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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Why is the Cup so important?

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Old
11-04-2010, 08:24 PM
  #1
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Why is the Cup so important?

I dont understand why winning the Cup should be so important in getting in the Hall of Fame. Sure, its nice to win the Cup, but winning the Cup is a TEAM EFFORT! No one player wins entire hockey game by themselves, this isnt basketball.

I mean, yea the playoff stats should definitely be considered and Conn Smythe should as well. But come on, winning the Cup should elevate your status as a potential member of Hockey Hall of Fame? No.

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11-04-2010, 08:28 PM
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There are many players who didn't win the cup in the Hall of Fame.

I'd also add that more than likely the ratio of cup winners to non-cup winners will tip the other way as more players are eligible from the time periods featuring a larger league.

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11-04-2010, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
There are many players who didn't win the cup in the Hall of Fame.

I'd also add that more than likely the ratio of cup winners to non-cup winners will tip the other way as more players are eligible from the time periods featuring a larger league.
Yup, definitely true.

It's definitely not a sport where one player can win by himself. Look at the top four players of all time (Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, Orr). Of their 12 combined Stanley Cups, which occurred on the least stacked team? Maybe Orr where he "only" had Esposito, Bucyk, Cheevers, Hodge, etc?

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11-04-2010, 09:00 PM
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Exactly. But people here still bring up CUP as reasons why someone should be in the HOF and someone should be out.

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11-04-2010, 09:07 PM
  #5
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The History of any sport is to remember the champions.

Take the 1930s NHL as an example. A star on a bad team is a footnote to history (Normie Himes) whereas a no better star captaining two Stanley Cup championships is honoured by a HHOF induction (Herbie Lewis). Was the one really better than the other? This is the wrong question. The real issue is which one is more worthy of remembering, and to that question the fact that a player won championships speaks to the accomplishments they've contributed to.

(And how can one try and claim a player's point totals are wholly theirs when having great linemates contributes to an individual's stats.)

Hockey is a team sport, and an individual's ability to play a role in the team's success is honored above all.

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11-04-2010, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
Exactly. But people here still bring up CUP as reasons why someone should be in the HOF and someone should be out.
The Cup is the pinnacle of achievement in hockey. Sure, you're at a disadvantage if you're a great player on a bad team (Hawerchuk, Dionne, etc) but it still shows that you are good enough to be a part of a championship team.

When all is said and done, it might be the thing that separates a guy like Joe Thornton from a guy like Denis Savard in a career based all-time ranking.

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11-04-2010, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
The Cup is the pinnacle of achievement in hockey. Sure, you're at a disadvantage if you're a great player on a bad team (Hawerchuk, Dionne, etc) but it still shows that you are good enough to be a part of a championship team.

When all is said and done, it might be the thing that separates a guy like Joe Thornton from a guy like Denis Savard in a career based all-time ranking.
While I agree with your general point, Savard vs. Thornton is probably a bad example. Savard was a fantastic playoff performer for a team that never won it all, until he moved on to Montreal and won the Cup as a role player.

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11-04-2010, 09:26 PM
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Yeah, I couldn't think of anyone. Thornton's historical comparable is obviously Dionne, but Dionne didn't win one so I couldn't use him.

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11-04-2010, 09:31 PM
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The great are great when the games matter most.

That does not mean that "most Cups won" is the barometer for HOF entry. Hardly. However, it is a consideration and should be.

Anyone who watched Mario, for example, reach another level in the playoff years of '91-92, as opposed to simply evaluating his stats, knows precisely of which I speak. Better yet, anyone who watched Billy mith, springs of 1980-83 or Scott Stevens, 1995-2003. And to the OP: Stevens "stats" were modest those postseasons. Regardless, he was argulably the most important playoff performer for that entire stretch. Go beyond the numbers.

Sorry, Winning is not overrated. It's why they play the game.

As for it being a team sport: of course. However, it is not a democracy. The best players (the big minute guys) lead and have the greatest impact on winning. Hence they should receive credit when reviewing their body of work.


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11-04-2010, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
The History of any sport is to remember the champions.

Take the 1930s NHL as an example. A star on a bad team is a footnote to history (Normie Himes) whereas a no better star captaining two Stanley Cup championships is honoured by a HHOF induction (Herbie Lewis). Was the one really better than the other? This is the wrong question. The real issue is which one is more worthy of remembering, and to that question the fact that a player won championships speaks to the accomplishments they've contributed to.

(And how can one try and claim a player's point totals are wholly theirs when having great linemates contributes to an individual's stats.)

Hockey is a team sport, and an individual's ability to play a role in the team's success is honored above all.
It still takes a great talent to captialize on a lot of plays and score a lot of goals that their mates set up.

And great talents still put up points without talented teammates, they just cant win.

And just because you won a Cup doesnt mean you actually contributed.

It should not be a consideration. Winning the Cup can be about being lucky enough to be on a great team. You think LUCK should get anyone in to the Hall? Best players are not necessarily the leaders. Some players are great talents, but they arent meant to be captains.

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11-04-2010, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
It still takes a great talent to captialize on a lot of plays and score a lot of goals that their mates set up.

And great talents still put up points without talented teammates, they just cant win.

And just because you won a Cup doesnt mean you actually contributed.

It should not be a consideration. Winning the Cup can be about being lucky enough to be on a great team.
I could not disagree more.

Mario was lucky? Gretzky was lucky? Trottier, Messier, Clarke, Bossy, Yzerman, Sakic, Orr? Crosby, Toews, Lidstrom and so on? All luck?

More like: all great players and all winners. No coincidence.


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11-04-2010, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
And just because you won a Cup doesnt mean you actually contributed.
That's why - on this board, anyways - individual contributions to a Cup are analyzed individually. Where a guy like Claude Lemieux was ALWAYS a top contributor to his Cups, a guy like Jaroslav Pouzar (who has only one fewer ring) was an also-ran and didn't do much of anything for the 80s Oiler teams.

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11-04-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
You could not be more wrong.

Yep, Mario was lucky, Gretzky was lucky, Trittuer, Clarke, Bossy, Yzerman, Sakci, orr. all luck. All coincidence.

Let me guess: Fantasy leaguisitis standards should be the sole consideration? Personal regular season offensive numbers.

Vomit time.
Mario and gretzky were great players no doubt. But surely you wouldnt suggest that they would have won without Kurri, Messier, Francis, Barasso, Fuhr, Lowe, god knows who else...

These guys played for great teams. They didnt do it by themselves. They were no doubt major factors in winning the Cup, but again, they didnt do it by themselves. Which is why Cup should not be considered. no one wins them by themselves. Its team effort. Great talents can go without Cups because they are stuck playing for bad teams or teams that can never seem to win.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
That's why - on this board, anyways - individual contributions to a Cup are analyzed individually. Where a guy like Claude Lemieux was ALWAYS a top contributor to his Cups, a guy like Jaroslav Pouzar (who has only one fewer ring) was an also-ran and didn't do much of anything for the 80s Oiler teams.
That actually makes sense more than just throwing out HE NEVER WON A CUP HE SHOULDNT BE IN THE HALL nonsense. I agree that playoff performance should be a factor.

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11-04-2010, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
Mario and gretzky were great players no doubt. But surely you wouldnt suggest that they would have won without Kurri, Messier, Francis, Barasso, Fuhr, Lowe, god knows who else...
No I wouldn't. My turn: To what extent do you want to rely on the "leech" mantra? Whereby a great player is "discounted" if he happens to lead a great team? We see this logic often and it ends up with the Tomas Vokouns of the world placed on a pedestal and Marty Brodeur labeled "overrated." Because you know, a guy who compiles nice personal stats on lousy teams and wins nothing is King.

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Great talents can go without Cups because they are stuck playing for bad teams or teams that can never seem to win.
True.

Separately, what a player does when the games matter most is important. The entire body of work will ALWAYS be considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
That actually makes sense more than just throwing out HE NEVER WON A CUP HE SHOULDNT BE IN THE HALL nonsense. I agree that playoff performance should be a factor.
But who ever said it should be that ^^^?


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11-04-2010, 09:59 PM
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What leech mantra? All I said was these players could never win the Cup without good teammates. Cup isnt an individual accomplishment, its a team accomplishment.

HOF should be based on what individuals accomplished, not what his team as a whole did. If this said player was a great playoff performer then yes it should be factored in. But the fact that he played with great players and what they did together shouldnt be counted towards something that is an INDIVIDUAL honor. Being inducted in to the Hall Of Fame isnt that team's honor, its that player's honor, to celebrate HIS career.

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11-04-2010, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
HOF should be based on what individuals accomplished, not what his team as a whole did. If this said player was a great playoff performer then yes it should be factored in. But the fact that he played with great players and what they did together shouldnt be counted towards something that is an INDIVIDUAL honor. Being inducted in to the Hall Of Fame isnt that team's honor, its that player's honor, to celebrate HIS career.
I could not disagree more. Neither could HOF voters, thankfully.

Yours is a fantasy league mindset for evaluating NHL players. The individual as an island apart from his team. When, in reality, the goal of an individual player is not to fill stats sheets but to help a team win.

Put it this way: the greats compile points while leading teams to success.

Again, in your world, based on your metrics, Marcel Dionne is a superior player to Bryan Trottier. After all, more individual career regular season points. And, based on last season, Mike Green is closer to the HOF than Duncan Keith.

But, it's OK if we watch the game differently.

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11-04-2010, 10:08 PM
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Greats cant lead their team to success without good teammates! I dont think you are understanding that point at all.

Using Cup to say someone should be in the hall says to me, he did all the work for that team to be successful, so all credits should go towards him. And none of the credits should go towards his teammates. Which we all know is baloney.

Great players doesnt have to be a leader. He could be a outstanding scorer, playmaker, or defender (or all of them) without having a great leadership.

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11-04-2010, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Again, in your world, based on your metrics, Marcel Dionne is a superior player to Bryan Trottier. After all, more individual career regular season points. And, based on last season, Mike Green is closer to the HOF than Duncan Keith.
Might have missed that ... where exactly did he state that he evaluates players based on regular season offesive stats?

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11-04-2010, 10:12 PM
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^THANK YOU!

Its not all about the stats I agree.

But why should being lucky enough to play for a winning organization help anyone with their individual achievement?

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11-04-2010, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
Greats cant lead their team to success without good teammates! I dont think you are understanding that point at all.
I understand it completely. However, unlike you, I do not "hold that against" a great player. A great player should be applauded for leading a great team. Not degraded.

It appears that in the world in which you and a few other live, the "best" player would be one who compiles 100 regular season points on a lousy, last place team. I dissent.

Quote:
Using Cup to say someone should be in the hall says to me, he did all the work for that team to be successful, so all credits should go towards him. And none of the credits should go towards his teammates. Which we all know is baloney.
Again, who says that? You are creating a strawman.

Quote:
Great players doesnt have to be a leader. He could be a outstanding scorer, playmaker, or defender (or all of them) without having a great leadership.
Outstanding scoring, playmaking and/or defending when the games matter most is leadership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
But why should being lucky enough to play for a winning organization help anyone with their individual achievement?
Cup winning organizations are comprised of successful individuals. Apparently, the best, the most important players, the guys who get the most icetime and biggest roles on such teams are simply "lucky" according to you (and others)?

It's why last June some on the Main board labeled Conn Smyth winner J. Toews...wait for it...lucky! And overrated! I saw a player who was a leader, a great performer for the most important two months of the NHL season. To ignore, or diminsh in any way (because after all, it's a team sport), that performance when evaluating Toews' career would be odd.


Last edited by Trottier: 11-04-2010 at 10:57 PM. Reason: tempered
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11-04-2010, 10:26 PM
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Cant disagree on the last one...

You cant hold the fact that greats played without good teammates against them either. Which is why the Cup should not be a factor. Yea, great players who lead their teams should be applauded, but not be rewarded HOF spot because of something others did.

Its not his accomplishment. its the team's accomplishment, which is something you dont seem to get either. He was in the end, merely a part of the team. A big contributor indeed, but nevertheless, part of a team. And therefore, Cup shouldnt count as one's individual accomplishment.

Not saying that you did say it. Just to me, you cant give one player credit for winning the Cup. Its the team effort. If you are gonna honor him for it, you have to honor the entire team.

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11-04-2010, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by t3hk0r34n View Post
Its not his accomplishment. its the team's accomplishment, which is something you dont seem to get either. He was in the end, merely a part of the team. A big contributor indeed, but nevertheless, part of a team. And therefore, Cup shouldnt count as one's individual accomplishment.
To set the record straight, I get it entirely. I simply place more weight on a great individual playoff performance than "merely part of a team".

No one I know of counts a Cup as one's individual accomplishment. Many of us do, however, recognize and place great weight on outstanding playoff performances.

Toews did not win the Stanley Cup last season.

Toews however, was not simply a contributor to a Cup champ like, for example, Adam Burish was. That distinction is not insignificant.

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11-04-2010, 10:42 PM
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I agree with the OP, and anyone going by reason instead of folk wisdom / traditionalism will agree as well. No player, none, ever, won the Stanley Cup by himself. The "great players are what make winners, if you're good enough you'll win" argument is wrong - no one is that good, the "winners" are the ones fortunate enough to be on a great team.

"So (amazing player who won a cup) was just lucky?" No, of course not. No one is saying that. That's a strawman. Their greatness contributes to the cup wins, but so does having 20+ good teammates. It's a combination of factors. The fact is that no matter how good you are it's possible to be on a team bad enough that you won't win the cup, and no matter how bad you are it's possible to win the cup if you're on a good enough team, so cup wins mean nothing. Anecodtes about great players who also won cups prove nothing, just like the fact that I can name Marcel Dionne and Kris Draper doesn't prove winning the cup makes you bad.

Your ability + the rest of your team's ability = team's success. X + Y = Z. The higher X is, the higher Z will be, but if we don't know what Y is, we can't say that high/low Z is proof of a high/low X.

Trottier is right in so far as watching a player's playoff performances and judging them is very different from counting cups. But a player who was great in the playoffs but couldn't win because of his team (Hasek on the Sabres) shouldn't have that held against him.

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11-04-2010, 10:45 PM
  #24
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I agree with the OP, and anyone going by reason instead of folk wisdom / traditionalism will agree as well.
I love posts that start with "if you don't agree with me, you're not a reasonable person."

Seriously though, I guess I technically agree with the original poster in that Kris Draper is not better than Alexander Ovechkin simply because he won more Cups. But I really don't see anyone on the History of Hockey board arguing that he is, so it is sor tof a straw man argument.

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11-04-2010, 11:03 PM
  #25
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But a player who was great in the playoffs but couldn't win because of his team (Hasek on the Sabres) shouldn't have that held against him.
But again, who does that ^^^^?

No one (at least that I know of) holds the Sabres not winning a Cup against Hasek. However, many of us credit, for example, Brodeur or Osgood for having the opportunity to play for the Cup on great teams...and taking advantage of the situation by contributing significantly to their success. (And yes. If you play in goal for two straight months in the spring - regardless of the team - and raise the Cup at the end, you have contributed significantly. No exceptions.)

As opposed to ignoring or diminishing that accomplishment.

And "folk wisdom/traditionalism"? Funny, I call it simply: watching, coaching and playing the game for multiple decades.


Last edited by Trottier: 11-04-2010 at 11:10 PM.
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