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Top-100 European Players of All-Time

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Old
09-01-2010, 02:52 PM
  #76
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by markrander87 View Post
Pretty good list, I was expecting this and you didnt disappoint. I cant put Svehla over Kaberle.
Why not? Kaberle is a better point producer, but Svehla was so much better defensively, physically, and in practically every other -ly I could name.

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Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
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.
I honestly think Samuelsson was a hotter commodity in the NHL than Loob was. You're underestimating his value.

Steen, you may have a point on, but on the other hand, he was pretty valuable defensively.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:21 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Heart does count for a lot. If that's what separated [Kent Nilsson] and Forsberg, it's worth a good 65 spots on the list.


- 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.
Just by looking at their respective NHL records, Markus is ahead.

But many Swedes think of Markus as someone like Marcel Dionne - great talent but pretty much the opposite of clutch.

Markus usually wasn't one of the first choices for the national team (4 GP at the Olympics, and it's somewhat symbolic that it was in 2002...), while Mats was a cornerstone on Tre Kronor (23 GP at the Olympics with 23 points). The last time Mats played for Sweden internationally was in 1994 where Sweden won gold, and that landed him in the Triple Gold Club.

Mats had his obvious size disadvantage but never let that stop him (that heart you mentioned) - Stanley Cup, Swedish championship winner multiple times, Golden Puck. Not only is he seen as the better player, but by overcoming adversity Mats has the much more interesting success story. And these kind of stories are the ones that add up to build what we see as hockey history.

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Old
09-01-2010, 03:27 PM
  #78
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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.
Maltsev played on the top line (with Firsov, no less) in the early 70s. Kharlamov was paired with Mikhailov and Petrov already in late 1968 and played together at the 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Championships. You think they didn't get much ice-time compared to Firsov? I don't believe that for a second. And if you say that playing on the top line was a huge benefit to a player, shouldn't we also question the achievements of Mikhailov, Petrov, Kharlamov and Makarov, Larionov, Krutov who played on the top line for the most of their careers? Hey, maybe Bykov was better than Larionov! (hmm, actually I know some people who think so).

If you claim that Firsov really wasn't in the same class as Kharlamov, Mikhailov or Maltsev, then he should have disappeared fairly quickly from the scene when those players arrived. But he didn't, and the main reason he wasn't part of the 1972 Summit series was that he and Bobrov didn't get along. He wasn't in his prime anymore, but wasn't shot either. BTW, Mikhailov is only 3 years younger than Firsov, late bloomer or not.

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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.
Even more stacked lineup than in the 80s? Sorry, but I very much doubt that.

Balderis did play for CSKA in the late 70s and early 80s; that was when he was a force in the national team, along with linemates Kapustin and Zhluktov.

I don't understand your point anyway. Most of the players (i.e. the best) who we are arguing over here were CSKA players. So basically no one - including Firsov - had the advantage over the other.

And I don't see how playing for Dynamo hurt Maltsev's numbers. Same with Vasiliev. And Starshinov, Yakushev, Shadrin, Shalimov for Spartak... still powerhouse teams, though obviously not in the same way as CSKA

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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.
Well, if the MVPs are a suspect, is it just Firsov who somehow benefited from that? Maybe we should ignore them altogether?

It's obvious that international play affected the voting, and Firsov was simply their best player internationally 1967-1971. So there. And Firsov's play in the Soviet league wasn't subpar; according to Chidlovski's site, he scored 344 goals in 474 games (that's more than Kharlamov, for example).

Intangibles/Defensive play; Shadrin, fair enough, but if you think that Mikhailov was a defensive wizard; think again. I'd take Petrov over him any day as a defensive player.

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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.
In the 70s? You mean, when around 1973 the best young Swedish players started to leave to play in the NHL and WHA and didn't play in the world championships/lesser international tournaments regularly anymore? Same with the Finnish players, though that probably didn't make a huge difference anyway.
When was it again that Petrov got the record of 34 points in the World Championships? Oh yeah, 1973. Some results from the 1973 WHC: USSR vs. West Germany 17-1, 18-2; vs. Poland 9-3, 20-0... you get the picture? If anything, the scoring went drastically up after Firsov's time, until they introduced the preliminary & medal round in 1976 (meaning that they faced crappy teams only once at best) and it started to go down again.

How many times did the Soviet ntl team face NHL opposition, especially in the 1970s? 1972 eight games, many of the top players did not participate in the 1976 CC, then after 1977 a couple of games a year in the world championships (fairly mediocre teams made of non-playoff players) plus the 3 games versus NHL All Stars in 1979. Whoppedoo. It's like a 'mosquito pee in the ocean', as we say here in Finland. The effect on their numbers was quite minimal.

Okay, Czechoslovakia was definitely better in the 70s than 60s; I guess that's why USSR got beaten by them a lot more often, and that's why someone like Mikhailov's GPG average vs. Czechoslovakia is so poor (.368... compared to Firsov's .571...).

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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.
Yeah, right.


Last edited by VMBM: 09-01-2010 at 04:29 PM. Reason: additions additions additions
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Old
09-01-2010, 04:09 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Infinite Vision View Post
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.
Clearly worse defense than Bure? Say what?

Bondra was a pure sniper so people assume he was bad defensively, but that really isn't the case. He played on PK very often, and has pretty good adjusted career +/-. He wasn't really *good* defensively, but he was pretty much average. Hardly a blackhole.

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Old
09-01-2010, 04:15 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
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.
Palffy finished at least four times in top 5 among RWs in All-star voting. Kaberle and Svehla don't even approach that. Unlike them, he also got a bunch of Hart votes at least in '96-'97. A GM that'd trade Palffy for either Kaberle or Svehla would become laughingstock.

In the dead puck era (96-97 - 2003-04) Palffy is:
- 7th in goals (3rd among wingers)
- 21st in assists (6th among wingers)
- 7th in points (3rd among wingers)
- 5th in goals per game (4th among wingers)
- 22nd in assists per game (4th among wingers)
- 5th in points per game (2nd among wingers)

He really was a top-5 winger in the dead puck era - far, far above Kaberle and Svehla.

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Old
09-01-2010, 05:18 PM
  #81
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Actually, whoever said Saku Koivu was certainly "right". I mean, if some guys get in due mainly to international play, I can't why Saku cannot.

As for Ulf Sterner, well, if we're to consider him, I think we should give a looooong look to Raimo Helminen.

And Helminen just doesn't belong.

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Old
09-01-2010, 05:45 PM
  #82
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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.



Kolzig likely opted to play for Germany because there was no chance he would ever make Team Canada.
It's super to wrong to refer to Peter Stastny, Mikita's parents or Dzurilla as Czechs. They were all Slovaks. If you must, call them Czechoslovaks, this is still rather wrong if you're talking about their nationality/ethinicity though. At no point in history was there an ethnicity of Czechoslovaks. So calling them Czechoslovaks would be only right if you meant inhabitants of the country Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia always had two main nationalities, Czechs and Slovaks. They both lived in different parts of countries, languages are different. There is never any confusion about whether a person is Slovak or Czech between us.

The argument that they were all born in Czechoslovakia is completely ridicilous and out of place. I mean, Czechoslovakia only split in 1993. So according to you our whole Vancouver hockey team are czechs. Hossa, Gaborik, Chara, Demitra - all czechs according to your reasoning.

I am completely aware that small contries often get overlooked by people from larger countries. Also, I am well aware that there nearly nothing about Europe and its countries is taught in american schools. But I always thought at least hockey fans should be able to tell the two countries apart, I mean so many hockey stars came from the two nations and boy oh boy it grinds my gears when I reguraly see Slovakian hockey players refered to as czechs. (Note - it does rarely work the other way as well - I still have a hockey card of Jaromir Jagr with the Slovakian flag and our symbol in the background. Hi-freaking-larious)

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Old
09-01-2010, 05:46 PM
  #83
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It's an excellent effort by 70s. It's such a difficult list to compile. How much stock do you/can you put on performances by guys who were stuck in the USSR and Czechoslovakia? It's very difficult. How much emphasis can you place on a World Championship, since it's an inferior tournament? I love the Canada Cup, the World Cup and the Olympics, but those are short tournaments. They aren't 82 game seasons, they aren't exhausting seven-game playoff series. (Performances in the Summit Series should be lauded, since it was a best-of-eight series, and not a best-of-one or a best-of-three or a two-game total-goal series, but even then, it's still not the evaluator of a long season that's used to qualify for the playoffs, year after year).

Obviously with any list there is speculation. Not all eras are created equally. You can safely project how a Kharlamov or a Mikhailov would do in The Show, or how good the Green Unit would have been in their primes. But when it gets to the 50s or 60s Europeans, guys who never had a chance to play in the NHL, it's really hard to do. Personally, I'd have very few of those guys on my list. Partially because the competition wasn't that strong back then. There was the top-end, but a quick drop-off.

My list would probably be more NHL top-heavy. Kiprusoff, for example, would be a lot higher. One of the best European-born goalies in NHL history, and the best of the Finnish goalies that we have seen. (2010 Olympic semi-final excluded). I put a premium on the calibre of competition. And in the Soviet League in the late 50s and early 60s, the competition just wasn't there. Most of those guys would have struggled in the AHL or one of the great Canadian senior leagues.

I think I had around 20 Europeans on my HOH Top 100 list. And those are the easy guys to forecast. It's a lot harder to forecast how some of the other guys would have translated to the smaller ice, the more physical game, especially in the 70s when you still had some tiny ice surfaces, and the really rough stuff wasn't called like it is today.

Wouldn't have Ovechkin ahead of Fedorov or Larionov. Yet. Unless you really have a thing for regular season numbers.

To discuss a couple names: Samuelsson and Palffy. I am not an Ulfie fan. I didn't respect his conduct on the ice, and I would have a hard time slowing down if I saw him crossing the street. But don't let your opinions cloud your judgements. In the early 90s, he was a consensus top defensive defenceman in the league. Some had him at No. 1 for defensive defencemen. Granted, his style allowed him to gain more publicity (notoriety?) than most defensive defencemen, but he was a tremendous player. He was a very, very valuable player for Pittsburgh when they won back-to-back Cups in 91 and 92.

Palffy? He's a guy who was a tremendous goal scorer, but I would take Hejduk and Hossa ahead of him. You're more likely to win a Cup with Hejduk (with his fearless game and those great hands in tight) or Hossa (who's been one of the elite two-way wingers in the game for a decade) as your No. 1 RW than Palffy. Palffy was a dazzling player. But he might have been a bad team player, the guy who scores 40-50 goals on a non-playoff team, the guy who gives the bad team fans reason to cheer. But he's not going to be a guy that makes a Cup contender say "this is a guy we have to have."

The guy who I think is most conspicuous by his absence is Calle Johansson. In fact, I'd have him damn close to top 50. Remember what I said about Ulfie's style allowed him to get noticed. Well, you never noticed Johansson. But he was magnificent. For most of the 1990s, Washington's defence was ranked among the best in the league. Calle Johansson was the constant. A lot of people raved about his play in the 96 World Cup, when he was a tournament all-star. Frankly, it wasn't that much better than Washington. It's just that we were able to notice Johansson, thanks to the tournament format. Unfortunately, playing that style in pre-Ovechkin Washington wasn't going to get you noticed by the NHL media. I'd take Calle over Kabarle. I'd take him over Svehla. And I'd have him pretty close to Teppo.

Kenny Jonsson is too low. Khabibulin is too low. (Although there are certainly strikes against the Bulin Wall. Lots of strikes. And not just of the glug-glug, vroom-vroom variety). Kipruoff is much too low. But it's still a great effort.


Last edited by God Bless Canada: 09-01-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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Old
09-01-2010, 05:56 PM
  #84
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8. Peter Stastny
18. Zdeno Chara
37. Marian Hossa
41. Peter Bondra
50. Robert Svehla
62. Zigmund Palffy
85. Pavol Demitra
90. Vincent Lukac
91. Marian Gaborik
99. Jozef Golonka


You have the Slovaks in the list in this order. For what it's worth, this is the list of top NHL Slovaks (so guys like Golonka, Dzurilla or Lukac weren't in the running) as voted by the HFboards community. So I guess it's at least some kind of voting feedback.

Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
I've recently made a series of polls on the poll board trying to find some sort of top ten Slovak players, including both active and retired and focusing on NHL careers. Stan Mikita wasn't included, as he is Canadien trained.

I was looking to compile the top ten and have it here for discussion, but here's the top 7 at least.

More info - http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=644683 First poll
Second poll - http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=644767
Third poll - http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=645075
Voting so amazingly close in this one that the the loser of the poll claimed the 4 spot.
Fifth (place) poll - http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=645826
Sixt poll - http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=646117

Here's the list I came up with based on the polls -


Results of the all time list so far:

1. Peter Stastny
2. Peter Bondra
3. Zigmund Palffy
4. Zdeno Chara
5. Marian Hossa
6. Marian Gaborik
7. Pavol Demitra

By the time of the poll for the 6th place, following players were also in the running - Lubomir Visnovsky
Robert Svehla
Jozef Stumpel
Anton Stastny
Miroslav Satan
Michal Handzus

How would you finish the top ten? Do you agree with first 7 of the list? For more information on how the voting went down, clicky on the links.

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Old
09-01-2010, 07:19 PM
  #85
Dennis Bonvie
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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.

-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.

-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.

-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.

-I really can't see any justification for Yakushev over Martinec.

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

-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.

-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.

-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.

-Agree that Dzurilla needs to be on the list somewhere. He wasn't considered that much worse than Holecek.

-In a Euro-only vacuum, Malacek, Bobrov, and Zabrodsky would have to be on the list, but compared to North American contemporaries, they fall short. I'd be tempted to include them, since it is a list of Euros only. I have no idea where.
Aren't we making that assumption for all the players from the Soviet system?

And I agree, Krutov was a tank that almost no one could handle in his prime.

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Old
09-01-2010, 07:23 PM
  #86
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Where is the legendary Risto Siltanen?

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Old
09-01-2010, 07:23 PM
  #87
MadArcand
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Palffy? He's a guy who was a tremendous goal scorer, but I would take Hejduk and Hossa ahead of him. You're more likely to win a Cup with Hejduk (with his fearless game and those great hands in tight) or Hossa (who's been one of the elite two-way wingers in the game for a decade) as your No. 1 RW than Palffy. Palffy was a dazzling player. But he might have been a bad team player, the guy who scores 40-50 goals on a non-playoff team, the guy who gives the bad team fans reason to cheer. But he's not going to be a guy that makes a Cup contender say "this is a guy we have to have."
I think you're outright making stuff up here. It's not Palffy's fault he played for crappy Isles and Kings, nor is it Hejduk's achievement that he happened to play on stacked Avs teams where he could leech off Forsberg and Sakic with impunity.

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09-01-2010, 08:30 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Seventieslord
Then you haven't been reading enough. Firsov was a fiery player and intense competitor.
I'd love to see some of this -- again, everything I've seen is from a less than credible source, considers only a fraction of his career, is highly subjective, or isn't quite what people make it out to be. And, being a fiery player/intense competitor, if that's all the articles/readings are saying, are hardly indicative of intangibles worthy enough to make a player an MVP. A fan favorite - sure, but I still haven't seen any evidence of his defensive game or anything.

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Originally Posted by VMBM View Post
Maltsev played on the top line (with Firsov, no less) in the early 70s. Kharlamov was paired with Mikhailov and Petrov already in late 1968 and played together at the 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Championships. You think they didn't get much ice-time compared to Firsov? I don't believe that for a second. And if you say that playing on the top line was a huge benefit to a player, shouldn't we also question the achievements of Mikhailov, Petrov, Kharlamov and Makarov, Larionov, Krutov who played on the top line for the most of their careers? Hey, maybe Bykov was better than Larionov! (hmm, actually I know some people who think so).
I genuinely don't know -- and apparently, neither do you. And that's the issue I'm raising here -- I mean, there are going to be question marks around all these players that are rated in the original list. But at least we have video footage/better documentation of KLM and Kharlamov, Mikhailov, and Petrov. There's just nothing really to go off of with Firsov, so I'm not trying to claim that there was an ice-time difference, but that the coach preferred Firsov on the first line. Similarly, you really don't have justification for equal level of competition - his peak years (68, 69) coincided with a lower point production than Starshinov and only the beginning of Kharlamov/Mikhailov. I'm not quite sure who he had to compete with...

I don't know...maybe my issue is just the discrepancy between Starshinov and Firsov?

[digression]call me a skeptic, but I'm more inclined to believe that there was a huge amount of favoritism and politics involved in hockey. I understand it is speculation, so I could be completely off-base, but based on some deductive reasoning, it would make sense - I mean, minor feuds between coaches and players left them off the team or even the league allowing the formation of a "superteam," CSKA.

Quote:
If you claim that Firsov really wasn't in the same class as Kharlamov, Mikhailov or Maltsev, then he should have disappeared fairly quickly from the scene when those players arrived. But he didn't, and the main reason he wasn't part of the 1972 Summit series was that he and Bobrov didn't get along. He wasn't in his prime anymore, but wasn't shot either. BTW, Mikhailov is only 3 years younger than Firsov, late bloomer or not.
I strongly disagree. Firsov had 3 1st place MVPs and disappeared. He had 5 1st AST and 1 2nd, and pretty much disappeared post 71 in terms of awards. And all of this is highly suspect especially since he was outproduced (something you haven't answered and something I'm genuinely curious about).

Quote:
Balderis did play for CSKA in the late 70s and early 80s; that was when he was a force in the national team, along with linemates Kapustin and Zhluktov.
I remember reading he was forced into playing for CSKA and demanded a trade from there to play closer to home; I remember reading that people were frustrated with his play on CSKA.

Quote:
I don't understand your point anyway. Most of the players (i.e. the best) who we are arguing over here were CSKA players. So basically no one - including Firsov - had the advantage over the other.

And I don't see how playing for Dynamo hurt Maltsev's numbers. Same with Vasiliev. And Starshinov, Yakushev, Shadrin, Shalimov for Spartak... still powerhouse teams, though obviously not in the same way as CSKA
You answered your own question - they were good teams, but didn't really have the same advantages as CSKA. Plus, I think Tarasov was a huge factor.

Quote:
Well, if the MVPs are a suspect, is it just Firsov who somehow benefited from that? Maybe we should ignore them altogether?
We should definitely ignore MVPs. Hell, even my favorite Russian of all time, Mikhailov, doesn't deserve his, as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
It's obvious that international play affected the voting, and Firsov was simply their best player internationally 1967-1971. So there. And Firsov's play in the Soviet league wasn't subpar; according to Chidlovski's site, he scored 344 goals in 474 games (that's more than Kharlamov, for example).

Intangibles/Defensive play; Shadrin, fair enough, but if you think that Mikhailov was a defensive wizard; think again. I'd take Petrov over him any day as a defensive player.
That seems highly unfair if international play influences voting for Soviet League MVP. I'm not doubting his international accolades, I'm just wondering what warranted his domestic awards. I know Mikhailov is nothing amazing at defense, but how was Firsov on defense? Did Firsov have the same leadership abilities? I reiterate, I sincerely don't know anything about him, and nothing I've read suggests he had any of these qualities -- at least not to the extent as to rate him a top Russian player.



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In the 70s? You mean, when around 1973 the best young Swedish players started to leave to play in the NHL and WHA and didn't play in the world championships/lesser international tournaments regularly anymore? Same with the Finnish players, though that probably didn't make a huge difference anyway.
When was it again that Petrov got the record of 34 points in the World Championships? Oh yeah, 1973. Some results from the 1973 WHC: USSR vs. West Germany 17-1, 18-2; vs. Poland 9-3, 20-0... you get the picture? If anything, the scoring went drastically up after Firsov's time, until they introduced the preliminary & medal round in 1976 (meaning that they faced crappy teams only once at best) and it started to go down again.

How many times did the Soviet ntl team face NHL opposition, especially in the 1970s? 1972 eight games, many of the top players did not participate in the 1976 CC, then after 1977 a couple of games a year in the world championships (fairly mediocre teams made of non-playoff players) plus the 3 games versus NHL All Stars in 1979. Whoppedoo. It's like a 'mosquito pee in the ocean', as we say here in Finland. The effect on their numbers was quite minimal.

Okay, Czechoslovakia was definitely better in the 70s than 60s; I guess that's why USSR got beaten by them a lot more often, and that's why someone like Mikhailov's GPG average vs. Czechoslovakia is so poor (.368... compared to Firsov's .571...).
Again, I'd be up for seeing a nice statistical analysis of it (HAHA, i'm not volunteering myself ) where we only look at the 1st-3rd quartile and normalize the data for goals per game. I still think the goals per game would be closer. I did something like this a while ago and it's funny how the results turned out when comparing Makarov and Kharlamov :O


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Yeah, right.
You seem to have a lot of sources on Firsov -- why don't you go ahead and share?

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09-01-2010, 08:47 PM
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Can you imagine them being better in the NHL than Zubov was? It is difficult for me. I wouldn't completely rule it out.
I don't know, honestly. I do think they should both be more than one step over Ragulin, or at least Suchy should be - Suchy was widely considered the best defenseman in Europe when both he and Ragulin played. I mean, Ragulin was still one of the top Soviet defensemen in 1972, and Suchy was clearly considered better than him.

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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.
I realize Bondra was more consistent, but he never reached the heights Mogilny reached. Mogilny was a 2nd Team All-Star twice, and his 2000-01 season playing on the 2nd line and 2nd PP unit in NJ (less than 17 minutes of ice time per game) was a 3rd season better than any season Bondra had.

Don't believe me? Believe the polls section

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=813956

(as of now, Mogilny is winning 50-6).

[/QUOTE]


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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.
No, but maybe you just rate goalies lower than I do. I would probably have Kiprusoff quite a bit higher. He was one of the best at his position for quite some time, which is more than guys like Svoboda and Nilsson can say. Kipper's NHL career, at least, was probably better than Steen's.

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09-01-2010, 08:55 PM
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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?
Are you sure about this? I would say that Palffy's highs were definitely higher than Bondra's highs, but he just couldn't do it consistently, mostly due to injuries. Palffy was top 10 in scoring 4 times (peaking at 5th). That's 4 more times than Bondra. Hell, that's twice as many Top 10s as Mogilny (this actually surprised me! Palffy was such a quiet star).

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Then you haven't been reading enough. Firsov was a fiery player and intense competitor.
Exactly. He was the kind of guy who would do anything for a goal.

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09-01-2010, 09:05 PM
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Aren't we making that assumption for all the players from the Soviet system?

And I agree, Krutov was a tank that almost no one could handle in his prime.
Krutov is the only Soviet player of whom I am aware of specific allegations. Apparently two Vancouver trainers anonymously told a reporter that the reason Krutov sucked in the NHL was because he was off the juice.

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09-01-2010, 09:11 PM
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I strongly disagree. Firsov had 3 1st place MVPs and disappeared. He had 5 1st AST and 1 2nd, and pretty much disappeared post 71 in terms of awards. And all of this is highly suspect especially since he was outproduced (something you haven't answered and something I'm genuinely curious about).
The Soviet MVP award didn't exist until 1967-68, when Firsov was already 27 years old. He won 3 of the first 4 - a goalie won the other one.

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We should definitely ignore MVPs. Hell, even my favorite Russian of all time, Mikhailov, doesn't deserve his, as far as I'm concerned.
Is this serious? Why ignore the Soviet league MVPs? Do you think we should ignore Hart Trophies, as well?

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09-01-2010, 09:12 PM
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Patrick Elias

Patrick Elias is a big omission from the list. I can't believe I just noticed that. He should probably be slotted somewhere around Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

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09-01-2010, 09:14 PM
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I think this list is for the most part very good, but I'm really struggling to see the logic that rates Ziggy Palffy behind Milan Hejduk. Do people really put that high of a value on NHL playoff team success? Because the only argument I see for Hejduk over Palffy is pretty much pure Cup counting.

To rate Hejduk over Palffy you'd have to completely ignore international play, where Palffy has 4x as many points and over twice the PPG, you'd have to ignore results from Czech and Slovak leagues where Palffy just crushes Hejduk (for example, Hejduk was never even PPG in the Czech league before coming to the NHL at 22, Palffy was PPG in the Czech league at 18 and represented Czechoslovakia in the 1991 Canada Cup at 19), you'd have to downplay Palffy's significantly higher level of regular season production and impressive adjusted plus/minus numbers, and you'd have to ignore linemate factors completely. If Hejduk's numbers are worse than Palffy's even while he spent most of his time skating with either Sakic or Forsberg, what would the comparison look like if neither of them had a Hall of Fame center? I think it would be majorly in Palffy's advantage, just like it was in Europe and in international play.

I'd probably rank Palffy in the top-40 ahead of Bondra.

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09-01-2010, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Competitive Violence View Post
Just by looking at their respective NHL records, Markus is ahead.

But many Swedes think of Markus as someone like Marcel Dionne - great talent but pretty much the opposite of clutch.

Markus usually wasn't one of the first choices for the national team (4 GP at the Olympics, and it's somewhat symbolic that it was in 2002...), while Mats was a cornerstone on Tre Kronor (23 GP at the Olympics with 23 points). The last time Mats played for Sweden internationally was in 1994 where Sweden won gold, and that landed him in the Triple Gold Club.

Mats had his obvious size disadvantage but never let that stop him (that heart you mentioned) - Stanley Cup, Swedish championship winner multiple times, Golden Puck. Not only is he seen as the better player, but by overcoming adversity Mats has the much more interesting success story. And these kind of stories are the ones that add up to build what we see as hockey history.
I'm sorry, but I still don't see it.

Heart is an attribute that leads to results, and results matter, and I think Markus, despite not being an intense/courageous guy, simply achieved more as a player than Mats did.

He was a pearson winner, a hart runner-up, and twice more in the top-5 in voting. Both guys have 5 75-point seasons, the difference being that scoring was about 23% higher in Mats' heyday.

Mats is the better playoff performer, but it's also not as drastic as it may look on the surface. Markus had 0.69 PPG in the playoffs, and Mats had 0.90. After adjusting for era, he's still ahead, and maintained it over double the games, too, but it's not a massive edge, certainly not enough to outweigh the regular season edge.

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Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
Palffy finished at least four times in top 5 among RWs in All-star voting. Kaberle and Svehla don't even approach that. Unlike them, he also got a bunch of Hart votes at least in '96-'97. A GM that'd trade Palffy for either Kaberle or Svehla would become laughingstock.

In the dead puck era (96-97 - 2003-04) Palffy is:
- 7th in goals (3rd among wingers)
- 21st in assists (6th among wingers)
- 7th in points (3rd among wingers)
- 5th in goals per game (4th among wingers)
- 22nd in assists per game (4th among wingers)
- 5th in points per game (2nd among wingers)

He really was a top-5 winger in the dead puck era - far, far above Kaberle and Svehla.
Not that points are the determinant of how good a defenseman is, but Svehla was 12th in points among defensemen during his career. He was also within 10% of the guy in 6th. Looking at the names ahead of him, it's clear he provided more value overall than Gonchar, Housley, Ozolinsh and Hamrlik, so he was pretty high among defensemen of his time too.

Kaberle was 4th in points during his best 8-year period. I realize he's fairly soft and average defensively at best, but he's extremely smooth with the puck and seems to be a hot trade commodity every year, the kind of player contending teams want to add as a missing link.

Both players have flirted with the top-15 in all-star and norris voting (hart voting is not a fair comparison at all between forwards and defensemen) - Kaberle has been 11th and 13th, Svehla was 14th twice. Palffy's all-star record isn't what you say it was - he's been 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th in total (so not four times top-5) - If you were to extrapolate his results to be among all wingers and not just RW, he doesn't have a major demonstrable edge. (I'd generally take the league's 10th-best defenseman over its 10th-best winger, for example)

I underrated Palffy; I realize that. I think he should pass Hejduk. And he's a tossup with Kaberle. I think Svehla provided more value in his short NHL career than palffy did in his.

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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
But when it gets to the 50s or 60s Europeans, guys who never had a chance to play in the NHL, it's really hard to do. Personally, I'd have very few of those guys on my list. Partially because the competition wasn't that strong back then. There was the top-end, but a quick drop-off.
I couldn't find any room for 50s guys... not even Bobrov. But some 60s guys shone through enough... like Firsov and Starshinov and the Alexandrov line.

Quote:
My list would probably be more NHL top-heavy. Kiprusoff, for example, would be a lot higher. One of the best European-born goalies in NHL history, and the best of the Finnish goalies that we have seen. (2010 Olympic semi-final excluded).
At this point, he has still only proven to be a top MLD goalie. I put him among the top MLD-level forwards and defensemen like Kovalev and Demitra, who I should add have played full careers.

Quote:
The guy who I think is most conspicuous by his absence is Calle Johansson. In fact, I'd have him damn close to top 50. Remember what I said about Ulfie's style allowed him to get noticed. Well, you never noticed Johansson. But he was magnificent. For most of the 1990s, Washington's defence was ranked among the best in the league. Calle Johansson was the constant. A lot of people raved about his play in the 96 World Cup, when he was a tournament all-star. Frankly, it wasn't that much better than Washington. It's just that we were able to notice Johansson, thanks to the tournament format. Unfortunately, playing that style in pre-Ovechkin Washington wasn't going to get you noticed by the NHL media. I'd take Calle over Kabarle. I'd take him over Svehla. And I'd have him pretty close to Teppo.
Johansson was an inadvertent omission. Should be in the 55 range.

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Kenny Jonsson is too low. Khabibulin is too low. (Although there are certainly strikes against the Bulin Wall. Lots of strikes. And not just of the glug-glug, vroom-vroom variety). Kipruoff is much too low. But it's still a great effort.
Again, MLD players. The top-72 on this list are solid ATD staples, with the exception of Markov, who I may have rated too highly. So if you want to see him higher, you want to see him in the ATD. I don't think he's at that level.

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Where is the legendary Risto Siltanen?
ran out of room.

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
I'd love to see some of this -- again, everything I've seen is from a less than credible source, considers only a fraction of his career, is highly subjective, or isn't quite what people make it out to be. And, being a fiery player/intense competitor, if that's all the articles/readings are saying, are hardly indicative of intangibles worthy enough to make a player an MVP. A fan favorite - sure, but I still haven't seen any evidence of his defensive game or anything.
I just finished reading "The Father Of Russian Hockey" by Tarasov, and he had nothing but glowing praise for Firsov in all areas of the game. I can't remember exact words, and since it is not indexed I won't be going back to look right now, but he did not have any weakness as a player, in that 1960s Russian (and amateur international) context.

Quote:
We should definitely ignore MVPs. Hell, even my favorite Russian of all time, Mikhailov, doesn't deserve his, as far as I'm concerned.
Based on what? At least a number of people who watched the Russian league that season did the voting. You're looking at some scoring stats.

If this was the NHL there would be more than enough places to look for quotes to back up your opinion, but good luck finding something that substantiates someone else being more deserving besides a higher point total.

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09-01-2010, 09:30 PM
  #96
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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.



Kolzig likely opted to play for Germany because there was no chance he would ever make Team Canada.
Kolzig apparently found out he wasn't Canadian when at the Canadian training camp for the 1989 WJC:

Quote:
Kolzig played for the German national team in the 1996 World Cup, the 1997 World Championships and the 1998 Nagano Games. He trained with the Canadian team for the 1989 World Junior Championships before a passport snafu was caught at the last minute.

"Near the end of training camp we were filling out our paperwork and they had a box where you put your passport number and I had too many numbers in my passport," Kolzig said. "So I called someone over to help me out and showed them my passport and they said, 'Oh, we didn't know you were German.' And a couple of hours later they came knocking on my door and said they were sorry to tell me that I couldn't play for Canada. So I thanked them for the T-shirt and shorts and went on my way."

Kolzig didn't think about international competition again until former Capitals teammate Stefan Ustorf told members of the German hockey federation that Kolzig was a German citizen.

"When you think about it, I should probably be Canadian," Kolzig said. "I grew up and lived the majority of my life in Canada. I spent a few summers over in Germany. My parents still speak German around the house and I spoke German before I spoke English, so I grew up in a German household with their traditions. Just because you are in a different country doesn't mean you are any less German than anybody else."
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/oly...ockey_borders/

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09-01-2010, 09:31 PM
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I think you're outright making stuff up here. It's not Palffy's fault he played for crappy Isles and Kings, nor is it Hejduk's achievement that he happened to play on stacked Avs teams where he could leech off Forsberg and Sakic with impunity.
Maybe there's a reason Palffy was on crappy teams. Maybe it's because he's not a guy that a championship team would want on their team. Don't get me wrong, he was a tremendous offensive player with world-class puck skills.

If I'm a last place team and I need a player who can give the fans reason to shell out big bucks to watch my team on a nightly basis, I take Ziggy. If I'm a contending team and I need the guy who will get the goal when we need it, I'll take Hejduk and those magical hands near the net.

There are bad team goalies. And there are bad team scorers. Ziggy Palffy was one of them. Ilya Kovalchuk is another.

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09-01-2010, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kaiser matias View Post
Kolzig apparently found out he wasn't Canadian when at the Canadian training camp for the 1989 WJC:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/oly...ockey_borders/
Good read.

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09-01-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Maybe there's a reason Palffy was on crappy teams. Maybe it's because he's not a guy that a championship team would want on their team. Don't get me wrong, he was a tremendous offensive player with world-class puck skills.

If I'm a last place team and I need a player who can give the fans reason to shell out big bucks to watch my team on a nightly basis, I take Ziggy. If I'm a contending team and I need the guy who will get the goal when we need it, I'll take Hejduk and those magical hands near the net.

There are bad team goalies. And there are bad team scorers. Ziggy Palffy was one of them. Ilya Kovalchuk is another.

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09-01-2010, 09:58 PM
  #100
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I realize Bondra was more consistent, but he never reached the heights Mogilny reached. Mogilny was a 2nd Team All-Star twice, and his 2000-01 season playing on the 2nd line and 2nd PP unit in NJ (less than 17 minutes of ice time per game) was a 3rd season better than any season Bondra had.

Don't believe me? Believe the polls section

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=813956

(as of now, Mogilny is winning 50-6).
That is ridiculous. Not that he's winning, but that he is winning by that margin. I consider leading the NHL in goals to be a pretty big "height" and Bondra did it twice.

Quote:
No, but maybe you just rate goalies lower than I do. I would probably have Kiprusoff quite a bit higher. He was one of the best at his position for quite some time, which is more than guys like Svoboda and Nilsson can say. Kipper's NHL career, at least, was probably better than Steen's.
I must rate goalies lower. I also looked at this from an ATD perspective (which is hard not to do once you've been in 8 of them plus 6 MLDs) and I see him as an excellent MLD player (in a 32-team context) but I can't see him in the main draft just yet.

It is odd, but there seems to be a larger proportion of accepted ATD skaters than goalies, hey?

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Are you sure about this? I would say that Palffy's highs were definitely higher than Bondra's highs, but he just couldn't do it consistently, mostly due to injuries. Palffy was top 10 in scoring 4 times (peaking at 5th). That's 4 more times than Bondra. Hell, that's twice as many Top 10s as Mogilny (this actually surprised me! Palffy was such a quiet star).
Palffy was such a quiet star, no doubt. Those points finishes are nice, but it also boils down to him being a better playmaker than Bondra, while Bondra was a much better goal scorer.

I know there's been a lot of "Palffy is majorly underrated" and "Bondra is not as great as leading the league in goals twice indicates" lately, and I agree with both sentiments, but are we sure it is enough to put Palffy (who 4 drafts ago was an MLD player) anead of Bondra (who is still an ATD 2nd liner)?

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Patrick Elias is a big omission from the list. I can't believe I just noticed that. He should probably be slotted somewhere around Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
Totally forgot Elias.

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Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
I think this list is for the most part very good, but I'm really struggling to see the logic that rates Ziggy Palffy behind Milan Hejduk. Do people really put that high of a value on NHL playoff team success? Because the only argument I see for Hejduk over Palffy is pretty much pure Cup counting.

To rate Hejduk over Palffy you'd have to completely ignore international play, where Palffy has 4x as many points and over twice the PPG, you'd have to ignore results from Czech and Slovak leagues where Palffy just crushes Hejduk (for example, Hejduk was never even PPG in the Czech league before coming to the NHL at 22, Palffy was PPG in the Czech league at 18 and represented Czechoslovakia in the 1991 Canada Cup at 19), you'd have to downplay Palffy's significantly higher level of regular season production and impressive adjusted plus/minus numbers, and you'd have to ignore linemate factors completely. If Hejduk's numbers are worse than Palffy's even while he spent most of his time skating with either Sakic or Forsberg, what would the comparison look like if neither of them had a Hall of Fame center? I think it would be majorly in Palffy's advantage, just like it was in Europe and in international play.

I'd probably rank Palffy in the top-40 ahead of Bondra.
Yeah, I am definitely already sold on Palffy over Hejduk.

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