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Research Thread for NHL Award and All-star Voting

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Old
08-03-2010, 01:47 PM
  #376
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
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.

Yes, there are more players coming from the US in addition to Europeans. Last time I looked (either last season or the season before), the NHL was 58% Canadian. So 42% of the talent wouldn't have been there in the original 6 days. Then you need to take into account the slow increase in the Canadian population. I used these two factors to estimate that the talent pool increased about 2.5 times between 1980 and 2010. After I get eliminated from the minor league draft (or win the thing), I'm going to do a study estimating the change in the size of the talent pool back to World War 2.

But a smaller talent pool doesn't make the best players anything other than the best. The fact is that nobody in the modern game dominates like Gretzky and Lemieux did. Past his prime Lemieux dominated half the season in 2001 to a greater extent than one else has dominated since Gretzky.

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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.
Training and coaching methods just affect the game. They don't make these guys better players or talents. Young Mario Lemieux smoked cigarettes and his idea of offseason training was to hold the fries with his burger. Yet older Mario Lemieux was still dominant in 2001. Of course, the one question is whether his back would have held up better if he trained better as a younger player.

And it's not like every older player was a beer drinking slob like Esposito. Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull were ripped.

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08-03-2010, 02:39 PM
  #377
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Yes, there are more players coming from the US in addition to Europeans. Last time I looked (either last season or the season before), the NHL was 58% Canadian. So 42% of the talent wouldn't have been there in the original 6 days. Then you need to take into account the slow increase in the Canadian population. I used these two factors to estimate that the talent pool increased about 2.5 times between 1980 and 2010. After I get eliminated from the minor league draft (or win the thing), I'm going to do a study estimating the change in the size of the talent pool back to World War 2.
I completely agree with this type of analysis. If the 2.5 number is correct wouldn't you say that we would expect 2.5 times more players from 2010 than from 1980 on an all-time ranking? I sometimes get the feeling that people generally are content with comparing players relative to their peers in which case you would have too much players from weaker eras on an all-time list. An additional factor would of course be the share of the Canadian population that plays hockey but then you would have to think carefully about the selection process (it might be that the great talents would have played in any era but that weaker players only play when hockey is popular).

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
But a smaller talent pool doesn't make the best players anything other than the best. The fact is that nobody in the modern game dominates like Gretzky and Lemieux did. Past his prime Lemieux dominated half the season in 2001 to a greater extent than one else has dominated since Gretzky.
I would definately not argue against Gretzky and Lemieux being the two best players post-1980, they are clearly ahead of everyone else. However, just because someone is way ahead of the competition doesn't automatically make them superior since one always have to look at the context in which the players are playing. For instance, let Gretzky and Kovalev both play in a beer league. They would both obviously be extremely dominant but it would be hard to the naked eye to determine who is the better player. However, let them play against NHLers and it's clear that Gretzky is miles ahead. What I mean by that is that being superior in a weak era doesn't mean that such a player would also be superior when playing against strong competition.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Training and coaching methods just affect the game. They don't make these guys better players or talents. Young Mario Lemieux smoked cigarettes and his idea of offseason training was to hold the fries with his burger. Yet older Mario Lemieux was still domine ant in 2001. Of course, the one question is whether his back would have held up better if he trained better as a younger player.

And it's not like every older player was a beer drinking slob like Esposito. Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull were ripped.
Players may train harder and have better equipment today but that isn't anything that should be held against players from earlier eras. Plus, I would think people focus too much on anecdotes on how, for instance, the Big Bad Bruins partied or how Mario didn't do any offseason training and don't see that most great players worked extremely hard earlier on as well.


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08-03-2010, 03:11 PM
  #378
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Originally Posted by matnor View Post
I completely agree with this type of analysis. If the 2.5 number is correct wouldn't you say that we would expect 2.5 times more players from 2010 than from 1980 on an all-time ranking? I sometimes get the feeling that people generally are content with comparing players relative to their peers in which case you would have too much players from weaker eras on an all-time list. An additional factor would of course be the share of the Canadian population that plays hockey but then you would have to think carefully about the selection process (it might be that the great talents would have played in any era but that weaker players only play when hockey is popular).
It's always tough to rank active players who are still working on their legacies. I'm also not sure what to make of how a larger talent pool affects the very best players. In the HOH Top 100 list 2050 version, I expect to see more players from 2010 than 1980, but not 2.5 times more. Intuitively, I think it matters more the farther you go down the list. Maybe a top 1000 list would actually have 2.5 times the players from 2010 as in 1980.

There's also something said for being historically significant and the 10th best player from 1960 is more historically significant than the 20th best player from 2010, so he might be "greater" even if not "better."

Obviously, the share of the Canadian population that plays hockey is a factor, but how do you determine this? A larger percentage plays "organized hockey" now, but much of that has more to do with the urbanization of the population, and less availability of frozen ponds to play on.

That's why I'm only going back to WW2. I'm basically assuming that the percentage of the Canadian population that is NHL calibre is roughly constant since WW2, since hockey has been Canada's most popular sport and a big part of Canadian culture since then. At some point before the war (and I'm not sure when), you had all-time greats like Lalonde who could make more money playing lacrosse, and that had to affect the talent pool a lot. Is there a better method? I can't think of one.

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I would definately not argue against Gretzky and Lemieux being the two best players post-1980, they are clearly ahead of everyone else. However, just because someone is way ahead of the competition doesn't automatically make them superior since one always have to look at the context in which the players are playing. For instance, let Gretzky and Kovalev both play in a beer league. They would both obviously be extremely dominant but it would be hard to the naked eye to determine who is the better player. However, let them play against NHLers and it's clear that Gretzky is miles ahead. What I mean by that is that being superior in a weak era doesn't mean that such a player would also be superior when playing against strong competition.
This is true, but what constitutes a "weak era?" Hockey was basically Canada's national obsession post-world war 2 (and maybe before), so I assume that it has had a "big enough" talent pool to draw from for at least that time. Obviously, hockey was weak during World War 2, when most of the best players were off to war. And if you go back far enough, the talent pool definitely gets pretty weak before World War I.

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Players may train harder and have better equipment today but that isn't anything that should be held against players from earlier eras. Plus, I would think people focus too much on anecdotes on how, for instance, the Big Bad Bruins partied or how Mario didn't do any offseason training and don't see that most great players worked extremely hard earlier on as well.
Agree. It's like we always say, you can only look at players in the context of their era. However, that doesn't mean that you have to forget that there are simply a lot more players now than there were then.

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08-03-2010, 03:59 PM
  #379
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It's always tough to rank active players who are still working on their legacies. I'm also not sure what to make of how a larger talent pool affects the very best players. In the HOH Top 100 list 2050 version, I expect to see more players from 2010 than 1980, but not 2.5 times more. Intuitively, I think it matters more the farther you go down the list. Maybe a top 1000 list would actually have 2.5 times the players from 2010 as in 1980.

There's also something said for being historically significant and the 10th best player from 1960 is more historically significant than the 20th best player from 2010, so he might be "greater" even if not "better."
If the list was solely based on level of talent then I think that there should be 2.5 more from 2010 than 1980. Essentially, take the following simplified example. Suppose there are three eras and in the first two eras there were one million playing hockey in each and in the last era there were two million playing. The natural conclusion, if there is no selection (i.e. only the good start to play hockey in the first two eras whereas everyone play in the last), is that the overall talent level should be the same in the last era as in the first two combined. However, obviously we would have double the amount of Hart trophies and top-10 finishes in the first two.

On the other hand I completely agree that historical significance could play a part in making a list. Maybe Howie Morenz wasn't more talented than, say, Joe Sakic, but being the first NHL superstar is an historical significant achievment that we may want to recognize. In the end, what criteria we choose to rank players on is arbitrary. My impression is that when people disagree on how to rank players from different eras it's primarily a matter of them having different criteria for evaluating players rather than one being right and the other wrong.

It would be interesting to know if there is some set of criteria for the HOH list that people agreed upon before making the list or if each chose which criteria to use. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Obviously, the share of the Canadian population that plays hockey is a factor, but how do you determine this? A larger percentage plays "organized hockey" now, but much of that has more to do with the urbanization of the population, and less availability of frozen ponds to play on.

That's why I'm only going back to WW2. I'm basically assuming that the percentage of the Canadian population that is NHL calibre is roughly constant since WW2, since hockey has been Canada's most popular sport and a big part of Canadian culture since then. At some point before the war (and I'm not sure when), you had all-time greats like Lalonde who could make more money playing lacrosse, and that had to affect the talent pool a lot. Is there a better method? I can't think of one.
I have no idea, it's always easier to be destructive than constructive. I think comparing top-10 finishes, Hart-votes etc only relative to Canadian players is a good starting point that somewhat take competition into account.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is true, but what constitutes a "weak era?" Hockey was basically Canada's national obsession post-world war 2 (and maybe before), so I assume that it has had a "big enough" talent pool to draw from for at least that time. Obviously, hockey was weak during World War 2, when most of the best players were off to war. And if you go back far enough, the talent pool definitely gets pretty weak before World War I.
Well, again, I just pointed out a problem, I don't have the solution.

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08-03-2010, 04:44 PM
  #380
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Arenas

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Originally Posted by matnor View Post
If the list was solely based on level of talent then I think that there should be 2.5 more from 2010 than 1980. Essentially, take the following simplified example. Suppose there are three eras and in the first two eras there were one million playing hockey in each and in the last era there were two million playing. The natural conclusion, if there is no selection (i.e. only the good start to play hockey in the first two eras whereas everyone play in the last), is that the overall talent level should be the same in the last era as in the first two combined. However, obviously we would have double the amount of Hart trophies and top-10 finishes in the first two.
The link between population growth and the production of hockey talent does not exist.

Basically there are three key factors. Organization. The building of in door arenas. The socio - economic structure in a region.

All three of these factors pre-date the NHA/PCHA/NHL.

Example Montreal. The history of hockey 1893 -1910 is marked by Montreal teams - Wanderers, AAA, Victorias, Crystals,Shamrocks, Westmount, may have missed a few.They were based in the central Montreal, Westmount part of town where there were two arenas and the money was plentiful. Basically the elite and McGill students played the game.The rosters were English, Irish, Scottish.

The working class French east end, the other end of the socio - economic spectrum just had outdoor rinks in the parks and parish schools.Likewise for the working class south west, below the tracks.

There is a distinct correlation between the building of arenas and the growth and development of hockey players in the immediate area.The building of arenas is and was a function of organization and socio - economic factors.

The biggest boom in the growth of hockey was the post war era until the late 1970's, reaching a peak app. 5 years each side of 1967. Superficially one may see a false link to NHL expansion. Fact of the matter is that 1967 was the Canadian Centennial and communities across the country built community centers incorporating arenas or basic arenas. This increased dramatically the number of hours and games that kids could play and gave hockey the potential of being a year round sport.

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08-03-2010, 04:51 PM
  #381
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The link between population growth and the production of hockey talent does not exist.

Basically there are three key factors. Organization. The building of in door arenas. The socio - economic structure in a region.

All three of these factors pre-date the NHA/PCHA/NHL.

Example Montreal. The history of hockey 1893 -1910 is marked by Montreal teams - Wanderers, AAA, Victorias, Crystals,Shamrocks, Westmount, may have missed a few.They were based in the central Montreal, Westmount part of town where there were two arenas and the money was plentiful. Basically the elite and McGill students played the game.The rosters were English, Irish, Scottish.

The working class French east end, the other end of the socio - economic spectrum just had outdoor rinks in the parks and parish schools.Likewise for the working class south west, below the tracks.

There is a distinct correlation between the building of arenas and the growth and development of hockey players in the immediate area.The building of arenas is and was a function of organization and socio - economic factors.

The biggest boom in the growth of hockey was the post war era until the late 1970's, reaching a peak app. 5 years each side of 1967. Superficially one may see a false link to NHL expansion. Fact of the matter is that 1967 was the Canadian Centennial and communities across the country built community centers incorporating arenas or basic arenas. This increased dramatically the number of hours and games that kids could play and gave hockey the potential of being a year round sport.
Well, I think there are a lot of considerations to make. Population is just a noisy proxy but with enough knowledge one could use other ways of assesing the degree of competition.

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08-07-2010, 05:45 PM
  #382
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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).
This is based on the premise that elite talent existed in Europe in the O6 era. It did not. Even the best Europe had to offer in the 50's and 60's would not have been impact players in the NHL. European national teams were still getting beaten by Canadian amateurs with regularity right up until expansion. This overseas effect only comes into play post-expansion, when there were legitimate all-star caliber players stuck behind the Iron Curtain that could have challenged for awards.

It seems to be generally accepted that Firsov in the late 60's was probably the first such player that could have starred in the NHL. The Bobrov's, Malacek's, and Tumba's would not have, or at least, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that they would have.

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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.
I listed off the number of "career seasons" that saw a player rise from relative obscurity to actually win a scoring title, Hart, Norris, or 1st AST, and that list is very small. As discussed previously, goalies are indeed different as the nature of the position is much more conducive to flash-in-the-pan performances. It is definitely reasonable for a Brodeur to lose a Vezina to a Carey or Theodore who would not have made the NHL in the O6. But a Crosby is never going to lose an Art Ross to Nik Antropov or Mason Raymond.

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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?
If they had been utilized differently, it would simply have meant other players were given the opportunities instead. I'll repeat it again, you're simply not winning a scoring title or Hart trophy if you're not one of the top few best players in the world outside of the very occasional fluke season (as Sedin's may prove to be).

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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?
This is why I personally would never use something as tedious as a single extra top-10 placement to rank one player over another. That's just stupid.

I can agree that there's more depth of talent today. There are 90 first-line jobs available today. Naturally, being merely a top-30 scorer (or even a top-10 in some cases) does not equate across eras. The greater availability of jobs means that there are a lot more Patrick Marleau's, Mike Cammalleri's, Brad Boyes', Ales Hemsky's around than in the O6. But none of them are going to challenge for a scoring title or Hart today (outside the aforementioned potential fluke career year), nor would they have challenged for them in 1965. As I showed in my previous post, winning these awards is generally restricted to HOF caliber players in any era.

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08-07-2010, 06:09 PM
  #383
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This is based on the premise that elite talent existed in Europe in the O6 era. It did not. Even the best Europe had to offer in the 50's and 60's would not have been impact players in the NHL. European national teams were still getting beaten by Canadian amateurs with regularity right up until expansion. This overseas effect only comes into play post-expansion, when there were legitimate all-star caliber players stuck behind the Iron Curtain that could have challenged for awards.

It seems to be generally accepted that Firsov in the late 60's was probably the first such player that could have starred in the NHL. The Bobrov's, Malacek's, and Tumba's would not have, or at least, I have yet to hear a convincing argument that they would have.



I listed off the number of "career seasons" that saw a player rise from relative obscurity to actually win a scoring title, Hart, Norris, or 1st AST, and that list is very small. As discussed previously, goalies are indeed different as the nature of the position is much more conducive to flash-in-the-pan performances. It is definitely reasonable for a Brodeur to lose a Vezina to a Carey or Theodore who would not have made the NHL in the O6. But a Crosby is never going to lose an Art Ross to Nik Antropov or Mason Raymond.



If they had been utilized differently, it would simply have meant other players were given the opportunities instead. I'll repeat it again, you're simply not winning a scoring title or Hart trophy if you're not one of the top few best players in the world outside of the very occasional fluke season (as Sedin's may prove to be).



This is why I personally would never use something as tedious as a single extra top-10 placement to rank one player over another. That's just stupid.

I can agree that there's more depth of talent today. There are 90 first-line jobs available today. Naturally, being merely a top-30 scorer (or even a top-10 in some cases) does not equate across eras. The greater availability of jobs means that there are a lot more Patrick Marleau's, Mike Cammalleri's, Brad Boyes', Ales Hemsky's around than in the O6. But none of them are going to challenge for a scoring title or Hart today (outside the aforementioned potential fluke career year), nor would they have challenged for them in 1965. As I showed in my previous post, winning these awards is generally restricted to HOF caliber players in any era.
What about vaclav nedomansky? The rangers gm was begging to him on his team back in the mid 60's.

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08-07-2010, 06:35 PM
  #384
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What about vaclav nedomansky? The rangers gm was begging to him on his team back in the mid 60's.
Make your case for him then. The GM of a doormat franchise supposedly begging him to defect doesn't automatically mean he was going to rival Stan Mikita for the Hart or Ross.

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08-07-2010, 06:37 PM
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Make your case for him then. The GM of a doormat franchise supposedly begging him to defect doesn't automatically mean he was going to rival Stan Mikita for the Hart or Ross.
Didn't he put up back to back 73-74 point seasons when he was in his mid 30's? I'm sure a 20-28 year old nedomansky would have been a superstar. If he could score 38 goals at the age of 35, why couldn't he do that in his prime?

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08-07-2010, 07:11 PM
  #386
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Ulf Sterner

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What about vaclav nedomansky? The rangers gm was begging to him on his team back in the mid 60's.
Ulf Sterner the great Swedish forward had a North American tryout in the mid sixties O6 era, even played 4 games with the Rangers. He had size and speed with skills.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...sternul01.html

The results speak for themselves. Do comparables between his WC or Olympic numbers against the Europeans and then extrapolate to the European stars from the other countries - USSR, Czechoslovakia and you will see that playing in the NHL was not a given especially when length of season and travel are factored in.


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08-07-2010, 07:23 PM
  #387
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I don't understand what the lack of NHL-calibre Europeans in the 50s and early 60s has to do with the fact that by the 1970s, the actual existence of Europeans was adding to the number of NHL-calibre players in the world, and that once the Europeans actually did start coming to the NHL, its talent pool did, in fact, increase with the addition of all these NHL-calibre players.

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08-07-2010, 07:32 PM
  #388
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Didn't he put up back to back 73-74 point seasons when he was in his mid 30's? I'm sure a 20-28 year old nedomansky would have been a superstar. If he could score 38 goals at the age of 35, why couldn't he do that in his prime?
The fact that he produced decent offensive numbers in the late 70's while presumably past his prime doesn't translate to him being a potential Hart/Ross winner in his early 20's, which he would have been at the tail end of the O6 era. The list of pre-expansion players that won either a Hart or Art Ross before their 24th birthday is limited to Howe, Hull, Mikita, Geoffrion, and Nels Stewart way back in the 1920's. I'd say it's a stretch to list Nedomansky amongst those names based on available evidence.

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08-07-2010, 07:44 PM
  #389
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I don't understand what the lack of NHL-calibre Europeans in the 50s and early 60s has to do with the fact that by the 1970s, the actual existence of Europeans was adding to the number of NHL-calibre players in the world, and that once the Europeans actually did start coming to the NHL, its talent pool did, in fact, increase with the addition of all these NHL-calibre players.
If this is directed at me, my argument is that the amount of players capable of actually winning a scoring title or MVP has pretty much been static throughout history. You pretty much need to be amongst the top five or so players in the world to achieve these feats. Since it's generally agreed that there were no players of such description outside of the NHL before the early 70's, the fact that Europeans weren't coming over in the 50's and 60's is of no consequence.

The Europeans certainly increased the talent pool once they were good enough to start coming over in large numbers, but it remains that you must be one of the very best players in the world to have a chance at the Ross or Hart, not merely a star player.

When it comes to being arguably the best player in the world, I don't discriminate based on the size of the talent pool. Being the best player out of 1 million or 10 million is the same thing to me. It's not Howie Morenz or Eddie Shore's fault that less people played hockey in the 1930's. There's no way to prove that if all the rest of the world was producing elite players at the time that they (Morenz, Shore) still wouldn't have been the best. Just like there's no way to prove that even if China took up the game and added a billion people to the talent pool that Sidney Crosby wouldn't still be the best in the world.

...I should add that this line of thinking of mine doesn't carry all the way down the list. I have no doubt that the 50th best player in the world today is much better than the 50th best player in 1930. Obviously the further from the top you go down, the more pronounced this effect would be, but since only the very, very top of the list can typically contend for major awards, I believe it is no harder to win one now than in the O6.


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08-07-2010, 08:02 PM
  #390
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The fact that he produced decent offensive numbers in the late 70's while presumably past his prime doesn't translate to him being a potential Hart/Ross winner in his early 20's, which he would have been at the tail end of the O6 era. The list of pre-expansion players that won either a Hart or Art Ross before their 24th birthday is limited to Howe, Hull, Mikita, Geoffrion, and Nels Stewart way back in the 1920's. I'd say it's a stretch to list Nedomansky amongst those names based on available evidence.
Why would it be a stretch, peter stastny was consistently top 5 in his prime and nedomansky was higher regarded in his own country than stastny ever was, you can't accurately make predicitions on how great he was in his prime. The fact that he was able to put up over 35 goals as an old man speaks for itself. During that era most guys were finished once they were 32.

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08-08-2010, 01:13 AM
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Why would it be a stretch, peter stastny was consistently top 5 in his prime and nedomansky was higher regarded in his own country than stastny ever was, you can't accurately make predicitions on how great he was in his prime. The fact that he was able to put up over 35 goals as an old man speaks for itself. During that era most guys were finished once they were 32.
Well then, I guess your theory is right out the window:

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I'm sure a 20-28 year old nedomansky would have been a superstar
If we can't accurately make predictions (and this I agree with for the most part), you can't claim he'd have been a superstar in the O6 NHL.

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08-08-2010, 03:49 AM
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Well then, I guess your theory is right out the window:



If we can't accurately make predictions (and this I agree with for the most part), you can't claim he'd have been a superstar in the O6 NHL.
Well, i could care less if my theory gets thrown out of the window, most people have him in thier top 120 lists. If he can score 38 goals at the age of 35, he would surely do better at the age of 24, he is considered one of the best ever in his country for a reason. The rangers GM emile francis obviously saw something in him.

Peter Stastny is held in a lower regard among his countrymen compared to martinec and nedomansky and he ended up having a great nhl career.

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08-08-2010, 06:11 AM
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Based on what Nedomansky did in the NHL compared to those close to the same age, he would have been a star, but maybe not a superstar.

Of NHL forwards born within 2 years of Nedomansky, either before or after, only 35 of the 49 played past the age of 33 (the age when Nedomansky made his NHL debut). Amongst those players, Phil Esposito ranks #1 in GP 513, G 251, A 296 and Pts 547. Nedomansky ranks #2 in GP 421, G 122, A 156 and Pts 278. Wayne Cashman sits 3rd in GP 325, A 138 and Pts 217. Bobby Schmautz is 3rd in G 99.

Among the same players ranked by what they did before the age of 30:
GP: Ron Ellis 726, Dennis Hull 680, Pit Martin 660
G: Phil Esposito 277, Ken Hodge 257, Jacques Lemaire 252
A: Phil Esposito 358, Ken Hodge 348, Fred Stanfield 314
Pts: Phil Esposito 635, Ken Hodge 605, Jacques Lemaire 556

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08-08-2010, 12:47 PM
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Well, i could care less if my theory gets thrown out of the window, most people have him in thier top 120 lists. If he can score 38 goals at the age of 35, he would surely do better at the age of 24, he is considered one of the best ever in his country for a reason. The rangers GM emile francis obviously saw something in him.
His 38 goals and 74 points at age 35 were not enough to put him in the top-10 in either category. Don't act like the numbers transfer directly from the expansion/WHA diluted late 70's to the pre-expansion league. Scoring was much lower in the mid-60's. Guessing how many goals he'd have scored at that time is exactly that, guesswork. Assuming he'd have been a good player or at least developing into one seems reasonable. Assuming he'd have been good enough to be considered arguably the best in the world by age 23 is a big leap of faith.

I'd be curious, maybe somebody can dig up Czech league scoring placements for the years leading up to 1967. Lets see if Nedomansky was even leading his own league in scoring in his early 20's. Also, he was was never voted the MVP of his own league, which started handing out the award in 1969. I think it's fair to say it would have been easier to win an MVP in the Czech league than the NHL, and he never did this, so...

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Peter Stastny is held in a lower regard among his countrymen compared to martinec and nedomansky and he ended up having a great nhl career.
Stastny was a defector. Didn't spend his prime years in Czechoslovakia helping them against the Soviets in the Olympics and World Championships like the other two, which naturally creates a bias. Jiri Dopita is a legend in the Czech Republic as well, and was voted their top player (yes, better than Jagr or Hasek) in 2001 before he came over to the NHL. Oops.

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08-08-2010, 04:05 PM
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I think there are two different issues here:

1) The idea that it's 5 times as hard in a 30 team league to win awards over a 6 team league is ridiculous Also, I agree that for non-goalies, the chances of a "one hit wonder" who wouldn't even be in the league in a 6 team league is very small. Virtually every non-goalie capable of winning an award would be in the league if the NHL suddenly shrunk down to 6 teams.

2) However, the addition of Europeans did, in fact, greatly increase the competition for awards. Look no farther than Sidney Crosby. Remove Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, and Sedin (all Europeans) from the scoring tables and Crosby already has 3 Art Rosses, a Calder Trophy, and probably another Hart or two.

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08-10-2010, 11:22 PM
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I think there are two different issues here:

1) The idea that it's 5 times as hard in a 30 team league to win awards over a 6 team league is ridiculous Also, I agree that for non-goalies, the chances of a "one hit wonder" who wouldn't even be in the league in a 6 team league is very small. Virtually every non-goalie capable of winning an award would be in the league if the NHL suddenly shrunk down to 6 teams.

2) However, the addition of Europeans did, in fact, greatly increase the competition for awards. Look no farther than Sidney Crosby. Remove Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, and Sedin (all Europeans) from the scoring tables and Crosby already has 3 Art Rosses, a Calder Trophy, and probably another Hart or two.
Virtually every non-goalie capable of winning an award would be in the league if the NHL suddenly shrunk down to 6 teams.
this comment might be true fro today;s players but it seems to me that some people are comparing the past 06 NHL teams with what a current 06 NHL would look like and it's simply not the case.

Also there is more than just population and demographics going on here, there is also more emphasis on elite development of players today than there was in the past NHL with increased coaching, training and other areas.

A past example of this is the old USSR which did not have early the same number of youngsters playing hockey but instead a focused development of elite players only.

Also while it might not be 5 times as hard to win trophies or be a 1st team all star in a 6 team league compared to 30, it is still harder since everyone has the same opportunity to shine in terms of top line minutes and PP time. I once again bring up the Sedin season with guys like Crosby and AO. There is no way that Sedin is even in the top 10 in terms of being the "best player " in the NHL today he just had a great season. He's a very good player but not in the same category as Crosby or AO.

To put it simply the odds are greater in a 30 team league that this could happen than a 6 team league.

also unless there is major contraction of teams it is highly unlikely that any current or future player will break the top 10 all time when compared to the "dominance" that past players had in previous eras.

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08-11-2010, 11:17 PM
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also unless there is major contraction of teams it is highly unlikely that any current or future player will break the top 10 all time when compared to the "dominance" that past players had in previous eras.
First, breaking into the TOP 10 OF ALL TIME in a sport that is 100 years old is always going to be highly unlikely.

Second, there are 2 players in the league right now that are certainly off to the right start to make it into the top 10. Crosby has a Cup win, Cup runner-up, Hart win, another Hart Finalist, Lindsay/Pearson, Art Ross, Richard and 2 post season All Stars and he's only 22. Ovechkin has 2 Harts, 3 Lindsay/Pearson, 2 Richard, 5 post season All Stars and he's only 24. Both are also excellent playoff performers.

We don't know how the rest of their careers will go, but they both certainly have the potential to get a couple more Harts and Cups each, which would easily bring them into the Top 10 conversation.

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08-12-2010, 12:11 AM
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First, breaking into the TOP 10 OF ALL TIME in a sport that is 100 years old is always going to be highly unlikely.

Second, there are 2 players in the league right now that are certainly off to the right start to make it into the top 10. Crosby has a Cup win, Cup runner-up, Hart win, another Hart Finalist, Lindsay/Pearson, Art Ross, Richard and 2 post season All Stars and he's only 22. Ovechkin has 2 Harts, 3 Lindsay/Pearson, 2 Richard, 5 post season All Stars and he's only 24. Both are also excellent playoff performers.

We don't know how the rest of their careers will go, but they both certainly have the potential to get a couple more Harts and Cups each, which would easily bring them into the Top 10 conversation.
Exactly. I don't think anyone putting together a realistic top 100 list is just counting awards without context of the eras. If we were, Eddie Shore is in the conversation with Bobby Orr for best defenseman of all time, right?

Crosby and Ovechkin look to be the best of our current era so far, so they are both strong candidates to end up in any realistic top 10 of all time.

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08-12-2010, 03:48 AM
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I think that in the league with 30 teams it's harder to win individual awards.

The main reason is that the talent is spread out over those 30 teams. More players play top minutes and get more PP time. Because of that more players have a chance to score big points. I bet that there was plenty of talented players in Montreal who never had a true chance to shine, and they never reached their full potential. Those players would be playing now in Atlanta, LA, Calgary, etc.

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08-12-2010, 05:47 PM
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I think that in the league with 30 teams it's harder to win individual awards.

The main reason is that the talent is spread out over those 30 teams. More players play top minutes and get more PP time. Because of that more players have a chance to score big points. I bet that there was plenty of talented players in Montreal who never had a true chance to shine, and they never reached their full potential. Those players would be playing now in Atlanta, LA, Calgary, etc.
But the reason they never got the opportunity is because they weren't as good as the guys in front of them, unless you think that the coaches and GMs were too stupid to realize it. I'd be very, very surprised if there was actually a player who may have unseated a Howe, Hull, Beliveau, etc. for an MVP or scoring title but was stuck on the second line his whole career.

More players definitely have a chance to put up big point totals, but very rarely Art Ross-contending totals. That's still pretty much reserved for the Crosby's and Ovechkin's of the world, who I'm sure all will agree would be winning these awards in any era. I know Sedin did it this year, but as I showed earlier in the thread, this was pretty much an anomaly.

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