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Would Lemieux have won the Hart had he gotten one more point for 200 in 1989?

View Poll Results: Would Lemieux have won the Hart had he gotten one more point for 200 in 1989?
No, it wouldn't have mattered 22 66.67%
Yes 4 12.12%
unsure 7 21.21%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-29-2013, 09:44 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Would Lemieux have won the Hart had he gotten one more point for 200 in 1989?

It was brought up in the other Lemieux thread. Let's keep this as close to the original idea as possible and not turn it into a Lemieux vs..............whoever thread. Just a simple question.

The Hart was a three horse race that year.

Gretzky 276 (40 first place votes)
Lemieux 187 (18 first place votes)
Yzerman 109 (5 first place votes)

After that Roy, Chelios and Mullen each had one or two third place votes. That's it. This was one of the easiest selections for the Hart in history. It was nearly unanimous to have Gretzky, Lemieux and Yzerman on each voter's top three.

For those that remember the media used to criticize Lemieux back then for not being the champion that Gretzky was. Not carrying the Pens anywhere, etc. I don't know how much of a bearing that had on the voting but Lemieux ruffled some feathers early in his career while Gretzky by 1989 was considered by then to already have been the greatest to ever play and didn't need to prove anything.

On the last game of the year Mario got two goals with the last one being in overtime therefore ending any chance of 200. He was stuck at 199. While I am amazed at that number, I have to wonder just how many more votes he may have gotten had he reached that all elusive 200. Were the voters that judgemental over a single point? Or would 200 have mattered at all considering Gretzky had a huge lead over him in the first place and a single point wouldn't have swayed that many votes.

Give us your thoughts.

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03-29-2013, 10:20 PM
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I don't think one point would have made a difference. The Hart went to its rightful owner.

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03-29-2013, 10:32 PM
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I too believe Mario was robbed of the Hart that year.

If I remember correctly, in one of Lemieux's biographies, he (or someone close to him) says that the Lemieux-Gretzky relationship, which had reached its peak during the '87 Canada Cup, was never the same after Lemieux felt he had been robbed of the MVP in '89. Lemieux not getting an invite to Gretzky's wedding also soured their relationship for many years apparently.

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03-29-2013, 10:45 PM
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Doesn't matter. It was ridiculous he didn't win it anyway.

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03-29-2013, 11:37 PM
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A case of the NHL giving it to the Golden Boy in the Hollywood market...

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03-29-2013, 11:44 PM
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No obviously.

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03-30-2013, 06:32 AM
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nope, Wayne was winning it regardless. 200 wouldn't have made a difference. Mario breaking the scoring record is about the only thing that might have.

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03-30-2013, 10:02 AM
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nope, Wayne was winning it regardless. 200 wouldn't have made a difference. Mario breaking the scoring record is about the only thing that might have.
Which is not fair at all actually to Lemieux.

During the Lemieux vs Gretzky years, it was Gretzky that was the Golden Boy and Lemieux was viewed as some sort of anti-hero by the media.

It wasn't until his comeback in 2000-01 had that perception changed.

The Hart trophy has always been a popularity contest.

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03-30-2013, 10:47 AM
  #9
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Originally Posted by livewell68 View Post
During the Lemieux vs Gretzky years, it was Gretzky that was the Golden Boy and Lemieux was viewed as some sort of anti-hero by the media.

It wasn't until his comeback in 2000-01 had that perception changed.
Don't know what you're talking about. Media adored the post-cancer Lemieux every step of the way.

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03-30-2013, 11:11 AM
  #10
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Which is not fair at all actually to Lemieux.

During the Lemieux vs Gretzky years, it was Gretzky that was the Golden Boy and Lemieux was viewed as some sort of anti-hero by the media.

It wasn't until his comeback in 2000-01 had that perception changed.

The Hart trophy has always been a popularity contest.
If that were true, then super-popular Gretzky would have won it in 1988, when he had 91 ES points in 64 games, compared to media-leper Lemieux's 74 ES points in 77 games for a non-playoff team.

I'm not sold on 199 meriting a Hart just because it's a big number. 199 points seems less impressive when someone just averaged 200 points for six years. In that era, Gretzky's smallest lead over second place was 65 points in 1982. Lemieux was only 49 points ahead of 4th place.

To get to 199, Lemieux also relied on the powerplay a lot more than Gretzky, while being less effective at PP%. The Penguins having 991 PPO in two years (88-89) is insane. In Gretzky's highest scoring 3-year span (84-86) the Edmonton Oilers only got 906 PPO in those three years. Think about that. In 3 years Gretzky saw less PP time than Lemieux did in 2 years. The Oilers were also a better team by PP% (2nd, 2nd, 1st) compared to Pittsburgh (6th, 3rd) too.

Furthermore, Gretzky brought more than his point total to Los Angeles. He changed the look of that team overnight, not just with snazzy new uniforms, but with a new, winning attitude and stronger work ethic. That they lost a 50 goal scorer and went from 18th to 4th in one year is hugely impressive. Gretzky did in 1 year, what Lemieux (and Coffey et al) did in 5 years.

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03-30-2013, 11:32 AM
  #11
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I guess my argument was a bit misguided, my apologies.

In 1988-89 however, there was no cancer comeback talk yet. Lemieux was viewed as a Jagr type back then.

He was sort of the Ovechkin and Gretzky was the Crosby.

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03-30-2013, 11:46 AM
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Getting 200 wouldn't have made a difference. Nobody was making much of a big deal about the number.

Gretzky had already cleared 200 points five times. Milestones don't seem quite so magical after somebody else had recently achieved it. Barry Bonds single-season home run mark didn't get anywhere near the publicity that Mark McGwire did a few years earlier.

For example, nobody made a big deal out of Coffey surpassing 100 points in '84, and he didn't win the Norris. 100+ points is incredible for a defenceman, but Bobby Orr had already done it six times.

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03-30-2013, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Getting 200 wouldn't have made a difference. Nobody was making much of a big deal about the number.

Gretzky had already cleared 200 points five times. Milestones don't seem quite so magical after somebody else had recently achieved it. Barry Bonds single-season home run mark didn't get anywhere near the publicity that Mark McGwire did a few years earlier.

For example, nobody made a big deal out of Coffey surpassing 100 points in '84, and he didn't win the Norris. 100+ points is incredible for a defenceman, but Bobby Orr had already done it six times.
It was actually 4.

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03-30-2013, 12:01 PM
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For example, nobody made a big deal out of Coffey surpassing 100 points in '84, and he didn't win the Norris. 100+ points is incredible for a defenceman, but Bobby Orr had already done it six times.
Other examples would be somebody beating Tim Thomas save percetange. (if Elliot last year played enough games to get the new record, i'm not sure).

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03-30-2013, 01:04 PM
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I really don't think it should matter how much of a landslide Gretzky won the Hart by. That landslide existed in a world that Lemieux scored 199 points. The psychological impact of a player missing 200 points by one point is devastating. Psychologically, us humans are very judgmental. We are subconsciously left asking ourselves, "How did a player as great as Lemieux NOT manage to score one extra point over an 80 game season?" If Lemieux had scored 200 points, that 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place voting count might have looked entirely different -- only because of the psychological impact alone. But I still voted "not sure" because Gretzky did take the 4th worst team in the NHL to 4th best, despite that team losing a 50 goal scorer. And although the Hart is a regular season award, Gretzky went on to beat his old team, the defending Stanley Cup champions -- and dynasty -- the very season he was traded to that 4th worst team. Again, voters being human, that would have played in heavily in the minds of the voters despite the award not being for the playoffs. It was just an overall impact that Gretzky had on the hockey culture -- and sports culture overall -- that was hard to ignore and easy to justify with Mario missing that one extra point to hit 200 -- if only psychologically speaking. At least IMO. And the fact that there are quite a few votes for "Unsure" and even some that say "Yes" is enough to make me wonder if I'm correct.

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03-30-2013, 02:16 PM
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But regular season voting are probably before the playoff to be sure that the judge are not poluted ?

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03-30-2013, 02:52 PM
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But regular season voting are probably before the playoff to be sure that the judge are not poluted ?
That might be true. What amazes me is that 42% of the people (so far) have voted for something other than "No". Just goes to show the impact of missing that extra point.

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03-30-2013, 02:54 PM
  #18
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Doesn't matter. It was ridiculous he didn't win it anyway.
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
A case of the NHL giving it to the Golden Boy in the Hollywood market...
You might both be right as the voters aren't always consistent.

Usually it goes to the forward with the most points but the post below sheds some light on what I think was the real reason Wayne won.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
If that were true, then super-popular Gretzky would have won it in 1988, when he had 91 ES points in 64 games, compared to media-leper Lemieux's 74 ES points in 77 games for a non-playoff team.

I'm not sold on 199 meriting a Hart just because it's a big number. 199 points seems less impressive when someone just averaged 200 points for six years. In that era, Gretzky's smallest lead over second place was 65 points in 1982. Lemieux was only 49 points ahead of 4th place.

To get to 199, Lemieux also relied on the powerplay a lot more than Gretzky, while being less effective at PP%. The Penguins having 991 PPO in two years (88-89) is insane. In Gretzky's highest scoring 3-year span (84-86) the Edmonton Oilers only got 906 PPO in those three years. Think about that. In 3 years Gretzky saw less PP time than Lemieux did in 2 years. The Oilers were also a better team by PP% (2nd, 2nd, 1st) compared to Pittsburgh (6th, 3rd) too.

Furthermore, Gretzky brought more than his point total to Los Angeles. He changed the look of that team overnight, not just with snazzy new uniforms, but with a new, winning attitude and stronger work ethic. That they lost a 50 goal scorer and went from 18th to 4th in one year is hugely impressive. Gretzky did in 1 year, what Lemieux (and Coffey et al) did in 5 years.
BOM hits it right here and I didn't even remeber how big the swing was.

sure it wasn't all Wayne but he brought a feeling and is seen, rightly so IMO, as a winner 1st and foremost.

Mario went from 168-199 points and the Pens gained exacly 6 more points in the standings.

Maybe if Mario broke the scoring record the voting and dynamic might have been different but at some point people have to get away from numbers and realize that hockey is really about winning.

Scoring 6 points in a blow out game is great but taking any team from 18th to 4th in a single year really is more amazing isn't it?

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Old
03-30-2013, 02:56 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by livewell68 View Post
Which is not fair at all actually to Lemieux.

During the Lemieux vs Gretzky years, it was Gretzky that was the Golden Boy and Lemieux was viewed as some sort of anti-hero by the media.

It wasn't until his comeback in 2000-01 had that perception changed.

The Hart trophy has always been a popularity contest.
IMO it wasn't so much about Gretzky being the Golden Boy as it was the media story. Media exists to tell us stories, and they're always looking for compelling ones to grab our attention, and thus make them money. Lemieux scoring a bunch of points but ultimately less than Gretzky had a few years earlier would still have been a decent story in other years. But that year it was Gretzky goes to LA, turns the team around, and "single handedly" lifts them from 4th worst to 4th best. Whether that was all him or not, or even true or not, wasn't important. That was the story they wanted to tell.

A few years later Gretzky would outscore Hull by 32 points and not win the Hart either. So it wasn't like it was a pro-Gretzky, anti-Lemieux thing (in fact, there's reason to believe the media was quite anti-Gretzky, especially in his early career when his size, ability, ability to win, etc was called into question often, and he probably should have won a Smythe over Messier, whom the Media DID love). Fact is, Gretzky won because the media liked that story and thought it would sell. And a few years later, Gretzky lost, because 86 goals was a sexier story than Gretzky winning yet another scoring title.

If it's been done before, it just isn't as noteworthy.

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03-30-2013, 04:41 PM
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IMO it wasn't so much about Gretzky being the Golden Boy as it was the media story. Media exists to tell us stories, and they're always looking for compelling ones to grab our attention, and thus make them money. Lemieux scoring a bunch of points but ultimately less than Gretzky had a few years earlier would still have been a decent story in other years. But that year it was Gretzky goes to LA, turns the team around, and "single handedly" lifts them from 4th worst to 4th best. Whether that was all him or not, or even true or not, wasn't important. That was the story they wanted to tell.

A few years later Gretzky would outscore Hull by 32 points and not win the Hart either. So it wasn't like it was a pro-Gretzky, anti-Lemieux thing (in fact, there's reason to believe the media was quite anti-Gretzky, especially in his early career when his size, ability, ability to win, etc was called into question often, and he probably should have won a Smythe over Messier, whom the Media DID love). Fact is, Gretzky won because the media liked that story and thought it would sell. And a few years later, Gretzky lost, because 86 goals was a sexier story than Gretzky winning yet another scoring title.

If it's been done before, it just isn't as noteworthy.
Exactly right. It was more about "the story" in 1989 and 1991 that won those respective players (Gretzky and Hull) their Hart Trophies than some "voter favorite" or some "Golden Boy vs Media Villain" thing. It was all about which story would sell. And good stories often deserve to be told, so it's not always without merit.

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03-30-2013, 11:41 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
If that were true, then super-popular Gretzky would have won it in 1988, when he had 91 ES points in 64 games, compared to media-leper Lemieux's 74 ES points in 77 games for a non-playoff team.

I'm not sold on 199 meriting a Hart just because it's a big number. 199 points seems less impressive when someone just averaged 200 points for six years. In that era, Gretzky's smallest lead over second place was 65 points in 1982. Lemieux was only 49 points ahead of 4th place.

To get to 199, Lemieux also relied on the powerplay a lot more than Gretzky, while being less effective at PP%. The Penguins having 991 PPO in two years (88-89) is insane. In Gretzky's highest scoring 3-year span (84-86) the Edmonton Oilers only got 906 PPO in those three years. Think about that. In 3 years Gretzky saw less PP time than Lemieux did in 2 years. The Oilers were also a better team by PP% (2nd, 2nd, 1st) compared to Pittsburgh (6th, 3rd) too.
But Lemieux led the league in ES points in 1988-89. Yzerman was one point behind him, and Gretzky one point behind him. 102-101-100.

In fourth place? LA's second-line center and Gretzky's RW on the PP, Bernie Nicholls. 87 ES points. Luc Robitaille was fifth with 74. Rob Brown was sixth with 68.

Yzerman's linemates, Gerard Gallant and Paul MacLean, scored 93 points and 71 points. Total.

Yzerman that season did something that has been done three times in NHL history; he scored 150+ points without having a teammate hit 100. Gretzky and Lemieux each did it once. Once.

Yzerman was easily the MVP

Quote:
Furthermore, Gretzky brought more than his point total to Los Angeles. He changed the look of that team overnight, not just with snazzy new uniforms, but with a new, winning attitude and stronger work ethic. That they lost a 50 goal scorer and went from 18th to 4th in one year is hugely impressive. Gretzky did in 1 year, what Lemieux (and Coffey et al) did in 5 years.

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03-31-2013, 12:10 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
But Lemieux led the league in ES points in 1988-89. Yzerman was one point behind him, and Gretzky one point behind him. 102-101-100.

In fourth place? LA's second-line center and Gretzky's RW on the PP, Bernie Nicholls. 87 ES points. Luc Robitaille was fifth with 74. Rob Brown was sixth with 68.

Yzerman's linemates, Gerard Gallant and Paul MacLean, scored 93 points and 71 points. Total.

Yzerman that season did something that has been done three times in NHL history; he scored 150+ points without having a teammate hit 100. Gretzky and Lemieux each did it once. Once.

Yzerman was easily the MVP
Is it Wayne's fault that he had some great teammates playing with him? He almost accomplished that very feat for the 2nd time as a 20 year old when 2nd place Anderson scored 105 points.....but the only difference is Wayne scored 212 points that year, not 150+. I can guarantee you one thing: Yzerman never scored in his wildest dreams 200+ points in any season where none of his teammates even broke 140 like Wayne somehow managed to do 4 times.

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03-31-2013, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Is it Wayne's fault that he had some great teammates playing with him? He almost accomplished that very feat for the 2nd time as a 20 year old when 2nd place Anderson scored 105 points.....but the only difference is Wayne scored 212 points that year, not 150+. I can guarantee you one thing: Yzerman never scored in his wildest dreams 200+ points in any season where none of his teammates even broke 140 like Wayne somehow managed to do 4 times.
I still don't get this. Did Wayne have a ****load of unassisted goals? Did he play with different linemates on the PP as opposed to ES so his assists were spread around more? It just seems....bizarre.

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03-31-2013, 12:32 AM
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Is it Wayne's fault that he had some great teammates playing with him? He almost accomplished that very feat for the 2nd time as a 20 year old when 2nd place Anderson scored 105 points.....but the only difference is Wayne scored 212 points that year, not 150+. I can guarantee you one thing: Yzerman never scored in his wildest dreams 200+ points in any season where none of his teammates even broke 140 like Wayne somehow managed to do 4 times.
Better yet, is it Gretzky's fault he was such a skilled playmaker he made it virtually impossible to miss easy tap in goals?

Did Yzerman turn Bernie Nichols into a 70 goal scorer? Yzerman was a great leader, but there has never been anyone who could literally FORCE other players to be great like Gretzky did.

This guy called BJ Mc Donald even scored 46 goals playing with gretzky. I probably would have scored 30. My grannie probably 20.

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03-31-2013, 01:33 AM
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I still don't get this. Did Wayne have a ****load of unassisted goals? Did he play with different linemates on the PP as opposed to ES so his assists were spread around more? It just seems....bizarre.
He played in every situation. Power play, shorthanded. Had 12 shorthanded goals one year. However, Kurri often played shorthanded as well. I think it really came down to the fact that Gretzky just controlled the ice so well. He could hit Kurri streaking or he could delay and hit the late man (Coffey) coming in over the line. His assists were spread out a lot.

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