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Kovalchuk vs Selänne

View Poll Results: Choose a player (all-time):
Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk 4 3.96%
Teemu Ilmari Selänne 97 96.04%
I'm sorry I can't, they are way too close 0 0%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-28-2013, 09:35 PM
  #1
Ziostilon
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Kovalchuk vs Selänne

Made this poll around four years ago. To some, it might be a surprise that they are both still playing in this league. One could've gone to the KHL, the other could've retired by now.

Random excerpts from the former thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
The reason I say it's impossible to compare them at this point is because Kovalchuk does not have enough of a career to prove that he will turn out better than Selanne did. Honestly, I think he will end his career considered a better player (higher on the all-time list) than Selanne, but I'm not ready to say it until Kovalchuk has around 10 seasons in the league.

IMO, Kovalchuk will have a better career, but we'll never know what Selanne could have done if he didn't have all those injury problems and he didn't play in the peak of the "old" NHL. Selanne had a few seasons that he was at a level of dominance so high that even Kovalchuk, even with his Rocket Richard and two 50 goal seasons hasn't reached yet.

1998-99, when he led the league in goals and was the only player other than Jagr to cross 100 points. The year before, when Kariya only played 22 games, he led the league in goals with 52. And the year before that, finished second in the league with 51 goals, and was the only player other than a Penguin (Lemieux) with over 100 points. To me, Kovalchuk hasn't shown quite that level of dominance yet. A lot of people say Kariya made Selanne that great, but Selanne's best seasons were during years Kariya missed large chunks of the season. If his knee, among other areas, didn't give out, and he didn't have to play under Darryl Sutter in San Jose, he probably would have a few more 50 goal seasons.

Not to mention, Selanne was nearly as good, if not better, than Kovalchuk, during the former's last two full seasons. In his mid-to-late 30's.

Kovalchuk, IMO, will have a better career. But I'm not ready to give it to him yet. It's funny, though, because both of these players had/have obstacles that prevent them from being considered the best player at their positions. Selanne was the second best RW for a long time behind Jaromir Jagr, while Kovalchuk has Alexander Ovechkin directly in front of him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sykie View Post
The thing most people fail to understand : the key numbers here are not the assists total, but the year where these totals were achieved.

Now if you compare players when they played in the same time :

2001-02; Kovalchuk : 51 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.
* At 18 and playing only 65 games, still managed to produce as much as Selanne.
2002-03; Kovalchuk : 67 pts. Selanne : 64 pts.
2003-04; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 32 pts.
2005-06; Kovalchuk : 98 pts. Selanne : 90 pts.
2006-07; Kovalchuk : 76 pts. Selanne : 94 pts.
2007-08; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 23 pts.
2008-09; Kovalchuk : 91 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.

Breakdown : Kovalchuk outscored Selanne from day 1, at 18. Except for one year, Kovalchuk outscored Selanne each and every year as soon as he stepped up on the NHL ice.

Selanne is a great player, and showed great durability. As usual old players will win pools on HF, especially when this player have a boatload of finnish fans pushing him . But Kovalchuk is a superior player and has been since day 1.
With the amount of seasons that Kovalchuk has played in this league, he is about to reach the 2004 lockout point of Selanne's career. That's a pretty good sample size to go off from. The question is whether Kovy's lower body will wear out on him or does he continue to stay relatively healthy.

Who will be the better player of all-time?
Ilya Valeryevich Kovalchuk or Teemu Ilmari Selänne




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Old
06-28-2013, 09:50 PM
  #2
tombombadil
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It will be nice to see a poll on here where the Canadian doesn't automatically win!


Last edited by JeffMangum: 06-29-2013 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Um, no.
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Old
06-28-2013, 10:03 PM
  #3
quoipourquoi
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That post from Sykie you quoted makes me want to punch a wall. Kovalchuk needs to age really well in the next ten years to be above Selanne, who was barely behind him in points-per-game between the lockouts. It's one thing to compete against Martin St. Louis for a 94-point Art Ross; it's another thing to try to chase down Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in three-straight seasons.

I mean, whatever we conclude Kovalchuk's best season to be, is it really that much better than Teemu Selanne at 35 or 36?

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06-28-2013, 10:24 PM
  #4
tombombadil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
That post from Sykie you quoted makes me want to punch a wall. Kovalchuk needs to age really well in the next ten years to be above Selanne, who was barely behind him in points-per-game between the lockouts. It's one thing to compete against Martin St. Louis for a 94-point Art Ross; it's another thing to try to chase down Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in three-straight seasons.

I mean, whatever we conclude Kovalchuk's best season to be, is it really that much better than Teemu Selanne at 35 or 36?
ya, i didn't even read that post. That IS horrible!

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06-28-2013, 10:25 PM
  #5
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I think Kovalchuk's playoff run last year really helps. Still, Ilya just hasn't done enough to bump Selanne at this point.

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06-29-2013, 04:40 AM
  #6
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Kovalchuk has like 5 years in front of him and he has to produce TOP 10 offense with near the Selke calibre defense at least during 3 of them to wash the gap. Another good playoff run(s) would help a lot. With that being said, NJD version of Kovalchuk is probably the better player than Selanne ever was. That's a huge point, because at one point Selanne was arguably TOP3 forward, altough only because of his offense. Selanne has just incredible longevity with really high peaks, while Kovalchuk maintain high level of play on more consistent basis with lower offensive outputs, he starts to remind me Hossa type of a player.

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06-29-2013, 04:55 AM
  #7
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Kovalchuk has 10 more years to play, he will have better career without major injury problems.

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06-29-2013, 07:20 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Kovalchuk has like 5 years in front of him and he has to produce TOP 10 offense with near the Selke calibre defense at least during 3 of them to wash the gap.
I hope you're not implying the Selanne ever produced "Selke caliber defense."

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06-29-2013, 07:41 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Kovalchuk has like 5 years in front of him and he has to produce TOP 10 offense with near the Selke calibre defense at least during 3 of them to wash the gap. Another good playoff run(s) would help a lot. With that being said, NJD version of Kovalchuk is probably the better player than Selanne ever was. That's a huge point, because at one point Selanne was arguably TOP3 forward, altough only because of his offense. Selanne has just incredible longevity with really high peaks, while Kovalchuk maintain high level of play on more consistent basis with lower offensive outputs, he starts to remind me Hossa type of a player.
More well-rounded, as he has developed into a competent 5th/6th forward on the penalty kill, but certainly not a better player than Selanne was when he was the best forward behind Lemieux and Jagr.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

That's three-straight years as a top-five finisher in the Hart Trophy race (top-three skater in voting each season). Kovalchuk's highest finishes were 10th place in 2012 and 11th place in 2004. Again, that's more in-line with the older Selanne, who finished 14th and 9th place in 2006 and 2007.

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06-29-2013, 07:43 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I hope you're not implying the Selanne ever produced "Selke caliber defense."
He's clearly implying that Kovalchuk developing a two-way game a la Hossa is the best approach.

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Old
06-29-2013, 08:29 AM
  #11
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Love Kovy, but Selanne should win this easily.

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06-29-2013, 09:26 AM
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Is this even a question? Selanne by a country mile

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06-29-2013, 09:34 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skillhockey View Post
Kovalchuk has 10 more years to play, he will have better career without major injury problems.
Individually I don't see Kovalchuk having a good chance for better career. Team-based accomplishments are still possible tough.

Kovalchuk has never been as good as Selanne was at his best, so basically the only way for him to trump Selanne would be longevity and that is a huge stretch.

I am saying a solid lock for Selanne to being considered the better player now and forever.

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06-29-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
More well-rounded, as he has developed into a competent 5th/6th forward on the penalty kill, but certainly not a better player than Selanne was when he was the best forward behind Lemieux and Jagr.
Ugh, the answer to this poll is definitely Selanne, but you are really not giving Kovalchuk credit. He's a top 4 penalty killer on NJ, and was last year when they had a record-setting PK in the regular season. Kovalchuk is an absolutely fantastic penalty killer, now. At even strength, his defensive effort is fairly inconsistent, but I would take it over any time during Selanne's prime. That said:

Quote:
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

That's three-straight years as a top-five finisher in the Hart Trophy race (top-three skater in voting each season). Kovalchuk's highest finishes were 10th place in 2012 and 11th place in 2004. Again, that's more in-line with the older Selanne, who finished 14th and 9th place in 2006 and 2007.
Basically, this. I don't see any reason to think Kovalchuk will ever overtake Selanne, who was quite a bit better for a stretch in the mid-late 90s than Kovalchuk ever was. At this stage in his career, I think it's highly unlikely that Kovalchuk hits a new level of play that would put him on the same level.

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06-29-2013, 12:32 PM
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Absolutely. Kovalchuk is a fantastic penalty killer. One of those things that shows us penalty killing is a lot different from 5-on-5 defense.

It is basically a meaningless stat, but wasn't Kovalchuk basically a "plus-player" on PK at some point of that season? Like, 20 or so games played and Devils scored more goals on PK than they had scored against them when Kovalchuk was playing.

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06-29-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
Absolutely. Kovalchuk is a fantastic penalty killer. One of those things that shows us penalty killing is a lot different from 5-on-5 defense.

It is basically a meaningless stat, but wasn't Kovalchuk basically a "plus-player" on PK at some point of that season? Like, 20 or so games played and Devils scored more goals on PK than they had scored against them when Kovalchuk was playing.
Right. Pavel Bure and Peter Bondra were two more players who were great on the PK but not so great defensively at even strength (I think Kovalchuk's even strength defense in NJ has developed to be better than their's). I think that the skills that make a defenseman good defensively at even strength are very similar to good penalty killing, but it's quite different for forwards. Being able to cover a lot of space quickly is such an asset on the penalty kill.

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06-29-2013, 04:11 PM
  #17
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Should be Selanne. Unless, as TDMM mentions, Kovalchuk hits a new level of play which is unlikely at this point.

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06-30-2013, 02:54 AM
  #18
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Teemu AINEC

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06-30-2013, 11:11 AM
  #19
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Kovalchuk might end up with more career goals than Selanne, but he needs to stay pretty healthy for that to happen.

Too bad we never got to see Selanne's full potential in the NHL as he was 22 years old when he entered the league, when Kovalchuk was only 18...

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06-30-2013, 12:00 PM
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tony d
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Teemu Selanne.

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06-30-2013, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tombombadil View Post
It will be nice to see a poll on here where the Canadian doesn't automatically win!
Selanne at least played for the Jets...

so him


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06-30-2013, 03:44 PM
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Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tombombadil View Post
It will be nice to see a poll on here where the Canadian doesn't automatically win!
Why?

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07-01-2013, 02:13 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sykie View Post

2001-02; Kovalchuk : 51 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.
* At 18 and playing only 65 games, still managed to produce as much as Selanne.
2002-03; Kovalchuk : 67 pts. Selanne : 64 pts.
2003-04; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 32 pts.
2005-06; Kovalchuk : 98 pts. Selanne : 90 pts.
2006-07; Kovalchuk : 76 pts. Selanne : 94 pts.
2007-08; Kovalchuk : 87 pts. Selanne : 23 pts.
2008-09; Kovalchuk : 91 pts. Selanne : 54 pts.

Breakdown : Kovalchuk outscored Selanne from day 1, at 18. Except for one year, Kovalchuk outscored Selanne each and every year as soon as he stepped up on the NHL ice.

Selanne is a great player, and showed great durability. As usual old players will win pools on HF, especially when this player have a boatload of finnish fans pushing him . But Kovalchuk is a superior player and has been since day 1.
And this is why you should look at production as well. Kovalchuk is the epitome of racking up points playing huge ice times. It's actually quite deceptive. Although Kovalchuk typically gains 80-90 points he also has seen average ice times comparable to #1 defenseman. One year he even averaged over 8 minutes a night on the pp. But that doesnt matter. The point im making is if you look at player production its actually Selanne who is far better thatn Kovalchuk and this is a more accurate metric than looking at ppg let alone comparing season by season numbers.

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07-01-2013, 07:13 AM
  #24
begbeee
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As has been said, Selanne has 3 near the Hart trophy seasons on Kovalchuk, so I don't know what is laughable here. Kovalchuk is 30 now and is not expected from forward to put up his best seasons at age 35 or higher.

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07-01-2013, 06:45 PM
  #25
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IMO, there are only few european forwards better than Teemu Selänne.... They are IMHO Jagr, Makarov and Forsberg. Teemu is that good

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