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Question: Talent level by years/era

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Old
03-27-2007, 02:03 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
My point isn't that Steve Yzerman would have dominated any other era. My point is that just because a player is #1 in his era, doesn't mean he's equal to the #1 from a different era. You make it sound like the greatest players of the game have been evenly divided through the ages, which is obviously untrue.

When we're talking about the two of the 3 most offensively dominant players of all time (Lemieux and Gretzky), I think it needs to be taken into account. Do you believe that Jagr was as good as Lemieux or Gretzky? Those two players burried the field on a regular basis. Yes, Jagr won scoring titles. Yes, Jagr was by far the best offensive player in the game in the late 90's. However, I've seen them both with my own eyes, and he had nothing on Lemieux. There is a massive difference in my mind finishing 3rd to Jagr and Sakic as opposed to Wayne and Mario.

If I can get you to agree that Jagr was not as good offensively as Gretzky and Lemieux (right?), then it should stand to reason that a player could be BETTER than Jagr, and still be WORSE than Gretzky and Lemieux. If this hypothetical player were to have played in 1989, he would be third place. If he were to play in 1999, he would be first. This is the issue.
I agree that Yzerman was a much better than Recchi. Yzerman has 3 seasons that are clearly better offensively than any by Recchi.

I don't believe Yzerman's '89 season was better than some of Jagr's best seasons, and that was a career year for Yzerman, while Jagr was the dominant non-goalie in the league for several seasons. I think if Jagr was allowed to skate without being held and tackled, as Yzerman could in his prime, he would have put up 150-200 points for many years.

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03-27-2007, 02:37 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I agree that Yzerman was a much better than Recchi. Yzerman has 3 seasons that are clearly better offensively than any by Recchi.

I don't believe Yzerman's '89 season was better than some of Jagr's best seasons, and that was a career year for Yzerman, while Jagr was the dominant non-goalie in the league for several seasons. I think if Jagr was allowed to skate without being held and tackled, as Yzerman could in his prime, he would have put up 150-200 points for many years.
200??
Not a chance. 150 a few times. Maybe

Jagr was awesome. Don;t get me wrong. But in his Prime, he was still a head a shoulders below Lemieux who was leaving his prime, who never got 200 points.

Let's not overestimate Jagr.

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03-27-2007, 02:43 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I agree that Yzerman was a much better than Recchi. Yzerman has 3 seasons that are clearly better offensively than any by Recchi.

I don't believe Yzerman's '89 season was better than some of Jagr's best seasons, and that was a career year for Yzerman, while Jagr was the dominant non-goalie in the league for several seasons. I think if Jagr was allowed to skate without being held and tackled, as Yzerman could in his prime, he would have put up 150-200 points for many years.
Oh I agree. My argument was that Yzerman > Recchi, and Lemieux/Gretzky > Jagr. I never meant to make it sounds like Yzerman was better than Jagr offensively.

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03-27-2007, 03:29 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by J0e Th0rnton View Post
200??
Not a chance. 150 a few times. Maybe

Jagr was awesome. Don;t get me wrong. But in his Prime, he was still a head a shoulders below Lemieux who was leaving his prime, who never got 200 points.

Let's not overestimate Jagr.
I doubt he would have hit 200, even in the '80s, but it's possible. I meant that more as a likely range for his point totals. His best seasons are the equivalent to about 180-190 points when the NHL averaged 7.5-8.0 goals/game. After his first 3 years, his worst seasons would equate to ~100-120 points, with most of his seasons being in the 150-190 point range.

In order to reach 200, he would have had to stay healthy, possibly had better linemates, and gotten a little luck. It becomes more likely if you believe that the causes of the scoring decline affected him proportionately more than the average player (given how he was often held, tackled, etc., this is quite likely).

Lemieux didn't hit 200, but he came as close as you can get. If not for his health problems, he would have hit 200 a couple times even though scoring was starting to decline in the NHL. If he played his whole prime in the '80s, he could have hit 200 a few times if he stayed healthy.

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03-27-2007, 05:18 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by pnep View Post
I calculate "Best Seasons" for all NHL players and make this chart:

NHL Season -- # of "Best Seasons" -- Players Played -- % "Best Seasons"
==============================
1917-18 -- 23 -- 45 -- 51,00%
1918-19 -- 9 -- 36 -- 25,00%
1919-20 -- 21 -- 49 -- 43,00%
1920-21 -- 9 -- 48 -- 19,00%
1921-22 -- 8 -- 47 -- 17,00%
1922-23 -- 7 -- 44 -- 16,00%
1923-24 -- 13 -- 54 -- 24,00%
1924-25 -- 30 -- 83 -- 36,00%
1925-26 -- 36 -- 107 -- 34,00%
1926-27 -- 38 -- 150 -- 25,00%
1927-28 -- 32 -- 148 -- 22,00%
1928-29 -- 27 -- 147 -- 18,00%
1929-30 -- 33 -- 159 -- 21,00%
1930-31 -- 42 -- 183 -- 23,00%
1931-32 -- 28 -- 151 -- 19,00%
1932-33 -- 27 -- 171 -- 16,00%
1933-34 -- 36 -- 175 -- 21,00%
1934-35 -- 28 -- 178 -- 16,00%
1935-36 -- 24 -- 170 -- 14,00%
1936-37 -- 30 -- 176 -- 17,00%
1937-38 -- 34 -- 166 -- 20,00%
1938-39 -- 17 -- 155 -- 11,00%
1939-40 -- 26 -- 149 -- 17,00%
1940-41 -- 38 -- 151 -- 25,00%
1941-42 -- 38 -- 160 -- 24,00%
1942-43 -- 44 -- 143 -- 31,00%
1943-44 -- 71 -- 151 -- 47,00%
1944-45 -- 49 -- 132 -- 37,00%
1945-46 -- 23 -- 140 -- 16,00%
1946-47 -- 33 -- 150 -- 22,00%
1947-48 -- 31 -- 153 -- 20,00%
1948-49 -- 37 -- 147 -- 25,00%
1949-50 -- 53 -- 170 -- 31,00%
1950-51 -- 34 -- 170 -- 20,00%
1951-52 -- 22 -- 156 -- 14,00%
1952-53 -- 41 -- 161 -- 25,00%
1953-54 -- 21 -- 154 -- 14,00%
1954-55 -- 30 -- 157 -- 19,00%
1955-56 -- 26 -- 147 -- 18,00%
1956-57 -- 25 -- 150 -- 17,00%
1957-58 -- 21 -- 159 -- 13,00%
1958-59 -- 25 -- 145 -- 17,00%
1959-60 -- 31 -- 155 -- 20,00%
1960-61 -- 38 -- 160 -- 24,00%
1961-62 -- 17 -- 151 -- 11,00%
1962-63 -- 21 -- 155 -- 14,00%
1963-64 -- 20 -- 168 -- 12,00%
1964-65 -- 22 -- 171 -- 13,00%
1965-66 -- 20 -- 184 -- 11,00%
1966-67 -- 15 -- 179 -- 8,00%
1967-68 -- 71 -- 326 -- 22,00%
1968-69 -- 49 -- 329 -- 15,00%
1969-70 -- 53 -- 326 -- 16,00%
1970-71 -- 75 -- 388 -- 19,00%
1971-72 -- 57 -- 382 -- 15,00%
1972-73 -- 81 -- 405 -- 20,00%
1973-74 -- 95 -- 439 -- 22,00%
1974-75 -- 114 -- 503 -- 23,00%
1975-76 -- 87 -- 493 -- 18,00%
1976-77 -- 99 -- 506 -- 20,00%
1977-78 -- 90 -- 511 -- 18,00%
1978-79 -- 69 -- 502 -- 14,00%
1979-80 -- 151 -- 656 -- 23,00%
1980-81 -- 132 -- 641 -- 21,00%
1981-82 -- 116 -- 686 -- 17,00%
1982-83 -- 109 -- 678 -- 16,00%
1983-84 -- 107 -- 693 -- 15,00%
1984-85 -- 114 -- 675 -- 17,00%
1985-86 -- 101 -- 693 -- 15,00%
1986-87 -- 81 -- 688 -- 12,00%
1987-88 -- 135 -- 746 -- 18,00%
1988-89 -- 80 -- 734 -- 11,00%
1989-90 -- 113 -- 730 -- 15,00%
1990-91 -- 115 -- 743 -- 15,00%
1991-92 -- 102 -- 788 -- 13,00%
1992-93 -- 126 -- 789 -- 16,00%
1993-94 -- 148 -- 872 -- 17,00%
1994-95 -- 102 -- 808 -- 13,00%
1995-96 -- 116 -- 857 -- 14,00%
1996-97 -- 106 -- 849 -- 12,00%
1997-98 -- 105 -- 836 -- 13,00%
1998-99 -- 131 -- 902 -- 15,00%
1999-00 -- 136 -- 923 -- 15,00%
2000-01 -- 149 -- 975 -- 15,00%
2001-02 -- 157 -- 966 -- 16,00%
Very interesting research pnep. The results do match where logic would dictate drop-offs or increases in talent:

- talent increase in `26-`27 when the PCHA folded and their best players came to the NHL

- major drop in talent during WW2

- increase during the 60s as the number of available players increased while there were still only 6 teams

- drop for expansion

- drop for the WHA

Excellent work. Have you tried incorporating those results into your HHOF Monitor? (i.e. giving extra points for high quality seasons)

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Old
03-27-2007, 10:52 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post

Excellent work. Have you tried incorporating those results into your HHOF Monitor? (i.e. giving extra points for high quality seasons)
yes
I shall make it in the new version

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03-27-2007, 11:53 PM
  #32
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The main problem that I have with Ogopogo's theory is that in the games early days it was an elite sport for the most part and accordingly the number of people privileged to play it was dramatically reduced. If there are only a relative handful of players available to play a game does that mean that the best automatically equates to the best later when the number of players is dramatically increased, I subscribe to the theory that with more players playing the game there are bound to be better players.

I will use an analogy, if I invented a game tomorrow and only a few people played it and I was the best... but in 100 years it was a popular game would that mean that I was the equal of the best player later. Logically the answer has to be no./
So, using this theory, NHL players today really can't be given a lot of credit for their accomplishments. If you consider China and India, there are nearly 2 billion people that currently don't play hockey. What if the winter Olympics take place in Beijing in 2022? What if China and India start to take hockey seriously? What if those two nations generate 20% of NHLers in 2030?

You can always say that there are more players today than 80 years ago but, why give so much credit to people that neither play nor care about the game? The best player in the NHL is the best player in the NHL. Just because Juha from Helsinki didn't play the game that does not take away the accomplishments of Shore, Morenz and Denneny.

I don't buy into this theory at all. The world's best is the world's best end of story. You cannot be expected to compete with people 100 years into the future - you can only be expected to compete with your peers. If your peers are the best available in the world and you beat them, you are the best. It is irrelevant what the world will be like in 5 decades.

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03-27-2007, 11:55 PM
  #33
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Ogopogo one name puts a serious dent in your system...

Herb Cain.
How so?

I have Herb Cain rated as #188 on my system. Do you think he is misplaced?

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03-27-2007, 11:58 PM
  #34
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Ogopogo, how about Carl "Lefty" Liscombe and Lorne Carr ?
Lorne Carr sits at #175 on my list and Carl Liscombe is well out of my top 250, probably around 300 or 350. Are they out of place?

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03-28-2007, 12:15 AM
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How so?

I have Herb Cain rated as #188 on my system. Do you think he is misplaced?
Yeah, yeah I do. He's about 100 spots too high, if not more...

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03-28-2007, 08:03 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Very interesting research pnep. The results do match where logic would dictate drop-offs or increases in talent:

- talent increase in `26-`27 when the PCHA folded and their best players came to the NHL

- major drop in talent during WW2

- increase during the 60s as the number of available players increased while there were still only 6 teams

- drop for expansion

- drop for the WHA

Excellent work. Have you tried incorporating those results into your HHOF Monitor? (i.e. giving extra points for high quality seasons)
I'd also like to join in thanking for your work. When looking at pnep's and HO's work together, it seems to provide the best assessment on comparing seasons/eras in the NHL, with taking the context into account as well.

The one figure I'd like too see mentioned with each season, is the percentage of 1st year NHL-players (players eligible for rookie awards or only played equivalent % of games in prior pro-seasons i.e NHA/PCHA for the first NHL-seasons). Is there a large variation in this through years, maybe pnep has these numbers?

Next HHOF monitor numbers should be the best ever, we can only hope the NHL uses similar systems when choosing the HHOF candidates

Now, the next logical step would be to incorporate all the NHL info into the similar context worldwide, in comparision to other major (European) leagues through ages.

I'll have to take a deeper look at the sites that Czech your maths mentioned, sounds like a good start.

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03-28-2007, 08:21 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
So, using this theory, NHL players today really can't be given a lot of credit for their accomplishments. If you consider China and India, there are nearly 2 billion people that currently don't play hockey. What if the winter Olympics take place in Beijing in 2022? What if China and India start to take hockey seriously? What if those two nations generate 20% of NHLers in 2030?

You can always say that there are more players today than 80 years ago but, why give so much credit to people that neither play nor care about the game? The best player in the NHL is the best player in the NHL. Just because Juha from Helsinki didn't play the game that does not take away the accomplishments of Shore, Morenz and Denneny.

I don't buy into this theory at all. The world's best is the world's best end of story. You cannot be expected to compete with people 100 years into the future - you can only be expected to compete with your peers. If your peers are the best available in the world and you beat them, you are the best. It is irrelevant what the world will be like in 5 decades.
With the greatest talent pool there will be greater talent, there will always be exceptions to the rule but to blindly say that one is equal to the other is quite naive in my opinion and just setting one up for a questionable system. Now top end talent can exist in any generation, however I would argue that the depth of talent and ergo the really questions which come into play regarding your system are exposed. If China does start to produce top end talent as your analogy states then would it not stand to reason that there would be a larger talent pool to extract talent from leading to more talented players being exposed.

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03-28-2007, 08:58 AM
  #38
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Yeah, yeah I do. He's about 100 spots too high, if not more...
because....?

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03-28-2007, 09:19 AM
  #39
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Yzerman's 155 points was most certainly better than Recchi's 91 points, and not just because it's a bigger number. The argument that players from the 80s had to compete against Gretzky and Lemieux is fairly weak, but this is one time where it is justified.

If you compare them to how they did against their competition in each respective season, you have to compare them to a lower place finisher because comparing them to the #1 or #2 guy throws things out of whack if the top two players are miles ahead of the rest of the league.

Let's compare them to say, the #5 scorer: Yzerman is 35% higher, Recchi only 7% higher.

How about the #10 scorer? Yzerman is 58% higher, Recchi only 15% higher.

What about the #20 scorer? Yzerman is 76% higher, Recchi only 25% higher.

The only way Recchi comes out ahead is if you compare them to #1, 2 or 4. There's the Lemieux/Gretzky factor. Compare them to any other number and Yzerman wins, therefore his season is more impressive.

In fact, if you compare them to the #5 scorer, Yzerman's season was better than a lot of scoring championship seasons. It just happened to occur in a year when two better seasons were happening.

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03-28-2007, 01:13 PM
  #40
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You guys know I'm not a big stats guy. When the weighted for era numbers and all that stuff starts flying, my eyes glaze over. I'm a performance guy, not a stats guy. Stats only tell you so much, and in hockey, they don't tell you much at all. Hockey transcends stats.

As for Weztek's question. I think hockey is cyclical. You go through peaks and valleys, and it goes for all positions. I think the RW position peaked in the 50s and early 60s. You had four of the top 10 RWs ever at that time: Howe, Richard, Geoffrion and Bathgate. Howe was a dominant all-round player, Richard and Geoffrion were all-time great playoff performers, and Bathgate set a brilliant standard of consistency. The 80s had an unmatched abundance of two assets: playmaking centres and offensive defencemen. Combined with a derth of goaltending that hadn't been seen since the Second World War, and you have the numbers that occurred in the 80s.

Sometimes the peaks and valleys are brief. You had a brief lull at defence in the mid-60s. Nothing against Pierre Pilote, Tim Horton and the other greats of the mid-60s, but there was that gap between Doug Harvey and Red Kelly in the 50s, and the arrival of Bobby Orr. And sometimes those valleys are extended. There has been a derth of elite LWs since the early-mid 70s, when Bobby Hull and Frank Mahovlich defected to the WHA. There hasn't been that truly dominant LW over the last 30 years who is a must for a top 100 list.

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03-28-2007, 01:19 PM
  #41
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As for the Yzerman/Recchi debate, it's not as easy as saying "put Yzerman in 1999-2000 and he gets 91 points." You're arguing a 35 per cent drop in production. And keep in mind that when Yzerman hit 150 points, he did it with Gerard Gallant as his LW. Nothing against Gallant, good spunky winger who was a reliable 30-goal/200-PIM player when healthy, but he was better suited to a second line role.

I watched Yzerman in his prime. I watched Recchi in his prime. Mark Recchi was nowhere near the player that Yzerman was. Yzerman was over a point-per-game in 1996-97, when scoring dipped to about 5.75 goals per game. (It was 5.50 goals per game in 1999-2000). He hovered around a point-per-game the five following seasons, and was over a point-per-game in three playoffs. (You know, the important hockey). That's despite his deteriorating knee, his age and the amount of hockey he had played.

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03-28-2007, 01:22 PM
  #42
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Yzerman's 155 points was most certainly better than Recchi's 91 points, and not just because it's a bigger number. The argument that players from the 80s had to compete against Gretzky and Lemieux is fairly weak, but this is one time where it is justified.

If you compare them to how they did against their competition in each respective season, you have to compare them to a lower place finisher because comparing them to the #1 or #2 guy throws things out of whack if the top two players are miles ahead of the rest of the league.

Let's compare them to say, the #5 scorer: Yzerman is 35% higher, Recchi only 7% higher.

How about the #10 scorer? Yzerman is 58% higher, Recchi only 15% higher.

What about the #20 scorer? Yzerman is 76% higher, Recchi only 25% higher.

The only way Recchi comes out ahead is if you compare them to #1, 2 or 4. There's the Lemieux/Gretzky factor. Compare them to any other number and Yzerman wins, therefore his season is more impressive.

In fact, if you compare them to the #5 scorer, Yzerman's season was better than a lot of scoring championship seasons. It just happened to occur in a year when two better seasons were happening.
You make some good points but, I don't think you can clearly say that Yzerman's season was more impressive. As you said, Recchi compares better to #1, 2 and 4.

I am going to do a little more thinking and analysis on this.

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03-28-2007, 01:29 PM
  #43
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As for the Yzerman/Recchi debate, it's not as easy as saying "put Yzerman in 1999-2000 and he gets 91 points." You're arguing a 35 per cent drop in production. And keep in mind that when Yzerman hit 150 points, he did it with Gerard Gallant as his LW. Nothing against Gallant, good spunky winger who was a reliable 30-goal/200-PIM player when healthy, but he was better suited to a second line role.

I watched Yzerman in his prime. I watched Recchi in his prime. Mark Recchi was nowhere near the player that Yzerman was. Yzerman was over a point-per-game in 1996-97, when scoring dipped to about 5.75 goals per game. (It was 5.50 goals per game in 1999-2000). He hovered around a point-per-game the five following seasons, and was over a point-per-game in three playoffs. (You know, the important hockey). That's despite his deteriorating knee, his age and the amount of hockey he had played.
I agree that Yzerman was a greater player that Recchi, I have his career at #43 and Recchi at #179.

I do disagree with the notion that Yzerman's production was hurt by playing with the likes of Gerard Gallant. The greats always score no matter the team, linemates or situation. Gretzky, Lemieux, Dionne, Bathgate and many, many more put up huge numbers with mediocre players on their lines. Yzerman did not corner the market on that.


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03-29-2007, 01:17 AM
  #44
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The one figure I'd like too see mentioned with each season, is the percentage of 1st year NHL-players
SEASONTotal PlayersFirst SeasonFirst %
1917-184545100,00%
1918-1936719,44%
1919-20492142,86%
1920-2148714,58%
1921-22471021,28%
1922-2344613,64%
1923-24541425,93%
1924-25833946,99%
1925-261074138,32%
1926-271507348,67%
1927-281483624,32%
1928-291472919,73%
1929-301593320,75%
1930-311834926,78%
1931-321512013,25%
1932-331713118,13%
1933-341752614,86%
1934-351782614,61%
1935-361702816,47%
1936-371763117,61%
1937-381663018,07%
1938-391552717,42%
1939-401492114,09%
1940-411513825,17%
1941-421603924,38%
1942-431434833,57%
1943-441516341,72%
1944-451323425,76%
1945-461402115,00%
1946-471504127,33%
1947-481534630,07%
1948-491472919,73%
1949-501704526,47%
1950-511703822,35%
1951-521563321,15%
1952-531613421,12%
1953-541542717,53%
1954-551573421,66%
1955-561472819,05%
1956-571503221,33%
1957-581592716,98%
1958-591452114,48%
1959-601552918,71%
1960-611603320,63%
1961-621512516,56%
1962-631552818,06%
1963-641683319,64%
1964-651712916,96%
1965-661843317,93%
1966-671791910,61%
1967-683269629,45%
1968-693296319,15%
1969-703265516,87%
1970-713887519,33%
1971-723826115,97%
1972-7340510024,69%
1973-744399822,32%
1974-7550311422,66%
1975-764938116,43%
1976-775068316,40%
1977-785119318,20%
1978-795028516,93%
1979-8065620431,10%
1980-8164113220,59%
1981-8268615622,74%
1982-8367810315,19%
1983-8469312618,18%
1984-8567510916,15%
1985-8669311116,02%
1986-876889213,37%
1987-8874612216,35%
1988-8973411615,80%
1989-9073011816,16%
1990-9174312316,55%
1991-9278811814,97%
1992-9378911614,70%
1993-9487215017,20%
1994-9580811013,61%
1995-9685714416,80%
1996-9784910712,60%
1997-9883611814,11%
1998-9990212213,53%
1999-0092313614,73%
2000-0197515315,69%
2001-0296613213,66%
2002-0397912913,18%
2003-04101216015,81%
2005-0696320921,70%


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03-29-2007, 11:31 PM
  #45
Masao
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
I agree that Yzerman was a greater player that Recchi, I have his career at #43 and Recchi at #179.

I do disagree with the notion that Yzerman's production was hurt by playing with the likes of Gerard Gallant. The greats always score no matter the team, linemates or situation. Gretzky, Lemieux, Dionne, Bathgate and many, many more put up huge numbers with mediocre players on their lines. Yzerman did not corner the market on that.
The greats always score no matter what the team, however... I think they probably score more with two HOF players on their wings than with two 10 goal per season enforcers on a last place team. They still score, just less. You can make all the best passes in the world, but if you have Joe Blow on your wing that can't complete a one timer and can't score from 10 feet on an empty net, your production is going to be a bit lower than if you're passing to Mike Bossy.

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03-29-2007, 11:59 PM
  #46
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
because....?
Because asside from one season against sub-NHL goalies, he was a 2nd liner. It's like saying, oh... J.P. Dumont is one of the top 200 forwards ever.

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