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HOH Top 60 Centers of All-Time: Round 1 Preliminary Discussion Thread

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08-29-2013, 12:01 PM
  #151
amnesiac
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In terms of active players I think the list ought to include:

for sure:
Crosby
Malkin

maybe:
Datsyuk
Zetterberg (W?)
Thornton
Sedin

hard to say given their short careers to date:
Stamkos
Toews

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08-29-2013, 01:01 PM
  #152
tony d
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I think I'd have Datsyuk there ahead of Malkin. Malkin's been good offensively but Datsyuk's all around game is better.

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08-29-2013, 01:42 PM
  #153
TheDevilMadeMe
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I don't see what makes Thornton worse than Dale Hawerchuk or Denis Savard, or how any of them could rank significantly below Peter Stastny

So I guess that means I'd add Thornton to the "definite" pile. Datsyuk too... Somewhere

Stamkos is tough - he already has a very historically significant regular season peak, but nothing else

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08-29-2013, 02:02 PM
  #154
amnesiac
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what order would the following go:

Lindros
Francis
Oates
Hawerchuk
Sundin
Modano
Lafontaine
Nieuwendyk
Savard
Turgeon
Roenick

(this is my order off the top of my head)


Does Larionov make the list?


Last edited by amnesiac: 08-29-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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08-29-2013, 02:22 PM
  #155
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I hope that one our more seasoned contributors would be kind enough to offer a personal perspective on Alex Delvecchio.

Of course, I can look at the numbers, but I did not personally see him play until he was long past his prime and years removed from his Production Line days.

Any insights would be appreciated.

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08-29-2013, 04:33 PM
  #156
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Alex Delvecchio

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Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
I hope that one our more seasoned contributors would be kind enough to offer a personal perspective on Alex Delvecchio.

Of course, I can look at the numbers, but I did not personally see him play until he was long past his prime and years removed from his Production Line days.

Any insights would be appreciated.
Alex Delvecchio was the last of the classic Red Wing centers - a LHS who could also play an excellent game at LW. Very low PIMs even though he did not avoid contact. His overall positioning was superior so he avoided all the lazy, unnecessary penalties plus the reflex type hi-sticking,retaliatory penalties. The positioning skills also helped his scoring and playmaking. Very strong, efficient skater, tight lines and arcs. Excellent defensively.

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08-29-2013, 05:01 PM
  #157
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm not familiar with all the guys but hockey experts can be fans as well.

A lot of people do draw certain memories in their formative years and I'm betting a lot of the panel members grew up or matured watching Keon.

I'm a huge career guy but Keon's peak is so underwhelming and the fact that he played a lot of his career post expansion and in the WHA makes him a hard case for me to place.

I looked over at the most recent ATD (he went 105th between Francis and Peter Stastny) and am comparing all sorts of lists to get ball park ideas on guys but Keon went way too high there IMO.

Ironically with the current Crosby/Forsberg thread on here Sid went right after Peter at 74,75 with Feds going 76.
Milt Dunnell and Frank Orr were two of Canada's most famous and respected sports journalists.

Orr was at the Toronto Star from 1961 on and worked as a sports journalist elsewhere in Ontario in the 1950s. He authored more than 30 books. He saw the team from the 1950s on.

Dunnell was born in 1905, died at age 102 in 2008 and saw all the great Leafs stars from the team's inception. He was writing his column for the Star until he was well into his 90's.

This was a very good panel, among the very best that could be assembled. If Milt Dunnell and Frank Orr chose Keon as the greatest Leaf, I'd say he no doubt was.

By the way, I saw the Leafs play from 1953 on, and Keon was the greatest Leafs player I ever saw. I realize eyeball evaluations by people who actually saw the players play are not given much weight on this board, but I'll say it anyway: you had to see him play to realize his worth. Statistics don't tell anything like the real story. I well remember watching the Stanley Cup finals of 1967 on television; Keon killed my Canadiens.

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08-29-2013, 05:45 PM
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter9 View Post
By the way, I saw the Leafs play from 1953 on, and Keon was the greatest Leafs player I ever saw. I realize eyeball evaluations by people who actually saw the players play are not given much weight on this board, but I'll say it anyway: you had to see him play to realize his worth. Statistics don't tell anything like the real story. I well remember watching the Stanley Cup finals of 1967 on television; Keon killed my Canadiens.
Few years later for me in watching Leafs growing up in Toronto, but ya, without a doubt the best Leaf Ive ever seen and I mean consistently over a long period of time. Sure you could point to other players, past, his present, future be it Gilmours brilliant run there for 2yrs, Sundin, but no, none of them were of the same caliber consistently shift-shift, game-game, season-season & decade-decade as Keon clearly was. This guy to take the best of them to school coming or going. Exceptionally smart player. Absolutely criminal the way Ballard treated him pretty much from 69/70 onward through his eventual departure in 74. Its a wonder he didnt just hang em' up altogether as clearly he was gutted in being essentially being forced out of the NHL altogether let alone the Leafs, the team Captain at that and really the last link to the Smythe & sponsorship era. Ya, that "event" soured generations of Leafs fans, many giving up the franchise then & there. The horror show that followed taking some real stomach to endure. Though still head & shoulders above most in the WHA, Keon was on cruise control during that period, effective when he returned with Hartford to the NHL but clearly at the end of the line.

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08-29-2013, 05:49 PM
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see what makes Thornton worse than Dale Hawerchuk or Denis Savard, or how any of them could rank significantly below Peter Stastny

So I guess that means I'd add Thornton to the "definite" pile. Datsyuk too... Somewhere

Stamkos is tough - he already has a very historically significant regular season peak, but nothing else

Thornton, Datsyuk, Savard and Stamkos very close for me.

Hawerchuk clearly better and Stastny better than Hawerchuk.

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08-29-2013, 05:56 PM
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intylerwetrust View Post
In terms of active players I think the list ought to include:

for sure:
Crosby
Malkin

maybe:
Datsyuk
Zetterberg (W?)
Thornton
Sedin

hard to say given their short careers to date:
Stamkos
Toews
I could also see Lecavalier and Richards making a few lists (though probably not mine).

As much as I dislike the idea of putting in a player who's only played six seasons, look at what Jonathan Toews has accomplished already: Top centre on two Cup winners and Conn Smythe winner along with playing elite Selke-quality defence. How do you leave him out?

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08-29-2013, 06:19 PM
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Suggest reading the game stories of the 1986 playoffs as each series progressed and how Guy Carbonneau showed his value compared to Bobby Smith and others.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...=1986+playoffs
That's all great but it's only a small part of the picture, one man's view of one playoffs and we are rating and ranking overall careers here not snapshots.

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08-29-2013, 06:22 PM
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see what makes Thornton worse than Dale Hawerchuk or Denis Savard, or how any of them could rank significantly below Peter Stastny

So I guess that means I'd add Thornton to the "definite" pile. Datsyuk too... Somewhere

Stamkos is tough - he already has a very historically significant regular season peak, but nothing else
I agree with this and Stamkos is a tough case, great peak but nothing else yet so it might be too early unless one really rates peak as the primary factor.

Maybe if he had more than 1 playoffs but I don't see him on very many top 80 lists.

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08-29-2013, 06:35 PM
  #163
Canadiens1958
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One Man's

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
That's all great but it's only a small part of the picture, one man's view of one playoffs and we are rating and ranking overall careers here not snapshots.
More than one reporter is included since there are multiple stories per page from multiple sources.

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08-29-2013, 06:45 PM
  #164
Mike Farkas
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There are too many 2 way centers with way better offensive stats than Carbo has. Forwards primary job over time is creating scoring, guys can always learn defense so scoring should be treated at the premium it is IMO.
Not to be a rabblerouser, but as a coach I take exception to this. On my teams, I could always "manufacture" offense, the instinct and anticipation necessary to check or "play defense" effectively could not be taught. A weakness can be covered up by tactical adjustment to some degree. But some guys just don't get "it" but hone their offensive skills anyhow.

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08-29-2013, 07:00 PM
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Not to be a rabblerouser, but as a coach I take exception to this. On my teams, I could always "manufacture" offense, the instinct and anticipation necessary to check or "play defense" effectively could not be taught. A weakness can be covered up by tactical adjustment to some degree. But some guys just don't get "it" but hone their offensive skills anyhow.
So NHL teams pay a premium for offensive forwards why?

Teams also spend alot of time practicing defensive systems and in todays NHL it seems to be a pretty good way of succeeding.

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08-29-2013, 07:07 PM
  #166
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On the topic of present forwards

I have Crosby, Thornton, Malkin, Datsyuk and H. Sedin. Zetterberg is flopping around my 80th spot, but he could still make it.


I'm interested in getting a discussion going on Soviet centres. Larionov and Petrov are easy. I have no idea after that.

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08-29-2013, 07:10 PM
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
That's all great but it's only a small part of the picture, one man's view of one playoffs and we are rating and ranking overall careers here not snapshots.
C'mon here Hv, that link represents a lot more than just one snapshot & "one mans opinion". Of course were taking the players entire career into consideration, the totality of his work. As Mike Farkas has pointed out & numerous others on innumerable occasions, you can in fact manufacture offense & points, what you cant do however is in a vast majority of the cases with natural Centers & Wingers is manufacture defensive orientation & responsible play. Lord knows its the bain of most Coaches existences, whereby they can lead the horses to water, but if they wont drink, standing on the bench watching it all unravel, not pretty. Not all Centers & Wingers sole purpose in life is to rack up the numbers, I dont know where you get this idea from, but I can tell you it simply isnt true, not the case at all and you know that. You have in most cases specific checking lines, specialists. Players who you might feel perfectly comfortable playing defence, indeed, often using a Centre or Winger from your checking line on the PP playing point. Someone like lets say... Guy Carbonneau. A player like that is just as important as a high flying high scoring Centre, and a few do deserve to be included in the top rankings of any list alongside the Glory Boys with the gaudy numbers.

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08-29-2013, 07:14 PM
  #168
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
I could also see Lecavalier and Richards making a few lists (though probably not mine).

As much as I dislike the idea of putting in a player who's only played six seasons, look at what Jonathan Toews has accomplished already: Top centre on two Cup winners and Conn Smythe winner along with playing elite Selke-quality defence. How do you leave him out?
I wouldn't put him too high(60-80) but I would put him there.

Also have Richards and Lecavalier at the bottom(79 and 80)

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08-29-2013, 07:16 PM
  #169
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So NHL teams pay a premium for offensive forwards why?

Teams also spend alot of time practicing defensive systems and in todays NHL it seems to be a pretty good way of succeeding.
Yes, the game has morphed. All 4 forward lines are now required to play responsibly at both ends of the rink, through the transition zones. System hockey. These guys from junior on micro-managed to the nth degree. Step outta line, caught on video, reamed out, benched. From the DPE through the post Lockout era's. I do believe however were seeing a slow change, a return somewhat to yesteryear, whereby offensively creative players are being given more head room, freer rein, and Id guesstimate that within 5yrs or so we'll see an increase in scoring, a lot more free-flow, wide open hockey.

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08-29-2013, 07:17 PM
  #170
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Quote:
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So NHL teams pay a premium for offensive forwards why?

Teams also spend alot of time practicing defensive systems and in todays NHL it seems to be a pretty good way of succeeding.
Because it's easier to measure goals created than goals defended.

I'm not sure what the last sentence means in the context of my comment, respectfully. But I do agree with it.

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08-29-2013, 07:46 PM
  #171
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Learning Paradox

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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Not to be a rabblerouser, but as a coach I take exception to this. On my teams, I could always "manufacture" offense, the instinct and anticipation necessary to check or "play defense" effectively could not be taught. A weakness can be covered up by tactical adjustment to some degree. But some guys just don't get "it" but hone their offensive skills anyhow.

The learning paradox. A young forward who understands defensive hockey will learn offensive if it is explained as reciprocal or a mirror of defensive hockey. They will understand that the proper lines, angles, arcs, body positioning to the net is simply applying on offense what he is countering defensively.

Few offensively skilled forwards see the same relationship. Even something basic like positioning to neutralize the stick. They appreciate the facility of playing with an unencumbered stick but not the value of neutralizing the opponents stick.

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08-29-2013, 09:08 PM
  #172
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
On the topic of present forwards

I have Crosby, Thornton, Malkin, Datsyuk and H. Sedin. Zetterberg is flopping around my 80th spot, but he could still make it.


I'm interested in getting a discussion going on Soviet centres. Larionov and Petrov are easy. I have no idea after that.
I have Maltsev a step above the other non-NHL European centers

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08-29-2013, 10:01 PM
  #173
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Because it's easier to measure goals created than goals defended.

I'm not sure what the last sentence means in the context of my comment, respectfully. But I do agree with it.
Part of it is that it is easier to measure goals than goals defended sure but a lot of it is because skill is at a premium at the NHL level.

Defensive systems and defensive players are also important but Guy in 86 plays on a SC where Roy was the star and 2 guys on the back end had a lot to do with overall defense Robinson who was 34 and Chelios who was 24 and already a stud on the back end.

In addition that team had Bob Gainey, McPhee and Skrudland who weren't defensive slouches.

We aren't talking an island of defensive play, like say Bobby Clarke in his 2 SC runs.

Guy is just one guy that has become really over rated, lots of great 2 way forwards had defense just as good or very close to him, along with much better offense as well.

I haven't done my list yet but it's highly unlikely that guy makes it, there are simply at least 80 better centers than him.

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08-29-2013, 10:10 PM
  #174
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Guy is just one guy that has become really over rated, lots of great 2 way forwards had defense just as good or very close to him, along with much better offense as well.
I disagree. I have never seen a defensive presence like his. I dunno if stats can prove his worth. Surely a case can be made with all the anecdotes and testimonials by hockey minds as to his greatness.

He may not make my top-60 (i haven't finished it yet) but he sure is in the mix for consideration!

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08-29-2013, 10:15 PM
  #175
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It's going to be interested to see where Sergei Fedorov ranks when it's all said and done. He's a guy that many overrate (not so much the HOH board) but he has a very solid career.

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