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Prime Gretzky with modern goaltending

02-23-2012, 09:34 PM
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McGuillicuddy
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Prime Gretzky with modern goaltending

One frequent point I've read on the boards is that Gretzky's goal scoring feats are largely a result of the low quality goaltending of the early 80s. So I wanted to do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation to see if the statistics supported that theory. Simply put, if we normalize Gretzky's top goal-scoring seasons (81-82 and 83-84) to current save percentages, shouldn't that give us some idea of how Gretzky would have done against modern goalies? I know it's hardly bulletproof, and there are many confounding factors built into the imperfect SV% statistic, but I thought it would at least be a good place to start. It's an easy calculation but I haven't seen it posted here. Apologies if I just missed it.

Let's first examine the 83-84 season.

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 87 324 237 0.731 0.873 1.19 0.838

where 99 SV% is SV% of goalies on shots by Gretzky, NHL SV% is the league average SV% for that season. From the NHL/99 calculation you can see that an average shot was 1.19x more likely to be stopped than a shot by Gretzky, and similarly the 99/NHL calculation indicates that a shot by Gretzky was only 83.8% as likely to be stopped as an average shot.

Now let's assume that the difference between Gretzky and his peers doesn't change. Let's also assume that Gretzky's shot totals don't change (average shots per game, as well as total shots taken by league leaders has barely changed since the early 80s). It then becomes a simple matter of substituting in the modern league average SV% (using 2010-11 that gives us 0.913):

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 76 324 248 0.765 0.913 1.19 0.838

In this scenario Gretzky still scores a whopping 76 goals in 74 games. If we repeat the calculation for his record-breaking 81-82 season it looks like this:

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 80 79 369 290 0.785 0.913 1.16 0.860

This is actually slightly less impressive than 83-84 since it is in 80 games rather than 74.

Now I know this is an oversimplification, and the biggest assumption that may or may not be valid is the preservation of the huge gap between Gretzky and the "average" NHLer. The question remains, is that gap so large because Gretzky was that awesome, or because there was such a large disparity in talent which may not exist to such an extent today. Even if we assume that 99 SV% is only 10 points better than the league average rather than 14 points as in 83-84, Gretzky still scores an impressive 61 goals in 74 games, which pro rates to 67 goals in 82 games, and blows the doors off anything we're seeing today.

Now I happen to be in the camp that thinks a prime Gretzky today would rip the league a new one, but I didn't set out to prove this when I started this post. I genuinely just wanted to see where the numbers fell. I'm hoping it might be a good starting point for discussion.

Last edited by McGuillicuddy: 02-24-2012 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Changed % to "points" in 2nd last paragraph

 02-23-2012, 11:00 PM #2 Big Phil Registered User     Join Date: Nov 2003 Country: Posts: 15,203 vCash: 500 We also have to take into account that Gretzky's shot would be even better today. The velocity for sure and maybe even the accuracy although he was pretty darn accurate. The idea that everyone could do what Gretzky did has always been foolish. I know you weren't suggesting this, but it has been brought up before. Gretzky led the NHL in goals 5 times. Each time it looked like this: 1982 - 92 (next best 64) 43.7% better 1983 - 71 (next best 66) 7.57% better 1984 - 87 (next best 56) 55.3% better 1985 - 73 (next best 71) 2.81% better 1987 - 62 (next best 58) 6.89% better Two of them are insanely dominant goal scoring years in comparison to his peers. The 2nd place finishers are in order: Bossy, McDonald, Goulet, Kurri and Kerr. The gap is much bigger in 1985 if you factor in non-teammates because let's face it, Kurri isn't a 71 goal scorer without Gretzky. I believe the best season for goals in the modern era in comparison to his peers is Hull in 1991 with 86 (next highest 51) and a 68.6% difference from second place. But either way, Gretzky in his prime probably has 70-80 goals while the next best (looks like it will be Stamkos) will get about 55. He'd be fine today.
02-23-2012, 11:04 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy
One frequent point I've read on the boards is that Gretzky's goal scoring feats are largely a result of the low quality goaltending of the early 80s. So I wanted to do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation to see if the statistics supported that theory. Simply put, if we normalize Gretzky's top goal-scoring seasons (81-82 and 83-84) to current save percentages, shouldn't that give us some idea of how Gretzky would have done against modern goalies? I know it's hardly bulletproof, and there are many confounding factors built into the imperfect SV% statistic, but I thought it would at least be a good place to start. It's an easy calculation but I haven't seen it posted here. Apologies if I just missed it.

Let's first examine the 83-84 season.

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 87 324 237 0.731 0.873 1.19 0.838

where 99 SV% is SV% of goalies on shots by Gretzky, NHL SV% is the league average SV% for that season. From the NHL/99 calculation you can see that an average shot was 1.19x more likely to be stopped than a shot by Gretzky, and similarly the 99/NHL calculation indicates that a shot by Gretzky was only 83.8% as likely to be stopped as an average shot.

Now let's assume that the difference between Gretzky and his peers doesn't change. Let's also assume that Gretzky's shot totals don't change (average shots per game, as well as total shots taken by league leaders has barely changed since the early 80s). It then becomes a simple matter of substituting in the modern league average SV% (using 2010-11 that gives us 0.913):

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 76 324 248 0.765 0.913 1.19 0.838

In this scenario Gretzky still scores a whopping 76 goals in 74 games. If we repeat the calculation for his record-breaking 81-82 season it looks like this:

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 80 79 369 290 0.785 0.913 1.16 0.860

This is actually slightly less impressive than 83-84 since it is in 80 games rather than 74.

Now I know this is an oversimplification, and the biggest assumption that may or may not be valid is the preservation of the huge gap between Gretzky and the "average" NHLer. The question remains, is that gap so large because Gretzky was that awesome, or because there was such a large disparity in talent which may not exist to such an extent today. Even if we assume that 99 SV% is only 10% better than the league average rather than 14% as in 83-84, Gretzky still scores an impressive 61 goals in 74 games, which pro rates to 67 goals in 82 games, and blows the doors off anything we're seeing today.

Now I happen to be in the camp that thinks a prime Gretzky today would rip the league a new one, but I didn't set out to prove this when I started this post. I genuinely just wanted to see where the numbers fell. I'm hoping it might be a good starting point for discussion.

I think it's a case of both things, using adjusted stats those 2 seasons come out to 68 and 69 goals and that's within the realm of possibility but IMO his peak goal scoring would be a bit less than that in today's game.

There are just so many factors to consider even with the best player the game has ever seen.

This might become more evident as we move on and have more data to look at but only 15 times in the 6 full seasons post lockout has nay player scored over 50 goals and only 1 scored more than 56, AO with 65 in 08 which is beginning to look more and more like a career year for him.

02-23-2012, 11:24 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 I think it's a case of both things, using adjusted stats those 2 seasons come out to 68 and 69 goals and that's within the realm of possibility but IMO his peak goal scoring would be a bit less than that in today's game. There are just so many factors to consider even with the best player the game has ever seen. This might become more evident as we move on and have more data to look at but only 15 times in the 6 full seasons post lockout has nay player scored over 50 goals and only 1 scored more than 56, AO with 65 in 08 which is beginning to look more and more like a career year for him.
For starters, Gretzky was doing all of this while competing against Mike Bossy, a guy who had 9 straight 50 goal seasons. I think that is pretty impressive since many a hockey expert considers Bossy the purest goal scorer in the history of the game.

Looking at recent years, Ovechkin scored 65 in 2008 with the next best being 52 (25% better) and 56 in 2009 with the next best being 46 (21.7%). On an all-time list no one is saying Ovechkin is a better goalscorer than Gretzky and yet he has two seasons where he cleans out the second place finisher.

This season is looking more and more like that as well. Stamkos has 43 goals right now while Malkin is 2nd with 33. On projection let's say Stamkos gets 60 goals while Malkin or the next best finishes with 48. That's a 25% increase from second place. Now Stamkos still has to prove this and finish the season like that but the point is if Stamkos is doing this in today's NHL shouldn't the smartest player in NHL history have no trouble doing it as well or even significantly better?

 02-24-2012, 12:27 AM #5 jigglysquishy Registered User     Join Date: Jun 2011 Location: Regina, Saskatchewan Country: Posts: 2,218 vCash: 500 First of all, how do you make those boxes on HF? I have no idea. I think its fair to say a prime Gretzky in today's NHL is a 75-80 goal scorer instead of a 85-90 goal scorer. He had 87 when the next highest was 57. That means he could have quit 52 games into the season and still won. Domination.
02-24-2012, 12:35 AM
#6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jigglysquishy First of all, how do you make those boxes on HF? I have no idea.
If you "quote" the post, you can see the code. Enjoy!

02-24-2012, 03:34 AM
#7
ssh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy
Simply put, if we normalize Gretzky's top goal-scoring seasons (81-82 and 83-84) to current save percentages, shouldn't that give us some idea of how Gretzky would have done against modern goalies? I know it's hardly bulletproof, and there are many confounding factors built into the imperfect SV% statistic, but I thought it would at least be a good place to start. It's an easy calculation but I haven't seen it posted here. Apologies if I just missed it.

Let's first examine the 83-84 season.

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 87 324 237 0.731 0.873 1.19 0.838

where 99 SV% is SV% of goalies on shots by Gretzky, NHL SV% is the league average SV% for that season. From the NHL/99 calculation you can see that an average shot was 1.19x more likely to be stopped than a shot by Gretzky, and similarly the 99/NHL calculation indicates that a shot by Gretzky was only 83.8% as likely to be stopped as an average shot.

Now let's assume that the difference between Gretzky and his peers doesn't change. Let's also assume that Gretzky's shot totals don't change (average shots per game, as well as total shots taken by league leaders has barely changed since the early 80s). It then becomes a simple matter of substituting in the modern league average SV% (using 2010-11 that gives us 0.913):

 GP G Shots SV 99 SV% NHL SV% NHL/99 99/NHL 74 76 324 248 0.765 0.913 1.19 0.838
You are confusing percentages and percentage points and you do your calculations with the save percentages when they should be done with scoring percentages vs. goalies.

When sv% increases from 0.873 to 0.913 it increases by 4 percentage points (0.913-0.873=0.04).

The original league scoring % is 1-0.873=0.127. Subtract the 4 percentage points and you get 0.087 which is the league scoring % vs. the 2010-11 goalies. The scoring multiplier is 0.087/0.127=0.685
i.e. one 83-84 goal is "worth" 0.685 2010-11 goals.
In 83-84 Gretzky scored 87 goals which would equal 60 2010-11 goals, not 76.

edit: This of course doesn't mean that the 83-84 Gretzky would score 60 goals in 74 games 2010-11 but what his totals were if his scoring compared to his peers remained the same.

Last edited by ssh: 02-24-2012 at 03:52 AM.

 02-24-2012, 05:04 AM #8 Dalton Registered User     Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: Ho Chi Minh City Country: Posts: 2,096 vCash: 500 Without a center line and with the trapezoid in place, Gretzky would likely have increased his scoring. There is no way the league would have removed the red line in Gretzky's time. Gretzky ate systems for lunch. All they do is limit players creativity, thinking, response alternatives and risk taking, an important tool for learning. If Gretzky played his way today with the benefit of modern training and equipment IMHO he would break his own records. There are plenty of examples in history when everyone thought they had it all figured out down to a system. Newtonian physics comes to mind. It's a cycle IMHO. A dumb no talent player can look like a star if he's good at following direction. The Gretzky's and Orr's expose this. I believe as we move forward in time the likelihood of another player of Gretzky's caliber increases.
 02-24-2012, 05:17 AM #9 Fish on The Sand Untouchable     Join Date: Feb 2002 Location: Nanaimo Country: Posts: 44,976 vCash: 500 I think the fact that there exists the concept of team defence would hinder Gretzky moreso than the goaltending, which would also hinder him. I don't doubt that he would be the best player in the league by a considerable margin, but I would imagine that because it is near impossible to send a winger sprinting down the outside open these days alone would knock 20-30 points off his best seasons.
02-24-2012, 05:30 AM
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 Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand I think the fact that there exists the concept of team defence would hinder Gretzky moreso than the goaltending, which would also hinder him. I don't doubt that he would be the best player in the league by a considerable margin, but I would imagine that because it is near impossible to send a winger sprinting down the outside open these days alone would knock 20-30 points off his best seasons.
If Gretzky was prone to trying things that weren't effective you could knock a few points off his actual totals. The guy just outsmarted and finessed everybody. Gretzky and Kurri with no red line would be sick.

Teams tried defending against him all the time. No effect really. Same with Boston against LaFleur in the cup finals.

 02-24-2012, 07:48 AM #11 revolverjgw Registered User     Join Date: Oct 2003 Location: Nova Scotia Country: Posts: 7,522 vCash: 500 Gretzky's slap shot was tailor made for those 80s goalies, but his wrist shot was too mediocre to be an elite goal scorer against modern goaltending, you can see how relatively quickly his goal scoring petered out compared to the other greats, and there was a lot more going on there than just his injury. He simply didn't have the right kind of shot. It would be interesting to see how his technique would change if he grew up using a composite stick. There's no math that can predict that though.
 02-24-2012, 08:13 AM #12 Rhiessan71 Just a Fool     Join Date: Feb 2003 Location: Guelph, Ont Country: Posts: 8,849 vCash: 500 Gretzky was about patience, accuracy and shooting where the goalie wasn't. That really doesn't change much today. Instead of beating standup goalies low, he would simply wait for today's butterfly goalies to go down and shoot it high. It's not like he didn't play against, what's being called modern goaltending. Roy broke into the league hardcore in '86 and it was only a matter of a couple years before butterfly goalies in his mold were the norm around the league. He was still a 40-50 goal scorer against those goalies out of his Edmonton prime and as high as 38 goals well out of his overall prime with a mangled back. Not saying he would be able to get 86 or 92 goals but 70-75 during his absolute prime, I don't see an issue with that.
 02-24-2012, 08:23 AM #13 steveott Registered User   Join Date: Mar 2011 Posts: 164 vCash: 500 edmonton 83-84 446 GF gretzky made 87/446 % of his teams goals = 19.5 % if we move that to the BEST team GF last year (van 262) we get 51 goals. under the caphit hes likely not playing for van so we get some 45-50 goals. then we have to realize that game is MUCH faster today and NOBODY can play close to 30 minutes a game anymore, nobody can doubleshift or play 2 min powerplays. 50 is a stretch (but i admit its possible)
02-24-2012, 09:36 AM
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 Originally Posted by steveott edmonton 83-84 446 GF gretzky made 87/446 % of his teams goals = 19.5 % if we move that to the BEST team GF last year (van 262) we get 51 goals. under the caphit hes likely not playing for van so we get some 45-50 goals. then we have to realize that game is MUCH faster today and NOBODY can play close to 30 minutes a game anymore, nobody can doubleshift or play 2 min powerplays. 50 is a stretch (but i admit its possible)
Don't you think Gretzky's impact ALONE would increase VANs totals? Just like his teams' scoring jumped DRASTICALLY when 99 played on them, along with his teammates?

It's ridiculous to assume that an elite player like Gretzky is a byproduct of era and rules and general trends when he's one of the very very few players who DEFINED the eras.

When scoring was at it's highest, Gretzky still outscored everyone by 70-80-90-100 points a season. In his prime 6-7 years, there were only 6 players that Gretzky didn't at least DOUBLE IN POINTS. And those players also played against the same GOALIES.

I look at it this way, I don't think any of Malkin, Sedins, Ovechkin, etc as being any better than Lafleur, Dionne, Sakic, Yzerman, Messier, Bossy etc...they are in the same tier (if not lower) - so what Gretzky did to those players would be pretty much the same today.

This has NOTHING to do with goalies, it's simply how much Gretzky was than everyone else on the ice.

And Gretz didn't play 30min a night. He played the same 21-23min a night that players do now. I don't think shift length alters the length of the actual game.

And just like goalies, there are differences in equipment (skates, sticks) and no redline, no clutching/grabbing, 4on4 is back, both in off-setting minors and OT.

Trying to adjust for such an elite talent makes absolutely zero sense.

 02-24-2012, 12:50 PM #15 UvBnDatsyuked Registered User     Join Date: Apr 2005 Posts: 2,028 vCash: 500 Great topic. Comparing not only the goaltenders and defense but also the typical hockey player now compared to back then. Walter was ahead of his time as far as his involvment in Wayne's hockey development was concerned. That played a huge role in how far ahead of the other youth players he played with and against back then (and then into the NHL). Most kids growing up in the 70's simply played hockey with their team and played hockey with their friends (pond, street, etc). Wayne was "developed". Not many kids back then were "developed". Walter took every opportunity to teach Wayne the mental/strategy side of the game. Throw in the fact that Wayne was pretty much a sponge, and you have the makings of a player that was putting in 1,000's of development hours above and beyond most NHL'ers. Today it is a different story. Parents are playing a huge role in their kids hockey development. You have hockey camps everywhere and personal skating coaches, off-ice training, etc. The average player or below average player is better prepared than they were 30 years ago.
02-24-2012, 12:55 PM
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 Originally Posted by ssh You are confusing percentages and percentage points
No, I don't believe I am. Strictly speaking I am using the accepted convention of reporting save percentage as a decimal (e.g. 0.914) rather than an actual percent (e.g. 91.4%), but there is no confusion.

Quote:
 and you do your calculations with the save percentages when they should be done with scoring percentages vs. goalies. When sv% increases from 0.873 to 0.913 it increases by 4 percentage points (0.913-0.873=0.04). The original league scoring % is 1-0.873=0.127. Subtract the 4 percentage points and you get 0.087 which is the league scoring % vs. the 2010-11 goalies. The scoring multiplier is 0.087/0.127=0.685 i.e. one 83-84 goal is "worth" 0.685 2010-11 goals. In 83-84 Gretzky scored 87 goals which would equal 60 2010-11 goals, not 76. edit: This of course doesn't mean that the 83-84 Gretzky would score 60 goals in 74 games 2010-11 but what his totals were if his scoring compared to his peers remained the same.
Maybe I'm just dense, but you're going to have to clarify for me why your calculation is better/more relevant than the way I posted, or why my way might be wrong, because otherwise I'm not seeing it.

You're taking the ratio of the scoring percentages and applying that to Gretzky's goals. I'm taking the ratio of the save percentages and applying that to Gretzky's shots (with a factor built-in to account for how much better Gretzky was than his peers - which changes from season to season).

I think my calculation still holds for the following scenario:

-the likelihood of a Gretzky shot being stopped vs. the league average remains a constant ratio (this is the most dubious assumption).
-the total shots taken by Gretzky remains unchanged
-only the league average SV% changes (form 0.873 to 0.913).

02-24-2012, 12:56 PM
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 Originally Posted by redbull Trying to adjust for such an elite talent makes absolutely zero sense.
There is certainly a 'pissing in the wind' aspect to this kind of calculation. But it's still fun .

02-24-2012, 01:07 PM
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 Originally Posted by steveott edmonton 83-84 446 GF gretzky made 87/446 % of his teams goals = 19.5 % if we move that to the BEST team GF last year (van 262) we get 51 goals. under the caphit hes likely not playing for van so we get some 45-50 goals. then we have to realize that game is MUCH faster today and NOBODY can play close to 30 minutes a game anymore, nobody can doubleshift or play 2 min powerplays. 50 is a stretch (but i admit its possible)
I don't think this holds much water. Gretzky scored 19.5% of the goals on the greatest offensive team in history. What might make more sense with this approach would be to calculate the % goal contribution of Gretzky to an average 83-84 team, excluding the Oilers which are a crazy outlier (83-84 team average is 309G, excluding the Oilers; 87/309=28%) and then apply that to the league average from 2010-11 (which is 229 goals). This gives you a total of 65 goals for Gretzky. That pro-rates to 72 goals in 82 games. Not too shabby.

That of course assume that Gretzky would have scored as many goals on an average team as he did on the Oilers. Maybe he scores less with inferior linemates? Or maybe he scores more because he elects to shoot for himself more?

Last edited by McGuillicuddy: 02-24-2012 at 03:42 PM.

02-24-2012, 01:16 PM
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 Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 Gretzky was about patience, accuracy and shooting where the goalie wasn't. That really doesn't change much today.
Agreed. As a goalie I can testify that shots careening off the inside of the post and into the net are as much bad news in 2012 as they were in 1984.

02-24-2012, 02:14 PM
#20
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 Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy I don't think this holds much water. Gretzky scored 19.5% of the goals on the greatest offensive team in history. What might make more sense with this approach would be to calculate the % goal contribution of Gretzky to an average 83-84 team, excluding the Oilers which are a crazy outlier (83-84 team average is 309G, excluding the Oilers; 87/309=28%) and then apply that to the league average from 2010-11 (which is 229 goals). This gives you a total of 65 goals for Gretzky. That pro-rates to 72 goals in 82 games. Not too shabby. That of course assume that Gretzky would have scored as many goals on an average team as he did on the Oilers. Maybe he scores less with inferior linemates? Or maybe he scores more because he elects to shoot for himself more?
not too shabby. and then we have to notice his icetime dropping some 25%
72*0.75=54

possible but not likely.

02-24-2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by redbull Don't you think Gretzky's impact ALONE would increase VANs totals? Just like his teams' scoring jumped DRASTICALLY when 99 played on them, along with his teammates? It's ridiculous to assume that an elite player like Gretzky is a byproduct of era and rules and general trends when he's one of the very very few players who DEFINED the eras. When scoring was at it's highest, Gretzky still outscored everyone by 70-80-90-100 points a season. In his prime 6-7 years, there were only 6 players that Gretzky didn't at least DOUBLE IN POINTS. And those players also played against the same GOALIES. I look at it this way, I don't think any of Malkin, Sedins, Ovechkin, etc as being any better than Lafleur, Dionne, Sakic, Yzerman, Messier, Bossy etc...they are in the same tier (if not lower) - so what Gretzky did to those players would be pretty much the same today. This has NOTHING to do with goalies, it's simply how much Gretzky was than everyone else on the ice. And Gretz didn't play 30min a night. He played the same 21-23min a night that players do now. I don't think shift length alters the length of the actual game. And just like goalies, there are differences in equipment (skates, sticks) and no redline, no clutching/grabbing, 4on4 is back, both in off-setting minors and OT. Trying to adjust for such an elite talent makes absolutely zero sense.
gretzky would indeed increase his teams totals (not vancouver).
lets say team x GF 230 last year. we are generous and suppose gretzky will boost team x's offense by 20% (edmonton stats didnt drop THAT MUCH after he left)

230*1.2 = 276
276 * 0.2 (i give him 20% of goals) = 55 goals

and then icetime.... 50 is a stretch but possible.

nobody knows exact icetime for gretz but it was enough for messier's numbers look rather bad. there was another center called hagman at that time (i think he is related to niklas hagman who plays for ducks at the moment) he was really frustrated because gretz played ALL 2 min of each powerplay. he felt that he didnt get a chance and left for finland.

you cannot repeat that in todays NHL (well you CAN but it doesnt make sense).

Gretzky is NOT a byproduct of era but his 200+ seasons are byproduct of oilers. i dont understand what is problem here.. 50 goals by playmaker first guy is HUGE!

you add 90 assists and you have 140 point guy. unseen today...

 02-24-2012, 03:25 PM #22 GuineaPig Registered User     Join Date: Jul 2011 Location: Montréal Posts: 1,965 vCash: 500 Good analysis. The one thing I wonder about, is how would the style of shot blocking employed today affect Gretzky's shot selection (and percentage)?
02-24-2012, 03:53 PM
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 Originally Posted by steveott nobody knows exact icetime for gretz but it was enough for messier's numbers look rather bad. there was another center called hagman at that time (i think he is related to niklas hagman who plays for ducks at the moment) he was really frustrated because gretz played ALL 2 min of each powerplay. he felt that he didnt get a chance and left for finland.
http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=2719

02-24-2012, 04:06 PM
#24
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 Originally Posted by steveott not too shabby. and then we have to notice his icetime dropping some 25% 72*0.75=54 possible but not likely.
The adjustment for icetime I'm not so sure about. Assuming Gretzky did play a now unsustainable 30+ minutes a game, do goals/points scale linearly with icetime. Is the goals/minute rate the same from minutes 1 - 20 as it is for minutes 21 - 30? I'd be interested to hear if anybody has the answer to that.

 02-24-2012, 04:08 PM #25 Hawksfan2828 Registered User   Join Date: Mar 2007 Location: Libertyville, IL Posts: 6,522 vCash: 500 Number of time 50+ goals have been scored per decade from 1979-80 to 2011-12. 1979-80 to 1989-90 - 84 times. 1990-91 to 2000-2001 - 51 times. 2001-02 to 2011-2012 - 17 times. I believe it's safe to conclude the numbers show that goalies have gotten progressively better over the last few decades. I'd suspect Gretzky would score 60-70 goals a season in his prime in the modern day NHL. I beloved he his assists would drop significantly tho (80-90). 140-160 points a season would be a good guess for Gretzky.

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