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Argument for Oates

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Old
05-12-2005, 05:23 PM
  #51
Malefic74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I understand where you are coming from and that is OK. We just disagree on the criteria.

When I originally began creating rankings, I specifically wanted to weed out the "longevity" guys because, in my opinion, they never excelled and dominated like a great player should. As well, the "longevity" guys like Gartner, Francis and to a large extent Messier, played in the most offensive era of all time. I feel that their places on the all time scoring lists are flawed because greats of other eras played a 30, 44, 50, 60 or 70 game schedule in a defensive era. They had no opportunty to move up the list because of "longevity". As well, I believe that dominance, greatness or stand out ability is what is required to be considered great. Being a top 20 scorer for 15 years is not greatness, IMO.

Again, nothing wrong with your point of view, I just don't share it.
I agree with the notion of higher standards and while I can see the effect that longevity has had on modern players are you discounting it in past players as well? Long careers are not simply a recent phenomenon. Gordie Howe played for 25 years. Jean Beliveau for 18. Henri Richard played for 20. Red Kelly played for 20.

Do you diminish these players as well for their longevity too?

I'm not attacking you here, I'm just curious as to how you treat longevity of past players versus longevity of modern ones.

As far as eras go you have mentioned that you attach less weight to numbers piled up in the offensive era of the mid-80s and early 90s. By that definition points accumulated in the last 7-8 years would should not suffer that distinction because the current era is definitely defensive. Again just curious as to how these variables fit in your system.

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05-12-2005, 05:57 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Malefic74
I agree with the notion of higher standards and while I can see the effect that longevity has had on modern players are you discounting it in past players as well? Long careers are not simply a recent phenomenon. Gordie Howe played for 25 years. Jean Beliveau for 18. Henri Richard played for 20. Red Kelly played for 20.

Do you diminish these players as well for their longevity too?

I'm not attacking you here, I'm just curious as to how you treat longevity of past players versus longevity of modern ones.

As far as eras go you have mentioned that you attach less weight to numbers piled up in the offensive era of the mid-80s and early 90s. By that definition points accumulated in the last 7-8 years would should not suffer that distinction because the current era is definitely defensive. Again just curious as to how these variables fit in your system.
They don't. A player must dominate individual seasons in order to be great. One can't "simply" outscore all but 2 players in a 25 year span and be considered great. That's just "hanging around" and padding stats.

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05-12-2005, 06:04 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74
I agree with the notion of higher standards and while I can see the effect that longevity has had on modern players are you discounting it in past players as well? Long careers are not simply a recent phenomenon. Gordie Howe played for 25 years. Jean Beliveau for 18. Henri Richard played for 20. Red Kelly played for 20.

Do you diminish these players as well for their longevity too?

I'm not attacking you here, I'm just curious as to how you treat longevity of past players versus longevity of modern ones.

As far as eras go you have mentioned that you attach less weight to numbers piled up in the offensive era of the mid-80s and early 90s. By that definition points accumulated in the last 7-8 years would should not suffer that distinction because the current era is definitely defensive. Again just curious as to how these variables fit in your system.
Actually players like Howe, Beliveau, and Kelly excelled for a large portion of their careers so, their long careers were also very productive careers.

What I do is level the playing field. I consider all eras equal - it is not the individual players fault that they played in the high scoring 80s, the defensive 2000s or the 30 game seasons of the 20s. I believe that all things should be equal so that all players have an equal chance to be compared.

There are two pieces of evidence that we can use to determine the all time greats. Statistics and actually watching the players play. On one hand stats don't tell us everything and on the other, nobody alive has seen every player in NHL history play. So, we have to use eyewitness accounts of who the all time greats are. How do we do that? Hart Trophy and runners up, Norris trophy and runners up, post season all stars, Conn Smythe Trophy. These awards were voted on by the hockey writers that actually saw the players play. It is perfect? Heck no. But, it is better than taking a panel of people and having a vote when they have never seen Eddie Shore or Howie Morenz play. If the NHL trusted the voters to hand out the hardware, I will trust them as my eyes for seasons past.

Also, NHL scoring stats are useful tools in telling us who the greats are. If a player can consistently score a lot of points, he is a great player. But, how do we account for things like greats of the 20s winning scoring titles with only 35 points compared to the 80s where the norm was into the mid 100s or more? I use the 7 point system.

I treat every single scoring race as equal. If you win the scoring title in 1923 that is the same thing as winning the scoring title in 2003. You are the best scorer in the NHL so that is equal to being the best scorer in the NHL any season. I give the leading scorer 7 points. 2nd gets 6, 3rd gets 5, 4th gets 4, 5th gets 3, 6th gets 2 and 7th in scoring gets 1. I only used the top 7 because I wanted to focus on the greatest players of all time. Guys who consistently finish 12th or 15th are good hockey players but they are not great players.

The one change to the 7 point system that I had to add was extra points for extreme domination. Howie Morenz, Bill Cowley, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Wayne Gretzky have all won scoring titles by more than 25% over the second leading scorer. That is significantly more impressive than winning by a point or two. So, for winning by 25% + I gave a player 2 extra points. Wayne Gretzky even blew that away by winning several scoring titles by more than 50%. To accurately reflect that domination, I added 4 points to the 7 for winning the title.

With the awards, I am still updating my ratings with some new information that I have been given (thanks fellow posters). Major award winners and runners up get points on the system. Stanley Cup winners get points. I am also going to include playoff scoring and great goal scoring and assist seasons.

So, when my next edition of the list is finished I will post it. I think it does a nice job of creating a level playing field for all NHLers and does not give undue credit to players like Messier, Francis and Gartner who are well up the all time scoring list because of longevity during an offensive era.

Hope that explains my thought process.

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05-12-2005, 06:49 PM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Saying that a player never had a chance because they played during Gretzky and Lemieux's era is a major copout. It simply does not hold water.

During Gretzky and Lemieux's era Dale Hawerchuk, Mark Messier X2, yes - Adam Oates, Pat Lafontaine, Sergei Fedorov, Eric Lindros X2, Alexei Zhamnov, Peter Forsberg and Alexei Yashin all earned post-season all star honors.

During Gretzky and Lemieux's era Mark Messier X2, Brett Hull, Sergei Fedorov, Eric Lindros and Dominik Hasek X2 all won Hart Trophies. Dale Hawerchuk, Ray Bourque X2, Grant Fuhr, Patrick Roy, Doug Gilmour, Dominik Hasek, Jaromir Jagr X2, Mark Messier, Paul Kariya and Alexei Yashin were Hart runners up.

So, nobody was really frozen out of the honors. Everybody had a chance to step up and win - if they were good enough.

My system also recognizes the accomplishment of finishing in the top 7 scorers each year. With Gretzky and Lemieux dominating #1 and #2, there is nothing stopping other players from dominating #3 and building a phenomenal career. Nobody really stood out and grabbed that #3 spot consistently. That being said, I am in the process of adding some recognition for being a great goal scorer or playmaker, Oates may move up when that is completed.

Why do you say that Yzerman's 1988-89 season is one of the all time greats? 155 points? When you look at the scoring race, 4 players scored at least 150 points so, Steve really did not set himself apart. If he had scored 155 when nobody else hit 130, I would say WOW! AMAZING! But, he did it when 3 other guys did it so, it is not nearly as impressive. Howie Morenz's 51 points in 1927-28 is much more impressive. Nobody else even hit 40 that season.

IMO the Hall has some soft standards. I would limit entry to only the VERY best but, that is just me. The Hall of Fame should be a club for the greatest of all time not a club for the good and very good. Guys like Keon and Francis were very good. If I ran the Hall, they would not be in.

My standards are higher, that is how I will always feel.
I agree about the HHOF standards, it is getting too crowded. I think they should make a rule to only CONSIDER players who have won a major award (like Hart, Norris, Vezina, maybe runner-ups too?) or who's been selected to the post-season all-star team (1st or 2nd).

Maybe they could put in an exception, that one player every ten years could get in even if he doesn't meet the criteria (just to please Stevie Y fans and get him in).

I wonder if they gonna make every d-man, who's been awarded as many times or selected to All Star teams as often as Mark Howe was, to wait at least 10 years before introduction. I wonder.


Last edited by gary69: 05-12-2005 at 06:56 PM.
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05-13-2005, 02:51 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by gary69
I agree about the HHOF standards, it is getting too crowded. I think they should make a rule to only CONSIDER players who have won a major award (like Hart, Norris, Vezina, maybe runner-ups too?) or who's been selected to the post-season all-star team (1st or 2nd).

Maybe they could put in an exception, that one player every ten years could get in even if he doesn't meet the criteria (just to please Stevie Y fans and get him in).

I wonder if they gonna make every d-man, who's been awarded as many times or selected to All Star teams as often as Mark Howe was, to wait at least 10 years before introduction. I wonder.
So how does a great defensive defenseman get in? Or a player like Provost? A player like Francis might have only averaged 80 points a year but dominated in a two way role that often gets overlooked. The HHOF can not be judged by just stats and awards but should be more about on ice value. Thatís the difference between a player like Ron Francis and Bernie Nicholls.

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05-13-2005, 05:03 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by #66
So how does a great defensive defenseman get in? Or a player like Provost? A player like Francis might have only averaged 80 points a year but dominated in a two way role that often gets overlooked. The HHOF can not be judged by just stats and awards but should be more about on ice value. Thatís the difference between a player like Ron Francis and Bernie Nicholls.
If they win/runner-up Norris, of course. And the expection rule (1 player every 10 years), I'm sure Francis would be one of those considered for that, since Yzerman has been selected to All-Star team (my mistake in earlier post).

And btw, I don't think Nicholls is worthy anyway.

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05-13-2005, 07:10 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary69
If they win/runner-up Norris, of course. And the expection rule (1 player every 10 years), I'm sure Francis would be one of those considered for that, since Yzerman has been selected to All-Star team (my mistake in earlier post).

And btw, I don't think Nicholls is worthy anyway.
See now there is a flaw there though. For the last 10 years or so (possibly longer) the Norris has gone to defenceman with offensive ability if not an outright points machine like Paul Coffey. The last strictly defensive defencemen to win the Norris was Rod Langway in 83-84 a season when he had 33 points.

I think we can agree that there have been many, many good or even great defensive defencemen since then. How are they to be recognised? Some of them have never even seen the nomination envelope because so many would rather pick powerplay specialists and offensive defencemen.

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05-13-2005, 08:07 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Malefic74
See now there is a flaw there though. For the last 10 years or so (possibly longer) the Norris has gone to defenceman with offensive ability if not an outright points machine like Paul Coffey. The last strictly defensive defencemen to win the Norris was Rod Langway in 83-84 a season when he had 33 points.

I think we can agree that there have been many, many good or even great defensive defencemen since then. How are they to be recognised? Some of them have never even seen the nomination envelope because so many would rather pick powerplay specialists and offensive defencemen.
Well, if a d-man isn't elected even once to a post-season all-star during his whole career, is he really HHOF material. Just as an example, name some d-men from the past 20 years, who wouldn't meet the suggested criteria (Norris winner/runner-up or 1st/2nd All-Star team) and who you'd still like to get in.


Last edited by gary69: 05-13-2005 at 08:23 PM.
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05-14-2005, 03:39 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary69
Well, if a d-man isn't elected even once to a post-season all-star during his whole career, is he really HHOF material. Just as an example, name some d-men from the past 20 years, who wouldn't meet the suggested criteria (Norris winner/runner-up or 1st/2nd All-Star team) and who you'd still like to get in.
If he continues his high quality of play....

Adam Foote.

There isn't a team in the league right now who wouldn't leap at the chance to acquire Foote and immediately drop him into the number 1 pairing, yet apart from selections to various national teams he has not been selected to All-Star games or nominated for the Norris (that I could find)

From the past you could argue the merits of players like Craig Ludwig, Mark Howe or Kevin Lowe. I'm not saying these guys are all HHOF worthy, but their contributions to the game and their teams is not insignificant, yet your criteria would render them irrelevant.

At the very least each player should have his merits looked at on an individual basis. I don't think its fair to toss out anyone based on awards or all-star nominations since those have been heavily weighted to reward offensive players for 20 years with the exception of the Selke Trophy. If reasons can then be found why these gentlemen or others are not worthy let it be decided then, not before they even enter the discussion.

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05-14-2005, 06:45 AM
  #60
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I was just thinking the other day about a thread someone did where he normalized stats over the various eras for both production and consistancy. Even after accounting for the higher scoring era, Francis was still in the top 7 or 8 (before his last two seasons, I think) and was ranked first for consistancy on a list that only included all time greats.

Even if you raise the bar on the HOF to a ridiculously high degree, Francis gets in. Most likely on the first ballot too.

I, for one, am very glad ogopogo has nothing to do with the selection committee. Some very deserving candidates would get snubbed.

And as a final point, like it or not, longevity is amjor factor in determining the calibre of a player's a career and his value. Who would you rather have: Jimmy Carson, who's going to give you 3 amazing seasons and then flame out, or a guy like St. Francis who'll be good for a ppg AND dominating all 3 zones of the ice for more than 2 decades? Choice seems pretty obvious to me.

And for the record, the Tikkanen-Francis comparison ranks among the worst all time on a board that's riddled with terrible comparisons.

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05-14-2005, 12:59 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary69
Well, if a d-man isn't elected even once to a post-season all-star during his whole career, is he really HHOF material. Just as an example, name some d-men from the past 20 years, who wouldn't meet the suggested criteria (Norris winner/runner-up or 1st/2nd All-Star team) and who you'd still like to get in.
gary, I completely agree. If a defenseman cannot even be one of the four post-season all stars at least once in his career, his is not HOF worthy. As fine a defenseman as Foote is, if he was elected to the Hall, I should be elected as a builder for participating on these boards.

The Hall should be for greats. Too many goods and very goods are being considered. Sad really.

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05-14-2005, 01:01 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Vicious Vic
I was just thinking the other day about a thread someone did where he normalized stats over the various eras for both production and consistancy. Even after accounting for the higher scoring era, Francis was still in the top 7 or 8 (before his last two seasons, I think) and was ranked first for consistancy on a list that only included all time greats.

Even if you raise the bar on the HOF to a ridiculously high degree, Francis gets in. Most likely on the first ballot too.

I, for one, am very glad ogopogo has nothing to do with the selection committee. Some very deserving candidates would get snubbed.

And as a final point, like it or not, longevity is amjor factor in determining the calibre of a player's a career and his value. Who would you rather have: Jimmy Carson, who's going to give you 3 amazing seasons and then flame out, or a guy like St. Francis who'll be good for a ppg AND dominating all 3 zones of the ice for more than 2 decades? Choice seems pretty obvious to me.

And for the record, the Tikkanen-Francis comparison ranks among the worst all time on a board that's riddled with terrible comparisons.
I am glad we can disagree Vic. That is what makes life interesting.

For the record, Jimmy Carson never had any excellent seasons. Decent yes, excellent no. Francis is well ahead of Carson in my rankings.

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05-14-2005, 02:32 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I am glad we can disagree Vic. That is what makes life interesting.

For the record, Jimmy Carson never had any excellent seasons. Decent yes, excellent no. Francis is well ahead of Carson in my rankings.
Well I think 8th in the league in scoring and 3rd in goals is certainly better than "decent"

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05-14-2005, 07:40 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Malefic74
If he continues his high quality of play....

Adam Foote.

From the past you could argue the merits of players like Craig Ludwig, Mark Howe or Kevin Lowe. I'm not saying these guys are all HHOF worthy, but their contributions to the game and their teams is not insignificant, yet your criteria would render them irrelevant.

At the very least each player should have his merits looked at on an individual basis. I don't think its fair to toss out anyone based on awards or all-star nominations since those have been heavily weighted to reward offensive players for 20 years with the exception of the Selke Trophy. If reasons can then be found why these gentlemen or others are not worthy let it be decided then, not before they even enter the discussion.
Well, Mark Howe meets the criteria easily, so no argument there.

Judgement on Foote must be left for later, since his career isn't over yet.

Although Foote and Lowe were/are integral parts of their team's success, but one has to wonder why they never were in the post-season All-Stars, considering that comparable players like Vladimir Konstantinov and Derian Hatcher have been.

And my suggested criteria doesn't rule anybody out even if they weren't considered among the very best in any of their playing seasons. They can still be selected, they just come under closer inspection with the "1 player in a decade exception".

As for Selke, maybe it could be taken into account in some way, but no way every 1-time Selke winner should be eligible for Hall. Maybe triple winners...


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05-14-2005, 11:24 PM
  #65
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Adam Foote isn't a HHOF. In fact, I'd make a case for him being in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for his international contributions (our best d-man at 1996 and 2004 World Cup and 2002 Olys) than HHOF. He's been a strong defensive defenceman for many years, but outside of around 01 or 02, he's never appeared on people's top five or top 10.

Comparing Tikannen to Francis is weak. Tik was one of the best defensive forwards of the past quarter century. So was Francis. Tik, though, had five or six elite two-way seasons. Francis has what, 10 or 15? Yeah, Tik won four rings, and could have won the Conn Smythe in 1989, but he wasn't elite for enough seasons. (I'd argue Francis had at least five seasons - 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1998) better than Tik's best.

Yzerman's season in 1989 is one of the best I've ever seen. Anyone who turns Gerard Gallant into a 93-point scorer and second team all-star is worthy of that distinction. And Yzerman did win the Pearson that year, which, if you ask most players, means more than the Hart, because it's voted on by their peers.

Jimmy Carson, I believe, is one of the six fastest players to ever reach 100 goals. Too bad his heart and his knee went out after that.

I don't think major awards and post-season all-star selections should be used as criteria, at least not for forwards. Defencemen, perhaps, as I think all of the current/future HHOF d-men were multiple time post-season all-stars. Statsny and Mahovalich only won the Calder. Do the Selke, Calder and Lady Byng count? Plus, it doesn't account for the strength of different eras. The elite talent was far better in the 60s, 70s and 80s than it is today.


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05-15-2005, 02:24 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Adam Foote isn't a HHOF. In fact, I'd make a case for him being in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame for his international contributions (our best d-man at 1996 and 2004 World Cup and 2002 Olys) than HHOF. He's been a strong defensive defenceman for many years, but outside of around 01 or 02, he's never appeared on people's top five or top 10.

Comparing Tikannen to Francis is weak. Tik was one of the best defensive forwards of the past quarter century. So was Francis. Tik, though, had five or six elite two-way seasons. Francis has what, 10 or 15? Yeah, Tik won four rings, and could have won the Conn Smythe in 1989, but he wasn't elite for enough seasons. (I'd argue Francis had at least five seasons - 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1998) better than Tik's best.

Yzerman's season in 1989 is one of the best I've ever seen. Anyone who turns Gerard Gallant into a 93-point scorer and second team all-star is worthy of that distinction. And Yzerman did win the Pearson that year, which, if you ask most players, means more than the Hart, because it's voted on by their peers.

Jimmy Carson, I believe, is one of the six fastest players to ever reach 100 goals. Too bad his heart and his knee went out after that.

I don't think major awards and post-season all-star selections should be used as criteria, at least not for forwards. Defencemen, perhaps, as I think all of the current/future HHOF d-men were multiple time post-season all-stars. Statsny and Mahovalich only won the Calder. Do the Selke, Calder and Lady Byng count? Plus, it doesn't account for the strength of different eras. The elite talent was far better in the 60s, 70s and 80s than it is today.
Interesting thoughts but, I completely disagree on most of the points you made.

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05-15-2005, 07:28 AM
  #67
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada

I don't think major awards and post-season all-star selections should be used as criteria, at least not for forwards. Defencemen, perhaps, as I think all of the current/future HHOF d-men were multiple time post-season all-stars. Statsny and Mahovalich only won the Calder. Do the Selke, Calder and Lady Byng count? Plus, it doesn't account for the strength of different eras. The elite talent was far better in the 60s, 70s and 80s than it is today.
Well, I think that the exception rule could be used to take care of problem you raised. Three forwards with most points, who don't meet the criteria, are Francis, Gartner and Stastny I believe, so I think they would fit in pretty nicely within the one decade timeframe. Well, maybe the years could be watered down to once in 5 years, although I wouldn't like since to me it doesn't give long enough perspective.

Calder doesn't count IMO, it doesn't measure a player against all the best regardless of age, Byng is mainly about something else than being the best player. Selke I mentioned in my earlier post.

Note, that obviously not everyone who's being selected to All-Star teams would ever be considered even though eligible (Gallant you already mentioned).

IMO, that not too many worthy ones wouldn't meet the criteria and they could be dealt with exception rule.

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05-16-2005, 12:32 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
gary, I completely agree. If a defenseman cannot even be one of the four post-season all stars at least once in his career, his is not HOF worthy. As fine a defenseman as Foote is, if he was elected to the Hall, I should be elected as a builder for participating on these boards.

The Hall should be for greats. Too many goods and very goods are being considered. Sad really.
The game of hockey has just too many nuances and subtleties that the definition of greatness being boiled down to only the amount of points scored is the sad thing. It is widely acknowledged that it's a lot harder to get into baseball's Hall of Fame, yet they at least have Gold Gloves to measure defensive contributions. No one was ever afraid of Ozzie Smith's bat, but the Wizard gets in because of defensive greatness measured by Gold Gloves. My point is that the HHOF should recognize more than just the guys who score goals.

It's not surprising to me when the media and fans get stuck on the points column, but I feel the selection committee for the HHOF being comprised of former players and hockey people would know better. Maybe that's why guys like Gillies and Federko have got in I don't know.

But I guarantee you that when a guy like Foote or Stevens comes up and a bunch of forwards are in that room they remember how hard they played and how hard it was to beat them and how sore they were after a seven game series against them.

If we're only going to reward guys who score a lot then just call it the Scorers Hall of Fame and be done with it.

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05-16-2005, 12:58 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Malefic74
The game of hockey has just too many nuances and subtleties that the definition of greatness being boiled down to only the amount of points scored is the sad thing. It is widely acknowledged that it's a lot harder to get into baseball's Hall of Fame, yet they at least have Gold Gloves to measure defensive contributions. No one was ever afraid of Ozzie Smith's bat, but the Wizard gets in because of defensive greatness measured by Gold Gloves. My point is that the HHOF should recognize more than just the guys who score goals.

It's not surprising to me when the media and fans get stuck on the points column, but I feel the selection committee for the HHOF being comprised of former players and hockey people would know better. Maybe that's why guys like Gillies and Federko have got in I don't know.

But I guarantee you that when a guy like Foote or Stevens comes up and a bunch of forwards are in that room they remember how hard they played and how hard it was to beat them and how sore they were after a seven game series against them.

If we're only going to reward guys who score a lot then just call it the Scorers Hall of Fame and be done with it.
Scott Stevens will be in the Hall of Fame. He was a 5 time all star, 2 time Norris runner up and a Conn Smythe Winner. Rod Langway won two Norris Trophies, was a three time all star and a Hart runner up. Bill Gadsby was a 7 time all star and 3 time Norris runner up. My point being, if a defensive defenseman is GREAT at what he does, he will be recognized for it. These three are all defensive defensemen that deserve a prominent place in the Hall because they were GREAT.

Foote is good, not GREAT. Good is not HOF worthy.

As well, a lot of excellent defensive defensemen also happen to score a lot. Does that mean they cannot play good defense? Re: Pronger, Chelios, Bourque etc.


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05-16-2005, 05:34 PM
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Scott Stevens will be in the Hall of Fame. He was a 5 time all star, 2 time Norris runner up and a Conn Smythe Winner. Rod Langway won two Norris Trophies, was a three time all star and a Hart runner up. Bill Gadsby was a 7 time all star and 3 time Norris runner up. My point being, if a defensive defenseman is GREAT at what he does, he will be recognized for it. These three are all defensive defensemen that deserve a prominent place in the Hall because they were GREAT.

Foote is good, not GREAT. Good is not HOF worthy.

As well, a lot of excellent defensive defensemen also happen to score a lot. Does that mean they cannot play good defense? Re: Pronger, Chelios, Bourque etc.
My point is not specifically related to Foote, but to defensive defencemen in general. It has been 20 years since the Norris Trophy was awarded to a player known primarily for defense. Foote is great at what he does, every coach and fan who watches the games know it. Is he better all-around than Pronger, Chelios, Bourque... etc? Objective observation says no and rightfully so. They bring that additional dimension to the game which is their offense. (Personally if I was holding a lead I'd put Foote out before Pronger and Chelios) And yes I know that Pronger, Bourque and Chelios all play good defense, the question is, if that was all they did would the HHOF even notice?

The HHOF is clearly biased against defensive players and has been since its inception. How many pure defensive forewards are in the Hall? One. Bob Gainey. How many pure defensive defencemen? Langway and Gadsby. 3 players in 25 years is pathetic by any measure. Even if that number is 10 it's still pretty sad given that at any one time 30% of the players on the ice are there to play defence. And I would suggest that in the last 10 years the number is a lot higher than that.

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05-16-2005, 06:27 PM
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My point is not specifically related to Foote, but to defensive defencemen in general. It has been 20 years since the Norris Trophy was awarded to a player known primarily for defense. Foote is great at what he does, every coach and fan who watches the games know it. Is he better all-around than Pronger, Chelios, Bourque... etc? Objective observation says no and rightfully so. They bring that additional dimension to the game which is their offense. (Personally if I was holding a lead I'd put Foote out before Pronger and Chelios) And yes I know that Pronger, Bourque and Chelios all play good defense, the question is, if that was all they did would the HHOF even notice?

The HHOF is clearly biased against defensive players and has been since its inception. How many pure defensive forewards are in the Hall? One. Bob Gainey. How many pure defensive defencemen? Langway and Gadsby. 3 players in 25 years is pathetic by any measure. Even if that number is 10 it's still pretty sad given that at any one time 30% of the players on the ice are there to play defence. And I would suggest that in the last 10 years the number is a lot higher than that.
I would suggest that it requires more talent to be an offensive force than a defensive force. Pretty much anyone can learn to play defense and hit, clutch, grab and interfere. It is pretty simple to do. To score goals and assists it requires much more talent and creativity. To be HOF worthy as a defensive player you have to be GREAT at it. 500 NHL players today can play decent defensively. You have to stand out and be phenomenal - like Scott Stevens. Grinders are a dime a dozen, scorers are a rare commodity.

I have nothing against defensive players but, I think the voters look at it as they do not contribute to a team as much as a great offensive player. When you think about it, a player that is totally defensive and does not put up big numbers on offense, is really lacking a very important component of the game. A strictly defensive player is missing half his game.

Good offensive players, many times, play good defense as well. So, they are more complete players many times than guys who are strictly defensive or grinders.

That is why I believe a strictly defensive player must be GREAT defensively to be considered. They are missing half their game.

Those are my thoughts.

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05-16-2005, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I have nothing against defensive players but, I think the voters look at it as they do not contribute to a team as much as a great offensive player. When you think about it, a player that is totally defensive and does not put up big numbers on offense, is really lacking a very important component of the game. A strictly defensive player is missing half his game.

Good offensive players, many times, play good defense as well. So, they are more complete players many times than guys who are strictly defensive or grinders.

That is why I believe a strictly defensive player must be GREAT defensively to be considered. They are missing half their game.

Those are my thoughts.
I can see your points and even agree with some of them. From the beginning all I was saying is that defensive players should get more consideration than they have been getting for some time. Everyone says defense wins cahmpionships, but apparently it doesn't get you into the HHOF.

I disagree that anyone can be taught to play great defense however. Good defense, yes, you're probably right there. But great defence, the kind that can shut down elite forwards is a very rare commodity. There are maybe a handful in the entire league at any one time. That speaks to certain talent for it, a mindset or ability that others do not have. Guys like Stevens, or Guy Carbonneau, or Doug Jarvis.

And the argument can be made that players who sacrifice everything for offense are also lacking a big part of the game. Not so much in the 80s or 90s, but certainly now. Young guys like Kovalchuk and Hemsky find themselves on the bench because of defensive deficiencies. Defensemen like Ozolinsh and Delmore are so one dimensional it's becoming increasingly difficult to justify their icetime. It goes both ways.

In the end I do agree with you in that like any offensive player, a defensive player MUST be great to be considered for the HHOF. I simply wish they had the chance to be considered. But the voting for the Norris and post-season All-Stars are so offensively-oriented that that is very unlikely to happen. I feel the HHOF is missing out on some worthy candidates if nothing else. Maybe if there were two trophies for defencemen (offesnive and defensive) it would give the selection committee more to look at. Certainly the Selkes will help the cases of some forwards.

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