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Butch Goring: if Elias gets in HHOF, so should he.

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Old
02-25-2013, 10:23 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I think that overrates Elias a bit there. I wouldn't say the two players were "worlds apart". Hejduk did win a Richard trophy. He had a lovely Cup run in 2001. Routinely was a 30 goal man, peaking at 50. I'll give Elias the advantage over him, but I won't with Richards. To truly see the mark of Elias I think you have to ensure that beyond a shadow of a doubt he has surpassed a guy like Richards. Honestly, I don't think he has or will. Richards is also younger too and put on one of the best playoff performances in 2004 we've seen. I don't know a whole lot of people who would put Richards in the HHOF. That might be a barometer I would focus on because if he can't surpass one of his peers destined to miss out on the HHOF then I don't see why he is this mortal lock around here.
I wouldn't need as much as a second to choose Patrik Elias as a player over Brad Richards, and that's before you consider that he's a much better winger than Richards is a center.

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02-26-2013, 01:25 AM
  #52
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I wouldn't need as much as a second to choose Patrik Elias as a player over Brad Richards, and that's before you consider that he's a much better winger than Richards is a center.
They really aren't that different from a career perspective. Richards at his best (2004) is as good as Elias at his best (2001). Can you really see seperation from a tier like Richards from Elias? I just don't think he's at that HHOF tier but rather a notch below. He'll be in a Propp, Richards, Lecavalier, Tonelli, etc. type of group. Which is fine, but not a group I put in the HHOF.

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02-26-2013, 02:22 AM
  #53
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There were some people already calling Messier the "best all-round player in the world" at the time of the 1987 Canada Cup.
"Best all-around player" doesn't win you the Hart.

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02-26-2013, 01:34 PM
  #54
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Elias doesn’t seem all that different from Alfredsson, to be honest.

--Both will likely have 1,000+ points with one franchise when all is said and done. That's an impressive feat for a low-scoring era. (I'm assuming Elias plays a couple more seasons, but this should be doable.)

--Both have three top-10 scoring finishes. (Elias is currently on pace for a fourth and would very likely have had a fifth had he not contracted hepatitis in 2005.)

--Both are massively respected players who were excellent defensively and performed well in the playoffs. Elias has a better Cup record but he also had more help. Alfredsson gets a boost because he was a captain and the face of a Canadian franchise for more than a decade.

Dunno, I'd put 'em both in. Especially if Elias gets another top-15 scoring finish this year.

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02-26-2013, 01:55 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
They really aren't that different from a career perspective. Richards at his best (2004) is as good as Elias at his best (2001). Can you really see seperation from a tier like Richards from Elias? I just don't think he's at that HHOF tier but rather a notch below. He'll be in a Propp, Richards, Lecavalier, Tonelli, etc. type of group. Which is fine, but not a group I put in the HHOF.
3rd in scoring, 9th in scoring. Same difference I guess.

I actually don't think Brad Richards in the HHOF is that absurd, but at this point, he'd have to compile himself there and I find it unlikely.

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Elias doesn’t seem all that different from Alfredsson, to be honest.

--Both will likely have 1,000+ points with one franchise when all is said and done. That's an impressive feat for a low-scoring era. (I'm assuming Elias plays a couple more seasons, but this should be doable.)

--Both have three top-10 scoring finishes. (Elias is currently on pace for a fourth and would very likely have had a fifth had he not contracted hepatitis in 2005.)

--Both are massively respected players who were excellent defensively and performed well in the playoffs. Elias has a better Cup record but he also had more help. Alfredsson gets a boost because he was a captain and the face of a Canadian franchise for more than a decade.

Dunno, I'd put 'em both in. Especially if Elias gets another top-15 scoring finish this year.
Agreed that Elias and Alfredsson are similar... and both will get in.

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02-26-2013, 02:22 PM
  #56
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3rd in scoring, 9th in scoring.
Actually 10th. On top of that, Alexandre Tanguay also had 79 points - in 13 fewer games. That makes Richards 11th.

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02-26-2013, 02:36 PM
  #57
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3rd in scoring, 9th in scoring. Same difference I guess.

I actually don't think Brad Richards in the HHOF is that absurd, but at this point, he'd have to compile himself there and I find it unlikely.
It goes beyond that. He was a Conn Smythe winner in 2004 with one of the most splendid performances. A decent showing at the World Cup as well. Hard to argue against Richards when he won a Cup and a Smythe and is relatively close in the regular season.

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02-26-2013, 02:39 PM
  #58
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Is every 1st liner with longevity from a good team gonna get in now?

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02-26-2013, 02:40 PM
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It goes beyond that. He was a Conn Smythe winner in 2004 with one of the most splendid performances. A decent showing at the World Cup as well. Hard to argue against Richards when he won a Cup and a Smythe and is relatively close in the regular season.
Their playoff performances were a lot closer than their regular season performances. 3rd in a pretty good year for forwards vs 3 way tie for 9th (with fewer goals than Lang and more games than Tanguay) in a crappy year for forwards - that's a pretty big difference.

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02-26-2013, 02:41 PM
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Is every 1st liner with longevity from a good team gonna get in now?
Elias and Alfredsson are probably the only long-term forwards from their teams to make it, unless Spezza really picks up the pace. MAYBE Hossa will, but I think he's still seen as something of a mercenary right now.

Edit: I mean... seriously, what's the argument for Sundin getting in first ballot and Alfredsson never getting in? Elias at least needs to compile a few more years, but is there a reason to think Alfredsson doesn't get in eventually if he retires at the end of this season?


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Old
02-26-2013, 03:26 PM
  #61
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Is every 1st liner with longevity from a good team gonna get in now?
Blame Joe Nieuwendyk

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Their playoff performances were a lot closer than their regular season performances. 3rd in a pretty good year for forwards vs 3 way tie for 9th (with fewer goals than Lang and more games than Tanguay) in a crappy year for forwards - that's a pretty big difference.
Fine, but a 26 point and 7 GWG playoff performance is nothing to sneeze at. The point I am trying to make is that Elias is nothing special from his era. He is ranked around many players that I wouldn't want to see get in there. Now, he probably would deserve it more than Goring, but I don't believe it means he should deserve it either.

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Elias and Alfredsson are probably the only long-term forwards from their teams to make it, unless Spezza really picks up the pace. MAYBE Hossa will, but I think he's still seen as something of a mercenary right now.

Edit: I mean... seriously, what's the argument for Sundin getting in first ballot and Alfredsson never getting in? Elias at least needs to compile a few more years, but is there a reason to think Alfredsson doesn't get in eventually if he retires at the end of this season?
Sundin had consistency that is rarely seen in this league. Think Mike Gartner but a better player. You know a player had a great career when you can't even figure out when their peak was. Sundin was just always a point a game player. I wouldn't say there isn't a case for Alfredsson, but I don't see him as the better player over Sundin all-time.

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02-26-2013, 05:44 PM
  #62
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Elias was the best offensive player on a team that won 2 cups and made 3 finals in four years. Not trying to penalize goring for playing on a dynasty (though frankly the devils run was as close to a dynasty as we may ever see post 90s expansion), but Elias's resume is more impressive to me.

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02-26-2013, 08:40 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Burke the Legend View Post
Is every 1st liner with longevity from a good team gonna get in now?
Elias is much more than that.

you will find that your above description probably describes most HHOF forwards as well.

it's pretty hard not to be considered if you are a 1st liner for 13 years and have a very good playoff resume as well.

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02-26-2013, 08:44 PM
  #64
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Elias and Alfredsson are probably the only long-term forwards from their teams to make it, unless Spezza really picks up the pace. MAYBE Hossa will, but I think he's still seen as something of a mercenary right now.

Edit: I mean... seriously, what's the argument for Sundin getting in first ballot and Alfredsson never getting in? Elias at least needs to compile a few more years, but is there a reason to think Alfredsson doesn't get in eventually if he retires at the end of this season?
Hossa probably gets in, he has 426 goals right now and would almost certainly be at 500 at the end of this year without the 2 lockouts.

He is only 34 so he could even crack 600 despite that if he ages well.

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02-26-2013, 09:43 PM
  #65
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Elias is 7th in scoring from 1998 to 2012 (behind Thornton, Iginla, Jagr, Selanne, Alfredsson and Hossa), all of whom will likely be in the Hall of Fame. The players ranked 9th (St. Louis), 11th (Lidstrom), 13th (Sakic) and 14th (Recchi) will all be in the Hall of Fame too. Link.

The only others players in the top fifteen in scoring over the course of Elias's career are Whitney, Lecavalier, Marleau and Kovalev. (Coincidentally, these are the only players during that period to score more than 800 points). There are several reasons why there's a clear separation between Elias and the other four:

- Elias spent most of his career on a defense-first, low-scoring team, which suppressed his offensive statistics. (I know there are some exceptions to this - such as 2001 when the Devils were the league's highest scoring team).

- Elias was more of an offensive catalyst, leading his team seven times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011), more than any of the other players [Whitney (1999, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2012), Kovalev (2002, 2006, 2008, 2009), Lecavalier (2000, 2007 2008), Marleau (2001, 2004, 2011)].

- Elias is better than any of the other five defensively (by a wide margin over Kovalev and Lecavalier, and smaller but clear margin over Marleau and Whitney).

- Elias has a higher ppg in the playoffs (0.77) than Marleau (0.68) and Whitney (0.51). He's only slightly behind Kovalev (0.81 ppg; over more games (162-123), with Kovalev playing more than one-third of his PO games during/prior to the high-scoring era ending in 1996 vs none for Elias) and Lecavalier (0.83 ppg; but over significantly more games (162-63) with Lecavalier playing none past age 30).

- I realize that this is partially a product of playing on a strong team, but Elias was a top ten playoff scorer as many times as the other four combined (T-2nd, T-3rd, T-10th for Elias; T-6th, T-6th for Lecavalier; 6th for Kovalev; never in top ten for Marleau and Whitney).

- Elias is the only one who was a first-team all-star (Kovalev and Lecavalier were a second team all-star once each).

- All the players except Whitney placed in the top ten in Hart voting once (Lecavalier 4th, Elias 6th, Kovalev 8th, Marleau 10th).

- Elias was in the top ten in scoring as many times as the other four players combined (3rd, 6th, T-10th for Elias; 3rd, T-6th for Lecavalier; T-4th for Kovalev; never in top ten for Marleau and Whitney). Elias placed in the top twenty four times (as many times as Kovalev, and more than each of the others).

- None of these players have exceptional resumes in terms of international play. Lecavalier had the most dominant performance (leading scorer on the gold medal Canadian team in 2004, including scoring the OT goal to eliminate the Czechs in the semi-final) but I don't think this moves his significantly ahead of Elias (who scored a strong 5 points in 5 games that tournament, and had three trips to the Olympics).

- I realize this analysis exactly coincides with Elias's career (excluding the 18 games he played in 1996 and 1997, plus what has been a very good start to 2013). Marleau and Lecavalier entered the NHL in 1998 and 1999, respectively, so all of their careers are considered. This excludes 121 points in 200 games in a high-scoring era for Whitney which, all things considered, doesn't help him much. Kovalev adds 215 points in 315 games, which gives him a clear edge in longevity, but not enough to overcome Elias' other advantages.

- I realize that this is a minor point, but aside from Marleau all of the players have been fairly similar in terms of health (Marleau has averaged 80 games per season, Whitney 74, Elias 73, Lecavalier 71, Kovalev 71).

I think Elias deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and has put enough distance ahead of Lecavalier, Kovalev, Marleau and Whitney that the line should be drawn after the Czech, and before the others.


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02-27-2013, 07:52 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Elias and Alfredsson are probably the only long-term forwards from their teams to make it, unless Spezza really picks up the pace. MAYBE Hossa will, but I think he's still seen as something of a mercenary right now.

Edit: I mean... seriously, what's the argument for Sundin getting in first ballot and Alfredsson never getting in? Elias at least needs to compile a few more years, but is there a reason to think Alfredsson doesn't get in eventually if he retires at the end of this season?
not sure if this is what you're suggesting, but i can't imagine a world where alfredsson gets in and elias doesn't. elias in, alfredsson out, i can see however.

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02-27-2013, 11:24 PM
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not sure if this is what you're suggesting, but i can't imagine a world where alfredsson gets in and elias doesn't. elias in, alfredsson out, i can see however.
I've always seen it the other way. I would induct Alfredsson over Elias. Elias has the postseason on Alfredsson but that's it. Alfie was a much more consistent point producer despite playing a very defensively responsible game. That being said, I still see both sides for Alfie.

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02-28-2013, 12:25 AM
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I've always seen it the other way. I would induct Alfredsson over Elias. Elias has the postseason on Alfredsson but that's it. Alfie was a much more consistent point producer despite playing a very defensively responsible game. That being said, I still see both sides for Alfie.
Food for thought... Ottawa was often a high-octane team, the Devils were usually not. Alfredsson led the team in scoring by more than a point just once, in 2010 (10 points). Elias' best margins on his team were 13, 9, 7 and 7 points. This is an indication that he was often better than his linemates, while Alfredsson was often only on par with his. I wouldn't say they carried him or anything silly like that. But they did help him score more. Elias' linemates didn't really do that; he was helping them score more, if anything.

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02-28-2013, 05:21 PM
  #69
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Food for thought... Ottawa was often a high-octane team, the Devils were usually not. Alfredsson led the team in scoring by more than a point just once, in 2010 (10 points). Elias' best margins on his team were 13, 9, 7 and 7 points. This is an indication that he was often better than his linemates, while Alfredsson was often only on par with his. I wouldn't say they carried him or anything silly like that. But they did help him score more. Elias' linemates didn't really do that; he was helping them score more, if anything.
The Devils didn't just score 180 goals a year either though. They led the NHL in goals in 2001 with 295. I think it is important to note that it was also easier to lead your team in points when Langenbrunner, Gomez, Sykora, Arnott, etc. are in the mix while Alfredsson had Hossa, Yashin, Spezza, Heatley to compete with. All you need to do is look up times Elias led the Devils in points despite having a rather low point total. Alfredsson was the better offensive player and also had a coach like Jacques Martin who wasn't exactly a fan of firewagon hockey either.

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02-28-2013, 05:29 PM
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The Devils didn't just score 180 goals a year either though. They led the NHL in goals in 2001 with 295. I think it is important to note that it was also easier to lead your team in points when Langenbrunner, Gomez, Sykora, Arnott, etc. are in the mix while Alfredsson had Hossa, Yashin, Spezza, Heatley to compete with. All you need to do is look up times Elias led the Devils in points despite having a rather low point total. Alfredsson was the better offensive player and also had a coach like Jacques Martin who wasn't exactly a fan of firewagon hockey either.
You're cherrypicking your data, Phil. The Devils were a fairly offensive-minded team in 1998-99 (Robbie Ftorek), 1999-00 (Ftorek/Robinson), 2000-01 (Larry Robinson) and the beginning of 2001-02 until Robinson was fired and replaced with the uber-defensive Kevin Constantine. After that, 2005-06 (Robinson again) was the only season they were allowed to play anything but defensive hockey until Pete Deboer became coach in 2011-12. If you look at it that way, Elias' peaks and valleys in scores correspond almost exactly to the many coaching changes of the team (the exception is 2003-04 when he finally adjusted his game to Pat Burns and a completely different offensive role due to roster changes). That's why hockey people love Elias - he was a coach's dream who would play any way the coach wanted him to. Lead the offense? He could do that. Be the defensive conscience for Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta (as Claude Julien had him do)? He could do that too.

Despite Jacques Martin's reputation, his teams were always pretty good offensively, at least in the regular season.

I don't think there's much to choose from between Elias and Alfredsson. I think the HHOF committee might prefer Elias because of Cups, but then again, Alfredsson played for a Canadian team, so they'll probably like that too.

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02-28-2013, 06:00 PM
  #71
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Despite Jacques Martin's reputation, his teams were always pretty good offensively, at least in the regular season.
The Senators under Martin were a great counterattacking team. If they got a lead, they would sit back, force turnovers, and just kill teams on the counterattack. They were the best front-runners in the league. But if they didn't get that lead they could have trouble scoring...especially in the playoffs. As a result their goal differentials were among the best in the league, but their W-L records weren't as good.

So you could make the case that their players' offensive stats were a bit inflated in value because the team wasn't efficient at turning aggregate goals into aggregate wins.

On the other hand they usually had pretty ordinary LW's and C's, so Alfredsson and Hossa didn't have much help from their linemates. But then they had a killer PP (which, again, couldn't be counted on in the playoffs when the refs put the whistles away).

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02-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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I've always seen it the other way. I would induct Alfredsson over Elias. Elias has the postseason on Alfredsson but that's it. Alfie was a much more consistent point producer despite playing a very defensively responsible game. That being said, I still see both sides for Alfie.
I'm with you on this, and on the 'Brad Richards not being worlds apart' thing.

Really, Senators vs Devils advantages/disadvantages could be a wash here. Elias gets more playoff time/success, and Alfie gets some higher point totals from being on the pizza line.

I think they are very, very simliar players, with very similar careers. I have always had Alfie just a small touch ahead, though - and I highly doubt he would get looked over before Elias by the Hall, based on his immense popularity in Ottawa, and Canadian media in general.

I don't know why everyone is opposed to your view of Richards! He has time to add good seasons, he did have a Conn Smythe, and his numbers are right with these other two. In my eyes, he is NOT as good of an all around player as either one, but he certainly isn't in a different ballpark.

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03-01-2013, 05:08 PM
  #73
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You're cherrypicking your data, Phil. The Devils were a fairly offensive-minded team in 1998-99 (Robbie Ftorek), 1999-00 (Ftorek/Robinson), 2000-01 (Larry Robinson) and the beginning of 2001-02 until Robinson was fired and replaced with the uber-defensive Kevin Constantine. After that, 2005-06 (Robinson again) was the only season they were allowed to play anything but defensive hockey until Pete Deboer became coach in 2011-12. If you look at it that way, Elias' peaks and valleys in scores correspond almost exactly to the many coaching changes of the team (the exception is 2003-04 when he finally adjusted his game to Pat Burns and a completely different offensive role due to roster changes). That's why hockey people love Elias - he was a coach's dream who would play any way the coach wanted him to. Lead the offense? He could do that. Be the defensive conscience for Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta (as Claude Julien had him do)? He could do that too.

Despite Jacques Martin's reputation, his teams were always pretty good offensively, at least in the regular season.

I don't think there's much to choose from between Elias and Alfredsson. I think the HHOF committee might prefer Elias because of Cups, but then again, Alfredsson played for a Canadian team, so they'll probably like that too.
But is that a HHOFer though. Who doesn't like a "guy that can play any type of game"? That's Trevor Linden in a nutshell (relax I am full aware Elias is the superior player). For my HHOF I want a guy that stands out a bit more in the NHL. You're a Jersey fan so it may be a bit harder for you to look at this objectively but how often has Elias ever been mentioned among the elite players in the NHL? Was he a top 10 player even in his best year which is 2001? Hard to say. I would have wanted to see him score more out there and he hasn't done it at a HHOF level per se, not even for his era.

I like how he has the Cups too, and he's been to 5 finals winning two of them. But out of those 5 runs he really only has two of them that indicate a HHOF level. I can't shake the fact that Elias has a Nieuwendyk-like career and that shouldn't be HHOF caliber even though that seems to be the standard now.

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