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Lacking a cross-over star

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Old
12-18-2011, 02:30 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Lacking a cross-over star

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL...slam!%20hockey

With Crosby on the IR, Ovechkin not scoring, Pronger out, who, if anyone is available as a "cross over" star?

Quote:
t means Jonathan Toews, Captain Serious of the Blackhawks is probably the best 200-foot player, combining offence, defence, grit and leadership. He’s followed ever so closely by Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings.

It also means in this time of crossover stars — be it Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, or the ridiculous Tim Tebow — hockey has a deep group of young emerging players of consequence, but not one who can or will transcend the sport, not with Crosby’s every step now in doubt.

There has always been a face of hockey, but instead right now, there is no real face, just too many injured brains.

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12-18-2011, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL...slam!%20hockey

With Crosby on the IR, Ovechkin not scoring, Pronger out, who, if anyone is available as a "cross over" star?
Who was the face between Gretzky and Crosby?

Lemieux in his comeback? Even Gretzky wasn't a face in his last 3-4 years. So we'll say from Lemieux's retirement to Crosby.

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Old
12-18-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStranger View Post
Who was the face between Gretzky and Crosby?

Lemieux in his comeback? Even Gretzky wasn't a face in his last 3-4 years. So we'll say from Lemieux's retirement to Crosby.
That's a good question...I'm blanking myself. Jagr maybe? Hasek?

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Old
12-18-2011, 10:09 AM
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Sakic? Forsberg? Naslund?

I think Joe Sakic is the closest. When I think of great players in their prime between 1995-2003, I think of Joe, the Colorado Avalanche and his on-ice and off-ice leadership. Jagr's numbers were better and he was a more dominant player, but couldn't accomplish anything and had that stint in Washington.


Last edited by JetsAlternate: 12-18-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old
12-18-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pensguy11 View Post
That's a good question...I'm blanking myself. Jagr maybe? Hasek?
Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur, of course! Their duel in 2001 was insane! (at least here in Quebec they were the face of hockey)

The years between Gretzky being increadible and the Lockout/Crosby years were all about the trap, the goalies and the defense!

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Old
12-18-2011, 10:50 AM
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The NHL should stop looking for that ONE guy and do what the NFL does and market the hell out of each teams stars.

Everyone knows who Rothlisberger is. Manning (Payton and Eli) Sanchez, Newton the list goes on an on.

If we are trying to create parity by having a cap, then you need to enhance that parity by showcasing the leagues stars from every team.

I believe that is why the league is going with the 4 division (conference whatever) even schedule.

Stop looking for one guy, and spnd that money marketing multiple players. The league will be better off by not portraying that one player is bigger than the game.

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Old
12-18-2011, 10:58 AM
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When did Toes pass up Dats as the world's best two-way guy? He's a great player, but Dats is in a class by himself.


Anyway, with such a ridiculous premise for the article, may be we can rephrase the question to say, "Should the NHL market one player as the face of the game?"

When the Crosby hype first started, there was a contingent of fans who pointed out this could backfire for a number of reasons--- injury, off-ice antics, player decline, etc.


Thus, to me, the question isn't 'who should be marketed' but if that's even the right strategy. The fact that you have to ask also means that no one really sticks out that far above their peers (perhaps inclusive of Sid if you include the absolute top handful of players).

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Old
12-18-2011, 11:42 AM
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Hey, I'm all for the NHL giving more love to Toews, but seems like we keep repeating the same marketing mistakes. NFL, MLB, and NBA all work just fine advertising a veritable plethora of stars, while the NHL seems to be the only league trying to only promote one or two players at a time.

Maybe we should take a cue from the more successful leagues and promote a number of players at once in their advertisement.

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Old
12-18-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
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When did Toes pass up Dats as the world's best two-way guy?
Started at the 2010 Olympics and finally came to fruition this year.

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12-18-2011, 12:30 PM
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Started at the 2010 Olympics and finally came to fruition this year.

I don't think so. Toes does not control the play on the ice like Pasha. No one does.

Besides, Sid was the conquering hero for Canada, not Jonathan.

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12-18-2011, 12:48 PM
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Im actually good with the concept of no single player transcending the game with all kinds of superb talent sprinkled pretty evenly throughout the league. Id prefer to see a "collective" face or group used for marketing purposes if thats even being contemplated (which I rather doubt).

If you simply measure a players marketability in the number of points they put up then I dont think you really "get" hockey. Neither Gretzky nor Lemieux were "200' players", they didnt have to be because the other teams simply tried to play keep-away, never very effectively, always on the defence. But to suggest those 2 guys were great themselves defensively?. No way, so applying that 200 footer handle on them is a complete misnomer.

Maurice Richard wasnt a 200 footer, nor was Bobby Hull, Bossy etc. Howe, Beliveau, Keon, Mikita, Henri Richard, Orr & Coffey amongst others were. Even before Crosby went down & Ovechkin seemed to lose his thread, for sheer skill & entertainment value based on a 200' criteria playing up-front would be Pavel Datsyuk, Nik Lidstrom on defence, Tim Thomas in between the pipes. Theyve shown, consistently, to be the best at their positions shift after shift, game in game out in all situations.

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Old
12-18-2011, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Im actually good with the concept of no single player transcending the game with all kinds of superb talent sprinkled pretty evenly throughout the league. Id prefer to see a "collective" face or group used for marketing purposes if thats even being contemplated (which I rather doubt).

If you simply measure a players marketability in the number of points they put up then I dont think you really "get" hockey. Neither Gretzky nor Lemieux were "200' players", they didnt have to be because the other teams simply tried to play keep-away, never very effectively, always on the defence. But to suggest those 2 guys were great themselves defensively?. No way, so applying that 200 footer handle on them is a complete misnomer.

Maurice Richard wasnt a 200 footer, nor was Bobby Hull, Bossy etc. Howe, Beliveau, Keon, Mikita, Henri Richard, Orr & Coffey amongst others were. Even before Crosby went down & Ovechkin seemed to lose his thread, for sheer skill & entertainment value based on a 200' criteria playing up-front would be Pavel Datsyuk, Nik Lidstrom on defence, Tim Thomas in between the pipes. Theyve shown, consistently, to be the best at their positions shift after shift, game in game out in all situations.
There's an interesting quote from Gretzky on Sergei Fedorov, who was discussing this very aspect of offensive and defensive dominance (and two-way play). Basically he said there was no way he or Lemieux did or could play defense, noting that Feds was often thrown on the blue line, seemingly for kicks, by Bowman to get him more of that IT he craved. (Or to use him on the point during the PP without sacrificing defensive coverage.)

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12-18-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I don't think so. Toes does not control the play on the ice like Pasha. No one does.

Besides, Sid was the conquering hero for Canada, not Jonathan.
I feel Toews is better.

If/When we become GM's, you can take your star and I will take mine.

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12-18-2011, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
There's an interesting quote from Gretzky on Sergei Fedorov, who was discussing this very aspect of offensive and defensive dominance (and two-way play). Basically he said there was no way he or Lemieux did or could play defense, noting that Feds was often thrown on the blue line, seemingly for kicks, by Bowman to get him more of that IT he craved. (Or to use him on the point during the PP without sacrificing defensive coverage.)
Ya, well that just it. A 200' player, a really good one, is often moved back from a forward to defensive or defensive to forward position, back in the day called a "Swing Player". Some great 200' players however, like Doug Gilmour, stick up front, offensive threats, great transitional players who are also extremely responsible defensively. Red Kelly & Wendel Clark (both moved up from defence, in Clarks case when he turned pro) "thought" the game both ways, vision if you will making them dangerous & formidable coming or going... Naturally, all three were born to wear the blue & white. Classic examples, typifying once again the superiority of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the game really only savored & understood by its Management, Scouts & Coaching Staff, Legions of Connoisseur Fans. Hopefully, one day, you, and the rest of the league will catch up to us and we'll be able to have... an intelligent conversation on the subject?.


Last edited by Killion: 12-18-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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Old
12-22-2011, 07:29 PM
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LadyStanley
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I will say that regardless of a "huge" star (ala Crosby), the NHL needs to promote more "stars" -- on all teams.

I recently saw a list of players promoting a NHL event -- four were from Western Conference teams, another dozen or so from Eastern Conference teams.

That's about dozen teams in the west not represented -- at all.

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12-22-2011, 07:35 PM
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The NHL just needs to push more players, period.


I know Evgeni Malkin embraces his role living in Crosby's shadows...but really he's every bit as good as Crosby and Ovechkin are when they're all at their best, but he's almost never featured nationally. Why isn't the league doing more to push the much-maligned other guy in the 'big three'?

Of course this also means guys like Toews, Datsyuk, Thomas, etc. The league has put too many eggs in the Crosby and Ovechkin basket trying to make them the NHL's Kobe and LeBron, and it's blowing up on them right now...the difference is that the NBA does push some of the other stars quite emphatically as well. I hate the NBA with a passion and avoid it at all costs, but I can still name at least a dozen players off the top of my head...I doubt too many people feeling that way about the NHL are going to be able to name much more than five.

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12-23-2011, 09:22 AM
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I think the constant Crosby-pimping was actually *annoying*, personally. The NHL doesn't need one guy to be the face of the league.

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Old
12-23-2011, 09:38 AM
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Tim Thomas should be in this discussion. A great guy who just won the cup, vezina, and conn smyth, and set the single season save percentage record. Seemingly every game he produces a highlight real save.

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Old
12-23-2011, 09:42 AM
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Patrick Kane for the U.S. audience.

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Old
12-23-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
When did Toes pass up Dats as the world's best two-way guy? He's a great player, but Dats is in a class by himself.


Anyway, with such a ridiculous premise for the article, may be we can rephrase the question to say, "Should the NHL market one player as the face of the game?"

When the Crosby hype first started, there was a contingent of fans who pointed out this could backfire for a number of reasons--- injury, off-ice antics, player decline, etc.


Thus, to me, the question isn't 'who should be marketed' but if that's even the right strategy. The fact that you have to ask also means that no one really sticks out that far above their peers (perhaps inclusive of Sid if you include the absolute top handful of players).
Datsyuk is one of the the best players in the world but he has a face for radio marketing. Stamkos perhaps depending on how his career develops if we're talking about one player and Crosby for whatever reason can't be that. I can't see them ever going with a Russian player to solely fill that void, too much risk involved.

I agree with the overall sentiment in the thread though, the strategy of focusing the marketing on one player is flawed regardless if one person sticks out.

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Old
12-23-2011, 06:09 PM
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Hockey is a team game. Even the great Oilers' teams of the 80s could win the cup easily after Gretzky was shipped to LA. In fact, the year after #99 was traded, his linemate, the great Finn Hari Kurri, had MORE points than he had with #99 the previous season.

Trying to make a single player a huge "cross over" star is thus a little difficult in hockey.

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