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NYR Top 10 Centers of All-Time (Gauging interest in potential project)

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Old
04-09-2013, 07:26 AM
  #26
Crease
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Originally Posted by nyr2k2 View Post
Yeah I'd absolutely love to do this. Great idea, Crease.

As others have mentioned, we need clear criteria for who is eligible. Like would people be voting for Pat LaFontaine? Because that would be silly. If we can agree to some reasonable eligibility restrictions, this will be really fun. You could make it that only guys who spent the equivalent of five full seasons, based on season length in their era, would be eligible. Something like that.

It will also be a good exercise in getting some of the youngins' to interact in a constructive way with the old timers.
Good starting point in the discussion over eligibility. I went to Hockey Reference and did a quick search.

There are 22 centers who have 5+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers, dating back to 1927.
28 centers with 4+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers.
41 centers with 3+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers.

In 1926/27, the regular season was 44 games.

This method of filtering is systemically unfair to O6 centers though, since it's harder to play 40/44 than 40/70 or 40/82. Is it possible to quickly generate a list of centers who played 75% of at least 4 or 5 seasons with the Rangers? I can probably put together a list by hand but would take a few hours.


Last edited by Crease: 04-09-2013 at 08:39 AM.
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04-09-2013, 12:27 PM
  #27
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There isn't really an easy way to do that Crease, since some player's careers will span over seasons with differing GPs. The best way to do it seems to be to do several searches using hockey reference over a few different time periods and going from there. 75 % of a season with 44 games played is 33 games -- 33 x 4 seasons = 132 total GP (so then just limit the search results for that period of time to >= 132 GP). Then you have to go back through and make sure that the arbitrary time periods that you cut out don't mistakenly eliminate players who should be included because their careers span across two periods of time... Not exactly simple.

I'll give it a go during lunch break.

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04-09-2013, 12:30 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by SlingshotVv View Post
Kelly Kisio and Mike Ridley!
i'm guessing this is as-a-ranger, isn't it? cuz mike ridley was excellent, but that was after he split the rangers.

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04-09-2013, 12:43 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
There isn't really an easy way to do that Crease, since some player's careers will span over seasons with differing GPs. The best way to do it seems to be to do several searches using hockey reference over a few different time periods and going from there. 75 % of a season with 44 games played is 33 games -- 33 x 4 seasons = 132 total GP (so then just limit the search results for that period of time to >= 132 GP). Then you have to go back through and make sure that the arbitrary time periods that you cut out don't mistakenly eliminate players who should be included because their careers span across two periods of time... Not exactly simple.

I'll give it a go during lunch break.
Yeah, I feared this would be the "best" way to do it. Thanks for looking into it. Perhaps simpler would be to limit the universe of centers to those that were on the roster for N number of seasons, regardless of GP. Then during the Preliminary Discussion, participants can state cases for players factoring in tenure length.

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04-09-2013, 01:59 PM
  #30
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Bobby Carpenter runs away with it. You heard it here first.

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04-09-2013, 02:24 PM
  #31
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95 percent of my posting has been at history of hockey, and this I would enjoy. Would be great to see great centers like Frank Boucher, Buddy O'Connor, and Jean Ratelle get some love.

Buddy O'Connor brings up an interesting eligibility point. He had a short career (maybe only 10 seasons), played only maybe 4 seasons in NY, but they were his best years and he won a Hart in NY. He's also in the Hall, I believe. Careers are overall a lot longer now, just something to consider on eligibility qualifications.

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04-09-2013, 02:33 PM
  #32
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Ok... here is what I've got for the criteria you laid out, Crease.

I got to these lists by breaking up the search criteria into 3 periods of time (pre-O6 - '26-'42; ~O6ish - '42-'67; and 'modern' - '67-'13), averaging the total possible GP per season over those periods of time, and then taking 75 percent of that as the exclusion criteria. Then tried to make sure I didn't miss anyone whose career straddled the time periods I chose. Players are included on these lists based on GP, so there may be a few stray players that should be taken off because they don't meet the criteria for # of seasons played (but I think I separated out most of them).

If the criteria is 4 seasons, 75 % gp, you get a list of 35 players. If you make the restriction 75 % gp of 5 seasons you get a list of 29 players.


4 Seasons, 75 % GP:

Clint Smith
Neil Colville *C/D
Phil Watson *C/RW
Butch Keeling *LW/C
Frank Boucher
Murray Murdoch *LW/C
Ab DeMarco

Phil Goyette
Jean Ratelle
Earl Ingarfield
Red Sullivan
Camille Henry
Larry Popein
Paul Ronty
Edgar Laprade
Don Raleigh
Phil Watson
Dave Creighton
Buddy O'Connor

Brandon Dubinsky
Brian Boyle
Artem Anisimov
Chris Drury
Blair Betts
Petr Nedved
Mark Messier
Sergei Nemchinov *C/LW
Darren Turcotte
Kelly Kisio
Mark Pavelich
Mike Rogers
Ron Duguay *C/RW
Phil Esposito
Pete Stemkowski
Walt Tkaczuk



5 Seasons, 75 % GP (red italics means players who were excluded based on the more stringent criteria):

Clint Smith
Neil Colville *C/D
Phil Watson *C/RW
Butch Keeling *LW/C
Frank Boucher
Murray Murdoch *LW/C
Ab DeMarco

Phil Goyette
Jean Ratelle
Earl Ingarfield
Red Sullivan
Camille Henry
Larry Popein
Paul Ronty
Edgar Laprade
Don Raleigh
Phil Watson
-Dave Creighton-
-Buddy O'Connor-

Brandon Dubinsky
-Brian Boyle-
-Artem Anisimov-
-Chris Drury-

Blair Betts
Petr Nedved
Mark Messier
Sergei Nemchinov *C/LW
-Darren Turcotte-
Kelly Kisio
Mark Pavelich
Mike Rogers
Ron Duguay *C/RW
Phil Esposito
Pete Stemkowski
Walt Tkaczuk



Overall, this seems like a good starting point (I'd probably prefer 4 seasons, 75 % since it gives more options; but would be fine with either in the end). Though I also could see an argument being made to loosen the criteria a bit for a few of the guys listed below:


Players missing the cutoff who there might be a justification to include (i.e. played at least 3 seasons with NYR but not reaching the % of games; or who played a high # of games, but didn’t quite reach 4-5 seasons):

Don Marshall (actually has the seasons and GP to be included by either metric - but didn’t exclusively play C)
Pierre Larouche (5 seasons, 253 of a possible 400 gp)
Orland Kurtenbach (5 seasons, 198 of a possible 366 gp)
Ulf Nilsson (4 seasons, 170 of a possible 320 gp)
Mark Janssens (4 and some change in seasons, but only 153 of a possible 320 gp)
Wayne Gretzky (3 seasons, 234 of a possible 246 gp)
Mike York (3 seasons, 230 of a possible 246 gp; also didn’t play C the entire time)
Wayne Dillon (3 seasons, 216 of a possible 240 gp)
Mikko Leinonen (3 seasons, 159 of a possible 240 gp)
Cal Gardner (3 seasons, 126 of a possible 170 gp)


Other notables not included:

Marcel Dionne (2 seasons and change, only 118 of a possible 174 gp)
Mike Ridley (1 season and change, 118 of possible 120 gp)
Walt Poddubny (2 seasons and didn’t play C exclusively)
Bernie Nichols (only 1 season and change)
Alexei Kovalev (only played C for part of a season or two(?) )
Eric Lindros (2.5 seasons)


Recent Centers not included:

Brad Richards
Derek Stepan
Bobby Holik
Scott Gomez
Vinny Prospal
Petr Prucha
Jamie Lundmark
Martin Straka
Sean Avery
Erik Christensen
Pat LaFontaine
Marc Savard
Manny Malhotra


*EDIT: Updated original list with notations on the players who played in other positions (If the C is listed first, that was their primary position; if it is listed second - in the case of Butch Keeling and Murray Murdoch - it was not).


Last edited by Richter Scale: 04-09-2013 at 06:03 PM.
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Old
04-09-2013, 02:53 PM
  #33
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Nice work RS! Just by parsing the list, I can say that both the 5 Season 75% GP and 4 Season 75% GP contain all of the guys I expected to be part of the discussion. No glaring omissions IMO. Any one else want to comment before we decide on a rule?

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04-09-2013, 03:13 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laces out Dan View Post
95 percent of my posting has been at history of hockey, and this I would enjoy. Would be great to see great centers like Frank Boucher, Buddy O'Connor, and Jean Ratelle get some love.

Buddy O'Connor brings up an interesting eligibility point. He had a short career (maybe only 10 seasons), played only maybe 4 seasons in NY, but they were his best years and he won a Hart in NY. He's also in the Hall, I believe. Careers are overall a lot longer now, just something to consider on eligibility qualifications.
I was going to say the same exact thing. Does a short Rangers career truly prevent someone for qualifying? I think the major factor should be organizational impact. I would say Buddy O'Connor is probably top 5 and he only spent 4 seasons with NYR.

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04-09-2013, 03:17 PM
  #35
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We could go on the safe side and include all centers who were on the roster for the better part of 3 seasons. I trust you guys not to spend the majority of the Preliminary Discussion arguing about whether Gretzky belongs in the top 10 if he's eligible.

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04-09-2013, 03:19 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I trust you guys not to spend the majority of the Preliminary Discussion arguing about whether Gretzky belongs in the top 10 because he's eligible.
Yeah, we're not ones to be sidetracked by trivial discussions like that.

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04-09-2013, 03:43 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
Good starting point in the discussion over eligibility. I went to Hockey Reference and did a quick search.

There are 22 centers who have 5+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers, dating back to 1927.
28 centers with 4+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers.
41 centers with 3+ seasons of at least 40 games with the Rangers.

In 1926/27, the regular season was 44 games.

This method of filtering is systemically unfair to O6 centers though, since it's harder to play 40/44 than 40/70 or 40/82. Is it possible to quickly generate a list of centers who played 75% of at least 4 or 5 seasons with the Rangers? I can probably put together a list by hand but would take a few hours.
Do you think we should do two top 10 lists? One for a modern era of maybe 1970-present and one pre 1970? Not many of us are well versed in players from before 1970. I am only 24 but I have watched tons of my fathers old videos of games from the 70's and 80's. Prior to that I couldn't tell you a thing.

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04-09-2013, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Clowe Me Maybe View Post
Do you think we should do two top 10 lists? One for a modern era of maybe 1970-present and one pre 1970? Not many of us are well versed in players from before 1970. I am only 24 but I have watched tons of my fathers old videos of games from the 70's and 80's. Prior to that I couldn't tell you a thing.
I think we as a group are capable of doing one comprehensive list. Each participant will have to decide for themselves what is the best way to compare guys across different eras.

The Preliminary Discussion is going to help. Think of it as a thread to ask questions like "Where can I find newspaper clippings about Frank Boucher?" And "Where can I find stats that are adjusted for different levels of scoring in each era?" The old older guys will help too, though I doubt any of us have a strong recollection of O'Connor's prime All I ask is that you give it a decent effort. I think you'll find the process both fun and intellectually stimulating.

I'm 26 by the way.


Last edited by Crease: 04-09-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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04-09-2013, 04:34 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by bogans View Post
I was going to say the same exact thing. Does a short Rangers career truly prevent someone for qualifying? I think the major factor should be organizational impact. I would say Buddy O'Connor is probably top 5 and he only spent 4 seasons with NYR.
Truth. Career length can be so different now. What is now a routine surgery may once have been career ending.

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04-09-2013, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Clowe Me Maybe View Post
Do you think we should do two top 10 lists? One for a modern era of maybe 1970-present and one pre 1970? Not many of us are well versed in players from before 1970. I am only 24 but I have watched tons of my fathers old videos of games from the 70's and 80's. Prior to that I couldn't tell you a thing.
Valid point. But it's honestly a lot of fun to dig into the past - people find and post some awesome info. Learn the team's history, discover past greats, and even see eras where we were actually really well run lol

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04-09-2013, 05:13 PM
  #41
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I like the idea of a preliminary top 20 just to make sure everyone is considering the same people and no-one gets overlooked.

I currently use hockeydb for most of my stat work, does anyone know the reliability of that site or can recommend a better one?

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04-09-2013, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
I like the idea of a preliminary top 20 just to make sure everyone is considering the same people and no-one gets overlooked.

I currently use hockeydb for most of my stat work, does anyone know the reliability of that site or can recommend a better one?
I used hockey reference to search/sort players and create the lists.

But hockeydb is generally a very good stat site as well. I haven't used it quite as much - so correct me if I'm wrong - but it doesn't seem like it has a good way to filter large subsets of players. So, for instance, if you wanted to compare Frank Boucher or Jean Ratelle to centers that played in their time period, it would be tough to do without a good familiarity of the individual players in that period of time.

With hockey reference, you can do that by creating a list with their search functions -- sort by position, team, season, gp, points, etc to create a big list: http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...psl_finder.cgi


If you are unfamiliar -- here is a quick crash course: Using that link, if I wanted to get a list of centers to compare Ratelle to, I can search with the following criteria (adjust as you feel is appropriate depending upon what you want):

- Search for combined seasons.
- Specify seasons to search (I chose '57 - '87 to get a wide swath).
- Franchise: All franchises (I want to compare to C's on other teams)
- Position: Center
- Additional Criteria (I'm leaving blank for now, but you can filter out players based on GP, goals, assists, points, etc and specify the # they need to have to be included in the list).
- Sort by: Using Points for now (but there is a whole drop down list to choose from)


Using that criteria gets me the following list in order of most to least points (over that period of time):

Marcel Dionne
Phil Esposito
Wayne Gretzky
Gilbert Perreault
Jean Ratelle
Stan Mikita
Bobby Clarke
Bryan Trottier
Norm Ullman
Darryl Sittler
Dave Keon
Alex Delvecchio
Henri Richard
Jean Beliveau
Bernie Federko
Butch Goring
Dennis Maruk
Peter McNab
Garry Unger
Tom Lysiak


Last edited by Richter Scale: 04-09-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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04-09-2013, 05:39 PM
  #43
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1. brian boyle
2. chris drury
3. brian boyle

done. now are we doing goalie next?

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Old
04-09-2013, 05:43 PM
  #44
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Thanks RS! Hockeydb is good for individual stats, but reference lets you compare much easier

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04-09-2013, 05:51 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by bogans View Post
I was going to say the same exact thing. Does a short Rangers career truly prevent someone for qualifying? I think the major factor should be organizational impact. I would say Buddy O'Connor is probably top 5 and he only spent 4 seasons with NYR.
This is a good point. I would have went with the 5 season minimum but it probably makes sense to include the 4 season list.

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04-09-2013, 07:28 PM
  #46
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Preliminary Discussion Thread is up! Link here.

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04-10-2013, 01:00 AM
  #47
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Count me in - limited time but will contribute what I can.

Rule proposals:

- Some sort of threshold for GP or seasons with the club to be allowed to be considered in the ranking. For instance: A guy like Pat LaFontaine. I loved him when he was here, but he only played one season with us (and only about 65 games during that season). Do we consider him, or no? I'd say no - but would be open to arguments either way.

- Only the player's play/time with the Rangers can be considered in the ranking. For instance, if we consider whole careers (i.e. when players played for other teams), Gretzky is easily the best player to ever play for the Rangers, but wouldn't necessarily be #1 on the list if we only consider his tenure with the team (not a knock against Gretz - he played pretty damn well with us for that point in his career).
Gretzky should be on the list...he had one of the best seasons in rangers history

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