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Forsberg vs. Clarke

View Poll Results: Peter Forsberg or Bobby Clarke
Clarke 69 78.41%
Forsberg 19 21.59%
Voters: 88. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-22-2010, 03:25 AM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Forsberg was a Hart trophy finalist (top five) a grand total of one time in his career (2003). If he dominated the league, why wasn't he considered one of the best players in the league more often?

Clarke had a five year stretch of dominance that Forsberg never approached:

1973: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Esposito, Orr, Dryden, Perreault)
1974: 4th in Hart voting (behind P. Esposito, Parent, Orr; ahead of T. Esposito)
1975: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Vachon, Orr, Parent, Lafleur)
1976: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Potvin, Lafleur, Dryden, Park)
1977: 2nd in hart voting (behind Lafleur; ahead of Vachon, Salming, Robinson)

Forsberg was likely a better playoff performer than Clarke (clearly better offensively and probably more valuable all-around), which narrows the gap, but I don't see the argument that Forsberg was more dominant than Clarke.

(EDIT: I see you said "Clark". Did you confuse Bobby Clarke with Wendel Clark? Forsberg was clearly much better than Wendel Clark).
I voted Clarke because of his excellent overall career. The thing with Forsberg and Hart voting is that he just didn't have enough injury free seasons. When he played on top of his game he often dominated the opposing lines like I haven't seen since Gretzky. But that isn't enough in my book. You have to take into consideration the value a player brings to his team. Clarke and Sakic were more important to their teams. Clarke was the perfect team player.

/Cheers

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08-22-2010, 04:25 AM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Clarke had a longer career and had much better health, I'll give him props for that but it is also much easier to have top 10 finishes in a smaller league team wise (12-17 compared to 26-30 in their peaks)than a larger league as much as some guys don't want to do the math on this.
I disagree on that part actually.

A smaller league will not make it easy to make the top 10 in scoring. When you talk about top performances, you need to beat out the best players in the league. Whether or not the league has 12-17 teams or 30, the elite talent which is going to fight for the top honors is still going to be there. It's the average and mediocre players who are going to have more roster spots in an expanded league, but those aren't the ones competing for top 10 finishes. The elite talent which is competing for those is there in a 30 team league, but will also still be there in a smaller league.

Now if you argued that increases in population, the disbanding of the WHA or the influx of Europeans provided a wider talent base, that would be correct, but argueing on the basis of league size doesn't work.

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08-22-2010, 05:18 AM
  #78
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I disagree on that part actually.

A smaller league will not make it easy to make the top 10 in scoring. When you talk about top performances, you need to beat out the best players in the league. Whether or not the league has 12-17 teams or 30, the elite talent which is going to fight for the top honors is still going to be there. It's the average and mediocre players who are going to have more roster spots in an expanded league, but those aren't the ones competing for top 10 finishes. The elite talent which is competing for those is there in a 30 team league, but will also still be there in a smaller league.

Now if you argued that increases in population, the disbanding of the WHA or the influx of Europeans provided a wider talent base, that would be correct, but arguing on the basis of league size doesn't work.
with more teams, there are more 1st line spots, better TOI and more chances that one of those players will have a great season or an anomalous season. all players compete for top 10s, and players do not always produce the same every season.

phil goyette was 4th C for the habs, but he made the top 10 in goals, assists and points in his 1st season after being traded, outscoring the habs' 2nd C, henri richard, in goals, assists and points.

no new teams were added, but the principle is the same. his role was much bigger.


sedins were 2nd and 3rd in points per game, and henrik sedin won the art ross and hart, but based on their history, they would probably have been 2nd liners in a small league. their TOI and PPTOI would probably be lower.

in a small league, stamkos could be in the AHL, even in an only NA league, instead of playing over 20:30/game with over 4:30 on PP.

st louis may never have been given the chance to become more than a 2nd or 3rd liner.

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08-22-2010, 09:01 AM
  #79
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Sustaining Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
with more teams, there are more 1st line spots, better TOI and more chances that one of those players will have a great season or an anomalous season. all players compete for top 10s, and players do not always produce the same every season.

phil goyette was 4th C for the habs, but he made the top 10 in goals, assists and points in his 1st season after being traded, outscoring the habs' 2nd C, henri richard, in goals, assists and points.

no new teams were added, but the principle is the same. his role was much bigger.


sedins were 2nd and 3rd in points per game, and henrik sedin won the art ross and hart, but based on their history, they would probably have been 2nd liners in a small league. their TOI and PPTOI would probably be lower.

in a small league, stamkos could be in the AHL, even in an only NA league, instead of playing over 20:30/game with over 4:30 on PP.

st louis may never have been given the chance to become more than a 2nd or 3rd liner.
Still comes down to the specific player sustaining performance at a high level. The Phil Goyette's historically cannot sustain performance at a high level season after season. This is demonstrable in a 6 team league or a 30 team league.

In a large league the level of fluidity is much greater once you get beyond the top 6 - 8 teams. The Sedin's showed the benefits of stability and familiarity. No other two player combination has been together in the NHL as part of a three man unit since 2000-01 plus the Sedin's togetherness significantly pre-dates 2000. Most of your anomalies arise when players have a history of playing together - Bronco Horvath and the Uke Line in 1960 would be an example. Like the Sedin's success the Uke Line success was not a function of the size of the league but familiarity. Circumstances will converge or diverge in unique fashions at random regardless of the size of the league.

Who will be playing where in a smaller league - second line, AHL, etc. Unsupported speculation. How quickly a player rises from the entry level to elite status in a league is a function of physical and mental maturation. Players do not mature physically and mentally based on the size of the league. If learning the nuances of a 30 team league takes longer than learning the nuances of a 6 team league the player will not become elite.Henri Richard, small, made a great team - Montreal at an age when he was still junior eligible in 1955. Tyler Seguin should make a very good team - Boston, in 2010 unless salary cap issues influence the choice. What was true in 1955 is true in 2010, meritocracy carries the day in the NHL, not the size of the league.

The greats like Gordie Howe,Bobby Hull started competing for scoring honours in the O6 era within the same time frame of age and experience as Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Stamkos did in a 30 team league. The slight advances that the players from today enjoyed were not a function of league size but a function of technology and hockey evolution. Medical technology which translated into superior training, preparation and physical readiness.
Hockey evolution in the form of increased specialty coaching supported by video technology which accelerated the mental development and preparation. Medical technology and the evolution of hockey would have advanced to their present state independent of the size of the NHL.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-22-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: clarification
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08-22-2010, 01:38 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by DutchLeafsfan View Post
I disagree on that part actually.

A smaller league will not make it easy to make the top 10 in scoring. When you talk about top performances, you need to beat out the best players in the league. Whether or not the league has 12-17 teams or 30, the elite talent which is going to fight for the top honors is still going to be there. It's the average and mediocre players who are going to have more roster spots in an expanded league, but those aren't the ones competing for top 10 finishes. The elite talent which is competing for those is there in a 30 team league, but will also still be there in a smaller league.

Now if you argued that increases in population, the disbanding of the WHA or the influx of Europeans provided a wider talent base, that would be correct, but argueing on the basis of league size doesn't work.
It works on both counts because in a 30 team league there are 30 different teams that have 1st lines and guys getting PP time, in a smaller league there are just less guys and less competition statistically for a guy like Clarke, especially in his non peak years.

Look it's simple math, it is easier to win a cup in a 12, 14 16 team league than a 30 team league and the same thing applies to top 10 finishes. the % of chance might be different since it's not simple math and a lottery for example but it is harder for top 10 finishes year in year out in a larger league than a smaller one, especially for all but a select few top players (like top 5 and even then where they place is affected)

Throw in the WHA, lack of European players, goalie pads and defensive systems Forsberg s 1.25 PPG is a huge difference than Clarke s 1.06.

I also give credit to Forsberg for his play in Sweden and international play as well, not just the NHL.

He has a 22-3-17-20 line in the Olympics

A 211-87-135-222 in Swedish league play of which over 100 games was while Clarke was playing junior hockey.

A 8-2-6-8 line over 2 world cups and a

33-15-14-29 line over 5 world championships 2 of which were when Clarke was playing junior


Also in the playoffs I would have taken Forsberg and what he did over Clarke.

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08-22-2010, 03:19 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post

IMO too much stock is put on this board about the 3 Harts, voters in all sports have shown that they vote on reputation and for all sorts of different reasons for some players and not for others.
This thread has gotten so long and there are so many points to cover and I only have a limited time today, so I am going to go back to a key point here.

Above, you disclaim the Hart voters because you think they often vote on reputation. Granted, sometimes the voters do make mistakes like this, in some categories more than other. But they are paid to follow, watch and write about Hockey. The fact that they voted Clarke so highly cannot be taken lightly.

Also, the coaches and players of the time, who competed directly against Clarke likewise ranked him very highly. The coaches poll is not a reputation vote, but a poll asking them to rank players based on the first half of the year, or in some cases the whole year, using that season alone to judge based on what they have seen.

From the Coaches poll in 74, ill just cut and paste the results Clarke was involved in.
* It should be noted that they had a category for best Checker in terms of defense, and then best Bodychecker for hitting.

Best Penalty Killer - Bobby Clarke, Walt Tkachuk, Craig Ramsey, Pete Mahovlich tie

Best Checker - Bobby Clarke (Jim Roberts, Ed Westfall)

Best on Faceoffs - Stan Mikita (Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito)

Smartest Player - Stan Mikita (Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito)

Hardest Worker - Bobby Clarke (Walt Tkachuk, Chico Maki)

Best Playmaker - Stan Mikita (Syl Apps, Bobby Clarke, Bobby Orr, Jean Ratelle)

Most Valuable Player 1973-74 - Phil Esposito (Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Darryl Sittler)

From the 76 Coaches poll.
Best Penalty Killer - Bobby Clarke (Don Luce, Craig Ramsey, Ed Westfall)

Best Checker - Bobby Clarke (Wayne Cashman, Bob Gainey, Craig Ramsey, Don Luce)

Best on Faceoffs - Bobby Clarke (Stan Mikita, Doug Jarvis)

Smartest Player - Stan Mikita (Bobby Clarke, Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur)
Hardest Worker - Bobby Clarke (Ray Comeau, Jim Roberts, Darryl Sittler)

Best Playmaker - Bobby Clarke (Marcel Dionne, Stan Mikita, Bobby Orr, Pete Mahovlich)

Most Valuable Player 1975-76 - Bobby Clarke (Brad Park, Pete Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, Darryl Sittler)

If Starting a team from scratch, First Player Chosen - Bobby Clarke (Denis Potvin, Bobby Orr, Ken Dryden)

Those were the two polls conducted during his best years. In later years polls, he was still being ranked among top faceoff men, hardest worker and ranked high/won in new categories polled such as best defensive forward, Best forechecker, Best backchecker, etc

Also, he won a Pearson, so the players who played against him obviously thought he earned the Hart Trophy as well. Sadly, they do not disclose who was runner up in those votes, but it is safe to say Clarke would have been the years he won/Came in second for the Hart.

Therefore, his MVP status is deserving ahead of Forsberg and not merely based off reputation. Furthermore, Coaches were ranking him among the best purely defensive forwards.

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08-22-2010, 04:54 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post

neither had any points in game 4, or were on the ice for krupp's goal.
Sakic was on the ice for Krupp's goal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIS02...ext=1&index=24

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08-22-2010, 05:03 PM
  #83
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Once again, I'm not disclaiming his 3 Harts, just trying to give it a bit on context and looking a bit deeper into it.

In a different thread we had some coaches polls in other years where some guys went from the 10 fastest to the fastest skater ect...

these polls are subjective even with hockey coaches and insiders and need to be taken with a grain of salt or at least looked into a bit more deeply.

Also back in Clarke's day most forwards and teams didn't play defensive systems or defensively so it is easier to be the best at something in a smaller pool of players and reputation does follow a player around.

Definitely in those 3 Hart years there where other guys who could have and probably should have won the hart, Bobby Orr comes to mind.

trophies, top 10 finishes, adjusted stats, counting stats, international play articles, our eyes, everything needs to be taken into account when comparing players from different time periods.

for my money I'll take Forsberg for the reasons i have listed above but if guys want to take Clarke that's fine but if they want to argue that it is not even close then they are not taking everything into consideration IMO.

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08-22-2010, 05:58 PM
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Once again, I'm not disclaiming his 3 Harts, just trying to give it a bit on context and looking a bit deeper into it.

In a different thread we had some coaches polls in other years where some guys went from the 10 fastest to the fastest skater ect...

these polls are subjective even with hockey coaches and insiders and need to be taken with a grain of salt or at least looked into a bit more deeply.

Also back in Clarke's day most forwards and teams didn't play defensive systems or defensively so it is easier to be the best at something in a smaller pool of players and reputation does follow a player around.

Definitely in those 3 Hart years there where other guys who could have and probably should have won the hart, Bobby Orr comes to mind.

trophies, top 10 finishes, adjusted stats, counting stats, international play articles, our eyes, everything needs to be taken into account when comparing players from different time periods.

for my money I'll take Forsberg for the reasons i have listed above but if guys want to take Clarke that's fine but if they want to argue that it is not even close then they are not taking everything into consideration IMO.
Okay, so you did not watch Hockey back then.

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08-22-2010, 06:29 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Padan View Post
Sakic was on the ice for Krupp's goal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIS02...ext=1&index=24
my mistake. for some reason, i thought it was the 3rd or 4th line.

thanks for the correction.

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08-23-2010, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchLeafsfan View Post
I disagree on that part actually.

A smaller league will not make it easy to make the top 10 in scoring. When you talk about top performances, you need to beat out the best players in the league. Whether or not the league has 12-17 teams or 30, the elite talent which is going to fight for the top honors is still going to be there. It's the average and mediocre players who are going to have more roster spots in an expanded league, but those aren't the ones competing for top 10 finishes. The elite talent which is competing for those is there in a 30 team league, but will also still be there in a smaller league.

Now if you argued that increases in population, the disbanding of the WHA or the influx of Europeans provided a wider talent base, that would be correct, but argueing on the basis of league size doesn't work.
Agree with less teams, the top players will still be in the league and only the top goalies will be left, actually harder to score with less teams. With expansion the talent is watered down more.

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08-23-2010, 12:39 AM
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Agree with less teams, the top players will still be in the league and only the top goalies will be left, actually harder to score with less teams. With expansion the talent is watered down more.
Read post #80 by Hardyvan123. It's a simple fact that can't be argued.

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08-23-2010, 12:48 AM
  #88
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Clarke

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08-23-2010, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
It works on both counts because in a 30 team league there are 30 different teams that have 1st lines and guys getting PP time, in a smaller league there are just less guys and less competition statistically for a guy like Clarke, especially in his non peak years.
Again, we are talking about the top 10 here, not the top 50. Even in a 12 team league there are 36 spots for first liners. If you are a top ten caliber scorer, of course you'll get first line ice time. And in the end you still have to beat out the best forwards in the league to be among those ten. Players will occasionally have an anomalous season, but when discussing top ten finishes of all time greats, I find that a pointless argument.

Of course the talent level is higher these days, and as a result it's a bit harder to make the top ten (though I doubt as much as you suggest), but this is not really due to league size, but due to the other factors I mentioned expanding the talent base.

Even in today's league, the difference between the 10th spot in scoring and the 36th spot in scoring is quite big, to the point where you can't really consider this 36th spot (and remember, we're talking about 36 first liners in a 12 team league) to be a really strong contender for a top 10 finish. Just look at the last few years:

2010: #10 Marian Gaborik 86, #36 Nik Antropov 67
2009: #10 Niklas Backstrom 88, #36 Corey Perry 72
2008: #10 Ilya Kovalchuk 87, #36 Paul Stastny 71
2007: #10 Dany Briere 95, #36 Paul Kariya 76
2006: #10 Jonathan Cheechoo 93, #36 Justin Williams 76

Remember, this is in a league where there are 90 forwards getting first line ice time. The past 5 years on average the #10 scorer got 89.8 points; the #36 forward got 72.4 points. That's a difference of 17.4 points. Meaning the #10 scorer outscored the #36 by 24%. That's not a margin where you can realistically say that the #36 scorer has a legit shot at making the top ten in scoring.

So in other words, even in today's league where due to population increases, globalisation, improved scouting and what not, the talent base has widened, the group of scorers competing for the top ten scoring finishes is smaller than the 36 forward spots with first line time in a 12 team league. Say the league were to contract to 12 teams today, with the same talent base, I don't see how it would be any easier to make the top ten in scoring than if we just kept the 30 teams instead.

Quote:
Look it's simple math, it is easier to win a cup in a 12, 14 16 team league than a 30 team league and the same thing applies to top 10 finishes. the % of chance might be different since it's not simple math and a lottery for example but it is harder for top 10 finishes year in year out in a larger league than a smaller one, especially for all but a select few top players (like top 5 and even then where they place is affected)
Even that I find a fairly dubious claim again. Yes, the talent level is greater, as a result there's more competitive teams, and winning the cup may be harder. But on the other hand, to win the Stanley Cup, you have to be the best. Was the path to the cup for the Flyers, through the Rangers and Bruins, really easier than say the Avalanche's path to the cup, or that the Blackhawks followed this year?

Chances that you will see your team win a cup in your lifetime are obviously a lot more favorable in a smaller league, but when talking about players actually winning the cup, I find claiming that a bigger league makes this more difficult a dangerous claim to just assume.

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08-23-2010, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchLeafsfan View Post
Again, we are talking about the top 10 here, not the top 50. Even in a 12 team league there are 36 spots for first liners. If you are a top ten caliber scorer, of course you'll get first line ice time. And in the end you still have to beat out the best forwards in the league to be among those ten. Players will occasionally have an anomalous season, but when discussing top ten finishes of all time greats, I find that a pointless argument.

Of course the talent level is higher these days, and as a result it's a bit harder to make the top ten (though I doubt as much as you suggest), but this is not really due to league size, but due to the other factors I mentioned expanding the talent base.

Even in today's league, the difference between the 10th spot in scoring and the 36th spot in scoring is quite big, to the point where you can't really consider this 36th spot (and remember, we're talking about 36 first liners in a 12 team league) to be a really strong contender for a top 10 finish. Just look at the last few years:

2010: #10 Marian Gaborik 86, #36 Nik Antropov 67
2009: #10 Niklas Backstrom 88, #36 Corey Perry 72
2008: #10 Ilya Kovalchuk 87, #36 Paul Stastny 71
2007: #10 Dany Briere 95, #36 Paul Kariya 76
2006: #10 Jonathan Cheechoo 93, #36 Justin Williams 76

Remember, this is in a league where there are 90 forwards getting first line ice time. The past 5 years on average the #10 scorer got 89.8 points; the #36 forward got 72.4 points. That's a difference of 17.4 points. Meaning the #10 scorer outscored the #36 by 24%. That's not a margin where you can realistically say that the #36 scorer has a legit shot at making the top ten in scoring.

So in other words, even in today's league where due to population increases, globalisation, improved scouting and what not, the talent base has widened, the group of scorers competing for the top ten scoring finishes is smaller than the 36 forward spots with first line time in a 12 team league. Say the league were to contract to 12 teams today, with the same talent base, I don't see how it would be any easier to make the top ten in scoring than if we just kept the 30 teams instead.



Even that I find a fairly dubious claim again. Yes, the talent level is greater, as a result there's more competitive teams, and winning the cup may be harder. But on the other hand, to win the Stanley Cup, you have to be the best. Was the path to the cup for the Flyers, through the Rangers and Bruins, really easier than say the Avalanche's path to the cup, or that the Blackhawks followed this year?

Chances that you will see your team win a cup in your lifetime are obviously a lot more favorable in a smaller league, but when talking about players actually winning the cup, I find claiming that a bigger league makes this more difficult a dangerous claim to just assume.
What you showed proves nothing though. There's much more possibilities for the top 10 every year, which is the point. Like Hardyvan said, it's simple math. The fact that someone is seriously trying to disprove this is very odd to me.

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08-23-2010, 10:06 AM
  #91
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What you showed proves nothing though. There's much more possibilities for the top 10 every year, which is the point. Like Hardyvan said, it's simple math. The fact that someone is seriously trying to disprove this is very odd to me.
This logic does not hold water with me. The best players will be the best players no matter the size of the league.

Gordie Howe was 3rd in scoring the first time he hit top 10 at age 21 against 6 teams, and was still 3rd in scoring at age 40 when there were far more teams despite being older and slower.

Wayne Gretzky was much the same, despite a back injury and age severely cramping what once was. Still maintained top scoring until his very last season.

Same holds true for Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque, and most others who spanned generations etc etc

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08-23-2010, 10:17 AM
  #92
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This logic does not hold water with me. The best players will be the best players no matter the size of the league.

Gordie Howe was 3rd in scoring the first time he hit top 10 at age 21 against 6 teams, and was still 3rd in scoring at age 40 when there were far more teams despite being older and slower.

Wayne Gretzky was much the same, despite a back injury and age severely cramping what once was. Still maintained top scoring until his very last season.

Same holds true for Joe Sakic, Ray Bourque, and most others who spanned generations etc etc
That is making a pretty wild assumption that the best players are already in the league at all times.

I think both are actually correct in a way.

In an instance like the O6 for example, the opportunities for spots are limited.

That automatically limits the chances of a fluke hot season getting a player into the top 10 just by the fact he wouldn't even be in the league or given the opportunity to play first line minutes. Players with a reputation as a scorer are given the opportunities and it is probably in some cases a self fufilling prophecy.

In the larger league there are more opportunities available for players to get a chance to shine they might not have gotten otherwise. Also there is a greater chance of a good player being on a flukey hot streak and cracking the top 10 in any given year just because of the greater number of players. It just boils down to more dice rolls somewhat.

It could go either way depending on the situation. Some are Denis Maruks who have a huge season or two in an ideal situation.. some are Martin St. Louis's who wouldn't have even been given a chance in a smaller league but who were genuinely talented and able to excel.

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08-23-2010, 11:20 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
That is making a pretty wild assumption that the best players are already in the league at all times.

I think both are actually correct in a way.

In an instance like the O6 for example, the opportunities for spots are limited.

That automatically limits the chances of a fluke hot season getting a player into the top 10 just by the fact he wouldn't even be in the league or given the opportunity to play first line minutes. Players with a reputation as a scorer are given the opportunities and it is probably in some cases a self fufilling prophecy.

In the larger league there are more opportunities available for players to get a chance to shine they might not have gotten otherwise. Also there is a greater chance of a good player being on a flukey hot streak and cracking the top 10 in any given year just because of the greater number of players. It just boils down to more dice rolls somewhat.

It could go either way depending on the situation. Some are Denis Maruks who have a huge season or two in an ideal situation.. some are Martin St. Louis's who wouldn't have even been given a chance in a smaller league but who were genuinely talented and able to excel.
I partially agree with it being a dice roll. But not in the smaller league. Particularly in the original 6, which was a saturated league. It was like playoff hockey all year round. Coaches and players were so familiar with each other, strengths and weaknesses, that like in the playoffs, strategies were devised specifically to handle the other teams strengths, limiting their scoring to degrees far beyond anything seen since.

Coaches and scouts picked out the best possible players in most aspects for just this scenario.

And when Expansion finally happened, tons and tons of secondary players and fellows who had no chance before to make the teams were sent to the new teams and given a chance to shine and it did not strongly affect the scoring standings at all(Even though Expansion teams played each other far far more than they played the O6). A handful of players scored well playing with the big boys, but not enough to say Clarke would not have been runner up for 2 scoring titles regardless.

In any case, I am still waiting for Hardy to come back and explain the "in Clarke's day most forwards and teams didn't play defensive systems or defensively" comment. Most teams in fact, did play defensively at this point up until the 80's. Teams allowed their defensemen to take more initiative, but they were still playing defensive systems.

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08-23-2010, 11:33 AM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan87 View Post
What you showed proves nothing though. There's much more possibilities for the top 10 every year, which is the point. Like Hardyvan said, it's simple math. The fact that someone is seriously trying to disprove this is very odd to me.
If it's such simple math and blatantly obvious, I'm sure you'll be able to explain just why it is so in a few nice and clear sentences.

Remember, we're talking here about ease of reaching the top ten in scoring as a function of league size, independent from talent base (and such influences as europeans, population increases, improvements in scouting and player development, etc.). Please enlighten me how if we were to contract the NHL to 12 teams tomorrow while retaining the same player base, how it would be harder for Marian Gaborik to get to that 10th spot in scoring.

Remember, 12 teams means 36 players getting first line ice time, which is less than the number of players you can consider to be legitimate contenders for top ten scoring finishes. Also keep in mind we are talking about players scoring points here and not using some sort of probabilities and drawing lots to determine these positions.

Edit: In response to BraveCanadian, I see your point indeed in that it might be easier to break into the league when there are more opportunities, and I can see how that might have made it less probably for say a Martin StLouis to develop like he did in a modern NHL. On the other hand I personally have my doubts if this would have a major impact on the discussion of the value of top ten scoring finishes for all time greats, as a function of league size itself.

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08-23-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchLeafsfan View Post
Edit: In response to BraveCanadian, I see your point indeed in that it might be easier to break into the league when there are more opportunities, and I can see how that might have made it less probably for say a Martin StLouis to develop like he did in a modern NHL. On the other hand I personally have my doubts if this would have a major impact on the discussion of the value of top ten scoring finishes for all time greats, as a function of league size itself.
I know what you guys are saying and, like I said in my earlier post, I think that both points of view have some truth to them.

I do feel that it was harder just to get the opportunity in the O6.

I also think that it is somewhat easier to be top 10 in a smaller league even if the talent pool is static.

If only because the number of people with a realistic chance of competing is smaller. Even with the same talent pool who knows how many guys would have excelled if given the chance (like a modern Martin St. Louis in our example).

I have a hard time believing that there was no one in the world outside of the top 18 forwards getting 1st line minutes in the O6 that could compete for top 10 if given a realistic chance.

In a 6 team league with 18 forwards getting first line minutes.. being top 10 doesn't strike me as being overly impressive, honestly.

I have very little doubt that there were some 2nd & 3rd liners and even minor leaguers who, if they had been given all the opportunities, could have challenged regularly for top 10 even in the O6.

Obviously there are massive variations in the amount of talent available in the intervening years between O6 and 30 teams so we'll never be able to quantify this sort of stuff but I just get the gut feeling that you could make a case that makes sense both ways.


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 08-23-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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08-23-2010, 12:35 PM
  #96
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1967-68 Results

Looking at the 1967-68 NHL scoring:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

Top 16 scorers from the actual O6 teams, no "finally got a chance" players, or newly created first line players from expansion teams.
17th is Bathgate who competed for the Ross in his O6 prime then some representation from expansion teams basically O6 fringers or aging O6 stars.

Raw numbers before considering scheduling quirks and other factors.

Paper theories based on false or dubious assumptions not supported by results.

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08-23-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Looking at the 1967-68 NHL scoring:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

Top 16 scorers from the actual O6 teams, no "finally got a chance" players, or newly created first line players from expansion teams.
17th is Bathgate who competed for the Ross in his O6 prime then some representation from expansion teams basically O6 fringers or aging O6 stars.

Raw numbers before considering scheduling quirks and other factors.

Paper theories based on false or dubious assumptions not supported by results.
Come on now Canadiens, we all know the O6 teams were vastly stronger than the expansion teams immediately after the expansion.
It isn't until the early to mid-70s that the expansion teams are starting to achieve some level of parity with the original six teams.

However, by the very next season we already see players from the expansion teams (which were much weaker in general) cracking the top 10 and top 15.. including Red Berenson who could pretty much be a poster child for what I was saying. Or was he just entering his prime at 29?

He went from 8 points in 49 games with the rangers to being a point per gamer and top 10 player with St. Louis.

Pre-expansion a good example is Phil Goyette who went from being a 3rd liner in Montreal to front liner in new york and st louis and entered the top 10 a few times.


I'm not saying it would always be true and that you could just throw first line minutes at any old guy and it would work out.. I'm just saying that it is certainly possible that several players never got a fair shake in the O6.

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08-23-2010, 01:50 PM
  #98
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Two Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Come on now Canadiens, we all know the O6 teams were vastly stronger than the expansion teams immediately after the expansion.
It isn't until the early to mid-70s that the expansion teams are starting to achieve some level of parity with the original six teams.

However, by the very next season we already see players from the expansion teams (which were much weaker in general) cracking the top 10 and top 15.. including Red Berenson who could pretty much be a poster child for what I was saying. Or was he just entering his prime at 29?

He went from 8 points in 49 games with the rangers to being a point per gamer and top 10 player with St. Louis.

Pre-expansion a good example is Phil Goyette who went from being a 3rd liner in Montreal to front liner in new york and st louis and entered the top 10 a few times.


I'm not saying it would always be true and that you could just throw first line minutes at any old guy and it would work out.. I'm just saying that it is certainly possible that several players never got a fair shake in the O6.
Two points.

One, the hidden in the low minors or the edges of the hockey world players suddenly making an NHL team and impacting due to expansion never existed.The examples you cite were players who required time to reach their optimum which may have been top 10 but far from Art Ross. Really no different than a Murray Oliver on the weak Boston teams. Given enough ice time and PP opportunities a player will lead a team in scoring(someone has to)
and flirt with the top 10, top 25 or whatever level the bar is set at.
Andrew Cassels may have been the number one center on a number of NHL teams but that did give him the talent or hockey intelligence to lead the league in scoring.

Two, increasing the size of the base of the pyramid does not change the size of the top. Lowering admission standards does not make it easier to be elite or increase the size of the elite. It just gives NHL credentials to more players.Using an academic analogy, allowing 10,000 previously academically unqualified students into a university does not increase the chances of one of the university's student's getting a Rhodes Scholarship but it does produce some more graduates along the way.

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08-23-2010, 01:52 PM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Come on now Canadiens, we all know the O6 teams were vastly stronger than the expansion teams immediately after the expansion.
It isn't until the early to mid-70s that the expansion teams are starting to achieve some level of parity with the original six teams.
Would not the fact that the Expansion teams were playing primarily with each other kind of negate the parity issue that first year?

Quote:
However, by the very next season we already see players from the expansion teams (which were much weaker in general) cracking the top 10 and top 15.. including Red Berenson who could pretty much be a poster child for what I was saying. Or was he just entering his prime at 29?

He went from 8 points in 49 games with the rangers to being a point per gamer and top 10 player with St. Louis.
Like I said, a Handful.

Quote:
Pre-expansion a good example is Phil Goyette who went from being a 3rd liner in Montreal to front liner in new york and st louis and entered the top 10 a few times.
Goyette had previously cracked top 10 in scoring twice before Expansion. Him cracking the top 10 once after expansion was not terribly out of place.

In any case, like I said, a handful.
In this particular case, Nothing that would indicate that Clarke would be finishing lower than he usually did. He was beating some all time greats in scoring year after year.

Another question that would trouble me with Forsberg would be if he could play in the Expansion league at all. Forsberg's main problem with scoring races in his own time was often his health. A side effect of the style he played and his fragility. Without the benefit of modern skates for his glass ankle and protective equipment, and with the lower class of medical treatment and in an era much rougher and dirtier than anything he ever had to face where players often had to play injured and force themselves to stay on the ice rather than miss a game for minor injuries......

Quote:
I'm not saying it would always be true and that you could just throw first line minutes at any old guy and it would work out.. I'm just saying that it is certainly possible that several players never got a fair shake in the O6.
Goalies were the most affected by this I think.

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08-23-2010, 01:56 PM
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
In this particular case, Nothing that would indicate that Clarke would be finishing lower than he usually did. He was beating some all time greats in scoring year after year.
For sure I voted Clarke on this one quite easily.. I wasn't trying to discount Clarke at all, even though I don't really like him as a player.

I was just saying I could see how the argument about it being harder/easier to get into the top 10 in a smaller league could go both ways.

Quote:
Goalies were the most affected by this I think.
Definitely.

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