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Who is a better playmaker. Joe Thornton or Adam Oates?

View Poll Results: better playmaker in prime
Joe Thornton 94 42.73%
Adam Oates 126 57.27%
Voters: 220. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
01-23-2013, 11:07 AM
  #1
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Who is a better playmaker. Joe Thornton or Adam Oates?

Prime on Prime?

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01-23-2013, 11:09 AM
  #2
Puckclektr
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Adam Oates. Lol. Not close

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01-23-2013, 11:10 AM
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Oh boy . Oates .

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01-23-2013, 11:16 AM
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Luigi Lemieux
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I think it's Thornton. IMO his 92 and 96 assists in 2006 and 2007 are more impressive than Oates' 90 assists and 97 assists in 1991 and 1993. Not to mention Thornton has an art ross to his name. Also Oates was dishing it to Brett Hull and Cam Neely while Thornton turned Cheechoo into a 56 goal scorer.

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01-23-2013, 11:19 AM
  #5
CCCP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luigi Lemieux View Post
I think it's Thornton. IMO his 92 and 96 assists in 2006 and 2007 are more impressive than Oates' 90 assists and 97 assists in 1991 and 1993. Not to mention Thornton has an art ross to his name. Also Oates was dishing it to Brett Hull and Cam Neely while Thornton turned Cheechoo into a 56 goal scorer.
I don't know about that. Look how many players have won the Art Ross while Oates was in his prime.

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01-23-2013, 11:24 AM
  #6
Luigi Lemieux
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I don't know about that. Look how many players have won the Art Ross while Oates was in his prime.
Remove Gretzky, Lemieux, and Jagr from history and Oates still has 0 art rosses.

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01-23-2013, 11:25 AM
  #7
kmad
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Oates, but it's close. Thornton is the best playmaker of the 2000s.

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01-23-2013, 11:35 AM
  #8
begbeee
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I saw both of them and there starts to be a good case for Thornton. Now it's still Oates.
I don't know what exactly has an Art Ross Trophy to do with playmakers.

Both of them led NHL in assists 3 times.
Oates was TOP10 in A's 12 times, Thornton 8.
There are just three person who created more A's than Oates (Wayne, Mario, Bobby) so Oates is still a player who came the closest to 100 asissts threshold. On the other hand Thornton had way worse player on his wings [(Murray, Cheechoo) - Joe was the man who created them] than Oates (Hull, Neely) - where were more chemistry.

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01-23-2013, 11:38 AM
  #9
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
I saw both of them and there starts to be a good case for Thornton. Now it's still Oates.
I don't know what exactly has an Art Ross Trophy to do with playmakers.

Both of them led NHL in assists 3 times.
Oates was TOP10 in A's 12 times, Thornton 8.
There are just three person who created more A's than Oates (Wayne, Mario, Bobby) so Oates is still a player who came the closest to 100 asissts threshold. On the other hand Thornton had way worse player on his wings [(Murray, Cheechoo) - Joe was the man who created them] than Oates (Hull, Neely) - where were more chemistry.
Thornton's 96 assists are 1 less than Oates 97. So that is irrelevant.

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01-23-2013, 11:40 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Luigi Lemieux View Post
Remove Gretzky, Lemieux, and Jagr from history and Oates still has 0 art rosses.
While we are at it, let's remove couple of CRAZY seasons by Feds and Pat and he has two of them.

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01-23-2013, 11:41 AM
  #11
bunjay
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Thornton has produced a similar number of assists in a season with faaaaar inferior linemates in a lower scoring era. Nostalgia aside, it's Thornton. He's arguably the best playmaker of this era, with only a small handful of other players in that conversation (Henrik, Malkin, Crosby).


Last edited by bunjay: 01-23-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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01-23-2013, 11:41 AM
  #12
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Peter Bondra.

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01-23-2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunjay View Post
Thornton has produced a similar number of assists in a season with faaaaar inferior linemates in a lower scoring era. Nostalgia aside, it's Thornton. He's arguably the best playmaker of this era, with only a small handful of other players in that conversation (Henrik, Malkin, Crosby).
Oates didn't play with Brett Hull his whole carreer. His best season was 92-93 with 142 points. Look at who his linemates are. Thornton always had decent linemates.

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01-23-2013, 11:52 AM
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tarheelhockey
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It's very close, and I'm a little surprised to say this, but I'm taking Thornton here.

Oates played during an era that produced a lot of eye candy. He played with some phenomenally talented goal scorers at the same time that scoring was inflated and TV coverage was expanding rapidly. All of that needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about his stats and his reputation. The fact that Oates was never the centerpiece player on his team should raise a flag about reputation vs reality.

Thornton played during a down-era for scoring, and on some awful teams before becoming the centerpiece of a contender. He helped create a goal scoring champion too... but it was frickin' Jonanthan Cheechoo, not Brett Hull. Slight difference in the scale of accomplishment there. And when Thornton got the chance to play on a contender, he was the centerpiece player. He was a bigger guy who spent a decent amount of his career playing a power game, then adapted to the more wide-open game after 2006 and absolutely dominated. IMO, and I don't think this is a crazy statement, he's a top-3 forward of his generation. Oates is really not close to that within his own generation.

So yeah, as a pure playmaker it's pretty close. But I think we're going to have a lot more appreciation for Thornton in the future when we realize that he destroyed pretty much his entire generation other than Iginla, whereas Oates was one guy among many who out up gaudy numbers during his era.

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01-23-2013, 11:54 AM
  #15
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Oates

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01-23-2013, 12:02 PM
  #16
bunjay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Habs Go View Post
Oates didn't play with Brett Hull his whole carreer. His best season was 92-93 with 142 points. Look at who his linemates are. Thornton always had decent linemates.
Yes, and the 92-93 season is also commonly know as "the season where everybody and their grandmother scored at least 100 points." It set records for goals per game, number of 100 point scorers, and number of 50 goal scorers. Oates finished 2 assists ahead of Gilmour and Lafontaine, and Lemieux also broke 90 assists that season.


In the season Thornton had 96 assists, the next best player had SEVENTY ONE. That's a drop of over 25%. His winger outscored Jagr, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Heatley, and Crosby.

Now, that season was also a bit anomalous in terms of offense as well, though not even close to the 92-93 season. So to prove he wasn't just benefiting from the rule changes and stingier penalty calls, he killed it the next year as well. That year Crosby was a lot closer to Thornton's assists than Spezza was the year before, but he was still 18 assists ahead of third place.

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01-23-2013, 12:09 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunjay View Post
Yes, and the 92-93 season is also commonly know as "the season where everybody and their grandmother scored at least 100 points." It set records for goals per game, number of 100 point scorers, and number of 50 goal scorers. Oates finished 2 assists ahead of Gilmour and Lafontaine, and Lemieux also broke 90 assists that season.


In the season Thornton had 96 assists, the next best player had SEVENTY ONE. That's a drop of over 25%. His winger outscored Jagr, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Heatley, and Crosby.

Now, that season was also a bit anomalous in terms of offense as well, though not even close to the 92-93 season. So to prove he wasn't just benefiting from the rule changes and stingier penalty calls, he killed it the next year as well. That year Crosby was a lot closer to Thornton's assists than Spezza was the year before, but he was still 18 assists ahead of third place.
This post sums up my thoughts. If we're going prime on prime, considering the times they played in, Thornton had better seasons than Oates.

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01-23-2013, 12:09 PM
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tarheelhockey
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To put Thornton in perspective, only three players who have entered the league in the past 20 seasons have reached the 1000 point plateau.

[edit: and by the looks of things, it would seem that only maybe 3 or 4 others of the late-90s cohort might make it... one of whom is Patrick Marleau.]

PlayerAgeGPPoints
Alfredsson4011331083
Iginla3511901074
Thornton3310791083

Assuming Jagr, Alfie and Selanne all retire this summer, it is not unlikely that Thornton will spend the final 5 years or more of his career as the active points leader.


Last edited by tarheelhockey: 01-23-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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01-23-2013, 12:19 PM
  #19
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunjay View Post
Yes, and the 92-93 season is also commonly know as "the season where everybody and their grandmother scored at least 100 points." It set records for goals per game, number of 100 point scorers, and number of 50 goal scorers. Oates finished 2 assists ahead of Gilmour and Lafontaine, and Lemieux also broke 90 assists that season.


In the season Thornton had 96 assists, the next best player had SEVENTY ONE. That's a drop of over 25%. His winger outscored Jagr, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Heatley, and Crosby.

Now, that season was also a bit anomalous in terms of offense as well, though not even close to the 92-93 season. So to prove he wasn't just benefiting from the rule changes and stingier penalty calls, he killed it the next year as well. That year Crosby was a lot closer to Thornton's assists than Spezza was the year before, but he was still 18 assists ahead of third place.
in 91, oates out-assisted the next guy by 15. 90 vs. 75, and he only played 60 games that year.

he didn't lead the league that year though (wayne).

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01-23-2013, 12:22 PM
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Oates was the better play maker. Thorton is the better overall player.

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01-23-2013, 12:35 PM
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Oates had ten sixty assist seasons. Thornton had six. Oates also had to compete with Gretzky and Lemieux for the assist title.

If you remove Gretzky then Oates would lead the league in assists five times. I highly doubt that Thornton can lead twice more.


Last edited by jigglysquishy: 01-23-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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01-23-2013, 12:38 PM
  #22
vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's very close, and I'm a little surprised to say this, but I'm taking Thornton here.

Oates played during an era that produced a lot of eye candy. He played with some phenomenally talented goal scorers at the same time that scoring was inflated and TV coverage was expanding rapidly. All of that needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about his stats and his reputation. The fact that Oates was never the centerpiece player on his team should raise a flag about reputation vs reality.

Thornton played during a down-era for scoring, and on some awful teams before becoming the centerpiece of a contender. He helped create a goal scoring champion too... but it was frickin' Jonanthan Cheechoo, not Brett Hull. Slight difference in the scale of accomplishment there. And when Thornton got the chance to play on a contender, he was the centerpiece player. He was a bigger guy who spent a decent amount of his career playing a power game, then adapted to the more wide-open game after 2006 and absolutely dominated. IMO, and I don't think this is a crazy statement, he's a top-3 forward of his generation. Oates is really not close to that within his own generation.

So yeah, as a pure playmaker it's pretty close. But I think we're going to have a lot more appreciation for Thornton in the future when we realize that he destroyed pretty much his entire generation other than Iginla, whereas Oates was one guy among many who out up gaudy numbers during his era.
in all fairness, oates produced the same results whether he was playing with hull, neely, or dmitri kvartalnov.

and you could make the case that he was the main guy in st. louis. look at hull's playoffs in 90 and 91, then look at 92 without oates. still excellent production but not all-time great production anymore. but oates in boston... same playoff scoring rate the first two years.

and hard to blame oates for not being the guy in boston when he has a top 15 all time guy on d. who was the best player thornton ever competed with to be his team's centerpiece? marleau? nabokov? boyle?

itdoesn't take anything away from thornton's mvp year, which was amazing, but the degree to which he beat the field in assists... his competition was spezza and marc savard and brad richards, plus an older jagr taking on an uncharacteristic goal scoring role. seems like oates also could have lapped the field in thornton's two 90 assist years.

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01-23-2013, 12:46 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunjay View Post
Yes, and the 92-93 season is also commonly know as "the season where everybody and their grandmother scored at least 100 points." It set records for goals per game, number of 100 point scorers, and number of 50 goal scorers.
Your right about the number of 50 goal and 100 point scorers but wrong about the goals per game, which was 7.25 that year. That's only the 11th highest in NHL history(post-expansion). Also the 4 extra games(84 games season vs 80 during higher scoring years) helped about half a dozen players to top 100 points.

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01-23-2013, 12:50 PM
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Closer then I realized but Oates.

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01-23-2013, 12:51 PM
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Your right about the number of 50 goal and 100 point scorers but wrong about the goals per game, which was 7.25 that year. That's only the 11th highest in NHL history(post-expansion). Also the 4 extra games(84 games season vs 80 during higher scoring years) helped about half a dozen players to top 100 points.
Sorry, what I should have said is that it's a total that has not been approached since then.

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