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Positional Strength By Era

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Old
04-23-2014, 08:58 AM
  #1
Randomtask68
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Positional Strength By Era

During which eras in history were each position in hockey (LW, C, RW, D, G) strongest and which eras were each position weakest?

For defense, I might start with the early/mid 90s for the strongest. Players like Ray Bourque, Brian Leetch, Paul Coffey, Larry Murphy, Gary Suter, Rob Blake, Scott Stevens and Al Macinnis come to mind.

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Old
04-23-2014, 10:29 AM
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blogofmike
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C: Mid 80s. Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier in primes. Stastny, Hawerchuk, Savard, Dionne, Trottier, Francis, Gilmour. Defensive guys like Carbonneau, Muller, Sutter, Poulin, Troy Murray, Jarvis. Old Perreault, Sittler and young Yzerman, LaFontaine.

RW: Mid 50's. Prime Howe, tail end of prime Richard, Geoffrion and Bathgate. Also George Armstrong who I'm always surprised to see is in the HHOF. But he's there.

LW: None.

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04-23-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
RW: Mid 50's. Prime Howe, tail end of prime Richard, Geoffrion and Bathgate. Also George Armstrong who I'm always surprised to see is in the HHOF. But he's there.
i'd say the 2nd best period for RW is possibly the late 90s/early 00s: jagr, bure, iginla, selanne, st. louis.

LW... 60s? hull and mahovlich? or mid-late 00s? ovechkin/kovalchuk/heatley? yeah i dunno.

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04-23-2014, 11:46 AM
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kmad
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Goalie: 90s. Hasek, Brodeur, Roy, Belfour is an insane top four.

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04-23-2014, 11:48 AM
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Canadiens1958
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1950s LW

Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
C: Mid 80s. Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier in primes. Stastny, Hawerchuk, Savard, Dionne, Trottier, Francis, Gilmour. Defensive guys like Carbonneau, Muller, Sutter, Poulin, Troy Murray, Jarvis. Old Perreault, Sittler and young Yzerman, LaFontaine.

RW: Mid 50's. Prime Howe, tail end of prime Richard, Geoffrion and Bathgate. Also George Armstrong who I'm always surprised to see is in the HHOF. But he's there.

LW: None.
If you overlook Art Ross winners like Dickie Moore - twice, Ted Lindsay,

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04-23-2014, 12:31 PM
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Killion
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Well, when you consider the Golden Age of Goaltending, you have to tip your hat at the very least to the greats of the 50's & 60's. These guys all laid down the tracks for what was to follow, none more so than Jacques Plante & Glenn Hall, along with the Acrobats like Lumley, Broda, Worsley, Bower, Crozier & the greatest of them all, Terry Sawchuk (in the Acrobat Category). Each generation that followed kicked it up several notches really, Dryden, Esposito, Parent, Smith, Liut & so on. Todays Butterfly the Great Grandchild of Glenn Hall's creativity. Of course with far fewer jobs being available, the clubs had a luxury of riches available. With the advent of the Slapshot & curved blades, with Expansion, the introduction of the cycle game, better skate technology, faster, bigger players, the composite sticks, as each decade rolled on bye there were numerous brilliant goaltenders sprinkled throughout the league so its a pretty tough call which era was actually the best at the top-end. Say top 10%.

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04-23-2014, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
If you overlook Art Ross winners like Dickie Moore - twice, Ted Lindsay,
1950s LW? Have to agree.

Beyond those two, there was Moore's teammate in the early50s, Bert Olmstead. Big #4 has always spoken highly of his contribution to the Habs.

Andy Bathgate had a linemate who was quite good, too. In Chicago, Toronto and Boston, there emerged three terrific portsiders.

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04-23-2014, 11:13 PM
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Sprague Cleghorn
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I'd say the 80s was the weakest era for goalies.

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04-23-2014, 11:30 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprague Cleghorn View Post
I'd say the 80s was the weakest era for goalies.
Late 30s between Charlie Gardiner's death and Frank Brimsek's rookie season was just dreadful, but wasn't that long a time period.

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04-23-2014, 11:54 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Early 90's d was indeed quite strong but the current group in the last 5 years is pretty good too in terms of the depth and quality of Dman.

There was a bit of a lag in the late 90's and early 2000's of young Dmen entering the league but some of this is perception as to the lower scoring and the changing nature of play in the NHL as well IMO.

Mid 90's might have been the peak of elite and depth for high quality explosive forwards too, at least in the NHL.

As for 2 way centers has there even been a deeper and better era than right now?

pretty hard to argue when the best center is at least decent in his own zone and plays a more 200 foot game than most top centers in the 70's-early 90's.

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04-24-2014, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Blazers View Post
Goalie: 90s. Hasek, Brodeur, Roy, Belfour is an insane top four.
It was insane for elite goalies, but I'd argue that the average talent level was significantly lower than today.

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04-24-2014, 07:33 AM
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C: 80's no need to throw out names.
RW: O6 (Howe, Richard, Geoffrion, Bathgate, Mosienko, Provost)
LW: O6 (Moore, Lindsay, Hull, Duff, Olmstead, Bucyk)
D: O6 (Kelly, Gadsby, Harvey, Pilote, Stanley, Horton, Quackenbush)
G: Tie between O6 and 90's

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04-24-2014, 08:05 AM
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tarheelhockey
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It would be interesting to graph the Top-X lists by year, and see how the positions stack up.

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04-24-2014, 11:59 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobnobs View Post
C: 80's no need to throw out names.
RW: O6 (Howe, Richard, Geoffrion, Bathgate, Mosienko, Provost)
LW: O6 (Moore, Lindsay, Hull, Duff, Olmstead, Bucyk)
D: O6 (Kelly, Gadsby, Harvey, Pilote, Stanley, Horton, Quackenbush)
G: Tie between O6 and 90's
I don't see any way you can say the O6 D were better than the late 70s and late 80s/early 90s. You're listing a bunch of players whose careers didn't even overlap - Quackenbush was done by the time Doug Harvey entered his prime, let alone Pierre Pilote, who hit his prime basically after Kelly and Harvey.

I would say:

C: 1980s/early 1990s, possibly followed by the late 1920s
RW: 1950s easily
LW: 1950s/60s or late 2000s (Ovechkin's prime with Kovalchuk, Heatley, Parise, etc)
D: late 80s/early 90s, followed by late 70s
G: late 90s, followed by late 50s/early 60s


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-24-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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Old
04-24-2014, 12:49 PM
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blogofmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Late 30s between Charlie Gardiner's death and Frank Brimsek's rookie season was just dreadful, but wasn't that long a time period.
Also when he was gone in 1944 and 1945, the elite goaltending corps consisted of Bill Durnan alone.

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04-24-2014, 12:51 PM
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For RW's, dont forget...

Tail end of the 20ies, first half of the 30ies. Cook and Conacher.

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04-24-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see any way you can say the O6 D were better than the late 70s and late 80s/early 90s. You're listing a bunch of players whose careers didn't even overlap - Quackenbush was done by the time Doug Harvey entered his prime, let alone Pierre Pilote, who hit his prime basically after Kelly and Harvey.

I would say:

C: 1980s/early 1990s, possibly followed by the late 1920s
RW: 1950s easily
LW: 1950s/60s or late 2000s (Ovechkin's prime with Kovalchuk, Heatley, Parise, etc)
D: late 80s/early 90s, followed by late 70s
G: late 90s, followed by late 50s/early 60s
Oh they had to overlap? Sorry my mistake. Your list is much better representation in that case.

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04-24-2014, 02:41 PM
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blogofmike
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LW: 1997
Mario Lemieux (points leader)
Keith Tkachuk (goals leader)
John LeClair (ES points leader)
Paul Kariya (1st team LW, Hart runner up)
Brendan Shanahan (led Wings in points, 2nd in playoffs on way to Cup)

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04-24-2014, 06:17 PM
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Sprague Cleghorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
LW: 1997
Mario Lemieux (points leader)
Keith Tkachuk (goals leader)
John LeClair (ES points leader)
Paul Kariya (1st team LW, Hart runner up)
Brendan Shanahan (led Wings in points, 2nd in playoffs on way to Cup)
Lemieux is not a LW.

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04-24-2014, 06:21 PM
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Canadiens1958
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LWs

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see any way you can say the O6 D were better than the late 70s and late 80s/early 90s. You're listing a bunch of players whose careers didn't even overlap - Quackenbush was done by the time Doug Harvey entered his prime, let alone Pierre Pilote, who hit his prime basically after Kelly and Harvey.

I would say:

C: 1980s/early 1990s, possibly followed by the late 1920s
RW: 1950s easily
LW: 1950s/60s or late 2000s (Ovechkin's prime with Kovalchuk, Heatley, Parise, etc)
D: late 80s/early 90s, followed by late 70s
G: late 90s, followed by late 50s/early 60s
Once Heatley and Parise are considered elite then there is not much talent.

Thirties was not bad especially the second half. Joliat and Busher Jackson, Toe Blake and Sweeney Schriner with three NHL scoring championships between them, Syd Howe(splitting time at center) with consideration for Woody Dumart, Johnny Gottselig and perhaps Paul Thompson.

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04-24-2014, 06:46 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't see any way you can say the O6 D were better than the late 70s and late 80s/early 90s. You're listing a bunch of players whose careers didn't even overlap - Quackenbush was done by the time Doug Harvey entered his prime, let alone Pierre Pilote, who hit his prime basically after Kelly and Harvey.
you beat me to it that 06 era would be like mid 90's to today for Dmen and it wouldn't even be close.

Quote:
I would say:

C: 1980s/early 1990s, possibly followed by the late 1920s
RW: 1950s easily
LW: 1950s/60s or late 2000s (Ovechkin's prime with Kovalchuk, Heatley, Parise, etc)
D: late 80s/early 90s, followed by late 70s
G: late 90s, followed by late 50s/early 60s

Late 80's early 90's I can buy to a certain degree but late 70's?

After Potvin and Robinson when he was in his offensive peak, and salimg and at times Park there was a bit of a drop off.

Much more top end depth and qaulity circa late 90's early 2000's and most years since then as well but it depends on one definition I guess.

Also as good as Howe, Richard and Bathgate were in the 50's the 90's RW group is pretty deep and solid as well, specifically with the influx from Europe.

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04-24-2014, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Also as good as Howe, Richard and Bathgate were in the 50's the 90's RW group is pretty deep and solid as well, specifically with the influx from Europe.
Whoooboy....

Here it goes again.

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Old
04-24-2014, 07:56 PM
  #23
Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Whoooboy....

Here it goes again.
What you don't think that Jagr, Bure, Selanne, Mogliny ect didn't have strong years in the 90's?

Throw in Brett Hull, Bondra, Neely and even Recchi, Fleury and others at times, it was a really great decade for RW's?

I'm sure you would agree right?

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04-24-2014, 10:39 PM
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blogofmike
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Lemieux is not a LW.
He was an LW that year. I believe the only time they regularly played Lemieux-Francis-Jagr on the same line. According to HR, Yzerman played LW also, but I'm less sure about that.

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04-24-2014, 11:54 PM
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Sprague Cleghorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
He was an LW that year. I believe the only time they regularly played Lemieux-Francis-Jagr on the same line. According to HR, Yzerman played LW also, but I'm less sure about that.
If he regularly played LW that year, how come he made the 1st AST at the C position? Did the voters screw up his position that year a la Ovechkin?

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