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07-27-2010, 03:41 AM
  #351
Hardyvan123
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My point was that if there was a current 6 team NHL rather than the 30 team NHL we have Hank would have not been able to progress from the 1st 4 poor seasons he had to become scoring champion.

He simply would not have been given the chance to as other players would have passed him on the depth charts and he probably would have been back in Sweden and out of our fictional 6 team NHL.

In a 30 team league he still has a shot to play top 6 minutes and get PP time on Vancouver and get better and take the Hart.

The thing to keep in mind here is that his entire career is totally different in a 6 team or 30 team NHL never mind the differences between current stars like Crosby, AO, Malkin and past stars like Shore and Morenz.

Lets see 30-6 ratio doesn't matter but 300-12 does?

Heck I knew the small sample size would come up but seriously who would Sweden rather have Zetts, Backstrom or Hank?

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07-27-2010, 03:45 AM
  #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
My point was that if there was a current 6 team NHL rather than the 30 team NHL we have Hank would have not been able to progress from the 1st 4 poor seasons he had to become scoring champion. He simply would not have been given the chance to as other players would ahve passed him on the depth charts and he probably would have been back in Sweden and out of our fictional 6 team NHL.
Sorry, but why would I have known this was your point?

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In a 30 team league he still has a shot to play top 6 minutes and get PP time on Vancouver and get better and take the Hart.
If we're talking about a fictional situation, if Henrik isn't good enough to hold a top line role in a 6-team NHL pre-lockout, then by 2006 they realize that he's more than good enough to be a scoring line player now and they lure him back to North America. Making assumptions about how his development would have progressed is futile.

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Lets see 30-6 ratio doesn't matter but 300-12 does?
What do you even mean by this?

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07-27-2010, 12:14 PM
  #353
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
My point was that if there was a current 6 team NHL rather than the 30 team NHL we have Hank would have not been able to progress from the 1st 4 poor seasons he had to become scoring champion.

He simply would not have been given the chance to as other players would have passed him on the depth charts and he probably would have been back in Sweden and out of our fictional 6 team NHL.

In a 30 team league he still has a shot to play top 6 minutes and get PP time on Vancouver and get better and take the Hart.

The thing to keep in mind here is that his entire career is totally different in a 6 team or 30 team NHL never mind the differences between current stars like Crosby, AO, Malkin and past stars like Shore and Morenz.

Lets see 30-6 ratio doesn't matter but 300-12 does?

Heck I knew the small sample size would come up but seriously who would Sweden rather have Zetts, Backstrom or Hank?
Why do you think his first 4 seasons were that poor? I'll give you that his first one wasn't all that great, but I think part of that can be attributed to coming over from Europe and adjusting to the NHL game (there was virtually no one that had to do this in the O6 era because everyone was from NA). After that he averages about a half a point a game for the next 3 years (and that's during the dead-puck era). That kind of production seems to be on par with a borderline 2nd/3rd line player in the O6 era.

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07-27-2010, 12:54 PM
  #354
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Why do you think his first 4 seasons were that poor? I'll give you that his first one wasn't all that great, but I think part of that can be attributed to coming over from Europe and adjusting to the NHL game (there was virtually no one that had to do this in the O6 era because everyone was from NA). After that he averages about a half a point a game for the next 3 years (and that's during the dead-puck era). That kind of production seems to be on par with a borderline 2nd/3rd line player in the O6 era.
Just a reminder that during the sedins first seasons they were most playing the defensive game together with Trent Klatt. I believe there was some statements made about Sedins should learn Vancouvers defensive tactics first before being used as offensive weapons.

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07-27-2010, 06:03 PM
  #355
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Before we get too caught up in the Sedin debate, it should be pointed out that his Hart/Ross season is quite an anomaly historically. No offense to Henrik, but he's probably the worst player to win the scoring title since Herb Cain in the war-influenced 1944 season. He is also easily the weakest non-goalie to win since Buddy O'Connor in 1948.

So yes, there is a valid argument that he might not have made it at all in the O6. But him and Martin St. Louis (slow start to his career) are pretty much the only two Ross or Hart winners that you can make this argument for. Two seasons out 42, post-expansion. So yes, perhaps it is about 1.05 times more difficult to win one of these two awards as compared the the O6 era. In others words, a negligible amount. Every other player who has won one would without question still have been in the NHL if it were reduced from 30 teams to 6.

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07-27-2010, 11:48 PM
  #356
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1.05 makes a difference I guess but it's not only about one scoring title per season, it includes 2nd team all star guys, voting for various trophies ect... as well.

There just seems to be too much latitude given to guys who never played in the NHL, (or didn't play at a top 100 level) guys like Viacheslav Fetisov at 33rd Valeri Kharlamov at 35th Vladislav Tretiak at 44th, Sergei Makarov at 61st, Boris Mikhailov at 68th while not enough credit is given to modern day guys, read current and just retired players, especially centers and Dmen, on the level of competition they face today.

Comments like there was more, or just as much, competition in the 06 or pre 06 days, is misguided as there was not as many top level players available back then and the NHL in the last 20 years especially has drawn more of it's talent from other countries than in the past when it wasn't really available.

And all of that is without taking into account the modern training methods, coaching and host of other advantages that modern players have in being better prepared to play than earlier guys did.

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07-28-2010, 12:42 AM
  #357
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Comments like there was more, or just as much, competition in the 06 or pre 06 days, is misguided as there was not as many top level players available back then
Really?

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07-28-2010, 12:56 AM
  #358
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Yes really of the guys I listed only Sergei Makarov and Viacheslav Fetisov gave us any large sample size in the NHL and while both where good players they where hardly great in their NHL days.

I understand that both where around 30 when they come to the NHL, but either both these guys dropped off quite a bit once they came to the NHL or maybe they are not quite as good as some are giving them credit for in their Russian and international play.

To me it's the latter given their NHL record.

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07-28-2010, 01:00 AM
  #359
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Also how many "feeder" programs where there back in the 06 days compared to today, and especially since 1979 one of the great legacies of the WHA, where the NHL takes players from all over the world and the training levels and coaching, partly due to the success of the Russians and their systems, are just so much better than back in the day.

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07-28-2010, 03:11 AM
  #360
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Yes really of the guys I listed only Sergei Makarov and Viacheslav Fetisov gave us any large sample size in the NHL and while both where good players they where hardly great in their NHL days.

I understand that both where around 30 when they come to the NHL, but either both these guys dropped off quite a bit once they came to the NHL or maybe they are not quite as good as some are giving them credit for in their Russian and international play.

To me it's the latter given their NHL record.
Please explain how the USSR gave Canada's best all they could handle in the 1980s, if their best players weren't that good.

By the way, Makarov was one of the top 5 scorers of his age group in the NHL, despite having trouble adjusting to the North American game.

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07-28-2010, 03:14 AM
  #361
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Also how many "feeder" programs where there back in the 06 days compared to today, and especially since 1979 one of the great legacies of the WHA, where the NHL takes players from all over the world and the training levels and coaching, partly due to the success of the Russians and their systems, are just so much better than back in the day.

The Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings had extensive feeder systems for almost the entire O6 period. Hell, Montreal bought an entire minor league to force Jean Beliveau to play for them. (It's the main reason these three teams dominated the O6 period).

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07-28-2010, 05:26 AM
  #362
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The Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Detroit Red Wings had extensive feeder systems for almost the entire O6 period. Hell, Montreal bought an entire minor league to force Jean Beliveau to play for them. (It's the main reason these three teams dominated the O6 period).
Main reason was that Boston, Chicago and New York were not willing to spend money as evidenced by the success of the three teams pre O6 when they did spend money.

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07-28-2010, 05:51 AM
  #363
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Main reason was that Boston, Chicago and New York were not willing to spend money as evidenced by the success of the three teams pre O6 when they did spend money.
Agree 100%, but a big part of that not spending money was that they didn't spend money on developing farm systems to rival the powerhouses.

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07-28-2010, 06:11 AM
  #364
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Agree 100%, but a big part of that not spending money was that they didn't spend money on developing farm systems to rival the powerhouses.
They did not spend money period. The history of the Patrick family going back to the PCHA was that they did not spend money on development - just raided the NHA.

The initial teams in Boston, Chicago and New York (Rangers) were stocked mainly with former PCHA players - Shore, Boucher and the Cooks,etc.

The Bruins re-tooled in the second half of the thirties with a base out of Ontario.Rangers were still a western Canada influenced team outside of the odd foray into Quebec - Phil Watson being the most notable. The Hawks after the mid 1930's were a cheap joke.

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07-28-2010, 06:50 PM
  #365
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1.05 makes a difference I guess but it's not only about one scoring title per season, it includes 2nd team all star guys, voting for various trophies ect... as well.
Well lets expand out then:

The Norris: Doug Wilson and Randy Carlyle are the only post-expansion winners who aren't either in the Hall of Fame, or a good bet to reach it, exempting Chara and Keith who still have a sizeable portion of their careers left to play. Everyone who's won it would clearly be in the O6 NHL.

The Pearson/Lindsay: Almost everyone who's won this award will be in the HOF or come close to doing so. Mike Liut, a goaltender, is the big exception here. Martin St. Louis and Markus Naslund (due to slower developing careers) are probably the only two guys who may not have made an O6 league.

1st AST: Up to 2004, most are HOFers or in the conversation. John Ogrodnick, Mickey Redmond, Hakan Loob, Todd Bertuzzi, and Sandis Ozolinsh are as bad as you can do here.

2nd AST: Good argument that Barry Ashbee wouldn't have been in the league without expansion. Al Iafrate and Bryan McCabe are debatable. Adam Graves, Gerrard Gallant, Steve Vickers, Alexie Zhamnov...again, there are very few players who earned this honor that didn't have long and successful careers and would certainly have made a six-team league.

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There just seems to be too much latitude given to guys who never played in the NHL, (or didn't play at a top 100 level) guys like Viacheslav Fetisov at 33rd Valeri Kharlamov at 35th Vladislav Tretiak at 44th, Sergei Makarov at 61st, Boris Mikhailov at 68th while not enough credit is given to modern day guys, read current and just retired players, especially centers and Dmen, on the level of competition they face today.
Is it really so unreasonable that the second-best talent producing nation in the world might have produced five players out of the top 70 of all time?

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And all of that is without taking into account the modern training methods, coaching and host of other advantages that modern players have in being better prepared to play than earlier guys did.
This fact is acknowledged and purposely ignored. Of course today's players are bigger, faster, stronger, etc., but if this was considered we'd pretty much have a list limited to the last 20 or 30 years of hockey.

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07-28-2010, 07:02 PM
  #366
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Before we get too caught up in the Sedin debate, it should be pointed out that his Hart/Ross season is quite an anomaly historically. No offense to Henrik, but he's probably the worst player to win the scoring title since Herb Cain in the war-influenced 1944 season. He is also easily the weakest non-goalie to win since Buddy O'Connor in 1948.

So yes, there is a valid argument that he might not have made it at all in the O6. But him and Martin St. Louis (slow start to his career) are pretty much the only two Ross or Hart winners that you can make this argument for. Two seasons out 42, post-expansion. So yes, perhaps it is about 1.05 times more difficult to win one of these two awards as compared the the O6 era. In others words, a negligible amount. Every other player who has won one would without question still have been in the NHL if it were reduced from 30 teams to 6.
I think you are being a little harsh on Sedin. Iginla was basically seen as a 1 hit wonder until 2006. 2007-2009 is when he proved he's a hall of famer. I was in grade 8 when he won his art ross and pearson and back then everyone thought it was a joke. You had mario, jagr and wayne owning that award for 21 years and then iginla comes out of no where. Henrik could easily surpass iginla in all time rankings, he only has like 4-5 seasons worth mentioning.

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07-29-2010, 01:29 AM
  #367
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Please explain how the USSR gave Canada's best all they could handle in the 1980s, if their best players weren't that good.

By the way, Makarov was one of the top 5 scorers of his age group in the NHL, despite having trouble adjusting to the North American game.
Makarov , Fetisov and others like Larinov were decent to good players in the NHL just not great. One of the main reasons the Russians gave Canada all they could handle in the 80's is that they played a system to a tee and the sum was greater than the parts. they had soem good parts but it was the system that was the eqaualizer.

As to your final point, I'm sure the numbers of guys in his age group where quite small and we are looking at him as a player compared to everyone, not just his age group.

Finally it seems to me, and I'm just guessing here, that some guys are given leeway on adjusting to the North American game like the early Russians had to do. I have no doubt that this was the case but at the end we have to look at how they actually performed on the ice while they where both in the NHL with Makarov and Fetisov and both should be further down the list IMO based on their NHL play which wasn't great at all, merely good.

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07-29-2010, 01:46 AM
  #368
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[QUOTE=Kyle McMahon;27143662]Well lets expand out then:

The Norris: Doug Wilson and Randy Carlyle are the only post-expansion winners who aren't either in the Hall of Fame, or a good bet to reach it, exempting Chara and Keith who still have a sizeable portion of their careers left to play. Everyone who's won it would clearly be in the O6 NHL.

The Pearson/Lindsay: Almost everyone who's won this award will be in the HOF or come close to doing so. Mike Liut, a goaltender, is the big exception here. Martin St. Louis and Markus Naslund (due to slower developing careers) are probably the only two guys who may not have made an O6 league.

1st AST: Up to 2004, most are HOFers or in the conversation. John Ogrodnick, Mickey Redmond, Hakan Loob, Todd Bertuzzi, and Sandis Ozolinsh are as bad as you can do here.

2nd AST: Good argument that Barry Ashbee wouldn't have been in the league without expansion. Al Iafrate and Bryan McCabe are debatable. Adam Graves, Gerrard Gallant, Steve Vickers, Alexie Zhamnov...again, there are very few players who earned this honor that didn't have long and successful careers and would certainly have made a six-team league.



Is it really so unreasonable that the second-best talent producing nation in the world might have produced five players out of the top 70 of all time?




I'll tackle the last 2 points here.

Firstly about the Russians it sounds a little bit like affirmative action to me and maybe that was the process involved but it reminded me of one of the rejected lists taken into consideration that was dismissed because it had no players from Europe on it. I think that that list was wrong but maybe others in the process have Russians too high (I think they are all rated too high and I'm a huge fan of Russian players)) and maybe they should have been bumped down.

In the end we have the cases of 2 guys who are quite high on the list with a decent sample I hate NHL of not being that great but being merley good.

The last point that you make sure clears things up for me a lot when you stated,

"This fact is acknowledged and purposely ignored. Of course today's players are bigger, faster, stronger, etc., but if this was considered we'd pretty much have a list limited to the last 20 or 30 years of hockey.

To me if you want to make a list of the top 100 players of all time then it should be simply the top 100 and the chips will have to fall were they fall. Past players or players from other countries might just make the tops of lists from the times and countries they played in and not make the top 100 players of all time list if we wanted a true list of the best.

This is one of the downfalls of trying to make an all time list in that current players (who are playing in the best played hockey ever as far as competition goes) would be over represented on the list in proportion to past players. Kinda like the reverse of the actual Hall where past players are over represented and some recent past greats like Bure and Lindros still need to buy a ticket to get in.

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07-31-2010, 05:13 AM
  #369
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It's a lot more difficult to win major awards or finish at/near the top in major statistical categories now than it was in O6 days. This is especially true for forwards.

The major reasons are additional talent from overseas and additional opportunity due to expansion.

The primary reason, influx of talent from overseas, is impossible to dispute (at least at forward... there have been fewer elite defensemen and goalies, but some greats like Hasek and Lidstrom, and enough to make it substantially tougher).

Over the past 17 seasons ('92/93-present), overseas players had:

- 10 Pearson (Lindsay), 8 Hart, 7 Norris, and 7 Vezina trophies.
- 9 Ross trophies, 12 second places, and about half of the top fives.
- Over 1/3 of the post-season All-Stars, including almost 45% of first team selections and about 2/3 of all RW selections.
- 22 top two finishes in goals, including 13 times first (or tied), and about 60% of top five finishes.
- Over 1/3 of the top 5 finishes in assists.

So it's easy to make a case for it being about twice as difficult, just due to overseas talent. Remember, there many times an overseas player was denied a trophy, first place or top five finish, or all-star selection by other overseas players finishing higher (meaning the player who didn't win, wasn't selected or didn't finish highly... likely would have in an O6 environment).

Increased opportunity has also been a factor, but much less so. Still, when more players have the opportunity to play first line minutes and be on the team's primary power play unit, the likelihood of one or more of them having a "career" season increase. Similarly, goalies that might not have seen the ice in the NHL have career years and nab Vezinas or All-Star selections.

Previously discussed were forwards such as Iginla, Naslund, St. Louis and Sedin. Assuming even that the two Swedes were born in Canada during the O6 period, who knows how they each would have fared? Except for St. Louis, they were all first round draft picks, so they likely would have been given a chance at some point. However, they may have not gotten the same opportunities and developed as quickly or as substantially in the O6 environment.

Iginla might have been utilized differently and easily could have been no better than a second liner at age 24. Naslund could have developed even slower and also had a more limited role. Who knows if St. Louis even makes a real impact, he might have just been a penalty killer if he's in the league at all. Perhaps Sedin is given a more defensive role or seen as a career second liner.

Any of the four easily could have been given less opportunity to develop and given a more limited role in the O6, with less ice time and less power play time, which would have made it much, much more difficult for them to have Ross/MVP type seasons. Or they may have all shined just as brightly, just as quickly, who knows?

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07-31-2010, 08:15 AM
  #370
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It's a lot more difficult to win major awards or finish at/near the top in major statistical categories now than it was in O6 days. This is especially true for forwards.

The major reasons are additional talent from overseas and additional opportunity due to expansion.

The primary reason, influx of talent from overseas, is impossible to dispute (at least at forward... there have been fewer elite defensemen and goalies, but some greats like Hasek and Lidstrom, and enough to make it substantially tougher).

Over the past 17 seasons ('92/93-present), overseas players had:

- 10 Pearson (Lindsay), 8 Hart, 7 Norris, and 7 Vezina trophies.
- 9 Ross trophies, 12 second places, and about half of the top fives.
- Over 1/3 of the post-season All-Stars, including almost 45% of first team selections and about 2/3 of all RW selections.
- 22 top two finishes in goals, including 13 times first (or tied), and about 60% of top five finishes.
- Over 1/3 of the top 5 finishes in assists.

So it's easy to make a case for it being about twice as difficult, just due to overseas talent. Remember, there many times an overseas player was denied a trophy, first place or top five finish, or all-star selection by other overseas players finishing higher (meaning the player who didn't win, wasn't selected or didn't finish highly... likely would have in an O6 environment).

Increased opportunity has also been a factor, but much less so. Still, when more players have the opportunity to play first line minutes and be on the team's primary power play unit, the likelihood of one or more of them having a "career" season increase. Similarly, goalies that might not have seen the ice in the NHL have career years and nab Vezinas or All-Star selections.

Previously discussed were forwards such as Iginla, Naslund, St. Louis and Sedin. Assuming even that the two Swedes were born in Canada during the O6 period, who knows how they each would have fared? Except for St. Louis, they were all first round draft picks, so they likely would have been given a chance at some point. However, they may have not gotten the same opportunities and developed as quickly or as substantially in the O6 environment.

Iginla might have been utilized differently and easily could have been no better than a second liner at age 24. Naslund could have developed even slower and also had a more limited role. Who knows if St. Louis even makes a real impact, he might have just been a penalty killer if he's in the league at all. Perhaps Sedin is given a more defensive role or seen as a career second liner.

Any of the four easily could have been given less opportunity to develop and given a more limited role in the O6, with less ice time and less power play time, which would have made it much, much more difficult for them to have Ross/MVP type seasons. Or they may have all shined just as brightly, just as quickly, who knows?
So going by the highlighted parts, it is much more difficult to win awards now than in the O6 era, and much more difficult to have award winning seasons in the O6?

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07-31-2010, 08:59 AM
  #371
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So going by the highlighted parts, it is much more difficult to win awards now than in the O6 era, and much more difficult to have award winning seasons in the O6?
Modern math that requires further checking. Derived by focusing on the sizzle not the steak or the beauty pageant approach to hockey analysis.

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07-31-2010, 01:16 PM
  #372
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I'll tackle the last 2 points here.

Firstly about the Russians it sounds a little bit like affirmative action to me and maybe that was the process involved but it reminded me of one of the rejected lists taken into consideration that was dismissed because it had no players from Europe on it. I think that that list was wrong but maybe others in the process have Russians too high (I think they are all rated too high and I'm a huge fan of Russian players)) and maybe they should have been bumped down.

In the end we have the cases of 2 guys who are quite high on the list with a decent sample I hate NHL of not being that great but being merley good.

The last point that you make sure clears things up for me a lot when you stated,

"This fact is acknowledged and purposely ignored. Of course today's players are bigger, faster, stronger, etc., but if this was considered we'd pretty much have a list limited to the last 20 or 30 years of hockey.

To me if you want to make a list of the top 100 players of all time then it should be simply the top 100 and the chips will have to fall were they fall. Past players or players from other countries might just make the tops of lists from the times and countries they played in and not make the top 100 players of all time list if we wanted a true list of the best.

This is one of the downfalls of trying to make an all time list in that current players (who are playing in the best played hockey ever as far as competition goes) would be over represented on the list in proportion to past players. Kinda like the reverse of the actual Hall where past players are over represented and some recent past greats like Bure and Lindros still need to buy a ticket to get in.
so I guess it was "affirmative action" when the Russians kicked Canada's butt in 1981. And I guess also when Canada needed last minute heroics to beat them in 1972 and 1987.

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07-31-2010, 09:43 PM
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So going by the highlighted parts, it is much more difficult to win awards now than in the O6 era, and much more difficult to have award winning seasons in the O6?
There's a lot more competition to be among the top players now, mostly due to overseas talent. There's also more opportunity (due to more teams) for maximum ice time and power play time, which allows for players that may not have had that opportunity in an O6 environment to win awards or place highly in categories that they may not have in the O6.

The O6 was a much more exclusive club. It was a lot harder to make it into that club, but once in that club there's less total competition. In the O6, if a star player missed a few games or has an off year, he was likely to finish higher than he would today. A star forward in the O6 had competition from other first/second line forwards. There were only 36 first/second line forwards and if a few of those (second liners on lesser teams) were of much lesser talent, then that reduce the realistic pool of players contending for all-star and high placement to less than 30.

Here's one of countless examples of the difference:

Malkin wins the Ross in '09, but has injuries and an off year last year, so he finishes 19th in points. However, 8 of the players ahead of him are from overseas. So if Malkin was instead "Gene Martin" from Canada and this was still the O6, those 8 players aren't in the NHL and he finishes at least 11th. If even one of the players still ahead of him wouldn't have made the NHL or had significantly less playing time, then he's still top 10 in points.

So when 20 years from now someone compares a player in the O6 to Malkin and says "but he had one more top 10 finish than Malkin, so he was better/more consistent/whatever" does that make it so?

It's not modern new age math, it's simply logic.


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08-02-2010, 10:52 PM
  #374
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
so I guess it was "affirmative action" when the Russians kicked Canada's butt in 1981. And I guess also when Canada needed last minute heroics to beat them in 1972 and 1987.

the term " affirmative action" was a bit awchward but was the 1st that came to mind in the inclusion of the Russian players in the top 100.

Teams and systems played Canada in those games and tournaments you mentioned.

There is no doubt that Canada was unprepared against the Russian in 72 and the Russian players got better in time and their systems made them better as a whole than the sum of their parts.

Don't forget that some of those 5 man units played and trained together for much of the year and Canada threw together their teams for those tournaments. that has to account in part for the closeness between the 2 teams.

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08-02-2010, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
There's a lot more competition to be among the top players now, mostly due to overseas talent. There's also more opportunity (due to more teams) for maximum ice time and power play time, which allows for players that may not have had that opportunity in an O6 environment to win awards or place highly in categories that they may not have in the O6.

The O6 was a much more exclusive club. It was a lot harder to make it into that club, but once in that club there's less total competition. In the O6, if a star player missed a few games or has an off year, he was likely to finish higher than he would today. A star forward in the O6 had competition from other first/second line forwards. There were only 36 first/second line forwards and if a few of those (second liners on lesser teams) were of much lesser talent, then that reduce the realistic pool of players contending for all-star and high placement to less than 30.

Here's one of countless examples of the difference:

Malkin wins the Ross in '09, but has injuries and an off year last year, so he finishes 19th in points. However, 8 of the players ahead of him are from overseas. So if Malkin was instead "Gene Martin" from Canada and this was still the O6, those 8 players aren't in the NHL and he finishes at least 11th. If even one of the players still ahead of him wouldn't have made the NHL or had significantly less playing time, then he's still top 10 in points.

So when 20 years from now someone compares a player in the O6 to Malkin and says "but he had one more top 10 finish than Malkin, so he was better/more consistent/whatever" does that make it so?

It's not modern new age math, it's simply logic.
To add to the logic, players are now coming from the US collegiate ranks where as almost all players came from the 3 junior leagues in Canada before.

For people that argue that it's new math they just are making a weak argument IMO to prop up past stars to put them in a better light against current players in the NHL today.

also if we take into account the training and coaching methods of modern players among other factors it's a much more competitive environment than back in the day when Phil Esposito used to take a case of beer into the sauna for training camp.

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