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What happened to Chris Gratton?

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06-11-2014, 02:04 PM
  #1
Feed Me A Stray Cat
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What happened to Chris Gratton?

Dude was drafted 3rd overall in 1993 and put up a 30 goal, 62 point season in 96-97 at the age of 22, which was his 4th full season in the NHL.

He followed that up with another 62 point season with the Flyers in 97-98. Looked like he was a power forward in the making, and then he had a couple more decent but injury riddled seasons with Tampa.

By 2004, when he was 29, it looks like there was a significant decrease in his offensive output.

Perhaps injuries were to blame, but can someone give better color?

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06-11-2014, 02:20 PM
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Boxscore
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The pressure in Philly got to him. He could never live up to that massive contract. He was a decent player post-Philly but never emerged into the force he could've been.

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06-11-2014, 02:21 PM
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Well, he legendarily became the worst trade in the short history of the Coyotes (from BUF for Briere)...

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06-11-2014, 07:11 PM
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cynicism
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Proof that a tall player has to prove he can't play in the NHL while a shorter player has to prove he can play.

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06-11-2014, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feed Me A Stray Cat View Post
Dude was drafted 3rd overall in 1993 and put up a 30 goal, 62 point season in 96-97 at the age of 22, which was his 4th full season in the NHL.

He followed that up with another 62 point season with the Flyers in 97-98. Looked like he was a power forward in the making, and then he had a couple more decent but injury riddled seasons with Tampa.

By 2004, when he was 29, it looks like there was a significant decrease in his offensive output.

Perhaps injuries were to blame, but can someone give better color?
his puck skills weren't good enough, and when his speed went even a little he lost whatever time and space he could to pull **** off

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06-11-2014, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cynicism View Post
Proof that a tall player has to prove he can't play in the NHL while a shorter player has to prove he can play.
Gratton scored 109 points in 58 games in his draft year and 30 goals in the NHL at the age of 21.

He was a big talent who wasn't just getting opportunities 'because he was tall'.

Unfortunately he didn't handle the huge contract and pressure in Philly very well, and his career never seemed to fully recover. His skating - which was never great - also became much more plodding as he moved into his late 20s.

He still played almost 1100 NHL games, so hardly a failed career, though.

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06-11-2014, 11:59 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Originally Posted by Boxscore View Post
The pressure in Philly got to him. He could never live up to that massive contract. He was a decent player post-Philly but never emerged into the force he could've been.
His first season in Philly he matched his career high in points, and had a career high in assists. The he scored once on 54 shots the next season (unsustainably low, suggesting bad luck) and then they dealt him. His 30-goal season was the only year he got prime ice time, so it's entirely possible that nothing changed about him, he was just used differently.

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06-12-2014, 02:49 PM
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Bobby Clarke loved his bigged sized players. I've heard, probably on one of these boards, that Gratton apparently beat up Lindros once in a mythical fight, when with Tampa. And that's probably where size queen Clarke's great interest came from.

Perhaps Gratton got confused if he was supposed to be a skill player or a skill player, but with bruise, and couldn't mesh those two things into one. Or perhaps he wasn't better than he showed.

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06-12-2014, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feed Me A Stray Cat View Post
Dude was drafted 3rd overall in 1993 and put up a 30 goal, 62 point season in 96-97 at the age of 22, which was his 4th full season in the NHL.

He followed that up with another 62 point season with the Flyers in 97-98. Looked like he was a power forward in the making, and then he had a couple more decent but injury riddled seasons with Tampa.

By 2004, when he was 29, it looks like there was a significant decrease in his offensive output.

Perhaps injuries were to blame, but can someone give better color?
It had nothing to do with injuries.
Kid was over drafted and over matched. I never liked his game. He was a bust as were several players in that draft.


Last edited by BROOKLYnKNIGHTS: 06-15-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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06-13-2014, 12:53 AM
  #10
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I never thought he was special at all. The Flyers signing him in 1997 was bizarre. They had Lindros and BrindAmour already. It was a weird time in the NHL. Everyone wanted and hoped to have another Lindros. If you were 6'4" you pretty much had to prove you couldn't play. But I thought the contract in Philly was insane. It was an example of how Bobby Clarke could do anything no matter how crazy it was and still not get fired because he won Philly some Cups decades earlier. What was it, a $15 million signing bonus or something? For a guy who just scored 62 points and never surpassed that. I don't know, but he was similar to a guy like Arnott. Certainly not a guy you couldn't replace and certainly not someone you built your team around. If these guys were your best players you were in trouble.

But both big guys who got by without really standing out skill wise. I don't know, you know how some players you just never "get"? Well he was one of them.

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06-13-2014, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I never thought he was special at all. The Flyers signing him in 1997 was bizarre. They had Lindros and BrindAmour already. It was a weird time in the NHL. Everyone wanted and hoped to have another Lindros. If you were 6'4" you pretty much had to prove you couldn't play. But I thought the contract in Philly was insane. It was an example of how Bobby Clarke could do anything no matter how crazy it was and still not get fired because he won Philly some Cups decades earlier. What was it, a $15 million signing bonus or something? For a guy who just scored 62 points and never surpassed that. I don't know, but he was similar to a guy like Arnott. Certainly not a guy you couldn't replace and certainly not someone you built your team around. If these guys were your best players you were in trouble.

But both big guys who got by without really standing out skill wise. I don't know, you know how some players you just never "get"? Well he was one of them.
Clarke made the trade to avoid the risk of losing Gratton, whom the Flyers had signed to a five-year, $16.5 million offer sheet. The Lightning could have kept him by matching the Flyers' offer to the restricted free agent.

...

The Flyers signed Gratton to an offer sheet on Aug. 12. Two challenges to that signing - that Tampa Bay had already negotiated a trade with Chicago, and that the Flyers' offer was illegible because the contract figures were smeared - were rejected by the league and an arbitrator.

Gratton will sign his contract today. His $9 million signing bonus is due tomorrow, his agent, Pat Morris, said last night.


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06-14-2014, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynicism View Post
Proof that a tall player has to prove he can't play in the NHL while a shorter player has to prove he can play.
Well put. Especially in the era in which Gratton played. Highly overrated as a draft pick.

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06-14-2014, 12:20 PM
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i don't think you can compare gratton with arnott. arnott, while never a superstar, was a very good player, albeit with commitment issues at times and a guy where the tools didn't add up to the final results.

but gratton just plain wasn't that good. i think he was probably better served being soneone's rich man's kilger or wayne primeau (i.e., defensive grinder-- gratton was an excellent faceoff guy) than being miscast his entire career as a failed arnott or keith primeau.

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06-15-2014, 12:57 AM
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Mike Farkas
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With Gratton, I always felt like no one played the "potential card" longer than him. Every year, it seemed like you heard, "Gratton has potential" "Gratton could be something" - all the way into his 30's it felt like...

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06-15-2014, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
His first season in Philly he matched his career high in points, and had a career high in assists. The he scored once on 54 shots the next season (unsustainably low, suggesting bad luck) and then they dealt him. His 30-goal season was the only year he got prime ice time, so it's entirely possible that nothing changed about him, he was just used differently.
Correct.

1997-98 Eric Lindros missed 19 games while Rod Brind'amour played LW.So Chris Gratton had playing time as the #1 center with appropriate wingers, etc;

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/PHI/1998.html

1998-99 season Lindros was healthier and Brind'amour played center so Chris Gratton in the Philly scheme played the 3rd center role with less talented wingers and less favourable ice time:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/PHI/1999.html


Last edited by Killion: 06-15-2014 at 04:56 PM. Reason: quote function messed up...
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06-17-2014, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
With Gratton, I always felt like no one played the "potential card" longer than him. Every year, it seemed like you heard, "Gratton has potential" "Gratton could be something" - all the way into his 30's it felt like...
Between him and Primeau for that title.

And he burned about every team that traded for him too.

The Avs never should have bought him out, because there was always another team dumb enough to take a chance on him.

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06-17-2014, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cynicism View Post
Proof that a tall player has to prove he can't play in the NHL while a shorter player has to prove he can play.
well, even with that, if you're a midget who's good enough to win the Art Ross, you'll still get snubbed for Team Canada in favor of overhyped underproven power forwards. you can outscore everybody in the top league in the world & win an award based on hard, objective criteria & still be ridiculously underappreciated by fans & people within the industry.

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06-19-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BROOKLYnKNIGHTS View Post
It had nothing to do with injuries.
Kid was over drafted and over matched. I never liked his game. He was a bust as were several players in that draft.
Gratton's stats in his first five seasons:

367GP, 89G, 142A, 231P

0.63PPG

Had back to back 62 point seasons in years four and five.

How does that translate to bust and over matched? Clearly there was significant talent there. Something happened to his game in the early 2000s.

All in all, he put up 568 career points, which is hard to declare bust worthy in any conversation.

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06-20-2014, 05:43 AM
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This is one of those cases that really makes me wish modern fancy stats had come into existence a little bit earlier. I'm thinking his most productive years might not look so great any more with the extra insight.

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07-10-2014, 10:17 PM
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Talked to a member of an NHL team (on the hockey end) about Brayden Schenn last week. I asked him what was holding him back and he said 'What's holding him back is that he's dumb as ****. The exact same thing that held Chris Gratton back. ZERO hockey sense."

He mentioned playing with the Flyers for that amount of money as another thing that held him back. he could not live up to the pressure.

Warrants mentioning as to why a guy with his skill set had an average NHL career.

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07-10-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MissingTheSpectrum View Post
Talked to a member of an NHL team (on the hockey end) about Brayden Schenn last week. I asked him what was holding him back and he said 'What's holding him back is that he's dumb as ****. The exact same thing that held Chris Gratton back. ZERO hockey sense."

He mentioned playing with the Flyers for that amount of money as another thing that held him back. he could not live up to the pressure.

Warrants mentioning as to why a guy with his skill set had an average NHL career.
Schenn is being held back?

20 goals and 40 points is pretty good for a player in his first full season.

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07-11-2014, 12:24 AM
  #22
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Gratton was just one of those players that everyone loved who didn't pan out. It happens!

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07-11-2014, 04:57 AM
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Gratton was a force in '97 which garnered him a massive contract that he never could live up to. It was a offersheet contract so overpayment was obvious. Then Clarke fleeced the lightning by Trading them Renberg and Dykhuis for the draft picks they recieved in compensation for Flyers signing Gratton (One of the picks was Gagne).

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07-11-2014, 10:16 AM
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Gratton was a force in '97 which garnered him a massive contract that he never could live up to. It was a offersheet contract so overpayment was obvious. Then Clarke fleeced the lightning by Trading them Renberg and Dykhuis for the draft picks they recieved in compensation for Flyers signing Gratton (One of the picks was Gagne).
The 2001 pick was Justin Williams.

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07-11-2014, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
Schenn is being held back?

20 goals and 40 points is pretty good for a player in his first full season.
The person was suggesting he was holding himself back with his lack of Hockey IQ. He still had a very good season in spite of it, although he had goal droughts of 16, 11, 8, and 7 games last season.

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