top 4.

There has to be tiers

1. Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux

2. Beliveau, Hull, Shore, Harvey

3. Jagr, Richard... Morenz, Bourque, Hasek, Roy, Lidstrom, Lafleur, Bossy, Clarke, Trottier, Messier...

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10-30-2012, 02:18 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by Bexlyspeed View Post
any reason nobody has denis potvin in their top 10?

he had a solid 15 year career, first defenceman to 1000 points, 3 norris trophies, and captain of 4 stanley cup winning teams. retired leading all defensemen in points, goals & assists

not as flashy as orr, but i think he was better than ray borque. any thoughts?
It seems to me that there isn't much to separate the peaks enjoyed by most of the great defencemen, Orr excluded. Arguments could be made for Potvin, Shore, Harvey or others. It's unrealistic for someone to have more than 3 defencemen in the top 10, and with Orr as a given it's hard for Potvin to make it once elite level longevity comes into play.

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10-30-2012, 04:53 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by livewell68 View Post
Which means given their position on the all-time list, that their offense was that much more effective and dominant compared to their peers and fellow top 10 players.In my eyes, the top 4 can have Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr and Howe at any position and they all have strong arguments for being the best player of all-time but what is not contested is the fact that no one has yet come along (and it seems very unlikely that anyone anytime soon will) that can supplant them from the top 4.

There has to be tiers

1. Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux

2. Beliveau, Hull, Shore, Harvey

3. Jagr, Richard... Morenz, Bourque, Hasek, Roy, Lidstrom, Lafleur, Bossy, Clarke, Trottier, Messier...
I agree.

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10-30-2012, 10:54 PM
  #109
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Bobby Orr was better than Gretzky, of this I have zero doubt. I would never deny the fact that Gretzky is king for offensive hockey - no question and no argument. But when you consider that Gretzky also personally witnessed more goals while on the ice than any other skater during his career, and that he was a negative +/- six out of his last seven seasons, some of the career "advantage" begins to be tarnished (at least for those without the Gretzky colored glasses). Orr redefined his position and the game. He dominated his positional peers to a far greater degree than Gretzky ever did. No other defenseman has ever sniffed an Art Ross, nor could Gretzky ever dream of winning a Norris.

Ten years may not be the longest career - but no one was ever better for their peak - heck, when Orr retired, he was #1 ppg all-time,not to mention his defensive and physical play. Bobby Orr, # 1, and everyone else is still playing for second place.
Remember this though, the top 10 players who were on the ice for the most goals against are some of the all-time greats. All of them are HHOFers. Larry Robinson of all people is at #14 on that list and we all know the great teams he played on. Lidstrom is #13.

The top 10 goes as follows: Gretzky, Messier, Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Salming, Murphy, Chelios, Francis, Yzerman.

The reasons can vary from loads of ice time to playing on poor teams to playing for 20 years in a higher scoring era. Stevens is considered one of the best defensive defensemen of all-time and playyed the bulk of his career on a defensive team and he's #5. So take a list like this with a grain of salt.

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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Gretzky's rookie season was 1979-80. Mario's 1984-85.

Gretzky was 27 when Mario won his first scoring title. So in Gretzky's prime, Mario was challenging him.

Anyway, its not much of an argument because you are basing who was better on other players and you picked a guy that played on Orr's team to compare him to.

Gretzky's accomplishment after age 28?

3 scoring titles, one Cup final appearence, -61 in regular season.
The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.


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10-31-2012, 01:33 AM
  #110
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Remember this though, the top 10 players who were on the ice for the most goals against are some of the all-time greats. All of them are HHOFers. Larry Robinson of all people is at #14 on that list and we all know the great teams he played on. Lidstrom is #13.

The top 10 goes as follows: Gretzky, Messier, Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Salming, Murphy, Chelios, Francis, Yzerman.

The reasons can vary from loads of ice time to playing on poor teams to playing for 20 years in a higher scoring era. Stevens is considered one of the best defensive defensemen of all-time and playyed the bulk of his career on a defensive team and he's #5. So take a list like this with a grain of salt.



The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.
Besides, complaining he didn't accomplish enough after 28 while comparing him to Orr is just strange - Orr didn't accomplish anything after that age while Gretzky still won more scoring titles and led the league in assists many more times. He also garnered several more all-star selections.

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10-31-2012, 02:03 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by livewell68 View Post
Which means given their position on the all-time list, that their offense was that much more effective and dominant compared to their peers and fellow top 10 players.

In my eyes, the top 4 can have Lemieux, Gretzky, Orr and Howe at any position and they all have strong arguments for being the best player of all-time but what is not contested is the fact that no one has yet come along (and it seems very unlikely that anyone anytime soon will) that can supplant them from the top 4.

There has to be tiers

1. Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux

2. Beliveau, Hull, Shore, Harvey

3. Jagr, Richard... Morenz, Bourque, Hasek, Roy, Lidstrom, Lafleur, Bossy, Clarke, Trottier, Messier...
I understand what you are saying here but I'll get to the reason your tiering might be off a bit after the next quote.

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It seems to me that there isn't much to separate the peaks enjoyed by most of the great defencemen, Orr excluded. Arguments could be made for Potvin, Shore, Harvey or others. It's unrealistic for someone to have more than 3 defencemen in the top 10, and with Orr as a given it's hard for Potvin to make it once elite level longevity comes into play.
I think that Potvin does have an argument for being top 10 but part of the problem is that some people go wow , I have 3,4 or even 5 Dmen already.

Tying the response top both quotes now I'll add this thought as I was reading through the thread, and particularly about Jagr, Lidstrom and Hasek.

I deliberately made a 2nd lsit that included only forwards because it's very hard to compare guys, and their impact on games when goalies play all 60 minutes, Dmen 25 plus and top forwards maybe a hair over 20 minutes.

Hockey is a weird sport that way and it's almost like the MVP in baseball and if SP or even closers should be in the running as they play a lot less games and have different impacts on the game.

Dmen have more impact on the games they play in than the top forwards, for the most part IMO as they play both offense and defense and probably 5 minutes more in a game as well on average over a career(at least in recent times when we ahve been tracking these things). Dmen are inherently more valuable then, all other things being equal.

It's pretty hard to equate a guy that we judge almost all on offense (say Wayne and Mario) to a guy like Bourque or Lidstrom and say which is better or put another way which had more impact on his teams fortunes.

Sure Wayne lead the pack and doubled alot of it in the 80's when he was so dominant offensively but at the end of teh day does it really matter that much if he has an extra 50 or 60 points in a a year when games are out of hand and not in question?

Luckily he was also the top playoff performer and internationally as well so he passes the test when we ask this question. Marcel Dionne doesn't in a lot of peoples eyes and Jagr is somewhere in between. for comparing forwards this is quite a bit easier than if we throw a guy like Potvin into the mix for comparison.

Potvin or Beliveau in the top 10
Bourque or Richard?
Jagr or Lidstrom?

Man now thing become alot less clear IMO.

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Old
10-31-2012, 02:07 AM
  #112
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The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.
I think Orr probably deserved the Hart in '74, as Espo's overall game had really gone downhill at that point. Still a tremendous season by Espo, esp. at that age. The '69 season is interesting, given that Espo basically doubled Orr's point total and had ~75% higher PPG that season. What changed after that which allowed Orr to score so many more points, without it changing Espo's production more substantially?

People do seem to give a lot of extra credit for lost production to players affected by injuries. I think in many, if not most cases, the player could have played a slightly less intense game, probably had a bit lower peak and bit longer career, but not sure how much more career value (if any) they would have added by doing so. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, but it does a disservice to those players that properly paced themselves when possible to avoid excessive injury, to project much longer careers at the same level for players who played a more aggressive style which often resulted in injury.

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10-31-2012, 02:45 AM
  #113
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I think Orr probably deserved the Hart in '74, as Espo's overall game had really gone downhill at that point. Still a tremendous season by Espo, esp. at that age. The '69 season is interesting, given that Espo basically doubled Orr's point total and had ~75% higher PPG that season. What changed after that which allowed Orr to score so many more points, without it changing Espo's production more substantially?

People do seem to give a lot of extra credit for lost production to players affected by injuries. I think in many, if not most cases, the player could have played a slightly less intense game, probably had a bit lower peak and bit longer career, but not sure how much more career value (if any) they would have added by doing so. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, but it does a disservice to those players that properly paced themselves when possible to avoid excessive injury, to project much longer careers at the same level for players who played a more aggressive style which often resulted in injury.
I think you are absolutely on to something here. Sometimes, some of us (not always and not everybody) give players props from physical/aggressive playing style but tend to ignore the fact that it is the style that shortened their career. Could Forsberg have had longer career with less reckless play? I don't know but it is worth of thinking. Would we consider Forsberg's peak as good as now, if he would have toned his physical play down? I doubt it.

Where goes the line? Is it better for player's legacy to go "full throttle" despite the higher chance of injury? At this line of thinking probably yes. I have a strong feeling that Lindros could have had a much longer career with more subtle playing style. But i feel that he would not be touted as high as he is now if he would have sacrificed he's aggressive style to longer career.

As a fan point of view, it is probably better to give it all you got for as long as you can. Good example being Frosberg/Lindros. Not sure how much more they would have enjoyed a longer career tough.

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10-31-2012, 07:54 AM
  #114
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You mean peak right?

Or what is your definition of prime (most people have it @5 years or so) and when was Pronger's to rate him higher than Ray and Nick (primewise or heck even peak)?
Peak and prime are the same thing to me, all it means is at their best. Yes Pronger has proven time and time again you give him chicken crap and he'll make a 5 course meal out of it.

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10-31-2012, 08:52 AM
  #115
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Peak and prime are the same thing to me, all it means is at their best. Yes Pronger has proven time and time again you give him chicken crap and he'll make a 5 course meal out of it.
With that analogy i would rank Pronger ahead of Lidstrom. He had few (short) stretches in his career where he arguably was on a level Lidstrom never reached. But i call it Peak.

My definition of prime is the best 3-7 years played had. Depending on his career. Example, Lidstrom has a prime for about 10 years for me. That trumps everything Pronger did.

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10-31-2012, 05:42 PM
  #116
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Remember this though, the top 10 players who were on the ice for the most goals against are some of the all-time greats. All of them are HHOFers. Larry Robinson of all people is at #14 on that list and we all know the great teams he played on. Lidstrom is #13.

The top 10 goes as follows: Gretzky, Messier, Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Salming, Murphy, Chelios, Francis, Yzerman.

The reasons can vary from loads of ice time to playing on poor teams to playing for 20 years in a higher scoring era. Stevens is considered one of the best defensive defensemen of all-time and playyed the bulk of his career on a defensive team and he's #5. So take a list like this with a grain of salt.



The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.
The problem is that I'm not looking at resumes, I'm looking at players.

When well known hockey people are asked who the best player was they ever saw, no one ever says, "Howe, because he was great for so long." Or Orr was great, but he didn't play long enough." They just tell you the player (or players) they thought were the best. That's how I look at this. There is no set criteria. If its going to be about best career, fine, but that's not stated criteria currently. (or is it?)

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10-31-2012, 06:13 PM
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When well known hockey people are asked who the best player was they ever saw, no one ever says, "Howe, because he was great for so long." Or Orr was great, but he didn't play long enough." They just tell you the player (or players) they thought were the best. That's how I look at this. There is no set criteria. If its going to be about best career, fine, but that's not stated criteria currently. (or is it?)
Actually, when you ask many of their opinion of which player was greater, such factors as longevity, durability and the length of time at which they played at a minimum of a certain standard of excellence is often cited as a reason for their opinion.

I agree that there is no set criteria, but a couple things to note:

- Many subscribe, in one form or another, to the notion of career value (often CV above replacement level), which would incorporate the factors listed above.

- From the player's perspective, I think it's fair to assume that one their highest priorities is to maximum career earnings. In order to do so, having a long career and playing at a high level for a long time would seem essential.

I understand using peak/prime ability/value as part, even the primary/sole basis of ranking players. However, it's not as if upon entering the NHL a memo is handed out which states "your legacy will be evaluated and determined based on your best (e.g.) 5-10 seasons, anything beyond that is irrelevant." Players are for some reason paid even after their 10th season, so it would seem that many have large incentive to allow themselves to play (and play at a high level) for more than 10 seasons (or whatever the number people use as a cutoff). The fact that some players sacrifice later seasons by maximizing their current value may be admired and help their legacy in the minds of some evaluators, but doing so also ignores the fact that other players may prefer longer careers at a (still) very high level and the extra earnings that allows.

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10-31-2012, 06:57 PM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Actually, when you ask many of their opinion of which player was greater, such factors as longevity, durability and the length of time at which they played at a minimum of a certain standard of excellence is often cited as a reason for their opinion.

I agree that there is no set criteria, but a couple things to note:

- Many subscribe, in one form or another, to the notion of career value (often CV above replacement level), which would incorporate the factors listed above.

- From the player's perspective, I think it's fair to assume that one their highest priorities is to maximum career earnings. In order to do so, having a long career and playing at a high level for a long time would seem essential.

I understand using peak/prime ability/value as part, even the primary/sole basis of ranking players. However, it's not as if upon entering the NHL a memo is handed out which states "your legacy will be evaluated and determined based on your best (e.g.) 5-10 seasons, anything beyond that is irrelevant." Players are for some reason paid even after their 10th season, so it would seem that many have large incentive to allow themselves to play (and play at a high level) for more than 10 seasons (or whatever the number people use as a cutoff). The fact that some players sacrifice later seasons by maximizing their current value may be admired and help their legacy in the minds of some evaluators, but doing so also ignores the fact that other players may prefer longer careers at a (still) very high level and the extra earnings that allows.
I really don't see how that has anything to do with rating the best players.

All players, even lousy ones, want to play a long time and make lots of money. Some of them had to become goons to do it. But how is that relevant?

As for legacy, these are real people we're talking about. I don't think many of them concerned themselves with legacy while they were playing the game.

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10-31-2012, 07:23 PM
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- From the player's perspective, I think it's fair to assume that one their highest priorities is to maximum career earnings. In order to do so, having a long career and playing at a high level for a long time would seem essential.
If hockey is just a very efficient way to make money, why do we spend so much time watching it and talking about it?

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10-31-2012, 07:26 PM
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I really don't see how that has anything to do with rating the best players.

All players, even lousy ones, want to play a long time and make lots of money. Some of them had to become goons to do it. But how is that relevant?

As for legacy, these are real people we're talking about. I don't think many of them concerned themselves with legacy while they were playing the game.
If these incentives rightfully affect their decision as to how they play to any degree... and how they play (including both how intensely and how long) is the basis of their rating... then how is it not relevant.

It seems like people always see one side (what if he had been able to play longer... if only he could have stayed healthy... etc.), without seeing the other (what if he had decided to play more intensely for a shorter time... what if he had sacrificed his hockey health for a better peak/prime, etc.).

What if Pierre Turgeon decided to join his teammates in flagrant violation of the rules and joined a big melee? Would that really have made him a better hockey player? What if he broke his hand in the process and substantially hurt his future production and earnings? Would that have been a wise decision? Do you think some players might consider such things? Do you think such decisions should be understood in the context that they're pro athletes who derive almost all of their career income from a few years playing the sport of hockey?

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10-31-2012, 07:27 PM
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If hockey is just a very efficient way to make money, why do we spend so much time watching it and talking about it?
Mostly because we enjoy it. There are other possible reasons, but there's no reason to turn this into a discussion of psychology, sociology, power structures, etc.

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10-31-2012, 07:32 PM
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Mostly because we enjoy it. There are other possible reasons, but there's no reason to turn this into a discussion of psychology, sociology, power structures, etc.
OK, so why not value players with an eye toward enjoyment provided rather than ability to earn a salary?

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10-31-2012, 08:13 PM
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OK, so why not value players with an eye toward enjoyment provided rather than ability to earn a salary?
I'm not valuing players directly based on their ability to earn salary. I'm simply saying that I would factor it in to assessing their careers. One could believe that Forsberg or Lindros were better at their peak than were Sakic or Selanne... and yet still believe that if Sakic or Selanne could have played more physically, increased their peak value, and had shortened careers in the process. Maybe these players are not the best 4 to use as an example, but I'm sure there are players who definitely decided (whether for financial or personal reasons... whether consciously or unconsciously) to prolong a very productive career by not playing a style that may compromise that possibility.

As far as valuing players based on enjoyment... well, I think that list would look different than one based on value for many of us.

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11-01-2012, 12:47 AM
  #124
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Top 5 Forwards:
1) Wayne Gretzky
2) Mario Lemieux
3) Mark Messier
4) Brett Hull
5) Maurice Richard

Top 5 Defenseman:
1) Ray Bourque
2) Bobby Orr
3) Nicklas Lidstrom
4) Doug Harvey
5) Paul Coffey

Top 5 Goalies:
1) Patrick Roy
2) Martin Broduer
3) Terry Sawchuk
4) Jacques Plante
5) Dominik Hasek

Yeah... Did my own thing there but it's easier for me to do it that way.

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11-01-2012, 01:23 AM
  #125
TAnnala
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Originally Posted by HockeyFan100 View Post
Top 5 Forwards:
1) Wayne Gretzky
2) Mario Lemieux
3) Mark Messier
4) Brett Hull
5) Maurice Richard

Top 5 Defenseman:
1) Ray Bourque
2) Bobby Orr
3) Nicklas Lidstrom
4) Doug Harvey
5) Paul Coffey

Top 5 Goalies:
1) Patrick Roy
2) Martin Broduer
3) Terry Sawchuk
4) Jacques Plante
5) Dominik Hasek

Yeah... Did my own thing there but it's easier for me to do it that way.
Probably the easiest and most clear way to do this is like this. Separating the three different positions. Maybe separate only goalies would be enough.

How come Brett Hull and Messier are so high? Well, Messier is somewhat understandable but personally i would never suggest him to be above Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe etc. But Brett Hull does not belong there. Bobby was better in every aspect of the game, including the only one where Brett really was great. Bobby led the league in goals 7 times. Howe is pretty much consensus top-4 player all-time and top-3 forward. Orr should be number 1 D-man with ease. But if you would value career over peak then i maybe could understand Bourque, but you should have Harvey ahead of Bourque and Lidstrom too.

Just curious, how did you come up with these lists? It is always nice to hear/read someone else's opinions. This History section might have the best posters in these boards but they are like grumpy old men. Sitting in a cafeteria table and agrees only on their own views. Just like old men, these posters are also usually right, but won't hurt if someone sometimes has guts to challenge them.

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