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Old
11-02-2007, 07:50 PM
  #26
ck26
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Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
I'll post mine later...and we've already had this discussion but:

I can see how getting Lindsay was a steal...I quite frankly agree. What I don't agree on is how taking Jagr can be a blunder. You might not like the guy for whatever reason, but he has offensive talent, and he knows how to play. Okay, maybe taking him at 28 is early...so where should he be picked? 40? 50? Meh.
The two judgements are related. Jagr was a mistake because Lindsay was still there. Lindsay was a steal because he is clearly better (IMO) than another winger (Jagr) taken ahead of him. That high in the draft, slipping even a couple slots in either direction is enough to call a blunder / bust ... case in point ... if Bobby Orr slips as far as 4, we all mock those 3 GM's forever.

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11-02-2007, 08:17 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by cottonking View Post
The two judgements are related. Jagr was a mistake because Lindsay was still there. Lindsay was a steal because he is clearly better (IMO) than another winger (Jagr) taken ahead of him. That high in the draft, slipping even a couple slots in either direction is enough to call a blunder / bust ... case in point ... if Bobby Orr slips as far as 4, we all mock those 3 GM's forever.
This I disagree with. If we took Lindsay, he'd still be a steal at that point IMO. Lack of judgement from our side, so yeah, I guess that does fit biggest blunder perfectly...I dunno, for some reason, I just found that overly harsh. But the more I read about Lindsay, the more clearly I see that we should have taken him.

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11-02-2007, 08:30 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
If we took Lindsay, he'd still be a steal at that point IMO.
Agreed. I'm of the opinion that 1st round picks -- aside from the Gretzkys and Beliveaus, who are a couple notches ahead of Jagr offensively -- should play in every situation. The ability of Clarke, Yzerman, Lindsay and Trottier (2 skaters ahead and behind Jagr) to dominate is basically the same as Jagr ... I like those 4 because they can play powerplay, even strength and penalty kill. You can play them first line or second line. You don't need to go into the next pick saying, "I need a checker / playmaker to be his linemate," you can just get the best player.

If you take Trottier or Lindsay or Yzerman, you can get any type of linemate to play with him, allowing you to pick "best player" with your next one. If you take Jagr, you must find him a worker and a playmaker, forcing you to draft, "best playmaker," which may limit your options slightly.

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11-02-2007, 08:50 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by cottonking View Post
Agreed. I'm of the opinion that 1st round picks -- aside from the Gretzkys and Beliveaus, who are a couple notches ahead of Jagr offensively -- should play in every situation. The ability of Clarke, Yzerman, Lindsay and Trottier (2 skaters ahead and behind Jagr) to dominate is basically the same as Jagr ... I like those 4 because they can play powerplay, even strength and penalty kill. You can play them first line or second line. You don't need to go into the next pick saying, "I need a checker / playmaker to be his linemate," you can just get the best player.

If you take Trottier or Lindsay or Yzerman, you can get any type of linemate to play with him, allowing you to pick "best player" with your next one. If you take Jagr, you must find him a worker and a playmaker, forcing you to draft, "best playmaker," which may limit your options slightly.
jagr doesn't need a playmaker. he's a great playmaker himself. i would put him on a line with a 2-way center who can score and a gritty LW.

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11-02-2007, 09:09 PM
  #30
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I think people are being overly harsh on the Jagr pick. I know a lot of people don't like the guy, and it's true, he did dog it for a couple years in Washington. On the other hand, he's a guy who's always come to play in the playoffs, and has come up big with some brutal injuries. I don't think the guy deserves half the criticism he gets.

After Gretzky, Lemieux (and Orr I suppose), Jagr is right in with the next group (Lafleur, Esposito, etc) in terms of offensive ability. Although he did win one scoring title, Lindsay is not on that level in terms of offence.

Lindsay is great for a number of reasons. He has many dimensions that Jagr doesn't, but Jagr has a dimension (arguably the most important one for a first line player) that Lindsay doesn't. Jagr's one of the few players I've ever seen who can dominate all by himself. He can completely carry an offence playing with absolute garbage players, and there's very few guys who can do that IMO (and Lindsay isn't one of them). So this would allow a GM to be a little more economical with Jagr's linemates, whereas I think you'd want another top-end offensive player to go with Lindsay.

So, to conclude, I believe that Jagr can be every bit as valuable as Ted Lindsay. It all really comes down to how the lines are built around them.

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Old
11-02-2007, 09:24 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
I think people are being overly harsh on the Jagr pick. I know a lot of people don't like the guy, and it's true, he did dog it for a couple years in Washington. On the other hand, he's a guy who's always come to play in the playoffs, and has come up big with some brutal injuries. I don't think the guy deserves half the criticism he gets.

After Gretzky, Lemieux (and Orr I suppose), Jagr is right in with the next group (Lafleur, Esposito, etc) in terms of offensive ability. Although he did win one scoring title, Lindsay is not on that level in terms of offence.

Lindsay is great for a number of reasons. He has many dimensions that Jagr doesn't, but Jagr has a dimension (arguably the most important one for a first line player) that Lindsay doesn't. Jagr's one of the few players I've ever seen who can dominate all by himself. He can completely carry an offence playing with absolute garbage players, and there's very few guys who can do that IMO (and Lindsay isn't one of them). So this would allow a GM to be a little more economical with Jagr's linemates, whereas I think you'd want another top-end offensive player to go with Lindsay.

So, to conclude, I believe that Jagr can be every bit as valuable as Ted Lindsay. It all really comes down to how the lines are built around them.
You make a very good point. To be good offensively, lindsay needed good linemates. His best years were from howe's rookie season in 46-47 to 56-57 when he was traded to Chicago. He came off his best point season of 85 in 56-57 but dropped to 39 in 57-58 in Chicago. In 58-59, he was put on a great line with litzenberger & Sloan and jumped to a respectable 58 points (also 184 pim). The next year, Litz was seiously injured & lindsay dropped t0 26 points & retired. He brought other intangibles to the game but needed to play with good players to put up offensive numbers. Jagr doesn't have those intangibles but is certainly a better offensive player.

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11-02-2007, 11:18 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
jagr doesn't need a playmaker. he's a great playmaker himself. i would put him on a line with a 2-way center who can score and a gritty LW.
LaFontaine fits the 2-way center...don't know if you call Joliat a gritty winger...

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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
You make a very good point. To be good offensively, lindsay needed good linemates. His best years were from howe's rookie season in 46-47 to 56-57 when he was traded to Chicago. He came off his best point season of 85 in 56-57 but dropped to 39 in 57-58 in Chicago. In 58-59, he was put on a great line with litzenberger & Sloan and jumped to a respectable 58 points (also 184 pim). The next year, Litz was seiously injured & lindsay dropped t0 26 points & retired. He brought other intangibles to the game but needed to play with good players to put up offensive numbers. Jagr doesn't have those intangibles but is certainly a better offensive player.
Exactly. Yes, I have no problem admitting that Lindsay was a better pick then Jagr...what's typically called a "steal". But your post is also why I'm kinda iffy when Jagr is labeled as a blunder.

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11-02-2007, 11:50 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
LaFontaine fits the 2-way center...don't know if you call Joliat a gritty winger...
Joliat was the Theo Fleury of his era, but much more talented. What he lacked in size, he made up for in aggression and fearlessness.

Read Joe Pelletier's blog for stories about Joliat attacking Shore, fighting Punch Broadbent at age 70, and planning a comeback (who says old stars think they can't compete in today's NHL)?

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11-02-2007, 11:59 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Joliat was the Theo Fleury of his era, but much more talented. What he lacked in size, he made up for in aggression and fearlessness.

Read Joe Pelletier's blog for stories about Joliat attacking Shore, fighting Punch Broadbent at age 70, and planning a comeback (who says old stars think they can't compete in today's NHL)?
I always loved the Maurice Richard interview (I don't remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of this):

Reporter: How many goals do you think you'd score in today's NHL?
Richard: Probably around 20.
Reporter: That's it?
Richard: Well, you have to remember I'm over seventy years old now.

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11-03-2007, 12:17 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Joliat was the Theo Fleury of his era, but much more talented. What he lacked in size, he made up for in aggression and fearlessness.

Read Joe Pelletier's blog for stories about Joliat attacking Shore, fighting Punch Broadbent at age 70, and planning a comeback (who says old stars think they can't compete in today's NHL)?
Wow, knew he was tough, didn't know he was gritty to that extent though...thanks for the link HO.

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11-03-2007, 04:34 AM
  #36
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nik, you do realize that Hap Day was also never an all-star, right? Hap played about half of his prime after the advent of the postseason all-star selections, but never got the nod. Should we dock him for it, as well, or should we take into account the fact that both Day and Horner were not only playing in a strong era for defensemen, but in the shadow of an icon?

Doug Mohns was also never picked for a postseason all-star team, (nor was Seattle's own Ed Westfall if we're talking about forwards, as well). Adam Foote has never been picked and almost certainly won't be before he retires. Of course, there is an important difference between Red Horner and the aforementioned players. Horner was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965, shortly after the hall moved and set up in Toronto; the others are still on the outside looking in.

Defensemen taken in the first eight rounds of the draft with only one all-star nod include Zubov, Suter, Goldham, Housley and Carlyle. Should we start questioning the abilities of these players because of a relative lack of presence on all-star lists? Is Dan Boyle (no one's going to draft him, so I will use his name) as good as the above because he's got the same number of all-star nods? I don't think so. The postseason all-star teams are restrictive to begin with (only 4 defensemen per season) and the picks, themselves, are often head-scratchers. Take it with a grain of salt.

I find it curious that no one criticizes players picked relatively early who are not Hall of Famers, but now we're hearing that Red Horner should be knocked because he was never a postseason all-star. Just sticking with defensemen, did anyone balk when Mark Howe, J.C. Tremblay, Carl Brewer and Bill White were selected before Red Horner? I mean, Horner's in the Hall and those guys are not.

We've been conditioned to largely ignore the fact that certain players we know were great haven't been picked by the Hall for whatever reason. All four of the non-Hall of Famers I mentioned were all great defensemen and worthy of their selection. Perhaps it's time we start realizing that postseason all-star picks are often just as capricious and unfair as Hall selections?

Nik, your prejudice against Horner probably reflects the opinions of many of his contemporaries, as well. "Just a goon" is essentially the label you put on him after the pick was made, before I showed that Red was actually a very good offensive player, and as good a passer as Earl Seibert. Someone made the comment that the Leafs offense featured the Kid Line and that Horner's numbers were perhaps distorted due to that fact, but failed to mention the fact that Seibert spent a lot of time feeding pucks to the Bread Line and had Cecil Dillon on a second line (Dillon is a good player on an all-time second line, so for him to play on a real-world 2nd line is kind of ridiculous) for a lot of that time.

Comparing Horner and Seibert's offensive numbers was completely fair, and it showed clearly that Red had a high level of offensive ability, but quite possibly Horner's contemporaries also couldn't see past the fighting (which was the great source of his penalty minutes) and didn't give him a lot of credit when it came time to pick the postseason all-stars. As far as his PIMs go, given that we know he was the league's most frequent (and arguably greatest) fighter during his career and that we have no evidence Horner was a grabber who took a lot of cheap minor penalties, the conclusion is obviously that the PIMs came in 5 minute increments. Unless you have some evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to assume that Red Horner will take any more minor penalties in an ATD setting than any other physical defenseman of his ilk. As far as the fighting goes, Nalyd and I will address pugilism once the actual matchups start, but suffice it to say, Horner won't have to play amateur boxer the way he did for many of his years in Toronto.

In the interest of increasing everyone's knowledge, I've got some more information on Horner's skating. The HHOF says of Horner: "He was not a graceful skater but could move the puck up ice quickly, usually feeding a tape-to-tape pass while having two forecheckers bearing down on him." Now, it appears from this description that Horner was a good passer in transition, but not much of a skater, but that is not true.

This is from Horner's HHOF spotlight:

Quote:
"We only had four defensemen in those days," Horner continues, moving from discussing the Leafs' forwards to the blueline. "King Clancy and I played together for seven years. Hap Day played on the other pairing with XXX. I was just naturally a heavy hitter. I always was. I wasn't a graceful skater but when I joined the Leafs, Frank Selke told me, 'Red, if you can learn to break fast from the blueline, you'll make this team.' You'd hit somebody and the puck would be at your feet. You had to break fast. I worked at it. Hard. After practice - breaking from the blueline, breaking from the blueline."
Pelletier's site also has a similar comment on Horner's skating:

Quote:
His playmaking was very good and although he wasn't a graceful skater he could break as fast as anyone except the true speedballs like King Clancy and Howie Morenz.
Pelletier's site also mentions that Horner wasn't throwing down with designated goons in his fights. Remember that this was an era when true "goons" didn't really exist. Rosters were much smaller (the Leafs had only four defensemen, for example) and fights mostly took place between guys who got top icetime. Here is Pelletier's comment:

Quote:
Red was a solid 6' and 190 Ibs (some sources suggest he was as big as 6'1" and 200 Ibs), which was an intimidating height and weight back then. He had many hard-fought battles with his opponents throughout the league. His most notable rivalries and battles were with Nels Stewart, Hooley Smith and Bill Cook.
Having a first-pairing defenseman go into the penalty box for fighting John Ferguson is not a way to win games, but if he's going off the ice for one of these guys? Horner is not going to be throwing down with the Bob Probert's of the league. That is a waste of his talents. He'll certainly provide an intimidation factor and deterrance to anyone who wants to take liberties with his teammates while he's on the ice, but it's not as if he can be removed from play by simply sending out a goon - not anymore so than any of the fighters from that era (Seibert, Smith, Stewart, et al).

Finally, I've got a little snippet (courtesy of backcheck) from the Toronto Star in 1936 about a Cup finals game that the Leafs lost. It says simply:

Quote:
Horner and Primeau did some grand rushing in this period.
It's not much, but players who can't skate aren't usually described as "rushing" the puck. Horner, however, was a fast skater, however clumsy it may have looked.


Last edited by Sturminator: 11-03-2007 at 10:24 AM.
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11-03-2007, 05:06 AM
  #37
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I think people are being overly harsh on the Jagr pick. I know a lot of people don't like the guy, and it's true, he did dog it for a couple years in Washington. On the other hand, he's a guy who's always come to play in the playoffs, and has come up big with some brutal injuries. I don't think the guy deserves half the criticism he gets.

After Gretzky, Lemieux (and Orr I suppose), Jagr is right in with the next group (Lafleur, Esposito, etc) in terms of offensive ability. Although he did win one scoring title, Lindsay is not on that level in terms of offence.

Lindsay is great for a number of reasons. He has many dimensions that Jagr doesn't, but Jagr has a dimension (arguably the most important one for a first line player) that Lindsay doesn't. Jagr's one of the few players I've ever seen who can dominate all by himself. He can completely carry an offence playing with absolute garbage players, and there's very few guys who can do that IMO (and Lindsay isn't one of them). So this would allow a GM to be a little more economical with Jagr's linemates, whereas I think you'd want another top-end offensive player to go with Lindsay.

So, to conclude, I believe that Jagr can be every bit as valuable as Ted Lindsay. It all really comes down to how the lines are built around them.
I completely agree with you. The only thing I have to add is the years he was bad he was still bad at a very high level just not to his capabilities.
In addition I want to say that even though the so called "intangibles" are what you like to have on a team, they are not as important as you think in "non-character" players. Jagr is surely not a cancer in a team. it is well deserved that he is a first rounder.

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11-03-2007, 11:27 AM
  #38
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sturminator:

huge red horner fan, eh?

it isn't just that horner wasn't an AS, it's that he got so few votes. based on the (incomplete) AS voting from the '30s that HO posted in the award and AS voting thread, horner seems to have been generally rated from 5th-10th.

hap day was 2nd in left D voting in '33 (it seems there's some problem in either the voting or the reporting of the voting). day got just as many AS votes as horner in '37, even though day was near the end of his career. so it seems the voters considered day a better player. he was also picked quite a bit later than horner.

i think horner's PIMs are a disadvantage. i generally don't think it's a good idea to have key players take themselves out of the game for essentially no reason. horner was the most penalized man of his time by a huge margin. his career PIMs (accumulated in less than 500 games) weren't surpassed until ted lindsay (who played over twice as many games).

we will have a similar problem in keeping howe out of the box, but howe was only over 100 PIM 4 times, and maxed out at 109.

of course players like westfall weren't AS. as far as i know, a purely defensive forward has never been an AS (while playing as a defensive forward).
btw, we aren't detroit, EB is detroit.

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11-03-2007, 12:41 PM
  #39
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sturminator:

huge red horner fan, eh?
Actually, I'm not a fan. I'm an Andy Bathgate fan; Horner is one of Nalyd's guys. My fingerprints are all over the offense (with the notable exceptions being Gretzky, who was a no-brainer, Dillon and Holik), while the defense (with the exception of Si Griffis) is basically Nalyd's baby.

I'd have preferred Harry Howell or Ching Johnson (and we'd have taken one of them if they'd fallen to us), but it wasn't meant to be. Nevertheless, Horner is a player for whom the "usual sources" (the HHOF) give an extremely incomplete picture. I'm not interested in selling Red as a world-beater, calling him a steal or saying that he was better than a bunch of defensemen picked ahead of him because I don't think that is true, but any GM interested in winning would be a fool to allow the perception that one of his top defensemen is little more than a goon to persist any longer than it takes to reply to such an off-target remark.

The simple fact of the matter is that Red Horner is a very solid 2-way defenseman who was also his team's designated enforcer in an era when that really meant something. He was big for his era and very strong, he was a feared hitter, good in his own zone, in the corners, in front of the net, and he was a strong skater and playmaker. I'm not certain that Horner was the best defenseman on the board when we took him - an argument can be made for a few of the other defensemen taken within a round or so (hell, Oakland's own Harry Cameron in the 8th round was probably a better player) - but I am certain that Horner has the best all-around game of any defenseman available and that he was the best fit for our team when we took him.

Horner better than Hap Day? I think they're close, actually. Which one is better probably depends on what you're looking for. Day was a great leader (a fact which was surely not ignored by the all-star voters) and was probably a marginally better offensive player, as well, but he had nothing even resembling Horner's size, strength, toughness or physical play. It's hardly an insult to say that Horner is on roughly the same level as Hap Day. Day was one of the best picks of the 8th round and a guy Nalyd and I strongly considered taking (thereby reuniting the trio), though ultimately we decided that Harry Cameron was simply the better player.

Your reference to the all-star voting is appreciated, as it proves my point. Horner was never picked as one of the four best defensemen in a single season, but he was consistently chosen as a top-10 defenseman for basically his entire career. Is the difference between being 4th and 5th best really all that great? Horner doesn't need to be spectacular - that's what we drafted Clancy, Vasiliev and Cameron for - just very good, consistent and tough.

Now I have a question for you: which defenseman taken after Red Horner was clearly better? Let's not re-open the great Babe Siebert debate, please.

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11-03-2007, 12:51 PM
  #40
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Your reference to the all-star voting is appreciated, as it proves my point. Horner was never picked as one of the four best defensemen in a single season, but he was consistently chosen as a top-10 defenseman for basically his entire career. Is the difference between being 4th and 5th best really all that great? Horner doesn't need to be spectacular - that's what we drafted Clancy, Vasiliev and Cameron for - just very good, consistent and tough.
As an aside, that's something that's always bothered me with using the All-Star teams as a metric for evaluating players. Based upon it's structure, having twice as many defensemen as any other position selected tends to bias results towards defensemen. There are plenty of players who were consistently the third or fourth best player at their position when it was stacked (centers in the 80's, wingers in the 50's/early 60's and goalies several times through history), but defense is the only one that really compensates for that. But when the talent levels are thin, you tend to have guys make the team who likely wouldn't have had the talent been that thin at any other position.

That's why I really enjoyed Hockey Outsider's work on third team All-Stars.

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11-03-2007, 01:59 PM
  #41
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As an aside, that's something that's always bothered me with using the All-Star teams as a metric for evaluating players. Based upon it's structure, having twice as many defensemen as any other position selected tends to bias results towards defensemen. There are plenty of players who were consistently the third or fourth best player at their position when it was stacked (centers in the 80's, wingers in the 50's/early 60's and goalies several times through history), but defense is the only one that really compensates for that. But when the talent levels are thin, you tend to have guys make the team who likely wouldn't have had the talent been that thin at any other position.

That's why I really enjoyed Hockey Outsider's work on third team All-Stars.
... And where's this work?

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11-03-2007, 02:09 PM
  #42
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... And where's this work?
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=407941

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11-03-2007, 02:59 PM
  #43
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Your reference to the all-star voting is appreciated, as it proves my point. Horner was never picked as one of the four best defensemen in a single season, but he was consistently chosen as a top-10 defenseman for basically his entire career. Is the difference between being 4th and 5th best really all that great? Horner doesn't need to be spectacular - that's what we drafted Clancy, Vasiliev and Cameron for - just very good, consistent and tough.

Now I have a question for you: which defenseman taken after Red Horner was clearly better? Let's not re-open the great Babe Siebert debate, please.
how do we know he was consistently 5-10? the difference between 4 and 5 could be great or it could be infinitesimal, i don't know here. and from the incomplete voting, it looks as though he was closer to 10 than 5, but i can't say because the totals were posted for only a few years.

i don't know if i can say others are clearly better, and better overall may not be better for a certain team. i believe clancy was an instigator who couldn't finish what he started, so a player like horner makes sense.
i probably have a lower opinion of horner than most, based in part on his gigantic PIMs.
art coulter was a contemporary of horner, and he seems to have been better. do you think horner was better than terry harper or baun or mantha?

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11-03-2007, 03:15 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
art coulter was a contemporary of horner, and he seems to have been better. do you think horner was better than terry harper or baun or mantha?
Art Coulter was a fantastic pick by pappy and could have gone a couple rounds earlier. I think I mentioned that already. That being said, Coulter was quite clearly not the offensive talent that Horner was and there's no sense in arguing that he was more physical, because he wasn't. For most of his career, Art Coulter showed very little offense, but seems to have peaked right at the end. At any rate, Coulter's offensive peak was no better than Horner's, and he showed considerably less consistency over the course of his career.

Mantha's offensive numbers also don't match Horner's (and Mantha was known as a great 2-way defenseman), and once again, it's quite clear he wasn't as physical. Before you say anything about Mantha's teammates, their names were Morenz and Joliat.

The only argument that Mantha and/or Coulter were better than Horner rests upon either an assumption that they were better in their own zone (for which there is no evidence), or a claim that Horner's PIMs are such a hindrance that they make up for a clear advantage in offense and physical play. I don't see it. I'm not going to bother with Harper or Baun.

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11-03-2007, 03:36 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
it isn't just that horner wasn't an AS, it's that he got so few votes. based on the (incomplete) AS voting from the '30s that HO posted in the award and AS voting thread, horner seems to have been generally rated from 5th-10th.

hap day was 2nd in left D voting in '33 (it seems there's some problem in either the voting or the reporting of the voting). day got just as many AS votes as horner in '37, even though day was near the end of his career. so it seems the voters considered day a better player. he was also picked quite a bit later than horner.

i think horner's PIMs are a disadvantage. i generally don't think it's a good idea to have key players take themselves out of the game for essentially no reason. horner was the most penalized man of his time by a huge margin. his career PIMs (accumulated in less than 500 games) weren't surpassed until ted lindsay (who played over twice as many games).
Like Sturminator said, the defense is my baby, so I think I should speak up. To me, constructing a defense is a unique tactical process because the goal is to create a 7 man unit with chemistry where many of the players are never going to actually be on the ice as the others at the same time, and that you've got very different combinations for ES, PP and PK. (Where as forwards can easily be done with the 1st and 2nd lines being the 1st and 2nd pp units and 2/3rd of the 3rd and 4th lines making the PK units, ensuring instant chemistry.) So the goal is to create a unit with as many options as possible and as many niches filled as possible. So with that in mind, what does Hap Day offer the Seals? He's a left shooting mid level offensive d-man with a left shot, strong positional play with average to below average size. We already had two left shots and while Clancy can play off wing, the next offensive d-man though should be a right shot due to the value on the PP of having both shots. And what's more Vasiliev is perfectly capable of playing the 2nd PP unit. And then for his positional play, he's good, but he's no Vasliev. He offered nothing that was lacking and improved on nothing. Horner on the other hand offers only things the Seals would have lacked otherwise. He's a right shooting psychical defensive d-man who can play as an enforcer, has a strong transition offense and has very good size. Up until that point, size on the blue line was a real issue, with Vasiliev having average size and Clancy poor size. Also, while both played tough, due to their size, neither could be used as our crease clearing, corner battle winning, wear out the injury prone forwards, anti-power forward defender. Which is something we really needed. What's more, from the moment we got Gretzky we knew we were building a team where mobility, puck movement and puck control would be of the utmost importance. There are a lot of defensemen who offer what Horner offers to some degree or another, but, most of them lack Horner's mobility and passing skills. And certainly no one else still available combined Horner's skating, passing and defensive skills. (Would have loved to get Seibert or Chelios, but it was not to be.)

So, in conclusion, Horner was a rare find for us, he fit our team's Modus Operandi while also filling in all that gaps that are usually lacking from a defense built on mobility and puck movement.

And what's more, we've built a defense with 5 d-men who can log 25 minutes without a problem. So even if Horner breaks free from his leash, we won't really be struggling to ice a good defense. Clancy is massively underrated defensively because of his size. Griffis is underrated due to era, he's essentially late 90's Neidermeyer with mid 00's Neidermeyer's maturity, maybe not quite as good a skater, but still a rare combination of size and mobility. As was argued in the main thread, Cameron is actually a solid defensive d-man, he shouldn't be used in a shut down role, but we don't need to cover for him. And while I wouldn't give Norstrom more than 20 minutes a night, he can cover many of Horner's defensive responsibilities without the penalties.

We've built a unit that simultaneously needs Horner and doesn't. In the big picture, what he offers the team is immeasurable because he fills the wholes our style has without breaking away from the style. But, if he's gone for 5 minutes, we've got such a variety off high end skill sets on the blue line that we can always watch each others back. He won't be the man every game, but in a best of seven series, you best believe he'll be very valuable. If it takes 5-20 minutes to make the opponent realize that messing with Gretzky is a big no-no, then it's 5-20 minutes well spent. Because that's what the Oakland Seals are all about, ensuring that the natural order of Gretzky is how the games play out.

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11-03-2007, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
The only argument that Mantha and/or Coulter were better than Horner rests upon either an assumption that they were better in their own zone (for which there is no evidence), or a claim that Horner's PIMs are such a hindrance that they make up for a clear advantage in offense and physical play. I don't see it. I'm not going to bother with Harper or Baun.
Personally, I would say that given Horner's advantages on offense and physical play compared to those two, I would assume that they were selected as All-Stars over Horner because of their defensive play. Maybe Evil Speaker could provide some more insight?

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11-03-2007, 03:56 PM
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Personally, I would say that given Horner's advantages on offense and physical play compared to those two, I would assume that they were selected as All-Stars over Horner because of their defensive play. Maybe Evil Speaker could provide some more insight?
While you are probably correct (Which is why Vasiliev and not Horner is going to go against the top offensive players.) it is worth noting the role argument. Horner was a 2a or 2b defenseman in Toronto while Mantha and Coulter were #1 d-men.

In fact, a #2 d-man was named to an all-star team until 38-39 with Shore-Clapper.

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11-03-2007, 04:12 PM
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While you are probably correct (Which is why Vasiliev and not Horner is going to go against the top offensive players.) it is worth noting the role argument. Horner was a 2a or 2b defenseman in Toronto while Mantha and Coulter were #1 d-men.

In fact, a #2 d-man was named to an all-star team until 38-39 with Shore-Clapper.
That's a fair enough point about the #2 defenseman, but even during Horner's best offensive season (37/38) when he led defensemen in points and was undeniably Toronto's best defenseman, Coulter was still selected to the All-Star team ahead of him. According to Hockey Outsider's post in the All-Star voting thread, Coulter finished well ahead of Horner. He also finished behind other #2 defensemen prior to that (though it could have been due vote splitting with Day).

I don't think Horner was a bad pick, especially because of his combination of toughness and offense, but I've never thought of him to be at Coulter's level defensively.

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11-03-2007, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pitseleh View Post
That's a fair enough point about the #2 defenseman, but even during Horner's best offensive season (37/38) when he led defensemen in points and was undeniably Toronto's best defenseman, Coulter was still selected to the All-Star team ahead of him. According to Hockey Outsider's post in the All-Star voting thread, Coulter finished well ahead of Horner. He also finished behind other #2 defensemen prior to that (though it could have been due vote splitting with Day).

I don't think Horner was a bad pick, especially because of his combination of toughness and offense, but I've never thought of him to be at Coulter's level defensively.
I'd agree. If I wanted a shutdown d-man, I would have gone with Coulter, but he wasn't what would offer the most to the overall package that is the Oakland Seals Defense Corps.

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11-03-2007, 04:27 PM
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Interresting debat on Red Horner. Funny thing is, Horner was selected 167th overall, while I decided to go with Art Ross three rank earlier, having Red Horner 2nd on my defenseman list. The fact that their style are completely different, makes them tough to compare. They bring completely different things to a team. I had a tough time deciding who to take a that time, and I would still have a tough time deciding between both, as I've read good thing on both Horner and Ross.

However, I would like to point out that I also believe that his PIM level is a disadvantage. While I accept that Red Horner was more or a fighter than a ''minor-penalty artist'' (That's also the impression I had of him), I think he will have difficulty picking his fights (only to his advantage) and staying out of the box. For example, if John Ferguson (to take my own strong guy) is on his case all night, trash talking and taking shot at him, Horner dosn't strike me as a guy that will be able to stay out of problem; they gonna dance together, no doubt in my mind.

BUT, Horner offensive abilities are underrated and he was one of the most physical defenseman of his ERA.

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