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The all encompassing "players of today vs players from the past" thread

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Old
03-17-2013, 12:07 AM
  #401
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There very few, if any, Chinese, Japanese or Mexicans players in the NHL today. What happens in 20 or 30 years if one or all of these countries start producing top flight hockey players?
Frankly, the South Koreans trouble me Rhiessan. 1998 their U-18 team in the Asian Oceanic Championships beat Thailand 92-0 in a single game. Not cumulative, one game. World Record. By the time Korea plays host to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, we could all be in a lot of trouble. World domination & supremacy. Eyes on the prize Maing.

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03-17-2013, 12:15 AM
  #402
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There very few, if any, Chinese, Japanese or Mexicans players in the NHL today.
It's a simply question of access to resources, experience and level of competition.

Gomez in Alaska and Korean-born Park in California are two examples of quality NHLers who played in more hockey-friendly surroundings.

Do you really expact any NHLers to develop as youths in Mexico City, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul or Mazatlan?

To use another example: Hungarians are awful at ice hockey because their history of ice rink production in the plains of central europe is poor but nearby neighbouring Slovakia has plenty of rinks and ice surfaces to the north of them, so they have naturally developed more hockey talent.

Access to ice surfaces is a necessary condition to hockey player development. This ain't rocket science.

As a Canadian hockey player and fan who has taught English in Suth Korea for the last decade-plus years let me tell you: South Korea has zero chance of winning amedal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, even if officiating placed opposition teams in the penalty box for entire games. the level of competition here is laughable. Tikkanen came here as a player-coach a few years back and it was like watching a peewee game back home. There simply are few rinks outside of the Mokdong area of Seoul (and Andong, Seoul, maybe Gangwon province) that has ANY hockey whatsoever. My home town of Kamloops, B.C., can ice a team that would beat the Korean national team, and certainly any national or Asian league team I've seen in recent years. Hell, i could make their team if I had Korean citizenship! And I was cut from my bantam team.


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03-17-2013, 12:25 AM
  #403
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
In 20 or 30 years one would expect that the players then would be put into context, whatever it is then, who knows maybe everyone quits hockey and plays a new sport in Canada and the traditional hockey playing countries.
That's not an answer. Not that I expected one of course.

Quote:
The lack of context and the old standby of "well the best are always the best" or top 5 finishes in a 6 team league are the same as in a 30 team league are the same simply ignores context.
The quote is "The best of the best is the best of the best". That's not remotely close in context or meaning to the "The best will always be the best" you seem to be taking out of it.

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If we are talking about players like Gretzky and Orr in their absolute peaks it's one thing but for lesser players it needs to be considered even more.
Who are these "lesser players" that are being over valued?

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03-17-2013, 12:34 AM
  #404
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
It's a simply question of access to resources, experience and level of competition.

Gomez in Alaska and Korean-born Park in California are two examples of quality NHLers who played in more hockey-friendly surroundings.

Do you really expact any NHLers to develop as youths in Mexico City, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul or Mazatlan?

To use another example: Hungarians are awful at ice hockey because their history of ice rink production in the plains of central europe is poor but nearby neighbouring Slovakia has plenty of rinks and ice surfaces to the north of them, so they have naturally developed more hockey talent.

Access to ice surfaces is a necessary condition to hockey player development. This ain't rocket science.

As a Canadian hockey player and fan who has taught English in Suth Korea for the last decade-plus years let me tell you: South Korea has zero chance of winning amedal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, even if officiating placed opposition teams in the penalty box for entire games. the level of competition here is laughable. Tikkanen came here as a player-coach a few years back and it was like watching a peewee game back home. There simply are few rinks outside of the Mokdong area of Seoul (and Andong, Seoul, maybe Gangwon province) that has ANY hockey whatsoever. My home town of Kamloops, B.C., can ice a team that would beat the Korean national team, and certainly any national or Asian league team I've seen in recent years. Hell, i could make their team if I had Korean citizenship! And I was cut from my bantam team.
The point though is that Hardy wants us to give today's players extra credit for playing in a "Fully integrated NHL".
How is what you're saying any different than how the USA, Finland, Sweden and Russia were viewed compared to Canada for hockey players prior to the 70's?
Or more recently, how about Germany? Hell, the USA has only really been on the scene a little over 30 years now.

See what I'm getting at?
You can only judge players by what they DID face and how they fared.
You can't diminish Howe and Richard because they weren't playing against Russians or Swedes. 99% of the Russians and Swedes weren't good enough to play against them at the time.
Canada was sending Junior A and B level players to world tourny's in the 50's and 60's and still being one of the top teams in them.
What's that say?

Was the '72 Canada Cup not the coming out party for the Russians hockey-wise and even then (not making excuses) I believe 100% that had Orr been healthy and Hull allowed to play, it would have been a significantly different series.


Last edited by Rhiessan71: 03-17-2013 at 12:41 AM.
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03-17-2013, 01:24 AM
  #405
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Canada was sending Junior A and B level players to world tourny's in the 50's and 60's and still being one of the top teams in them. What's that say?
That the ice was tilted, thats what it says. The IIHF & IOC complicit in banning what they deemed "professionals" from competition right out of the box. The Soviets & Czech's were "pro's". Clothed, fed, housed, paid to play hockey with what, the odd weekend playing "flag" to justify the military rank & amateur status? We didnt even send Junior calibre players over to play them, instead, we sent Seniors. Penticton, Whitby. Guys who worked full time in Sales, in a Mill, at GM in Oshawa or whatever.. The National Team comprised of CIAU players & a few outliers like Brewer & Dryden. Had our pro's been allowed to compete I rather doubt we'd be witnessing the full on cycle game of Puckchenko that on too many nights is supposed to pass for NHL hockey. The history & development of the game not quite so far removed from the one many of us so fondly recall from the latter years of the 06 era, Dynasties like the 70's Habs, the Islanders & Oilers.

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03-17-2013, 01:29 AM
  #406
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The quote is "The best of the best is the best of the best". That's not remotely close in context or meaning to the "The best will always be the best" you seem to be taking out of it.
regardless of the wording the meaning has always be the same even if the context hasn't



Quote:
Who are these "lesser players" that are being over valued?
Pretty much everyone except Wayne and Bobby and even then they can get over valued at times as well.

One of the guys involved in the 60 Dman project basically said what most did in that project, in that he treated every era as if it were the same which IMO slants the table in benefit of earlier guys rather than alter guys.

I would prefer and try to treat all players equally and take into consideration the era and times and even the team situations they played in.

Others often say they do this when they really tend to treat all eras more or less the same as the one guy let out.

I'm not even sure if my alternative point of view is allowed in this thread to tell you the truth but looking at the title I guess I'm safe.

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03-17-2013, 01:45 AM
  #407
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
regardless of the wording the meaning has always be the same even if the context hasn't

Pretty much everyone except Wayne and Bobby and even then they can get over valued at times as well.

One of the guys involved in the 60 Dman project basically said what most did in that project, in that he treated every era as if it were the same which IMO slants the table in benefit of earlier guys rather than alter guys.

I would prefer and try to treat all players equally and take into consideration the era and times and even the team situations they played in.

Others often say they do this when they really tend to treat all eras more or less the same as the one guy let out.

I'm not even sure if my alternative point of view is allowed in this thread to tell you the truth but looking at the title I guess I'm safe.
This is coming off an awful lot like "my era is better than yours so no fair treating eras the same". Sorry, but I don't agree that the DPE is superior to earlier eras and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

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03-17-2013, 02:04 AM
  #408
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
regardless of the wording the meaning has always be the same even if the context hasn't
Like hell is it! Not even close!


Quote:
Pretty much everyone except Wayne and Bobby and even then they can get over valued at times as well.

One of the guys involved in the 60 Dman project basically said what most did in that project, in that he treated every era as if it were the same which IMO slants the table in benefit of earlier guys rather than alter guys.

I would prefer and try to treat all players equally and take into consideration the era and times and even the team situations they played in.

Others often say they do this when they really tend to treat all eras more or less the same as the one guy let out.
Seriously, how many players are truly considered GREAT? I'm not taking outliers like Gretz, Orr, Howe and Lemieux either.
There's a mere handful from each decade.
Like what do you want? You want me to consider Crosby or Malkin ahead of Richard, Beleveau, ahead of Lafleur, Bossy, Jagr?
I'm sorry, that's just not going to happen yet. It's too early. Not in peak or in career.
Vs Yzerman or Sakic, Trottier ect, for sure Crosby and Malkin are in the discussion with those guys. At least on the peak level but they both have a long way to go to match them for career.
10 years ago, you would have been scoffed at if you put Lidstrom in even the top 20 for D-men all-time but he moved up, with the majority ranking him in the top 5 now. I know I prolonged moving Lidstrom ahead of Potvin and I still believe now that Potvin was the better player at his best, better than Bourque too but Lidstrom has more years of excellence than Potvin and bourque even more than Lidstrom.

I don't see anyone denying that Jagr, at the very least, deserves mention for the top 10 forwards all-time.
Last I checked, Jagr, even at what, age 43 now, there he is leading his team in scoring in TODAY'S NHL!

Quote:
I'm not even sure if my alternative point of view is allowed in this thread to tell you the truth but looking at the title I guess I'm safe.
Having an alternate view is one thing but basing your view on the premise or idea that Junior players today are as good or as talented as the majority of players in say the 80's is revisionism.
Even if most of them are, it doesn't matter because we can only judge players against the competition available to them and the level of play at the time.
And again, if the game has evolved by the level and at the speed you seem to believe, there is absolutely no freakin way Jagr is still doing what he is doing or Selanne and there's no way Bourque plays 22 seasons or Lidstrom 20 at the top of the pack.
And there sure as hell is no way that a guy in his late 30's with a bad back that scored almost 200 points in the late 80's can dominate the league so thoroughly more than a decade later.

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03-17-2013, 02:07 AM
  #409
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
This is coming off an awful lot like "my era is better than yours so no fair treating eras the same". Sorry, but I don't agree that the DPE is superior to earlier eras and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.
Then you clearly aren't reading what I'm saying.

I'm very carefull to never say that one era is better than another because

1) it's subjective and what does "better" actually mean and I have no opinion, other than style of play, of which era is "better' than others.

I like to watch hockey played within the rules and have no preference outside of that in regards to "era"

2) it's unfair to do so as each era, heck each season is unique.

that being said the mantra that looking at each season as unique or different is "punishing" 06 guys or "giving extra credit" to modern guys like R71 stated is rubbish.

It's pretty clear that by cup or trophy counting or treating all top 5,10, 20 finishes finishes over all eras treats one group more favorably than another.

It's a simple numbers game, it's easy for teams and players to do better in a top 5,10,20 finish is a 6 team league than a 30 team league.

Just simple variance, outside of the extreme examples of Wayne and Bobby, are more likely in a 30 team league than a 6 team one where each game is 60 minutes and each team has a top line and top PP unit.

This idea that everything is the same or close to it over time simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny and it's puzzling why my pointing it out meets such opposition like it's sacrilege on the history boards.

Perhaps I bring it up too often, but it's also quite apparent that it is necessary to do so against the inherent "historical" bias that exists here.

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03-17-2013, 02:15 AM
  #410
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Then you clearly aren't reading what I'm saying.

I'm very carefull to never say that one era is better than another because

1) it's subjective and what does "better" actually mean and I have no opinion, other than style of play, of which era is "better' than others.

I like to watch hockey played within the rules and have no preference outside of that in regards to "era"

2) it's unfair to do so as each era, heck each season is unique.

that being said the mantra that looking at each season as unique or different is "punishing" 06 guys or "giving extra credit" to modern guys like R71 stated is rubbish.

It's pretty clear that by cup or trophy counting or treating all top 5,10, 20 finishes finishes over all eras treats one group more favorably than another.

It's a simple numbers game, it's easy for teams and players to do better in a top 5,10,20 finish is a 6 team league than a 30 team league.

Just simple variance, outside of the extreme examples of Wayne and Bobby, are more likely in a 30 team league than a 6 team one where each game is 60 minutes and each team has a top line and top PP unit.

This idea that everything is the same or close to it over time simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny and it's puzzling why my pointing it out meets such opposition like it's sacrilege on the history boards.

Perhaps I bring it up too often, but it's also quite apparent that it is necessary to do so against the inherent "historical" bias that exists here.

So what do you think is easier?
Playing against a Gretzky or a Lemieux 2, 3, at most for some, 6-7 times each a season or playing against a Richard or a Howe a whopping 14 times EACH a season???

What about Crosby this season? He's putting up some great points but by your logic, he's only playing half the league.
So he's not really playing the best of best, he's only playing against HALF of the best of the best

With how your logic guides you, how do you even begin to justify Crosby's greatness this season when he's actually playing against a lesser field than any player in the even the 80's did?

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03-17-2013, 02:29 AM
  #411
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
So what do you think is easier?
Playing against a Gretzky or a Lemieux 2, 3, at most for some, 6-7 times each a season or playing against a Richard or a Howe a whopping 14 times EACH a season???
Sorry last team I checked hockey was a team sport not like tennis.

We have been over this road before for every 14 games against Howe and Richard where 14 games against whatever the Rangers, Bruins, Maple Leafs and Black Hawks.

We also have incomplete records over time to dissect how players stack up, other than simple counting stats.

Quote:
What about Crosby this season? He's putting up some great points but by your logic, he's only playing half the league.
So he's not really playing the best of best, he's only playing against HALF of the best of the best
There is a reason that the East has had more top 10 scorers the last 2 seasons including this one. IMO the west is more tight defensively and Crosby's numbers probably would be less in a full schedule. I would predict his PPG pace to decrease, all things being equal, next year when we ahve a more integrated schedule.

Quote:
With how your logic guides you, how do you even begin to justify Crosby's greatness this season when he's actually playing against a lesser field than any player in the even the 80's did?
It's pretty simple, your assertion here doesn't work.

The difference between the East and west conferences, in any metric you want to choose, is much less than the differences than the NHL from the 80's.

If you can't see that then it's too bad as I have no idea on why you would think otherwise.

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03-17-2013, 02:38 AM
  #412
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Sorry last team I checked hockey was a team sport not like tennis.

We have been over this road before for every 14 games against Howe and Richard where 14 games against whatever the Rangers, Bruins, Maple Leafs and Black Hawks.

We also have incomplete records over time to dissect how players stack up, other than simple counting stats.
Ridiculous answer!
How many of those teams in the old Smythe division would have given their left nut to only play against Gretzky once or twice a season.
Gretzky made some damned good players in that division look a hell of a lot worse than they were.


Quote:
There is a reason that the East has had more top 10 scorers the last 2 seasons including this one. IMO the west is more tight defensively and Crosby's numbers probably would be less in a full schedule. I would predict his PPG pace to decrease, all things being equal, next year when we ahve a more integrated schedule.
You're just avoiding answering the question because you know you're screwed if you do.
That's ok though, you just keep talking in circles. Most posters can figure out what's going on

Quote:
It's pretty simple, your assertion here doesn't work.

The difference between the East and west conferences, in any metric you want to choose, is much less than the differences than the NHL from the 80's.

If you can't see that then it's too bad as I have no idea on why you would think otherwise.
Simple question...is Crosby playing in a "fully integrated NHL" this season or not?
Or are you actually suggesting that the the "West" is a B League compared to the "East"?

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03-17-2013, 07:34 AM
  #413
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The point though is that Hardy wants us to give today's players extra credit for playing in a "Fully integrated NHL".
How is what you're saying any different than how the USA, Finland, Sweden and Russia were viewed compared to Canada for hockey players prior to the 70's?
Or more recently, how about Germany? Hell, the USA has only really been on the scene a little over 30 years now.

See what I'm getting at?
You can only judge players by what they DID face and how they fared.
You can't diminish Howe and Richard because they weren't playing against Russians or Swedes. 99% of the Russians and Swedes weren't good enough to play against them at the time.
Canada was sending Junior A and B level players to world tourny's in the 50's and 60's and still being one of the top teams in them.
What's that say?

Was the '72 Canada Cup not the coming out party for the Russians hockey-wise and even then (not making excuses) I believe 100% that had Orr been healthy and Hull allowed to play, it would have been a significantly different series.
Right.

That's what I always try to get at as well here. The Russians only 40 years ago were able to compete with the best Canadians - minus Orr and the WHA guys who I assume would have tilted the ice a bit more. Up until 1972 it was Canada's game with predominantly Canadian talent. No one cared about the Olympics or the Worlds over here. There was the NHL, plain and simple. We didn't start losing in the Olympics - with our amateurs - until 1956. Everyone knew a Canadian team made up in 1956 from NHL players would mop the floor against any other country. So it really has been just 40 years since the first country could compete against us. That's it. Up until then the best players in the world - pretty much ALL of them - were Canadian and it didn't make cracking an original 6 roster any easier.

When the talent pool exploded so did expansion, all the way up until 2000. The NHL has more or less coincided with the talent pool. But it doesn't change the mindset of some people. Everyone always thinks their era is the best. You want to know how the more things change the more they stay the same? When Gretzky was in his prime there were many critics suggesting he would never be able to do this in the original 6 days. Fast forward 30 years, knowing what we know about Gretzky now, and you have people who say Gretzky couldn't dominate today the way he did back in the 1980s. The nonest truth, is both critics are wrong. Gretzky's dominance would have transcended eras.

I always get a little chuckle when it is assumed the greatest player who ever lived could only dominate when he did and no other time. Just luck of the draw I guess eh?

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03-17-2013, 08:11 AM
  #414
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Hockey Talent

Developing hockey talent comes down to skating and access to appropriate coaching and ice time. During the last generation Asian nations have excelled in figure skating and short track speed skating so the foundation is in place. They have the base teachers to start "Learn to Skate" programs.

Whether the ice hockey end of a national program may be developed is another issue.Numerous European nations had access to skating, some for periods longer than Canada and never developed solid hockey programs - Denmark, the Netherlands, while Russia has lagged badly in women's hockey. Question of devoting time and resources.

In Canada, children of immigrants have regularly taken to the skating sports, producing Larry Kwong - China, Stan Smrke - Yugoslavia, NHL quality hockey players in the O6 era.

Presently in the large urban centers of Canada there are plenty of future Kadris and other trailblazers. Just a question of time until they play in the NHL. Whether or how this translates to the home country is another issue.

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03-17-2013, 11:36 AM
  #415
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Ridiculous answer!
How many of those teams in the old Smythe division would have given their left nut to only play against Gretzky once or twice a season.
Gretzky made some damned good players in that division look a hell of a lot worse than they were.




You're just avoiding answering the question because you know you're screwed if you do.
That's ok though, you just keep talking in circles. Most posters can figure out what's going on



Simple question...is Crosby playing in a "fully integrated NHL" this season or not?
Or are you actually suggesting that the the "West" is a B League compared to the "East"?
Look I answered all of your questions, why don't you resort to your usual tactic of answering for me and putting words in my mouth.

A fully integrated NHL refers to the composition of nationalities of the players.

You simply fail to understand the huge difference and impact of the changes in the league over time to suit your own purposes.

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03-17-2013, 11:44 AM
  #416
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Right.

That's what I always try to get at as well here. The Russians only 40 years ago were able to compete with the best Canadians - minus Orr and the WHA guys who I assume would have tilted the ice a bit more. Up until 1972 it was Canada's game with predominantly Canadian talent. No one cared about the Olympics or the Worlds over here. There was the NHL, plain and simple. We didn't start losing in the Olympics - with our amateurs - until 1956. Everyone knew a Canadian team made up in 1956 from NHL players would mop the floor against any other country. So it really has been just 40 years since the first country could compete against us. That's it. Up until then the best players in the world - pretty much ALL of them - were Canadian and it didn't make cracking an original 6 roster any easier.

When the talent pool exploded so did expansion, all the way up until 2000. The NHL has more or less coincided with the talent pool. But it doesn't change the mindset of some people. Everyone always thinks their era is the best. You want to know how the more things change the more they stay the same? When Gretzky was in his prime there were many critics suggesting he would never be able to do this in the original 6 days. Fast forward 30 years, knowing what we know about Gretzky now, and you have people who say Gretzky couldn't dominate today the way he did back in the 1980s. The nonest truth, is both critics are wrong. Gretzky's dominance would have transcended eras.

I always get a little chuckle when it is assumed the greatest player who ever lived could only dominate when he did and no other time. Just luck of the draw I guess eh?
Phil you still have it wrong the expansion happened way before the explosion and inclusion of this other talent.

There was virtually no difference in the nationality and origin of the NHL talent pool from the last season of 06 a full 4 years later in 71.

Still more or less the same in 78.

In 88 a slight shift to more players from the US but still less than 10% from Europe.

It's not until the 90's that we see the full affect.

The full impact of the other talent pool didn't truly manifest itself until the early to mid 90's at which time the coaches in the NHL alos changed their tactics quite a bit which were helped with the explosion of the size of the goalie pads.

All of this had an affect of decreased scoring.

The effects listed above and the changes need to be taken into account when comparing players form vastly different eras or the conclusions drawn will be incomplete and lacking IMO.

Everyone knows the sticky here but really why not just make a stipulation that all countries be represented as well?

That's a dramatic example as no one puts Tony Hand on any list of all time great players, even with the Glen Sather quote and his tiny sample in the WHL.

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03-17-2013, 12:49 PM
  #417
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Phil you still have it wrong the expansion happened way before the explosion and inclusion of this other talent.

There was virtually no difference in the nationality and origin of the NHL talent pool from the last season of 06 a full 4 years later in 71.

Still more or less the same in 78.

In 88 a slight shift to more players from the US but still less than 10% from Europe.

It's not until the 90's that we see the full affect.

The full impact of the other talent pool didn't truly manifest itself until the early to mid 90's at which time the coaches in the NHL alos changed their tactics quite a bit which were helped with the explosion of the size of the goalie pads.

All of this had an affect of decreased scoring.

The effects listed above and the changes need to be taken into account when comparing players form vastly different eras or the conclusions drawn will be incomplete and lacking IMO.

Everyone knows the sticky here but really why not just make a stipulation that all countries be represented as well?

That's a dramatic example as no one puts Tony Hand on any list of all time great players, even with the Glen Sather quote and his tiny sample in the WHL.
Why are you so obsessed with nationality? If the world's best players in a given time period are all Canadian why should it matter? The best players are the best players regardless of where they come from and that's all we should care about.

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03-17-2013, 12:54 PM
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Why are you so obsessed with nationality? If the world's best players in a given time period are all Canadian why should it matter? The best players are the best players regardless of where they come from and that's all we should care about.

Thank you for stating how too many people view the NHL over time in a faulty way.


So unless Canadian players are a lot worse than they used to be, doesn't the impact of other top players change the way we compare top players from one era to the next?

The best players, are more in number in a fully integrated league were guys from the non Canadian areas are also in the mix for the best.

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03-17-2013, 01:02 PM
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Thank you for stating how too many people view the NHL over time in a faulty way.


So unless Canadian players are a lot worse than they used to be, doesn't the impact of other top players change the way we compare top players from one era to the next?

The best players, are more in number in a fully integrated league were guys from the non Canadian areas are also in the mix for the best.
Not when you're expanding as fast as the talent pool is increasing. And there are certainly good arguments that Canada isn't producing players as good as it used to.

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03-17-2013, 01:17 PM
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Not when you're expanding as fast as the talent pool is increasing. And there are certainly good arguments that Canada isn't producing players as good as it used to.
That might be more applicable to the late 60's through the 80's but it's more than made up for by now.

also most of the arguments about Canadian players are how they don't score as many points or fare as well in trophies, dominance top 5,10 points ect... which is indeed harder in a non Canadian only league.

If it was still like the 06 times and we are still the number 1 hockey nation in the world there would be less debate or question about this.

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03-17-2013, 01:27 PM
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That might be more applicable to the late 60's through the 80's but it's more than made up for by now.

also most of the arguments about Canadian players are how they don't score as many points or fare as well in trophies, dominance top 5,10 points ect... which is indeed harder in a non Canadian only league.

If it was still like the 06 times and we are still the number 1 hockey nation in the world there would be less debate or question about this.
Hello. The league expanded by 9 teams post 1990 for God's sake. That was easily sufficient to keep pace with the growth of the talent pool.

And yes, Canada can still be the #1 hockey nation and not produce players as good as it once did.

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03-17-2013, 01:54 PM
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Not when you're expanding as fast as the talent pool is increasing. And there are certainly good arguments that Canada isn't producing players as good as it used to.
Expanding the number of teams does not offset the increase in elite players. It's harder to dominate your peers in a league with more elite players, and spreading them out doesn't make it easier. In fact, in some cases it would make it a little bit harder.

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03-17-2013, 02:01 PM
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Expanding the number of teams does not offset the increase in elite players. It's harder to dominate your peers in a league with more elite players, and spreading them out doesn't make it easier. In fact, in some cases it would make it a little bit harder.
What it offsets is the competition you're actually playing against. In other words you aren't playing against higher quality teams because while the talent pool has increased expansion has kept team quality roughly the same.

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03-17-2013, 02:46 PM
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The full impact of the other talent pool didn't truly manifest itself until the early to mid 90's at which time the coaches in the NHL also changed their tactics quite a bit which were helped with the explosion of the size of the goalie pads.... All of this had an affect of decreased scoring.
Just to clarify Hv, the league as you well know did expand post 1990 which after the 80's with numerous Europeans having more than shown their capabilities, several absolute Superstars, numerous excellent & beyond reliable Journeymen with all kinds of grit, guts & determination, fall of the USSR, heralding a new era. These guys actually precipitated the full-on cycle game in many respects, as thats how they'd been brought up to play it. You also had a steady changing of the guard at the Managerial & Coaching levels in the NHL, minors, young blood.

Pretty much since 72's Summit Series, the influence of the Hull, Nilsson & Hedberg line of the WHA's Jets, some of Bowmans & Arbours triangulations, Sather of course, the game was just naturally evolving and by about 1990-92-94, full on cycle. Left Wing Locks & Neutral Zone Traps, the great equalizers, employed because the talent base was thin even with now Russians being more than available. Enter the Dead Puck Era.

Contemporaneously, the way goaltending was being played was forced to evolve, reacting to the changes out front, namely the cycle game & introduction of the composite sticks. You simply couldnt/cant play full-on Stand-Up. Forced back deeper into your crease, the Butterfly the most effective technique in dealing with that kind of offence, equipment designed & developed to keep pace. Size mattered much more than it had in the past, from physical stature to equipment itself. The finer arts of playing goal, forward or defence in the vast majority of cases simply replaced with size, speed & power. System hockey to the nth degree. Creativity & spontaneity is there in the elites, and yes, do things that earlier generations didnt even dream of.

Unfortunately, there are just too many teams (over-expanded hastily) and too many games over a season. A good 30% of them completely meaningless boring. So sure, the European influx combined with all of the other factors did to some extent fully manifest themselves in the early 90's, and look how the NHL handled it? 94 to 04 an era that is derided, rules changed post 04/05 Lockout to open up the game. They still havent got it right of course, but hopefully, with some tweaks & returns to yesteryear, product improves.

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Presently in the large urban centers of Canada there are plenty of future Kadris and other trailblazers. Just a question of time until they play in the NHL. Whether or how this translates to the home country is another issue.
Cost. Cost of infrastructure, equipment, registration fee's, ice-time, travel... the worlds just changed so much I even wonder how Canada maintains the levels of participation it does with the so many other distractions & options kids have these days. Playing, participating in hockey at the amateur levels not only domestically but so too throughout the US & most parts of Europe, Northern Europe & the former Soviet Union beyond the reach of the masses if even available at all.


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03-17-2013, 03:04 PM
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What it offsets is the competition you're actually playing against. In other words you aren't playing against higher quality teams because while the talent pool has increased expansion has kept team quality roughly the same.
Yes, and he was talking about player quality at the top of the league, not team quality. When comparing players from today to the greats of the past team quality is hardly important, but the number of elite players is very relevant. The number of elite players has little to do with how many teams there are.

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