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Round 2, Vote 1 (HFNYR Top NYR Centers)

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Old
05-16-2013, 01:24 PM
  #53
Crease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
Did anyone else discover anything that they weren't aware of that surprised them? For me, when I read that Boucher won the Lady Byng so many times they actually gave him the original trophy and made a second one for the league, that made me laugh.
That was a good one.

I'm a bit embarassed to admit this but before this project started if you showed me a list of names that included some of these guys, I would not have been able to tell you who were Rangers. Raleigh, O'Connor, Smith. Didn't know a single iota about them before we started.

The biggest part of the project, for me, is not about the debate with other posters, but about educating myself about the history of the franchise and the history of the sport. It's been a very enjoyable process.

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05-16-2013, 01:44 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
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.
Feel free to make his case.
My second 5 is very fluid so far.

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05-16-2013, 04:29 PM
  #56
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Two factors that I think are important are being on one of the rare Ranger Cup teams and being inducted into the HHOF.

So help me out here, why shouldn't I have Tkaczuk and Raleigh at #'s 9 and 10 on my list?

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05-16-2013, 04:47 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
One thing I actually do remember, was when Gretzky entered the league, there were comparisons with him to Boucher from older people calling him the new Boucher. The clean play, great passing, and dominant, highly creative thinking of the gamewere something they both shared. Even when Boucher coached the Rangers Cup win in 1940, another marker in his favor, I remembered reading that Boucher created the PK box and was the first coach to pull his goalie. Definite similarities with him in Gretzky in how they seemed to have saw and executed the game at a very high level, mixed with amazing skill. ....
Woah!
I did not know THAT.
Kudos, indeed.

Thanks.

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05-16-2013, 04:48 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Chief View Post
Two factors that I think are important are being on one of the rare Ranger Cup teams and being inducted into the HHOF.

So help me out here, why shouldn't I have Tkaczuk and Raleigh at #'s 9 and 10 on my list?
IMO, there's no question they make the list, the question we have is the ranking...

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05-16-2013, 05:37 PM
  #59
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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.
I went to bed thinking about this last night (which is kind of sad...) and realised that Messier gets the rated down in my list simply because he's my favourite ever player and I give him the 'reverse bias' treatment. Without Messier I probably wouldn't be a hockey fan, and even if I was, most likely not a Ranger fan. There's also the fact his Rangers career is broken up into 6 out of 6 excellent seasons and then the 'return' where he had 1 good season, then got injured and finished his career as a 40pt player (although 40pts as 40+ year old on those Ranger teams wasn't horrible).

Lastly, longevity has to count for something IMO (and it's why I have Howe over Orr for #2 all time) and 6 seasons (7 if you want to include his 67 pt season), means it's not quite there compared to some others.

I find it hard to work out how much weight to give playoff performance. At the end of the day, it's what the game is all about, and the true greats will most likely rise to the top, but our opposition, and the team around you make such a difference. Outside of a Conn Smyth, whether or not a player was part of a cup winning team shouldn't hold too much weight IMO.

Also, loving all the info that's being posted, especially that tidbit about Gretz being compared to Boucher!

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05-16-2013, 06:55 PM
  #60
Chief
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmeister View Post
IMO, there's no question they make the list, the question we have is the ranking...
I should have been more clear...I meant that I currently have them at #9 and 10. Some people have them higher and I wanted to know why. Maybe I'm overlooking something.

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05-16-2013, 07:55 PM
  #61
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I have Raleigh at 10 as well, but Tkaczuk between 5 and 6.

It really depends on how you weigh things. Obviously, any ranking has to weigh career, prime, and peak. You take someone like Buddy O'Connor, who's almost all peak. How do you compare Tkaczuk's bunch of very good years to O'Connor's one amazing one and one very good one? You balance it out.

In my opinion, Tkaczuk's long career outweighs O'Connor's Hart. O'Connor's Hart outweighs Esposito's ~4 great years, because it's that awkward in between of too short to get longevity points and not good enough to get peak points. And Tkaczuk is clearly ahead of Clint Smith to me, who was viewed as a playoff choker, didn't consistently lead Rangers centers in points, and didn't add in anything defensively. Tkaczuk won a pair of team MVPs, outscored a prime Ratelle two years, was considered to be very good defensively, and was considered underrated.

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05-16-2013, 08:48 PM
  #63
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Anyone have a first hand comparison of Tkaczuk against Camille the Eel?

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05-16-2013, 10:22 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg02 View Post
Anyone have a first hand comparison of Tkaczuk against Camille the Eel?
No firsthand knowledge here, but I had Henry in my preliminary top 10, and slightly above Tkaczuk. I'll expand later.

Edit: Probably a discussion better suited for next round.


Last edited by Crease: 05-17-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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Old
05-17-2013, 03:57 PM
  #65
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**ADMIN NOTE**

Just a friendly reminder that Round 2 Vote 1 ballots are due in just over 24 hours. If you haven't done so already, please PM me your ballot by Saturday 5/18 at 5PM EST. A valid ballot contains a ranking of 1-10 of the 10 centermen listed in post #2 of this thread. Thank you!

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05-17-2013, 06:59 PM
  #66
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Thanks for putting all of this together, Crease. Looking great so far.

Apologies I'm coming to this party late. Been a busy week at work. After reading through parts of the discussion, here are my thoughts so far:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
I had the same issue Chief mentioned. I mean, right off the bat, if a guy wins a Cup now it is a lot harder to win it against 1 in 30 odds than 1 in 6 odds. Same is true of winning awards, AS selections, top 10 finishes, etc - the larger the pool the more people vying for things.
I think you're right in that it is true that in a lot of ways it is harder to win a Cup now than it was when guys like Boucher played the game - primarily because of how much more grueling the playoffs have become with 4 rounds, 7 game series, and the physical attrition that the players go through. But I don't think you can really think about it as 1 in 30 odds now vs. 1 in 6 odds then. All teams are not and were not created equal – and they do not all have the same "chance" at winning the cup in today's NHL - nor did they in the days long past. I think it is certainly a bigger challenge in today’s NHL – but I don’t think it is 5 times harder because there are 5 times more teams in the league.

That kind of thinking may work when looking at the limited competition for awards / top-10 scoring finishes / etc; but I'm not so sure it accurately represents the varying difficulty / degree of competition between then and now for winning a championship.


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Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
We’ll 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 don’t mean anything, Messier has the 2nd most all time and he’s 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 isn’t 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).

This certainly makes his resume look impressive. But just looking at the surface #s isn’t a convincing argument for me. In my mind, you have to consider the eras the players played in as well (not to mention in my overall ratings, I’m heavily weighting playoff performance, which is just going to knock Ratelle down a few pegs, despite his great overall career).

To expand some more on what Greg was saying in response to these #s – and provide specifics – the reason these aren’t convincing to me are two fold:

1. The players played in very different eras in which the competition was different, the game was played differently, and scoring rates (for many reasons) were higher or lower. Of the three players, Ratelle played during the highest scoring era of the NHL. During his time with the Rangers, the average number of goals scored per game hovered between 5.75 gpg and 6.75 gpg. Boucher played in one of the lowest scoring eras of the NHL – with goals per game hovering between 2.9 gpg and 5 gpg. In Messier’s first stint with the Rangers, average scoring hovered between 5.75 gpg and 7 gpg; in his second stint it was around 5.25 gpg. This info can be found here: http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_GoalsPerGame.php

2. Ratelle put up these numbers and set these franchise records in about 15 seasons with the Rangers. Boucher had 13 seasons with the Rangers (and seasons almost half the length of Ratelle’s era). Messier had 10 seasons with the Rangers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
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.
While those Habs and Bruins were certainly dominant teams, I don’t know that I’m convinced that this is enough to look past his teams’ disappointing inability to get over the hump and win it all.

Not to mention that Boucher’s Rangers weren’t exactly competing against bad teams - or dominating the league. They faced some absolutely dominant Habs, Bruins, Leafs, Hawks, and even toward the end of his career – Red Wings – teams.

Messier’s Rangers faced very good Penguins and Devils teams. And toward the end of his first stint, Flyers.


---

One thing to consider, that I don’t think has been discussed, when trying to determine how to rank Colville and Watson – who had very similar careers – is their linemates.

As best I can tell, Watson’s linemates for a good portion of his time with the Rangers were Lynn Patrick and Bryan Hextall. Colville’s were his brother, Mac Colville, and Alex Shibicky. Both of Watson’s linemates are hall of famers who were big scorers for their eras (around 0.75 ppg for both of them). Neither of Colville’s were hall of famers and hovered between 0.5 and 0.6 ppg. The fact that Colville was able to put up the #s he did with what seems like significantly weaker linemates says something to me.

Of course, you could make the argument that Watson made his linemates better (in which case, it would be travesty that he isn’t in the HHOF and Colville is); but based on what I’ve read, it seems like Colville was considered the heart of his line. This is just one reason why I’ve got Colville ahead of Watson.

---

Unfortunately, I have to run now, so I can’t get into this as much as I’d like. Apologies if I missed this - and if I did, disregard this (I skimmed the last page) - but I’m curious what peoples’ rationales are for placing Tkaczuk ahead of guys like Espo/O’Connor/Raleigh/Smith.

---

My preliminary top 5 is:

Boucher
Messier
Ratelle
Colville
Watson

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05-17-2013, 08:37 PM
  #67
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Here's my concern. As of now, I'm leaning towards Watson over Tkaczuk. However, I'm also currently with Laprade over Watson, and Henry just below Tkaczuk. So essentially I'm not sure which of Watson or Tkaczuk I'm more comfortable with ranking too high.

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05-17-2013, 10:03 PM
  #69
mike14
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Just to confirm, am i submitting a list of just a top 5, or the whole top 10?

Edit - disregard, just read crease's post. Top 10 incoming


Last edited by mike14: 05-17-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: i should learn to read
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Old
05-18-2013, 09:21 AM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
One thing to consider, that I don’t think has been discussed, when trying to determine how to rank Colville and Watson – who had very similar careers – is their linemates.

As best I can tell, Watson’s linemates for a good portion of his time with the Rangers were Lynn Patrick and Bryan Hextall. Colville’s were his brother, Mac Colville, and Alex Shibicky. Both of Watson’s linemates are hall of famers who were big scorers for their eras (around 0.75 ppg for both of them). Neither of Colville’s were hall of famers and hovered between 0.5 and 0.6 ppg. The fact that Colville was able to put up the #s he did with what seems like significantly weaker linemates says something to me.

Of course, you could make the argument that Watson made his linemates better (in which case, it would be travesty that he isn’t in the HHOF and Colville is); but based on what I’ve read, it seems like Colville was considered the heart of his line. This is just one reason why I’ve got Colville ahead of Watson.
Great stuff! I had Colville ahead of Watson but this solidifies it.

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