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05-08-2005, 06:00 PM
  #101
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The difference is that the game that was played was different. When Denneny played there was another player on the ice (a rover), no forward passing was permitted in the attacking zone, and the puck could not have been passed back into the defensive zone. The game was filled with rules such as these which change the entire landscape of the game. it is pointless to compare players such as Denneny to those of today because they played a different game.

Furthermore a good point is raised about a number of peageus sucha s the Pacific Cost Hockey Association, the Western Canadian Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Professional Hockey League, and a number more that existed at the time. The NHL was just one of these leagues, and if you are saying that it was the only true league then it would be you that didn't know your history.

Were they great in their day yes, but I have a hard time judging players like that in comparison to those of today, especially since there is no footage of them, and really there is no accurate way to understand the statistics (no matter what your views on that are).

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05-08-2005, 06:02 PM
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
You can't make players taller. Denneny would be 5'7" in today's NHL, just like he was 5'7" in the 1920s. And he would have thrived in today's NHL, likely would have been top 5 or 10 in today's NHL. (Remember, I'm basing that on an overall lack of elite talent in today's NHL, one of the main reasons for the steep decline in goal scoring).. Maybe Denneny would have weighed more than he did than in the 1920s, but his height would be the same.

In the same breath, Yzerman in his prime would be one of the top five or 10 players in the league in the 1920s, the WWII era, the Original Six, the prime 1980s, the 2020s or the 2050s. (Speculating on those last two points). Yzerman in his prime would be better than any player in todays NHL. The players aren't going to get much bigger, the average heigh (6' to 6'1") has remained static for well over a decade. Size has reached its maximum. In fact, small players are given a better chance of making it now than they were five years ago. (Example: Danny Briere was a consensus late first round/second round pick in the atrocious year of 1996. Teams are now more willing to take chances on guys like Briere).
I appreciate the discussion although I completely disagree on many points.

Goal scoring is down because of the size of goalie equipment. There are plenty of excellent offensive players today but their numbers are low because it is hard to put a puck through a wall.

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05-08-2005, 06:03 PM
  #103
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Oh before I forget goaltenders where also not permitted to drop to the ground or they would be penalized. Once again just goes to show a huge difference between Denneny's NHL and the NHL of today.

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05-08-2005, 06:05 PM
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton Fraser
The difference is that the game that was played was different. When Denneny played there was another player on the ice (a rover), no forward passing was permitted in the attacking zone, and the puck could not have been passed back into the defensive zone. The game was filled with rules such as these which change the entire landscape of the game. it is pointless to compare players such as Denneny to those of today because they played a different game.

Furthermore a good point is raised about a number of peageus sucha s the Pacific Cost Hockey Association, the Western Canadian Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Professional Hockey League, and a number more that existed at the time. The NHL was just one of these leagues, and if you are saying that it was the only true league then it would be you that didn't know your history.

Were they great in their day yes, but I have a hard time judging players like that in comparison to those of today, especially since there is no footage of them, and really there is no accurate way to understand the statistics (no matter what your views on that are).
Thanks for the discussion. I disagree with you on many points but, it is interesting to hear different points of view anyway.

I know my history fine. My list is Greatest NHLers. No other leagues included. I will likely do a list for those other leagues as well but, they are separate entities. As it stands, the best NHLer in 1920 is equal to the best NHLer any year. If you are the best, you are the best. Of course, consideration is made for amazing dominance that players like Gretzky and Howe had. Gretzky's scoring title in 1986-87 is the greatest scoring performance in NHL history and it is definitely worth more than Martin St. Louis's title last year.

Is the 100m sprint gold medalist better now than in 1932? Evolution makes the time better but, really can it be said that he is better? No, they are equals. They are both the best in the world in their time.

Winning the Stanley Cup in 1933 is worth one Cup. Winning it in 1998 is worth one cup. It is an equal accomplishment.

That is how I see it.


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05-08-2005, 06:07 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Benton Fraser
Oh before I forget goaltenders where also not permitted to drop to the ground or they would be penalized. Once again just goes to show a huge difference between Denneny's NHL and the NHL of today.
Yes but, the way I analyze it, rule changes are completely irrelevant to the ratings.

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05-08-2005, 06:09 PM
  #106
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You have to accept that the game has changed though. The rules which the game is played by have changed a great deal and while that doesn't deminish what they did in the 10s/20s it does put an astrix beside the numbers at least when comparing them to more modern players.

How are rule changes irrelivant. If they put larger nets into the NHL that changes the game.

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05-08-2005, 06:21 PM
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton Fraser
You have to accept that the game has changed though. The rules which the game is played by have changed a great deal and while that doesn't deminish what they did in the 10s/20s it does put an astrix beside the numbers at least when comparing them to more modern players.

How are rule changes irrelivant. If they put larger nets into the NHL that changes the game.

I consider the leading scorer of 1918 to be equal with the leading scorer of 2004. I don't care how many points they got, what the rules were or the amount of ice time they had. It is irrelevant because Joe Malone was the best of everyone in 1918. They all had the same rules, he was #1. That is worth 7 points on my system. Martin St. Louis won the scoring title last season with 94 points. A lot more than Malone's 48 points (44g 4a) in 20 games but, less on a per game basis. You know what? St. Louis gets 7 points too. He was the leading scorer and it is the same thing that Malone accomplished.

So, with larger nets, we will still have a scoring champion. He could have 300 points but, so what. That is still worth 7 on my system. Best in the league in 1918, 2004 or 2050, it is all the same. Best in the league is best in the league.

The only exception to this is when a player completely dominates the league to a great degree. Joe Malone's 1918 scoring title was a 2 point win over Cy Denneny. That is a margin of 4%. Wayne Gretzky's 1987 scoring was by 75 points or 69%. That is a very different scoring title than Malone's. In my system, a player gets 9 points instead of 7 when they win the title by 25% or more. They get 11 points when they win it by 50% or more. Gretzky's 1987 title is worth 11 and Malone's of 1918 is worth 7.

So, as you can see, rule changes, games played, offensive eras - none of that matters. It levels the playing field so we can see who really is the greatest scorer. Finishing 3rd in scoring in 1925 is the same thing as finishing 3rd in 1985. Aurel Joliat had 40 points in 1925, Dale Hawerchuk had 130 in 1985. They are the same thing.

I hope that makes sense to you, it sure does to me.

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05-08-2005, 06:22 PM
  #108
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There are lots of reasons for decreased scoring: over-expansion at all levels of the game, which has diluted the talent pool; the 18-year-old draft which forces junior teams to rush players through development; larger goalie equipment; larger and much better goalies; (the one position where the level of talent is much higher than the 1970s and 80s); and a decrease in elite-level talent. Not to say that there isn't some, but we've seen guys like Oates, Francis, Lemieux and Yzerman finish among the league leaders in different categories well into their 30s. (Partly due to their greatness, but partly because nobody has accepted their torch.

I could go on, but the thrust of this discussion isn't big-picture-thought-out reasons for decreased scoring.

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05-08-2005, 07:37 PM
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
We must see what he did in his context and if he dominated his time more than a player in the 90s dominated his time, he is the greater player.

Historical context is very important in a discussion like this.
Except that the context is not static but changes. Why do you fail to account for that? Thats what makes your lists meaningless.

The greatest scoring performance is Marios cancer season. Or his 2000-2001 come-back. Or are you failing to see what the context was?

Why is it 11 points for scoring more than 25% and not 10? What is the justification?

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05-08-2005, 09:15 PM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I consider the leading scorer of 1918 to be equal with the leading scorer of 2004. I don't care how many points they got, what the rules were or the amount of ice time they had. It is irrelevant because Joe Malone was the best of everyone in 1918. They all had the same rules, he was #1. That is worth 7 points on my system. Martin St. Louis won the scoring title last season with 94 points. A lot more than Malone's 48 points (44g 4a) in 20 games but, less on a per game basis. You know what? St. Louis gets 7 points too. He was the leading scorer and it is the same thing that Malone accomplished.
You're right about the rule changes not being relevant to each of them finishing first, but it's definitely not the same accomplisment. The league Malone played in had only two other teams (not counting the Wanderers), and in those days one line got the vast majority of the playing time. So there were basically nine guys (i.e., the 3 first-line forwards on each team) who had a theoretical shot at being the scoring leader.

That number is a lot bigger now - the number of guys who could've won the scoring title last year is in the dozens, at least. So shouldn't St. Louis get more credit for winning, since he had tougher competition? And exactly how far down the list of 2003-04 leading scorers do you have to go before you reach somebody whose accomplishment is similar to Malone's?

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05-08-2005, 10:06 PM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Cy Denneny was clearly a more dominant NHLer than Yzerman. Simple enough for you?
Your thinking is simple enough. I was just curious to see if anyone else would buy it.

Thanks!

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05-08-2005, 10:13 PM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
We must see what he did in his context and if he dominated his time more than a player in the 90s dominated his time, he is the greater player.

Historical context is very important in a discussion like this.
Except that your idea of context is rather myopic.

Yzerman had to better than, what, 10 times as many players than Denneny? Isn't that worth something?

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05-08-2005, 10:17 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by tom_servo
Except that your idea of context is rather myopic.

Yzerman had to better than, what, 10 times as many players than Denneny? Isn't that worth something?
Quantity doesn't mean crack. Quality does. Denneny was more dominant in the nhl in his time. While we dont know how he would've played in today's league but bottom line he dominated in his era more then Yzerman did in his.

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05-08-2005, 10:29 PM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Quantity doesn't mean crack. Quality does. Denneny was more dominant in the nhl in his time. While we dont know how he would've played in today's league but bottom line he dominated in his era more then Yzerman did in his.
So should Earl Seibert who was on 10 consecutive all-star teams be considered better than Nicklas Lidstrom, Larry Robinson, and Denis Potvin?

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05-08-2005, 10:32 PM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Quantity doesn't mean crack. Quality does. Denneny was more dominant in the nhl in his time. While we dont know how he would've played in today's league but bottom line he dominated in his era more then Yzerman did in his.
Denneny may have been one of the top five players of all time, for all I know. But it bothers me that no one wants to consider the fact that the relative molehill that Denneny had to climb to win the points race is a mountain today.

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05-08-2005, 11:04 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by chooch
Except that the context is not static but changes. Why do you fail to account for that? Thats what makes your lists meaningless.

The greatest scoring performance is Marios cancer season. Or his 2000-2001 come-back. Or are you failing to see what the context was?

Why is it 11 points for scoring more than 25% and not 10? What is the justification?
What is your definition of greatest scoring season. I fail to see how any of Mario's seasons would be among them. If you can fill me in, I would love to hear your reasoning.

7 points for winning a scoring title. Win by 25% or more add two points to make it 9. Why two points? 2 is 28.5% of 7. The closest whole number above 25% is 2. Why 11 points for 50%+? 4 points is 57.1% of 7. That is the closest whole number that is representative of winning by 50% or more.

Make sense?

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05-08-2005, 11:11 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by Lard_Lad
You're right about the rule changes not being relevant to each of them finishing first, but it's definitely not the same accomplisment. The league Malone played in had only two other teams (not counting the Wanderers), and in those days one line got the vast majority of the playing time. So there were basically nine guys (i.e., the 3 first-line forwards on each team) who had a theoretical shot at being the scoring leader.

That number is a lot bigger now - the number of guys who could've won the scoring title last year is in the dozens, at least. So shouldn't St. Louis get more credit for winning, since he had tougher competition? And exactly how far down the list of 2003-04 leading scorers do you have to go before you reach somebody whose accomplishment is similar to Malone's?
Why do you say St. Louis had more or tougher competition?

More players in the league does not equal more compteition for the scoring title. If the scoring title was a random draw, that would make perfect sense. With more players the odds of winning go down. The reality is, the best scorer wins the scoring title. There could be 3 teams, 30 teams or 300 teams, the best scorer always wins the scoring title.

Think about it this way. In the Olympic 100m final there are 8 runners. Usually it is only a real competition between two or three guys for the gold. The rest are good runners they just cannot beat the top two or three guys. So, what if they expanded the 100m final to 16 runners? Does that mean Donovan Bailey has less of a chance at gold? Not at all. Adding 8 guys that are nowhere near as good just means that another 8 guys finish behind Donovan Bailey. Same with 30 NHL teams. It just means that 359 guys finish behind St. Louis. He would have won the scoring title in a 3 team league or a 30 team league. The best scorer in the league always wins. The number of players in the league makes no difference.

The best in the league is the best in the league. That is just how it is.

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05-08-2005, 11:13 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by tom_servo
Except that your idea of context is rather myopic.

Yzerman had to better than, what, 10 times as many players than Denneny? Isn't that worth something?
Actually no, it is not. Being the best in the world is being the best in the world. It makes no difference the number of teams in the league. You are still a better scorer than anybody in the world what difference does it make if those guys are in the NHL, AHL or sitting on their couch in front of the tube. Best in the world is best in the world.

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05-08-2005, 11:14 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Quantity doesn't mean crack. Quality does. Denneny was more dominant in the nhl in his time. While we dont know how he would've played in today's league but bottom line he dominated in his era more then Yzerman did in his.
Well said.

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05-08-2005, 11:16 PM
  #120
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So should Earl Seibert who was on 10 consecutive all-star teams be considered better than Nicklas Lidstrom, Larry Robinson, and Denis Potvin?
Actually, I have him slightly behind those D men but, it is very close.

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05-08-2005, 11:17 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by tom_servo
Denneny may have been one of the top five players of all time, for all I know. But it bothers me that no one wants to consider the fact that the relative molehill that Denneny had to climb to win the points race is a mountain today.
See above post. Best in the world is the best in the world. That world doesn't have to be in the NHL to be considered the world.

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05-08-2005, 11:44 PM
  #122
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Actually no, it is not. Being the best in the world is being the best in the world. It makes no difference the number of teams in the league. You are still a better scorer than anybody in the world what difference does it make if those guys are in the NHL, AHL or sitting on their couch in front of the tube.
You're right. Similarly, it wouldn't make any difference if Denenny played a three-game season against one team, becoming the only player in history to score in every game of the year. Who could imagine such dominance?

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05-08-2005, 11:47 PM
  #123
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I consider the leading scorer of 1918 to be equal with the leading scorer of 2004. I don't care how many points they got, what the rules were or the amount of ice time they had. It is irrelevant because Joe Malone was the best of everyone in 1918. They all had the same rules, he was #1. That is worth 7 points on my system. Martin St. Louis won the scoring title last season with 94 points. A lot more than Malone's 48 points (44g 4a) in 20 games but, less on a per game basis. You know what? St. Louis gets 7 points too. He was the leading scorer and it is the same thing that Malone accomplished.

So, with larger nets, we will still have a scoring champion. He could have 300 points but, so what. That is still worth 7 on my system. Best in the league in 1918, 2004 or 2050, it is all the same. Best in the league is best in the league.

The only exception to this is when a player completely dominates the league to a great degree. Joe Malone's 1918 scoring title was a 2 point win over Cy Denneny. That is a margin of 4%. Wayne Gretzky's 1987 scoring was by 75 points or 69%. That is a very different scoring title than Malone's. In my system, a player gets 9 points instead of 7 when they win the title by 25% or more. They get 11 points when they win it by 50% or more. Gretzky's 1987 title is worth 11 and Malone's of 1918 is worth 7.

So, as you can see, rule changes, games played, offensive eras - none of that matters. It levels the playing field so we can see who really is the greatest scorer. Finishing 3rd in scoring in 1925 is the same thing as finishing 3rd in 1985. Aurel Joliat had 40 points in 1925, Dale Hawerchuk had 130 in 1985. They are the same thing.

I hope that makes sense to you, it sure does to me.
Ok then there are two great players in the league, lets say Gretzky and Lemieux. They both have very high point totals, and yet your system only awards the winner of the points race with seven, ignoring the fact that it was two players who completely dominated the entire league.

The fact that you ignore is that the game has changed a great deal. Really the only NHL I count is that after forward passing was not considered an offense. Up until then the game differed way to much from the game of today. not saying I don't respect the players, but at the same time I find it dubious to believe that the players would be the same because they were playing a completely different game.

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05-08-2005, 11:47 PM
  #124
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
See above post. Best in the world is the best in the world. That world doesn't have to be in the NHL to be considered the world.
Denneny was the best in his world. A completely different world. If we're comparing players from different eras, it would help to handicap some of their advantages like you would for a player in the modern era.

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05-08-2005, 11:49 PM
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Actually no, it is not. Being the best in the world is being the best in the world. It makes no difference the number of teams in the league. You are still a better scorer than anybody in the world what difference does it make if those guys are in the NHL, AHL or sitting on their couch in front of the tube. Best in the world is best in the world.
But top scorer in the NHL doesn't necessarily equal best scorer in the world for large parts of the NHL's history. In 1917-18, the PCHA was pretty much the equal of the NHL, and the western leagues were competitive with the NHL through the mid-20's. In 1918 Malone didn't have to compete with Cyclone Taylor for the scoring title, he just had to beat eight other guys who weren't necessarily the #2-9 scorers in the world.

By the late 60's, significant European, and particularly Soviet, talent existed outside the NHL. Phil Esposito didn't have to compete with Yakushev or Kharlamov for the title.

But in 2003-04, the NHL was unquestionably the best league in the world, by a huge margin, and monopolized the supply of talent. Nobody could seriously suggest that there was anyone playing outside the league who could challenge for the scoring title. St. Louis had to beat the best in the world for his title, where Malone and Esposito didn't. The achievements aren't equivalent.

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