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

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Old
08-29-2013, 10:30 PM
  #176
thom
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I know his stats are not awe inspiring but Dave Keon was a great player and might have been the greatest leaf ever.People who saw him and media who covered him in toronto have him high on their list.Even Scotty Bowman has him in the top 20 greatest canadiens.Maybe its high but the point is people should not forget how important he was to leafs.Its sad how his divorce from maple leafs happened so many year ago.He lives in florida for past 30 yrs

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08-29-2013, 10:43 PM
  #177
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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!
I'm sure if we did a poll in this section on the best defensive players of all time that guy would do quite well but I highly doubt he would even come in 1st or 2nd for that matter?

For arguments sake let's say he comes in 3rd and Feds or Dats 10th, don't the other 2 guys have vastly superior offensive resumes?

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08-30-2013, 12:24 AM
  #178
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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!
Carbonneau's defensive capabilities were exceptional, in fact beyond compare among his contemporaries in my view.

It's also important to note, as I've written on this forum before, that Carbonneau was one of those rare players whose value far exceeded the sum of his considerable talents.

The abiding picture I have is this: Carbonneau, near the end of the game with his team exhausted yet desperately needing a goal to tie or win the game, coming back all the way into his own end, winning back the puck, wheeling around and dashing back up the ice with the puck in an effort to rally his temmates for one last all-out effort. That summed him up.

Carbonneau's ability to lead his team, to rise to the occasion, to rally his teammates, was second to none. He never gave up, he led by example, and he was an inspirational force. He was the heart and soul of the Canadiens teams for which he played.

For that reason, I was truly shocked that the Canadiens got rid of him when he still had a great deal to offer over a trivial off-ice occurrence--a reflection of the ludicrously incompetent decision-making of the Canadiens management of the time and the beginning of the end of the Canadiens as a great team.

Neither these intangible qualities nor defensive capabilities are reflected in statistics although both are extremely valuable to the team. Thus it is that Carbonneau suffers twice over in evaluations that are tightly bound to statistical comparisons.

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08-30-2013, 12:55 AM
  #179
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Neither these intangible qualities nor defensive capabilities are reflected in statistics although both are extremely valuable to the team.
... or Game 2 of the 1993 Finals against Gretzky & Company, 2 minutes to go, the Habs down 2-1, Carbonneau telling Demers he thinks Marty McSorleys using an illegal stick (curve). They lose the call their playing shorthanded & already lost Game 1, Kings with a 2 Game advantage. Referee measures McSorleys stick & sure enough, illegal. Montreal hangs on, ties up the game 2-2, winning in Overtime. Turning point right there, takes the wind out of LA's sails. Series tied. Yes, far more to Guy Carbonneau than just statistics, what appears on a spreadsheet.

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08-30-2013, 08:12 AM
  #180
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Carbonneau's defensive capabilities were exceptional, in fact beyond compare among his contemporaries in my view.
I don't think that anyone is questioning this.. the problem is that is half the game.

And the half that is very poorly quantified at that. So how does one determine him in relation to more well rounded centermen?

The same issue is going to come up (to a lesser extent) with people trying to place a guy like Dave Keon - who by all accounts was a perfect hockey player whose worth isn't captured in the statistics available.

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08-30-2013, 08:31 AM
  #181
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Am I crazy to think Bykov, Peca, Lafontaine, Trihey, Walsh and Dunderdale deserve consideration?

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08-30-2013, 09:03 AM
  #182
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Half the Game?

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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I don't think that anyone is questioning this.. the problem is that is half the game.

And the half that is very poorly quantified at that. So how does one determine him in relation to more well rounded centermen?

The same issue is going to come up (to a lesser extent) with people trying to place a guy like Dave Keon - who by all accounts was a perfect hockey player whose worth isn't captured in the statistics available.
Assigning defensive value by position out of /10 - goalie. 2 dmen/ 3 forwards. Doubtful that any forward makes the NHL if his value is lower than an 8/10, dman if it is lower than 9/10. Goalies would be 9+/10. Exclusive fighters not considered, so you would be looking at the 52/60 range for any given 6 man unit. That is low end defensively. Elite team, over 54/60, minimum 9/10 across the board.

On the other hand low end offensively skilled skaters - Hal Gill, Travis Moen manage to endure.

Even the amount of actual offense that is generated during a 60 minute game is a small percentage of game time. Total 70 shot, 10 goal game might have upwards of 10 minutes of offense. The rest of the time defense prevails.

As for what is captured by the available statistics the answer is twofold.

First what is captured and what is looked at or interpreted is a question of individual interest and inclination. What grabs the attention and sells.

Second aspect is doing the exhaustive research. Getting all the details and comparisons that allow the defensive nuances to surface. What makes the actual difference in performance.

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08-30-2013, 09:07 AM
  #183
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Deserve

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Am I crazy to think Bykov, Peca, Lafontaine, Trihey, Walsh and Dunderdale deserve consideration?
They do not deserve dismissal without consideration.

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08-30-2013, 09:11 AM
  #184
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I'd consider Lafontaine for my list, perhaps towards the end of it. Dunderdale maybe, might need to see an argument for the other guys.

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08-30-2013, 04:26 PM
  #185
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Am I crazy to think Bykov, Peca, Lafontaine, Trihey, Walsh and Dunderdale deserve consideration?
Bykov: Tough to say. He really is a "what if" player in my mind. Certainly seemed to be on his way to becoming an all-time great when the USSR broke up. Unlike other Soviet forwards, he never came to the NHL and just kind of screwed around in weak European leagues after the USSR broke up.

Peca: I see him as basically a lesser version of Carbonneau in a lot of ways. Probably not that far behind Carbs, but definitely a little behind him. Really depends on on how you rank Carbs. I doubt I'll have Peca. I think that with this type of player, there really is only room for the true best.

Lafontaine: I think a lot of people overrate him, but I would be surprised if he wasn't on most top 80s.

Trihey: He's definitely below Frank McGee and how high can McGee be? Is Trihey even better than Dan Bain? I'm open to a case being made.

Marty Walsh: Another guy below Frank McGee, right?

Tommy Dunderdale: I hope he get strong consideration. I still have trouble separating the stars of the PCHA after Cyclone Taylor. This analysis by Sturminator based on the Vs2 method is the most complete I've seen, but I'd like to see more.

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08-30-2013, 06:02 PM
  #186
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Am I crazy to think Bykov, Peca, Lafontaine, Trihey, Walsh and Dunderdale deserve consideration?
I'd be tempted to look at Ernie Russell before some of these guys. Beat Russell Bowie in scoring once and had a much better team so he was able to win some Stanley cups.

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08-30-2013, 10:56 PM
  #187
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Even the amount of actual offense that is generated during a 60 minute game is a small percentage of game time. Total 70 shot, 10 goal game might have upwards of 10 minutes of offense. The rest of the time defense prevails.
Okay, I'll play along , so if say the Pens beat the NYI 10-1, a guy like Mario spends something like 10 minutes in that game playing offense and maybe 1 actual minute of defense (since the NYI on the flip side only produced 1 goal and in your example that would be 1 minute of offense?).

I'm thinking you might want to reword or perhaps rework that idea.

Quote:
Second aspect is doing the exhaustive research. Getting all the details and comparisons that allow the defensive nuances to surface. What makes the actual difference in performance.
well we can sort of do this for offense between players already but how do we separate when a guy like Guy was playing defense on the 86 Habs team (with Roy who obviously has the largest affect on GA).

I mean there are at elast 5 guys and 2 HOF Dmen who are known for their defesen on that team, how exactly could Guy be so much better than them?

The answer is that he really can't outside of exaggerated observations and interpretations.

Maybe his 100 (out of a scale of 100 defense also is on a team with some other high 90's. On offense we know that he is well below the 100 or even 90 range, more like in the 60's at his very best depending on the metric used.

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08-31-2013, 08:40 PM
  #188
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I know a lot of us check out the results of the last ATD in order to get a rough list of available candidates to make sure they haven't missed anybody. How far someone goes down the list likely varies. I just bring this up because there's a Hall of Fame centre who might be overlooked because he went really late in the last ATD at #692.

Buddy O'Connor: I'm looking at his career and thinking he still comes up a tad short. If not for his Hart win, then he's a lot further off. And that Hart looks like a case of "most valuable" rather than "best" as Lach was the 1st All-Star C that season.

Can anybody sell me on him deserving to be in the top 80?

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08-31-2013, 09:05 PM
  #189
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Can anybody sell me on him deserving to be in the top 80?
Not I, no, fraid not. Indeed, I wonder why he's even an Honored Member in the HHOF (inducted in 1988). Had 2 really good years with the Habs playing on what was called the Razzle Dazzle Line with his childood friends Morin & Heffernan, then some serious points with the Rangers during the early years of WW2. Small, lightweight (under 150lbs) player. Not really extraordinary near as I can tell beyond being crafty, ice savvy, a trickster & fast. If he was that good why did Montreal trade him?

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08-31-2013, 10:35 PM
  #190
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are Firsov and Zetterberg considered centres?

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08-31-2013, 10:40 PM
  #191
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are Firsov and Zetterberg considered centres?
Zetterberg yes. Firsov no.
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...386941&page=11

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08-31-2013, 11:09 PM
  #192
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Indeed, I wonder why he's even an Honored Member in the HHOF (inducted in 1988).
O'Connor was a pick by the Veteran's Committee. The Veteran's Committee inducted players, mostly from the 1930s and 1940s, who were not inducted by people who saw them play. It sure seems like they did nothing more than look at O'Connor's Hart Trophy and induct him based on that, but who knows, since the whole thing is in secret.

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08-31-2013, 11:59 PM
  #193
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Buddy O'Connor

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
O'Connor was a pick by the Veteran's Committee. The Veteran's Committee inducted players, mostly from the 1930s and 1940s, who were not inducted by people who saw them play. It sure seems like they did nothing more than look at O'Connor's Hart Trophy and induct him based on that, but who knows, since the whole thing is in secret.
Babe Pratt another Hart Trophy winner was inducted in 1966, even though he had been suspended briefly from the NHL for a gambling related situation. Buddy O'Connor with a Hart/Byng in one season - two major trophies had a viable case given Babe Pratt plus the lack of Rangers from the 1946-1955 era. He was named ahead of Edgar Laprade.

Veterans Committee at that time probably had a number of electors who saw him play or even played against him. Likes of Dick Irvin Jr, Lefty Reid were either on the committee or around to offer advice, also others like Milt Dunnell were around as well.

All of the Veteran Committee inductees were seen by people active in the HHOF selection process.

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09-01-2013, 12:35 AM
  #194
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Babe Pratt another Hart Trophy winner was inducted in 1966, even though he had been suspended briefly from the NHL for a gambling related situation. Buddy O'Connor with a Hart/Byng in one season - two major trophies had a viable case given Babe Pratt plus the lack of Rangers from the 1946-1955 era. He was named ahead of Edgar Laprade.

Veterans Committee at that time probably had a number of electors who saw him play or even played against him. Likes of Dick Irvin Jr, Lefty Reid were either on the committee or around to offer advice, also others like Milt Dunnell were around as well.

All of the Veteran Committee inductees were seen by people active in the HHOF selection process.
I'm sure the guys inducted by the Veteran's Committee were seen by people active in the selection process, so maybe my words were imprecise. But when a player who retired after the HHOF came into existence isn't inducted for 37 years after he retired, I don't know if his presence in the Hall can be used as evidence of what "experts" who saw him play thought of him.

Look at the guys inducted by the Veteran's Committee - most of the guys who are commonly complained about as "bad" inductees were inducted by the Veteran's Committee.


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09-01-2013, 07:31 AM
  #195
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Statute of Limitations

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I'm sure the guys inducted by the Veteran's Committee were seen by people active in the selection process, so maybe my words were imprecise. But when a player who retired after the HHOF came into existence isn't inducted for 37 years after he retired, I don't know if his presence in the Hall can be used as evidence of what "experts" who saw him play thought of him.

Look at the guys inducted by the Veteran's Committee - most of the guys who are commonly complained about as "bad" inductees were inducted by the Veteran's Committee.
Sounds like the concept of a Statute of Limitations.

Every process has a counter-balance. Busher Jackson was denied enshrinement while living due to pettiness - Conn Smythe. Corrected 27 years after he retired and 5 years after Busher Jackson passed away.

Then we have Billy Burch 41 years, Tommy Smith 43 years, Hap Holmes 44 years, Gord Roberts 51 years. Certainly a Lionel Conacher or a Bun Cook is a worthy candidate as was Hap Holmes. Evidenced by the ranking of the last three in the various projects and drafts.

Let's evaluate all fairly without bias because they were Veteran Committee selections. Do not recall this "criteria" raised for Lionel Conacher. Should not be for others.

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09-01-2013, 09:25 AM
  #196
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At the time of Conacher's induction, one of the board members (don't remember who) said it took so long because everyone assumed he was already there, and were surprised to find he wasn't. Hard to believe someone like that could fall through the cracks and be overlooked for so long.

When the veterans committee first started, they would announce three or more finalists, then one of them would be chosen. The year of O'Connor's induction, the other two finalists were Herbie Lewis (who got in the following year) and Johnny Gottselig.

I like the idea of a veterans committee and wouldn't mind seeing it revived. Just as long as the 75% standard remains and they don't have to pick someone each year.


Slightly OT: I remembered that they would announce the veterans com. nominations beforehand, but in researching this I've noticed that there was a brief period in the late-80s/early-90s when the Hall would actually announce all the players who were nominated.

In this 1989 article http://news.google.com/newspapers? it says that there were six nominees in the regular players category (Shutt, Barber, Sittler, Tretiak, Westfall and Green) and four nominees in the veterans category (Lewis, Flaman, Chabot and Bill Davidson (did they mean Bob??))

There was a Globe and Mail article from 1990 that listed Shutt, Lapointe, Nesterenko and Pulford as nominees (who ended up not getting in that year).


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09-01-2013, 12:21 PM
  #197
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Sounds like the concept of a Statute of Limitations.

Every process has a counter-balance. Busher Jackson was denied enshrinement while living due to pettiness - Conn Smythe. Corrected 27 years after he retired and 5 years after Busher Jackson passed away.

Then we have Billy Burch 41 years, Tommy Smith 43 years, Hap Holmes 44 years, Gord Roberts 51 years. Certainly a Lionel Conacher or a Bun Cook is a worthy candidate as was Hap Holmes. Evidenced by the ranking of the last three in the various projects and drafts.

Let's evaluate all fairly without bias because they were Veteran Committee selections. Do not recall this "criteria" raised for Lionel Conacher. Should not be for others.
All the players you listed retired before the Hall was created in 1945, many of them a long time beforehand, and as you well know, Jackson was kept out for off-ice reasons.

Seriously, you're comparing players who retired long before the Hall was created (Burch, Smith, Holmes) with guys inducted by the Veteran's Committee.

I definitely think it's a small strike against O'Connor that as a Hart winner who retired after the Hall had already been created (so there wasn't opportunity to "forget him"), he was passed over year after year until a special Committee was created with the task of enshrining more players from the 30s and 40s. IMO, it supports the idea that his one great season was a major outlier, perhaps analogous to Corey Perry's Hart winning season

Edit: It's still possible that I'll include O'Connor on my list. I'm pretty murky after spot 50 or 60 at the moment. But I won't be upset if I end up running out of room for him.


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09-01-2013, 05:04 PM
  #198
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I'd consider Lafontaine for my list, perhaps towards the end of it. Dunderdale maybe, might need to see an argument for the other guys.
Really? I get the impression Lafontaine is celebrated as a very good ATD 2nd line center (I.e. roughly top 60) and now there are people implying he might not be in their top 80 lists? I mean really, I'm harder on him than most (and I guarantee his round 2 ranking will be lower than his round 1 ranking) but he should be a no brainer entry on everyone's initial submission.

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09-01-2013, 05:10 PM
  #199
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At the time of Conacher's induction, one of the board members (don't remember who) said it took so long because everyone assumed he was already there, and were surprised to find he wasn't. Hard to believe someone like that could fall through the cracks and be overlooked for so long.
What Conacher are you talking about? There are tons of them and the only one I could find in the HOF was Charlie who was RW.

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09-01-2013, 05:33 PM
  #200
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Really? I get the impression Lafontaine is celebrated as a very good ATD 2nd line center (I.e. roughly top 60) and now there are people implying he might not be in their top 80 lists? I mean really, I'm harder on him than most (and I guarantee his round 2 ranking will be lower than his round 1 ranking) but he should be a no brainer entry on everyone's initial submission.
Agreed. I had him as a little below average 2nd line center in this year's 32 team draft. It would take some real convincing for me not to include him in my top 60 and I don't think it's possible for anyone to convince me he's outside the top 80

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