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100 Greatest NHL players

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Old
04-21-2005, 12:04 PM
  #1
Ogopogo*
 
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100 Greatest NHL players

I have put together a system that ranks all NHL players in terms of greatest careers. Here is how it works:

7 pts Hart Trophy
7 pts Norris Trophy
5 pts 1st Team all star
3 pts 2nd Team all star
2 pts Winning a Stanley Cup
Scoring: 7 pts for 1st, 6 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 4 for 4th, 3 for 5th, 2 for 6th, 1 for 7th. 2 pt bonus for winning by 25%, 4pt bonus for winning by 50%

I also have a goalie rating system that needs some kinks worked out so I will not be posting it right now.

This system is not perfect by any means, and I am considering different adjustments. Please let me know what you think and feel free to ask any questions. I know that the first question will be "What about the Conn Smythe trophy?" Well, the Smythe has only been awarded since 1965 so, that leaves out a HUGE number of players that never had the chance to win it. Given the league's great history, it is not fair to penalize the older players by awarding points for the Smythe.

Here are the 100 greatest players of all time:


Total
1 Wayne Gretzky 254
2 Gordie Howe 239
3 Bobby Orr 161
4 Maurice "Rocket" Richard 131
5 Eddie Shore* 128
6 Bobby Hull 121
Jean Believeau 121
8 Ray Bourque 120
9 Mario Lemieux 119
10 Doug Harvey 114
11 Phil Esposito 110
12 Stan Mikita 104
13 Cy Denneny* 101
14 Howie Morenz* 97
15 Jaromir Jagr 90
16 Guy Lafleur 89
17 Ted Lindsay 86
18 Leonard "Red" Kelly* 83
19 Paul Coffey 80
20 Cecil " Babe" Dye* 73
21 Bill Cowley 71
22 Mike Bossy 70
23 Denis Potvin 64
24 Andy Bathgate 63
Mark Messier 63
26 Aurel Joliat* 61
27 Francis "King" Clancy* 60
Harry Cameron* 59
29 Frank Mahovlich 59
30 Bobby Clarke 58
Frank Boucher* 58
32 Pierre Pilote 57
Nicklas Lidstrom 57
34 Chris Chelios 56
Elmer Lach 56
36 Bill Cook* 55
37 Aubrey "Dit" Clapper* 54
38 Nels Stewart* 53
Joe Sakic 53
Bryan Trottier 53
41 Marcel Dionne 52
42 Hector "Toe" Blake 51
Bernie Geoffrion 51
44 Larry Robinson 50
45 Edouard "Newsy" Lalonde* 49
Charlie Conacher 49
Earl Seibert* 49
48 Joe Malone* 47
49 Peter Forsberg 46
Jari Kurri 46
51 Sid Abel 45.5
52 Doug Bentley 45
Harvey "Busher" Jackson 45
54 Milt Schmidt 43
Max Bentley 43
Syl Apps, Sr. 43
Henri Richard 43
58 Luc Robitaille 42
George Boucher* 42
60 Frank Nighbor* 41
61 Brett Hull 39
Ebbie Goodfellow* 39
Sprague Cleghorn* 39
64 Al MacInnis 38
David "Sweeney" Schriner 38
66 Dickie Moore 37
67 Paul Kariya 36
Bryan Hextall, Sr. 36
69 Brian Leetch 35
Ken Reardon* 35
Jacques Laperriere 35
72 Teemu Selanne 34
Clarence "Hap" Day* 34
Yvan Cournoyer 34
75 Albert "Babe" Seibert* 33
Emile "Butch" Bouchard* 33
77 Jack Stewart* 32
Tim Horton 32
79 Markus Naslund 31
Brad Park 31
Reg Noble* 31
82 Gord Drillon 30
Ivan "Ching" Johnson* 30
84 Ted Kennedy 29.5
85 Rod Langway 29
86 Bill Quackenbush* 28
John LeClair 28
Marty Barry 28
89 Bill Gadsby 27
Jack Adams* 27
Harry "Punch" Broadbent* 27
92 Pavel Bure 26
Norm Ullman 26
Michel Goulet 26
Billy Boucher* 26
Ken Hodge 26
Lionel Conacher* 26
Walter "Babe" Pratt* 26
Steve Yzerman 26
Steve Shutt 26
Guy Lapointe 26


Last edited by Ogopogo*: 04-21-2005 at 12:36 PM.
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Old
04-21-2005, 12:15 PM
  #2
Quiet Robert
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Great job again. I'm really enjoying these lists.

I like the list but I think Lemieux at no.9 is going to irk many people. Still, based on the formula that is where he fits in.

My question would be about the trophies though. For example, in 1944-45, Rocket Richard scores 50 goals, yet the Hart goes to Elmer Lach. At that time 50 goals in 50 games was unthinkable, yet does not win the Hart. There are probably a few more examples, but that one comes to mind first.

So my question would be do you think that trophies are a fair representation of a player's true greatness?

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Old
04-21-2005, 12:26 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
Great job again. I'm really enjoying these lists.

I like the list but I think Lemieux at no.9 is going to irk many people. Still, based on the formula that is where he fits in.

My question would be about the trophies though. For example, in 1944-45, Rocket Richard scores 50 goals, yet the Hart goes to Elmer Lach. At that time 50 goals in 50 games was unthinkable, yet does not win the Hart. There are probably a few more examples, but that one comes to mind first.

So my question would be do you think that trophies are a fair representation of a player's true greatness?
I think they have to be considered because, the voters for the trophies are the eyewitnesses of the NHL. Neither you nor I are old enough to have seen Lach play so, in no way can we say he was less valuable than Richard. The best evidence we have is what the voters have said in their judgment for the trophy. They saw it happen so, they are in a much better position than anyone today to make that call.

Is it perfect? No, not at all but, it is the best evidence we have. We just have to use it in a way that makes sense to properly evaluate the players. I think trophies are a part of greatness, like the Stanley Cup is and like scoring stats are.

The Mario rating does tend to ruffle some feathers. But, if you look at it, he is only 2 points out of 6th and, if he did actually have one more healthy year, in his prime, he could very well have ended up 4th.

That is my take on it.

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04-21-2005, 01:08 PM
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Another issue I see pointed out here is a player being blocked out of these points by a small group of dominant players, but still being right there in contention. Say Steve Yzerman. He never won a Hart, he never won a scoring title, he won 3 Cups and was a 1st All-Star once and picked up 15 rating points by consistently finishing behind Wayne and Mario in scoring during the 80's early 90's then changing his game to a more all-around style from the mid 90's on. I doubt he realistically falls to 92nd on anyones' ranking, with guys like Kariya, Selanne, and LeClair ahead of him.

If one had the data to do it, raw Hart voting would be the way to go for this list. Though I very much doubt that information is out there readily available.

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04-21-2005, 01:21 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norrisnick
Another issue I see pointed out here is a player being blocked out of these points by a small group of dominant players, but still being right there in contention. Say Steve Yzerman. He never won a Hart, he never won a scoring title, he won 3 Cups and was a 1st All-Star once and picked up 15 rating points by consistently finishing behind Wayne and Mario in scoring during the 80's early 90's then changing his game to a more all-around style from the mid 90's on. I doubt he realistically falls to 92nd on anyones' ranking, with guys like Kariya, Selanne, and LeClair ahead of him.

If one had the data to do it, raw Hart voting would be the way to go for this list. Though I very much doubt that information is out there readily available.
You are correct, the raw Hart voting would be valuable if it was available. Unfortunately, that stuff isn't around from way back when.

Yzerman is one player that is probably a little too low on the list. I think, if the NHL went to a policy of picking the all star selections like : F F F D D G instead of RW LW C D D G we would see a more accurate portrayal of those awards. A guy like John LeClair had more all star selections than Steve Yzerman did, even though Yzerman was probably the better player and would have gotten the award ahead of LeClair if they were both left wingers.

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04-21-2005, 01:41 PM
  #6
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sakic is too low

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Old
04-21-2005, 01:48 PM
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Woah, woah, woah, woah. Where is the player who finished second to Gretzky in scoring during the 80's? When your system ignores someone like that, something is wrong.

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04-21-2005, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bugg
Woah, woah, woah, woah. Where is the player who finished second to Gretzky in scoring during the 80's? When your system ignores someone like that, something is wrong.
Peter the great accumulates 21 points on the system so, that puts him in the top 150 but not the top 100. What hurts him is that he never won a Stanley Cup, Hart Trophy or all star selection.

A couple of those items would put him in the top 100

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04-21-2005, 02:36 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bugg
Woah, woah, woah, woah. Where is the player who finished second to Gretzky in scoring during the 80's? When your system ignores someone like that, something is wrong.
The second place scorer gets 6 pts. on that system while the Art Ross winner
only gets 1 more.If anything it should be 7 pts for the Art Ross then maybe 3
for 2nd and 1 for third.That would also make it more fair to the defenseman who
are short changed a little with the top seven scorers inclusion.

Still a great list though.WELL DONE Ogopogo !
As for the Conn Smythe maybe we could assign a winner for the prior years-
I know it's imperfect but still we could do a decent job and the Conn Smythe is a pretty important trophy.

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04-21-2005, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pei fan
The second place scorer gets 6 pts. on that system while the Art Ross winner
only gets 1 more.If anything it should be 7 pts for the Art Ross then maybe 3
for 2nd and 1 for third.That would also make it more fair to the defenseman who
are short changed a little with the top seven scorers inclusion.

Still a great list though.WELL DONE Ogopogo !
As for the Conn Smythe maybe we could assign a winner for the prior years-
I know it's imperfect but still we could do a decent job and the Conn Smythe is a pretty important trophy.
It is possible to fill in the blanks on the Conn Smythe, I did it for the Hart, Vezina and all stars. The Smythe is missing nearly 50 years of playoffs so, it would be a much bigger job.

By awarding 7 points for the Norris Trophy, the defensemen get evened out compared to the 7 point scoring system. Nothing prevents the defensemen from getting in on the scoring race but, the added hardware of the Norris trophy helps to even out the scoring disadvantage of the D men.

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04-21-2005, 03:22 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
It is possible to fill in the blanks on the Conn Smythe, I did it for the Hart, Vezina and all stars. The Smythe is missing nearly 50 years of playoffs so, it would be a much bigger job.

By awarding 7 points for the Norris Trophy, the defensemen get evened out compared to the 7 point scoring system. Nothing prevents the defensemen from getting in on the scoring race but, the added hardware of the Norris trophy helps to even out the scoring disadvantage of the D men.
Good point,except many of the sportswriters excluded defensemen from hart trophy
so in that regard the Norris is really not an additional trophy.Case in point Bobby
Orr ,several years but especially 1975.

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04-21-2005, 03:26 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pei fan
Good point,except many of the sportswriters excluded defensemen from hart trophy
so in that regard the Norris is really not an additional trophy.Case in point Bobby
Orr ,several years but especially 1975.
True but, forwards are excluded from the Norris so, that does give D men a bit of an advantage. As well, they get two spots on the all star teams while forwards get one each for the 3 forward positions.

I agree that it is not perfect and needs a little tweaking but, it is getting closer to being pretty accurate.

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04-21-2005, 03:47 PM
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Lemieux at 9 automatically makes this list flawed.

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04-21-2005, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Peter the great accumulates 21 points on the system so, that puts him in the top 150 but not the top 100. What hurts him is that he never won a Stanley Cup, Hart Trophy or all star selection.

A couple of those items would put him in the top 100
It's not his fault he played in front of Dan Bouchard in Quebec, Terreri in NJ and a rookie Cujo in St. Louis. Similarily, he didn't impregnate Mama Gretzky, thus he shouldn't be penalized for not winning a Hart. Stastny was, however, a six-time all-star.

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04-21-2005, 04:09 PM
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A player doesn't win a Stanley Cup. A team does.

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04-21-2005, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bugg
It's not his fault he played in front of Dan Bouchard in Quebec, Terreri in NJ and a rookie Cujo in St. Louis. Similarily, he didn't impregnate Mama Gretzky, thus he shouldn't be penalized for not winning a Hart. Stastny was, however, a six-time all-star.
The all-star game is, as you know, a popularity contest. To use all star game selection would be foolish. I am referring to post-season all-star selections.

Peter was an excellent player, I am not discounting that at all. Had he been a 2nd team all-star a couple of times, (he should have been, IMO) he would have enough points to be on this list.

Look at my list of greatest scorers. Peter is right up there with the best of all time.

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04-21-2005, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masao
A player doesn't win a Stanley Cup. A team does.
Exactly why is is only weighted as a 2 point accomplishment.

A player is a PART of a cup winner.

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04-21-2005, 04:59 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masao
A player doesn't win a Stanley Cup. A team does.
The very best of the best produce in the playoffs. The very best of the best lead their team to Cups. It is what separate great players from very good ones. That is not debatable.

You can have the guy who puts up shiny personal offensive numbers for the fantasy team during the regular season. Legends and reputations - among peers and GMs - are etched based on WINNING come springtime.

Mario Lemeiux was a great offensive player for the first seven seasons of his career. He became an all-time great one he LED his team to two straight Cups. Same with Yzerman, Sakic, Stevens, etc.

Its why Bryan Trottier (1425 career points and six Cups) is acknowledged as an all-time great and why Adam Oates (1420 points and no Cups) is not. Its why Joe Sakic (1402 points and two Cups) will be remembered long before Dale Hawerchuk's name (1409 and no Cups).


Last edited by Trottier: 04-21-2005 at 05:07 PM.
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04-21-2005, 05:03 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
The very best of the best produce in the playoffs. the very best of the best lead their team to Cups.

That is not debatable.

You can have the guy who puts up shiny personal offensive numbers for the rotisserie team during the regular season. Legends and reputations - among peers and GMs - are etched based on WINNING.

Mario Lemeiux was a great offensive player for the first seven seasons of his career. He became an all-time great one he LED his team to two straight Cups. Same with Yzerman, Sakic, Stevens, etc.
One player cannot "lead" a team to the cup if he has no support. You can have superman on skates with enough leadership to take over the world and he still won't win a cup if he doesn't have a strong supporting cast who are ready to suffer in the playoffs. This doesn't mean that he's not as deserving of credit than his clone who happens to play on a team that has all the ingredients to challenge for the cup year after year.

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04-21-2005, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masao
One player cannot "lead" a team to the cup if he has no support. You can have superman on skates with enough leadership to take over the world and he still won't win a cup if he doesn't have a strong supporting cast who are ready to suffer in the playoffs. This doesn't mean that he's not as deserving of credit than his clone who happens to play on a team that has all the ingredients to challenge for the cup year after year.
Let's just agree to disagree. The difference between winning and losing in the playoffs - year after year - is the team who's top players produce. Take a look at the Conn Smyth winners over the years. No coincidence that with RARE exception, they are all among the very best players on their teams and in the game.

The old "they didn't have teammates" excuse is relative. Mario joined the worst team in the league in '84. They became champions. Messier joined NYR and they won their first and only Cup in the last 64 years. Coincidence? Luck?

Won't stop you from continuing to think so.

Of course fate plays a part in it. And one player cannot lead a team to a Cup, no kidding. But the old "he didn't have teammates" line is an excuse. Winners find a way to win. Call it luck all you wish.

Funny how the very best always are so lucky.

Guess you would look at Mark Messier as the same player had he never won a Cup?

It's a fascinating mindset and one that is more and more popular among this latest generation of hockey fan, which seemingly puts more emphasis on personal offensive statistics and awards than winning the game.

Just my opinion.


Last edited by Trottier: 04-21-2005 at 05:19 PM.
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04-21-2005, 05:55 PM
  #21
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Ogopogo: first off I'm enjoying all these studies you're posting. I hope you continue to post here.

Now a few points specifically about this player rating system:

- Here are selections for the Conn Smythe trophy for years prior: http://www.hhof.com/html/newsconn.shtml. They were selected by a commitee for the Society for International Hockey Research, from 1918-1964 (so every year is covered). You may want to consider incorparating that data.

- You said you filled in all the blanks for the Hart, Norris and all-stars. I would be very interested to see these results. Can you post them and/or e-mail them to me? Thanks.

- You may want to give a couple of points to the runner-up for the Hart and/or Norris. That was players who are stuck playing alongside legends (ie Brad Park was runner-up for the Norris 6 times, 4 times to Orr) get some more credit.

- My biggest problem with the list is that it doesn't take defense into account. I can't offer any specific suggestions as to how you can improve that, but in evaluating great players defense is crucial. Example: Yzerman and Bure are tied. If defense was taken into account, Bure would fall and Yzerman would rank higher. (However, you could make the argument that voters always take defense into account when making all-star and MVP/Norris selections... not that this would eliminate the problem, but it would reduce its severity)

Again, good work!

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04-21-2005, 06:08 PM
  #22
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Ogopogo,I would second some of outsiders ideas.

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04-21-2005, 06:20 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Let's just agree to disagree. The difference between winning and losing in the playoffs - year after year - is the team who's top players produce. Take a look at the Conn Smyth winners over the years. No coincidence that with RARE exception, they are all among the very best players on their teams and in the game.

The old "they didn't have teammates" excuse is relative. Mario joined the worst team in the league in '84. They became champions. Messier joined NYR and they won their first and only Cup in the last 64 years. Coincidence? Luck?

Won't stop you from continuing to think so.

Of course fate plays a part in it. And one player cannot lead a team to a Cup, no kidding. But the old "he didn't have teammates" line is an excuse. Winners find a way to win. Call it luck all you wish.

Funny how the very best always are so lucky.

Guess you would look at Mark Messier as the same player had he never won a Cup?

It's a fascinating mindset and one that is more and more popular among this latest generation of hockey fan, which seemingly puts more emphasis on personal offensive statistics and awards than winning the game.

Just my opinion.
You're absolutely right, but I rest my case that Lemieux would never have led the Penguins to the cup in 1991 and 1992 if it weren't for the likes of Barasso, Stevens, Jagr, etc. Take out the core of the team and Lemieux can block shots with his face and play with broken legs all he want, he won't lead his team to the cup without support.

Obviously the Rangers wouldn't have won the cup in 1994 without Messier and his miracles against Vancouver. But there were other players on that team without whom the Rangers might not even have made the finals.

I'm not saying that winning is not important - it's the point of the game: every player plays with one goal in mind, which is to win the stanley cup. But in order to get to the cup, you need 20 guys who work together and bleed together, you need top end players, you need a dedicated coaching staff, you need goons who intimidate the other team and protect the skilled players, you need fans who cheer loud enough to give the team a second breath. Take off any of those elements and winning the cup becomes infinitely harder.

Of course, one player can step up and make the difference between winning the cup and losing in the finals... but in order for that player, however good he may be, to have the occasion of making a difference he has to play for a team that is capable of putting all the elements together in order to be competitive enough to reach the finals. If the team is not capable of doing that, there is no way the star player can be blamed if his team can barely make the playoffs and get outshot 50-15 every game in the first round.

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04-21-2005, 06:52 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Ogopogo: first off I'm enjoying all these studies you're posting. I hope you continue to post here.

Now a few points specifically about this player rating system:

- Here are selections for the Conn Smythe trophy for years prior: http://www.hhof.com/html/newsconn.shtml. They were selected by a commitee for the Society for International Hockey Research, from 1918-1964 (so every year is covered). You may want to consider incorparating that data.

- You said you filled in all the blanks for the Hart, Norris and all-stars. I would be very interested to see these results. Can you post them and/or e-mail them to me? Thanks.

- You may want to give a couple of points to the runner-up for the Hart and/or Norris. That was players who are stuck playing alongside legends (ie Brad Park was runner-up for the Norris 6 times, 4 times to Orr) get some more credit.

- My biggest problem with the list is that it doesn't take defense into account. I can't offer any specific suggestions as to how you can improve that, but in evaluating great players defense is crucial. Example: Yzerman and Bure are tied. If defense was taken into account, Bure would fall and Yzerman would rank higher. (However, you could make the argument that voters always take defense into account when making all-star and MVP/Norris selections... not that this would eliminate the problem, but it would reduce its severity)

Again, good work!

Thank you for that link to projected Conn Smythe winners. That is great stuff!

Here are my projected award winners:

Norris
1953 Leonard "Red" Kelly
1952 Leonard "Red" Kelly
1951 Leonard "Red" Kelly
1950 Ken Reardon
1949 Bill Quackenbush
1948 Jack Stewart
1947 Ken Reardon
1946 Emile "Butch" Bouchard
1945 William "Flash" Hollett
1944 Walter "Babe" Pratt
1943 Earl Seibert
1942 Tom Anderson
1941 Aubrey "Dit" Clapper
1940 Ebbie Goodfellow
1939 Aubrey "Dit" Clapper
1938 Eddie Shore
1937 Albert "Babe" Siebert
1936 Eddie Shore
1935 Eddie Shore
1934 Francis "King" Clancy
1933 Eddie Shore
1932 Ivan "Ching" Johnson
1931 Eddie Shore
1930 Francis "King" Clancy
1929 Eddie Shore
1928 Clarence Day
1927 Gord Fraser
1926 Bert McCaffrey
1925 Clarence Day
1924 George Boucher
1923 George Boucher
1922 Harry Cameron
1921 Harry Cameron
1920 Sprague Cleghorn
1919 Sprague Cleghorn
1918 Harry Cameron


Vezina
1918 Georges Vezina
1919 Clint Benedict
1920 Clint Benedict
1921 Clint Benedict
1922 Clint Benedict
1923 Clint Benedict
1924 Georges Vezina
1925 Georges Vezina
1926 Alex Connell


Hart
1918 Joe Malone
1919 Newsy Lalonde
1920 Clint Benedict
1921 Babe Dye
1922 Punch Broadbent
1923 Babe Dye


I will put the all-stars on another post.

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04-21-2005, 07:02 PM
  #25
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Projected 1st Team All Stars. I will put the 2nd Team in another post.

The positions are :

F
F
F
D
D
G

1st Team

1918
Joe Malone
Cy Denneny
Reg Noble
Harry Cameron
Eddie Gerard
Georges Vezina

1919
Newsy Lalonde
Odie Cleghorn
Frank Nighbor
Sprague Cleghorn
Harry Cameron
Clint Benedict

1920
Joe Malone
Newsy Lalonde
Frank Nighbor
Sprague Cleghorn
Ken Randall
Clint Benedict

1921
Newsy Lalonde
Babe Dye
Cy Denneny
Harry Cameron
George Prodgers
Clint Benedict

1922
Punch Broadbent
Cy Denneny
Babe Dye
Harry Cameron
Sprague Cleghorn
Clint Benedict

1923
Babe Dye
Cy Denneny
Jack Adams
George Boucher
George Prodgers
Clint Benedict

1924
Cy Denneny
Billy Boucher
Aurel Joliat
George Boucher
King Clancy
Georges Vezina

1925
Babe Dye
Cy Denneny
Aurel Joliat
Hap Day
King Clancy
Georges Vezina

1926
Nels Stewart
Cy Denneny
Carson Cooper
Bert McCaffrey
Hap Day
Alex Connell

1927
Bill Cook
Dick Irvin
Howie Morenz
Gord Fraser
King Clancy
George Hainsworth

1928
Howie Morenz
Aurel Joliat
Frank Boucher
Hap Day
Lionel Conacher
George Hainsworth

1929
Ace Bailey
Nels Stewart
Carson Cooper
Eddie Shore
Bobby Connors
George Hainsworth

1930
Cooney Weiland
Frank Boucher
Dit Clapper
King Clancy
Eddie Shore
Tiny Thompson

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