Well I guess if you are trying to make a case for Alfredsson you're better off ignoring Sundin's longevity and where he actually finishes among his peers but I'll say again, can you say with certainty that Alfredsson at his best is higher than Sundin at his peak from an individual standpoint?
97, 98, 02, 06, 07, 10.
Traditionally on these boards we don't really call a postseason a "great" performance if the team doesn't do anything. 1997 was a first round knockout. 1998 was in the second round and I wouldn't call him a difference maker then either, this was only Washington they were playing. 2010 was a first round knockout. 2002 he did alright but not "great". 2006 they got bounced by an underdog and Alfredsson was responsible for letting Pominville walk around him to score the shorthanded overtime series winner. You are right on 2007, as I agree with you. This was more or less the only time he really took the bull by the horns, it wasn't that long ago that he had a weak reputation as a playoff performer. I am surprised people have forgotten this already pre-2007. Datsyuk used to have this very same reputation but at least has managed to redeem himself over the years.
There are two columns down the center, separating the Alfie half and Sundin half with the PPG rank amongst NHL'ers (or at least the times they were Top-20). To the left and right of those columns are the voting points that each received in any given year for each Trophy.
My argument is that Sundin was more consistent, mainly because he stayed healthier in the regular season. But Alfredsson had a much higher peak as an elite offensive and defensive player; posting higher PPG numbers, receiving more trophy votes, being considered an elite defensive forward and helping the team accomplish more goals from ~ 2003-08.
Several responses to the data in the table:
1. Comparing the number of Hart trophy votes they earned is highly misleading. For most of Sundin's prime, up until 2003, there were only around 60-65 voters for the Hart trophy - the actual Hart winners from 1996 to 2003 averaged 490 voting points, and a unanimous Hart would have been (on average) 578 points. In 2004, there was a significant increase in the number of voters and from 2004-2009, the average Hart winner earned 1,175 votes and a unanimous trophy would have been (on average) 1,290 votes. Why does this make it an unfair comparison? Sundin's prime falls primarily under the old voting system and Alfredsson's prime falls under the new voting system, which skews the numbers badly in Alfredsson's favour.
I have a statistic that corrects for this - it's called "Hart shares", and it looks at the number of votes a player earned, divided by the number of available votes (you looked at the first number, but were ignoring the number of voting points available). Sundin and Alfredsson both earned exactly the same number of Hart votes over the course of their careers - 0.12 (meaning that they have, over the course of their careers, earned 12% of the votes needed to win one unanimous Hart trophy). By this metric, it's a tie, which further supports my assertion that they have very comparable primes.
2. I am not concerned about points per game; hockey games are won on the ice, not by pro-rating an injured player's statistics. You can search through my post history and see that I'm consistent in using this viewpoint. If you disagree, then we fundamentally disagree on how to evaluate hockey players (which is fine, but that probably explains where our difference in opinion comes from).
I've already shown that Sundin fares slightly better than Alfredsson in looking at their ranking in points, but it's close enough that it's effectively a draw.
3. I've already agreed that Alfredsson was better defensively.
4. Calder and Byng votes are not relevant in determining who had a better prime.
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
He missed 5-10 games most seasons. How many did he lead in PPG?
Let's look at their five best seasons offensively (per HR.com adjusted stats) - Sundin's 1993, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2004; and Alfredsson's 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Let's compare them to their highest and second highest scoring teammates.
Sundin: 89.2 pts (in 81.4 games)
Sundin: 89.9 pts (prorated to 82 games)
Average highest scoring teammate: 70.0 pts
Average 2nd highest scoring teammate: 59.4 pts
Alfredsson: 87.4 pts (in 75.8 games)
Alfredsson: 94.5 pts (prorated to 82 games)
Average highest scoring teammate: 92.4 pts
Average 2nd highest scoring teammate: 77.4 pts
On average, during his best five seasons, Sundin was on pace to outscore his next two closest teammates by 20 and 31 points. Alfredsson was on pace to outscore his next two closest teammates by 2 and 17 points. Even if we pro-rate both of their statistics to a full 82 game schedule, it's still clear that Sundin was much farther ahead of his teammates.
Originally Posted by trentmccleary
Alfie finishing higher in scoring, in scoring as a RW, higher for the Selke and Sundin getting a 2nd team AS in 2004 in a bunch of bullcrap.
There are two good reasons why Sundin finished ahead of Alfredsson that year:
In 2004 Sundin was used in a far more defensive role than Alfredsson (142 shorthanded minutes compared to 35 minutes). Neither got any votes for the Selke that year - and neither deserved any, but Sundin was still clearly used in a more defensive role.
Alfredsson failed to lead his team in scoring, while Sundin led the geriatric Leafs by 22 points. The voters noticed this too - Alfredsson's own teammate, Marian Hossa, beat him in RW all-star voting.
Sundin also finished higher in Hart voting that year, and rightly so.
Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-25-2012 at 08:11 PM.
Sundin is still ahead when you only look at the tournaments both played in: 1996 World Cup, 1998 Olympics, 2002 Olympics, 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympics. Sundin: 32 points in 24 games. Alfredsson: 26 points in 24 games.
And if we forget about absolute scoring numbers and compare the players relative to their peers, then Sundin's edge is overwhelming: he was an all-star in 1991, 1996 and 2002. That's among the most impressive international records ever.
So Alfredsson is 4 pts after Sundin while playing overwhelmingly better defense.