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If we knew then...

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Old
01-10-2013, 01:39 PM
  #1
Sturminator
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If we knew then...

I've been thinking of doing this for some time, and as I have nothing much better to do at the moment, I though now would be as good a time as any. I thought it might make an interesting project to retrospectively reevaluate some of the more pivotal matchups of ATD past, and pass judgment on the teams based on what we know now. This obviously works better with ATDs that are several years old by now.

Anyway, I thought I'd start it off with a look back at the ATD#10 Jim Robson Finals, between the San Francisco Spiders and Victoria Secrets. This was to decide the winner of what was to that point the single toughest division I had ever seen (nevermind been in), featuring the two teams you'll see below, plus one of pitseleh's always dangerous squads and at least one more high quality franchise. Here is the series thread:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=583059

San Francisco Spiders
co-GMs: Sturminator & Transplanted Caper
Coach: Cecil Hart

Johnny Bucyk (A) - Joe Sakic (C) - Alexander Maltsev
Frank Foyston - Denis Savard - Ed Litzenberger
Dean Prentice - Don McKenney - Ron Ellis
Bruce Stuart - Jack Adams - Dirk Graham
extras: Fred Stanfield, Vladimir Vikulov

Bill Gadsby - Niklas Lidstrom (A)
Hod Stuart - Cy Wentworth
Phil Russell - Bert Corbeau
extra: Rod Seiling

Grant Fuhr
Dave Kerr

Power play units:
PP1: Bucyk - Sakic - Foyston - Maltsev - Lidstrom
PP2: McKenney - Savard - Litzenberger - Stuart - Gadsby

Penalty killing units:
PK1: Sakic - Graham - Lidstrom - Wentworth
PK2: Prentice - Maltsev - Stuart - Gadsby

Victoria Secrets
co-GMs: MXD & Jungosi
Coach: Pete Green

Bert Olmstead - Mario Lemieux (C) - Cam Neely
Kevin Stevens - Jacques Lemaire (A) - Jack Darragh
Bobby Holik - Phil Watson - Bobby Rousseau
Don Maloney - Tom Dunderdale - Odie Cleghorn
extras: Bernie Nicholls, Murray Murdoch

Sprague Cleghorn - Herb Gardiner
George Boucher (A) - Bill White
Bullet Joe Simpson - Taffy Abel
extra: Glen Harmon

Frank Brimsek
Vladimir Dzurilla

Power play units:
PP1: Olmstead - Lemieux - Neely - Cleghorn - Boucher
PP2: Stevens - Lemaire - Darragh - Simpson - Gardiner

Penalty killing units:
PK1: Rousseau - Watson - White - Abel
PK2: Holik - Maloney - Gardiner - Boucher

As you can see, two strong teams. San Francisco would eventually prevail in a historically close series and go on to win the Milt Dunnell Cup, but looking back at the teams as they were, I'm not entirely sure that the result would be the same if they were to meet each other in the playoffs today. As I remember the ATD pretty clearly as it was back then, I'll point out the differences between our perceptions of players then and now.

San Francisco:

- Bucyk: probably seen as something more of a compiler now than then. His star hasn't fallen very far, but I think it has waned a bit.
- Maltsev: has risen steadily since that draft, and is now in his rightful place as a fringe top-120 all-time player.
- Litzenberger: stock has fallen. He was one of pappy's favorites, and was overvalued at that point.
- Foyston: stock has risen steadily.
- Prentice, McKenney, Ellis, Stuart, Adams: pretty much all of San Francisco's bottom liners have increased in perceived value since then.
- Lidstrom: stock has risen a bit higher. There were actually some sharp criticisms when I drafted Nick 18th in the 1st round that year...criticisms which would seem silly now.
- Hod Stuart: stock has risen substantially.
- Fuhr: stock has fallen a bit relative to other goalies (like Belfour).

Victoria:

- Neely: stock has fallen. Cam was consistently overrated by the "rock-em-sock-em" GMs of that era.
- Stevens: stock has fallen a good deal.
- Darragh: stock has fallen a lot. He was terribly overrated because of the recently discovered retro Conn-Smythe project.
- Dunderdale and Odie Cleghorn: both have risen substantially in value.
- Boucher: has risen in value with concerns about his skating erased and proof of postseason glory (largely my doing).
- Joe Simpson: stock has risen a good deal, mostly thanks to overpass' work.
- Brimsek: stock has risen.

All of the above just IMO, which is only meant to offer some reference as to what we thought of the respective players at that time. Looking at the teams, I find it hard to pick a winner. San Francisco's biggest advantages are somewhat stronger 1st line wingers, a much stronger 2nd line and a much stronger #2 defenseman. Victoria's advantages are Mario Lemieux, a stronger #4 D, a much stronger #5 D and a stronger goalie (though I still maintain that Fuhr was a great playoff goalie).

It seems that, now as then, this would be a very close series, and to be honest, I might be inclined to go with Victoria, especially if they could find a way to make good use of Joe Simpson and that very strong offensive 4th line. What say you all? It's important to remember that ATD results are not an absolute judgment of the true greatness of the players, but an indication of where we are as a community at the time they are rendered, as well as (for better or worse) a judgment on the rhetoric and manners of their respective GMs (I had much better manners back then...).

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Old
01-10-2013, 01:57 PM
  #2
seventieslord
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I was doing this for the MLDs too... I should finish this project!

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=967311

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01-16-2013, 07:41 PM
  #3
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Victoria's blueline looks very good in retrospect. Very 1920s and it helps that we know more about the players of that era now. And while they may have played in the pre-red line era, there's no lack of mobility and skill back there.

Harmon and Seiling as 7th D's - very strong. Even in a 28 team draft. I was going to say Kerr and Dzurilla are both strong backups but maybe with 28 teams they're more average.

Victoria had relatively low-skill wings in their top 6, drafting glue guys or finishers and counting on the centres to create everything. (Rousseau on the third line was their most skilled winger.) Understandable when Mario Lemieux is one of the centres, but I don't think that approach is as popular now. San Francisco, in contrast, had two balanced top-6 lines with multiple players who could create with the puck or play off the puck.

I like that San Francisco used a forward on the PP point, with their depth in skill. Victoria could have used Rousseau there but didn't.

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01-16-2013, 07:46 PM
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I still think Herb Gardiner is overrated relative to his pears.

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Old
01-16-2013, 08:23 PM
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VanIslander
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San Francisco was ranked first, Victoria was ranked third, in what was the definitive Division of Death. Oh,... those were the days!

To even get to the divisional final, Victoria had to upset pitseleh's Nanaimo Clippers (the #2 seed):

Nanaimo Clippers
Coach: Arkady Chernyshev

Ted Lindsay (C) - Adam Oates - Sergei Makarov
Luc Robitaille - Duke Keats - Cecil Dillon
Jiri Holik - Billy Burch - Ken Wharram
Tony Leswick - Michael Peca - Cliff Koroll
extra: Scotty Davidson, Tumba Johansson

Pierre Pilote (A) - Borje Salming
Pat Stapleton - Ott Heller
Sergei Gonchar - Red Dutton (A)
extra: Jiri Bubla

Jiri Holocek
Normie Smith

Power play units:
PP1: Ted Lindsay - Adam Oates - Sergei Makarov - Pierre Pilote - Sergei Gonchar
PP2: Luc Robitaille - Duke Keats - Cecil Dillon - Pat Stapleton - Borje Salming

Penalty killing units:
PK1: Michael Peca - Tony Leswick - Pierre Pilote - Borje Salming
PK2: Billy Burch - Jiri Holik - Ott Heller - Red Dutton

Check out the match-up: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...s#post16787381


Last edited by VanIslander: 01-16-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old
01-16-2013, 09:19 PM
  #6
Hawkman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
I still think Herb Gardiner is overrated relative to his pears.
It's peers, not pears. If any of the teams listed above had won this ATD, I would have no problem with it.

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01-16-2013, 09:41 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I so almost had Makarov and Lindsay on the same line last draft.

Some jerk drafted Makarov right before he fell to the spot I traded up for.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 01-16-2013 at 10:09 PM.
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01-16-2013, 10:26 PM
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VanIslander
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I so almost had Makarov and Lindsay on the same line last draft.
You were lucky as hell to even get Terrible Ted at 31st overall! (that must be his lowest draft position ever in the ATDs)

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01-16-2013, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
You were lucky as hell to even get Terrible Ted at 31st overall! (that must be his lowest draft position ever in the ATDs)
Pretty sure it's the farthest he slipped by a fair margin, but I honestly didn't think I was getting a steal.

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Old
01-17-2013, 02:09 AM
  #10
MadArcand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Some jerk drafted Makarov right before he fell to the spot I traded up for.


He was better off with Mario than Lindsay anyway.

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Old
01-18-2013, 02:12 PM
  #11
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Let's do another one of these. This one was the final of ATD#8, between the defending champ, pitseleh, and the ATD#6 champ, HO. pit's team had knocked off a really skilled team that Nalyd and I put together in the conference finals, giving me my first taste of ATD frustration. Here they are:

Red Fisher Conference Champion:

Montreal Canadiens

Coach: Al Arbour
Captain: Denis Potvin
Alternates: Jean Ratelle, Yvan Cournoyer

Charlie Simmer - Newsy Lalonde - Yvan Cournoyer
Vic Hadfield - Jean Ratelle - Hooley Smith
Don Marcotte - Doug Jarvis - Pit Martin
Marcel Bonin - Troy Murray - Eddie Shack
Pierre Turgeon

Denis Potvin - Harry Howell
Marcel Pronovost - Rob Ramage
Bill Hajt - Bill Barilko
Lloyd Cook

Turk Broda
Roger Crozier
Rollie Melanson

vs.

Jim Coleman Conference champion:

Nanaimo Clippers

Coach: Hap Day
Captain: Hap Day
Alternates: Bobby Orr, Lionel Hitchman

Sweeney Schriner - Joe Primeau - Charlie Conacher
Kevin Stevens - Frank Nighbor - Ed Litzenberger
Dean Prentice - Cooney Weiland - Bobby Rousseau
Hec Kilrea - Glen Skov - Eric Nesterenko
Camille Henry

Bobby Orr - Brad McCrimmon
Lionel Conacher - Hap Day
Gilles Marotte - Lionel Hitchman
Viktor Kuzkin

Clint Benedict
Tom Barrasso
Viktor Konovalenko

Here's the series thread: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=457003

Quite a nice pair of teams put together by the real heavyweights of the ATD at the time. Montreal would win this series in 7 games, but I think that Nanaimo was pretty clearly the better team in hindsight. A quick review of the changing player values since then:

Montreal:

Simmer - has fallen in value somewhat as more of history's obscure great forwards have risen
Lalonde - has risen in value a good bit since then, when he could still be drafted in I think it was the 3rd round
Hadfield - value has fallen off a cliff, and for good reason
Hooley Smith - value has gone up considerably (though I think it is now clear he was a much better center than right wing)
Turgeon - value has risen dramatically [aside: one of the telltale things that you see in the old great GMs is that they had tremendous bench players like Turgeon, even if they were never used. HO just had a nose for great players]
Howell and Pronovost - value has fallen slightly as more obscure great defensemen have risen

Nanaimo:

Shriner - value has gone up a bit
Stevens - value has fallen a lot
Nighbor - value has skyrocketed [pit drafted him after pick #100]
Henry - like Turgeon, a great bench player for a great GM
Hitchman - value has climbed substantially (largely thanks to pit, himself)
Benedict - value has climbed somewhat

I think what it comes down to here is that Nanaimo would dominate defensively, behind the Nighbor/Benedict axis, and excellent 3rd line, and that ridiculous defense. Montreal is an excellent team in its own right, but I just don't see them generating much in the way of consistent offense against that Nanaimo machine. pitseleh was the GM I admired the most in those early days, and I thought even at the time that his was the better team. Now I am sure of it. He really should have been the first back-to-back ATD champ.

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01-18-2013, 03:11 PM
  #12
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Nighbor's perceived value has certainly come a long way.

If these series were contested now, Cook would dress over Barilko and Kuzkin over Marotte.

I think I'm spotting a theme here - skill is valued more now in wingers than it used to be. It didn't matter if Hadfield was useless more than five feet away from the net, because the other two forwards would have the puck all the time and "there's only one puck." (Although Hooley Smith doesn't strike me as a puck-dominant player.) Now it's more valuable to have multiple ways to score without being predictable, i.e. having players rigidly slotted into specific roles.

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01-18-2013, 04:09 PM
  #13
TheDevilMadeMe
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The Canadiens' first line would be mercilessly criticized now for "lack of playmaking"

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01-20-2013, 07:00 AM
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The ATD #9 champions won with goalies Chuck Rayner and Gerry McNeil in a 32 team league. Rayner is #28 in the current goalie project. http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1270035 Although draft position is not a perfect measure of quality, McNeil was picked 287th pick in the MLD last time and was taken after Tarheelhockey picked Mike Karakas. I'm not saying you can't win with Rayner, but I think this combination might have it's goal tending depth questioned in an assassination today.

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01-20-2013, 10:48 AM
  #15
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmm View Post
The ATD #9 champions won with goalies Chuck Rayner and Gerry McNeil in a 32 team league. Rayner is #28 in the current goalie project. http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1270035 Although draft position is not a perfect measure of quality, McNeil was picked 287th pick in the MLD last time and was taken after Tarheelhockey picked Mike Karakas. I'm not saying you can't win with Rayner, but I think this combination might have it's goal tending depth questioned in an assassination today.
Big time. If you have Rayner as a starter, you better have a damn good backup, not a guy who isnt even a top 56 goalie.

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