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Round 2, Vote 13 (HOH Top Centers)

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Old
02-04-2014, 12:37 PM
  #26
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Can somebody update the list of years/players in the top-60 ?
I'm bolding the 1970-2006 period to emphasize that we have at least 11 guys in for every year from that time period, without ever reaching that number outside that period. Let nobody claim that we are neglecting the increased talent pool.

The slow decrease after 2006 reflects players with full careers retiring and more recent players still being in the middle of creating their legacies.

1896-1903: one
1904: two
1905-1908: three
1909: two
1910-11: three
1912-20: four
1921-22: five
1923-26: six
1927: seven
1928-30: six
1931-33: five
1934-35: six
1936-38: eight
1939: seven
1940: eight
1941: six
1942-47: seven
1948: six
1949: five
1950-54: seven
1955: six
1956-59: five
1960-61: seven
1963-66: eight
1967-68: nine
1969: ten
1970: eleven
1971: twelve
1972-77: eleven
1978-80: twelve
1981: thirteen
1982: eleven
1983: twelve
1984: eleven
1985-88: twelve
1989-1991: thirteen
1992-93: fourteen
1994: fifteen
1995: fourteen
1996-97: thirteen
1998-99: twelve
1997-99: thirteen
2000: twelve
2001-03: thirteen
2004: twelve
2005-06: eleven

2007: nine
2008-09: eight
2010-11: six
2012-13: four


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Old
02-04-2014, 01:26 PM
  #27
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Leadership ? What exactly separates those players in that regards?
The fact that Sittler was captain for most of a decade, and was a fiery, aggressive player who would agitate and grind and fight when necessary (against Bobby Clarke, for example). He also took on the terrible Leafs ownership (Ballard) and had the support of the players, which is why he was stripped of his captaincy for a year, iirc. Yeah, Sittler had serious leadership qualities. They were mostly wasted because he was playing for a moribund franchise, but they were there. What leadership did Savard ever show?

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Grit ? Funny enough. I have them the other way around.
What on earth are you talking about? Are you old enough to have seen Sittler play? He was much more visibly intense than Savard and liked to agitate and get under opponents' skin. Savard had some jam to him, but he'd get rag-dolled the minute he got into a shoving match, so couldn't play as abrasive a style as Sittler. I really don't know where you're coming from suggesting that Savard had more grit than Sittler. I can't imagine how someone who saw them play would come to that conclusion.

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02-04-2014, 01:32 PM
  #28
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Not that PIMs are a perfect measure of grit... but in the 70s and 80s they kind of were something of a proxy for it (the reason that hockey pools today still use PIMs as a good thing when they clearly no longer are)

Sittler = 948 PIM in 1096 games
Savard = 1336 PIM in 1196 games

Those high numbers surprise me, especially Savard's.


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Old
02-04-2014, 01:45 PM
  #29
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Let nobody claim that we are neglecting the increased talent pool.
You can say that again. If anything, a "modernist" ought to love the results of this project so far. And we have half-a-dozen 80s/90s/00s players on the ballot right now.

It will be interesting, when we're finished, to see how this chart looks when listing players at all positions.

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02-04-2014, 01:48 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Savard had some jam to him, but he'd get rag-dolled the minute he got into a shoving match, so couldn't play as abrasive a style as Sittler. I really don't know where you're coming from suggesting that Savard had more grit than Sittler. I can't imagine how someone who saw them play would come to that conclusion.
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Not that PIMs are a perfect measure of grit... but in the 70s and 80s they kind of were something of a proxy for it (the reason that hockey pools today still use PIMs as a good thing when they clearly no longer are)

Sittler = 948 PIM in 1096 games
Savard = 1336 PIM in 1196 games

Those high numbers surprise me, especially Savard's.
Gotta agree with Sturm here.. Savard was a pipsqueak and even if he was willing.. he was not gritty.

I don't care what the PIMs say.

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02-04-2014, 01:53 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Not that PIMs are a perfect measure of grit... but in the 70s and 80s they kind of were something of a proxy for it (the reason that hockey pools today still use PIMs as a good thing when they clearly no longer are)

Sittler = 948 PIM in 1096 games
Savard = 1336 PIM in 1196 games

Those high numbers surprise me, especially Savard's.
Savard was chippy, though a lot of the penalties he took were dumb retaliatory slashes and little nonsense things he did with his stick because he was mad and not big enough to do much of anything else. Sittler was genuinely an agitator, and could and would drop the gloves when it suited him. Actually got into a few pretty epic middleweight fights in his day. There is really no comparison between Sittler's grit and Savard's.

I should add that Sittler was also outstanding for team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup, for what that's worth. He scored the OT goal to win it, and I think was named best forward in the tourney.

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02-04-2014, 01:55 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
The fact that Sittler was captain for most of a decade, and was a fiery, aggressive player who would agitate and grind and fight when necessary (against Bobby Clarke, for example). He also took on the terrible Leafs ownership (Ballard) and had the support of the players, which is why he was stripped of his captaincy for a year, iirc. Yeah, Sittler had serious leadership qualities. They were mostly wasted because he was playing for a moribund franchise, but they were there. What leadership did Savard ever show?



What on earth are you talking about? Are you old enough to have seen Sittler play? He was much more visibly intense than Savard and liked to agitate and get under opponents' skin. Savard had some jam to him, but he'd get rag-dolled the minute he got into a shoving match, so couldn't play as abrasive a style as Sittler. I really don't know where you're coming from suggesting that Savard had more grit than Sittler. I can't imagine how someone who saw them play would come to that conclusion.
First, it was about grit. Not necessarily the success in gritty play. Of course the bigger player grit would somewhat lead to more tangible results than the smaller one.

Still, one would think that those results are already counted for in their totals.

Second, Ballard-adjusted leadership factor is a totally novel concept. Savard was praised quite a bit for its leadership during MTL's cup run.

Third, something has to be said about D-men helping forwards production. Sittler got much more help than Savard in that department.

Numbers below tend to support my claim. The rest is mainly about their sizes and pugilistic prowess. Size is relevant, but those results should actually be factored in their offensive output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Not that PIMs are a perfect measure of grit... but in the 70s and 80s they kind of were something of a proxy for it (the reason that hockey pools today still use PIMs as a good thing when they clearly no longer are)

Sittler = 948 PIM in 1096 games
Savard = 1336 PIM in 1196 games

Those high numbers surprise me, especially Savard's.

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Old
02-04-2014, 01:59 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Savard was chippy, though a lot of the penalties he took were dumb retaliatory slashes and little nonsense things he did with his stick because he was mad and not big enough to do much of anything else. Sittler was genuinely an agitator, and could and would drop the gloves when it suited him. Actually got into a few pretty epic middleweight fights in his day. There is really no comparison between Sittler's grit and Savard's.

I should add that Sittler was also outstanding for team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup, for what that's worth. He scored the OT goal to win it, and I think was named best forward in the tourney.
Might I add that we aren't comparing 5th forwards here ?

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02-04-2014, 02:16 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
First, it was about grit. Not necessarily the success in gritty play. Of course the bigger player grit would somewhat lead to more tangible results than the smaller one.
So Savard was just as surly, he just wasn't as effective? Got it.

Quote:
Still, one would think that those results are already counted for in their totals.
What are you talking about? Grit doesn't translate directly to points.

Quote:
Second, Ballard-adjusted leadership factor is a totally novel concept.
So you ignore the fact that Sittler was a longtime captain and question the other part of what I said, eh? Yes, taking on the horrible Leafs ownership at the time largely on behalf of his teammates (Sittler, himself, had a no-trade clause) is a clear example of leadership. It's not a question of "Ballard adjustment". The shame of it is that a fine leader like Sittler had to toil for such a hopeless team.

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02-04-2014, 02:23 PM
  #35
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Vaclav Nedomansky

This is what I found during the preliminary stages of the project. There is a fascinating book called Breakaway: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL--The Untold Story of Hockey's Great Escapes. The first chapter of the book is online and can be found HERE. Conveniently for us, the first chapter is about Nedomansky, since he was the first star player to defect from behind the Iron Curtain during the Golden Age of European hockey. It's very quick reading and well worth reading in full yourself, but I'll summarize the key points here and quote passages that focus specifically on Nedomansky's skills as a hockey player.

The book first gives a brief summary of the events that led to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and how the Czechoslovaks viewed the 1969 World Championships, moved from Prague to Stockholm as Soviet tanks were still in the streets, as "a replay of a lost war."

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Playing in what was inarguably the single most important sporting event in their country’s history,the Czechoslovakian nationals came out flying. They carried an overwhelming physicality throughout the game, a style enabled by the recent rule change allowing full-contact body checking in all three sections of the ice. With ample opportunity to engage in rougher play, the ultramotivated Czechoslovakians were a difficult matchup for the fleet-footed Soviets.
Czechoslovakia beat the USSR twice, but were so spent they lost to Sweden in their final game and had to settle for bronze. The wins were so big that they sparked massive demonstrations against the Soviet occupiers that turned violent. Defenseman Jan Suchy and goaltender Vladimir Dzurilla were the heros of the tournament, but the tournament also marked the "coming out party" for Nedomansky, who was the third member of the Czechoslovakian team to be named an All-Star:

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With nine goals in eight games, the six-foot two-inch,210-pound winger epitomized the spirit of the upstart Czechoslovakian team. Though not as individually skilled as any of the superstars on the Soviet team, the native of Hodonin was an immovable object in the offensive zone, imposing his will on even the most physical of defenses.

He had already established himself as a young star playing for HC Bratislava, but the 1969 World Championship had been something of a coming-out party for Nedomansky. His overall performance in the tournament established him as one of the top power forwards in the world, and the inability of other national teams to contain him quickly made “Big Ned” an idol in a country looking to rebuild its morale in the wake of the Prague Spring.
Domestically, Nedomansky was the star player on the only Slovak team in the Czech elite league. The book notes that while fans of the Czech clubs cared more about international tournaments, fans of HC Bratislava cared more about the domestic championship because they wanted to beat the Czechs, who they saw as treating them like second-class citizens.

In the next few World Championships:

Quote:
Big Ned finished second in tournament scoring behind Russian Alexander Maltsev at the 1970 tournament, again being named a tournament All-Star. The 1971 tournament saw the Czechoslovakians improve on the podium, winning silver as the Soviets won their ninth consecutive World Championship gold. Nedomansky posted an impressive eight goals in a prelude to a performance at the 1972 tournament that would establish him as arguably the best hockey player not playing in North America
Czechoslovakia would then win the 1972 World Championships (held in their country for the first time since 1959), breaking the Soviet's string of 9 straight WC titles.

Quote:
(Jaroslav) Holik may have been the hero in the big game, but it was Big Ned who firmly established himself as one of the world’s elite players with nine goals and six assists in 10 tournament games.He may have missed out on the 1972 tournament All-Star team, but Nedomansky was beginning to appear on several scouts’radars across the Iron Curtain.

“He was very good. He was an international star for sure,”says Marshall Johnston, a winger for the Canadian national team who transitioned into coaching in the NHL in 1973. “A big guy,highly skilled. Didn’t have a lot of speed, but [a] very good shot,very smart.
In the early 70s, the emergence of the WHA as a rival to the NHL created a desperate need for new talent pools. The WHA, in particular the Winnipeg Jets, led the way in signing talent from Sweden and Finland. But Eastern Bloc players were off limits - used by their countries in "international propaganda tours" before having to return home to dreary conditions.

Quote:
The atmosphere seemed ripe for a Czechoslovakian star to contemplate playing in the West. And by then there was no bigger star in the East than Vaclav Nedomansky. After leading Czechoslovakia to bronze at the 1973 World Championship, Nedomansky came back in 1974 with his best tournament performance yet. The Soviets had steamrolled their way to another gold medal, outscoring the competition by an astounding 64–18 margin, but Czechoslovakia made their mark with a convincing 7–2 win over their hated Soviet rival. The 7–2 win, since referred to by hockey historians as “the Perfect Game,” was the worst loss the Soviets had ever sustained in any official inter-national competition. As he did countless other times, Vaclav Nedomansky opened the scoring that day for Czechoslovakia

With a torrid scoring pace, Nedomansky led Czechoslovakiato a silver medal and was named the tournament’s top forward with a World Championship performance so dominating that WHA teams started frothing at the mouth at the thought of add-ing the skilled star to their roster.
Shortly after the 1974 World Championships, at the age of 30, Nedomansky defected to Canada to play for the Toronto Toros of the WHA. The book gives a detailed account of the defection, including the Toros competition from other WHA teams for "one of the best players in Europe."

In retaliation, the Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia branded Nedomansky a traitor and wiped all mention of Nedomansky from the history books. Another Czech player who would later defect in 1981 said, "He just disappeared. Everybody was afraid. If somebody defected, afterward you wouldn’t even mention their name. Because you were afraid that someone was listening."

Nedomansky's debut in the WHA in 1974-75 at the age of 30 was a resounding success. He scored 56 goals (good for third in the entire league) and won the WHA equivalent of the Lady Byng. But his team stunk. The Toros' owner was losing money, decided that the team could never compete with the Maple Leafs, and moved them to Birmingham, Alabama, with the intentions of creating a hockey hotbed in the South. Several Toros players refused to follow the team to Alabama, but Nedomansky reluctantly went along.

Nedomansky, who transitioned very well to the culture of Toronto, did not at all fit into the culture of the Southern US and floundered for two years before the Birmingham experiment went bust. He was then picked up by the Detroit Red Wings. Nedomansky was reluctant to play for another US-based team because he thought it would be easier to become a citizen of Canada than the US, but eventually he began commuting to Detroit from Windsor, Ontario.

Nedomansky had a resurgence in 1978-79, leading the Red Wings in both goals and points at the age of 34. He had one more good season in the NHL, finishing 2nd on the Wings in both goals and points the following season.

The Red Wings offered Nedomansky a lucrative contract, but his agent Alan Eagleson sat on it, and Detroit rescinded the offer under pressure from other owners. Nedomansky would become the first player to sue the then-untouchable Eagleson, and the lawsuits soured him on hockey in general.


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Old
02-04-2014, 02:36 PM
  #36
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So Savard was just as surly, he just wasn't as effective? Got it.



What are you talking about? Grit doesn't translate directly to points.



So you ignore the fact that Sittler was a longtime captain and question the other part of what I said, eh? Yes, taking on the horrible Leafs ownership at the time largely on behalf of his teammates (Sittler, himself, had a no-trade clause) is a clear example of leadership. It's not a question of "Ballard adjustment". The shame of it is that a fine leader like Sittler had to toil for such a hopeless team.
When did Sittler status as a capitain wasn't public knowledge ?

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02-04-2014, 02:46 PM
  #37
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When did Sittler status as a capitain wasn't public knowledge ?
I should be asking you that question. I thought Sittler's advantage in leadership over Savard was so obvious it didn't warrant a lot of discussion.

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02-04-2014, 03:07 PM
  #38
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I should be asking you that question. I thought Sittler's advantage in leadership over Savard was so obvious it didn't warrant a lot of discussion.
Either you implied I didn't know about Sittler's capitaincy and went for the personal attack, which isnt exactly a first and is totally expected, or you just went terribly non-sequitur dude.

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02-04-2014, 03:34 PM
  #39
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Either you implied I didn't know about Sittler's capitaincy and went for the personal attack, which isnt exactly a first and is totally expected, or you just went terribly non-sequitur dude.
wut?

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02-04-2014, 04:09 PM
  #40
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Petrov is a shoo-in.

Zetterberg? Someone make the case that he should be this far behind datsyuk. If he got in this round in the top 2, it would still be too late. A slightly worse offensive performer (but with more goals), tends to be better in the playoffs, a leader, more physical (yet clean), and by some accounts no worse defensively. Less visually appealing, though (does that matter?)
I agree and thankfully Zetts is available this round, he makes my top 4 along with probably 1 Russian and 1 Swede.

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02-04-2014, 04:16 PM
  #41
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Here are the VsX 7 year scores (1926-2013), this post, with the exception of using Hockey Outsider's calculation to update scores to include last year.

Top-7 weighted VsX for Centers (1926-2013):

Rank Player Rank
1 Wayne Gretzky 155.1
2 Phil Esposito 123.4
3 Mario Lemieux 120.4
4 Jean Beliveau 108.9
5 Stan Mikita 108.1
6 Bill Cowley* 103.5
7 Marcel Dionne 103.2
8 Howie Morenz 102.8
9 Joe Sakic 97.9
10 Frank Boucher 95.4
11 Elmer Lach* 95.4
12 Max Bentley* 94.9
13 Steve Yzerman 93.5
14 Bryan Trottier 93.5
15 Joe Thornton 93.3
16 Syl Apps Sr 93
17 Peter Forsberg 90.9
18 Nels Stewart 90.5
19 Sidney Crosby 90.5
20 Adam Oates 90.2
21 Marty Barry 89.9
22 Mark Messier 89.5
23 Norm Ullman 88.7
24 Jean Ratelle 88.5
25 Peter Stastny 88.3
26 Sid Abel 87.8
27 Bobby Clarke 87.6
28 Ron Francis 87.6
29 Milt Schmidt 87.5
30 Henri Richard 86.2
31 Dale Hawerchuk 85.9
32 Denis Savard 85.4
33 Eric Lindros 85.4
34 Alex Delvecchio 84.9
35 Gilbert Perreault 84.6
36 Darryl Sittler 84.1
37 Henrik Sedin 82.8
38 Clint Smith* 82.6
39 Mats Sundin 82.3
40 Doug Gilmour 82.3
41 Pierre Turgeon 82.3
42 Pavel Datsyuk 82.0
43 Mike Modano 81.7
44 Jeremy Roenick 81.5
45 Ted Kennedy 81.5
46 Sergei Fedorov 81
47 Evgeni Malkin 80.7
48 Bernie Nicholls 80.3
49 Cooney Weiland 79.4
50 Pat LaFontaine 78.8
51 Hooley Smith 78.8
52 Doug Weight 78.6
53 Brad Richards 78.4
54 Eric Staal 78.4
55 Phil Watson 78.1
56 Alexei Yashin 77.6
57 Bernie Federko 77.3
58 Vincent Lecavalier 77.2
59 Henrik Zetterberg 76.7
60 Joe Primeau 76
61 Don McKenney 75.8
62 Jacques Lemaire 75.5
63 Jason Spezza 75.2
64 Phil Goyette 74.9
65 Vincent Damphousse 74.2
66 Bill Thoms 74.2
67 Marc Savard 73.9
68 Neil Colville 73.2
69 Dave Keon 73.2
70 Rod Brind'Amour 72.8
* wartime star

Comments:
  • None of MacKay, Fredrickson, Keats, or Petrov played in the NHL during the specified time frame.
  • Larionov and Nedomansky were not in their primes in the NHL, so I don't think posting their numbers would be useful.
  • Denis Savard should probably be added this round, based on his offense at the NHL level.
  • Remember, this is based off a player's best 7 years. So a player like Mats Sundin, who had many more than 7 good years will likely be underrated somewhat.
  • The reason for Pat Lafontaine's low score? He didn't even play 7 full seasons in his prime due to injuries. He's clearly better offensively than this number shows, but he's seriously lacking in the games played at a high level.
  • Joe Primeau has already been discussed - 3 excellent seasons (>90% score), 2 solid seasons, and 2 write-off seasons (<50% score) form his 7 year career.
  • Zetterberg has something of a Fedorov/Keon thing, where he regularly upped his offensive value in the playoffs. Only 1 Cup as a key player though.
  • Lemaire also upped his offensive value in the playoffs, but his regular season numbers are just dreadful, considering he spent his best years centering Steve Shutt and Guy Lafleur.
Sundin is 39th in this 7 year metric, yet his strong point is longeivty and his best on best play, over 6 different tournaments and 14 years of time should make him a top 4 this round right?

That being said Zetts might be the better swede to put in first, with his strong play yet again this season and best playoff resume here, and a heck of a lot better than the suggested best playoff resume last round with Barry.

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02-04-2014, 04:20 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
What's everyone's take on Petrov vs. Nedomansky?

Larionov and Savard need to get in. Then maybe both of Petrov and Nedo. Rest seems like crapshoot to me, with the only given being Sundin last.
Sundin being last is almost funny, after how the treatment given to Sid and Malkin eh?

What metrics do you use in voting anyways?

Serious question.

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02-04-2014, 04:32 PM
  #43
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Can somebody tell me why Denis Savard is better than Darryl Sittler? Offensively, they're very close, and I'd put Sittler ahead in terms of grit and leadership. Savard has a better reputation as a playoff performer, but Sittler was strong in his own right in the playoffs during his prime.
spinorama maybe?

Savard was the more dynamic player and it's hard to not place him over Savard as the 70's NHL was probably weaker than the 80's one.

Also Sittler probably down have on of the Stonger individual playoff seasons this round but overall his career playoff resume isn't really any better than Sundin's really.

Sundin could only wish he had a triggerman on his wing like Lanny or a Dman like Salming back there to help him out during his tenure with the Leafs.

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02-04-2014, 04:35 PM
  #44
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spinorama maybe?

Savard was the more dynamic player and it's hard to not place him over Savard as the 70's NHL was probably weaker than the 80's one.

Also Sittler probably down have on of the Stonger individual playoff seasons this round but overall his career playoff resume isn't really any better than Sundin's really.

Sundin could only wish he had a triggerman on his wing like Lanny or a Dman like Salming back there to help him out during his tenure with the Leafs.
Finally, you admit that there is a magic line in your mind at 1980, where everything that happened before was the suck, and everything that happened afterwards was the best.

Anyway, I won't comment on it further in public until the voting results are released.

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02-04-2014, 04:47 PM
  #45
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Not that PIMs are a perfect measure of grit... but in the 70s and 80s they kind of were something of a proxy for it (the reason that hockey pools today still use PIMs as a good thing when they clearly no longer are)

Sittler = 948 PIM in 1096 games
Savard = 1336 PIM in 1196 games

Those high numbers surprise me, especially Savard's.
About 1300 minutes of stick fouls for Savard.

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02-04-2014, 04:50 PM
  #46
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Finally, you admit that there is a magic line in your mind at 1980, where everything that happened before was the suck, and everything that happened afterwards was the best.

Anyway, I won't comment on it further in public until the voting results are released.
Hardy sortof has a point there, with the WHA situation and the '80ies merger.

This said, that WHA effect should be seen with a grain of salt, as the league pretty much got gradually weaker over the years, with the marquee players getting older (Hull, Tremblay, Nedomansky, amongst others)... or simply leaving the league.

I know it's an arbitrary date, but there should really be a gap as to our perception of the effect of the WHA between the 72-76 WHA and the 76-80 WHA.

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02-04-2014, 04:52 PM
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What's everyone's take on Petrov vs. Nedomansky?

Larionov and Savard need to get in. Then maybe both of Petrov and Nedo. Rest seems like crapshoot to me, with the only given being Sundin last.
Petrov should already be in.

Don't see why Sundin should be so dismissed.

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02-04-2014, 04:52 PM
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You mean the 6 to5 hockey in the 1980s where a poor player got 50 goals and a goalie like Fuhr had a 3.5 gaa for oilers.Give me the violent hockey of the 1970s any day

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02-04-2014, 04:59 PM
  #49
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Tournament AST

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Savard was chippy, though a lot of the penalties he took were dumb retaliatory slashes and little nonsense things he did with his stick because he was mad and not big enough to do much of anything else. Sittler was genuinely an agitator, and could and would drop the gloves when it suited him. Actually got into a few pretty epic middleweight fights in his day. There is really no comparison between Sittler's grit and Savard's.

I should add that Sittler was also outstanding for team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup, for what that's worth. He scored the OT goal to win it, and I think was named best forward in the tourney.
True, for which he was named to the tournament AST ahead of a few more deserving players - Bobby Hull for one. Only official recognition that Sittler received in 1976.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_Canada_Cup

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02-04-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Sundin is 39th in this 7 year metric, yet his strong point is longeivty and his best on best play, over 6 different tournaments and 14 years of time should make him a top 4 this round right?

That being said Zetts might be the better swede to put in first, with his strong play yet again this season and best playoff resume here, and a heck of a lot better than the suggested best playoff resume last round with Barry.
That makes him third amongst the available players.

This list doesn't cover or cover perfectly 6 of the currently eligible players (Petrov, Larionov, Mackey, Fredrickson, Keats, Nedomansky). AMongst guys below Sundin, we find quite a few guys that are clearly better than him (think Ted Kennedy, Sergei Fedorov, Dave Keon), a few guys that are better than him (Modano, namely) and another group who is somewhat in between those two groupings (think Pavel Datsyuk, Hooley Smith).

Amongst guys higher than Sundin, you also have players who are not as good (think Clint Smith and Henrik Sedin)... but that's really the only ones I can think of. It's a rough indicator of offensive prowess. I guess one can go either way with Sittler.

Otherwise, Marty Barry was CLEARLY the best playoff player available last round, and was probably the best playoff player available since Ted Kennedy went in. If he wasn't, well then that probably means all the best playoff-performing goalies are straight out of the 30ies, and we obviously know it's not the case.

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