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Top 100 American Players of All-Time?

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Old
06-25-2013, 06:53 PM
  #151
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think this is a very good list, though I do have some disagreements:

1) Modano over Lafontaine for sure. For me, Chelios is definitely 1, Brimsek 2, and Leetch 3. After that, Howe/Langway/Modano can go in any order.

2) Derian Hatcher over Gary Suter and Phil Housley. Hatcher was much more of an impact player, I think.

3) Of the Mullen/Roenck/LeClair trio, I'll give LeClair the edge because of international play (which I feel should matter just a little more when compiling a list of the best player from a country).

4) Cecil Dillon was a decent two-way player and probably near the top of the "Hall of Very Good." Putting him on the same level as Tkachuk seems right.

My list (based off of yours with the above changes):

1. Chris Chelios
2. Frank Brimsek
3. Brian Leetch
4. Mark Howe
5. Rod Langway
6. Mike Modano (though I would listen to arguments for him as high as 4th)
7. Pat Lafontaine
8. Tom Barasso
9. John Vanbiesbrouck
10. John LeClair
11. Jeremy Roenick
12. Joe Mullen
13. Keith Tkachuk
14. Cecil Dillon
15. Derian Hatcher
16. Mike Richter
17. Phil Housley
18. Gary Suter
19. Doug Weight
20. Kevin Stevens

It's really hard to rate Kane, who is only 25, but he has to be knocking on the door of Kevin Stevens by this point, right?
thanks.

yeah, seems like at this point, kane has a pretty good argument over k. stevens. stevens has two second teams and a first team. i think his '90 second team was really one of those cases where they just had to give it to someone. i mean, look at the other non-robitaille guys who got LW AST votes that year:

Pat Verbeek 78 (5-12-17); Esa Tikkanen 44 (2-10-4); Brian Bellows 9 (0-1-6); Petr Klima 7 (0-1-4); Dave Andreychuk 4 (0-0-4); Vincent Damphousse 3 (0-0-3); Michel Goulet 2 (0-0-2); Brendan Shanahan 2 (0-0-2); Kirk Muller 1 (0-0-1); Craig Simpson 1 (0-0-1)

scoring finishes:

G: 2, 8 (stevens); 5 (kane)
A: 7 (stevens); 8 (kane)
P: 2 (stevens); 5, 9 (kane)

that starts to look a lot more lopsided when you factor for mario.

depending on whether they count ovechkin as a RW or not, kane will either have his second first team all-star this year, or his first second team all-star finish.

and while stevens was phenomenal in the playoffs those two years, especially '91, kane won the smythe this year and, in my opinion should have won it in '10 as well (toews was better early on, and keith was better late, but kane had the best first-through-fourth round performance). and to have been the best forward on two stanley cup winners...


on modano: thinking about it again, i totally agree on him over lafontaine. i think there's some separation between him and howe/langway, though. modano only for a few years reached that level of franchise-altering center, while howe and langway were franchise-altering defensemen for longer.

on hatcher: i can see that in a peak vs. career way. i'm a peak guy myself, but i think what housley did over his career is too much to overcome, and i'm far from someone who usually defends housley. but i'm willing to concede that those three could be a toss-up (i'm a playoffs guy too, after all).

on mullen: i've often wondered what mullen's legacy would have looked like if he'd been on the lake placid team. i can't imagine he wouldn't have been that team's go-to scorer. but as i recall, because he came from such meagre circumstances, as opposed to all those middle-class minnesota and massachusetts guys, he had to turn pro. i guess you can't give him credit for something he didn't do, but i can't hold that against him either. and by the time team USAs were competitive in best-on-best competitions, mullen was past his prime.

not to diminish what leclair did internationally or, again, to give mullen undue credit for something he might have but didn't do, but mullen's playoff portfolio, i think, is too big for leclair's '96 tournament to overcome.

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Old
06-25-2013, 07:15 PM
  #152
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
thanks.

yeah, seems like at this point, kane has a pretty good argument over k. stevens. stevens has two second teams and a first team. i think his '90 second team was really one of those cases where they just had to give it to someone. i mean, look at the other non-robitaille guys who got LW AST votes that year:

Pat Verbeek 78 (5-12-17); Esa Tikkanen 44 (2-10-4); Brian Bellows 9 (0-1-6); Petr Klima 7 (0-1-4); Dave Andreychuk 4 (0-0-4); Vincent Damphousse 3 (0-0-3); Michel Goulet 2 (0-0-2); Brendan Shanahan 2 (0-0-2); Kirk Muller 1 (0-0-1); Craig Simpson 1 (0-0-1)

scoring finishes:

G: 2, 8 (stevens); 5 (kane)
A: 7 (stevens); 8 (kane)
P: 2 (stevens); 5, 9 (kane)

that starts to look a lot more lopsided when you factor for mario.

depending on whether they count ovechkin as a RW or not, kane will either have his second first team all-star this year, or his first second team all-star finish.

and while stevens was phenomenal in the playoffs those two years, especially '91, kane won the smythe this year and, in my opinion should have won it in '10 as well (toews was better early on, and keith was better late, but kane had the best first-through-fourth round performance). and to have been the best forward on two stanley cup winners...
I have no doubt Kane ends up over Stevens (and Doug Weight for that matter) when all is said and done. I think the more interesting comparison would be when he surpasses the LeClair/Roenick/Mullen group.

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on modano: thinking about it again, i totally agree on him over lafontaine. i think there's some separation between him and howe/langway, though. modano only for a few years reached that level of franchise-altering center, while howe and langway were franchise-altering defensemen for longer.
For me, longevity as an impact player is the one big advantage Modano has over Howe and Langway. You're right that Modano was only a "franchise-altering center" for a relatively short period of time, but Langway and Howe weren't really franchise-altering players for that much longer, were they? Langway really only was in contention for Norris votes for a period of about 5 years, and Howe really struggled with injuries for much of his career. I think Modano spent far more time as a borderline-elite player than the other two did, even if the two defensemen had better short primes than he did. But the two of them did have better short primes, so it's certainly reasonable to rank them over him.

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on hatcher: i can see that in a peak vs. career way. i'm a peak guy myself, but i think what housley did over his career is too much to overcome, and i'm far from someone who usually defends housley. but i'm willing to concede that those three could be a toss-up (i'm a playoffs guy too, after all).
I just don't see Housley having a better career than Hatcher. Housley was basically all-offense and Hatcher all-defense to similar degrees IMO. I just feel Hatcher helped teams win games more.

Quote:
on mullen: i've often wondered what mullen's legacy would have looked like if he'd been on the lake placid team. i can't imagine he wouldn't have been that team's go-to scorer. but as i recall, because he came from such meagre circumstances, as opposed to all those middle-class minnesota and massachusetts guys, he had to turn pro. i guess you can't give him credit for something he didn't do, but i can't hold that against him either. and by the time team USAs were competitive in best-on-best competitions, mullen was past his prime.

not to diminish what leclair did internationally or, again, to give mullen undue credit for something he might have but didn't do, but mullen's playoff portfolio, i think, is too big for leclair's '96 tournament to overcome.
It's not just LeClair's 1996 tournament, though that was his best; he was an All-Star at the 2002 Olympics too. For whatever reason, American fans don't pump up their players' international resumes as much as fans of other teams, so I don't think their outstanding international players (namely LeClair, Chelios, and Leetch) are as recognized as guys like Selanne, Sundin, and Sakic are for their outstanding international contributions.

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Old
06-25-2013, 07:18 PM
  #153
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1. Chris Chelios
2. Frank Brimsek
3. Brian Leetch
4. Mark Howe
5. Rod Langway
6. Mike Modano (though I would listen to arguments for him as high as 4th)
7. Pat Lafontaine
8. Tom Barasso
9. John Vanbiesbrouck
10. John LeClair
11. Jeremy Roenick
12. Joe Mullen
13. Keith Tkachuk
14. Cecil Dillon
15. Derian Hatcher
16. Mike Richter
17. Phil Housley
18. Gary Suter
19. Doug Weight
20. Kevin Stevens

It's really hard to rate Kane, who is only 25, but he has to be knocking on the door of Kevin Stevens by this point, right?
Actually, I realized this thread is about the best American players, not the best American-born players. Brett Hull needs to be included then - he's a dual American-Canadian citizen, but his international career makes it clear to me that he should be considered an American.

I think Hull probably slots into #3 between Brimsek and Leetch, dropping Kevin Stevens from the list.

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Old
06-25-2013, 08:29 PM
  #154
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by mrhockey193195 View Post
Fair enough, and I agree that it's pretty difficult to do so. But I always have fun thinking of two scenarios (in this case, for Kane). 1) What if he retired today? And 2) What if he plays out his career along the trajectory that he's set for himself thus far. So long as we don't get too carried away, I think it's a fun debate to have.
1) if he quit today he would have 6 seasons under his belt. In the regualr season he is only 14th in points during that time.

Playoffs help him and maybe he is in the top 30 Americans of all time. I'm a big career guy.

well he is only 24 and could easily break into the top 10 list for his career, his playoff resume is what will get him there IMO.

He is already 19th in all time points in the playoffs but american players and will probably be in the top 5 pretty easily by the time he is 30.

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

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Old
06-26-2013, 12:56 AM
  #155
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4) Cecil Dillon was a decent two-way player and probably near the top of the "Hall of Very Good." Putting him on the same level as Tkachuk seems right.
Moved to Ontario at age 6. Better choices for skaters of that era would be Taffy Abel, Doc Romnes, Cully Dahlstrom (who all played for Chicago).

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06-26-2013, 01:26 AM
  #156
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Moved to Ontario at age 6.
I did not know that. If we count Mikita as Canadian and Brett Hull as American, it's only fair to count Dillon as Canadian.

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Better choices for skaters of that era would be Taffy Abel, Doc Romnes, Cully Dahlstrom (who all played for Chicago).
I don't think any of those guys were better than Kevin Stevens, Doug Weight, or Kevin Hatcher (who almost made my top 20).

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