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HOH Top 60 Centers of All Time

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Old
12-18-2013, 01:24 PM
  #26
Kesselology
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Crazy that only 4 of the top 20 are above 6'. Nowadays most of the best centers are 6'2"+

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12-22-2013, 10:42 AM
  #27
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Just curious on when vote 6 will be put up? I like to keep track of all the voting.

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12-26-2013, 08:22 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Career spans after the top 20

This is a rough guide as to how we are representing eras. It includes the entire career span of a player, including non-prime years and years when they were temporarily retired or injured. Exceptions: I end Frank Boucher's span at his first retirement due to the exceptional circumstances of his brief comeback during World War 2 and I exclude Forsberg's failed 2 game comeback in 2010.

pre-1904: none
1904: one
1905-1911: two
1912-1920: three
1921-1922: four
1923: five
1924-1927: four
1928-1930: three
1931-1935: two
1936-1937: four
1938: three
1939-1948: two
1949: one
1950-1958: two

1959-1963: three
1964-1968: four
1969-1970: five
1971: six
1972-1977: five
1978-1980: seven
1981: six
1982: five
1983: six
1984: seven
1984-1987: six
1988-1989: seven
1990-1993: six
1994: seven
1995-1999: six
2000-2004: five

2005-2006: four
2007-2008: two
2009-2010: one
2011-present: none

According to this panel, the number of quality centers in the league increased dramatically shortly after the 1967 expansion. Perhaps we are biased towards players we have seen play? Or perhaps we are taking a less critical view of the higher raw statistics of the post-expansion era than we could be? Or maybe there is a good reason for it - with more teams, were more talented players converted to center from wing?

Comments appreciated - this thread is open
I've not been a part of these discussions, but a cursory glance at your list raises my eyebrows for 2 reasons.

Firstly, as you say, the bias towards certain eras. 4 players whose careers began in the 70s, another 3 whose careers began in the 80s. 1 from the 90s. 1 from the 2000s. That's 7 out of the top-20 just happened to play in the highest scoring era in NHL history.

Secondly, 22 Canadians and 1 non-Canadian (and he at 19th). Really? This may be related to the first point, that anyone who joined the NHL post-1990 isn't being given a fair shake of the stick - there could be many reasons for this, not least due to the internet, youtube, and abundance of video, players of the last 20 years are subjected to a microscopic level of scrutiny that is simply not possible with Howie Morenz. Throw in an increased level of defensive play and emphasis on systems and at first glance you guys seem to have built yourselves a bias (unconcious or no).

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12-26-2013, 11:02 AM
  #29
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To admit you're not voting or following but to come in and immediately say, 'not enough modern guys' is all kinds of bias in and of itself.

I've been following the conversation but not participating, and IMHO, they've done an excellent job.

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12-26-2013, 12:08 PM
  #30
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I haven't participated because 1) I honestly don't know enough about the subject the further you go back and 2) I don't care enough to argue over the minutia like you guys do

What I do know is the only 1 non-Canadian in the top-23 and only 1 player in the last 19 years and 2 in the last 25 years is eyebrow raising - when the previous 20 years sees 7 players listed.

A 25 year period that also saw a reduction in scoring, an influx of non-Canadian talent, and the demise of the dynasty.

Contributory factors? Statistical anomaly? Or have all the great centers truly disappeared the last 25 years?

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12-26-2013, 12:21 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Mount Suribachi View Post
I've not been a part of these discussions, but a cursory glance at your list raises my eyebrows for 2 reasons.

Firstly, as you say, the bias towards certain eras. 4 players whose careers began in the 70s, another 3 whose careers began in the 80s. 1 from the 90s. 1 from the 2000s. That's 7 out of the top-20 just happened to play in the highest scoring era in NHL history.

Secondly, 22 Canadians and 1 non-Canadian (and he at 19th). Really? This may be related to the first point, that anyone who joined the NHL post-1990 isn't being given a fair shake of the stick - there could be many reasons for this, not least due to the internet, youtube, and abundance of video, players of the last 20 years are subjected to a microscopic level of scrutiny that is simply not possible with Howie Morenz. Throw in an increased level of defensive play and emphasis on systems and at first glance you guys seem to have built yourselves a bias (unconcious or no).
These could be the biggest factors.

More emphasis on defensive, less scoring. More emphasis on system, less individuality.

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12-26-2013, 03:15 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mount Suribachi View Post
I haven't participated because 1) I honestly don't know enough about the subject the further you go back and 2) I don't care enough to argue over the minutia like you guys do

What I do know is the only 1 non-Canadian in the top-23 and only 1 player in the last 19 years and 2 in the last 25 years is eyebrow raising - when the previous 20 years sees 7 players listed.

A 25 year period that also saw a reduction in scoring, an influx of non-Canadian talent, and the demise of the dynasty.

Contributory factors? Statistical anomaly? Or have all the great centers truly disappeared the last 25 years?
Pretty fair questions honestly but some here frankly would defend long held opinions than look at your question fairly but that's just my opinion.

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12-26-2013, 03:26 PM
  #33
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The people complaining about too many Canadians should really wait until the winger list comes out.

I only have 1 non-Canadian (Forsberg) in my own top 20 centers, but mentally throwing together a list of the top 20 wingers, I would have 8 of the top 20 wingers as Europeans, and 3 of the top 6.

It should be obvious why - with a few exceptions, the best European forwards have historically played wing, while since expansion (or at least 1980 or so), the best Canadian forwards tend to play center.

I wonder if we can now expect the Canada homers to complain about TOO MANY Europeans when we do the wingers list.

Request for those who don't think we have enough Europeans - come up with your own list of the top European forwards of all time. Count how many are centers and how many are wingers. Then get back to us.

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12-26-2013, 03:39 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
To admit you're not voting or following but to come in and immediately say, 'not enough modern guys' is all kinds of bias in and of itself.

I've been following the conversation but not participating, and IMHO, they've done an excellent job.
It should be obvious why there aren't as many post-2000 players - they haven't finished their careers yet and we are judging them only on what they already did

If anything though, we have too many players from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-26-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old
12-26-2013, 04:28 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The people complaining about too many Canadians should really wait until the winger list comes out.

I only have 1 non-Canadian (Forsberg) in my own top 20 centers, but mentally throwing together a list of the top 20 wingers, I would have 8 of the top 20 wingers as Europeans, and 3 of the top 6.

It should be obvious why - with a few exceptions, the best European forwards have historically played wing, while since expansion (or at least 1980 or so), the best Canadian forwards tend to play center.

I wonder if we can now expect the Canada homers to complain about TOO MANY Europeans when we do the wingers list.

Request for those who don't think we have enough Europeans - come up with your own list of the top European forwards of all time. Count how many are centers and how many are wingers. Then get back to us.
Is the Winger list Right Wing & then Left Wing or both together?

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12-26-2013, 04:29 PM
  #36
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Is the Winger list Right Wing & then Left Wing or both together?
Not decided yet

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12-26-2013, 07:07 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The people complaining about too many Canadians should really wait until the winger list comes out.

I only have 1 non-Canadian (Forsberg) in my own top 20 centers, but mentally throwing together a list of the top 20 wingers, I would have 8 of the top 20 wingers as Europeans, and 3 of the top 6.

It should be obvious why - with a few exceptions, the best European forwards have historically played wing, while since expansion (or at least 1980 or so), the best Canadian forwards tend to play center.

I wonder if we can now expect the Canada homers to complain about TOO MANY Europeans when we do the wingers list.

Request for those who don't think we have enough Europeans - come up with your own list of the top European forwards of all time. Count how many are centers and how many are wingers. Then get back to us.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions but as Mount Suribach suggested there are obvious questions that arise.

Maybe those questions will have less merit, or be answered somewhat, after we conclude our centers list and do our wingers list but the total tally for all positions is going to be Canadian heavy, which is to be expected to a certain degree, and part of that has to do with comparing the earlier guys only from the list of available Canadians while the more recent guys have had increased competition.

Of course this is something that will be discussed more in depth when we are done...or perhaps not.

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12-26-2013, 10:12 PM
  #38
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Of course this is something that will be discussed more in depth when we are done...or perhaps not.
I certainly expect that it will be. In fact, I expect that topic to be one of the places where this series of projects can make some true headway in our understanding of hockey history. We've done a lot of due diligence in terms of research and transparency, so if there's real evidence of systemic bias in the end product then we can deduce useful conclusions simply from being aware of the bias.

Mid-stream, this is what I anticipate we will find in the end:

1) The effects of talent pool expansion and dilution are distributed unevenly. As TDMM pointed out, it's likely that we find more European influence on our wingers list than our centers. Likewise I think we found that the 1967 expansion was particularly forgiving to aging goaltenders. The results being a superficial "era bias" at certain positions which is actually justified.

2) Likewise, the actual size of talent pool expansion and dilution has not been linear over time. We've gone over this before, but I'm increasingly convinced that the hockey world hit "peak talent" at roughly 1995.

3) With all this cross-era comparison, it's becoming easier to pinpoint specific trends in player development that retarded the production of great players in certain positions and roles. Specifically I'm thinking of goalies after about 1975, and defensemen after about 1995.

4) Injuries have been absolutely brutal to the modern era.

5) Hardyvan123 is right about systems play and an enlarged league making it much more difficult for hall-of-very-good players to stumble into hall-of-fame careers. I feel it's dangerously easy to get driven into a dogmatic position on either side of that debate, but the basic principle is easy to accept. Fedorov is a case study as someone whose career was heavily influenced by the realities of modern pro hockey -- who would have been ranked 10 spots higher under the conditions of simply being a Canadian version of himself in an earlier era. But then, I don't think that means he should be ranked higher. It's just part of the reason that the modern era mostly produces stars instead of legends.


I don't think I'm breaking any new ground in saying all this (and I'm writing it in part so someone can come back later and point out if I'm wrong) but I think all of these hypotheses will be better informed by having a complete, ordered, credible master list of all-time greats. Break-points in the talent pool will be easier to pinpoint, large scale positional trends will stick out. At least I'm hoping so...

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Old
12-27-2013, 02:20 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The people complaining about too many Canadians should really wait until the winger list comes out.

I only have 1 non-Canadian (Forsberg) in my own top 20 centers, but mentally throwing together a list of the top 20 wingers, I would have 8 of the top 20 wingers as Europeans, and 3 of the top 6.

It should be obvious why - with a few exceptions, the best European forwards have historically played wing, while since expansion (or at least 1980 or so), the best Canadian forwards tend to play center.

I wonder if we can now expect the Canada homers to complain about TOO MANY Europeans when we do the wingers list.

Request for those who don't think we have enough Europeans - come up with your own list of the top European forwards of all time. Count how many are centers and how many are wingers. Then get back to us.
That's a fair comment and one that I thought about myself after I had posted.
My list of centers would probably start with Fedorov, but he's already been discussed in the other thread, and its clear how you guys feel about him (and how he's not as good as Gilmour ) . It's interesting that you guys have started throwing around names like Lindros and Malkin now, so I shall follow that discussion with intrest.

Of course, you were the one yourself who brought up the uneven distribution so far, which was why I commented on it, as the under-rating of Bettman era players seems to be a common theme on HFBoards IMO.

Quote:
If anything though, we have too many players from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Only 1 player on that list actually started in the 90s though (Forsberg) all the other 90s players are in reality 80s players who played into the 90s.

@ tarheelhockey and Hardyvan, thankyou for treating my comments with respect and not jumping down my throat and acknowledging "trends" for want of a better word

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12-27-2013, 02:20 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Everyone is entitled to their opinions but as Mount Suribach suggested there are obvious questions that arise.

Maybe those questions will have less merit, or be answered somewhat, after we conclude our centers list and do our wingers list but the total tally for all positions is going to be Canadian heavy, which is to be expected to a certain degree, and part of that has to do with comparing the earlier guys only from the list of available Canadians while the more recent guys have had increased competition.

Of course this is something that will be discussed more in depth when we are done...or perhaps not.
Instead of continuing to yip about it and using the question to bring up your usual, still to this day, unproven rhetoric, why don't you just do what Devil asked and put together your top-10 Euro forwards and count how many are centers.

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12-27-2013, 12:34 PM
  #41
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Instead of continuing to yip about it and using the question to bring up your usual, still to this day, unproven rhetoric, why don't you just do what Devil asked and put together your top-10 Euro forwards and count how many are centers.
The rhetoric is unaccepted, as your opinion is a prime example of it, the data behind my opinion makes for a strong case.

and besides the Canadian standard is there period, but yet it gets thrown out for another one....why?

I don't have a working list but off the top of my head Foppa, Feds, Larinov and possibly Sundin are on that list of 10 with Dats and Zetts still making a case for it as well.

Of course the stats, which you are a huge fan of, are going to have guys like Jagr, Makarov, and others with much better scoring rates, especially goals.

Like TDMM said, at least I think he hinted at, the role of centers in Europe can often be that of a midfielder in soccer and the stats won't be as flashy as for the wingers who typically score more.

I'll be honest and say I'm more comfortable making definitive list on players I've actually seen and too often here we are relying on quotes from sportswriters on the booze and food gravy train for the most part, for a lot of our information here.

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12-27-2013, 06:16 PM
  #42
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The rhetoric is unaccepted, as your opinion is a prime example of it, the data behind my opinion makes for a strong case,
What data? Dude, there‘s posters around here that have been waiting over 2 years for this data.
Anything you have ever presented doesn‘t last more than a post or two before it‘s debunked 6 ways from Sunday.

Quote:
I don't have a working list but off the top of my head Foppa, Feds, Larinov and possibly Sundin are on that list of 10 with Dats and Zetts still making a case for it as well.
And Foppa has already made an appearance on the Centers list. Feds will show up on there soon as will Larionov.
So what‘s the problem again?
If Foppa is the best of the bunch and his placement so far doesn‘t look out place...


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12-27-2013, 09:33 PM
  #43
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What data? Dude, there‘s posters around here that have been waiting over 2 years for this data.
Anything you have ever presented doesn‘t last more than a post or two before it‘s debunked 6 ways from Sunday.
No it didn't get debunked people are so full of opinions that they ignore the numbers.

heck even in a recent post in this section, someone pointed out all of the non top 6 forwards in the NHL that weren't Canadian.

In a nutshell the major points are

1) NHL doubled # of team in expansion then increased again in 70, 72 and a bit more in the 70's and the WHA was around in the 70's as well diluting the basically all Canadian Talent pool over many more teams.

2) Americans started trickling into the NHL during the 70's, along with some small increases in players from Europe and the full integration, ie pretty much consistent 40% of NHL elite players (top 20 scoring ect) being non Canadian takes place in the 90's

3) throw in provinces like BC and the maritime producing higher amounts, both in % and real terms, of top level talent, ie NHL types after 06 times we pretty much ahve an evovling landscape.

4) something I have thought about but have no real numbers or indication of impact is the impact of both WW wars on the Canadian talent base. It's pretty inconceivable that the talent base wasn't altered by those 2 wars and the huge amount of canadian teenagers who died in them.



Quote:
And Foppa has already made an appearance on the Centers list. Feds will show up on there soon as will Larionov.
So what‘s the problem again?
If Foppa is the best of the bunch and his placement so far doesn‘t look out place...
My response this thread was that the posters concerns or questions were legitmate.

Not sure how the wingers will fare but in the Dman project many non NHL non Canadian fared better than more recent integrated guys, like Zubov, Gonchar, basically that whole group which was compared to the whole integrated group, rather than the constant Canadian standard.

Why the Canadian standard one might ask?

Well Canada has been the leading Hockey nation basically forever and every significant Canadian talent has almost always played in the NHL, except for a brief time in the 70's with the WHA and some of the early years.

Everyone seems really comfortable using top 10 finishes ect... over time when it's how each and every player compares to the Canadian standard, which is constant and makes for a more accurate comparison.

Surely when comparing any two groups, the common denominator is the standard both groups should be judged by right?

Using top 10 finishes and stuff like all star voting for both groups using all the players in the NHL simply makes for a much higher standard and inherent bias against the more modern players, it's quite simple.

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12-28-2013, 03:45 AM
  #44
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No it didn't get debunked people are so full of opinions that they ignore the numbers.

heck even in a recent post in this section, someone pointed out all of the non top 6 forwards in the NHL that weren't Canadian.

In a nutshell the major points are

1) NHL doubled # of team in expansion then increased again in 70, 72 and a bit more in the 70's and the WHA was around in the 70's as well diluting the basically all Canadian Talent pool over many more teams.

And? What's this in reference to? How we rank Bobby Orr? Tell me.

2) Americans started trickling into the NHL during the 70's, along with some small increases in players from Europe and the full integration, ie pretty much consistent 40% of NHL elite players (top 20 scoring ect) being non Canadian takes place in the 90's



3) throw in provinces like BC and the maritime producing higher amounts, both in % and real terms, of top level talent, ie NHL types after 06 times we pretty much ahve an evovling landscape.

4) something I have thought about but have no real numbers or indication of impact is the impact of both WW wars on the Canadian talent base. It's pretty inconceivable that the talent base wasn't altered by those 2 wars and the huge amount of canadian teenagers who died in them.
What about the 90's? 9 teams added in 9 years. Who filled those 250ish rosters spots exactly when all the Worlds top talent was already in the NHL by the end of 1992?
As I have said many times before, those spots were filled with mostly 3rd and 4th liners with a few viewed as deficient in some way, 2nd liners.
Like are you honestly going to try and say that the League was stronger in a talent spread 30 team League in 2001 than it was in a tightly talent packed 22 team League in 1992? Good luck with that!

And what's your point anyway? If the League was so diluted in the 70's then why weren't there more players dominating like Orr did? Are you saying we should take away from the stars in the 70's? And, if so, shouldn't we also carry this over to Jagr in the 90's then as well for the very same reasons?


Quote:
My response this thread was that the posters concerns or questions were legitmate.

Not sure how the wingers will fare but in the Dman project many non NHL non Canadian fared better than more recent integrated guys, like Zubov, Gonchar, basically that whole group which was compared to the whole integrated group, rather than the constant Canadian standard.

Why the Canadian standard one might ask?

Well Canada has been the leading Hockey nation basically forever and every significant Canadian talent has almost always played in the NHL, except for a brief time in the 70's with the WHA and some of the early years.

Everyone seems really comfortable using top 10 finishes ect... over time when it's how each and every player compares to the Canadian standard, which is constant and makes for a more accurate comparison.

Surely when comparing any two groups, the common denominator is the standard both groups should be judged by right?

Using top 10 finishes and stuff like all star voting for both groups using all the players in the NHL simply makes for a much higher standard and inherent bias against the more modern players, it's quite simple.
Well first off, the NHL has been around for well over 100 years now and it's only been in about the last 30-40ish years now that countries have been producing players at or near Canada's level. So any list of the Greatest ever is quite obviously going to be mostly Canadian. 60-70ish years out of 100+ is a lot to overcome last I checked.

Second, what other standard do we have exactly? Are you going to try and tell me that the Russian Leagues of the 70's and 80's should be viewed with anything close to the weight that the NHL is viewed at during that same time? A Russian League that played about half as many games a season with a 1/4 of the travel, a League where the talent level dropped off dramatically after the top 2 or 3 teams in it?

A League where it's number one scorer by a large margin in '89 (54-41), comes to the NHL the very next year and can't even crack the top-25 in scoring, finishing behind Mike Gartner for pete's sake.

How exactly do you want us to judge all this? Does the "Canadian standard" not seem to be by far the highest of them?
By all means though, explain to us all how it isn't.

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12-28-2013, 04:15 AM
  #45
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4) something I have thought about but have no real numbers or indication of impact is the impact of both WW wars on the Canadian talent base. It's pretty inconceivable that the talent base wasn't altered by those 2 wars and the huge amount of canadian teenagers who died in them.
Shouldn't be very hard to figure out for WWII.

Pro and junior leagues tend to memorialize those who are killed or injured in war. We know that only 2 active NHL'ers were killed, and the OHL's MVP trophy is named after Red Tilson who left for Europe after a promising junior career. Beyond that, I don't know of any other NHL-quality players who died in the war.

The effect on unidentified "future" NHL talent would probably have been minimal. How many elite 16-year-old junior hockey players decided to forgo their careers so they fake their age (at a non-local enlistment office I guess) and join the army, just to be killed in action? I'd be surprised if there was even one.

WWI is a different beast, and of course we know that we lost at least a couple of stars. Remember that their generation also got hit with the influenza epidemic which killed an NHL'er and unknown scores of young players.

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12-28-2013, 05:13 AM
  #46
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And here's another point.

What about the Yanks? They've been producing Elite hockey players for more than 30 years now and have had some pretty good success Internationally. Hell, one could even argue that the Americans have fared better than the Russians in this regard over the last 20 years.
So where's all the complaining on their behalf as to why their highest ranked player, Chelios, is barely cracking the top 40 all-time?
I mean, as the arguments go, since they have done so well in best on best tournies, surely they should have all these top ranked players. That's the criteria for the Russians in the 70's and 80's right?
They also provide, by far, more NHL talent than any other Nation other than Canada.

Yet here we are, no one takes issue with this, no one is complaining that Chelios is ranked too low or that other Americans are getting the shaft.
Surely since they are producing so many players, they must be showing up higher in the lists. That's another argument for the Russians right?

Hmmmm...interesting no?

Hey, maybe they should have started their own 10-12 team, 3 tier League back in the early 80's that only played 40-50 games a year and then we could have used the stats from that League to propel them even higher in the all-time lists
Sounds about right doesn't it?


Last edited by Rhiessan71: 12-28-2013 at 05:20 AM.
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12-28-2013, 08:36 AM
  #47
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Great job on the top 21, guys!

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12-28-2013, 05:27 PM
  #48
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
And here's another point.

What about the Yanks? They've been producing Elite hockey players for more than 30 years now and have had some pretty good success Internationally. Hell, one could even argue that the Americans have fared better than the Russians in this regard over the last 20 years.
So where's all the complaining on their behalf as to why their highest ranked player, Chelios, is barely cracking the top 40 all-time?
I mean, as the arguments go, since they have done so well in best on best tournies, surely they should have all these top ranked players. That's the criteria for the Russians in the 70's and 80's right?
They also provide, by far, more NHL talent than any other Nation other than Canada.

Yet here we are, no one takes issue with this, no one is complaining that Chelios is ranked too low or that other Americans are getting the shaft.
Surely since they are producing so many players, they must be showing up higher in the lists. That's another argument for the Russians right?

Hmmmm...interesting no?

Hey, maybe they should have started their own 10-12 team, 3 tier League back in the early 80's that only played 40-50 games a year and then we could have used the stats from that League to propel them even higher in the all-time lists
Sounds about right doesn't it?
I always use the Yanks in my approach at the context of the NHL and if you read back, their trickle started in the 70's then boomed in the 80's while the guys from Europe trickled in the 80's then it was full boom in the 90's till now.

Yes that context should be taken and the Canadian standard is pretty simple, take a guy and put his points against all Canadians in any year to get a most fair year to year comp for guys between eras.

Then one can account for number of teams ect (which has a higher variance factor as well) but sadly you don't understand the simple numbers and trends over time and instead like to pinpoint only certain years to help your argument. These are trends over time.

Simple exercise, look at the nationality of all star teams over time and see the influx of non Canadian talent over time on all positions, you might learn something there.

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12-28-2013, 05:53 PM
  #49
Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I always use the Yanks in my approach at the context of the NHL and if you read back, their trickle started in the 70's then boomed in the 80's while the guys from Europe trickled in the 80's then it was full boom in the 90's till now.

Yes that context should be taken and the Canadian standard is pretty simple, take a guy and put his points against all Canadians in any year to get a most fair year to year comp for guys between eras.

Then one can account for number of teams ect (which has a higher variance factor as well) but sadly you don't understand the simple numbers and trends over time and instead like to pinpoint only certain years to help your argument. These are trends over time.

Simple exercise, look at the nationality of all star teams over time and see the influx of non Canadian talent over time on all positions, you might learn something there.
And you don't seem to understand that a larger talent pool doesn't mean anything more than an increased CHANCE of getting more all-time Great or top Elite players.

Just because there's 30 teams now instead of 21, that doesn't mean there's any more Elite caliber players. There could be more but there also could be less as well.
There aint no Gretzky or Lemieux level players in the League atm, nor is there even a Bourque level player.

As I have related before, I don't think League was ever more stocked and compacted with talent than it was in the early 90's/late 80's. All that newly arriving talent from behind the Iron Curtain bolstering a 21 team League was crazy.
The League today still hasn't caught back up to that pinacle.
I mean you can make your argument that the competition and talent level of the NHL might be higher than what it was in the 70's but at the same time, it's not much different than most of the 80's and is definitely still behind what it was in the early 90's.

I also can't for one second agree that the 60's and earlier were much different overall than today. With only 6 teams the talent is pretty tightly packed on them.

Let me put it another way for you.
If you disbanded the NHL and every Nation in the world put together their own 6 team League of their own best players, Canada's 6 team League would still be by and far the best and most talented of the bunch.

You also missed my entire point about the Americans and how that impacts the arguments used as to why there should be more Euro's on the all-time lists.

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12-28-2013, 08:42 PM
  #50
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It is so funny how in Baseball Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson are venerated as among the best ever, yet in hockey many truly think Rocket Richard is from some bygone era not worthy of comparison to recent times. Let alone Morenz or Shore.

You are likely to hear crap that Gretzky faced these useless goalies that couldn't stop beachballs too, despite the fact that quite a number of players that are still active played against him.

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