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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Players who were better during the second half of their career.

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Old
03-12-2017, 08:47 AM
  #26
Peter Tosh
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Brian Rafalski, Kris Draper

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Old
03-12-2017, 08:58 AM
  #27
Theokritos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
As a player, I thought Don Cherry had a better second half to his NHL career.


Wasn't enough to get a second game though...
You mean you saw the single NHL game Cherry played in back in 1955 and you thought he was better in last 30 minutes than in the first 30 minutes?

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Old
03-12-2017, 09:47 AM
  #28
mja
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Mike Knuble.

Didn't play in the NHL until his 24YO season. Dude scored 50 goals total through his 20s in 6 NHL seasons. In his 30YO season, suddenly becomes a 30 goal scorer. Goes on to scores 224 Goals in his 30s.


Last edited by mja: 03-12-2017 at 03:06 PM.
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Old
03-12-2017, 10:57 AM
  #29
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Brett Hull...

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Old
03-12-2017, 01:43 PM
  #30
mja
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Originally Posted by Orrfourever View Post
Brett Hull...
We're talking about the same Brett Hull, right? The guy who won a Hart trophy at 26? The guy with 3 of the 14 highest goal-scoring seasons of all time, all before he turned 28? That guy?

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Old
03-12-2017, 02:02 PM
  #31
vadim sharifijanov
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i think ray whitney was mentioned. andrew brunette is another one. mike sillinger, phil goyette, andre boudrias. all limited or fringe players who were helped by expansion. in brunette and boudrias' cases, expansion kept them in the league, and subsequent expansion helped them become decently productive scorers. you could arguably say that about whitney too.

and then you have guys like wes walz or tyler wright, who would almost certainly not have been in the NHL at all if not for expansion, but who carved out decent careers as valuable role players on expansion teams.

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Old
03-12-2017, 02:03 PM
  #32
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I think Datsyuk was exactly the same in his first half as in his second half. The difference is playoffs, because it took him a few years to figure it out.

Holmstrom -- yes, but I think it's got to do with his increased role on the team than his actual skills.

Yzerman, Hasek, Hull -- no way, no how.

Good catch on Knuble.

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03-12-2017, 02:35 PM
  #33
Johnny Engine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i think ray whitney was mentioned. andrew brunette is another one. mike sillinger, phil goyette, andre boudrias. all limited or fringe players who were helped by expansion. in brunette and boudrias' cases, expansion kept them in the league, and subsequent expansion helped them become decently productive scorers. you could arguably say that about whitney too.

and then you have guys like wes walz or tyler wright, who would almost certainly not have been in the NHL at all if not for expansion, but who carved out decent careers as valuable role players on expansion teams.
Walz is a funny case in that he looked on track to be about that same sort of player he turned out to be, at 23, but fell on hard times and bolted to Switzerland. I'm not sure this is a case of a player who was necessarily below replacement level in a 24-team league, but expansion certainly did get him back on track, whatever the reasons were in the first place that he fell off.

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Old
03-12-2017, 03:37 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
Holmstrom -- yes, but I think it's got to do with his increased role on the team than his actual skills.
Obviously that's a big part of it, probably didn't hurt the rule changes after the lockout made it harder for opposing defensemen to deal with him in front of the net as well, which made him more effective in his role for sure. Having world-class defensemen and forwards getting accurate shots through to him in his office didn't hurt his cause either. But he also worked relentlessly on his positioning, screening and deflection skills, he got to be pretty good at reading the flow of the game, I feel like he was better at digging pucks out of corners and danger spots too, and his penalty minutes didn't drastically increase with the additional ice time he received, which I'll choose to interpret as an indication of increased discipline and hockey smarts (though hard to say for sure, considering the pre- and post-lockout environments, phantom interference calls vs legit interference calls, injuries and all that). But he seemed (to me at least) a craftier and more intelligent player in his later years, and had honed his few skills to near as perfection as anyone could, which helped him make the most of his limited facets and his singular role (and which made him a rather unique specimen among professional hockey players past and present).

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Old
03-12-2017, 05:37 PM
  #35
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Well, i don't know if I'd call him "unique": Dino Cicarelli was not much worse in that role. The main rule change he benefited from was retraction of "the foot in the crease" rule.

Other than that, you are correct.

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Old
03-12-2017, 11:27 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
Well, i don't know if I'd call him "unique": Dino Cicarelli was not much worse in that role. The main rule change he benefited from was retraction of "the foot in the crease" rule.

Other than that, you are correct.
Unique might overstate it a bit, but belonging perhaps to a class of curiosities at least in terms of long-lasting players with shall we say unorthodox skill-sets? I might be misremembering Ciccarelli's game but I always thought of him more as a great garbage-collector/agitator (Holmstrom wasn't bad at that either of course) but more or less a traditional physical middle winger whereas I felt like Holmstrom was kind of a delightful absurdity, like he was built of parts from some athlete junk drawer by some Swedish mad scientist, but who had a fascinating finesse to his approach that you wouldn't have dreamed of to look at him--that is to say even among players who effectively carried out similar roles, Holmstrom just kind of stands out to me as interesting and notable. He probably won't ever follow Dino into the hall, but I'd think a history of the era he played in would be incomplete without giving him and his exploits around the crease at least brief mention!

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Old
03-13-2017, 12:08 AM
  #37
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A controversial one, but what about Steve Yzerman?

Had some really high point totals in the late 80's early 90's, but really came into his own defensively and as a leader after being labeled a "playoff choker" when he couldn't get the wings over the hump.
I think that Yzerman is more an example that the "playoff choker" label is largely misused. When you become a member of that exclusive club all sins are forgiven, but if you don't win it in your few chances you get the label.

And this is a poor transition, but the Sedin's don't apply in this thread. They were elite in Q2 of their career, it may just look odd because usually star players put up a lot of points in their 20-24 years but the Sedin's didn't do much there. Same thing with Naslund and Bertuzzi. These are players that fall under the late peak category.

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Old
03-13-2017, 03:26 AM
  #38
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Whenever these types of threads pop up, it surprises me that people don't mention robert lang.

His most productive years began at the age of 29-30, and he only got better from there, and actually ended up playing to the age of 40. Prior to his 30's, he had done very little in the NHL in terms of production.

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Old
03-13-2017, 04:07 AM
  #39
The Panther
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Originally Posted by Hackett View Post
Whenever these types of threads pop up, it surprises me that people don't mention robert lang.
When you look back at Lang's NHL stats, they don't look that impressive, but I seem to remember one season where he was, however briefly, in the running for the scoring lead in the NHL. Am I tripping after my Japanese university admin-meeting (just ended), or did this happen?

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Old
03-13-2017, 05:22 AM
  #40
Hackett
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
When you look back at Lang's NHL stats, they don't look that impressive, but I seem to remember one season where he was, however briefly, in the running for the scoring lead in the NHL. Am I tripping after my Japanese university admin-meeting (just ended), or did this happen?
I don't remember this, but maybe it happened in 03/04 where he had 74 points in 63 games, or in 00/01 where he put up 80 points in 82 games.

The main reason I brought him up was because he went from a 20 point guy in his 20's to a 60, 70, 80 point guy in his 30's. I just cannot recall someone having that type of career trajectory.

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Old
03-13-2017, 07:13 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
When you look back at Lang's NHL stats, they don't look that impressive, but I seem to remember one season where he was, however briefly, in the running for the scoring lead in the NHL. Am I tripping after my Japanese university admin-meeting (just ended), or did this happen?
Your memory is correct. I believe that Lang was the leading scorer in the NHL when he was traded at the deadline to Detroit, though he was injured shortly after. That's pretty deep into the season. If he wasn't the absolute leader at the time of the deadline, then he was right there and had been recently.

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Old
03-13-2017, 07:20 AM
  #42
The Panther
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Your memory is correct. I believe that Lang was the leading scorer in the NHL when he was traded at the deadline to Detroit
That must be it, thanks. Simple math says that at the time of that trade (2003), he was on pace for 96 points in a full season (because of injuries, he was stopped at 79). And Martin St.Louis won the scoring title with only 94 points, so indeed Lang must have been close at that time.

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Old
03-13-2017, 07:21 AM
  #43
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IMO Bucyk was a franchise player the first half of his career and a guy riding the pony the second half. One of those cases where the numbers don't come close to telling the story IMO.
Johnny Bucyk's age 35 season is likely what put him in the Hall though. As for late bloomer...how about Mike Knuble?

As for Andrew Brunette, expansion helped him as he found a home in Minnnesota...and his hockey IQ let him stay there as he was an awful skater.

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Old
03-13-2017, 11:44 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post

Alfredsson -- Maybe. His best season was just into the second half of his career, so there's that. Otherwise, he had five 70-point seasons in the first half, and five in the second half. Then, when you factor in his awesome rookie year, and the fact that three of his last four seasons were mediocre to poor, I'm not sure about this one either. I'd personally take first-half Alfie.
Alfredsson played 9 seasons prior to the lockout and 9 seasons after the lockout, splitting his career evenly into two for the purposes of this discussion.

First 9 seasons:
- 629GP - 219G - 349A - 568P (regular season). Good for 25th throughout that time frame
- Season highs of 37 goals (9th, 01/02), 51 assists (13th, 02/03), 80 points (7th, 03/04)
- 69GP - 27G - 21A - 48P (playoffs). Good for 40th throughout that time frame
- Playoff highs of 7 goals (3rd, 97/98, 4th, 01/02), 6 assists (23rd, 01/02), 13 points (15th, 01/02)
- Calder trophy (95/96), captain of Presidents Trophy team (02/03)
- Led team in regular season goals x2, assists x4, points x2
- Led team in playoff goals x4, assists x1, points x3

Second 9 seasons:
- 617GP - 225G - 364A - 589P (regular season). Good for 19th throughout that time frame
- Season highs of 43 goals (9th, 05/06), 60 assists (8th, 05/06), 103 points (4th, 05/06)
- 55GP - 24G - 28A - 52P (playoffs). Good for 42nd through that time frame
- Playoff highs of 14 goals (1st, 06/07), 8 assists (14th, 06/07), 22 points (1st, 06/07) en route to Stanley Cup finals appearance
- Led Sweden in goals (5) and points (10) en route to an Olympic gold (05/06)
- Never led team in regular season goals, but assists x4, points x4
- Led team in playoff goals x1, assists x1, points x3

Conclusion:
Team-relative goal scoring in regular season and playoffs were better in first half of his career. League-relative peak goal scoring was identical, cumulative absolute and individual peak goal scoring were better in second half. Slight edge to second half.

Team-relative assist production was identical for both regular season and playoffs for both first and second half. League-relative peak assist production was higher in second half of his career, and cumulative absolute and individual peak assist production were better in second half. Edge to second half.

Team-relative point production was better for regular season, and identical for playoffs in the second half. League-relative peak point production was better in the second half of his career, and cumulative absolute and individual peak point production were better in second half. Edge to second half.

As for hardware, he had a Calder and a Presidents in first half, Olympic Gold and Prince of Wales, Messier in second half. Edge to second half.

Sounds to me like he was a better player in the second half of his career.

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Old
03-15-2017, 08:48 PM
  #45
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What about Marty St. Louis? Obviously 2004 he won the Hart and Art Ross, but his seasons with Stamkos were arguably better (and he won another Art Ross to top it off).

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Old
03-15-2017, 09:05 PM
  #46
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Doug Wickenheiser had his two best pro seasons in his last 2 seasons

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Old
03-18-2017, 03:15 PM
  #47
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That alfredsson post surprises me. It shows that he played roughly the same amount of games in each half of his career. My perception was that he was injured alot during the first half.

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Old
03-18-2017, 07:55 PM
  #48
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Brian Bradley

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Old
03-18-2017, 08:00 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by trentmccleary View Post
Tim Thomas was a minor leaguer / FEL player through his 20s.
31yo split duty
32 decent starter season
33 9th for Vezina
34 Vezina
36 Vezina, Cup, Smythe
The dude only had a second half to his NHL Careerz

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Old
03-20-2017, 03:33 PM
  #50
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Sakic maybe?

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