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What is the knock against Gil Perreault?

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Old
09-14-2009, 06:41 PM
  #101
Hockey Outsider
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I didn't have Perreault in my top 120 either. He was one of my last cuts.

I compared Seventies' list of "better centres than Perreault" to my submission to the Top 100 project. (At least I think this was the list I actually submitted -- it's been a while).

1. I had all twenty-one centres from the "obvious" list
2. I had both centres from the "one dimensional but offensively superior" list
3. I had ten of the twelve centres on the "equal offense but better in others area" list (the exceptions are Seventies had Syd Howe and Mickey Mackay but they didn't make my top 120)
4. I had four of the ten centres on the "debatable" list: Vladimir Petrov, Igor Larionov, Adam Oates and Jean Ratelle. I didn't include Lindros, Barry, Hawerchuk, Sittler, Smith and Primeau. If I made my list again, Ratelle would definitely not be in my top 120 -- I've changed my mind in the months since I submitted the list and I think Perreault should ranked higher than him.

There was only one centre who I had on my list that Seventies didn't list: Anatoli Firsov. Firsov was both a C and LW and probably should be excluded as he was primarily LW.

I really like Perreault as a player, I just ran out of room for him. He was one of my very last cuts and would have been in my top 130. I don't think it's controversial to say that there were around 40 better centres who were arguably better than Perreault -- but at the same time there are probably no more than 25 or so who are clearly better than him. That's an important distinction.

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09-14-2009, 06:42 PM
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
Yeah, off the top of my head it would be Stoughton, and then Larouche.
I tend to rank Larouche as a special case... And wouldn't necessary rank him below Maruk.

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09-14-2009, 06:43 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by arrbez View Post
Haha, I forgot about Stephane Richer. Why is he a special case? I'd probably rank Vaive ahead of him.
Because he's basically a poor-man's Kovalev in regards to consistency and results.

But also in regards to skill.

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09-14-2009, 06:48 PM
  #104
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Mickey Redmond

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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Reggie Leach, Dennis Maruk, Charlie Simmer, Rick Vaive, Pierre Larouche, Mickey Redmond, Blaine Stoughton, Stéphane Richer (amongst others... which are all IMO way superior to Gare) also had a 2 or more seasons over 50 goals.

Of this group, I'm tempted to rank Vaive, Redmond and Stoughton below Gare.

Richer and Larouche are two special cases.
Mickey Redmond had a career ending back injury so an incomplete may be the fairest assessment.

True about Richer and Larouche.

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09-14-2009, 06:52 PM
  #105
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Factoring in rovers, I ranked him 36th amongst 37 centers.
Taking out Red Kelly, that gives me 35th out of 36.

The reminder of the guys played either rover or center for the majority of their careers.

However, of that group, one guy played the majority of his career at C, but really shouldn't be counted as a C, cause that's not where he had his best years : Ebezener Goodfellow

Counting Malone as a C. Not a LW.

Counting every other "split" guy as a C.

Not counting Firsov as a C, cause if he did play C, it was really not his primary position.

So he's either 36th out of 37, or 34th out of 35th.

34th out of the 35th would probably be the most widely accepted definition.

So the breakdown

1) Obviously better : All of them
2) Offensively better, not much of a two-way game : Both of them, though Cowley is really close to Perreault
3) Similar offensively, but other attributes puts them ahead of Perreault : Gilmour, MacKay and Howe are not in my list. Abel is the closest player to Perreault in my list. Gilmour might have been the most painful exclusion.
4) Debatables : All of them are either not in my list, or just below Perreault (Oates). Barry was a painful exclusion. Smith as well.
5) Not mentionned : Ebbie Goodfellow made my list and is ranked above Perreault, but that topic was covered above.

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09-14-2009, 07:05 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
A voice of reason.

In fact I did rank Perrault 94 and had 32 centres rated ahead of him.

I went back to 70's post to compare. Of his "for sure better than Perrault" list of 34 centres, I am missing 4. Two I had ranked in the 100-120 range & 2 are not on my list at all. From the "debatables" list , there were 2 centres I had ranked higher than Perrault. Sittler & Hawerchuk did not make my list.

All in all, I have 39 centres on my list of 120 players. Do others have similiar numbers of centres in their top 120?
I think I had 38 on mine.

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09-14-2009, 07:09 PM
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Factoring in rovers, I ranked him 36th amongst 37 centers.
Taking out Red Kelly, that gives me 35th out of 36.

The reminder of the guys played either rover or center for the majority of their careers.

However, of that group, one guy played the majority of his career at C, but really shouldn't be counted as a C, cause that's not where he had his best years.

Counting Malone as a C. Not a LW.

Counting every other "split" guy as a C.

Not counting Firsov as a C, cause if he did play C, it was really not his primary position.

So he's either 36th out of 37, or 34th out of 35th.

34th out of the 35th would probably be the most widely accepted definition.

It's not impossible that I missed on somebody.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
I didn't have Perreault in my top 120 either. He was one of my last cuts.

I compared Seventies' list of "better centres than Perreault" to my submission to the Top 100 project. (At least I think this was the list I actually submitted -- it's been a while).

1. I had all twenty-one centres from the "obvious" list
2. I had both centres from the "one dimensional but offensively superior" list
3. I had ten of the twelve centres on the "equal offense but better in others area" list (the exceptions are Seventies had Syd Howe and Mickey Mackay but they didn't make my top 120)
4. I had four of the ten centres on the "debatable" list: Vladimir Petrov, Igor Larionov, Adam Oates and Jean Ratelle. I didn't include Lindros, Barry, Hawerchuk, Sittler, Smith and Primeau. If I made my list again, Ratelle would definitely not be in my top 120 -- I've changed my mind in the months since I submitted the list and I think Perreault should ranked higher than him.

There was only one centre who I had on my list that Seventies didn't list: Anatoli Firsov. Firsov was both a C and LW and probably should be excluded as he was primarily LW.

I really like Perreault as a player, I just ran out of room for him. He was one of my very last cuts and would have been in my top 130. I don't think it's controversial to say that there were around 40 better centres who were arguably better than Perreault -- but at the same time there are probably no more than 25 or so who are clearly better than him. That's an important distinction.
I would say that both of you are very reasonable.

I'm also aware that I'm a major Syd Howe and Doug Gilmour advocate and it'll be an uphill battle to get their names on any top-100 list. They were in the 90s on mine, so it's entirely possible they'll drop off my next submission as I further appreciate some europeans and pre-NHLers.

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09-14-2009, 07:41 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
If I sat there fpr a week and watched each of them play 10 games in their prime, I might say the exact same thing. But in the end, the results they produced and the contribution they made to winning games, was really just as good as that of Perreault. Or better. It doesn't matter how you look doing it.


What I was getting to earlier was this. Given two players who are very close, the one who looks aesthetically better doing it would be the better player to me. He would possess natural talent.

Watch this clip to get an idea of where I am coming from.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP5OUxyEOhk
Both play the same notes but based on what you heard who would you say was better?

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09-14-2009, 08:26 PM
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefly View Post
What I was getting to earlier was this. Given two players who are very close, the one who looks aesthetically better doing it would be the better player to me. He would possess natural talent.

Watch this clip to get an idea of where I am coming from.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP5OUxyEOhk
Both play the same notes but based on what you heard who would you say was better?
The teacher.

I thank you for the link and the analogy and I see your point but I guess our methods of evaluation are just a little different. I want a player who will give me the best chance of winning; you want a player who is fascinating to watch.

In the question of "equal results, different effort levels required to achieve it" regarding all-time greats, I am not sure there is a truly right answer. I think a coach would take the Ullman but a GM would take the Perreault.

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09-14-2009, 08:35 PM
  #110
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
The teacher.

I thank you for the link and the analogy and I see your point but I guess our methods of evaluation are just a little different. I want a player who will give me the best chance of winning; you want a player who is fascinating to watch.

In the question of "equal results, different effort levels required to achieve it" regarding all-time greats, I am not sure there is a truly right answer. I think a coach would take the Ullman but a GM would take the Perreault.
No, I would also like the greater chance at winning but if it's a toss up between two players because they are that close, then yes I would always take the naturally gifted player. Why do you watch hockey after all? Entertainment. No one pays to watch the grinders. If you have the same results as another player but you do it beautifully you will be considered the better player.


This is why Perreault has always been thought of so highly by those who watched him. He was an absolute pleasure to watch.


Thank you for the opportunity to share Casals with people here by the way. The man was a genius.

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09-14-2009, 08:36 PM
  #111
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Teachable

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Originally Posted by Stonefly View Post
What I was getting to earlier was this. Given two players who are very close, the one who looks aesthetically better doing it would be the better player to me. He would possess natural talent.

Watch this clip to get an idea of where I am coming from.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP5OUxyEOhk
Both play the same notes but based on what you heard who would you say was better?
With natural talent the attributes necessary to win are teachable.
But someone with the necessary attributes to win but without natural talent cannot be taught.

Someone can be a book expert on skating but if they do not have the required coordination when they lace-up the skates and step onto the ice they will always be a poor skater.

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09-14-2009, 08:39 PM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
With natural talent the attributes necessary to win are teachable.
But someone with the necessary attributes to win but without natural talent cannot be taught.

Someone can be a book expert on skating but if they do not have the required coordination when they lace-up the skates and step onto the ice they will always be a poor skater.
Thank you. I was struggling for the words.

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09-14-2009, 08:57 PM
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonefly View Post
No, I would also like the greater chance at winning but if it's a toss up between two players because they are that close, then yes I would always take the naturally gifted player. Why do you watch hockey after all? Entertainment. No one pays to watch the grinders. If you have the same results as another player but you do it beautifully you will be considered the better player.


This is why Perreault has always been thought of so highly by those who watched him. He was an absolute pleasure to watch.


Thank you for the opportunity to share Casals with people here by the way. The man was a genius.
I would take the hard working player if they have exactly the same results in the hopes that his hard work will rub off on others.

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09-14-2009, 09:15 PM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
The Gilbert Perreault debate reminds me of the Peter Forsberg debate, in that it doesn't seem to be a debate about the player at all but rather a debate about how players are evaluated. Voters who rate players based on their individual skills or on their memories from watching them play seem to rate Perreault much more highly than voters who rate players based on accomplishments or statistical measurements. I subscribe to the "overall picture" outlook, and to me the numbers are pretty convincing that Perreault is a marginal Top-100 guy.
That's basically how I feel about the entire process of ranking players. Players have their bodies of work established (through people watching them, second hand accounts, stats, etc.), but the debate is over what criteria should be used and how it should be weighed.

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09-14-2009, 09:17 PM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTENOUGHBREWER View Post
I would take the hard working player if they have exactly the same results in the hopes that his hard work will rub off on others.
That's what I've been trying to say. Hell, those make-up-for-it-with-effort type players are often a joy to watch as well.

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09-14-2009, 09:47 PM
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Because he's basically a poor-man's Kovalev in regards to consistency and results.

But also in regards to skill.
In the second half of his career, Richer evolved into a much better two-way player than Kovalev could ever hope to be. In NJ, he usually played with Bob Carpenter and Claude Lemieux against the best lines of the other team.

Also, Kovalev tended to be clutch in the playoffs, but Richer beat him there. Leading playoff scorer on the Canadiens during his time with the team, and he led the 1995 Devils Cup winner in playoff scoring.

Kovalev only has more "skill" if all you count is puckhandling. Richer had much more speed and a much harder shot.

The only things Richer and Kovalev have in common are maddening inconsistency, and showing up in the playoffs more often than you'd expect from such maligned players.

Honestly, if Richer hadn't been expected to be the next Guy Lafleur by the Montreal media, he'd be looked on in an entirely different light.

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09-14-2009, 09:53 PM
  #117
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If I'm looking at the right list, I had 39 centers in my top 120, and Perreault was #32 at #101 overall. Pretty funny that for all the intense debating earlier in this thread, most of us seem to have him at about the same spot.

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09-14-2009, 09:53 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by NOTENOUGHBREWER View Post
I would take the hard working player if they have exactly the same results in the hopes that his hard work will rub off on others.
You don't think the natural player can have the same effect if he is going out and playing hard every shift?

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09-14-2009, 09:58 PM
  #119
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You don't think the natural player can have the same effect if he is going out and playing hard every shift?
In this hypothetical situation, you have a plugger and an immensely skilled player producing the same results correct? I dont see a way the plugger is producing the same results without working harder.

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09-14-2009, 10:08 PM
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In the second half of his career, Richer evolved into a much better two-way player than Kovalev could ever hope to be. In NJ, he usually played with Bob Carpenter and Claude Lemieux against the best lines of the other team.

Also, Kovalev tended to be clutch in the playoffs, but Richer beat him there. Leading playoff scorer on the Canadiens during his time with the team, and he led the 1995 Devils Cup winner in playoff scoring.

Kovalev only has more "skill" if all you count is puckhandling. Richer had much more speed and a much harder shot.

The only things Richer and Kovalev have in common are maddening inconsistency, and showing up in the playoffs more often than you'd expect from such maligned players.

Honestly, if Richer hadn't been expected to be the next Guy Lafleur by the Montreal media, he'd be looked on in an entirely different light.
...Kovalev wasn't that bad in Montreal since the last two years, and I'd take Kovy's wrister before Richer's slapper.

Kovy and Richer's adjusted stats are also worlds apart. And I'd take Kovy 10 times out of the 10 in the playoffs over Richer. "During his time with the team" excludes one season of the two best forwards of the 86 Cup (Smith and Naslund), which also happened to be Richer's best.

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09-14-2009, 10:31 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by NOTENOUGHBREWER View Post
In this hypothetical situation, you have a plugger and an immensely skilled player producing the same results correct? I dont see a way the plugger is producing the same results without working harder.
Ok. Was Sittler working harder than Perreault?

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09-14-2009, 11:02 PM
  #122
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Quote:
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Ok. Was Sittler working harder than Perreault?
Idunno...but if everyone thinks Perreault was far more skilled, yet they had similar production...?

Either Sittler was working harder, or he's not being given enough credit for his own skills (I suspect the latter). Honestly, what other conclusion could be made?

I wasn't around for these guys, so I havn't seen much of them with my own eyes. If there's a reason for Perreault to be listed well ahead of Sittler/Hawerchuk/whoever, I'm open to hearing it. Was he better in the clutch than those guys? Did he have a better two-way game? Did he make his team mates better than those guys did? I need a reason to raise one player well above two guys who were very comparable statistically, and him playing a more eye-catching style isn't good enough for me. So what do I need to know about Gilbert Perreault that hasn't been said yet?


Last edited by arrbez: 09-14-2009 at 11:11 PM.
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09-14-2009, 11:38 PM
  #123
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Ok. Was Sittler working harder than Perreault?
I dont claim to be an expert Hawerchuk and Perrault, but Hawerchuk was so much lower in skill level he was able to produce at a very close level. Maybe he's not getting enough credit for his skills?

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09-15-2009, 02:48 AM
  #124
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I think the bolded part is the key. To me, this is a big deal. To be a top-100 player, you have to have played against the best at some point. Firsov making our top-100 is the lone exception, because he was so good and so dominant domestically and internationally (and very close to the time where we know Russian hockey parelleled ours) that he appropriately gets the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you for the detailed breakdown of their skills. I will definitely take that to heart when building lines in the All-time draft. That said, I am results-driven, and I think Mikhailov, despite his lesser shot and skating, still "got it done" in the 70s as well as Firsov did in the 60s.
Unfortunately nobody 'took the bait', and well, this thread is supposed to be about Perreault, but I'll just add...

I can sort of understand it, but for me there is absolutely no doubt that Firsov would have excelled vs. the very best. When you look at his numbers vs. various Canadian teams (http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_pl....asp?p_id=f010, scroll down), they are quite brilliant (26 goals in 35 games). Of course the Team Canadas he faced were not very good, but it still shows to me that he wasn't bothered by the Canadian style of play (you would at least think that they used every trick in the book in trying to stop Firsov from scoring).

Now, when players have roughly similar kinds of careers, then the individual skills mean a great deal to me. I've seen very little footage of Firsov (= the big problem when one is trying to rank him), but I'm quite certain he was a kind of player who didn't need anyone to set him up, whereas Mikhailov was more dependent on his linemates, I think. Talent-wise, Firsov is somewhere on the level of Kharlamov, Makarov and Maltsev, whereas Mikhailov is definitely a notch below them. Then again, it says a lot about Mikhailov that he was still able to have such a glorious career, and especially without a big shot, he was able to become possibly the greatest Soviet goal-scorer (quantity) of all-time.


Last edited by VMBM: 09-15-2009 at 02:55 AM.
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09-15-2009, 06:39 AM
  #125
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Coaching

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Originally Posted by Stonefly View Post
Ok. Was Sittler working harder than Perreault?
The Perreault, Sittler, Hawerchuk et al discussion overlooks one very important feature that often defines a player's career - coaching.

Prime example would be Steve Yzerman and the impact Scotty Bowman had.

Look at the coaches Perreault had beyond Imlach/before Bowman, contrast with Sittler - Kelly, Neilson, contrast with Hawerchuk ???????? or Dionne????????? and adjust the view of career achievements accordingly.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 09-15-2009 at 06:41 AM. Reason: addition
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