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Best Czech Players Ever?

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Old
01-27-2007, 01:59 PM
  #76
God Bless Canada
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Original six era = Canadian hockey league era. All the best players didn't play in the NHL.
But it was still a 120-player league. That's what made it special. There were a lot of really, really good players who couldn't crack the NHL from 1946 to 1967 because there were only six teams. If you didn't deliver on a nightly basis, you were gone. You had to have that rabid passion, that consistency, that ceaseless work ethic, to survive in the Original Six.

There are a lot of really good players in today's NHL who wouldn't last in the Original Six. They don't have the consistency or the work ethic to survive in that kind of league. You didn't have soft players in the NHL during the Original Six. Every play backchecked. Every player hit. Every player could fight if they had to. That's what made the Original Six era so special. That's what made the players who played in that era so great.

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01-27-2007, 02:40 PM
  #77
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I said "older than Nedomansky", not "older than Nedomansky in 78-79".

Since I didn't state a specific age for Nedomansky, such as his age in 77-78 or 82-83, I'd like to know how you came up with an age for Gretzky to be older than?

The age iteself is irrelevant. Gretzky was better than Nedomanksy at every age. Gretzky finished 3rd in the NHL in scoring as a 37 year old. Nedomansky never finished 3rd in NHL scoring, even as a 33 year old.

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01-27-2007, 02:42 PM
  #78
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Original six era = Canadian hockey league era. All the best players didn't play in the NHL.
In the days of the original six, I doubt that Europe could have produced more than a few NHL-calibre players.

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01-27-2007, 02:44 PM
  #79
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second-rate tournament, intresting. It's like NHL 1972-1979 second-rate.
That must mean the Worlds of the 70s was third or fourth rate.

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01-27-2007, 03:10 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
The age iteself is irrelevant. Gretzky was better than Nedomanksy at every age. Gretzky finished 3rd in the NHL in scoring as a 37 year old. Nedomansky never finished 3rd in NHL scoring, even as a 33 year old.
ANYBODY compared to Gretzky is worse among forwards. Why compare Nedomansky to Gretzky?

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01-27-2007, 05:18 PM
  #81
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The age iteself is irrelevant. Gretzky was better than Nedomanksy at every age. Gretzky finished 3rd in the NHL in scoring as a 37 year old. Nedomansky never finished 3rd in NHL scoring, even as a 33 year old.
For someone with a mantra of "compare him to his peers to get a true perspective", you seem really gung ho for comparing guys 20 years apart.

In 74-75 Nedomansky made his debut in the WHA at the age of 30. He was outscored by 5 players that were older (born before 3/14/44) than him, and there were 6 guys older (born before 3/14/44) than him in the top 20 scorers in the NHL. The next season (75-76) he was outscored by 2 older (born before 3/14/44) players and there were 4 older (born before 3/14/44) players in the NHL's top 20. The next season (76-77) he was outscored by 1 older (born before 3/14/44) player, and there were 2 older (born before 3/14/44) players in the NHL's top 20. The next season (77-78) saw him switch to the NHL, and he was outscored by 9 older (born before 3/14/44) players, and there were 2 older (born before 3/14/44) players in the WHA's top 20 scorers. The next season (78-79) he was outscored by 1 older (born before 3/14/44) player and there was 1 older (born before 3/14/44) player in the WHA's top 20 scorers. In the next season (79-80) he was outscored by 1 older (born before 3/14/44) player, and there was no WHA. In the next season (80-81) he was outscored by 2 older (born before 3/14/44) players. Over the next 2 seasons (81-82 & 82-83) he was not outscored by any players older (born before 3/14/44) than him.

As for those born in 1944, 1945 or 1946, he was outscored by 3 WHA players in 74-75, 1 in 75-76 and 2 in 76-77. He was outscored by 16 NHL players in 77-78, and that dropped to zero in 78-79 and 79-80, climbed to 2 in 80-81, dropped to 1 in 81-82 and again to zero in 82-83.

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01-27-2007, 05:22 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
I don't think the excuses have anything to do with it. What language does the puck understand? You can either play or you can't. Nedomansky wanted to show what he could do and he was pretty average.

The Worlds are after the Stanley Cup playoffs - after a player has finished caring for the year. It is a vacation for NHL players.

North American players care about the NHL and winning Stanley Cups. That is the only place you can really measure them.
I don`t think that is true. If you have ever been abroad you will find out that it is a very different thing from living in your home country. If you haven`t just read the experiences LeCavalier made in Kazan. It takes some getting used to. Having lived abroad for the last 4 years in my life I can tell you that it is not just about what you can do. Your personal preferences play a major role in how you feel and therefore in the performance you show.

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01-27-2007, 10:23 PM
  #83
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Mikita may have 1 more Hart trophy than jagr, however Jagr has never been popular with the media and was completly robbed of Hart trophy's in 2000 and 2006. The fact of the matter is guys like Sakic are considered to be all timers and a guy like Sakic couldn't hold Jagr's jockstrap. Mikita was a good player, don't get me wrong, but his finishing in the top 5 in the categories you listed are not so impressive when you factor in he played against weaker competetion throughout his career. Jagr had to contend with guys like Gretzkey, Lemieuz, Yzerman, Sakic and Forsberg in their primes, and now has to compete with the Staal's, Crosby's, Ovechkin's and Thornton's of the league. The fact is Jagr played in a much deeper talent pool, in an era where goaltending and defence reigned supreme, and stood above all. Not only did he stand above, he put up numbers that people simply said would never be seen again. Gartner's record of consecutive 30 goal seasons was deemed untouchable, well guess what, Jagr will match it this year. Jagr is the only current threat to score 2000 points. Something that Messier, Howe, Lemieux and anybody else you want to name besides Gretzkey never did. Will Jagr actually crack 2000? Probably not, but he will probably finish all time top 5 in scoring, and that can NOT be overlooked when discussinng who was better.
Pronger deserved the Hart in 2000. There hasn't been many defencemen to dominate a season like Pronger did that year. He was unbelievable. I am not saying Jagr wasn't but I think the Hart Trophy went to the right player that year, likewise in 2006. Thornton turned the Sharks right around. He made Cheechoo into a 50 goal scorer.

Now, there is no way Jagr is way better than Sakic. I would rather have Sakic in the playoffs than Jagr. Goal scoring I think they are very close. Playmaking ability big edge to Jagr there. So Jagr is better but there isn't a big difference between the two.

I don't understand how Mikita played against weaker competition. The majority of his career he played in a six team league. He faced great goalies all the time. Furthermore, Mikita had to beat out Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Hull and later on in his career Esposito. All players are in the top ten of all time or close to it with Esposito's case. With all due respect to Sakic, Forsberg and Yzerman they aren't even close to Howe, Hull and Beliveau.

Some people think that the dead puck era started in 1990. It began around 1996. Jagr played in a high scoring league in his first 5 to 6 years of his career.Granted, he did play in an era where scoring wasn't very high. However, the same can be said for Mikita. There isn't much of a difference between scoring in the 60's compared to the recent dead puck era. The game were rougher as well. There was no one to protect you. You had to fight your own battles.

Having 15 thirty goal seasons is great. Mike Gartner did sure but does that make him one of the greatest ever? No. Take a look at how may players scored thirty goals a season in the mid 60's. Not many. In fact, it would be considered a great year if 5 players scored 30 goals in one season.

You say Jagr will probably finish in the top five of scoring of all time. I doubt that he will but let's say he does. Ron Francis is number four right now. Franics is a great player but there is no way he's better than Esposito, Lemieux or Beliveau. When you are comparing players from different eras, you can't look at how many points htey had throughout their career. Some players have benfited from playing in a high scoring era and playing more games than others too. Pierre Turgeon who probably won't make the HHOF, is ahead of Beliveau and Bobby Clarke but Turgeon is nowhere near them.

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Old
01-27-2007, 11:57 PM
  #84
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Second-rate? The best player who ever lived (Bobby Orr) had some of his best years in the 70s.
Yes, and best soviet forward (Kharlamov) and best soviet goalie (Tretiak) ever played in the soviet league.

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In fact, here are some of the players who were in the NHL from 72 to 79: Phil Esposito (likely the best player ever within five feet of the net), Guy LaFleur (best run of dominance by any forward not named Gretzky, Lemieux or Howe), Bryan Trottier (his best was the four Islander Cup wins, but he showed the world how good he was in the late 70s), Bobby Clarke (three Hart Trophy wins), plus you had a past-his-prime but still very good Stan Mikita and a young Bossy. All top-30 all-time players. That's just the forwards.
It doesn't matter if there was a few superstars. What was overall quality? How bad were the worst players? NHL had 18 teams and WHA had 14 teams (1974-1976). Soviet league only had 9-12 teams. (check out Espo on Tretiak thread)

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If you want to post in the History of Hockey Forum, with HF Board's top dogs, learn something about the game other than stats.
Yes, I like stats, but it doesn't mean ,that I don't know anything about hockey. It's funny, that people who doesn't know anything about european hockey, think that they are HF Board's top dogs.


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Old
01-28-2007, 04:03 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Second-rate?
I like NHL and I like WHA (I love WHA history, WHA was/is most intresting league ever) and I hate Soviet Union. But I also like truth. No excuses, no bias and no politics, just the truth.

How do you explain these results: http://www.russianhockey.net/USSRvsNHL.htm

Please, don't use NHL teams didn't care excuse. It's not going to work, because it's same level excuse like:

2002 olympics = great tournament (Canada won)

1998 and 2006 olympics = who cares about olympics (Canada lost)

Philadelphia-CSKA game is a classic game, because Philly won. It's always a classic if Canada/NHL win, if they lose, it's just because, they didn't care.

NHL teams also had home advantage + games played in a small rink and refs were from North-America.*

* = they played a few games in Soviet Union.


Last edited by statistics: 01-28-2007 at 04:11 AM.
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01-28-2007, 04:29 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by statistics View Post
I like NHL and I like WHA (I love WHA history, WHA was/is most intresting league ever) and I hate Soviet Union. But I also like truth. No excuses, no bias and no politics, just the truth.

How do you explain these results: http://www.russianhockey.net/USSRvsNHL.htm

Please, don't use NHL teams didn't care excuse. It's not going to work, because it's same level excuse like:

2002 olympics = great tournament (Canada won)

1998 and 2006 olympics = who cares about olympics (Canada lost)

Philadelphia-CSKA game is a classic game, because Philly won. It's always a classic if Canada/NHL win, if they lose, it's just because, they didn't care.

NHL teams also had home advantage + games played in a small rink and refs were from North-America.*

* = they played a few games in Soviet Union.


It's funny how certain posters are so blindly biased that they just won't be able to see things like this. I'm not talking about God Bless Canada here, but a certain NHL Analyst comes to mind.

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01-28-2007, 05:55 AM
  #87
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Pronger deserved the Hart in 2000. There hasn't been many defencemen to dominate a season like Pronger did that year. He was unbelievable. I am not saying Jagr wasn't but I think the Hart Trophy went to the right player that year, likewise in 2006. Thornton turned the Sharks right around. He made Cheechoo into a 50 goal scorer.
Jagr was totally dominant in 2000 (as well as many other seasons). He missed 19 games, but still won the Pearson and lost the Hart by one point (396-395).

Thornton winning the Hart in 2006 was absurd to me. The previous season, San Jose was third in the league in points, won their division and reached the Western Conference Finals. They were considered a strong team, but got off to a slow start in '06 and with the help of Thornton were able to rebound to a playoff team. The Rangers had completed a fire sale the previous season and were picked near last by almost everyone, yet made a run at the division title.

The stars aligned for Thornton:
- He was traded to a team that had played two fewer games than Boston, so his teams played two more games total than Jagr.
- While Thornton's favored Canada team bowed out of the Olympics, Jagr endured brutal hit to lead an undermanned Czech squad (no Hasek, Elias, Havlat, etc.) to a bronze (allowing little rest before returning to NHL).
- I believe the above two factors were critical in Thornton winning the Ross and Cheechoo the Richard. If Thornton doesn't win the Ross, I doubt he wins the Hart.

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Now, there is no way Jagr is way better than Sakic. I would rather have Sakic in the playoffs than Jagr. Goal scoring I think they are very close. Playmaking ability big edge to Jagr there. So Jagr is better but there isn't a big difference between the two.
I wouldn't say Jagr was way better than Sakic, but I also believe that (surprisingly) Sakic isn't regarded as highly as he deserves either.

Jagr has a significant edge as both a goal scorer and playmaker over Sakic. They have both been very good playoff players as well. Jagr is clearly the better player to me, but any talk that Sakic "couldn't hold is jock strap" is just insulting.

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I don't understand how Mikita played against weaker competition. The majority of his career he played in a six team league. He faced great goalies all the time. Furthermore, Mikita had to beat out Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Hull and later on in his career Esposito. All players are in the top ten of all time or close to it with Esposito's case. With all due respect to Sakic, Forsberg and Yzerman they aren't even close to Howe, Hull and Beliveau.
I think the term "competition" can be misleading, because you are right that in a six team league only the very best players available will be in the league. However, the question is whether the talent pool was as good then as it was now. On one hand, many who watched the original six era claim the best players then are better than the best players now. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense that the best players would be worse in a time when population has nearly doubled (?) and the best European/Russian players are now in the league (approximately 1/3 of current rosters and about 1/2 of top 10 season scorers over past ~12 years). If you condensed today's teams down to 6 (even 12 or 16), there would be some real powerhouse teams today also.

All this referencing of "top 10" players is opinion, and how many players have played against both Stan Mikita and today's players? So how can anyone say with certainty that players in Mikita's time were better than today's players?

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Some people think that the dead puck era started in 1990. It began around 1996. Jagr played in a high scoring league in his first 5 to 6 years of his career.Granted, he did play in an era where scoring wasn't very high. However, the same can be said for Mikita. There isn't much of a difference between scoring in the 60's compared to the recent dead puck era. The game were rougher as well. There was no one to protect you. You had to fight your own battles.
League scoring started to drop significantly in '93-94 season (lowest since '73-74) and continued to drop until almost continuously until last season. I would say Jagr's prime started in '93-94 (age 21-22), so he basically has played his whole prime in the "dead puck era." You are right that Mikita also played in a relatively low scoring era for most of his career as well, although scoring started to increase significantly in the early-mid '70s.

I'm sure the games were rough back then, but Jagr didn't have much protection when he played either and was often held/tackled/hooked/slashed and double or triple teaming him was the norm. Basically, a slightly toned down version of Rollerball.

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Having 15 thirty goal seasons is great. Mike Gartner did sure but does that make him one of the greatest ever? No. Take a look at how may players scored thirty goals a season in the mid 60's. Not many. In fact, it would be considered a great year if 5 players scored 30 goals in one season.
I agree that 30 goals in Gartner's time was often relatively easy, but just as it often wasn't in Mikita's time, it usually wasn't in Jagr's era either. For example, Sakic scored less than 30 goals in 8 of 12 seasons (age 23-34).

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You say Jagr will probably finish in the top five of scoring of all time. I doubt that he will but let's say he does. Ron Francis is number four right now. Franics is a great player but there is no way he's better than Esposito, Lemieux or Beliveau. When you are comparing players from different eras, you can't look at how many points htey had throughout their career. Some players have benfited from playing in a high scoring era and playing more games than others too. Pierre Turgeon who probably won't make the HHOF, is ahead of Beliveau and Bobby Clarke but Turgeon is nowhere near them.
If he doesn't finish top five in scoring, it will likely be due in big part to the low scoring era in which he played, losing 1.5 seasons to labor disputes, and him leaving the NHL early to play in Europe or Russia. I agree that you can't judge players solely on their career totals (even adjusted). However, Jagr isn't a good player who played for a long time in a high scoring era (e.g. Andreychuk). He's one of the best players to ever play hockey, who has played for a long time at a very high level in a low scoring era.

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01-28-2007, 06:50 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
...during the Original Six era, they played a 70-game schedule. If Mikita would have played an 82-game season (the number of games during Jagr's 100-point seasons), Mikita probably has five 100-point seasons. The schedule didn't expand past 70 games until 1967-68 (the year that Mikita won his final Art Ross).
There are a number of legitimate reasons why Mikita didn't score 100 points.

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The competition was much better for the Art Ross when Mikita won his four Art Ross Trophies. He faced Bobby Hull at his peak, and guys like Howe and Beliveau playing at a very high level. Jagr won his Art Ross Trophies, did he have anyone in the top 10 of all-time at their peak, or close to their peak? No. Gretzky was at the end of his career. He never faced Lemieux for a full season. Quantity of players doesn't always equal quality.

Mikita didn't play in a weaker era. He played his best hockey in the era that hockey historians revere as hockey's Golden Era - the Original Six. You had 100 in the league, not a watered-down league with 26-30 teams, 60 goalies and about 700 players.
How many players have played both in the original six era and during the last 15 years? So how can anyone accurately say that the best players then were better than the best players now?

I don't know how you can say Jagr never faced Lemieux for a full season. Of course they were teammates, but still competed for Ross, etc. In '96 Jagr finished second to Lemieux in goals and points, while setting a season record for points (and assists) by a right wing. He also outscored Lemieux by 22 points at even strength that season. In '97, Jagr was hurt and missed 19 games or else he probably would have given Lemieux a run for the Ross and likely would have won the Richard.

There were a number of times that either Lemieux (one of the all-time greats you reference), injuries or other European/Russian players prevented Jagr from leading the league (or at least finishing much higher) in goals, assists, or points:

'95- second in goals to Bondra
'96- second in both goals and points to Lemieux
'97- second in ppg to Lemieux, but finished 6th in points due to injury
first in goals/game, but finished 6th due to injury
'99- second in goals to Selanne
'00- first in assists/game, but finished third due to injury
second in goals/game to Bure, but finished fourth due to injury

So Jagr lost one Ross to Lemieux ('96), likely one to combination of Lemieux and injury ('97) and likely another to Olympics and/or trade allowing 2 extra games for Thornton ('06).

He lost one goal scoring title to Lemieux ('96), another to combination of Lemieux and injury ('97), two to Euro/Russians ('95 & '99), one to a combination of Euro/Russian and injury ('00), and possibly one due to Olympics ('06).

Don't tell me there isn't tough competition now. It would be a tough task convincing me that Howe, Hull or Beliveau was a more capable scorer as Lemieux (or even Jagr). NHL players didn't play in the Olympics in Mikita's time, and Mikita didn't have to compete against all the other great European/Russian players that play now. Add the significant increase in US/Canadian population since Mikita's era, and it's an uphill battle arguing that the talent was greater then than now.


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01-28-2007, 06:58 AM
  #89
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Pronger deserved the Hart in 2000. There hasn't been many defencemen to dominate a season like Pronger did that year. He was unbelievable. I am not saying Jagr wasn't but I think the Hart Trophy went to the right player that year, likewise in 2006. Thornton turned the Sharks right around. He made Cheechoo into a 50 goal scorer.
You can almost convince me Thornton deserved it last season, however there is no way on god's green earth will anybody ever convince me that Pronger deserved it in 2000. One just simply needs to look at the Penguins record in the 19 games Jagr missed to see who was the mvp that year. An absolute joke if I ever saw one. He missed a quarter of the season and still lead the league in scoring. That was probably the most dominant anybody has been ever outside of Gretzky in his prime. Bottom line is, without jagr, the Penguins would have drafted in the top 2 that year, and without Pronger, the Blues would have finished 4th at worst.

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01-28-2007, 07:24 AM
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You can almost convince me Thornton deserved it last season, however there is no way on god's green earth will anybody ever convince me that Pronger deserved it in 2000. One just simply needs to look at the Penguins record in the 19 games Jagr missed to see who was the mvp that year. An absolute joke if I ever saw one. He missed a quarter of the season and still lead the league in scoring. That was probably the most dominant anybody has been ever outside of Gretzky in his prime. Bottom line is, without jagr, the Penguins would have drafted in the top 2 that year, and without Pronger, the Blues would have finished 4th at worst.
I think you should consider that missing those 19 games is what kept him from winning the Hart.

1999-2000
HART: Chris Pronger 396 (25-9-11-8-4); Jaromir Jagr 395 (18-22-9-4-4); Pavel Bure 346 (11-18-16-9-3)

Pronger led his team to the best record in the NHL and the Jennings, while leading the league in +/-, blocked shots and ice time.

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01-28-2007, 07:53 AM
  #91
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Second-rate? The best player who ever lived (Bobby Orr) had some of his best years in the 70s.

In fact, here are some of the players who were in the NHL from 72 to 79: Phil Esposito (likely the best player ever within five feet of the net), Guy LaFleur (best run of dominance by any forward not named Gretzky, Lemieux or Howe), Bryan Trottier (his best was the four Islander Cup wins, but he showed the world how good he was in the late 70s), Bobby Clarke (three Hart Trophy wins), plus you had a past-his-prime but still very good Stan Mikita and a young Bossy. All top-30 all-time players. That's just the forwards.

Orr was the king of defencemen from 72 to 75. No defenceman has ever come close to the level of all-round dominance that Orr attained, and I don't think any defenceman ever will. After Orr left, guys like Larry Robinson and Denis Potvin took over (two of the top 10 defencemen ever). And lurking around throughout the decade was Brad Park, and I know hockey people a hell of a lot smarter than you who rate Brad Park as one of the top 10 defencemen ever.

And then you have goalies like Ken Dryden, Bernie Parent and Tony Esposito.

Clearly not a second-rate league.
NHL was better than WHA, but NHL lost lot's of talent to WHA.

Here's WHA vs. NHL results. I know It's only 67 games, but you can see, that NHL wasn't much better than WHA.

Overall WHA vs NHL results

Games W L T GF GA
67 33 27 7 245 239


1972&73
No Exhibition games were played.

1974
(WHA teams- 2 wins, 5 losses)
September
26-Houston Aeros 5, St.Louis Blues 3
28-New England Whalers 2, Philidalphia Flyers 4
29-Winnpeg Jets 1, Atlanta Flames 3
October
5-San Diego Mariners 4, California Golden Seals 3
6-Toronto Toros 3, Minnesota North Stars 5
6-Edmonton Oilers 3, Vancouver Canucks 4
6-Cleveland Crusaders 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 5

1975
No Exhibition games were played.

1976
(WHA teams- 3 wins, 9 losses, 1 tie)
September
21-Birmingham Bulls 7, Atlanta Flames 6
21-Houston Aeros 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 5
23-Calgary Cowboys 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 7
24-Winnipeg Jets 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 3
26-Edmonton Oilers 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 3
26-Indianapolis Racers 1, Washington Capitals 2
26-Winnipeg Jets 6, St. Louis Blues 2
October
1-New England Whalers 2, New York Rangers 2

1977
(WHA teams- 12 wins, 6 losses, 2 ties)
September
25-New England Whalers 2, Chicago Black Hawks 2
28-New England Whalers 5, Washington Capitals 4
28-Winnipeg Jets 1, Minnesota North Stars 2
30-Birmingham Bulls 0, Atlanta Flames 3
30-New England Whalers 7, New York Rangers 4
October
1-New England Whalers 0, Boston Bruins 5
1-Winnipeg Jets 4, Minnesota North Stars 3
3-Edmonton Oilers 3, St.Louis Blues 2
4-New England Whalers 5, Atlanta Flames 4
5-Houston Aeros 3, Atlanta Flames 5
5-Winnipeg Jets 6, St.Louis Blues 2
6-Winnipeg Jets 3, St.Louis Blues 0
7-New England Whalers 9, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
7-Birmingham Bulls 0, St. Louis Blues 4
8-Quebec Nordiques 5, New York Rangers 5
8-Edmonton Oilers 5, Detroit Red Wings 4
9-New England Whalers 4, Atlanta Flames 3
9-Edmonton Oilers 2, Cleveland Barons 4
9-Winnipeg Jets 1, Detroit Red Wings 0
10-Quebec Nordiques 5, Washington Capitals 1

1978
(WHA teams- 16 wins, 7 losses, 4 ties)
September
23-New England Whalers 5, Washington Capitals 2
24-Winnipeg Jets 2, St. Louis Blues 2
26-Winnipeg Jets 3, Colorado Rockies 5
27-Quebec Nordiques 3, Colorado Rockies 2
27-New England Whalers 5, New York Islanders 2
28-Birmingham Bulls 4, Atlanta Flames 2
28-Winnipeg Jets 2, New York Rangers 4
30-Quebec Nordiques 4, Washington Capitals 7
October
1-Quebec Nordiques 5, Minnesota North Stars 2
1-New England Whalers 5, Washington Capitals 1
2-Winnipeg Jets 4, New York Rangers 7
3-New England Whalers 5, Detroit Red Wings 7
3-Edmonton Oilers 4, Minnesota North Stars 2
3-Quebec Nordiques 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
4-New England Whalers 3, Detroit Red Wings 0
4-Edmonton Oilers 5, Vancouver Canucks 3
5-Quebec Nordiques 5, Chicago Black Hawks 2
5-Winnipeg Jets 5, Minnesota North Stars 5
5-Birmingham Bulls 3, St.Louis Blues 4
6-New England Whalers 4, Chicago Black Hawks 4
6-Indianapolis Racers 4, St.Louis Blues 1
7-Edmonton Oilers 3, Minnesota North Stars 9
7-Quebec Nordiques 4, New York Rangers 1
7-Cincinnati Stingers 6, Pittsburgh Penguins 4
8-Edmonton Oilers 6, Colorado Rockies 4
8-Winnipeg Jets 6, Minnesota North Stars 5
8-New England Whalers 4, New York Rangers 4

http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/5206/whanhl2.html

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01-28-2007, 11:58 PM
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Czech your math

Don't tell me there isn't tough competition now. It would be a tough task convincing me that Howe, Hull or Beliveau was a more capable scorer as Lemieux (or even Jagr). NHL players didn't play in the Olympics in Mikita's time, and Mikita didn't have to compete against all the other great European/Russian players that play now. Add the significant increase in US/Canadian population since Mikita's era, and it's an uphill battle arguing that the talent was greater then than now.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Of course, there is tough competition now & there always has been. The difference is that the competition was much more concentrated in the original six. Every team had superstars & every team had an HOF goalie. To score almost 100 points was very tough. It was brutal out there. You had to play tough every night as there were many players waiting in the minors to take your place. I really think Jagr would have had a tough time in the original six wheras guys like Mikita, Hull, Howe & Orr would still be dominate today. I have lived through both eras & have seen it first hand wheras you are basing your conclusions on what I don't know.

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01-29-2007, 05:11 AM
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[QUOTE=pappyline;7825054Of course, there is tough competition now & there always has been. The difference is that the competition was much more concentrated in the original six. Every team had superstars & every team had an HOF goalie. To score almost 100 points was very tough. It was brutal out there. You had to play tough every night as there were many players waiting in the minors to take your place. I really think Jagr would have had a tough time in the original six wheras guys like Mikita, Hull, Howe & Orr would still be dominate today. I have lived through both eras & have seen it first hand wheras you are basing your conclusions on what I don't know.[/QUOTE]

I know there are good reasons why players didn't score 100 points in Mikita's time. Of course having only six teams concentrates the talent, but that's why I say the term "competition" is misleading. I'm speaking of the overall talent pool available to the NHL, not the quality of talent (per team or per player) in the NHL at a given time.
A significantly larger talent pool (due to population and players from overseas). As I said, if you condensed the modern NHL to 6 or 12 teams, those teams would have tremendous levels of talent also.

I don't doubt that Orr, Howe, Hull, Mikita, etc. would be among the best players today, but don't see what you base your assertion that players like Jagr wouldn't be able to dominate in that era. Jagr mostly played in a low scoring era, with many great defensive players and goaltenders, when defensive strategy has been emphasized. With less concentration of talent, their are fewer skill players per team to score goals, so it has usually been imperative that Jagr's line score a large portion of his teams' points. To say Jagr doesn't play a physical game is false, since he usually has to fight through multiple players for scoring chances and has been the opposing teams' main focus for many years.

Like most great players, I would guess Jagr would adapt to the conditions, as he's had individual and team success at all levels, whether Juniors, NHL, international tournaments, or Czech/Russian leagues.

He's not a fighter, but then I think fighting should be an abberation, not a frequent event in hockey.

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01-29-2007, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
Of course, there is tough competition now & there always has been. The difference is that the competition was much more concentrated in the original six. Every team had superstars & every team had an HOF goalie. To score almost 100 points was very tough. It was brutal out there. You had to play tough every night as there were many players waiting in the minors to take your place. I really think Jagr would have had a tough time in the original six wheras guys like Mikita, Hull, Howe & Orr would still be dominate today. I have lived through both eras & have seen it first hand wheras you are basing your conclusions on what I don't know.
Jagr would've destroyed the NHL back then.

A distiction has to be made between being 'tough' and being 'strong'. Original 6 NHLers were easily tougher than players today - but they were also much smaller and far weaker.

Right now Jagr is listed at 6-3 245. Someone that big playing hockey in the 50/60's was unheard of....much less someone of Jagr's skill level.
It doesn't matter how much 'tougher' the league was back then, your average original 6 player would've been absolutely dominated by Jagr physically.

To put it in perspective, Mikita was only 5-8 152 his rookie year. He was obviously tough as nails - but if he played the style he did early in his career against todays NHLers he'd be risking perminant injury.

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01-29-2007, 06:32 AM
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Jagr!

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01-29-2007, 10:15 AM
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Jagr would've destroyed the NHL back then.

A distiction has to be made between being 'tough' and being 'strong'. Original 6 NHLers were easily tougher than players today - but they were also much smaller and far weaker.

Right now Jagr is listed at 6-3 245. Someone that big playing hockey in the 50/60's was unheard of....much less someone of Jagr's skill level.
It doesn't matter how much 'tougher' the league was back then, your average original 6 player would've been absolutely dominated by Jagr physically.

To put it in perspective, Mikita was only 5-8 152 his rookie year. He was obviously tough as nails - but if he played the style he did early in his career against todays NHLers he'd be risking perminant injury.
Most player listings nowadays are exaggerated. I highly doubt that he's 245 pounds.

I think some people tend to overrate strength. And there were a lot of really strong players back then. Not as well conditioned as they are now, but there's a difference between being really strong, and well conditioned. I've met a lot of really strong people who aren't in great shape. I'd rather have someone with a great work ethic who's mentally strong, than someone who's physically strong. The player who is mentally strong will always find a way to succeed.

I think Jagr would have been one of the best in the Original Six. He would have dominated, he would have won Art Ross Trophies (probably not six, but that's because when he won his Art Ross Trophies, he never faced a player as good as Howe, Hull, Richard or Mikita in their prime). He would have had his share of all-star team births.

His point per game pace would have declined for the reasons I outlined above. (Wouldn't have had the benefit of working with his defencemen on a regular basis, and he would face an HHOF goalie every night). He wouldn't have had as many all-star selections as he did in his time, but that's because the top end for the RW position peaked during the Original 6, with four of the top 10 ever - Howe, Richard, Geoffrion and Bathgate. (Those four claimed every all-star team birth over a 15 year span).

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01-29-2007, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I know there are good reasons why players didn't score 100 points in Mikita's time. Of course having only six teams concentrates the talent, but that's why I say the term "competition" is misleading. I'm speaking of the overall talent pool available to the NHL, not the quality of talent (per team or per player) in the NHL at a given time.
A significantly larger talent pool (due to population and players from overseas). As I said, if you condensed the modern NHL to 6 or 12 teams, those teams would have tremendous levels of talent also.

I don't doubt that Orr, Howe, Hull, Mikita, etc. would be among the best players today, but don't see what you base your assertion that players like Jagr wouldn't be able to dominate in that era. Jagr mostly played in a low scoring era, with many great defensive players and goaltenders, when defensive strategy has been emphasized. With less concentration of talent, their are fewer skill players per team to score goals, so it has usually been imperative that Jagr's line score a large portion of his teams' points. To say Jagr doesn't play a physical game is false, since he usually has to fight through multiple players for scoring chances and has been the opposing teams' main focus for many years.

Like most great players, I would guess Jagr would adapt to the conditions, as he's had individual and team success at all levels, whether Juniors, NHL, international tournaments, or Czech/Russian leagues.

He's not a fighter, but then I think fighting should be an abberation, not a frequent event in hockey.
Don't get me wrong, I think Jagr would do well back in the orig 6. I just don't think he would dominate. As GBC says, there were a few other great right wings back in those days

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01-29-2007, 06:18 PM
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Don't forget the NHL wasn't a soft league back then. Players finished checks and the padding/equipment offered little in the way of cushion. Jagr is definitely skilled enough to have been a scoring threat, but how healthy would he have been as players smaller than him tried to run him through the boards? Not to mention stick work (not the offensive kind) and I'm inclined to think unless Jagr developed a certain bit of moxy that he hasn't really shown in today's game, he'd be in a lot of tight situations.

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01-29-2007, 06:57 PM
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Jagr hands down followed by Hasek and Nedomansky.

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01-29-2007, 07:08 PM
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Jagr was totally dominant in 2000 (as well as many other seasons). He missed 19 games, but still won the Pearson and lost the Hart by one point (396-395).

Thornton winning the Hart in 2006 was absurd to me. The previous season, San Jose was third in the league in points, won their division and reached the Western Conference Finals. They were considered a strong team, but got off to a slow start in '06 and with the help of Thornton were able to rebound to a playoff team. The Rangers had completed a fire sale the previous season and were picked near last by almost everyone, yet made a run at the division title.

The stars aligned for Thornton:
- He was traded to a team that had played two fewer games than Boston, so his teams played two more games total than Jagr.
- While Thornton's favored Canada team bowed out of the Olympics, Jagr endured brutal hit to lead an undermanned Czech squad (no Hasek, Elias, Havlat, etc.) to a bronze (allowing little rest before returning to NHL).
- I believe the above two factors were critical in Thornton winning the Ross and Cheechoo the Richard. If Thornton doesn't win the Ross, I doubt he wins the Hart.



I wouldn't say Jagr was way better than Sakic, but I also believe that (surprisingly) Sakic isn't regarded as highly as he deserves either.

Jagr has a significant edge as both a goal scorer and playmaker over Sakic. They have both been very good playoff players as well. Jagr is clearly the better player to me, but any talk that Sakic "couldn't hold is jock strap" is just insulting.



I think the term "competition" can be misleading, because you are right that in a six team league only the very best players available will be in the league. However, the question is whether the talent pool was as good then as it was now. On one hand, many who watched the original six era claim the best players then are better than the best players now. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense that the best players would be worse in a time when population has nearly doubled (?) and the best European/Russian players are now in the league (approximately 1/3 of current rosters and about 1/2 of top 10 season scorers over past ~12 years). If you condensed today's teams down to 6 (even 12 or 16), there would be some real powerhouse teams today also.

All this referencing of "top 10" players is opinion, and how many players have played against both Stan Mikita and today's players? So how can anyone say with certainty that players in Mikita's time were better than today's players?



League scoring started to drop significantly in '93-94 season (lowest since '73-74) and continued to drop until almost continuously until last season. I would say Jagr's prime started in '93-94 (age 21-22), so he basically has played his whole prime in the "dead puck era." You are right that Mikita also played in a relatively low scoring era for most of his career as well, although scoring started to increase significantly in the early-mid '70s.

I'm sure the games were rough back then, but Jagr didn't have much protection when he played either and was often held/tackled/hooked/slashed and double or triple teaming him was the norm. Basically, a slightly toned down version of Rollerball.



I agree that 30 goals in Gartner's time was often relatively easy, but just as it often wasn't in Mikita's time, it usually wasn't in Jagr's era either. For example, Sakic scored less than 30 goals in 8 of 12 seasons (age 23-34).



If he doesn't finish top five in scoring, it will likely be due in big part to the low scoring era in which he played, losing 1.5 seasons to labor disputes, and him leaving the NHL early to play in Europe or Russia. I agree that you can't judge players solely on their career totals (even adjusted). However, Jagr isn't a good player who played for a long time in a high scoring era (e.g. Andreychuk). He's one of the best players to ever play hockey, who has played for a long time at a very high level in a low scoring era.
I don't think it matters where the Sharks finished the year before. The key point is that that season they were struggling. Who knows, if Thornton doesn't go to them they might make the playoffs. No one will ever know that. However, we do know that the Sharks weren't a playoff team last year, until Thornton got traded to them.

A couple of things affected Jagr. First, his play down the stretch. Jagr wasn't as good as he was during the last half of the season as he was in the first half. Second, the Rangers were first in their division for much of the year. I believe they ended up finishing 6th. Third, he lost the Art Ross Trophy. I don't think it was that big of a deal anyways but it still would have affected some people's votes. Finally, the play of Lundqvist. No one expected him to play as well as he did last season. Lundqvist was one of the top goalies in the league last year. The play of Lundqvist probably took some votes away from Jagr.

Two things that aren't a factor are Thornton's play in the Olympics and his being traded to San Jose. If he played one more game than Jagr, then yes it would be a factor. The fact is even if you include those two games, they have the same number of points. Again though, Thornton winning the Art Ross wasn't that important to the votes IMO.

The thing is though when you have six teams you face outstanding goalies every game. Imagine only having six teams now. Look at how many great goalies you would face each night. I think most people that have some knowledge about the history of hockey put Howe Hull and Beliveau in the top ten.

In the 95-96' season they were over 6 goals a game. During the puck era yes there wasn't many goals. However, when comparing players from different eras, I don't think it's important how many goals were scored per/game in a season. The only reason why I mentioned that was because some people seem to think that there was only one dead puck era which wasn't true. Likewise, they think that soon as 1990 hit goal scoring dropped, which again isn't true.

Today's NHL whether people like to admit it or not is probably the least roughest era of the NHL's history. Reading books and articles it seems like the 30's and 40's were absolutely brutal. People were using sticks as weapons quite frequently. When Stan Mikita played it you had to fight your own battles. People tested you to see if you could be pushed around. If you backed down then they really went after you. I won't debate whether Jagr could play in the 60's or not because we will never know the answer.

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