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Who would still be a star?

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Old
08-22-2014, 02:03 PM
  #351
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Originally Posted by Kesselology View Post
Almost all of them? The guys from the past were still born to play hockey, give them modern equipment and training and they would still be NHL caliber.

Except Maurice Richard because the habs are simply awful.
The one thing to look at would be to filter out who might not be a star, when you consider the changes in lifestyle and training... some of those people who were head and shoulders above their competition were purely because they followed a more similar regimen to today's players as opposed to the ones who smoked between shifts, had a 2-4 after the game and did zero training during their offseasons.

I mean anecdotally speaking, weren't all the 'top' Canadian players of years past farmboys? So they'd go home, and bail hay all summer long. There's something to be said about off-season strength training.

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08-24-2014, 03:10 PM
  #352
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
It wasn't similar though, it was actually an off season for Bourque. That's the difference between Bourque and just about anyone else, including Lidstrom, Ray's "off seasons" are still as good or better than just about anyone else's best seasons.
How was it an off season for Bourque though? He was over a PPG and out scored Chelios, had a great +\-, and the Bruins finished 2nd overall.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The point is that the height of Lidstrom's peak, no matter what season one wants to use was not as high as others, quite a few others in fact.
Lidstrom maintained a high level for a long time as in his flame burned fairly bright a long time, didn't never burned as bright as many others.
Bourque's flame on the other hand burned brighter and longer than Lidstrom's.
Is this claim based purely on raw offensive output? It's funny how much you want to point to era and changes in the game when it comes to Harvey but most of the guys you compare with Lidstrom played in a higher scoring era with less parody so of course their numbers look far better. Just like Lidstrom's do against Harvey. When I point that out you become an [Mod} apologist for Harvey.

Lidstrom was a dominant player, played in all key situations, made few mistakes, took few penalties, produced elite offensive numbers for his era, and his teams won a ton. His incredible efficiency was an intangible few ever came close to.

Prove that Lidstrom didn't reach high levels and why only focus on seasons instead of whole hockey years? His combined seasons and playoffs for '98, '02, and '08 have to be weighed more heavily than for some defenseman who simply had a great season.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You're kidding me right?
Both Kelly and Mohns played forward quite often (Mohns even more than Kelly) AND Mohns was also famous for being an early slapshot expert.
Oh what's that? I specifically mentioned the slapshot as being a big goal and point producer for modern Dmen
So it was possible for players to take slap shots back then and it could make then elite goal scorers as defenseman. Your defense is simply that Harvey couldn't hone that skill? Imagine if I used an excuse like that for Lidstrom, bahaha, you'd be all over it.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Yeah, with adjusted stats, playing in not only a lower scoring era but at a time when Dmen weren't included in offensive strategies and when secondary assists were often missed.
Finishing top-5 in assists as Dman back then was a HELL of a lot harder to accomplish than it is today.

Sorry, edge Harvey. He wasn't just going up one hill, he was going up multiple hills to produce offensively.
Boo-hoo, you are so sympathetic towards Harvey since he played in a lower scoring era and a league style that hurt dmen's numbers. I never heard any of this when Lidstrom, or his peers, got compared to the 70's or 80's guys. You realize the DPE made the offensive numbers of the 80's and early 90's dmen drop a lot, too, right? It wasn't just age, it was also tougher to score and the role of defenseman changed with that and it happened to defenseman across the board.

You want me to credit Harvey because his era didn't allow him to get more involved in offense. Well, during the DPE, which covers most of Lidstrom's prime, it was also less common for defenseman to jump into the play and take risks during ES because coaches didn't want them to get burned since goals were so hard to come by. In Lidstrom's case why would coaches even want him taking risks like that? He was far more valuable playing it safe and it's not like the team wasn't successful with this strategy. If you have a problem with that then take it up with Bowman and Babcock. They'd look at you like you're crazy.

In the end, you just refuse to accept the fact that Lidstrom's offensive numbers are better. Deal with it and accept it. {Mod}

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Harvey's defensive game is today's defensive game. HE'S THE ONE THAT CHANGED IT ALL!!!
Yeah, cause not chasing the puck carrier is so mind blowing. It points to how un-evolved the sport was, I'm not sure that's a good point to be bringing up.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
What's so hard about reading most plays today. The game has been so much more structured during most of Lidstrom's career. Players trying to produce offense are limited to only so many options, very few players are truly creative anymore and Lidstrom had to worry about fewer options and creatively than Bourque had to most of his career. Yet at the end of the day, Bourque's actual results both offensively and defensively are better than Lidstrom's....hmmmm.
That's right, Lidstrom had it easy playing in a fully integrated league where teams continually break down plays on video to get an edge. His defensive dominance should be downgraded because players weren't "creative" and it was so predictable. I'm sure in Harvey's era they were more creative even though they scored less goals, most couldn't even take slap shots, and they were shooting on ill-prepared goalies. You keep switching to Bourque when you feel it's convenient but you're dragging down Harvey at the same time, heh.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Considering that Bourque played in a much higher scoring era vs Lidstrom's lower scoring era, how is it even possible that Bourque was on the ice for fewer goals against per 60 minutes than Lidstrom was?
Even with the advantage of playing when a lot fewer goals were scored period, Lidstrom STILL finishes behind Bourque or is this just another little tidbit you like to ignore?
Am I ignoring it? Why don't you posts the statistical comparison if you want me to comment. Include playoff numbers as well. Looking at Bourque's career +\- I can't imagine this reflected very well on him either.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Except Potvin was much better at his best and was THE leader of the Isles period and everyone knew it.
Potvin's highest adjusted output in a season was 86 points, to Lidstrom's 79, and Potvin benefitted from playing in an era with less parody. Was Potvin better defensively because otherwise it appears they were fairly close when it comes to peak seasons.

Both were obviously great playoff performers but Potvin never won a CS so even though he was captain it's not like there weren't other leaders on the team. In fact the Isles were similar to the Wings that way because both had a nice leadership group. NYI had Trottier, Bossy, Gillies, Goring, Tonelli, Smith, etc. It's not Lidstrom's fault there was already a long time captain and leader on the team either, and Yzerman wasn't about to be stripped of his captaincy like Gillies.

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Old
08-26-2014, 04:51 PM
  #353
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Are you really reading my posts or just skimming through them? Where have I said this? You keep trying to point to things I've never stated or implied.
Alright, you said you think Keith is as great as he is today in any era but that Harvey isn't as great today right? If so, I don't agree with this. I think Harvey of all people would be a perfect example of someone transitioning well.


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That's all true and I doubt Doughty or Karlsson will have better careers than Bourque. Doughty has already proven himself in the playoffs and on the current Olympic stage though. Having a terrific season is great and all but personally I weigh high level competition such as the playoffs and Olympics more heavily. If Doughty keeps this up and continues to just have good regular seasons but has a full career where he's known as a clutch performer in big games it's going to be tough to rank him properly against anybody.
The thing is, most of the all-time great defensemen all had great postseasons too - and stellar regular seasons year after year after year. I will certainly wait on Doughty because he is still young but when you are comparing him to the other guys it is important to remember that they all have a lot more hardware. Off the top of my head, Orr, Harvey, Bourque, Lidstrom, Potvin, Robinson, Kelly, Coffey and Chelios all had great postseasons and would be considered "clutch". But they all had great regular seasons too. The only name in the top 10 that is suspect in the playoffs (to the extent of his regular seasons) is Shore. Still has a couple Cups to his name though and we know his all around game was great.

These young guys just have a lot to prove in the long run. There is a reason there are particular names in the top 10. They did it for a long, long time most of them. You can't pro-rate Karlsson to even be in the HHOF at this point. Going further, the likes of Park, Stevens, Horton and even Pronger had great postseasons. Doughty might be on the right track but he's got a long ways to go and it might be nice if people conclusively put him ahead of Subban and Karlsson if he wants to stand out. In my honest opinion, I see Doughty as behind guys like Keith and Weber easily on a game to game and season to season basis. It's weird that he's being used as an example since he only has one 2nd team all-star in 6 years. He needs to be good for a long, long time to compare with some of the greats.

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This is kind of skewed when you pick Harvey's best years, don't you think? You're comparing him with an All-Canadian league of pre-baby boomers as well. No offense to Harvey or the O6 era but it just doesn't impress me as much as it impresses others around here. It just doesn't seem fair to do these peer to peer comparisons with modern players who face a much deeper talent pool.
So what do you want him to do? He was born in 1924. He'd have been 70 years old had he played in the 1990s. I'm going to judge him based on what we can see, read, and analyze. That's it. There is a reason that 50 years after he's retired that he gets ranked better than his main contemporary - Red Kelly. Put it this way, we see what Ray Bourque did in the 1980s and 1990s. Why would we assume he wouldn't be just as good today? Would he be too timid? Doubt it. I saw what happens when a guy is too timid. Scott Niedermayer had all the tools to be a great defenseman and we all knew it but he never thought so himself until he actually put the pedal to the metal at 30 years old. A modern example is Jay Bouwmeester.

Would Bourque be afraid to rush the puck? Would he not be able to control the game? I'm not sure what quality he would lose that would make him a lesser defenseman in your eyes but if you think Duncan Keith would be elite in any era then why not Bourque?

Now, with every time you see Bourque's name replace it with Harvey. There aren't two defenseman that I have seen who played so similar and yet for some reason one of them you swear just wouldn't be the same. No, Bourque and/or Harvey would be the game's best at their position today. No one else possesses their all around game who plays today.

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08-26-2014, 04:59 PM
  #354
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Both were obviously great playoff performers but Potvin never won a CS
To be fair, Potvin would likely be the first name most people come up with when you ask "Who was the most important Islander" during that dynasty. Even to this day I'm not sure how he didn't win the Conn Smythe in 1981, but year in and year out and if you combine the 4 postseasons I think he'd be my guy and a lot of other ones. This includes a list with Bossy, Trottier and Smith.

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08-27-2014, 09:24 AM
  #355
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Originally Posted by Caeldan View Post
The one thing to look at would be to filter out who might not be a star, when you consider the changes in lifestyle and training... some of those people who were head and shoulders above their competition were purely because they followed a more similar regimen to today's players as opposed to the ones who smoked between shifts, had a 2-4 after the game and did zero training during their offseasons.

I mean anecdotally speaking, weren't all the 'top' Canadian players of years past farmboys? So they'd go home, and bail hay all summer long. There's something to be said about off-season strength training.
Good point. Off ice training has now become the great equalizer in that sense. Not strong enough? Hit the weights and do core strengthening. Not fast enough? Dido. The point is that todays athletes need to strive to train hard and be disciplined or they will fall behind. Can't just show up at training camp anymore and skate yourself into shape.

Related to this for me is the fact that with a larger talent pool there's a lot more "weeding out" of young players. Nowadays they are so harshly scrutinized so if their skating, strength, conditioning, etc. isn't up to snuff they need to work on it or they'll never even be given a chance.

There are also loads of stories where young players who weren't naturally big or strong but had skills and hockey IQ and worked hard towards getting bigger and stronger and became elite NHLers. Datsyuk is the best example I can think of but there are others.

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08-27-2014, 10:11 AM
  #356
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Alright, you said you think Keith is as great as he is today in any era but that Harvey isn't as great today right? If so, I don't agree with this. I think Harvey of all people would be a perfect example of someone transitioning well.
Nope, that's not what I've said about Harvey. Again, it's not that he couldn't transition or still be great, because he probably could. It's that he would be facing a much larger talent pool. You've even agreed we could potentially have 5 times the talent pool now compared to Harvey's prime. Why wouldn't there be other elite defenders who could give him a run for the Norris now if the ratio of elite defenders grew anywhere near the talent pool growth? Keith is an example of this and I do believe with Keith's skill set he could also transition to any era and he could be elite.

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So what do you want him to do? He was born in 1924. He'd have been 70 years old had he played in the 1990s. I'm going to judge him based on what we can see, read, and analyze. That's it. There is a reason that 50 years after he's retired that he gets ranked better than his main contemporary - Red Kelly. Put it this way, we see what Ray Bourque did in the 1980s and 1990s. Why would we assume he wouldn't be just as good today? Would he be too timid? Doubt it. I saw what happens when a guy is too timid. Scott Niedermayer had all the tools to be a great defenseman and we all knew it but he never thought so himself until he actually put the pedal to the metal at 30 years old. A modern example is Jay Bouwmeester.
Then you are doing a peer to peer comparison. That's fine but it's very limited and not how I would want to compare players across eras because it's clearly not fair to more current players. I think we should consider who they were competing with and it's gotta be night and day between the 50's and now. That's over 60 years of hockey growing in Canada, the US, and Europe. It's a not a 6 team league anymore for that reason.

Bourque is much more recent than Harvey so how Bourque would do today is far more obvious to us. He also faced a much larger talent pool than Harvey.

Hypothetically, if there was a player back in the late 1800's who played in the "best hockey league in the world" at that time and won an equivalent to the Norris 10 years in a row (and was the first to skate backwards to defend so he even gets the innovation card that's been played here), should he be placed on top of the list for all-time defenseman? Hypothetically as well, say there were only thousands of people who even played hockey then. Would he fall under "the best of the best"? How could we possibly weigh his accomplishments equally with Harvey's when Harvey had to compete with a much larger pool of talent?

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Would Bourque be afraid to rush the puck? Would he not be able to control the game? I'm not sure what quality he would lose that would make him a lesser defenseman in your eyes but if you think Duncan Keith would be elite in any era then why not Bourque?
In my opinion Bourque would be elite in any era. I think Harvey probably would be as well. You're clearly not following along very well. I'm questioning this theory that Keith wouldn't even be in the discussion for the Norris during Bourque's or Harvey's era. I think today's elite defenseman would at least be in the conversation and could very well win some.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Now, with every time you see Bourque's name replace it with Harvey. There aren't two defenseman that I have seen who played so similar and yet for some reason one of them you swear just wouldn't be the same. No, Bourque and/or Harvey would be the game's best at their position today. No one else possesses their all around game who plays today.
No, it's not that either of them "wouldn't be the same", it's that their competition "wouldn't be the same". Haven't I repeated this enough times already? You are so sure they would both be todays best defenseman but especially for Harvey, things have changed so so much. It's simply a massive assumption on your part.

From what I've seen and read I don't think Harvey and Bourque mirror each other as much as Harvey and Lidstrom in terms of playing styles, accomplishments, and career paths. They even had their "down years" around the same time in their careers. Lidstrom was 33 and it split up his 6 Norris' and Harvey was 34 and it split up his 7 Norris'. It's uncanny but I really think Lidstrom's feats were greater because he faced a larger hockey world for his accomplishments, not just a Canadian league with pre-baby boom talent. Even peer to peer you're splitting hairs between the two.

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08-27-2014, 01:17 PM
  #357
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I don't think Duncan Keith is even anywhere near close to Doug Harvey. A lot of people say that Harvey would still be considered the best defenceman ever if it wasn't for Orr.

In this era, I'd pick guys like Weber and Chara over Keith, but that's because I like hitters.

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08-27-2014, 10:47 PM
  #358
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Nope, that's not what I've said about Harvey. Again, it's not that he couldn't transition or still be great, because he probably could. It's that he would be facing a much larger talent pool. You've even agreed we could potentially have 5 times the talent pool now compared to Harvey's prime. Why wouldn't there be other elite defenders who could give him a run for the Norris now if the ratio of elite defenders grew anywhere near the talent pool growth? Keith is an example of this and I do believe with Keith's skill set he could also transition to any era and he could be elite.
Like I said, there would be more, but as we see today, more players doesn't necessarily mean it is more difficult to win the Norris. For example, it was nearly impossible to win the Hart in the 1980s. Heck, even the 1970s. The center position in the 1980s/early 1990s was the toughest I have personally ever seen it. Despite the fact that it was a 21 team league with less Europeans today I can say without a doubt that in today's 30 team league it is easier to get a 1st or 2nd team all-star at center. And I'll even say today there is a nice logjam of centers to compete with. I've seen it be a bigger logjam.

So why is it different with defensemen? It isn't in my opinion. All these things go in cycles. I've seen the top end defensemen more elite than I do today, 30 team league or not.

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Hypothetically, if there was a player back in the late 1800's who played in the "best hockey league in the world" at that time and won an equivalent to the Norris 10 years in a row (and was the first to skate backwards to defend so he even gets the innovation card that's been played here), should he be placed on top of the list for all-time defenseman? Hypothetically as well, say there were only thousands of people who even played hockey then. Would he fall under "the best of the best"? How could we possibly weigh his accomplishments equally with Harvey's when Harvey had to compete with a much larger pool of talent?
The game was long established by the 1950s though. The game had grown like a weed by then. They weren't really testing new and innovative rules out in the 1950s that made the game unrecognizable. 60 years is a long time ago, but watch a full game and you'll see that it isn't much different from the way it is played today. Much of the same tactics, stuff like that. Up and down the ice, passing, etc. Things are faster, the equipment is better but that is expected. By the time Harvey hit his prime the NHL was well established. This wasn't 1918. There was a forward pass allowed. There wasn't a rover on the ice. Things had been tried, tested and true for a long time by the 1950s. So I think you can fairly gauge that era and compare it to today.

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In my opinion Bourque would be elite in any era. I think Harvey probably would be as well. You're clearly not following along very well. I'm questioning this theory that Keith wouldn't even be in the discussion for the Norris during Bourque's or Harvey's era. I think today's elite defenseman would at least be in the conversation and could very well win some.
You look at Bourque's best years and those are levels that Keith has never reached. Hey man, it's Ray Bourque we're talking about. There is no shame in taking a back seat to Ray Bourque. There also isn't a single season in the 1970s that Keith would have won a Norris. If you can find one, let me know, because I can't.

Now, is that a knock against Keith? No, it isn't because I can see some years in the 1960s where he wins his Norris trophies. But not every Norris winner is created equal, I guess that's the point I have been trying to get across here. Even in today's game, the best defenseman isn't always going to be favourably matched up against past Norris winners. If you think so, I honestly think you ought to take a long look at these names and the seasons they had.

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08-27-2014, 11:06 PM
  #359
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Someone said in another thread that Duncan Keith reminded them of Serge Savard. I agree. I would say Savard was better defensively, but he was a lot like Keith in the way that he played defense relatively errorless. Savard was a 2nd team all-star once in 1979. I think this should prove to you that the 1970s was a hard era to penetrate on defense. Lots of big names out there that outperformed Savard, even on his own team. Not that Savard wasn't 4th, or 5th, or 6th or so on in Norris voting because he was. But those were some tough names to surpass.

Keith is not flashy but very effective. That'll make people notice you, but if you were competing against Ray Bourque year in and year out you probably don't win the Norris either.

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08-29-2014, 08:39 AM
  #360
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Like I said, there would be more, but as we see today, more players doesn't necessarily mean it is more difficult to win the Norris. For example, it was nearly impossible to win the Hart in the 1980s. Heck, even the 1970s. The center position in the 1980s/early 1990s was the toughest I have personally ever seen it. Despite the fact that it was a 21 team league with less Europeans today I can say without a doubt that in today's 30 team league it is easier to get a 1st or 2nd team all-star at center. And I'll even say today there is a nice logjam of centers to compete with. I've seen it be a bigger logjam.

So why is it different with defensemen? It isn't in my opinion. All these things go in cycles. I've seen the top end defensemen more elite than I do today, 30 team league or not.
You are responding to my comments about Harvey and the 50's but you've completely avoided that era here. Why?

I agree the early 90's were great in terms of league talent because not only was there a nice crop of Canadians but Americans and Europeans were also more prominent and the Russians had finally come over in droves. It was the first time the NHL was fully integrated. The 80's and 70's lacked this. No Russians, who were the other hockey power, and the further we go back the less Americans and Euros we see.

As we clearly see today, the more countries developing elite available talent, the more elite players we have in the NHL. The problem is more competition isn't detected by the "eye tests" posters use here. It's a flawed way of judging across eras when we know the talent pool has grown and there are far more developmental programs feeding the league.

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The game was long established by the 1950s though. The game had grown like a weed by then. They weren't really testing new and innovative rules out in the 1950s that made the game unrecognizable. 60 years is a long time ago, but watch a full game and you'll see that it isn't much different from the way it is played today. Much of the same tactics, stuff like that. Up and down the ice, passing, etc. Things are faster, the equipment is better but that is expected. By the time Harvey hit his prime the NHL was well established. This wasn't 1918. There was a forward pass allowed. There wasn't a rover on the ice. Things had been tried, tested and true for a long time by the 1950s. So I think you can fairly gauge that era and compare it to today.
How is this a response to my point that you quoted? I wasn't really talking about changes in how the game was played. I thought that was clear. I was referring to the absolute huge growth in the available talent pool from the 50's to now. It wouldn't be fair to Harvey either if you weighed his accomplishments peer to peer against someone from the late 1800's.

Great players should be able to adapt to most changes in the game and I haven't questioned that here.

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You look at Bourque's best years and those are levels that Keith has never reached. Hey man, it's Ray Bourque we're talking about. There is no shame in taking a back seat to Ray Bourque. There also isn't a single season in the 1970s that Keith would have won a Norris. If you can find one, let me know, because I can't.

Now, is that a knock against Keith? No, it isn't because I can see some years in the 1960s where he wins his Norris trophies. But not every Norris winner is created equal, I guess that's the point I have been trying to get across here. Even in today's game, the best defenseman isn't always going to be favourably matched up against past Norris winners. If you think so, I honestly think you ought to take a long look at these names and the seasons they had.
As I've said all along, Keith may not win a bunch of Norris' but at his best he would be in the conversation. You can add the early 80's to a timeframe when Keith could win a Norris as well. If Carlyle, Wilson, and Langway could win 4 Norris' combined then Keith could potentially grab one as well. Potvin was too busy winning Cups for it to be considered a very strong Norris field.

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08-29-2014, 09:05 AM
  #361
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There are two different contexts to be considered when discussing how a player from one era would perform in another era.

One context is that the player just stepped in off a time machine. Jean Beliveau time travels from the 50's and now he's in the 2014 NHL with different skates, sticks, equipment than what he's used to and he has to wear a helmet. The goalies have masks and massive equipment and play a different style than what he's used to. The lighting in the arenas is better and there are ads all over the boards. He's flying from coast to coast instead of taking a train to a handful of arenas on the east coast.

The other context is that Jean Beliveau is born in 1991 instead of 1931.

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08-29-2014, 09:50 AM
  #362
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You are responding to my comments about Harvey and the 50's but you've completely avoided that era here. Why?

I agree the early 90's were great in terms of league talent because not only was there a nice crop of Canadians but Americans and Europeans were also more prominent and the Russians had finally come over in droves. It was the first time the NHL was fully integrated. The 80's and 70's lacked this. No Russians, who were the other hockey power, and the further we go back the less Americans and Euros we see.

As we clearly see today, the more countries developing elite available talent, the more elite players we have in the NHL. The problem is more competition isn't detected by the "eye tests" posters use here. It's a flawed way of judging across eras when we know the talent pool has grown and there are far more developmental programs feeding the league.
Because you can also look at other things. For starters, many would consider Harvey the one that drove the bus for that Canadiens dynasty. It isn't crazy either. Heck, I've got him about neck and neck with Jean Beliveau. This is Jean Beliveau in his prime I am talking about and we're talking about a defenseman who was just as important as he was for that dynasty. Say what you want about a bigger talent pool and such, but if you can't see the worth of Harvey from that alone, and realize something like this would transcend eras then what else is there?

And as I mentioned he did seem to do rather well head to head against Red Kelly didn't he? I think so. Are there two defensemen in today's game that will be ranked as high as either of those two? I personally don't think so.

But the most important thing is looking outside the box here. Yes there are more players, but like I said are they better? Picture Harvey with all the skills and smarts he had and give him all the advantages of today. He isn't working in the offseason. He has better equipment, he has better skates and he can skate a little bit faster. Watch how he played then, and take what you see and put it in a modern sense. He's still going to make all the plays he made before, but better.

Comparing Harvey to Lidstrom to Bourque, you know, there isn't a ton of separation. I might pick Bourque out of the three. But comparing any three of them to Duncan Keith, yeah, there is more separation. That's the point. We are in an era where there isn't a stand out dominant defenseman. We know Lidstrom was one just a short time ago. We know Bourque was and we know Harvey was. So the math and the facts and the stats and everything the eye can see seemed to point to the fact that these guys would still be the pre-eminent defensemen in today's game.

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As I've said all along, Keith may not win a bunch of Norris' but at his best he would be in the conversation. You can add the early 80's to a timeframe when Keith could win a Norris as well. If Carlyle, Wilson, and Langway could win 4 Norris' combined then Keith could potentially grab one as well. Potvin was too busy winning Cups for it to be considered a very strong Norris field.
In Bourque's career, that is probably the easiest time to win a Norris, and even then it was filled with some individually great years. Maybe Keith snags one there. I don't know. Carlyle did and somehow beat out Potvin in 1981. Wilson did have a spectacular year in 1982 though. Langway turned an entire franchise around in 1983 and kept it going in 1984. One theme is similar with this though, in 1981, 1982 and 1983 Bourque played between 65-67 games. Him missing all that time is likely what translated into one of the others getting their Norris. Robinson was "good" after 1981 but only had one all-star selection in 1986. Potvin just one after 1981 as well. This wasn't their time as much as it was Bourque and Coffey's time. But yeah, maybe Keith wins in 1981, who knows. Or 1983.

That might be his best bet in about a 30 year span to be honest, and it is no knock on Keith, it is just reality. I don't think anyone today take's Orr's Norrises from 1969 to 1975. Maybe 1968. Potvin wins his in 1976, 1978 and 1979. Robinson in 1977 and 1980. The weakest of those years up until then is Robinson in 1980. I don't see Keith winning any of them. 1981-'84 is his best bet though. 1985-1997 I can't see him getting one at all.

That's just the thing, we are in a bit of a lull right now where there isn't the standout defenseman in the NHL like we are used to. Not saying there aren't some very good ones, but to have seen different eras there are some that have a bigger logjam than others.

There is no way Keith steals a Norris away from Bourque or even Coffey at their best seasons. He's never reached that level at all. Not sure why this is a big deal.

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09-01-2014, 10:00 AM
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Because you can also look at other things. For starters, many would consider Harvey the one that drove the bus for that Canadiens dynasty. It isn't crazy either. Heck, I've got him about neck and neck with Jean Beliveau. This is Jean Beliveau in his prime I am talking about and we're talking about a defenseman who was just as important as he was for that dynasty. Say what you want about a bigger talent pool and such, but if you can't see the worth of Harvey from that alone, and realize something like this would transcend eras then what else is there?

And as I mentioned he did seem to do rather well head to head against Red Kelly didn't he? I think so. Are there two defensemen in today's game that will be ranked as high as either of those two? I personally don't think so.

But the most important thing is looking outside the box here. Yes there are more players, but like I said are they better? Picture Harvey with all the skills and smarts he had and give him all the advantages of today. He isn't working in the offseason. He has better equipment, he has better skates and he can skate a little bit faster. Watch how he played then, and take what you see and put it in a modern sense. He's still going to make all the plays he made before, but better.
I agree it is important to view Harvey's whole career and he was a key cog in multiple cups and had Kelly to compete with, who was also great in that era. I do think Harvey would be great in any era because he was a great athlete and defenseman. I'm just questioning how much his dominance would be reduced due to a far larger talent pool and international NHL. It's rather obvious this would have an impact.

I highly doubt he wins 7 Norris' and is as dominant if he plays in the modern era, simply because there should be a lot more of these elite defenders now. So many posters here say Lidstrom wouldn't win as many if he had played in another era. I think this would be even more dramatic for Harvey cause he faced such a small talent pool. Posters here don't view it that way though for some reason, as if the O6 Canadian legends are untouchable.

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In Bourque's career, that is probably the easiest time to win a Norris, and even then it was filled with some individually great years. Maybe Keith snags one there. I don't know. Carlyle did and somehow beat out Potvin in 1981. Wilson did have a spectacular year in 1982 though. Langway turned an entire franchise around in 1983 and kept it going in 1984. One theme is similar with this though, in 1981, 1982 and 1983 Bourque played between 65-67 games. Him missing all that time is likely what translated into one of the others getting their Norris. Robinson was "good" after 1981 but only had one all-star selection in 1986. Potvin just one after 1981 as well. This wasn't their time as much as it was Bourque and Coffey's time. But yeah, maybe Keith wins in 1981, who knows. Or 1983.
I think a bigger factor than Bourque missing games was Potvin missing regular season games and putting so much energy into those Cup runs. He was clearly the top defender in the NHL back then even if he wasn't winning the Norris. Similar to Doughty right now, although Doughty to a lesser extent of course. Fetisov may have had something to say about that but we will ever know for sure.

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That's just the thing, we are in a bit of a lull right now where there isn't the standout defenseman in the NHL like we are used to. Not saying there aren't some very good ones, but to have seen different eras there are some that have a bigger logjam than others.
It's possible that not having one standout defenseman means none are "all-time greats". It's also possible that we have several that are hovering around that level but can't separate themselves from each other. I see it being closer to this than simply not having anyone who is "great" right now.

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There is no way Keith steals a Norris away from Bourque or even Coffey at their best seasons. He's never reached that level at all. Not sure why this is a big deal.
You are not alone. Lots of posters here think they know how a player would do in another era or season. It's simply not that easy. I know you guys have fun comparing and I like it as well but Keith at his best in the 80's might surprise you, he's a hell of a defenseman and it was wide open back then. To say there's no way he could beat out those guys in a given season is a big assumption and it's like you think it's written in stone. I tend to agree with you here but I'm not as sure of myself as you are. This Keith talk all started when I hinted that maybe he'd be one of those great early 90's guys if he played then and I'm still leaning towards that. It's not just Keith either. Karlsson, Weber, Subban, or Doughty in the 80's is a very intriguing thought cause they each have so much ability and it was a much different game.

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09-01-2014, 01:48 PM
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I highly doubt he wins 7 Norris' and is as dominant if he plays in the modern era, simply because there should be a lot more of these elite defenders now. So many posters here say Lidstrom wouldn't win as many if he had played in another era. I think this would be even more dramatic for Harvey cause he faced such a small talent pool. Posters here don't view it that way though for some reason, as if the O6 Canadian legends are untouchable.
If Lidstrom wins 7 Norrises in an era that was just yesterday then why doesn't Harvey? Or why can't Harvey? That's the big question here.

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I think a bigger factor than Bourque missing games was Potvin missing regular season games and putting so much energy into those Cup runs. He was clearly the top defender in the NHL back then even if he wasn't winning the Norris. Similar to Doughty right now, although Doughty to a lesser extent of course. Fetisov may have had something to say about that but we will ever know for sure.
I don't think Doughty is the best defenseman in the NHL right now. He's never shown this to us. A couple of nice playoff runs have got to be more than that. Keith has done similar things in his Cup runs. Doughty finished in Norris voting 3, 6, 9, 10. That's nowhere near close to the best of his era. There has never been a time that I have said Doughty is the best d-man in the NHL. Maybe he starts surprising us now and breaks out, but prior to the 2014-'15 season I haven't seen it yet.

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It's possible that not having one standout defenseman means none are "all-time greats". It's also possible that we have several that are hovering around that level but can't separate themselves from each other. I see it being closer to this than simply not having anyone who is "great" right now.
There are some great ones. But will any of them share the same level we saw with Potvin, Bourque and Lidstrom? Nope. None, as of right now.

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You are not alone. Lots of posters here think they know how a player would do in another era or season. It's simply not that easy. I know you guys have fun comparing and I like it as well but Keith at his best in the 80's might surprise you, he's a hell of a defenseman and it was wide open back then. To say there's no way he could beat out those guys in a given season is a big assumption and it's like you think it's written in stone. I tend to agree with you here but I'm not as sure of myself as you are. This Keith talk all started when I hinted that maybe he'd be one of those great early 90's guys if he played then and I'm still leaning towards that. It's not just Keith either. Karlsson, Weber, Subban, or Doughty in the 80's is a very intriguing thought cause they each have so much ability and it was a much different game.
I think you have to look at it this way. Phil Housley who is offensively superior to all of them in my opinion of this era garnered one 2nd team all-star his career during that time. He didn't compete let alone standout with the Norris contenders back then. Also, from what I have seen from Keith's best seasons, he did not have as great of seasons as the years Bourque or Coffey or before him Potvin or Robinson or even someone like Leetch did.

Go with what you've seen. Keith to this day has just two 1st team all-stars. Two Norrises sure, but it would be hard to say he's even been the best defenseman year in and year out in the last half dozen years. Many would pick Weber or Chara. Which is why I don't think you should ever underrate the success someone like Bourque had year in and year out. Even in his off years he was still 4th in Norris voting. Nothing against Keith, but he just wasn't Ray Bourque no matter how you slice it, no matter how well he plays now.

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09-02-2014, 03:53 PM
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Doug Harvey

A few overlooked facts.

Until his last year playing high school hockey at West Hill High, Doug Harvey was a playmaking center behind future NHLer Reggie Sinclair. This was also the pre RED Line era.

Doug Harvey lost app three seasons to WWII, then had to master defense under the new Red Line rules while in the minors.

Yet Harvey accomplished the transition in 98 RS games compared to Larry Robinson, 178 games.

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09-02-2014, 11:26 PM
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I never really understand these types of questions. Watch Jean Beliveau play. Pretend he has better skates, better stick, and he was born in 1987. He would know better trick shots, better plays, he'd have experimented with different things in practice. But watch him from the 1950s and worse equipment or not, he still plays the game of hockey very well and stood out then. He'd be the same today.

Regardless of what era it is, there are players that are good players and are effective even if we don't know why they were or even if they didn't look like it on the ice.

Lastly, when you see players like Gretzky and Lemieux that were good for a long, long time even as they got older despite the game changes, isn't this enough evidence of such things? Gretzky wins the Hart in 1980. Gretzky leads the NHL in assists in 1998. That's 18 years with many changes in between. A great player adapts, heck, normal players adapt. Lemieux was great nearly 20 years apart. Howe was great 20 years apart. Beliveau pretty close. Bourque, Lidstrom, etc. The same players great then would be great today.
I agree. Watch some Denis Savard highlights and try to tell me with a straight face he wouldn't be a star in the modern NHL.

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09-03-2014, 12:39 AM
  #367
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I agree. Watch some Denis Savard highlights and try to tell me with a straight face he wouldn't be a star in the modern NHL.
Pretty much. If a slower skater in Patrick Kane manages to do the spinorama rather effectively and it leads to goals then I think Savard - who has commonly been described as a waterbug on the ice - would do much of the same thing that he did in the 1980s.

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10-30-2014, 07:26 PM
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I mean anecdotally speaking, weren't all the 'top' Canadian players of years past farmboys? So they'd go home, and bail hay all summer long. There's something to be said about off-season strength training.
I've never seen this picture of Howe before... could be his version of Hull bailing hay... which is good I guess?



Edit: Link in case the picture doesn't appear...

http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/vi...zing-physique/


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10-30-2014, 07:30 PM
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I've never seen this picture of Howe before... could be his version of Hull bailing hay... which is good I guess?
Yeahhh.. I think Gordie could have handled himself juuuust fine today.

What a genetic freak.

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10-30-2014, 07:33 PM
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Yeahhh.. I think Gordie could have handled himself juuuust fine today.

What a genetic freak.
There's a similar pic of Bobby Hull floating around actually bailing hay.
Monsters, both of them.

Edit: found it


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10-30-2014, 07:34 PM
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^^^Absolutely impressive for any era, and particularly for an era where I don't think weightlifting was part of the program. I have yet to see anything that documents players from Howe's early decades of players lifting weights. However, the true mark of a hockey player is the legs. Would love to see a picture of Howe, Hull, Potvin, Bourque, etc... in shorts.

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10-30-2014, 07:42 PM
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^^^Absolutely impressive for any era, and particularly for an era where I don't think weightlifting was part of the program. I have yet to see anything that documents players from Howe's early decades of players lifting weights. However, the true mark of a hockey player is the legs. Would love to see a picture of Howe, Hull, Potvin, Bourque, etc... in shorts.
Hull again. He ain't standing on toothpicks, that's for sure.


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10-30-2014, 07:49 PM
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Hull again. He ain't standing on toothpicks, that's for sure.

Where? Oh, in the front? Yup, for sure.

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11-01-2014, 03:51 PM
  #374
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I think it was Red Fisher who said Bobby Hull is one of the best players in the world to simply look at. I agree.

Red Storey said in an interview that he is one of the few people that the more clothes you take off of him the bigger he gets. haha.


In all honesty, as a guy who had a couple uncles who lived on farms I can't say I have been through an NHL training camp regimen but would simply a day of bailing hay and doing farm work be any easier? I've done the latter, and I can't imagine even the fittest player in the NHL not finding it hard.

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11-01-2014, 05:25 PM
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In all honesty, as a guy who had a couple uncles who lived on farms I can't say I have been through an NHL training camp regimen but would simply a day of bailing hay and doing farm work be any easier? I've done the latter, and I can't imagine even the fittest player in the NHL not finding it hard.
It all depends on what they are used to. I'm sure a lot of them would struggle to make it through the day at a good pace in the heat.

Working out with discrete exercises and hockey specific training are nothing like bailing hay. I know of guys who were workout fanatics who could barely last a day bailing hay.

Real work is a lot different than exercise. You aren't isolating muscles as much, and you're using a lot more leverage and momentum.. and especially endurance compared to when you're doing a set of weights or whatever.

You look at Gordie and Hull in this thread and you see how muscular they are except for their chests. That is because benchpressing type motions don't do you much good doing anything worthwhile.

Well, I guess showing off to the chicks is kind of worthwhile but that is about it.

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