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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
08-19-2010, 11:10 AM
  #1
vulture77
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Forsberg vs. Clarke

Two fairly comparable players. Both were primarily playmakers, both were dirty, both played from around 20 to 34 and both were excellent two-way players.

Who was better?

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08-19-2010, 11:40 AM
  #2
Dark Shadows
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Both good two way players does not really fit in this comparison.

Forsberg was a serviceable responsible two way player, while Clarke is one of the best defensive forwards of all time. In fact, he is so far ahead of Forsberg in the two way department that you may as well be comparing Datsyuk to Joe Thornton defensively.

Both were dirty does not really fit either. Clarke was one of the dirtiest players I ever saw lace them up, while Forsberg was.....Wait, why are we calling Forsberg a dirty player? He was physical, but never dirty in the sense of a goon. Maybe you could make a case for him being a diver, but not really dirty.

In any case, Forsberg was excellent on a "Per game basis". Healthy, he could have been ranked up with the Sakic's and Yzerman's. But even the Sakic's and Yzerman's are below Clarke on the totem pole and, well, Forsberg was not healthy.

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08-19-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Both good two way players does not really fit in this comparison.

Forsberg was a serviceable responsible two way player, while Clarke is one of the best defensive forwards of all time. In fact, he is so far ahead of Forsberg in the two way department that you may as well be comparing Datsyuk to Joe Thornton defensively.

Both were dirty does not really fit either. Clarke was one of the dirtiest players I ever saw lace them up, while Forsberg was.....Wait, why are we calling Forsberg a dirty player? He was physical, but never dirty in the sense of a goon. Maybe you could make a case for him being a diver, but not really dirty.

In any case, Forsberg was excellent on a "Per game basis". Healthy, he could have been ranked up with the Sakic's and Yzerman's. But even the Sakic's and Yzerman's are below Clarke on the totem pole and, well, Forsberg was not healthy.
Agreed on all points... though the gap between Clarke and Sakic/Yzerman is closer than the gap between Sakic/Yzerman and Forsberg.
Forsberg's runner-up for the Selke was a bit of a joke.

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08-19-2010, 11:47 AM
  #4
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Three Harts in the same era where Orr, Espo and Lafleur were at their peaks trumps Forsberg's accomplishments. Clarke is one of the two most well rounded centers I've ever seen, along with Bryan Trottier. Have to go with Clarke, even though IMO Forsberg was more talented offensively.

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08-19-2010, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Agreed on all points... though the gap between Clarke and Sakic/Yzerman is closer than the gap between Sakic/Yzerman and Forsberg.
Forsberg's runner-up for the Selke was a bit of a joke.
I think on my last list, I had Clarke 23, Sakic 31 and Yzerman 32, with Forsberg being 74th.

I did not think Forsberg being runner up for the Selke was that terrible. They cannot seem to make up their minds when voting for that trophy though. Either they give it to a guy elite defensively with less offensive upside, or a guy with lots of offensive upside and who is very good defensively.

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08-19-2010, 11:50 AM
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Clarke would be my choice as well. However from reading this forum, I occasionally get the impression that Forsberg was THE most dominating force on all areas of the ice, especially when speaking of "complete" players, will to win, clutch play and so forth.

But I can not think of an attribute Forsberg has that Clarke hasn't. And vice versa.

Sorry if this poll is lopsided. I would still be interested if someone made a case for Forsberg.

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08-19-2010, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulture77 View Post
Clarke would be my choice as well. However from reading this forum, I occasionally get the impression that Forsberg was THE most dominating force on all areas of the ice, especially when speaking of "complete" players, will to win, clutch play and so forth.

But I can not think of an attribute Forsberg has that Clarke hasn't. And vice versa.

Sorry if this poll is lopsided. I would still be interested if someone made a case for Forsberg.
In terms of being complele centers, Forsberg would be top 5 amongst guys I've seen. There's nothing wrong with being just behind Clarke and Trots who were just incredible in terms of all round ability. Here's my top 5 off the top of my head:

Clarke
Trottier
Forsberg
Datsyuk
Lemaire

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08-19-2010, 11:55 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulture77 View Post
Clarke would be my choice as well. However from reading this forum, I occasionally get the impression that Forsberg was THE most dominating force on all areas of the ice, especially when speaking of "complete" players, will to win, clutch play and so forth.

But I can not think of an attribute Forsberg has that Clarke hasn't. And vice versa.

Sorry if this poll is lopsided. I would still be interested if someone made a case for Forsberg.
Forsberg was better offensively in the playoffs.

Clarke's production in the playoffs dropped, as he focused more on playing defense (and doing it very well, mind you).

That would be the case for Forsberg.

But Clarke was so good defensively, there is definitely an argument as to who was better in the playoffs overall.

And Clarke has a far better regular season resume - 3 Harts over Bobby Orr, much more durability, more longevity, etc. Overall, he was much better than Forsberg defensively, even if they were close (when healthy) offensively. Clarke is also considered one of the best leaders of all time. I pretty much agree with their rankings on the HOH Top 100 list - Clarke in the 20s, Forsberg in the 60s.

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08-19-2010, 11:59 AM
  #9
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Defensive Play

There is a major difference between a center who is elite defensively to the extent that a team can structure their defensive game around him - Clarke and a player who will play very good defense within a loose system like the Avalanche had - Forsberg.

Forsberg, when removed from his comfort zone defensively either with Sweden internationally or the Avalanche was not as effective with the Predators or the Flyers.

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08-19-2010, 12:07 PM
  #10
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This one is Clarke easily and I don't even like the goon hockey the Flyers played.

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08-19-2010, 12:26 PM
  #11
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Even if one considers only how good Forsberg was when healthy Clarke still has to win this comparison. Offensively Forsberg has the edge, but in terms of defensive contributions Clarke's edge is massive.

As other posters have already stated, Clarke won three Hart trophies, with Orr as competition for two of them along with Esposito and later Lafleur. Forsberg barely beat Naslund for his only Hart.

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08-19-2010, 12:33 PM
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Considering the praise Forsberg has been getting, I woud not have believed Forsberg is getting trumped so badly in Hfboards against anyone, especially as it his happening with his own "weapons". It certainly was not my intention when I was making this poll.

Although I do feel a bit guilty pleasure because I think some of the praise Forsberg has been getting seems a bit absurd at times. But he definitely is one of the greatest all-around centers of all time and maybe he didn't deserve this kind of comparison, even if it can perhaps be used to prove a point for some.

It might be argued that Forsberg was better offensively (when healthy) overall, in both regular season and playoffs. I think the adjusted stats favour him a bit here.

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08-19-2010, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulture77 View Post
Considering the praise Forsberg has been getting, I woud not have believed Forsberg is getting trumped so badly in Hfboards against anyone, especially as it his happening with his own "weapons". It certainly was not my intention when I was making this poll.

Although I do feel a bit guilty pleasure because I think some of the praise Forsberg has been getting seems a bit absurd at times. But he definitely is one of the greatest all-around centers of all time and maybe he didn't deserve this kind of comparison, even if it can perhaps be used to prove a point for some.
We here on the History of Hockey board tend to have a much more grounded historical perspective than over at the main board.

Quote:
It might be argued that Forsberg was better offensively (when healthy) overall, in both regular season and playoffs. I think the adjusted stats favour him a bit here.
On a per-game basis only, Forsberg looks more impressive, though it should be noted that his two 1st place finishes in PPG were against really weak competition in 02-03 and 03-04.

Clarke Top 10 finishes in points: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 8th, 10th
Forsberg Top 10 finishes in points: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th

Clarke Top 10 finishes in PPG: 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th 6th, 9th
Forsberg Top 10 finishes in PPG: 1st, 1st*, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th,

*played less than half the games

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08-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I think on my last list, I had Clarke 23, Sakic 31 and Yzerman 32, with Forsberg being 74th.

I did not think Forsberg being runner up for the Selke was that terrible. They cannot seem to make up their minds when voting for that trophy though. Either they give it to a guy elite defensively with less offensive upside, or a guy with lots of offensive upside and who is very good defensively.
If Selke voting in the 80s was more like voting post-90s, I bet Kurri and Trottier each have at least one Selke.

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08-19-2010, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
If Selke voting in the 80s was more like voting post-90s, I bet Kurri and Trottier each have at least one Selke.
Agreed. As it happens, both were runner up for the trophy

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08-19-2010, 04:38 PM
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There's one thing I've been wondering about Clarke. Now I have read many of the players in the 70's, even the stars, were relatively poorly conditioned especially after the offseason. Soviets were an exception to the extend that they many players from the original Summit series are now physical wrecks due to intensive training.

But with Clarke, I have the feeling he was very "modern" player in a sense that his diabetes likely kept his fitness during the summer. I have actually seen him only in the Summit 72 and in one 80's WC tournament, as far as I remember, but from there I seem to remember he was in much better shape than most of the Canadian team.

Is there any truth in that he was, by neccessity, much more professional with his conditioning and fitness practice than his contemporaries?


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08-19-2010, 05:10 PM
  #17
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I hate that SOB but it's Clarke easily. Forberg is more fun to watch though.

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08-19-2010, 06:15 PM
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Without reading I thought this was a joke topic and thought we were talking about Wendel Clark. I was watching a Youtube tribute to him earlier. >_> Ignore my vote, obviously.

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08-19-2010, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Clarke Top 10 finishes in points: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 8th, 10th
Forsberg Top 10 finishes in points: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th

Clarke Top 10 finishes in PPG: 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th 6th, 9th
Forsberg Top 10 finishes in PPG: 1st, 1st*, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th,

*played less than half the games

And there in lies the problem I have with some of the comments on this thread. Okay, we all know Clarke was much better defensively, no knock on Forsberg, but that's just the case, he was. But offensively I certainly wouldn't close the book on the idea that Forsberg was better offensively. It took him to the last weekend on the NHL season to win his only Art Ross against a player no one will ever induct into the HHOF. And while were at it, we all remember Crosby just over a year ago right? What was the only knock on his game? He never shot enough and with his abundance of skill he should. Ditto for Forsberg. The only thing is that Crosby realized this and led the NHL in goals realizing that he could become even more lethal in another area of the game. The thing that bothers me about Forsberg is that he never improved his style. You get the feeling he could have been a 50 goal scorer if he wanted to, because if you look at his playoffs GPG it was better than the regular season so you wonder why he wasn't more prolific.

Forsberg never had more than 30 goals in an NHL season. Clarke had 30+ 4 times. Not a big difference, but when you add Clarke's defense to the mix then it makes up for his lack of goal scoring too. Of course, both were wonderful playmakers.

Physically - Clarke. Leadership - Clarke. Playoffs? Okay I give the edge to Forsberg here. Clarke would have, and did, bowl over his grandmother to win the Cup. He broke an ankle just to win a series. That being said Forsberg wanted to win too and he proved it more when the chips were down. Now I know Clarke focused on defense in the postseason more and that explains why his numbers went down a bit but IMO it shouldn't have been much of a drop at all. Lesser players like Zetterberg have controlled the game at both ends of the ice in the playoffs and still led the playoffs in scoring. So I don't see why Clarke couldn't have done that. Also Forsberg has the more memorable playoff portfolio. Clarke was fine in the playoffs but he lags in that department compared to other players of his talent. You don't even want to compare Clarke to Sakic or Yzerman in the postseason. So it isn't a huge issue with Clarke, but it is noticeable enough to dock some points from him.

Overall though, yeah, it's still Clarke

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08-19-2010, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
And there in lies the problem I have with some of the comments on this thread. Okay, we all know Clarke was much better defensively, no knock on Forsberg, but that's just the case, he was. But offensively I certainly wouldn't close the book on the idea that Forsberg was better offensively. It took him to the last weekend on the NHL season to win his only Art Ross against a player no one will ever induct into the HHOF. And while were at it, we all remember Crosby just over a year ago right? What was the only knock on his game? He never shot enough and with his abundance of skill he should. Ditto for Forsberg. The only thing is that Crosby realized this and led the NHL in goals realizing that he could become even more lethal in another area of the game. The thing that bothers me about Forsberg is that he never improved his style. You get the feeling he could have been a 50 goal scorer if he wanted to, because if you look at his playoffs GPG it was better than the regular season so you wonder why he wasn't more prolific.

Forsberg never had more than 30 goals in an NHL season. Clarke had 30+ 4 times. Not a big difference, but when you add Clarke's defense to the mix then it makes up for his lack of goal scoring too. Of course, both were wonderful playmakers.

Physically - Clarke. Leadership - Clarke. Playoffs? Okay I give the edge to Forsberg here. Clarke would have, and did, bowl over his grandmother to win the Cup. He broke an ankle just to win a series. That being said Forsberg wanted to win too and he proved it more when the chips were down. Now I know Clarke focused on defense in the postseason more and that explains why his numbers went down a bit but IMO it shouldn't have been much of a drop at all. Lesser players like Zetterberg have controlled the game at both ends of the ice in the playoffs and still led the playoffs in scoring. So I don't see why Clarke couldn't have done that. Also Forsberg has the more memorable playoff portfolio. Clarke was fine in the playoffs but he lags in that department compared to other players of his talent. You don't even want to compare Clarke to Sakic or Yzerman in the postseason. So it isn't a huge issue with Clarke, but it is noticeable enough to dock some points from him.

Overall though, yeah, it's still Clarke
Clarke is the better overall player, but yeah I would say forsberg is better offensively on a per game basis. Naslund wasn't the only person he outpointed in 2003, it was also Joe Thornton's coming out party and Forsberg still outpointed him.

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08-19-2010, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Clarke is the better overall player, but yeah I would say forsberg is better offensively on a per game basis. Naslund wasn't the only person he outpointed in 2003, it was also Joe Thornton's coming out party and Forsberg still outpointed him.
He did miss 7 games as well. Also to Big Phil The lack of 30+ goal seasons by Forsberg compared to Clarke are due to low scoring era and injuries. He was on pace for 30+ 5 times, and would have been about 10 in the 70's/early 80's.

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08-20-2010, 12:28 AM
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He did miss 7 games as well. Also to Big Phil The lack of 30+ goal seasons by Forsberg compared to Clarke are due to low scoring era and injuries. He was on pace for 30+ 5 times, and would have been about 10 in the 70's/early 80's.
Yeah and i'm not really sure if clarke deserves to rank above sakic. Joe was better offensively, much better in the playoffs and has more durability. I think that outweighs clarke's superior backchecking. Clarke's 1975 hart trophy was a joke, no way did he deserve it. Orr won the art ross, norris, lester b pearson and he had the better plus/minus, it was simply a sympathy vote when they gave it to clarke.

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08-20-2010, 12:44 AM
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Yeah and i'm not really sure if clarke deserves to rank above sakic. Joe was better offensively, much better in the playoffs and has more durability. I think that outweighs clarke's superior backchecking. Clarke's 1975 hart trophy was a joke, no way did he deserve it. Orr won the art ross, norris, lester b pearson and he had the better plus/minus, it was simply a sympathy vote when they gave it to clarke.
First of all, that was just one Hart out of 3. Second of all, how can you say that? Sure, Orr put up all those numbers and got the corresponding individual awards, but where did that get his team? 4th in the conference. Clarke on the other hand, with MacLeish, Leach, and Barber (as opposed to Esposito, Bucyk, Hodge), got his team to a tie for 1st place in the entire league.

I can totally "excuse" voters for seeing Clarke as "more valuable" (especially in a team success context) than Orr in '75. I certainly see no reasonable grounds for calling it a "sympathy vote", especially with Philly having gone on to win the Cup that year (not that post season impacts Hart voting, but we can certainly use hindsight now to say that Clarke didn't need any "sympathy" that year as he was parading around with the Cup).

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08-20-2010, 02:01 AM
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I cant stand how much is Forsberg overrated.
Sure one of the best players of his era, but nowhere near the generational talent. He was only one of the top stars of Dead Puck Era with one very very good season.

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08-20-2010, 02:04 AM
  #25
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Clarke.

Forsberg has the edge in skating/natural skills, but other than that, it's pretty much Clarke. It could also be argued that Foppa was better internationally, but that may be a slightly unfair comparison, since Clarke had limited chances to represent Team Canada.

There is definitely a feeling here in Finland that Jari Kurri was robbed of the Selke in 1983, but since they didn't give that award when Clarke was at his peak, maybe it was 'fair enough'...

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