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HOH Top 70 Players of All Time (2009)

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08-07-2012, 08:33 PM
  #551
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Key Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The Green Unit was greater than the sum of its parts, but that sum was as good as anything Canada could put together, so the parts must have been pretty good too.
No doubt they were as good as any unit Canada could put together.

The key point is that the components of the best Canadian five man unit after the tournament were split amongst five teams where they maintained their level of excellence.

The Green Unit was never put to this test and their NHL performance showed evidence that individually they were somewhat short of the quality that the Canadian players had.

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08-07-2012, 11:06 PM
  #552
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
One more time.
1. Are you willing to judge Lecavalier and Richards based on their abysmal performance in Russia in 2005?
2. Training together year round certainly helped, but Canadian players had one distinct advantage: the NHL was far more competitive than the High League. It undoubtedly offset some of the benefit the Soviets enjoyed.

Don't know what you're talking about regarding Fetisov's longevity. He did just fine at 40. Not to speak of Larionov who seems to be criminally underrated here.
I'm not making any arguments that either Lecavalier or Richards belong in the top 100.

Even to that point Richards has a line of 6-2-5-7 and Vinny 30-7-9-16 both of which are pretty small samples. Also in the year before the lockout in TB there were 1.69 assists per goal and in Russia on Kazan-Ak-Bars there was 1.5. Maybe it affected them but I don't recall all of the details of their playing time there.

Krutov on the other hand failed miserably and had the least amount of success of the 5 man unit, outside Russia. To paint a line between his peak 5 man unit time and what followed afterwards and to pretend that it doesn't matter in his overall evaluation is failing to ask why IMO.

As to your 2nd point, I'm not sure what you are trying to say there. Teams that train together would have an advantage over teams that are thrown together at the last minute don't you think? All things being equal they should. You are trying to have it both ways here then too.

What are we to make of Krutovs exploits in the Russian league should they be treated as 3/4 worth of an NHL career? (Just throwing a number out there as you have brought up the idea that the league wasn't as good as the NHL).

Even if the Russian league was weaker overall than the NHL, and I'm guessing it was, it still would ahve little affect on the top 20 or so players who trained largely in units and played a defined system, where Canadians largely played a more loose and individualistic game comparatively speaking.

I'm not saying that all of the 5 man unit should be downgraded but we should really look very carefully at their careers post Russia and at least think about what it might indicate.

Simply put in the top 60 Dman project the benefit of the doubt was given entirely in benefit of the player for pre NHL Russian Dmen and some sort of Russian counting was going on based in part of team success against NHL players during that time.

It's funny that certain players get held to a great deal of scrutiny, Nieds, Dionne come to mind while others are only looked at in partial respect and in a much better light based largely on team success, Krutov and Lafluer are obvious examples here.

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08-07-2012, 11:20 PM
  #553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
One more time.
1. Are you willing to judge Lecavalier and Richards based on their abysmal performance in Russia in 2005?
2. Training together year round certainly helped, but Canadian players had one distinct advantage: the NHL was far more competitive than the High League. It undoubtedly offset some of the benefit the Soviets enjoyed.

Don't know what you're talking about regarding Fetisov's longevity. He did just fine at 40. Not to speak of Larionov who seems to be criminally underrated here.

Speaking generally one of the things that comes up with Fetisov is that he was burned out by the tough training in Russia. He did play for a long time but his value as a player in the NHL was never as a top 20 Dman in the NHL, or world, something that many Dman can say they accomplished well after the age of 30.

I'm a career guy and strictly for what each player did on the ice and how I view them a players and their worth it would be

Makarov

Fetisov/Larinov


Krutov/Kastatonov

gaps intentional

Fetisov is the hardest for me to rate to be honest. At on point I had him as one of the 5 best Dman post expansion but he has dropped with more detailed evaluation and IMO too many questions arise when you compare "how he looks" in his peak on the 5 man unit and his NHL days.

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08-07-2012, 11:31 PM
  #554
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Who cares if Cyclone Taylor, transplanted out of the 1910's and 20's with his leather skates and heavy wooden stick could crack a lineup today. That's date-of-birth bias, he made the best of what he could with what he was given. Why penalize him for his DOB? It's historical analysis vs. peers, not "Sentinel's 24 hours with a time machine"
Part of the problem though is that Taylors peers in the 1st part of the century were a totally different lot than say a fully integrated league post mid 90's. There is sometimes too much emphasis on the historical "respect" which in turn makes the bar higher for more recent players.

Ranking of pre WW2 players and especially pre forward passing ones on all time lists need to be taken with a huge grain of slat IMO.


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08-08-2012, 12:21 AM
  #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm a career guy and strictly for what each player did on the ice and how I view them a players and their worth it would be

Makarov

Fetisov/Larinov


Krutov/Kastatonov

gaps intentional
I agree with this assessment. But I would also elevate Makarov to Top 15, Larionov and Fetisov -- to Top 30, and Krutov -- to Top 50. I would also put Fedorov in there. He always sacrificed personal stats for the good of the team and has achieved incredible results.

In 1995-97 Fetisov-Konstantinov was 1b defensive pairing to Lidstrom-Coffey/Murphy's 1a. Given the Red Wings success in those years, I have no problems placing Slava with Nick, Bourque, Leetch, and McKinnis as Top 5, certainly Top 10 D in the league. OK, he was old, but quite effective and an integral part of the Russian Five that was tearing the League apart in 95-96.

I started this conversation with a notion that it's weird for a team that barely lost to NHL's All-Time Greats not to have anybody in the Top 30. That's all.

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08-08-2012, 01:23 AM
  #556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I agree with this assessment. But I would also elevate Makarov to Top 15, Larionov and Fetisov -- to Top 30, and Krutov -- to Top 50. I would also put Fedorov in there. He always sacrificed personal stats for the good of the team and has achieved incredible results.
I'm kind of tired and should be sleeping and will give placing later after more thought but I'd venture to guess that the ATD guys, who will probably rate all 5 higher than me, might be doubling on average those spots. Makarov perhaps not and Fetisov maybe but the latter is over rated a bit IMO, or at the very least has big question marks.

Quote:
In 1995-97 Fetisov-Konstantinov was 1b defensive pairing to Lidstrom-Coffey/Murphy's 1a. Given the Red Wings success in those years, I have no problems placing Slava with Nick, Bourque, Leetch, and McKinnis as Top 5, certainly Top 10 D in the league. OK, he was old, but quite effective and an integral part of the Russian Five that was tearing the League apart in 95-96.
There is no way Fetisov was a top 10 Dman in the league at that point. He was a role player and looks very good because of the company he was keeping from 95-97. I asked about Fetisov ever being a top 20 Dman in the league before and this is the 1st response I have ever gotten to my knowledge and I'm betting Red wing fans would rank all of those guys ahead of Fetisov in those years.

Quote:
I started this conversation with a notion that it's weird for a team that barely lost to NHL's All-Time Greats not to have anybody in the Top 30. That's all.
The sum might indeed be greater than it's parts, although I can see an argument for Makarov being top 30 quite easily, Fetisov is a bit more tricky IMO.

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08-08-2012, 01:36 AM
  #557
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Ranking of pre WW2 players and especially pre forward passing ones on all time lists need to be taken with a huge grain of slat IMO.
Any "all time" list that purposefully downgrades pre-WW2 players by dint of them being pre-WW2 players needs to be taken with a large mouthful of salt. Don't pretend it's an all-time list if you're not going to respect players from all times.

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08-08-2012, 02:48 AM
  #558
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There might be something there; in international competition, players like Marcel Dionne and Guy Lafleur generally looked mediocre, even when playing in weaker international tournaments like the World Championships. They were probably a lot more comfortable when playing on their 5-man units in the NHL.

As far as Krutov goes, I give up; he was ALL POWER & MUSCLE
But live and learn, watch some old games, there are plenty of individual skills there on show that have nothing to do with him playing on a '5-man unit', or him being a 'tank'.

PS. 5-MAN UNIT!

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08-08-2012, 02:52 AM
  #559
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The Green Unit was never put to this test and their NHL performance showed evidence that individually they were somewhat short of the quality that the Canadian players had.
I just hope you have the same standards for your favourite Soviet players like Mikhailov and Yakushev too.

Or are you giving them the 'benefit of the doubt', since they didn't come to the NHL as 30-year olds? Do you think they would have fared better?


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08-08-2012, 08:01 AM
  #560
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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
I just hope you have the same standards for your favourite Soviet players like Mikhailov and Yakushev too.

Or are you giving them the 'benefit of the doubt', since they didn't come to the NHL as 30-year olds? Do you think they would have fared better?
Mikhailov was the Soviet player whose style was the closest to certain wingers NHL style and least line or unit dependent.Solid, defensively responsible wingers, good in the corners, go to the slot European wingers had solid NHL careers.Esa Tikkanen with a fraction of Mikhailov's talent being a prime example. Wayne Cashman with less talent, with or without Esposito and Orr would be another example.

Alexander Yakushev played the classic NHL LW style. Comparable would be Frank Mahovlich. Easy to find an NHL center for him or a team offensive/defensive system.

On the other hand look at Kharlamov, great talent comparable to Lafleur and Yvan Cournoyer but center dependent. Lafleur could not play with certain centers - Henri Richard being an example. Bowman benched Lafleur in the 1974 playoffs replacing him with Claude Larose on a line with Henri Richard and Steve Shutt.

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08-08-2012, 02:02 PM
  #561
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Further to my point above, I wonder what people who claim we can't evaluate older players would do if the NHL made a relatively drastic change in the rules this season: say they eliminate all offside and icing rules altogether.

10 years from now, Nathan McKinnon has just recorded his fifth consecutive 250-point season. He is one of 10 players to break the 200-point mark that season.

Of course, he vaults to the top of many "best of all time" lists. After all, he's leaving Wayne Gretzky's records in the dust. Old-timers (ie, fans of today) try to explain that in the context of Gretzky's time, he was clearly more dominant than McKinnon is in 2023.

But McKinnon's supporters are adamant. They respond "Well, we have no way of knowing that Gretzky would be able to succeed in today's NHL. The game is very different. It's hard to justify placing him ahead of so many players we know to excel at the game the way it is now. So let's put him at #25 or so, just to appease the sentimental traditionalists."

Because ultimately, this whole "they played a different game" is only ever applied to older players going forward, and not to modern players going back. When constructing an "all-time" list, why is the current form of hockey considered to be the default against which other eras should be compared. That's purely a bias of perspective.

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08-08-2012, 02:38 PM
  #562
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Agreed. Krutov was talented enough to let Makarov behind him in the 1983, 1987 and 1988 "best player" voting in the Soviet league. Okay, Makarov played fewer games in 1983, but not in 1987 and 1988. Krutov was simply that good.



In Switzerland (1991-1992), even when he was scoring, fans and newspapers would make fun of him and claim his motto was "Aus dem Stand geht es besser" (in English, mutatis mutandis: "It's better working from a standing position") because of his lack of movement. A far cry from the Krutov the world saw before Summer 1989.



29-31 year old rookies who were used to a very different training regime and tactical approach. They landed in an alien environment, partially even hostile.



Inexcusable? Maybe, but not in a sense that tarnishes Krutov's legacy pre-1989.
Inexplainable? Not at all.

If the Russian "system" had one effect, it was that it forced them to train year in year out. Everything was prescribed and monitored by the coaches: work out, scrimmage, meal, work out, scrimmage, meal. Everything was taken care of, you simply followed provisions. The consequences were:
1) Lots of training time, good for individual skills and team play.
2) Top physical shape, though the draconian regime took its toll after 30 (the Soviets retired players from the National Team once they were 31 or 32).


Going from such a regime to the NHL where you have to take care of your own much more is a challenge not everybody was able to deal with. Alexander Barinev pretty much nailed it when he was asked about his opinion on Soviet players during the 1992-1993 season. Barinev was a Russian forward who had played for Spartak Moscow in the 1970s and 1980s and was allowed to play and coach in Austria and Germany from 1980 on. He said the Soviet players are "like soldiers": "Without pressure and clear orders, they don't know what to do."
Krutov is an extreme example for this. Once he left CSKA Moscow, he suddenly had to take care of his fitness level for himself. And he suddenly had access to material wealth (food...) unknown before. He wasn't prepared and didn't manage to live like a professional hockey player in the West. Handing freedom and money to Krutov in 1989 turned out like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. He became a shadow of his former self in next to no time. But that doesn't tell us anything about his level up until 1989.
this is an underrated point. of the first generation of russian players who came to the NHL as youngsters, only two could really have been said to have been trained (and continued to be trained/trained thmselves) in the old draconian red army way: pavel and valeri bure, whose father had been a spviet olympian. they both broke down early.

so looking at pavel's career, which most of us saw, we have a first hand account of what that training regime does to an athlete after his late 20s. i mean, anatoli semenov (from dynamo moscow, not the red army) looked as good as larionov in the NHL for a couple of years. and they were roughly the same age. i think that tells us something about what that year-round training did to these guys' longevity.

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08-08-2012, 03:52 PM
  #563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Further to my point above, I wonder what people who claim we can't evaluate older players would do if the NHL made a relatively drastic change in the rules this season: say they eliminate all offside and icing rules altogether.

10 years from now, Nathan McKinnon has just recorded his fifth consecutive 250-point season. He is one of 10 players to break the 200-point mark that season.

Of course, he vaults to the top of many "best of all time" lists. After all, he's leaving Wayne Gretzky's records in the dust. Old-timers (ie, fans of today) try to explain that in the context of Gretzky's time, he was clearly more dominant than McKinnon is in 2023.

But McKinnon's supporters are adamant. They respond "Well, we have no way of knowing that Gretzky would be able to succeed in today's NHL. The game is very different. It's hard to justify placing him ahead of so many players we know to excel at the game the way it is now. So let's put him at #25 or so, just to appease the sentimental traditionalists."

Because ultimately, this whole "they played a different game" is only ever applied to older players going forward, and not to modern players going back. When constructing an "all-time" list, why is the current form of hockey considered to be the default against which other eras should be compared. That's purely a bias of perspective.
well said.

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08-08-2012, 04:21 PM
  #564
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Further to my point above, I wonder what people who claim we can't evaluate older players would do if the NHL made a relatively drastic change in the rules this season: say they eliminate all offside and icing rules altogether.

10 years from now, Nathan McKinnon has just recorded his fifth consecutive 250-point season. He is one of 10 players to break the 200-point mark that season.

Of course, he vaults to the top of many "best of all time" lists. After all, he's leaving Wayne Gretzky's records in the dust. Old-timers (ie, fans of today) try to explain that in the context of Gretzky's time, he was clearly more dominant than McKinnon is in 2023.

But McKinnon's supporters are adamant. They respond "Well, we have no way of knowing that Gretzky would be able to succeed in today's NHL. The game is very different. It's hard to justify placing him ahead of so many players we know to excel at the game the way it is now. So let's put him at #25 or so, just to appease the sentimental traditionalists."

Because ultimately, this whole "they played a different game" is only ever apuplied to older players going forward, and not to modern players going back. When constructing an "all-time" list, why is the current form of hockey considered to be the default against which other eras should be compared. That's purely a bias of perspective.
you seem to be forgetting about evolution. how can we be sure gordie howe was even fully upright?

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08-08-2012, 06:00 PM
  #565
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you seem to be forgetting about evolution. how can we be sure gordie howe was even fully upright?
Bazinga!

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08-08-2012, 07:36 PM
  #566
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What is the explanation for 3 Russian forwards born less than 7 years apart from 1941-1948 (Firsov, Mikhailov, Kharlamov) on the top 70 and/or 100 lists on HoH... and only 2 (Makarov, Fedorov) in the ~30 years after? Or 4 from 1941-1958 (< 18 year period) and 1 in the ~20 years after. Does thing makes sense to anyone? To me, it seems likely that either:

A) There's been a serious decline in available talent from Russia since the former period
B) The Russian players from the former period are overrated
C) The Russian players from the more recent period are underrated
D) It's purely random

I tend to think it's C, maybe a bit of D. It's not like we haven't seen some great Russian forwards, including Mogilny, Bure, and Fedorov. It's also not as if other players from the more recent lower scoring decades aren't underrated as well (too many too mention IMO, at least in comparison to prior eras).

Maybe the red army system contributed to some players' breakdowns, but does anyone think the NHL of the past two decades would have been much easier? Start with a league that as far back as '92, Lemieux called "out of hand" (ironically, just months before his hands was slashed and broken, meriting a two minute penalty) and before retiring called a "garage league", because players could be hooked, held, slashed, tripped, whatever and little was done about it. Additionally, the players were as big, strong and fast as ever, so how does that not contribute to injuries. How many star forwards of the past two decades haven't struggled with injuries? There's a few (Sundin, Iginla, Thornton, etc.... Kovy & Ovy to this point), but not the majority.

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08-08-2012, 07:39 PM
  #567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Further to my point above, I wonder what people who claim we can't evaluate older players would do if the NHL made a relatively drastic change in the rules this season: say they eliminate all offside and icing rules altogether.

10 years from now, Nathan McKinnon has just recorded his fifth consecutive 250-point season. He is one of 10 players to break the 200-point mark that season.

Of course, he vaults to the top of many "best of all time" lists. After all, he's leaving Wayne Gretzky's records in the dust. Old-timers (ie, fans of today) try to explain that in the context of Gretzky's time, he was clearly more dominant than McKinnon is in 2023.

But McKinnon's supporters are adamant. They respond "Well, we have no way of knowing that Gretzky would be able to succeed in today's NHL. The game is very different. It's hard to justify placing him ahead of so many players we know to excel at the game the way it is now. So let's put him at #25 or so, just to appease the sentimental traditionalists."

Because ultimately, this whole "they played a different game" is only ever applied to older players going forward, and not to modern players going back. When constructing an "all-time" list, why is the current form of hockey considered to be the default against which other eras should be compared. That's purely a bias of perspective.
The bias on the lists here is clearly in favor of O6 players and clearly against more recent (post-80s) players IMO. It's clear as day to me. In fact, my next significant project will probably be to show just this very thing. It's built on nostalgia and circular logic, isntead of common sense, probability and objective analysis. It may be changing slowly... as in glacially.

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08-08-2012, 07:43 PM
  #568
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
The bias on the lists here is clearly in favor of O6 players and clearly against more recent (post-80s) players IMO. It's clear as day to me. In fact, my next significant project will probably be to show just this very thing. It's built on nostalgia and circular logic, isntead of common sense, probability and objective analysis. It may be changing slowly... as in glacially.
Check out the final discussion thread for this project. I basically showed the same thing. Edit: albeit not really in detail

Specifically, it isn't just recent players who are underrepresented - pre-WW2 players are too.

Or more specifically, this project over represents players who played between 1942 and 1980 compared to the eras before and after. IMO, the top 60 defenseman project did a much better job of representing all eras of play (see Hockey Outsider's nifty graphs).


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08-08-2012, 08:10 PM
  #569
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Previous post was about Larionov and NHL and in same post was mentioned Krutov, so I made post referring his time in NHL. Of course that Krutov was great player, international legend, who maybe could have had way better NHL carrer if he didn't live/play in time of communist regime. I have DVD's from '87 CC cup and he was simply amazing.

R.I.P. #9
There is a bit of a difference between a 60 game career and a 14 year career.

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08-08-2012, 08:18 PM
  #570
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I agree with this assessment. But I would also elevate Makarov to Top 15, Larionov and Fetisov -- to Top 30, and Krutov -- to Top 50. I would also put Fedorov in there. He always sacrificed personal stats for the good of the team and has achieved incredible results.

In 1995-97 Fetisov-Konstantinov was 1b defensive pairing to Lidstrom-Coffey/Murphy's 1a. Given the Red Wings success in those years, I have no problems placing Slava with Nick, Bourque, Leetch, and McKinnis as Top 5, certainly Top 10 D in the league. OK, he was old, but quite effective and an integral part of the Russian Five that was tearing the League apart in 95-96.

I started this conversation with a notion that it's weird for a team that barely lost to NHL's All-Time Greats not to have anybody in the Top 30. That's all.
Do you seriously think Larionov is one of the 30 best players ever?

I agree that Fetisov & Makarov & Krutov could all be rated higher.

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08-08-2012, 09:07 PM
  #571
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Check out the final discussion thread for this project. I basically showed the same thing. Edit: albeit not really in detail

Specifically, it isn't just recent players who are underrepresented - pre-WW2 players are too.

Or more specifically, this project over represents players who played between 1942 and 1980 compared to the eras before and after. IMO, the top 60 defenseman project did a much better job of representing all eras of play (see Hockey Outsider's nifty graphs).
Thanks, I seem to remember someone doing a brief analysis of this, I guess it was you. I'll take another look at it and would like to do a more thorough analysis at some point.

I wonder how highly Fedorov, Mogilny, Bure, would be rated if they just practiced together all the time and then showed up to whoop the bums of most of their opponents. Probably pretty dang high, given their success at WJC, their immense skills, and how highly some rate past greats. People don't seem to appreciate how hard it is to play 15-20 years at a relatively high level in the NHL, so if someone falls short of that, they seem to really be penalized... unless they were very dominant for several years or played when careers were generally shorter.

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08-08-2012, 09:14 PM
  #572
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I posted this in another thread some time back. Seems to be relevant here

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe
Posting this here, because it has implications far beyond the one player:

An "ancient" 31 year old Bilyaletdinov was added to a declining Soviet Club in 1987, out of desperation.

Quote:
There is a feeling among long-time international observers that the Soviet program is in a state of transition, both in style and personnel. Although the Soviets have been playing hockey for 40 years, their game may be experiencing its first growing pains.

In one move interpreted as desperation, 31-year-old Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was added to the touring squad shortly before the Soviets left for Quebec, although he hadn't qualfied for the national squad in years. (For the Soviets, 30 is nearly ancient in hockey terms. Once past that "golden" age, players are routinely farmed out or given coaching duties.)

The pool of young talent has evidently dried up. The Soviets went victoryless in the recent fight-filled junior championships. [Alan Eagleson] said he couldn't recall seeing a worse collection of Soviet
juniors.
-Providence Journal, Feb 14, 1987

Seems the Soviet Hockey system was in decline in the late 80s, even before the fall of the Berlin Wall. This after its "peak" in the early-mid 80s. Speculation: Did Tikhonov throw away too many players he didn't like?

Either way, it explains one of the great mysteries of the fall of the USSR related to hockey. I've seen it asked on the History of Hockey board - was Fetisov really that good or did he just look good compared to the other Soviet defensemen? It's an logical question - while many Russian forwards have been huge impact players in the NHL, their defensemen really haven't been, with the exceptions of single year blips from Konstantinov and Zubov.

This shows, however, that well before the fall of the Iron Curtain, the USSR hockey program was already in decline, especially when it comes to defensemen.

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08-08-2012, 10:17 PM
  #573
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I posted this in another thread some time back. Seems to be relevant here
Thanks, that does suggest the talent pool was getting thin back in the USSR... I guess they didn't know how lucky they are... I mean were, to have Mogilny, Fedorov and Bure in the pipeline.

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08-09-2012, 02:54 AM
  #574
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Mikhailov was the Soviet player whose style was the closest to certain wingers NHL style and least line or unit dependent.Solid, defensively responsible wingers, good in the corners, go to the slot European wingers had solid NHL careers.Esa Tikkanen with a fraction of Mikhailov's talent being a prime example. Wayne Cashman with less talent, with or without Esposito and Orr would be another example.

Alexander Yakushev played the classic NHL LW style. Comparable would be Frank Mahovlich. Easy to find an NHL center for him or a team offensive/defensive system.

On the other hand look at Kharlamov, great talent comparable to Lafleur and Yvan Cournoyer but center dependent. Lafleur could not play with certain centers - Henri Richard being an example. Bowman benched Lafleur in the 1974 playoffs replacing him with Claude Larose on a line with Henri Richard and Steve Shutt.
Yeah, they might have done well in the NHL if they had been young, but would they have done any better than, say, Makarov or Larionov, in their 30s? (I can agree that neither would've been as bad as overweight, out of shape Krutov [Mikhailov, for one, certainly had more discipline])

I like Mikhailov, he is my 2nd favourite player of all-time after a certain Mr. Martinec, but I can't quite agree that Mikhailov was less-dependent on his linemates/unit than the likes of Kharlamov and Makarov. Mikhailov with weak linemates, hmmm, I don't think much would have happened, but Kharlamov and Makarov, with their skating and 1-on-1 skills would have created at least something. And while Mikhailov had more talent than Cashman, there's no question that Cashman was also a lot bigger & stronger and had more 'authority' in the corners. Not even comparable IMO. And I don't know if a Wayne Cashman like career would have been something to drive for anyway. I think everyone would already agree now that Mikhailov is the better player, even without having played a single game in the NHL.

So have I understood correctly... you rank the Soviet players based on whether they have 'NHL skills' or not, is that what you're saying?

Hypothetical: A Soviet player X, who did not do much in the Soviet league or internationally but who in your opinion had those 'NHL skills' is better than a Soviet player Y, who was destroying opponents in USSR and international tournaments, but who didn't have - again, in your opinion - the skills needed in the NHL? Sorry for an 'extreme example'...

And no, I don't think Mikhailov - although he aged very well - or Yakushev would have done much in the NHL as 30-year old 'rookies'.


Last edited by VMBM: 08-09-2012 at 03:32 AM. Reason: should check/read these before posting
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Old
08-09-2012, 03:11 AM
  #575
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you seem to be forgetting about evolution. how can we be sure gordie howe was even fully upright?
I can prove he wasn't. Visual evidence:


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