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Top-100 European Players of All-Time

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Old
09-01-2010, 10:20 PM
  #101
nik jr
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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.
how is it determined which players are "bad team scorers" and which would be wanted by a championship team?

i know i have heard that about bathgate, even though he won with TML in '64. i think keon even said the trade for bathgate was a mistake.

gadsby may have been described in the same way.

i know it was often said about yzerman before '97.

was dale hawerchuk a bad team scorer? doug bentley?

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09-01-2010, 11:07 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I'm sorry, but I still don't see it.
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.
I figured that's where you found it (as you suggested that book to me several times a couple of years ago). Whenever you have time, it would be great if you could post it online, especially since there exists no other such lofty praise (at least online) of Firsov.

Quote:
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.
I'm just not quick to accredit MVP totals as something special. If there don't exist any qualified anecdotes or statistical analysis to support the MVP totals, then I'm not going to give any sort of value to MVP totals. And maybe that's my fault, but it limits subjectivity, in my honest opinion.

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09-01-2010, 11:47 PM
  #103
Kyle McMahon
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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?
Interesting. I don't think I know enough about Svedberg to agree or disagree, but even a toned-down Harvey is high praise. I haven't heard a great deal about Svedberg's defensive game, and I always pictured a mainly offensive d-man that was merely decent in other aspects of the game. If his defense was indeed as good as you suggest, I feel vindicated in listing him at the tail end of my last HOH Top 120 list.

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09-02-2010, 02:41 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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?
He did not have lower point production than Starshinov in international competition. Period. In those tournaments both played for the same team (USSR). You can claim that Firsov had some advantage compared to many others because he was a 'top line player', but it is not good enough an excuse for me, especially since the Mikhailov-Petrov-Kharlamov line was in place and made a big impact already in their 1st WHC (1969). In addition to this, it looks like Firsov didn't even have regular linemates 1969-71; they seemed to often change from one game/tournament to another. A big DISadvantage IMO.

BTW. Maltsev played his best WHC (statistically) in 1970, when he was actually a 3rd line player (game example from 1970 World Championships: http://www.chidlovski.net/1954/54_ga...sp?gm_id=gm295).

Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov, Yakushev, Maltsev, Vikulov... that is some serious competition in my opinion. And he was outpointing all of them at the 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Championships - except Maltsev in 1970.

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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).
Those young players, who would be the backbone of Soviet hockey in the 70s, arrived in 1968/69. Firsov started to decline in 1971/72, when he was 30-31. No, he did not 'disappear' quickly, as he played 3 full seasons on the national team along with the 'young guns'. Compare that with the other 'great' forwards of the 60s - Starshinov being the other exception (but he wasn't nearly the force Firsov was in 1969-71).

Firsov's last big tournament - just like Tarasov's/Chernyshev's as coaches - were the 1972 Winter Olympics, where he played as a 'midfielder' on a line with Kharlamov and Vikulov (de facto forwards); he was still a top 10 scorer and he outpointed many of his teammates - even if Kharlamov was in his own class in that tournament. After that, Bobrov became the head coach, and Firsov was ousted from the national team; not because he 'sucked', but due to personal conflicts with Bobrov. He was 31 and would not likely have been the #1 player for them in the Summit series, but I'm fairly sure he would have been bigger factor in the series than Maltsev and certainly Vikulov.

And I don't quite understand you punishing him for getting old. A lot of Soviet forwards were past their prime when they hit 30 and were dropped from the national team. Not to mention that in Firsov's case, the politics seemed to play a big part in that.

And well, 344 goals in 474 Soviet league games beats a lot of other players. The lack of consistent assist data from the 1960s/1970s is a shame*; internationally, Firsov usually had more goals than assists, but not to the same extent as Starshinov, who seemed to be a pure goal-scorer.

* for whatever reason, only from the 1971-72 season on is Firsov credited for assists, whereas players like Petrov and Mikhailov have more complete stats from earlier on

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Originally Posted by duck View Post
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.
Fair enough.

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You seem to have a lot of sources on Firsov -- why don't you go ahead and share?
Mostly Finnish hockey books - old and new. For example, some [auto]biographies/books of the 60s/70s Finnish pros (or semi-pros ) like Veli-Pekka Ketola (played some games in the WHA and NHL too); in his book he compares Firsov to Kharlamov so favourably that it's almost embarrasing! I don't know why Firsov made such an impression on Finnish players, but he did. Maybe the pro-Firsov people just make bigger noise, I don't know.

Then there are of course the autobiographies/books of people like Kharlamov, Tretiak and Tikhonov, where they have nothing but praise for Firsov; hardly bulletproof stuff, but interesting read nevertheless... I mean, there has to be some reason why he and not Starshinov is always considered the best Soviet player of the 1960s by, well, everyone, despite Starshinov often outpointing him in the domestic league (based on the available stats).

BTW, the little I have seen of Starshinov (footage) and looked at his stats, he seemed to have been a pure goal-scoring center who, despite his efficiency, didn't have either the skills or especially the speed of Firsov. In Soviet Union, those type of qualities seemed to be more valued than in North America, for example.

There is definitely lack of online material, as far as Firsov is concerned, but IMO he shouldn't be treated as a Bobrov-like mystique figure.


Last edited by VMBM: 09-02-2010 at 07:51 AM. Reason: additions
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Old
09-02-2010, 04:02 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
There are bad team goalies. And there are bad team scorers. Ziggy Palffy was one of them. Ilya Kovalchuk is another.
I agree that Kovalchuk is a bad team scorer. That's because he didn't play defense in Atlanta and stayed out for the entire power play. Kovalchuk's goals against numbers aren't very good, he's a career -75, and here are his yearly rankings in the league among forwards in power play time on ice:

2003-04: 1st
2005-06: 1st
2006-07: 1st
2007-08: 1st
2008-09: 1st
2009-10: 1st

That's an open and shut case, not necessarily that Kovalchuk isn't a very good player, just that his team situation allowed him to really pad his stats.

But none of those things apply to Palffy. He had a great plus/minus relative to his teammates, which shows that while he wasn't amazing defensively he did enough plus he was great at puck possession. He did not stay out for the entire power play, in either New York or Los Angeles. Here are Palffy's yearly rankings among forwards in power play time on ice for the years where it is available from NHL.com:

1997-98: 9th
1998-99: 18th
1999-00: 16th
2000-01: 30th
2001-02: 35th
2002-03: 24th
2003-04: 8th

That's routine, top scorer on the team kind of TOI. Note also the 1999-00 to 2001-02 numbers, those are the three L.A. teams that made the playoffs. In that period, with Andy Murray as his coach, Palffy did not get easy ice time while playing on a playoff team in the very tough Western Conference, and he was still 6th in the NHL in points per game over that stretch, behind only Lemieux, Jagr, Sakic, Forsberg and Bure. How does a "bad team scorer" do that?

Then, in the playoffs in those three years, Los Angeles played two series against Detroit and two against Colorado. That's an overmatched one line team against Sakic/Forsberg and Fedorov/Yzerman, not to mention the All-Stars on both of their blue lines, plus Scotty Bowman behind the bench for Detroit and Patrick Roy in net for the Avs. All you had to do to stop the Kings is shut down Palffy's line, and the other guys know it, and Palffy still scores 19 points in 24 games and goes +4 against essentially the toughest playoff competition possible as the Kings upset Detroit once and push the Avs to 7 games twice.

You're trying to imply nobody wanted him, but that's also false. The Kings knew they had a team that was close to making the playoffs, and they wanted Palffy on their team so badly that they traded their highest-drafted prospects in 1996, 1997 and 1998, plus their 1999 first rounder, for Palffy and Brian Smolinski. I'm pretty sure they weren't trading four top-30 draft picks away just because they thought they could sell a few more tickets.

Calling Palffy a bad team scorer is flat-out disrespecting a terrific hockey player. There is simply nothing at all to support such a claim, other than pointing out that Palffy spent much of his career on non-playoff teams.

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Old
09-02-2010, 04:28 AM
  #106
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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.
You're right about those allstar finishes (I accidentally counted 00-01 twice). So he was top-6 instead.

I realize you love Svehla, but while he is generally underrated, I think you overrate him a bit here. Palffy was a top-5 - top-10 winger. Svehla was not top-10 D-man (neither was Kaberle, for that record, unless you're wearing Leaf-fan colored glasses). And in international play, Svehla was never close to Palffy in impact or importance to the team.

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09-02-2010, 05:38 AM
  #107
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Interesting. I don't think I know enough about Svedberg to agree or disagree, but even a toned-down Harvey is high praise. I haven't heard a great deal about Svedberg's defensive game, and I always pictured a mainly offensive d-man that was merely decent in other aspects of the game. If his defense was indeed as good as you suggest, I feel vindicated in listing him at the tail end of my last HOH Top 120 list.
It should be noted that I can't back up my words with any reliable sources, as I never saw Svedberg play. My opinion is based on what his legacy is today - and that comes from what I've read and heard from hockey fans.

What I can say that Lennart was a contemporary of Jan Suchy, and at least for one tournament came out ahead (1970 WC). Check out this to see how highly ranked the two of them were during Svedberg's short career.

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09-02-2010, 06:10 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Interesting. I don't think I know enough about Svedberg to agree or disagree, but even a toned-down Harvey is high praise. I haven't heard a great deal about Svedberg's defensive game, and I always pictured a mainly offensive d-man that was merely decent in other aspects of the game. If his defense was indeed as good as you suggest, I feel vindicated in listing him at the tail end of my last HOH Top 120 list.
I wasn't at the training camp but from what I heard from good sources is that Svedberg did extremely well against players like Howe. He was the fastest skater at Detroits camp and a lot of people thought he could be their top 2 defenseman if he wanted too. It's a shame he went home again as we would have more meat on the bones if he stayed in the NHL.

He did alot of Orresque moves too like killing penalties by simply outskating and outmanouvering the opposition but comparing him to Harvey would be accurate.

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09-02-2010, 07:42 AM
  #109
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Wanted to show the inconsistencies of the available Soviet league statistics... take a look at the 1970-71 season stats of a few handpicked top USSR forwards:

PLAYER GP G A PTS PIM
Alexander Maltsev 37 36 20 56 8
Valeri Kharlamov 34 40 12 52 18
Boris Mikhailov 40 32 15 47 16
Vladimir Petrov 37 16 16 32 -
Anatoli Firsov 33 17 - 17 -
Alexander Yakushev 40 13 - 13 -

So, Maltsev, Kharlamov and Mikhailov apparently had super seasons and Petrov, Firsov and Yakushev weak ones, which I can believe, no problem. But am I supposed to really accept that Firsov played 33 games without any assists and those 17 goals were the only points he got that season? And Yakushev playing 40 games and getting only 13 goals = 13 points? Hell, despite scoring only 16 goals, at least Petrov is credited for the assists, and partly thus his numbers look more impressive than Firsov and Yakushev's. At least there should be some 'reasonable doubt' here...

I wonder if there's any way to update/complete these stats or are the documents gone forever? (Chidlovski, are you there? )


In case someone has missed and is interested, here is the one available game (thanks to poster Dark Shadows) online with Firsov (#11) playing , i.e. USSR vs. CAN from the 1968 Winter Olympics/(World Hockey Championships):

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...9783771&hl=en#

I would presume that's a pretty standard performance by Firsov in his heyday. Obviously not Gretzky/Orr-like domination, but fairly impressive nevertheless - against 'ok' team (gotta love that deke at 1.39:33 ).

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09-02-2010, 07:46 AM
  #110
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Bill Gadsby

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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
how is it determined which players are "bad team scorers" and which would be wanted by a championship team?

i know i have heard that about bathgate, even though he won with TML in '64. i think keon even said the trade for bathgate was a mistake.

gadsby may have been described in the same way.

i know it was often said about yzerman before '97.

was dale hawerchuk a bad team scorer? doug bentley?
Bill Gadsby was a defenseman. Acquired by the Red Wings as part of their Stanley Cup push in the early 1960's

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09-02-2010, 07:59 AM
  #111
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Bill Gadsby was a defenseman. Acquired by the Red Wings as part of their Stanley Cup push in the early 1960's
i know he was a d-man. i have seen a few games of him, not with NYR, though. but he racked up a lot of points in a losing environment with NYR.

i recently an old newspaper article in which the NYR coach berated his team for allowing a goal at the end of a game by eagerly trying to score on an empty net. that seems like a mentality that "bad team scorers" might have.

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09-02-2010, 08:04 AM
  #112
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Lennart Svedberg Comparables

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I wasn't at the training camp but from what I heard from good sources is that Svedberg did extremely well against players like Howe. He was the fastest skater at Detroits camp and a lot of people thought he could be their top 2 defenseman if he wanted too. It's a shame he went home again as we would have more meat on the bones if he stayed in the NHL.

He did alot of Orresque moves too like killing penalties by simply outskating and outmanouvering the opposition but comparing him to Harvey would be accurate.

Orresque moves?:

http://www.eurohockey.net/players/sh...i?serial=23423

Hardly Orresque results in Europe.

Thommie Bergman with the Red Wings flashed a bit of skill than faded:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bergmth01.html

Faster skater than a 40 year old Gordie Howe - would definitely hope so.

The if he wanted to argument has a simple hockey translation. " Realized his limitations and went home."

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09-02-2010, 08:20 AM
  #113
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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.
That’s kinda my line of thinking. If we are gonna give credit to players who didn’t play in the top league, but excelled in international play, then a guy like Koivu (who may be the most glaring example) seems to be unfairly hurt by his less than stellar NHL career. Plus, he excelled in international tournaments that featured a much higher level of competition that many Europeans in the 70’s did. And he was dominant in his short time in the Finish elite league.

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09-02-2010, 08:29 AM
  #114
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Orresque moves?:

http://www.eurohockey.net/players/sh...i?serial=23423

Hardly Orresque results in Europe.

Thommie Bergman with the Red Wings flashed a bit of skill than faded:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bergmth01.html

Faster skater than a 40 year old Gordie Howe - would definitely hope so.

The if he wanted to argument has a simple hockey translation. " Realized his limitations and went home."
Did you even read the whole sentence?

So Howe was the only other player at the camp? You definitly didn't watch Svedberg and have no clue about what you are talking about. Which you demonstrate with your last argument.

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09-02-2010, 08:32 AM
  #115
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Svedberg himself apparently thought that Jan Suchy deserved the "best defenseman" award in 1970.

From http://www.1972summitseries.com
Quote:
In 1969 and 71 he (Suchy) was selected as the best defenseman in the World Championships. Many thought that he should have been selected in 1970 as well, including the winner "Lill-Strimma" Svedberg.

When "Lill-Strimma" skated out to accept his award he immidiately went over to Suchy and patted him on the back to tell him that the jury didn't know what they were doing and that Suchy and nobody else deserved the award.
I've seen some highlight footage from 1969 and 1970 WHC, and Svedberg certainly looked like an impressive skater and had some great moves. I remember Jiri Holecek saying some nice things about him. Some quotes, though, have that he had weaknesses in his defensive game, not surprising since he started out as a forward. Not that those online bios should be taken as gospel...

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09-02-2010, 10:05 AM
  #116
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Yes..............

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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
Did you even read the whole sentence?

So Howe was the only other player at the camp? You definitly didn't watch Svedberg and have no clue about what you are talking about. Which you demonstrate with your last argument.
Sadly I read it - time I will never get back.

Watched enough international hockey either on TV or in person - touring teams in Canada from 1960 on, not missing an international game at the Montreal Forum for over 30 years.

You did not watch him either at the camp as you readily admit. However the Red Wings of the era had a number of other prospects at their training camps including Quebec players so word gets out.

The 1969 Red Wing training camp roster follows:

http://www.griffinscentral.com/hist/camp69.html

Note the annotation besides Svedberg's name.

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09-02-2010, 11:44 AM
  #117
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how is it determined which players are "bad team scorers" and which would be wanted by a championship team?

i know i have heard that about bathgate, even though he won with TML in '64. i think keon even said the trade for bathgate was a mistake.

gadsby may have been described in the same way.

i know it was often said about yzerman before '97.

was dale hawerchuk a bad team scorer? doug bentley?
Dale Hawerchuk was not a bad team scorer. There were several years in which Winnipeg was better than anyone in the Bore-Us Norris, and a couple years (85, 90) in which they probably would have won the Cup if they could have gotten out of the Smythe. Ah, the 80s Smythe, when several times the real Cup Final was the Smythe Final.

Doug Bentley played at a time when player movement was next to nill. There wasn't much in the way of free agency, and trades were few. Palffy played at a time when trades were common, and free agency actually existed. It's an apples and oranges argument.

As for Bathgate, Toronto was not a good situation at all for him. He just wasn't a guy who was going to fit in with Punch Imlach's system, philosophy or totalitarian coaching style. A different coach or a different system, we're probably talking differently about Bathgate's first foray into a competitive organization. And make no mistake about it: Bathgate was a guy that Toronto wanted. They gave up a lot to get him.

And Bathgate did score quite a few goals for Detroit when they reached the final in 66.

Reality is that playing in a time when player movement is commonplace, Palffy was consistently on bad teams. And much like Olli Jokinen, eventually you have to wonder if there's a reason for that, if there's a reason why the top teams aren't willing to take a chance on him. Among those who have played since the expansion in 67, and especially among those who have played since the advent of free agency, there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto top teams, and there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto lesser teams.

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09-02-2010, 11:57 AM
  #118
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Doug Bentley played at a time when player movement was next to nill. There wasn't much in the way of free agency, and trades were few. Palffy played at a time when trades were common, and free agency actually existed. It's an apples and oranges argument.
Free agency at the age of 31 in Palffy's time. He played exactly 1 season after the age of 31 due to injury. .

Quote:
Reality is that playing in a time when player movement is commonplace, Palffy was consistently on bad teams. And much like Olli Jokinen, eventually you have to wonder if there's a reason for that, if there's a reason why the top teams aren't willing to take a chance on him. Among those who have played since the expansion in 67, and especially among those who have played since the advent of free agency, there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto top teams, and there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto lesser teams.
[/QUOTE]

I agree with your general point, but I really don't think Palfy is the best example. As was pointed out up thread, the Kings gave away a huge package to get Palffy, and instantly became a playoff team (albeit a bubble one) when he arrived.

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09-02-2010, 12:07 PM
  #119
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Reality is that playing in a time when player movement is commonplace, Palffy was consistently on bad teams. And much like Olli Jokinen, eventually you have to wonder if there's a reason for that, if there's a reason why the top teams aren't willing to take a chance on him. Among those who have played since the expansion in 67, and especially among those who have played since the advent of free agency, there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto top teams, and there's usually a reason that some players always seem to find a way onto lesser teams.
very interesting point!

free agency did change things a great deal, BOTH ways.

1) TEAMS able to "select" the players they felt they could win with
2) PLAYERS able to select teams where they felt they could win (or where they would get the most money - tough to identify which in all cases)

Great for a discussion but I doubt there can be any clear rationale regarding what teams/players do, and why.

In the end, GMs want players that the team can win with. I don't think there's a coach in the world who wants a player just because the player can have a lot of personal success on his team. Quite the opposite, they want players that bring consistent effort, in all zones, who are tough (meaning, take a hit to make a play, be able to take punishment, not shy away from contact) and be able to maintain a high level of play at key times, while helping the team win.

I doubt there are organizations who see a player as a "30 goal scorer" - "we need a goal scorer, maybe we should get him"? I don't believe successful teams think that way, to a point. It's not surprising to me that Afinogenov is in the KHL, coming off a 24 goal season. I believe he's a player you don't win with and even marginal teams, desperate for scoring, have shown little interest in him.

This is why we cannot underestimate team success in evaluating a player. It's not right that a 40 goal scorer on a last place team is equated to a 40 goal scorer on a championship team. The goal of any player is for team success, not personal goals and assists - unless those personal statistics come with the larger responsibility of playing well without the puck, in all zones. That's a giant gap missing in a lot of players, some of whom are very good offensive players, yet the best teams shy away from with consistency.

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Old
09-02-2010, 12:14 PM
  #120
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
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.



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.



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.



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.



Johansson was an inadvertent omission. Should be in the 55 range.



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.



ran out of room.



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.



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.
*Kiprusoff: I think he's definitely an ATD calibre goalie. If you're talking about the top 56-64 goalies ever, he's in that group. I'd put him in the top 50. He should have won the Hart in 2006, carrying that pop-gun Calgary offence to a division title, in the toughest division in the league. He's been nothing short of a workhorse since arriving in Calgary in 2003, and since the lockout, he's averaged over 70 games and 40 wins. The only reason I could see for keeping him out of the ATD would be attitude. Is he willing to accept a back-up role? (If you didn't know better, you'd swear that Finland threw him under the bus after the first goal against the U.S. in the semi-final). But reality with Kipper is that he's still a guy who plays a lot, steals several games a year, usually gets his team to a playoff spot - and a higher seed than they deserve - and has been on a lot of lists for the top five goalies in the world since before the lockout.

*Johansson: Good to see, but I think you had Svehla at 51, and I can tell you right now, Johansson was the better defenceman. ]

*Markov: I think he's where he should be. If voters made decisions based on actual play, instead of stats, then I think we're talking about a second-team all-star in 2008 (Phaneuf got a stats-based first-team all-star nod), and he should have been a second-team all-star in 2009. But you get these voters in the southern markets who don't know the game and can only vote based on the numbers. He's been among the game's elite for a few years now.

*Naslund vs. Naslund: I think one think that has to be factored into the debate is that Mats was part of the old guard of Swedish players who didn't want to play his entire career in North America. He came to North America just before he turned 23. He left when he was 30. Don't know how much he had left - his final season was his worst from an offensive perspective. So to say they both had five 75-point seasons is unfair; Mats was essentially here for eight years, Markus was essentially here for 13.

Markus was the better player. I don't buy into the Markus was soft tripe. He suffered a pretty bad elbow injury on the hit from Steve Moore, but played through it for the rest of the season, and was tied for the scoring lead following the first round in the 2004 playoffs, even though he wasn't 100 per cent. He wasn't as good as the numbers might indicate, but he was still effective in taking more of a playmaking role. It took Markus a while to figure out the game and get going, but once he did, he was one of the best offensive players in the sport, a total offensive machine who could control a game in so many different ways in the offensive zone.

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09-02-2010, 12:25 PM
  #121
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Ego - Coaches and GMs

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbull View Post
very interesting point!

free agency did change things a great deal, BOTH ways.

1) TEAMS able to "select" the players they felt they could win with
2) PLAYERS able to select teams where they felt they could win (or where they would get the most money - tough to identify which in all cases)

Great for a discussion but I doubt there can be any clear rationale regarding what teams/players do, and why.

In the end, GMs want players that the team can win with. I don't think there's a coach in the world who wants a player just because the player can have a lot of personal success on his team. Quite the opposite, they want players that bring consistent effort, in all zones, who are tough (meaning, take a hit to make a play, be able to take punishment, not shy away from contact) and be able to maintain a high level of play at key times, while helping the team win.

I doubt there are organizations who see a player as a "30 goal scorer" - "we need a goal scorer, maybe we should get him"? I don't believe successful teams think that way, to a point. It's not surprising to me that Afinogenov is in the KHL, coming off a 24 goal season. I believe he's a player you don't win with and even marginal teams, desperate for scoring, have shown little interest in him.

This is why we cannot underestimate team success in evaluating a player. It's not right that a 40 goal scorer on a last place team is equated to a 40 goal scorer on a championship team. The goal of any player is for team success, not personal goals and assists - unless those personal statistics come with the larger responsibility of playing well without the puck, in all zones. That's a giant gap missing in a lot of players, some of whom are very good offensive players, yet the best teams shy away from with consistency.
Biggest enemy of coaching and management is "ego". The idea that they can be the one to turnaround a wayward player. Granted the desire to do so is strictly self-interest, the desire to win even more or get better. Even the best get caught in the trap at times. Sam Pollock and Scotty Bowman trying to integrate Pierre Larouche into a team concept. NJ will be interesting this year if they ever get Kovalchuk. LL is left to steer the ship leaving all to wonder why Jacques Lemaire walked.

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Old
09-02-2010, 12:37 PM
  #122
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Sadly I read it - time I will never get back.

Watched enough international hockey either on TV or in person - touring teams in Canada from 1960 on, not missing an international game at the Montreal Forum for over 30 years.

You did not watch him either at the camp as you readily admit. However the Red Wings of the era had a number of other prospects at their training camps including Quebec players so word gets out.

The 1969 Red Wing training camp roster follows:

http://www.griffinscentral.com/hist/camp69.html

Note the annotation besides Svedberg's name.
The Orresque moves wasnt referring to the camp. It was referring to how he played and killed penalties on his own.

Whats your point with the annotation besides his name? He was an amatuer player. From what I know he was actually offered a contract after the camp but decided to go home.

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Old
09-02-2010, 12:45 PM
  #123
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Free agency at the age of 31 in Palffy's time. He played exactly 1 season after the age of 31 due to injury. .


I agree with your general point, but I really don't think Palfy is the best example. As was pointed out up thread, the Kings gave away a huge package to get Palffy, and instantly became a playoff team (albeit a bubble one) when he arrived.[/QUOTE]
Palffy's actually still playing. He played in the Olympics. And he has played in his native Slovakia since "retiring" in 2005-06.

Don't know why he left so soon after signing the fat, long-term deal with Pittsburgh. Maybe he pined to be home. Maybe he was just sick of being hurt, and he was tired of the physical rigors of the NHL. I think Ziggy, and maybe a select few close to him, know the entire, real story.

LA actually had two pretty good seasons. They were probably better than anyone in the East in 2002; unfortunately, they were the fifth or sixth-best team in the west that year. They upset Detroit in 2001 (granted, after Yzerman and Shanny went down, and many of the Wings subsequently pulled an el foldo), and they nearly knocked off Colorado in 2001 and 2002. But anyone who watched those two series knows why LA nearly pulled off the upsets those two years. Felix Potvin lived up to his potential, and carried his team on his back.

When I see a guy consistently plays for non-factor teams, it makes me wonder why. Usually there's a damn good reason for it.

This isn't 1957. There are opportunities for players to be dealt, to move. Maybe Ziggy gets dealt in 2004 if he doesn't suffer a season-ending injury. (I think he was near the league lead in scoring when he went down). Maybe he makes a difference for a playoff team; maybe he lays an egg and gets two points in six games. But I don't evaluate on "if's" and "maybe's." I evaluate on what was and what is. And reality with Ziggy is that with the exception of two seasons, he played on a lot of teams that weren't very good. And there's usually a reason guys spend their careers on teams that aren't very good.

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Old
09-02-2010, 12:49 PM
  #124
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
The Orresque moves wasnt referring to the camp. It was referring to how he played and killed penalties on his own.

Whats your point with the annotation besides his name? He was an amatuer player. From what I know he was actually offered a contract after the camp but decided to go home.
The SEL results do not support this view.

During the era in question when players were offered contracts and left they are put on the reserve or suspended list not released.

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Old
09-02-2010, 01:36 PM
  #125
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
The SEL results do not support this view.

Which results are you referring to? How can you see exactly how he killed a penalty by results?

Quote:
During the era in question when players were offered contracts and left they are put on the reserve or suspended list not released.
So you are saying that in 70 pre-season no Detroit try-out player was signed or put on suspended/reserve list? He was released because he turned down the contract and went back SEL.

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