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Round 2, Vote 1 (HFNYR Top NYR Centers)

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Old
05-16-2013, 05:12 AM
  #26
Greg02
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Here's my issue with that argument. You're making an appeal based on the numbers when they really don't mean anything in this case, because the competition for the number one spot is someone who played in the original six era. The numbers just don't match up without doing adjustments. And if you're doing adjustments, then Frank Boucher has more points and a hell of a lot more assists than Ratelle. And while it's easy to frame Ratelle as an excellent player whose point and award finishes just ended up behind all time greats, Frank Boucher was an all time great. There were three years in a row where he was selected as the number one center in the league, a fourth year he was selected as second best, and none of those seasons were even the year that he led the league in adjusted scoring (he was a playmaker, and according to discussions from the 2009 HoH voting, assists were given out very scarcely during the 20s/30s). Note that that year (as well as the year Boucher finished second in points) predated AST voting. And it's not like he was up against poor competition, he was competing directly against a top 15 player in Howie Morenz.

Then you add to that his absolutely dominant career and I just don't see how you argue Ratelle in front of him without completely discounting the entire era Boucher played in.

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05-16-2013, 05:20 AM
  #27
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And then there's the appeal to authority: Boucher gets ranked between 45-60 on top 100 hockey players lists. Ratelle doesn't get ranked at all. Boucher played his career for the Rangers, Ratelle has some seasons in Boston (as we all know).

Honestly, at this point I'm just about completely convinced that Boucher should run away with first. I'm much more interested in hearing people's opinions on Messier against Ratelle and the 4/5 spots.

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05-16-2013, 06:42 AM
  #28
Cake or Death
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Greg, in terms of what you're talking about with adjustments, that was about the only way I could get anything remotely close to a sort of apples to apples comparison. While nothing is obviously going to achieve that, the best way I could do it was to take adjusted year by year stats from hockey-reference for every player, then divide it by the number of seasons each guy played center, and come up with their average adjusted season. I like hockey references' adjusted stats as they work from a baseline, and adjust for era, schedule length, and roster size in a specific season. Anyways, when I did a guy's whole career and divided it by the number of seasons he played center, these were the figures I got:

Average Adjusted Scoring Season

PlayerGoalsAssistsPoints
Frank Boucher237295
Mark Messier264571
Phil Esposito293563
Jean Ratelle253762
Neil Colville233861
Buddy O'Connor203959
Don Raleigh153752
Clint Smith203151
Walt Tkaczuk173350
Phil Watson153348

To me, there are some interesting things there. One, Boucher is just out there - remove his goals, and his adjusted assists alone would rank first. Two, I was surprised how high Messier was, especially since his numbers took a bit of a hit from his second stint in NY. When you tack on Mess's Cup, Hart and the fact that I think he's the only player on the list outside of Bouchard to be named 1st AST, Mess looks a lot closer to Boucher, and at the worst perhaps a clear cut second. Three, I was impressed with Ratelle's numbers, because he did them for A LOT of seasons - Espo, Colville and O'Connor, who have similar numbers to Ratelle, did it for 6, 6, and 4 seasons respectively I believe.

There are many other considerations, obviously, and like Crease I put a lot of weight on playoffs also, where Ratelle's numbers do take a notable hit. But I complied this so I could have one list that kind of got away from era and top ten scoring finishes as criteria.

Explanation of hockey reference's adjustment process for anyone not familiar with it:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/abou...ted_stats.html


Last edited by Cake or Death: 05-16-2013 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Added hockey reference link, fixed crappy spelling
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05-16-2013, 06:48 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
I can't obviously put any exact number on it, but it might be in the 10-20% range more difficult to stay top 10 or 20 in scoring post-expansion. Though I did observe that regardless of era, the best were the best were the best. The 70s consistently saw Espo, Orr, Clarke, Lafleur in the top 10; the 80s, Gretz, Mario, Kurri, Bossy, Stastny, etc. But beyond the consistent "best" guys, the rest of the top 10 or top 20 scoring list post-expansion was being filled out by a wider range of players than it was pre-expansion.
Interesting findings CoD. I always suspected something along these lines but never really took the time to actually parse the data. Nicely done.

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Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
Agree! Thanks for the great effort!
You're welcome. For completedness, I'm going to do the same today for the remaining 7 on this round's ballot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
Ok, this argument isn't designed to persuade anyone (except possibly myself) as I've been flipping Ratelle and Boucher for the top spot since this thing started, but to make a case for Ratelle:

Weíll start with simple numbers. 3rd all time for Rangers in points, 2nd all time in goals, 3rd in assists and 6th all time in games played. Just those stats put you near the top. Now, numbers donít mean anything, Messier has the 2nd most all time and heís not the 2nd best player, but what they show is that in a Rangers sweater he played for a long time and played at a very high level.

5 ppg seasons (and another 2 where he was 1pt under) 2 seasons with 40+ goals and another 4 with 30+. His 100+ points season earned him the Pearson and his career Ranger ppg is below only Mess and Espo from this top 10 list (and then only barely). Yeah he isnít right at the top of point scorers every season, but can you take points of him for playing in an era that saw the likes of Orr, Mikita, Clarke and Lemaire dominate the competition? Even with those greats he was top 10 in league scoring 5 times (6 if you include the trade year).

His playoffs aren't great, but a PPG of 0.64 isn't terrible, especially when that period was dominated by the Habs and Bruins running over the Rangers on their way to multiple cups.

Among out top 10 heís 2nd games played, 1st in goals, 1st in assist and 1st in points, played in 8 Ďcoreí seasons for the Rangers and his # hangs from the Garden rafters (donít get me started on Rangers jersey retirements).
His raw regular season totals ARE impressive. But it is the only argument for placing him above Boucher, and it is not a compelling one for me (yet). As Greg02 stated nicely in another post, Boucher is put at a systematic disadvantage due to the shorter seasons during the O6 Era. When comparing players of different eras, I think looking at relative dominance is useful. Ratelle was never considered the absolute best centerman in the league. Boucher was from 1932-1935. Ratelle was frequently in the discussions for the Lady Byng and won it twice. Boucher won it a record 7 times and no one else is even close to that number.

And then we get into playoff numbers...

Nevermind just Rangers centerman, Boucher was one of the best playoff performers in the NHL during his career. From the time he entered the league to his retirement, no one scored more playoff points. Also, among players with at least 30 playoff games, Boucher had the third highest PPG. It becomes even more impressive when you consider the fact that Boucher was primarily a playmaker, and scorekeepers were notoriously stingy about awarding assists in those years.

And then we can get into individual performances and the fact that Ratelle never did anything quite like what Boucher did in the 1928 playoffs. Before 1928, no one ever scored double digits in the playoffs. Boucher was the first, and it took another 10 years before anyone broke Boucher's single playoff scoring record.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
Other thoughts, disappointing that more people didn't submit a top 20 list and be eligible for voting.
There were quite a few posters who originally expressed interest, but with the playoffs in full swing, not entirely unexpected that they couldn't find the time. I suspect more participation for the Wingers project after everyone sees how much fun we're having.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Honestly, at this point I'm just about completely convinced that Boucher should run away with first. I'm much more interested in hearing people's opinions on Messier against Ratelle and the 4/5 spots.
I'm in the same boat Greg. I need help figuring out where to put Tkaczuk relative to Watson. I currently have Colville above both.


Last edited by Crease: 05-16-2013 at 07:13 AM.
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Old
05-16-2013, 07:03 AM
  #30
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**ADMIN NOTE**

A reminder that you may begin submitting your ballots for Round 2 Vote 1 today. Ballots are due by Saturday 5/18. A valid ballot has all 10 eligible centers on it, ranked from 1-10. Once I recieve all ballots, I will calculate and post the consensus top 5 from this round, then put up a thread for Round 2 Vote 2 with another list of 10 centers (5 from this round and the next 5 from the aggregate list).

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05-16-2013, 07:14 AM
  #31
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Messier
Ratelle
Tkaczuk
Boucher
Smith

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Old
05-16-2013, 07:32 AM
  #32
Cake or Death
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I'm in the same boat Greg. I need help figuring out where to put Tkaczuk relative to Watson. I currently have Colville above both.
One thing jumped at me, because with all this different era stuff we have to contend with, I am reading up on the guys - how they played D, what their contemporaries and historians said about them, etc. Regarding Watson I read this:

"Watson was a key player in the spring of 1940, when the New York Rangers famously won the Stanley Cup. Watson was brilliant in the semi-finals against Boston, checking the famed "Kraut Line," who finished 1-2-3 in NHL regular season scoring. Watson held them to just a lone goal in their six game series. Watson, meanwhile, scored twice, including the winner in game one. Watson would do a similar defensive job against Toronto, while adding 5 points in the finals."

Might help explain that retro Smythe going to Watson. If you're checking a line that finished 1-2-3 in scoring and hold them to one goal, that's beastly. FWIW, the same person I quoted above had this to say about Tkaczuk:

"If they ever designate a league wide trophy for the most underrated player in the National Hockey League, they should name it the Walt Tkaczuk Award.

He was never an explosive scorer but he did collect 227 goals in his 13 year career, all spent with the New York Rangers from 1968 through 1981. He was much better at moving the puck, as his 451 career assists attest. All in all, he was a consistent 20 goal, 60 point threat.

But Tkaczuk's biggest contribution to the Rangers was his using of his hockey intelligence to develop into a sparkling defensive forward, especially as a penalty killer. He was among the league's elite shadows and faceoff men too."

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05-16-2013, 07:39 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Note that that year (as well as the year Boucher finished second in points) predated AST voting. And it's not like he was up against poor competition, he was competing directly against a top 15 player in Howie Morenz
This made me curious to take a quick look at some of the other players Boucher was going up against beyond Morenz. The competition was actually fairly insane. In the 9 season span where Boucher finished top ten in points 8 times, the top ten scoring lists those 9 seasons included 27 different hall of famers. Ace Bailey, Dit Clapper, Charlie Conacher, Babe Dye, Dick Irvin, Aurele Joliat, Joe Primeau, Babe Siebert, Nels Stewart, etc. Steep competition.

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05-16-2013, 08:10 AM
  #34
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So how does one become an eligible voter?

__________________
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-]>++++++.>+.+++++++++++++++.>+++++++++.<-.
>-------.<<-----.>----.>.<<+++++++++++.>-------------
-.+++++++++++++.-------.--.+++++++++++++.+.>+.>.

NHL Standings Under Different Point Systems
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05-16-2013, 08:23 AM
  #35
Crease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker McDonald View Post
So how does one become an eligible voter?
All eligible voters have submitted a ranked list of their top 20 centers in NYR franchise history. A list of eligible centers can be found here. If you'd like to participate in the voting rounds, you can submit yours to me via PM by 5/18. On the same date, a ranked list of the 10 centers listed in post #2 of this thread is also due.

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05-16-2013, 08:36 AM
  #36
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As promised, here is a look at player performance relative to peers on a percentile basis for the remaining 7 candidates in Round 2 Vote 1. Table by default is sorted by year then by percentile. Columns are sortable by header.

Year Player Rank Players Percentile
1935/36 Watson 118 156 24
1935/36 Colville 152 156 2
1936/37 Watson 24 161 85
1936/37 Colville 25 161 84
1936/37 Smith 131 161 18
1937/38 Smith 9 153 94
1937/38 Colville 11 153 92
1937/38 Watson 22 153 85
1938/39 Smith 4 142 97
1938/39 Colville 12 142 91
1938/39 Watson 13 142 90
1939/40 Colville 7 137 95
1939/40 Watson 11 137 92
1939/40 Smith 33 137 76
1940/41 Colville 7 140 95
1940/41 Watson 13 140 90
1940/41 Smith 33 140 76
1941/42 Watson 4 147 97
1941/42 Smith 24 147 83
1941/42 Colville 29 147 80
1942/43 Watson 25 129 80
1942/43 Smith 38 129 70
1943/44 Raleigh 86 137 37
1945/46 Watson 30 128 76
1946/47 Watson 62 136 54
1947/48 O'Connor 2 132 98
1947/48 Watson 26 132 80
1947/48 Raleigh 27 132 79
1948/49 O'Connor 23 131 82
1948/49 Raleigh 38 131 71
1949/50 Raleigh 32 151 78
1949/50 O'Connor 37 151 75
1950/51 Raleigh 17 152 88
1950/51 O'Connor 26 152 83
1951/52 Raleigh 4 143 97
1952/53 Raleigh 52 143 63
1953/54 Raleigh 12 138 91
1954/55 Raleigh 21 139 85
1955/56 Raleigh 79 131 39
1967/68 Tkaczuk 278 288 3
1968/69 Tkaczuk 83 289 71
1969/70 Tkaczuk 5 288 98
1970/71 Tkaczuk 12 345 96
1971/72 Tkaczuk 25 338 92
1972/73 Tkaczuk 42 358 88
1973/74 Tkaczuk 39 389 90
1974/75 Tkaczuk 152 450 66
1975/76 Esposito 22 438 95
1975/76 Tkaczuk 155 438 64
1976/77 Esposito 17 449 96
1976/77 Tkaczuk 84 449 81
1977/78 Esposito 15 458 97
1977/78 Tkaczuk 37 458 92
1978/79 Esposito 21 448 95
1978/79 Tkaczuk 116 448 74
1979/80 Esposito 29 585 95
1979/80 Tkaczuk 172 585 71
1980/81 Tkaczuk 244 570 57
1980/81 Esposito 297 570 48

A simple breakdown is below, which shows the number of seasons that a player placed at or above the 90th percentile, 95th percentile, and 98th percentile:

Player Seasons 90+ 95+ 98+
Tkaczuk 14 5 2 1
O'Connor 4 1 1 1
Esposito 6 4 4 0
Raleigh 10 2 1 0
Watson 11 4 1 0
Smith 7 2 1 0
Colville 7 4 2 0

Edit: Colville had 4 seasons at or above the 90th percentile. Thanks for the heads up, Chief!

Espo was here for 5.5 seasons and played at a very high level for 4 of them. Tkaczuk and O'Connor peaked higher though, which may or may not mean anything to your individual rankings but it was something I found interesting.

This table also helps me in my comparison of Colville, Watson, and Smith.


Last edited by Crease: 05-16-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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05-16-2013, 09:48 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
Ok, this argument isn't designed to persuade anyone (except possibly myself) as I've been flipping Ratelle and Boucher for the top spot since this thing started, but to make a case for Ratelle:

Weíll start with simple numbers. 3rd all time for Rangers in points, 2nd all time in goals, 3rd in assists and 6th all time in games played. Just those stats put you near the top. Now, numbers donít mean anything, Messier has the 2nd most all time and heís not the 2nd best player, but what they show is that in a Rangers sweater he played for a long time and played at a very high level.

5 ppg seasons (and another 2 where he was 1pt under) 2 seasons with 40+ goals and another 4 with 30+. His 100+ points season earned him the Pearson and his career Ranger ppg is below only Mess and Espo from this top 10 list (and then only barely). Yeah he isnít right at the top of point scorers every season, but can you take points of him for playing in an era that saw the likes of Orr, Mikita, Clarke and Lemaire dominate the competition? Even with those greats he was top 10 in league scoring 5 times (6 if you include the trade year).

His playoffs aren't great, but a PPG of 0.64 isn't terrible, especially when that period was dominated by the Habs and Bruins running over the Rangers on their way to multiple cups.

Among out top 10 heís 2nd games played, 1st in goals, 1st in assist and 1st in points, played in 8 Ďcoreí seasons for the Rangers and his # hangs from the Garden rafters (donít get me started on Rangers jersey retirements).

Is he a clear cut #1, hell no, but when you think of top Rangers he his a name that springs immediately to mind, more so when you narrow that down to just centers.

My top 3 have always been Ratelle, Boucher, Messier, with the first two swapping around and Mess stuck in 3rd, and Iím sure Iíll change my mind several more times before the vote.

Other thoughts, disappointing that more people didn't submit a top 20 list and be eligible for voting.

Also disappointed that my man Goyette didn't make it onto enough peoples top 10 lists. Ah well, 9 out of 10 ain't bad
I have been going by proverbial gut in concert with the stats, and while I have to give props to the argument for Boucher for first, this post ^ articulates nicely the case for Ratelle as default 2nd and Messier 3rd.

Thanks for saving me the homework

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Old
05-16-2013, 09:53 AM
  #38
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I have to be honest that I don't see a logical argument for Ratelle being over Boucher or Messier. Originally, these were my top 3...but it quickly became a 2 horse race between Boucher and Messier - and the big factor there was Stanley Cups (and as part of that playoff performances).

I believed the scoring stats were a wash and I originally gave the nod to Boucher because he had 2 Cups. However, when I looked at what each player/team had to accomplish winning the Cup, I then saw that as a wash as well. Without repeating much of what I posted in the prior thread on this Top 10, Boucher's 1st Cup team won 5 games. For their second, the won between 5 and 7. Messier's Cup team had to win 16 games. I thought that degree of difficulty was enough to even the comparison regarding Championships.

So then I was left to look at other factors and I gave the edge to Messier for the following reasons:

1) Messier's Hart Trophy (and the Pearson, voted on by the players);
2) The fact that Messier accomplished something as a Ranger no other player had done, which was Captain a 2nd organization to a Cup.
3) He was the Captain by which all Captain's are judged. (Heck he's even got a leadership award named after him.)
4) ...and perhaps most impressive to me, he came to NY facing the daunting task of winning a Cup for an organization who hadn't won one in 40+ seasons. For too long my mantra as a Rangers fan was "Hey, you make the playoffs and you never know what can happen." That changed with Messier and a President's Trophy was quite the accomplishment. In any event, the challenge to deliver that Cup was immense..and he did...and in spectacular fashion with "The Guarantee". The stuff legends are made of.

So I currently have Messier #1...Boucher #2.

Ratelle became the clear #3 to me on my list. Long tenure as a Ranger. High level of play...but no Cups - which is really what they play for, right?...and Ratelle was disappointing in the playoffs. Maybe he should drop lower on my list because of the latter but what he did for so long keeps him #3 for me.

#'s 4 - 10 are much more difficult for me.

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05-16-2013, 10:00 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
... I did not know this about Ratelle. Very interesting. Thanks.
You're most welcome. But by all means, don't take my word for it. You don't have to catch Rod Gilbert for bagels and coffee to get a directly knowledgeable (though possibly biased) view of this.

Check out film/video, assuming same can be found [if not: ].

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05-16-2013, 10:04 AM
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To mike14 and bernmeister:

Messier is 2nd in goals (Ratelle), 3rd in assists (Ratelle, Tkaczuk), and 2nd in points (Ratelle) in terms of NYR franchise centermen. Ratelle compiled an impressive regular season resume. I tend to be swayed by the fact that Messier's playoff resume is so much stronger.

Ratelle managed 9 goals in 65 playoff games, well below his regular season pace. His assists per game also dropped in the playoffs. Messier increased GPG and APG in the playoffs during his tenure as a Ranger. I know playoff success is a function of the team itself but some of those 70's Rangers teams were just as strong as the '94 Rangers. Ratelle had the support of Park, Gilbert, not to mention Tkaczuk.

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05-16-2013, 10:11 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
Greg, in terms of what you're talking about with adjustments, that was about the only way I could get anything remotely close to a sort of apples to apples comparison. While nothing is obviously going to achieve that, the best way I could do it was to take adjusted year by year stats from hockey-reference for every player, then divide it by the number of seasons each guy played center, and come up with their average adjusted season. I like hockey references' adjusted stats as they work from a baseline, and adjust for era, schedule length, and roster size in a specific season. Anyways, when I did a guy's whole career and divided it by the number of seasons he played center, these were the figures I got:

Average Adjusted Scoring Season

PlayerGoalsAssistsPoints
Frank Boucher237295
Mark Messier264571
Phil Esposito293563
Jean Ratelle253762
Neil Colville233861
Buddy O'Connor203959
Don Raleigh153752
Clint Smith203151
Walt Tkaczuk173350
Phil Watson153348

To me, there are some interesting things there. One, Boucher is just out there - remove his goals, and his adjusted assists alone would rank first. Two, I was surprised how high Messier was, especially since his numbers took a bit of a hit from his second stint in NY. When you tack on Mess's Cup, Hart and the fact that I think he's the only player on the list outside of Bouchard to be named 1st AST, Mess looks a lot closer to Boucher, and at the worst perhaps a clear cut second. Three, I was impressed with Ratelle's numbers, because he did them for A LOT of seasons - Espo, Colville and O'Connor, who have similar numbers to Ratelle, did it for 6, 6, and 4 seasons respectively I believe.

There are many other considerations, obviously, and like Crease I put a lot of weight on playoffs also, where Ratelle's numbers do take a notable hit. But I complied this so I could have one list that kind of got away from era and top ten scoring finishes as criteria.

Explanation of hockey reference's adjustment process for anyone not familiar with it:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/abou...ted_stats.html
Great post. More than fair enough.

IMO, overall, great Ranger teams of late 60s early 70s (nixon years, ugh) got beat out by phenomenal Canadian teams, and 1 guy: Bobby Orr.

Orr was to hockey what Jordan was to basketball. Unstoppable. One game Villemure gave him virtually nothing, and once to his left and once to his right, he shot the puck sideways, FREAKIN sideways to beat us. And this was not his top thing, which was being the best skater forwards and especially backwards. Ever.

And those Hab teams were dominant because they practically had all stars at every position.

So I am more forgiving here on both Ratelle and Tkaczuk. Whatever they did personally on their shifts, my memory is typically they matched or outplayed the competition. To ask them to singlehandedly be difference makers vs that level of caliber of competition is too much to ask, IMO.

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05-16-2013, 10:15 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
...
FWIW, the same person I quoted above had this to say about Tkaczuk:

"If they ever designate a league wide trophy for the most underrated player in the National Hockey League, they should name it the Walt Tkaczuk Award.

He was never an explosive scorer but he did collect 227 goals in his 13 year career, all spent with the New York Rangers from 1968 through 1981. He was much better at moving the puck, as his 451 career assists attest. All in all, he was a consistent 20 goal, 60 point threat.

But Tkaczuk's biggest contribution to the Rangers was his using of his hockey intelligence to develop into a sparkling defensive forward, especially as a penalty killer. He was among the league's elite shadows and faceoff men too."
Spot on as to my memory of Walt T, one our finest ever.

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05-16-2013, 10:16 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
To mike14 and bernmeister:

Messier is 2nd in goals (Ratelle), 3rd in assists (Ratelle, Tkaczuk), and 2nd in points (Ratelle) in terms of NYR franchise centermen. Ratelle compiled an impressive regular season resume. I tend to be swayed by the fact that Messier's playoff resume is so much stronger.

Ratelle managed 9 goals in 65 playoff games, well below his regular season pace. His assists per game also dropped in the playoffs. Messier increased GPG and APG in the playoffs during his tenure as a Ranger. I know playoff success is a function of the team itself but some of those 70's Rangers teams were just as strong as the '94 Rangers. Ratelle had the support of Park, Gilbert, not to mention Tkaczuk.
But no one in '94 was as dominant as Orr, and arguably the Canadians of this period were stronger than '94 counterparts.

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05-16-2013, 10:18 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by bernmeister View Post
Great post. More than fair enough.

IMO, overall, great Ranger teams of late 60s early 70s (nixon years, ugh) got beat out by phenomenal Canadian teams, and 1 guy: Bobby Orr.

Orr was to hockey what Jordan was to basketball. Unstoppable. One game Villemure gave him virtually nothing, and once to his left and once to his right, he shot the puck sideways, FREAKIN sideways to beat us. And this was not his top thing, which was being the best skater forwards and especially backwards. Ever.

And those Hab teams were dominant because they practically had all stars at every position.

So I am more forgiving here on both Ratelle and Tkaczuk. Whatever they did personally on their shifts, my memory is typically they matched or outplayed the competition. To ask them to singlehandedly be difference makers vs that level of caliber of competition is too much to ask, IMO.
Bern this post answers the question I posed to you in post #40. You raise a very fair point regarding those Bruins and Habs teams of the 70's, and how much could reasonably have been expected from Ratelle. I'll take it into consideration before my vote.

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05-16-2013, 10:22 AM
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Esposito should get downgraded if for no other reason than he's why they dealt a young Rick Middleton for an over-the-hill Ken Hodge.
True!

But being gracious, to some extent Espo has so many Gs he deserves his props -- to limited extent.

However, when it comes to that career year he had in Boston, he was doing so many sloppy seconds from Orr and his W setups, there is no way you can compare Espo as a threat vs. any other top All time C; think of it like this, who would be consistently more effective on breakaways? Guys like Lemieux.

This is mainly why I consider Espo overrated.

And it's not his personal fault, but again, the deal that surrendered Park + Ratelle:amaz ed:

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05-16-2013, 10:27 AM
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Bern this post answers the question I posed to you in post #40. You raise a very fair point regarding those Bruins and Habs teams of the 70's, and how much could reasonably have been expected from Ratelle. I'll take it into consideration before my vote.
Thanks.

All, I remain leaning toward, but with an open mind on my top 4-5 selections,
and would really like more input about the bottom half

being as underscoring what Crease directed, we need to post the 10 eligible in ranked order

Also, thanks, in advance...

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05-16-2013, 10:36 AM
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Thanks.

All, I remain leaning toward, but with an open mind on my top 4-5 selections,
and would really like more input about the bottom half

being as underscoring what Crease directed, we need to post the 10 eligible in ranked order

Also, thanks, in advance...
My 4-5 is Tkaczuk and Colville, in no particular order just yet.

6-10 is looking like:

6. Watson
7. Esposito
8. Raleigh
9. Smith
10. O'Connor

Colville, Watson and Smith all played together. Colville edged out Watson, and Watson edged out Smith. The former two had better playoff records than Smith as well. Espo was here for 5+ seasons and was explosive in 3 of them. O'Connor was here for 4 seasons and was explosive in 1. Raleigh is a tough one to place. He was the original Walt Tkaczuk. Frank Boucher had a lot of praise for him when he coached the Rangers.

Without saying too much, I suspect Round 2 Vote 2 is going to be very interesting, especially when we add the next 5 from the aggregate list to the ballot.


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05-16-2013, 11:05 AM
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I like hockey references' adjusted stats as they work from a baseline, and adjust for era, schedule length, and roster size in a specific season.
I’d like to thank you for the info you’ve provided as well. Very illuminating stuff!

The funny thing is that in most of these types of conversations, I tend to be defending the players from hockey's earlier eras but, here, I find myself defending the modern day players more.

Anyway, as far as adjusted stats go, I think they are valuable to give someone with less knowledge of an era, an illustration of just how good that particular player was in his era. It’s like saying, this player was the Steven Stamkos of his day. I may be stating the obvious, but I think people need to remember that that’s different than saying the guy’s production was the same as Stamkos’. Adjusted stats inflate players’ stats from earlier eras by virtue of calculations, which isn’t the same as actually producing points on the ice.

As an example: If you look at Boucher’s 1st 10 seasons with the Rangers, he played in 456 out of a possible 460 regular season games. If he played during Messier’s 10 year Ranger career, he would have been looking at 788 regular season games and I don’t think you can just assume that a player would play that many more games at a high level. And that’s not even taking into account modern day playoffs which are a marathon event unto themselves.

Not to mention forwards in Boucher's era accumulated virtually twice the icetime of modern-day players because there were only 2 forward lines on the rosters (I'm right about that, aren't I?). A player who gets twice as much icetime has an obvious great opportunity to score.

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Also disappointed that my man Goyette didn't make it onto enough peoples top 10 lists. Ah well, 9 out of 10 ain't bad
We can at least agree on one thing. I too had Goyette in my Top 10!

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05-16-2013, 11:46 AM
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Great post. More than fair enough.

IMO, overall, great Ranger teams of late 60s early 70s (nixon years, ugh) got beat out by phenomenal Canadian teams, and 1 guy: Bobby Orr.

Orr was to hockey what Jordan was to basketball. Unstoppable. One game Villemure gave him virtually nothing, and once to his left and once to his right, he shot the puck sideways, FREAKIN sideways to beat us. And this was not his top thing, which was being the best skater forwards and especially backwards. Ever.

And those Hab teams were dominant because they practically had all stars at every position.

So I am more forgiving here on both Ratelle and Tkaczuk. Whatever they did personally on their shifts, my memory is typically they matched or outplayed the competition. To ask them to singlehandedly be difference makers vs that level of caliber of competition is too much to ask, IMO.
Very valid point. Same thing happened when (insert any team) played the 80s Islanders or Oilers. FWIW, even though I do value playoff performance, I didn't kill Ratelle over the playoff scoring decrease. He has too much else going right and I still had him top 3.

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05-16-2013, 11:55 AM
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I think that the best thing that adjusted stats do is provide context. And when his stats are put into context, what Boucher did was put up some of the best seasons as a center in his generation. Ratelle was one tier down from the very best. Boucher was in it.

With regards to round two voting, I think I'm going to be pushing Edgar Laprade pretty hard. He's one of those players who the more I read about him, the more I like him. Compare that to Clint Smith, where I get the opposite effect.

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