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Round 2, Vote 3 (HOH Top Centers)

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Old
11-13-2013, 10:00 PM
  #76
TheDevilMadeMe
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NHL All-Star Teams 1930-31 to present (Centers only)

Obviously, Taylor and Lalonde aren't included here:

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team All Stars:

Player First Second Third Total
Wayne Gretzky 8 7 1 16
Jean Beliveau 6 4 1 11
Mario Lemieux 5 4 0 9
Stan Mikita 6 2 0 8
Phil Esposito 6 2 0 8
Bobby Clarke 2 2 3 7
Bill Cowley 4 1 1 6
Syl Apps 2 3 1 6
Milt Schmidt 3 1 2 6
Henri Richard 1 3 2 6
Norm Ullman 1 1 4 6
Ted Kennedy 0 3 3 6
Elmer Lach 3 2 0 5
Joe Sakic 3 0 2 5
Marcel Dionne 2 2 1 5
Bryan Trottier 2 2 1 5
Sidney Crosby 2 1 2 5
Joe Thornton 1 2 2 5
Gilbert Perreault 0 2 3 5
...    
Steve Yzerman 1 0 2 3

1st Team All Stars:

player total
Wayne Gretzky 8
Jean Beliveau 6
Stan Mikita 6
Phil Esposito 6
Mario Lemieux 5
Bill Cowley 4
Milt Schmidt 3
Elmer Lach 3
Joe Sakic 3
Peter Forsberg 3
Frank Boucher 3
Evgeni Malkin 3
... 
Syl Apps 2
Marcel Dionne 2
Bryan Trottier 2
Steve Yzerman 1

I'll post the above in a hypothetical world where Gretzky and Lemieux are "removed" either later tonight or tomorrow.

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11-13-2013, 10:02 PM
  #77
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Well......

Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
There is still a maximum of 4 male players per year so adjusting to more teams won't change the number of HHOF quality centers.
Well after 1966 most years saw fewer than 4 male players honoured with HHOF induction regardless of whether there was a maximum or not. From memory, 1975 was the exception with five.

That there are 30 teams in the NHL today means that some may just take longer before they are honoured.

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Old
11-13-2013, 10:27 PM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Well Apps has more separation than Schmidt does, at least in terms of production.
If my read on them is correct, Apps was the clear cut better scorer while Schmidt was the more complete player.

Quote:
Schmidt probably doesn't do very well in the Vs% score either but here is his top 10 finishes in points

1,4,4,10,10

Then compared to Apps

2,2,2,6,7,8

Do either of these 2 guys do enough in the regular season and playoffs to match up with a

1,2,2,2,3,4,5,7 ?

That last guy is Marcel who did it in a larger league so his chance of variance is much higher than for Apps or Schmidt.

At least in terms of regular season offense (and quality of line mates PP QB help ect...) Marcel towers above the 2 guys listed here.
Given the scope of our project, I'd prefer to look at scoring ranks in comparison to other centers rather than to all players, especially in the case of cross-generational comparisons.

Here's how Apps looks when compared to other centers:

1, 1, t-2, 4, 4, 5, t-6, 6*, 6*, 10*

* there are a bunch of multi-positional players ahead of him and it doesn't seem worth the work to sort out who played what position each year.

Dionne, when viewed the same way:

1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, t-4, 6, 9, 9, t-10, 11

So yeah, it's kind of hard not to see this as Dionne being the clear cut better regular season scorer. If Apps were to challenge him, I would think it would have to be on the basis of playoffs.

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11-13-2013, 10:38 PM
  #79
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Up until his breakthrough season in 2001, Sakic was a little underrated in some of those All-Star votes relative to his scoring finishes. Look at his fourth place finishes in 1995, 1996, and 1999. In 1995, he was leapfrogged by Ron Francis (aided greatly by Art Ross winner Jaromir Jagr) despite finishing 4th in the scoring race and 3rd among centers. In 1996, Sakic finished 3rd overall in the scoring race and 2nd among centers but didn't make a dent in either the Hart or the All-Star vote. In 1999, Sakic finished 5th in the scoring race and 2nd among centers (finishing a single point behind Forsberg despite playing five fewer games). Given his finish in the scoring race, any one of these years would not look out of place with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Team selection. Even in 2000 where he was a 3rd Team selection, he was tied for the lead among centers despite playing only 60 games.

Bit of a difference in the voters' perception of Joe Sakic from 1995-2000 and Joe Sakic in 2002 when he was gifted a 1st Team selection over marginally higher-scoring Mats Sundin despite Sakic having a disappointing season by his own standards.

Thoughts about why he was relatively ignored in 1995 (6/15 ballots), 1996 (21/53 ballots), and 1999 (15/56 ballots)? Fair to him or unfair?

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11-13-2013, 11:29 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Up until his breakthrough season in 2001, Sakic was a little underrated in some of those All-Star votes relative to his scoring finishes. Look at his fourth place finishes in 1995, 1996, and 1999. In 1995, he was leapfrogged by Ron Francis (aided greatly by Art Ross winner Jaromir Jagr) despite finishing 4th in the scoring race and 3rd among centers. In 1996, Sakic finished 3rd overall in the scoring race and 2nd among centers but didn't make a dent in either the Hart or the All-Star vote. In 1999, Sakic finished 5th in the scoring race and 2nd among centers (finishing a single point behind Forsberg despite playing five fewer games). Given his finish in the scoring race, any one of these years would not look out of place with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Team selection. Even in 2000 where he was a 3rd Team selection, he was tied for the lead among centers despite playing only 60 games.

Bit of a difference in the voters' perception of Joe Sakic from 1995-2000 and Joe Sakic in 2002 when he was gifted a 1st Team selection over marginally higher-scoring Mats Sundin despite Sakic having a disappointing season by his own standards.

Thoughts about why he was relatively ignored in 1995 (6/15 ballots), 1996 (21/53 ballots), and 1999 (15/56 ballots)? Fair to him or unfair?
I wouldn't call Sakic's 1st Team in 2002 a gift, but anyway.

1995: Remember, this was a lockout year with no play between Conferences. The voting is MUCH better than in 2013, but still there might be some oddities. Francis was the Selke winner and at that point, Jagr wasn't JAGR yet, despite winning his first Art Ross on a tie break.

1996: Sakic was 4th in All Star voting, but the top 3 (Lemieux, Messier, Lindros) were also the top 3 in Hart voting. Basically, Sakic got screwed by ridiculous competition.

1999: Peter Forsberg was a 1st Team All Star. That's all. In the entire history of the All-Star Teams, Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard are the only teammates to ever be named 1st and 2nd Team All Star Centers in the same year. I don't think this affects Yzerman at all, since Fedorov's regular season prime was basically only 3 seasons long, with Yzerman injured in 1994, less effective (probably due to recovery) in 1995, and behind those same other guys and Sakic in 1996. But it does likely hurt Sakic and Forsberg, who were in their primes at the same time. And there's a case that Crosby is a 2nd Team AS in 2009 if he weren't on the same team as Malkin, but that's an argument for another round.

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11-13-2013, 11:48 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
NHL All-Star Teams 1930-31 to present (Centers only)

Obviously, Taylor and Lalonde aren't included here:

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team All Stars:

Player First Second Third Total
Wayne Gretzky 8 7 1 16
Jean Beliveau 6 4 1 11
Mario Lemieux 5 4 0 9
Stan Mikita 6 2 0 8
Phil Esposito 6 2 0 8
Bobby Clarke 2 2 3 7
Bill Cowley 4 1 1 6
Syl Apps 2 3 1 6
Milt Schmidt 3 1 2 6
Henri Richard 1 3 2 6
Norm Ullman 1 1 4 6
Ted Kennedy 0 3 3 6
Elmer Lach 3 2 0 5
Joe Sakic 3 0 2 5
Marcel Dionne 2 2 1 5
Bryan Trottier 2 2 1 5
Sidney Crosby 2 1 2 5
Joe Thornton 1 2 2 5
Gilbert Perreault 0 2 3 5
...    
Steve Yzerman 1 0 2 3

1st Team All Stars:

player total
Wayne Gretzky 8
Jean Beliveau 6
Stan Mikita 6
Phil Esposito 6
Mario Lemieux 5
Bill Cowley 4
Milt Schmidt 3
Elmer Lach 3
Joe Sakic 3
Peter Forsberg 3
Frank Boucher 3
Evgeni Malkin 3
... 
Syl Apps 2
Marcel Dionne 2
Bryan Trottier 2
Steve Yzerman 1

I'll post the above in a hypothetical world where Gretzky and Lemieux are "removed" either later tonight or tomorrow.
Here is:

NHL All-Star Teams 1930-31 to present (Centers only) NO GRETZKY/LEMIEUX

Trottier: 2nd to 1st in 1982 and 1984, 3rd to 2nd in 1981, 3rd in 1980
Dionne: 2nd to 1st in 1981, 3rd to 2nd in 1985
Yzerman: 3rd to 1st in 1989, 2nd in 1988, 3rd to 2nd in 1990, 3rd in 1991
Sakic: 3rd to 2nd in 1991, 3rd in 1996

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team All Stars:

Player First Second Third Total
Jean Beliveau 6 4 1 11
Stan Mikita 6 2 0 8
Phil Esposito 6 2 0 8
Bobby Clarke 2 2 3 7
Bill Cowley 4 1 1 6
Syl Apps 2 3 1 6
Milt Schmidt 3 1 2 6
Henri Richard 1 3 2 6
Norm Ullman 1 1 4 6
Ted Kennedy 0 3 3 6
Bryan Trottier 4 1 1 6
Joe Sakic 3 1 2 6
Elmer Lach 3 2 0 5
Marcel Dionne 3 2 0 5
Sidney Crosby 2 1 2 5
Joe Thornton 1 2 2 5
Gilbert Perreault 0 2 3 5
Steve Yzerman 2 2 1 5

1st Team All Stars:

player total
Jean Beliveau 6
Stan Mikita 6
Phil Esposito 6
Bill Cowley 4
Bryan Trottier 4
Milt Schmidt 3
Elmer Lach 3
Joe Sakic 3
Peter Forsberg 3
Frank Boucher 3
Marcel Dionne 3
Evgeni Malkin 3
... 
Syl Apps 2
Steve Yzerman 2

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11-13-2013, 11:50 PM
  #82
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Cowley looks good by that, and yet I had him ranked 46th initially. How much stock to put into that?

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11-13-2013, 11:55 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Cowley looks good.
Yeah he does, but keep in mind that he was one of the few star players to never leave during WW2. Cowley got a 1st Team in 1943 (Schmidt missed the whole year, Apps missed half of it) and 1944 (both Schmidt and Apps missed the whole year), and a 2nd Team in 1945 (both Schmidt and Apps missed the whole year).

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11-14-2013, 12:09 AM
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I wouldn't call Sakic's 1st Team in 2002 a gift, but anyway.

1995: Remember, this was a lockout year with no play between Conferences. The voting is MUCH better than in 2013, but still there might be some oddities. Francis was the Selke winner and at that point, Jagr wasn't JAGR yet, despite winning his first Art Ross on a tie break.

1996: Sakic was 4th in All Star voting, but the top 3 (Lemieux, Messier, Lindros) were also the top 3 in Hart voting. Basically, Sakic got screwed by ridiculous competition.

1999: Peter Forsberg was a 1st Team All Star. That's all. In the entire history of the All-Star Teams, Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard are the only teammates to ever be named 1st and 2nd Team All Star Centers in the same year. I don't think this affects Yzerman at all, since Fedorov's regular season prime was basically only 3 seasons long, with Yzerman injured in 1994, less effective (probably due to recovery) in 1995, and behind those same other guys and Sakic in 1996. But it does likely hurt Sakic and Forsberg, who were in their primes at the same time. And there's a case that Crosby is a 2nd Team AS in 2009 if he weren't on the same team as Malkin, but that's an argument for another round.
I guess I should have phrased it this way:

What did the voters find that the others (Lindros, Zhamnov, Francis; Lemieux, Messier, Lindros; Forsberg, Yashin, Lindros) were offering their teams that Sakic was not despite his top-three offense each respective season? Was he perceived to be weaker defensively (which, as you said, could explain Francis)? Was it the lack of Lindros' physicality? Was he just a worse story than Yashin and Messier?

It just strikes me as odd that he goes from appearing on 27-40% of ballots in those years to appearing on 49/60 (82%) in a year when there was a logjam of six centers with 77-80 points - with Sakic finishing seventh among centers in points-per-game.

I guess I'd just rather see his argument propped up by some of those better "4th Team" seasons than the weaker one he had in 2002 when All-Star voters were finally ready to vote for him en masse because the story was of a defending MVP and Olympic hero.

I mean, when you think of the best years of Sakic's NHL career, would 2002 jump out at you if not for the 1st Team selection? It ended up being his lowest points-per-game from 1990-2007... which kinda says a lot about how awesome Joe Sakic was.

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11-14-2013, 03:12 AM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I'd like to see the case for Cyclone Taylor over Newsy Lalonde. Hopefully its not simply he went into the HHOF first.

Looking at their numbers I don't even see Nighbor over Lalonde. Clearly Lalonde's offensive numbers are far better than Nighbor's in the NHL even though Lalonde was past his prime and Nighbor should have been in his.
Basically Cyclone & Nighbor were much more complete players, as for playmaking and defensive games. No one can know for sure exactly how much defense Taylor played in the PCHA when he transferred from defense to rover & center, but I think its safe to say that his superior skating at least allowed him to be substantially better in that department than Newsy Lalonde.

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11-14-2013, 07:10 AM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the edler View Post
Basically Cyclone & Nighbor were much more complete players, as for playmaking and defensive games. No one can know for sure exactly how much defense Taylor played in the PCHA when he transferred from defense to rover & center, but I think its safe to say that his superior skating at least allowed him to be substantially better in that department than Newsy Lalonde.
...but Taylor was WAY softer than Lalonde. Toughness as a way to play defense in that era? To me, it does.

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11-14-2013, 07:24 AM
  #87
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Cyclone Taylor and Playmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Taylor was the best playmaker of the era by a wide margin, Nighbor second best.

Taylor seems to be the first player in history to make setting up his teammates a priority when it came to creating offense.
Stats for the only league - PCHA, may point in this direction but the rest of the narrative data is not so kind. Also under certain circumstances - slow paced game, six skaters generate more puck touches than five skaters.

Reporting from the PCHA era was narrative dominated. Defensive forward techniques were described with great precision.The distinction between the "poke", "hook", "sweep" check were very clear. Also successful defensive techniques were quickly adapted and adopted by other players and teams, continuing to this day.

Taylor's claimed playmaking skills have to be viewed under the same light. Have narratives of his passing skills been found? Did he favour the forehand pass or was he equally proficient with the backhand pass.? The lead pass or the drop pass. Did he take advantage of the "non checking zone" within 10 feet of the boards similar to Gretzky behind the net or Lemieux on the wings? Did his teams have set plays to take advantage of his skills? Were articles or book chapters written explaining and teaching his passing skills and technique? Remember, Tom Paton offering insight into goaltending techniques a generation earlier.

The most important question remains. How did the other teams and players adapt? Did the various aspects of passing Taylor's passing skills become part of their skill set? Were special defenses set-up to counter Taylor's passing?

Until such questions are answered with supporting data, it may be premature to claim that Taylor was the original playmaker or an exceptional one.

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11-14-2013, 07:39 AM
  #88
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PCHA 1914-15 Checking Rule

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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
...but Taylor was WAY softer than Lalonde. Toughness as a way to play defense in that era? To me, it does.
Starting with the 1914-15 season the PCHA prohibited checking within 10 feet of the boards.

http://www.hockeycentral.co.uk/nhl/o...s-The-PCHA.php

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11-14-2013, 07:42 AM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Starting with the 1914-15 season the PCHA prohibited checking within 10 feet of the boards.

http://www.hockeycentral.co.uk/nhl/o...s-The-PCHA.php
..wow, that's brutal. Thanks.

I just don't see the effect on the players, though.

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11-14-2013, 08:00 AM
  #90
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Board Play

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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
..wow, that's brutal. Thanks.

I just don't see the effect on the players, though.
Changed the way the game was played along the boards just like in 1969 when the IIHF allowed physical checking by the offensive team in the defensive half of the ice.

Players no longer skated with their heads down in their own zone when carrying the puck. With the creation of a no checking zone along the boards puckhandling in the zone was facilitated.

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11-14-2013, 08:35 AM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
...but Taylor was WAY softer than Lalonde. Toughness as a way to play defense in that era? To me, it does.
You didn't have to be dirty or even rough to be a great defensive forward in the NHA–PCHA era. None of Frank Nighbor & Jack Walker, the two best defensive forwards of that era, were rough players but very clean. If roughness or dirtyness was to measure defensive capability in forwards of that era Cully Wilson would probably be the best choice for retro Selke's, but he's not. I think Lalonde's rough tactics mostly favored his offensive game. To knock the best player of the opponent team out the game or out of the series can sometimes be a very efficient strategy, but I don't know if I would pen it down as a defensive skill.

Canadiens Defeated Ottawas In First Playoff For NHA Title

Lalonde Suspended For Nighbor Attack

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11-14-2013, 09:10 AM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the edler View Post
You didn't have to be dirty or even rough to be a great defensive forward in the NHA–PCHA era. None of Frank Nighbor & Jack Walker, the two best defensive forwards of that era, were rough players but very clean. If roughness or dirtyness was to measure defensive capability in forwards of that era Cully Wilson would probably be the best choice for retro Selke's, but he's not. I think Lalonde's rough tactics mostly favored his offensive game. To knock the best player of the opponent team out the game or out of the series can sometimes be a very efficient strategy, but I don't know if I would pen it down as a defensive skill.

Canadiens Defeated Ottawas In First Playoff For NHA Title

Lalonde Suspended For Nighbor Attack
The thing is, it's not like Taylor was good defensively either.

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11-14-2013, 09:11 AM
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Changed the way the game was played along the boards just like in 1969 when the IIHF allowed physical checking by the offensive team in the defensive half of the ice.

Players no longer skated with their heads down in their own zone when carrying the puck. With the creation of a no checking zone along the boards puckhandling in the zone was facilitated.
I meant, in the Taylor vs Lalonde comparison.

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11-14-2013, 09:19 AM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
The thing is, it's not like Taylor was good defensively either.
It depends on what you mean with good. Yeah, he wasn't Nighbor–Walker good defensively, but he played cover point in Ottawa so at least he could play the back end position on a champion team. He was better at it than Lalonde.

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11-14-2013, 09:32 AM
  #95
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PCHA vs NHA

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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
I meant, in the Taylor vs Lalonde comparison.
One had a safe zone, one did not.

With six skaters versus five this makes a bit of a difference in terms of mobility along the boards while impacting on passing and shooting lanes to the net.

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11-14-2013, 12:35 PM
  #96
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Is there anyone who doesn't have Espo 1st? I just can't see anyone overlooking his offensive dominance.

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11-14-2013, 01:00 PM
  #97
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
If you think about it, how could people who saw Espo play not view him as a great player? He shattered scoring records and was a National hero because of the Summit Series.
I'm starting to think that people think of Esposito as the Mike Gartner of Centers, except that Esposito was accomplished and Gartner really wasn't. Gartner produced numbers, while Esposito was a winner and produced stats.

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11-14-2013, 01:00 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
Is there anyone who doesn't have Espo 1st? I just can't see anyone overlooking his offensive dominance.
If you look at the Vote 2 results there are likely several people that don't have Esposito 1st, as only 10 of 20 had him ranked 5th or higher, with 3 not having him ranked at all.

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11-14-2013, 01:01 PM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
Is there anyone who doesn't have Espo 1st? I just can't see anyone overlooking his offensive dominance.
I'm going to have to make a call between him and Sakic. Not sure which way I'll go at this point.

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11-14-2013, 01:04 PM
  #100
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I'm starting to think that people think of Esposito as the Mike Gartner of Centers, except that Esposito was accomplished and Gartner really wasn't. Gartner produced numbers, while Esposito was a winner and produced stats.
I don't think anyone here would give Mike Gartner any consideration as even a top 20 right winger, let alone top 10. Heck, most probably wouldn't even glance at him for the top 30.

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