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Top-100 European Players of All-Time

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Old
09-01-2010, 07:30 AM
  #51
Canadiens1958
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Goaltenders

Strong shortage of goaltenders - quick perusal shows app.5., with 2 - Khabibulin and Kiprusoff mainly NHL goalies. No Pelle Lindbergh as an example. Definitely top 100, given the filler that populates the last 20 - 25 spots.

Usually on such a list goalies that are contemporaries of each other are very obvious. Example Bower/Hall/Plante/Sawchuk. Broda/Durnan, Brodeur/Hasek/Roy, etc. This factors into goal scoring levels and competition.

This points to a very interesting question regarding scoring in each European elite league. Playing against weak goalies inflates scoring significantly. So the corresponding point totals of the forwards should be viewed accordingly.

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Old
09-01-2010, 07:39 AM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Strong shortage of goaltenders - quick perusal shows app.5., with 2 - Khabibulin and Kiprusoff mainly NHL goalies. No Pelle Lindbergh as an example. Definitely top 100, given the filler that populates the last 20 - 25 spots.

Usually on such a list goalies that are contemporaries of each other are very obvious. Example Bower/Hall/Plante/Sawchuk. Broda/Durnan, Brodeur/Hasek/Roy, etc. This factors into goal scoring levels and competition.

This points to a very interesting question regarding scoring in each European elite league. Playing against weak goalies inflates scoring significantly. So the corresponding point totals of the forwards should be viewed accordingly.
One reason I take stats from the domestic USSR and CSSR leagues with a grain of salt is because I do think there was likely a huge disparity in goaltending between the teams.

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Old
09-01-2010, 08:09 AM
  #53
Howe Elbows 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
The player's all-time greatness is my criteria. For players who got to the NHL, their NHL resumes are obviously considered along with their domestic achievements. Players whose NHL resumes don't exist are judged based on their performance versus other players in international play, and what the perceived values of those players were.

2. Nicklas Lidstrom
9. Peter Forsberg
11. Borje Salming
26. Mats Sundin
27. Daniel Alfredsson
30. Markus Naslund
35. Henrik Zetterberg
43. Ulf Samuelsson
44. Mats Naslund
49. Anders Hedberg
51. Stefan Persson
54. Lennart Svedberg
55. Lars-Erik Sjoberg
56. Ulf Nilsson
59. Thomas Steen
63. Hakan Loob
73. Kent Nilsson
74. Tomas Jonsson
79. Bengt Gustafsson
94. Kenny Jonsson
98. Samuel Pahlsson
Are domestic achievements as important as their NHL resumes?

If so, go ahead and drop Markus Näslund about 50 spots. He won't be remembered as one of the greats of Swedish hockey even though he has a Ted Lindsay Award.

Just based on NHL record, this ranking seems alright (and would explain the Tumba Johansson omission).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post

Two guys that stand out as players I'd rate higher are Milan Novy and Lennart Svedberg. I know Svedberg had a short career, but I've heard him talked about as the Paul Coffey of Sweden during his heyday.

Eager to hear some critique from the European posters in here. Some players are rated much higher on their own continent and vice versa relative to others.
I like to think of Svedberg as a toned down-Harvey (obviously toned down quite a bit, but still among the very best Swedes), actually. Exciting offensive rushes combined with tough-as-nails defensive play, do you think it's an apt comparison?

Agree 100% with your other point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I know, I know, I feel bad for leaving him out. But it was just the era. I'm not sure that the best swedish players of the 1950s were NHL-caliber, and the NHL players who made this list were/are stars.

It's not just the swedes though. I ran out of room for Bobrov and Sologubov too...
Samuelsson - effective and successful are two words that come to mind. But you can't persuade me to call him a star.

Ulf was successful but Tomas Holmström is in my opinion a better choice, both considering NHL careers and international competition (85 and 90 WC and 91 Canada Cup vs. 96 WC and 02 and 06 Olympics). Not that I'm sure I'd rank Tomas ahead of Påhlsson, for example, considering Påhlsson's 2006-07 season and playoffs...

Also, for your consideration, Leif Holmqvist:

1969 World Championships Best Goaltender (Interestingly not voted to that all-star team which instead had Dzurilla, along with Suchy, Svedberg, Sterner, Firsov and Nedomansky)
1969 WC Silver, 1975 Bronze
1968 and 1970 Golden Puck (One of three players to win the award as Swedish ice hockey player of the year twice, the other two being Anders Andersson and Peter Forsberg)
IIHF Hall of Fame member, being the only Swedish goaltender there (some swedish skaters there are Salming, Mats Näslund, Hedberg, Loob, Kent Nilsson, Tomas Jonsson, Gustafsson and Tumba).

And that leads me to Lundqvist...

2004 World Championships Best Goaltender (On the all-star team with Chara, Tärnström, Jagr, Heatley and Peltonen)
2006 Olympic Games Gold, 2003 and 2004 WC Silver
2005 Golden Puck
Third in Vezina voting in 2006 and 2008, tied for third in 2007

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Old
09-01-2010, 08:14 AM
  #54
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I gotta a question. How do you rank someone like Saku Koivu on a list like this. His NHL career, while quite good, hasn’t been anything near enough to place him on a top 100-Euro player list.

However, his international play certainly has. He lead Finland to the 1995 WC, was the leading scorer in both the 98 and 06 Olympics (captaining his team to medals both times). Was named to the All-Star team of the 04 World Cup, and had a monster WC in 99 (leading the tournament in scoring by 5 points). He was arguably a top 3 forward in international play for around a decade.

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Old
09-01-2010, 08:38 AM
  #55
Canadiens1958
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Ulf Sterner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Competitive Violence View Post
Are domestic achievements as important as their NHL resumes?

If so, go ahead and drop Markus Näslund about 50 spots. He won't be remembered as one of the greats of Swedish hockey even though he has a Ted Lindsay Award.

Just based on NHL record, this ranking seems alright (and would explain the Tumba Johansson omission).



I like to think of Svedberg as a toned down-Harvey (obviously toned down quite a bit, but still among the very best Swedes), actually. Exciting offensive rushes combined with tough-as-nails defensive play, do you think it's an apt comparison?

Agree 100% with your other point.



Samuelsson - effective and successful are two words that come to mind. But you can't persuade me to call him a star.

Ulf was successful but Tomas Holmström is in my opinion a better choice, both considering NHL careers and international competition (85 and 90 WC and 91 Canada Cup vs. 96 WC and 02 and 06 Olympics). Not that I'm sure I'd rank Tomas ahead of Påhlsson, for example, considering Påhlsson's 2006-07 season and playoffs...

Also, for your consideration, Leif Holmqvist:

1969 World Championships Best Goaltender (Interestingly not voted to that all-star team which instead had Dzurilla, along with Suchy, Svedberg, Sterner, Firsov and Nedomansky)
1969 WC Silver, 1975 Bronze
1968 and 1970 Golden Puck (One of three players to win the award as Swedish ice hockey player of the year twice, the other two being Anders Andersson and Peter Forsberg)
IIHF Hall of Fame member, being the only Swedish goaltender there (some swedish skaters there are Salming, Mats Näslund, Hedberg, Loob, Kent Nilsson, Tomas Jonsson, Gustafsson and Tumba).

And that leads me to Lundqvist...

2004 World Championships Best Goaltender (On the all-star team with Chara, Tärnström, Jagr, Heatley and Peltonen)
2006 Olympic Games Gold, 2003 and 2004 WC Silver
2005 Golden Puck
Third in Vezina voting in 2006 and 2008, tied for third in 2007
Ulf Sterner. NHL - 4 games and minor league experience. At the international level rates with his Soviet contemporaries while playing on weaker teams.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...sternul01.html

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Old
09-01-2010, 09:20 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Ulf Sterner. NHL - 4 games and minor league experience. At the international level rates with his Soviet contemporaries while playing on weaker teams.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...sternul01.html
Wow, that's some hardcore evidence, man.

Does that mean that his countrymen like Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson etc. were so much better than Sterner so that they could compete on NHL level? Or were they better suited for the North American play? Or was perhaps their timing just better? Because Nilsson and Hedberg were clearly behind the best Soviet and Czechoslovak players and heck, even Ulf Sterner, in the World Championship play.

And so were basically all the Canadian pros (guys like Dionne, Sittler, Lafleur, Gainey, Robinson...) who played in the World Championships from 1977 on; Gretzky winning the scoring title in 1982 doesn't much change the fact.

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09-01-2010, 09:46 AM
  #57
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Ulf Sterner II

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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Wow, that's some hardcore evidence, man.

Does that mean that his countrymen like Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson etc. were so much better than Sterner so that they could compete on NHL level? Or were they better suited for the North American play? Or was perhaps their timing just better? Because Nilsson and Hedberg were clearly behind the best Soviet and Czechoslovak players and heck, even Ulf Sterner, in the World Championship play.

And so were basically all the Canadian pros (guys like Dionne, Sittler, Lafleur, Gainey, Robinson...) who played in the World Championships from 1977 on; Gretzky winning the scoring title in 1982 doesn't much change the fact.
Questioning Ulf Sterner's omission from the list.

As to the NHL trial Ulf Sterner earned, the following offers insight about the positive impact generated by IIHF rule changes in the late 1960's which were a benefit to future European stars trying the NHL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulf_Sterner


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 09-01-2010 at 10:19 AM. Reason: addition
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Old
09-01-2010, 10:07 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Mikita's parents were Czech but he was Canadian-trained, so we refer to him as Canadian.
Slovakian.

Canadian Citizenship and never played for Czechoslovakia.

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09-01-2010, 10:10 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Slovakian.
Well he was from Czechoslovakia when it was called Czechoslovakia... and it was common to call people from there Czechs.

Quote:
Canadian Citizenship and never played for Czechoslovakia.
Kolzig likely opted to play for Germany because there was no chance he would ever make Team Canada.

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Old
09-01-2010, 10:16 AM
  #60
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Good effort and good list, I agree with the top 3 though I'd rank them as follows:

1) Jagr
2) Hasek
3) Lidstrom

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Old
09-01-2010, 10:46 AM
  #61
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Good overall list. I'd have Jagr infront of Lidstrom, but still behind Hasek. Forsberg infront of Stastny and Kurri. Ovechkin probably top 10. As the list goes on the biggest thing that stands out is Palffy being far behind Bondra. Palffy was better, and had a better career than Bondra and many others ahead of him IMO.

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09-01-2010, 10:52 AM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Questioning Ulf Sterner's omission from the list.
I apologize wholeheartedly.

At first glance, it looked like one of those numerous attempts to downgrade the European greats by using one example.

Well, I don't know if referring to Sterner's North American experiences is the best way to make a case for him, though, pioneer or not...

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Old
09-01-2010, 11:03 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Fredrik_71 View Post
Sven Tumba actually had an offer from Boston Bruins but turned it down for the "safety" of sweden. The first NHL offer to a european?
No. Jaroslav Drobny (Czechoslovakia) had the Bruins offering him a contract as early as 1949. He turned them down.

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Old
09-01-2010, 11:10 AM
  #64
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Borje Salming

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
I apologize wholeheartedly.

At first glance, it looked like one of those numerous attempts to downgrade the European greats by using one example.

Well, I don't know if referring to Sterner's North American experiences is the best way to make a case for him, though, pioneer or not...
Borje Salming did not have very impressive stats in Sweden or internationally before coming to NA. He did benefit from experience under the rule changes that allowed much greater checking in the international game.

When Salming arrived in Toronto he had the advantage of a perfect match between player and coach. Red Kelly was very comparable to Salming - a rushing, offensive defenseman with the Red Wings during the first part of his career. This facilitated Salming's transition to the NHL game.

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Old
09-01-2010, 11:56 AM
  #65
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Oh c'mon! I don't know what you have been reading, but not a top-notch player???

At least here in Finland, when you read the hockey books, he is often mentioned as being the 'best individual player' the Soviets ever had, and that is backed up by stories of old Finnish pros who played against nearly all Soviet greats from the 1960s and 1970s.

And well, he has the awards to go with that:

3 Soviet MVPs (1968, 1969, 1971)
4-time scoring leader at the World Championships (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971)
3-time best forward at WHC (1967, 1968, 1971)*
5-time all-star left wing at WHC (1967-1971)

Bolded. 1968 Winter Olympics were also the World Hockey Championships, if that makes any sense.
* hmmm, I seem to remember that he was selected the best forward at the 1969 WHC too; Chidlovski might have accidentally made an omission there. (I was wrong; it was Ulf Sterner in 1969)

What USSR forward can match those - before Makarov? I believe he also has the highest Goals per game average in international competition ever (.807..., 134 goals in 166 games).

Before you say that he played in a weaker era; as you can see, his career overlapped with those of Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Maltsev, Petrov etc., but he still was considered the best Soviet forward 1969-71.

The only knock on Firsov I can think of is that based on the available data, he wasn't as big a force domestically as internationally. And yes, he never played against the Canadian pros, but I don't penalize him for that, as maybe many others do. He would have done just fine

Admittedly, it has been a while since I've actually looked up these players, but from what I recall, some of what you say is very skewed, which is really bizarre that you report it because you're clearly smart enough to note these flaws.

First and foremost, his competition was never really Mikhailov, Maltsev, etc. During Firsov's prime, I believe it coincided with the end of Loktev, Almetov, and Alexandrov, and the players you mentioned weren't really his competition. Sure, you can name Kharlamov as potential competition (since Kharlamov's peak did indeed stretch from 69-72), but the fact that he was played on the second line (see Chidlovski) and Firsov on the first means they weren't really competition.

Additionally, it's important to note that all players (Firsov included) see a huge spike when they play for CSKA. The only exception is Balderis, but that's another story that had to do with personal preference to play for another team. His best years didn't come until he played under Tarasov and an even more stacked lineup of CSKA than the 70s or 80s.

Out of the awards you mention, the Soviet MVPs are HIGHLY suspect. Take a look at some of the voting standards for MVP, and you'll see what I mean; rarely, the best statistical player is chosen (a common trend seen in the 70s). You even acknowledged that his play in the Russian League was subpar. The only rational reason for his MVPs, then, has to be some sort of intangibles that don't appear on the scoresheet -- but there's no proof of that! Everything I've read suggests that opposite, that even though he was not a defensive liability, he wasn't a Shadrin or a Mikhailov either.

And you mention his international goals per game -- the international competition was drastically higher in the 70s and 80s. I challenge you to find out the gpg of the players from the 70s and 80s when excluding games against pro NHLers, and you shouldn't be surprised to see that the gap separating the players from Firsov is minuscule.

Until we know more about him or see footage, I think he's no different than Bobrov in the sense that we know way too little about him in order to take the accolades too seriously.

I'll try to see if I can find some of the statistical analysis I did on this topic two or so years ago on the Leafs boards, just to add some warrants to my claims.

[EDIT] I couldn't find the posts on the Leafsboard, but I think a good place for everyone to look is at Triffy's posts about the Soviet League MVP, All-Star, and Scoring -- particularly the reason i think Firsov isn't a statistical dynamo like the other Russian players.

Here are the links:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=624953
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=593025
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=592565


Last edited by duck: 09-01-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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Old
09-01-2010, 01:05 PM
  #66
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Kent Nilsson should be higer than most of the other Swede's mentioned IMO.
If Nilsson only had the heart of Forsberg he would be talked about as one of the greatest players to ever play this game.


Skip to 5.05 in this clip and you see a nice little clip with him


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Old
09-01-2010, 01:58 PM
  #67
Canadiens1958
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1969 IIHF Unlimited Body Checking

Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
Admittedly, it has been a while since I've actually looked up these players, but from what I recall, some of what you say is very skewed, which is really bizarre that you report it because you're clearly smart enough to note these flaws.

First and foremost, his competition was never really Mikhailov, Maltsev, etc. During Firsov's prime, I believe it coincided with the end of Loktev, Almetov, and Alexandrov, and the players you mentioned weren't really his competition. Sure, you can name Kharlamov as potential competition (since Kharlamov's peak did indeed stretch from 69-72), but the fact that he was played on the second line (see Chidlovski) and Firsov on the first means they weren't really competition.

Additionally, it's important to note that all players (Firsov included) see a huge spike when they play for CSKA. The only exception is Balderis, but that's another story that had to do with personal preference to play for another team. His best years didn't come until he played under Tarasov and an even more stacked lineup of CSKA than the 70s or 80s.

Out of the awards you mention, the Soviet MVPs are HIGHLY suspect. Take a look at some of the voting standards for MVP, and you'll see what I mean; rarely, the best statistical player is chosen (a common trend seen in the 70s). You even acknowledged that his play in the Russian League was subpar. The only rational reason for his MVPs, then, has to be some sort of intangibles that don't appear on the scoresheet -- but there's no proof of that! Everything I've read suggests that opposite, that even though he was not a defensive liability, he wasn't a Shadrin or a Mikhailov either.

And you mention his international goals per game -- the international competition was drastically higher in the 70s and 80s. I challenge you to find out the gpg of the players from the 70s and 80s when excluding games against pro NHLers, and you shouldn't be surprised to see that the gap separating the players from Firsov is minuscule.

Until we know more about him or see footage, I think he's no different than Bobrov in the sense that we know way too little about him in order to take the accolades too seriously.

I'll try to see if I can find some of the statistical analysis I did on this topic two or so years ago on the Leafs boards, just to add some warrants to my claims.

[EDIT] I couldn't find the posts on the Leafsboard, but I think a good place for everyone to look is at Triffy's posts about the Soviet League MVP, All-Star, and Scoring -- particularly the reason i think Firsov isn't a statistical dynamo like the other Russian players.

Here are the links:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=624953
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=593025
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=592565
An interesting consequence of the 1969 IIHF rule change - allowing bodychecking all over the ice as opposed to strictly in the defensive zone.

The Soviet League scoring reflects this as it was the younger players who adapted quickly and stepped up while the older players did not. None of the 1968 or previous scoring leaders were factors under the new rule.

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Old
09-01-2010, 02:24 PM
  #68
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I don't think I know enough of the Soviet players to do a complete ranking, so I'll just comment on the relative ranking of the Swedes.

Here's my list of top 25 Swedes from the thread from a couple of weeks ago:

1. Lidström

2. Salming
3. Forsberg
4. Sundin

5. Loob
6. Alfredsson
7. Mats Näslund

8. Lindbergh
9. Tumba
10. Zetterberg

11. Hedberg
12. Kent Nilsson
13. Markus Näslund
14. "Lill-Strimma" Svedberg
15. Sterner

16. Gustafsson
17. Ulf Nilsson
18. "Honken" Holmquist
19. Sjöberg
20. "Pekka" Lindmark

21. Sedin
22. Sedin
23. Steen
24. Tomas Jonsson
25. Kenny Jönsson


Overall, this list is pretty close to seventieslord's. I think the biggest changes I'd make in seventieslord's list is:

* Switch Markus Naslund for Mats Naslund. Mats was a much more impactful player.
* Sterner, as already pointed out.
* Loob should be higher. He's Sweden's best goal scorer ever, and basically the Gordie Howe of the SEL. Notice how many people in the linked thread have him really, really high.

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09-01-2010, 02:40 PM
  #69
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TDMM, good points, and after consideration, I tend to agree on most of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Very good list as a starting point, but I'd definitely make a few changes:

-Firsov definitely needs to be higher. I see no justification for Larionov over Firsov. I'd even have him over Mikhailov. To me, he is one of 5 Soviets who has a case for best Soviet of all-time. His career overlapped with Kharlamov, so this isn't a Bobrov we are talking about.
No, not quite a Bobrov, but from a period slightly further back in Soviet hockey's development. When Morris Mott told me he wasn't sure Firsov could have "starred" in the NHL, but he could have played, that to me wasn't a ringing endorsement of his top-100 worthiness. Of course it should not be the only thing we should base our rankings on, but it's something. So I dropped him down a few notches from where we customarily have him.

Quote:
-Martinec should be over Nedomansky, or at least right behind him. Martinec was considered the better player in the Czech league, and it's not like Nedomansky exactly tore up the NHL. Or maybe they should be one right after the other, since there is often an argument as to who was better.
You are probably right.

Quote:
-I think Holecek should be closer to Tretiak too - at minimum, I'd put him over Larionov, who was arguably the 3rd best member of KLM.
That would be doable. But I'd have a hard time putting him over anyone else.

Quote:
-I'd have both Suchy and Pospisil over Zubov (can you tell I like the 70s Czechs more than you do?). Whether or not they are over Zubov, I feel they definitely should be over Konstantinov.
Can you imagine them being better in the NHL than Zubov was? It is difficult for me. I wouldn't completely rule it out.

Quote:
-I really can't see any justification for Yakushev over Martinec.
Yeah, you are right. The case for Martinec has been very well-made by now.

Quote:
-Mogilny was definitely better than Bondra, and it isn't close. For that matter, Kovalchuk is probably ahead of Bondra by now.
Not even close?

I think Bondra is the better goal scorer and the more consistent scorer. Do you think Mogilny provided a lot more in playmaking or intangibles or the playoffs to make up for that? I could see it, but I'd like to see the case.

Quote:
-It's hard for me to see Starshinov as being worse than Bobby Holik. He was the 2nd best Soviet (after Firsov) in the late 60s, and really wasn't that far behind Firsov.
Yes, probably right.

Quote:
-Krutov is so hard to rate, but if you look at his peak (and assume it's not because of the juice), it's hard to rank him below the likes of Mogilny and Bondra and especially Svehla.
Agree, if you assume it's not because of the juice. I'm not assuming it was or wasn't, but I do acknowledge that there is a question mark which would explain him being lower than his accomplishments may merit.

Quote:
-Bilyaletdinov needs to be much higher - when they talked about the 3 Soviet defensemen who could be stars in the NHL, they were talking about Fetisov, Kasatonov, and Bilyaletdinov. Pervukhin was definitely considered a step below Bilyaletdinov. In fact, I'd definitely rate him over Liapkin.
Honestly, I think I mixed those two up.

Quote:
-Agree that Dzurilla needs to be on the list somewhere. He wasn't considered that much worse than Holecek.
I actually had him there but ran out of room. Do you see him having a better career than, say, Kiprusoff in the NHL? That is tough to imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Bobby Holik too high at #45 ?
Maybe. But I really respect his short-lived elite shutdown ability, faceoff prowess, playoff warrior status and general all-around beastliness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Balderis is way too low. His numbers against the north american competition were better than maltsev's. Your top 10 is right on the money, but it seems you favour 70's russians, but underrate the 80s russians and the 70's czechs.

Helmuts Balderis played 25 games against north americans in his prime years, and scored 25 points. Maltsev on the other hand was actually below a point per game during his appearances in best on best tournaments. Balderis was soviet scoring champion in 1977 and 1983, and the mvp in 77. I think you overlooked him when you made this list.
It's possible I did. The case for Maltsev has been well-made by now, but I hadn't seen anyone really come to bat for Balderis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
Good list, the one notable thing that doesn't make sense to me is Palffy below clearly worse contemporaries in Hejduk, Kaberle, Svehla and Holik.
I addressed Holik above. My initial feeling was that his overall value was indeed higher. Could be wrong.

Hejduk I compared directly to Palffy and concluded his longevity as a scorer was better. On the other hand, Palffy created his own offense and was a better two-way player. I am convinced on this one.

As for Kaberle and Svehla - Looking back over their careers, I think their status in the league among defensemen was generally higher than Palffy's status among forwards. Assuming they are all in their prime right now, I would not fault a GM for trading Palffy for Kaberle or Svehla. It could happen.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:05 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by Competitive Violence View Post
Are domestic achievements as important as their NHL resumes?
I would say no. A player dominating in their domestic league is impressive and if they do it to a great enough degree for a long enough time, while showing their skills in international competitions, then they can be ranked with comparable players. A player who came to the NHL and dominated leaves little need for guesswork and conjecture. Naslund had one of the best three-year peaks of any European player. Had he done anything outside of those years, he'd be a lot higher here.

Quote:
Samuelsson - effective and successful are two words that come to mind. But you can't persuade me to call him a star.
Well, he was a star at what he did.

Ulf was successful but Tomas Holmström is in my opinion a better choice, both considering NHL careers and international competition (85 and 90 WC and 91 Canada Cup vs. 96 WC and 02 and 06 Olympics). Not that I'm sure I'd rank Tomas ahead of Påhlsson, for example, considering Påhlsson's 2006-07 season and playoffs...

Quote:
Also, for your consideration, Leif Holmqvist:

1969 World Championships Best Goaltender (Interestingly not voted to that all-star team which instead had Dzurilla, along with Suchy, Svedberg, Sterner, Firsov and Nedomansky)
1969 WC Silver, 1975 Bronze
1968 and 1970 Golden Puck (One of three players to win the award as Swedish ice hockey player of the year twice, the other two being Anders Andersson and Peter Forsberg)
IIHF Hall of Fame member, being the only Swedish goaltender there (some swedish skaters there are Salming, Mats Näslund, Hedberg, Loob, Kent Nilsson, Tomas Jonsson, Gustafsson and Tumba).

And that leads me to Lundqvist...

2004 World Championships Best Goaltender (On the all-star team with Chara, Tärnström, Jagr, Heatley and Peltonen)
2006 Olympic Games Gold, 2003 and 2004 WC Silver
2005 Golden Puck
Third in Vezina voting in 2006 and 2008, tied for third in 2007
Both are possibilities, but at this time I think their resumes fall short.

Lundqvist would eventually make it. Look where Kiprusoff is ranked - he will ultimately bypass that status.

Holmqvist would have to demonstrate reasonably through his international resume that he would be an NHL star at the Kiprusoff level or close. It certainly looks like he could have played, but could he have starred?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaymzB View Post
I gotta a question. How do you rank someone like Saku Koivu on a list like this. His NHL career, while quite good, hasn’t been anything near enough to place him on a top 100-Euro player list.

However, his international play certainly has. He lead Finland to the 1995 WC, was the leading scorer in both the 98 and 06 Olympics (captaining his team to medals both times). Was named to the All-Star team of the 04 World Cup, and had a monster WC in 99 (leading the tournament in scoring by 5 points). He was arguably a top 3 forward in international play for around a decade.
International resumes do help, but at the same time, they represent a rather small percentage of all the games Koivu has played.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Well he was from Czechoslovakia when it was called Czechoslovakia... and it was common to call people from there Czechs.
Don't go there. I got chewed out for this one before

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infinite Vision View Post
As the list goes on the biggest thing that stands out is Palffy being far behind Bondra. Palffy was better, and had a better career than Bondra and many others ahead of him IMO.
Are you sure? Bondra managed 500 goals in the dead puck era (sure, he got there by compiling...) Palffy was always good but never reached Bondra's heights. Bondra was a blackhold defensively and Palffy was actually quite good. Is it enough to overcome that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
The only rational reason for his MVPs, then, has to be some sort of intangibles that don't appear on the scoresheet -- but there's no proof of that! Everything I've read suggests that opposite,
Then you haven't been reading enough. Firsov was a fiery player and intense competitor.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:15 PM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Lexus View Post
Kent Nilsson should be higer than most of the other Swede's mentioned IMO.
If Nilsson only had the heart of Forsberg he would be talked about as one of the greatest players to ever play this game.


Skip to 5.05 in this clip and you see a nice little clip with him

Nilsson is pretty much the poster boy for accomplishments not matching skills, isn't he? Right up there with Kovalev and Yashin (who should actually grace the bottom-20 of this list somewhere)

Heart does count for a lot. If that's what separated him and Forsberg, it's worth a good 65 spots on the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
I don't think I know enough of the Soviet players to do a complete ranking, so I'll just comment on the relative ranking of the Swedes.

Here's my list of top 25 Swedes from the thread from a couple of weeks ago:

1. Lidström

2. Salming
3. Forsberg
4. Sundin

5. Loob
6. Alfredsson
7. Mats Näslund

8. Lindbergh
9. Tumba
10. Zetterberg

11. Hedberg
12. Kent Nilsson
13. Markus Näslund
14. "Lill-Strimma" Svedberg
15. Sterner

16. Gustafsson
17. Ulf Nilsson
18. "Honken" Holmquist
19. Sjöberg
20. "Pekka" Lindmark

21. Sedin
22. Sedin
23. Steen
24. Tomas Jonsson
25. Kenny Jönsson


Overall, this list is pretty close to seventieslord's. I think the biggest changes I'd make in seventieslord's list is:

* Switch Markus Naslund for Mats Naslund. Mats was a much more impactful player.
* Sterner, as already pointed out.
* Loob should be higher. He's Sweden's best goal scorer ever, and basically the Gordie Howe of the SEL. Notice how many people in the linked thread have him really, really high.
- Why was Mats better? He simply can't touch Markus' three dominant seasons and never came close to the Hart. Markus did three times. Markus was also a longtime captain, though not the greatest one.
- I could be swayed on Sterner, but I'd need more evidence.
- We saw what Loob could do in the NHL and he was your "average" star forward for the most part. An 80 point guy in a high-scoring era. At the level of guys like Kovalev and Gaborik. The fact that he kept dominating the SEL tells me that he likely could have kept up a good leveo of production at the NHL level for at least a few more years, which is why he's ranked higher than his NHL career alone warrants.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:20 PM
  #72
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Both are possibilities, but at this time I think their resumes fall short.

Lundqvist would eventually make it. Look where Kiprusoff is ranked - he will ultimately bypass that status.

Holmqvist would have to demonstrate reasonably through his international resume that he would be an NHL star at the Kiprusoff level or close. It certainly looks like he could have played, but could he have starred?
From what I saw of him, yes, he could have starred.

Quote:
1. Lidström

2. Salming
3. Forsberg
4. Sundin

5. Mats Näslund
6. Loob
7. Alfredsson

8. Lindbergh
9. Kent Nilsson
10. Tumba

11. "Lill-Strimma" Svedberg
12. Markus Näslund
13. Hedberg
14. Gustafsson
15. Sjöberg
16. "Honken" Holmquist
17. Rundquist
18. Zetterberg
19. "Pekka" Lindmark
20. Sedin
21. Sedin
22. Sandström
23. "Garvis" Määttä
24. "Masken" Carlsson
25. Charles Berglund
I posted that a while a go. Granted I missed a few names like Sterner and the Jönsson brothers (I did this list quicky of the top of my head). Lundquist has the potential to be the best goalie that ever came out of Sweden BUT he isn't there yet. "Honken", Pelle and "Pekka" were (to me) better so far.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:22 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Are you sure? Bondra managed 500 goals in the dead puck era (sure, he got there by compiling...) Palffy was always good but never reached Bondra's heights. Bondra was a blackhold defensively and Palffy was actually quite good. Is it enough to overcome that?
Add in the fact that his playmaking in comparison to his goals (atleast regarding elite offensive players) is basically the worst I've seen, it honestly should be yeah. There's no doubt Bondra was one of the best goal scorers ever. However, he was like a Bure with clearly worse defense, and playmaking. I consider Palffy in his prime to be at the very least as good as Bure was if we're judging them as overall players. Also, with Bondra it wasn't just the fact that he had literally nothing to offer other than scoring, it was the fact that had he atleast been average in defense and playmaking, it would have taken away from his goal scoring totals. The more you focus on one thing during a game the easier it is to produce more of those results. Likewise, I also acknowledge that if that's the case, opposing teams take more notice on that area of their game.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:37 PM
  #74
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50. Robert Svehla
51. Stefan Persson
52. Vladimir Krutov
53. Jiri Holik
54. Lennart Svedberg
55. Lars-Erik Sjoberg
56. Ulf Nilsson
57. Helmut Balderis
58. Edward Ivanov
59. Thomas Steen
60. Tomas Kaberle

Pretty good list, I was expecting this and you didnt disappoint. I cant put Svehla over Kaberle.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:47 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
- Why was Mats better? He simply can't touch Markus' three dominant seasons and never came close to the Hart. Markus did three times. Markus was also a longtime captain, though not the greatest one.
.
I'll give Markus the peak, but prime and career is Mats. Mats had more heart, was a better play-off performer, and is one of the best Swedish international players ever. Very good SEL player also.

When he was on his game, Markus was great. But the fact is that he was often an underachiever in the NHL, and did nothing internationally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
- We saw what Loob could do in the NHL and he was your "average" star forward for the most part. An 80 point guy in a high-scoring era. At the level of guys like Kovalev and Gaborik. The fact that he kept dominating the SEL tells me that he likely could have kept up a good leveo of production at the NHL level for at least a few more years, which is why he's ranked higher than his NHL career alone warrants.
My point was that he was ranked to low compared to other Swedish players. There's just no way that Ulf Samuelsson or Thomas Steen were better than Loob.

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