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The all encompassing "players of today vs players from the past" thread

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Old
01-24-2014, 01:45 PM
  #851
Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
couple of points here, yes some are asking questions about Hooley but in general there isn't enough discussion going on (both in terms of quantity and among all participants) IMO, maybe it's the time of year or something else who knows.
Your concern over a lack of active participation by those who signed up for the project would be categorized as a general concern, not one which should directly benefit Hooley Smith or anybody else available for voting.

Quote:
2nd point is that if we take away Hart voting, and yes i know it's hard to do for some as we saw with Bobby Clarke, and look objectively at Hooley (and Clarke previously) there are strong arguments as to why Clarke should have been lower and why Hooley has dropped to here and isn't in my top 4 this round, although top 8 is possible.
Ignoring the Hart voting of the candidate that just so happens to have the strongest Hart voting record is not being objective at all, it's omitting evidence. Like all voting, it needs to be examined within the context that it occurred. It has been pointed out that some of Hooley's Hart placements came when talent was spread between east and west for example, so certainly they are being looked at with a critical eye. The question of talent pool depth has been raised, as it always seems to be, but considering Hooley would only be the 4th player from his era on the list (or so it's been said, I haven't checked specifically) while more recent eras long ago had their 4th best player voted in indicates that talent pool depth has already been taken into heavy consideration.

People questioning your belief that Datsyuk should only be judged against Canadian players is not "a lack of objectivity". He's being judged against the players of his era, as is Hooley. An examination of birth certificates isn't considered as vital to some as it is to you. Difference of viewpoint, not lack of objectivity.

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01-25-2014, 11:46 AM
  #852
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Your concern over a lack of active participation by those who signed up for the project would be categorized as a general concern, not one which should directly benefit Hooley Smith or anybody else available for voting.
The lack of participation is a general concern and not indicative of favoring any player over another yes. that being said there is large ATD compontnet in this project and a lack of participation and discussion might have some to fall back on those projects results, which do not take era into account as much as this project hopefully would.


Quote:
Ignoring the Hart voting of the candidate that just so happens to have the strongest Hart voting record is not being objective at all, it's omitting evidence. Like all voting, it needs to be examined within the context that it occurred.
You ahve misunderstood what I was trying to say or perhaps I didn't make the point clearly enough.

just like with Clarke, Hooley, or heck any other player should be looked at without their Hart voting to see how they look, without the subjective view of voters looking over our shoulders tainting how we view certain players. When one does this it becomes clear if there are differences in voting criteria or patterns over time.

Quite clearly Hooley and his style of play benefited greatly when it came down to Hart voting, while Dats, for example didn't get the same benefit.

It's always a usefull exercise to question Hart or any voting to see how players compare using our own judgement, then we can see how any voting compares and then question if the voters got it right or try to apply a consistent standard over time, simply something voters don't do.

Quote:
It has been pointed out that some of Hooley's Hart placements came when talent was spread between east and west for example, so certainly they are being looked at with a critical eye. The question of talent pool depth has been raised, as it always seems to be, but considering Hooley would only be the 4th player from his era on the list (or so it's been said, I haven't checked specifically) while more recent eras long ago had their 4th best player voted in indicates that talent pool depth has already been taken into heavy consideration.
Yes it has been pointed out, just like with Boucher then largely ignored in both cases, probably more with frank than with Hooley though hard to tell.

Quote:
People questioning your belief that Datsyuk should only be judged against Canadian players is not "a lack of objectivity". He's being judged against the players of his era, as is Hooley. An examination of birth certificates isn't considered as vital to some as it is to you. Difference of viewpoint, not lack of objectivity.
Difference of viewpoint or really tilting the scales for one guy being a bigger fish in a smaller pool?

At least the Canadian standard is consistent over time to simply compare any player against his peers and forget or minimize the context and talent pool isn't beneficial to this project IMO.

Hooley has the standard against all of the best Canadian players, why shouldn't we judge Dats the same way? Or is it really fair to ignore the split in elite talent between Canadian and non Canadian players in modern times?

People need to ask themselves that question a little more seriously instead of trying to apply "even and fair rules across time, ie the peers argument" over wise a guy like Bowie should have been in the top 20 easily if one downplays context totally.

To be fair I have long proposed that a pre WW2 and post WW2 type of lists happen as it becomes really harder and harder to accurately compare a guy like Bowie to someone playing 100 years later.

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01-25-2014, 12:44 PM
  #853
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
At least the Canadian standard is consistent over time
It isn't "consistent over time". Like every other talent pool it fluctuates, sometimes wildly.

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01-25-2014, 01:03 PM
  #854
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post

At least the Canadian standard is consistent over time to simply compare any player against his peers and forget or minimize the context and talent pool isn't beneficial to this project IMO.

Hooley has the standard against all of the best Canadian players, why shouldn't we judge Dats the same way? Or is it really fair to ignore the split in elite talent between Canadian and non Canadian players in modern times?
Canadian standard as you put it is the only one that goes back to the origins of hockey.

Call it what it actually is - a hockey standard that has evolved since the start of codified, structured, organized hockey, roughly 1875 onwards and a standard that is open to all participants and your argument quickly disappears deep into the background.

Hockey did not discard standards for evaluating the quality of play by position at an arbitrary date when greater international participation started.

Yet at its root this is what your argument tries to do. You totally ignore that the likes of Frank Nighbor, Pit Lepine, Ted Kennedy, Henri Richard, Dave Keon, started and contributed to the process and continium that allows today's hockey fan to appreciate a Pavel Datsyuk for his unique defensive skills.

Without the "Canadian" standard that the aforementioned players contributed to there is little or no base to appreciate Pavel Datsyuk for his defensive skills.

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Old
01-25-2014, 01:21 PM
  #855
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
It isn't "consistent over time". Like every other talent pool it fluctuates, sometimes wildly.
That's not what I meant and yes there is some amount of fluctuation but that's very difficult to actually calculate as well.

What I meant was that there is always the top Canadian talent in the league in the NHL, except for a couple of years in the early 20's

when comparing top 5,10, 20 scoring over and across eras using the "Canadian Standard, ie. how anyone did against the Canadians in the league, is much more accurate and usefull than simply using how any player did against everyone in the league IMO.

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01-25-2014, 01:25 PM
  #856
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Canadian standard as you put it is the only one that goes back to the origins of hockey.

Call it what it actually is - a hockey standard that has evolved since the start of codified, structured, organized hockey, roughly 1875 onwards and a standard that is open to all participants and your argument quickly disappears deep into the background.

Hockey did not discard standards for evaluating the quality of play by position at an arbitrary date when greater international participation started.

Yet at its root this is what your argument tries to do.
You totally ignore that the likes of Frank Nighbor, Pit Lepine, Ted Kennedy, Henri Richard, Dave Keon, started and contributed to the process and continium that allows today's hockey fan to appreciate a Pavel Datsyuk for his unique defensive skills.

Without the "Canadian" standard that the aforementioned players contributed to there is little or no base to appreciate Pavel Datsyuk for his defensive skills.

To the bolded part, I have no idea on what you are trying to get across here, quite clearly the NHL in terms of competition, makeup in elite talent ect... is quite different at different periods of time.

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01-25-2014, 01:33 PM
  #857
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
That's not what I meant and yes there is some amount of fluctuation but that's very difficult to actually calculate as well.
Just because it's difficult to calculate doesn't mean you pretend it doesn't exist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
What I meant was that there is always the top Canadian talent in the league in the NHL, except for a couple of years in the early 20's

when comparing top 5,10, 20 scoring over and across eras using the "Canadian Standard, ie. how anyone did against the Canadians in the league, is much more accurate and usefull than simply using how any player did against everyone in the league IMO.
And who's using top-5, 10, and 20 scoring to compare players? Looks to me like the vast majority of these comparisons use some variation of VsX not mere scoring finishes. Sounds like a strawman argument to me.

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01-25-2014, 01:42 PM
  #858
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
To the bolded part, I have no idea on what you are trying to get across here, quite clearly the NHL in terms of competition, makeup in elite talent ect... is quite different at different periods of time.
Yes. To attempt this point you have to recognize mine that there is a base dating back to 1875 that allows for the "is quite different at different periods of time."

In other words how could anyone figure out or spot a difference without the base or "Canadian standard" that you wish to deny and dismiss?

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01-25-2014, 02:29 PM
  #859
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Just because it's difficult to calculate doesn't mean you pretend it doesn't exist.
Who pretends that it doesn't exist, many more parts of Canada and the world are producing elite talent, if anyone pretends that fluctuations and a general upward trend doesn't exist then you'd have to ask them as to why?




Quote:
And who's using top-5, 10, and 20 scoring to compare players? Looks to me like the vast majority of these comparisons use some variation of VsX not mere scoring finishes. Sounds like a strawman argument to me.
VsX has been the more recent and common offensive metric brought up in the centers round but top 5,10, 20 and awards voting has also been a common metric and it's quite clear that in a 30 team fully integrated league, than say to a 6 team Canadian one, one group of players is being judged quite differently, to deny that is absurd.

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01-25-2014, 02:33 PM
  #860
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Yes. To attempt this point you have to recognize mine that there is a base dating back to 1875 that allows for the "is quite different at different periods of time."

In other words how could anyone figure out or spot a difference without the base or "Canadian standard" that you wish to deny and dismiss?
No idea on why you are stating that I'm trying to deny or dismiss the "Canadian Standard" as I have been a huge proponent of the Canadian standard and how it applies across time and has always been there.

Generally speaking the quality and quantity of Canadian players has risen chronologically as well, although some people make some really weird argument otherwise.

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01-26-2014, 10:19 PM
  #861
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Yes it has been pointed out, just like with Boucher then largely ignored in both cases, probably more with frank than with Hooley though hard to tell.
Who ignores it? Who in that discussion has said that it is unnecessary to examine the context of award voting as it need only be evaluated in the most basic black and white terms? Nobody that I've seen.

Sounds to me like you basically want to everyone to say "You're right Hardy, Hooley's Hart voting came in a small Canadian league, and is therefore irrelevant. Datsyuk is better".

Quote:
Difference of viewpoint or really tilting the scales for one guy being a bigger fish in a smaller pool?
Viewpoint. You believe that the best player out of a talent pool of 1,000,000 must be ranked ahead of the best player out of a pool of 50,000 (just throwing out random numbers), because the best player out of 50,000 may no longer be the best if the talent pool were expanded to the larger number.

It's certainly theoretically possible that this would be the case. I personally do not deal in theoretical scenarios to any great extent. It's impossible to prove that the best player in the small talent pool would no longer be the best in the larger one. All that is known conclusively is that he was indeed the best in his own era. Speculating that "insert best player from bygone era" wouldn't be the best player if he had to contend with a larger 2014 talent pool is just that - speculation.

Quote:
Hooley has the standard against all of the best Canadian players, why shouldn't we judge Dats the same way? Or is it really fair to ignore the split in elite talent between Canadian and non Canadian players in modern times?
All the best players in the world, regardless of nationality, you mean. There is no rule anywhere saying that 1920s and 1930s players from any hockey playing nation are to be omitted.

It just so happens that there is consensus belief that any player worthy of comparison to Hooley from his own era happened to be from Canada. Not his fault that Howie Morenz and Frank Boucher were not from Stockholm or Moscow, and not an important detail as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
People need to ask themselves that question a little more seriously instead of trying to apply "even and fair rules across time, ie the peers argument" over wise a guy like Bowie should have been in the top 20 easily if one downplays context totally.
And Bowie in the top 20 would somehow be "incorrect"? The peers argument is just one viewpoint for evaluation. It happens to be the only viewpoint I'm aware of that relies almost entirely on real events and circumstances. The further one slides over to talent pool size-based arguments, the more theoretical and unprovable their suppositions become.

Basically, our two viewpoints are at opposite ends of the scale. I am heavily biased towards using empirical evidence, and will strongly argue against evidence that falls into the realm of thought experiments and the assumptions derived from them. You are much more open to using that type of evidence as part of an evaluation.

Quote:
To be fair I have long proposed that a pre WW2 and post WW2 type of lists happen as it becomes really harder and harder to accurately compare a guy like Bowie to someone playing 100 years later.
It's difficult to judge players 100 years apart, no question. Again, this is why I prefer using only empirical evidence and leaving the thought experiments on the shelf. At least then there is a concrete standard by which everyone is being judged. Once you expand past that form of evidence, you are muddying the water with unmeasurable variables. But again, just my viewpoint on the whole thing. Russell Bowie not being listed in the top 40 of centers indicates that virtually everyone is willing to "muddy the water" to some degree. How much it has been muddied is different from person to person.

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01-27-2014, 05:23 PM
  #862
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I think the only way to compare players from distant past, like 50's, to modern players, is comparison to their peers and the competition in general for spots at NHL.

Nobody denies (I think) that a team from 50's would lose in 2 digit numbers against a current NHL team, but the level of actual talent is pretty close.

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08-02-2014, 04:01 PM
  #863
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I have to ask, why wouldn't one be in favour of the one constant across all eras?

Ie. the best Canadians are always in the NHL and make up to 50% to all of the elite top end talent in the league.
because i think it simplifies a very complex methodological problem, and produces misleading conclusions as much as it helps. which is to say, i don't think the constant is as much of a controlled variable as you suggest.

to take the most extreme example:

1998 is the most tilted goal scoring year i can think of. top 6 scorers were all european or american. of the top 15 goal scorers, 10 were not born in canada.

meanwhile, 1981 is mostly canadian. top non-canadian scorer is #9 (kent nilsson), next one is #20 (peter and anton stastny tied).

now imagine i wanted to argue that '98 pavel bure was as good as '81 bossy. if you take out all the non-canadians, bure has a massive lead over the next group of guys.

bure: 51 (3) -- 31% of #2
nieuwendyk: 39 (7)
brind'amour: 38 (8)
allison and whitney: 33 (10)
recchi: 32 (14)


in 1981:

bossy: 68 (1) -- 17% of #2
dionne: 58 (2)
simmer: 56 (3)
gretzky and kehoe: 55 (4)
and so on.

paints a misleading picture, doesn't it? canadian-only talent level is not congruent across eras.

---

but here's another objection to taking out all european and american players to level the playing field across eras: if you just subtract all of those guys from the stats sheet, that's a lot of shots and goals and minutes played that suddenly never happened. but those shots wouldn't just not be taken, those goals wouldn't just not be scored; with no non-canadians, canadians move up the lineup and have more opportunities to score.

if you take the extreme case of 1998 again, a LOT of prime scoring opportunities were taken by european and american players. top six minutes, first unit PP time, etc. not to say that those players who occupied that ice time didn't earn it, but what if you took all of those guys out of the league? not just the high end guys like selanne, jagr, bondra, tkachuk, leclair. imagine no khristiches, no amontes, no mceacherns, no kamenskys... no kapanens, kozlovs, and so on and and so on. surely some canadian players will have to fill those roles. and surely some of those canadian players moving up in the lineup -- or one-dimensional offensive guys buried in the minors moving into the lineup at all -- would score more goals than they otherwise did. and then maybe -- just maybe -- bure's fifth best season doesn't look as dominant if not more dominant than peak bossy.

just look at nieuwendyk and brind'amour. how does 31 year old joe nieuwendyk manage his best adjusted goal total ever, and his highest total overall in seven years, and all of this in only 73 games? because mike modano, the player ahead of him in the lineup, missed 30 games that year. one wonders, then, whether brind'amour might have scored more than 38 goals if there's no john leclair and rod the bod becomes the primary shooting option on the PP? then all of a sudden, bure doesn't look so much like he laps the league.

that very season, ray whitney finally finds a situation where he can do what he can do. he'd been buried for years behind guys like johan garpenlov. he couldn't stick on an oilers team where some of the wingers ahead of him were guerin, marchant, kovalenko, and zelepukin. he finds the right crappy team to give him offensive icetime and -- voila -- he finishes 10th in the league in goals. how many other ray whitneys are there in the minors or the fringes of the league: too small to play bottom six minutes, not getting a shot at the top six minutes that they might be productive at? steve sullivan and martin st. louis were a couple of years away from breaking through. but maybe yanick dube or stephane morin or some other AHL/IHL superstar could have potted big time points on the right crappy team with the right prime icetime? see: donald audette in atlanta in 2001, on pace for a 40 goal/90 point season until he was traded to a competitive team at the deadline.


EDIT: (none of this, by the way, is meant to suggest that those european and american players didn't deserve the icetime they got, or that they weren't better in those roles than the canadian guys they beat out for them. what i do, however, want to suggest is that the league leader in goals in a 1998 season with no europeans and americans probably exceeds 39.)


Last edited by vadim sharifijanov: 08-02-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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08-02-2014, 04:27 PM
  #864
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also, re: the discussion on talent pool and international participation in hockey, two quotes:



Quote:
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 295 pounds. At the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.81 seconds. It's that remarkable blend of size and speed that helped him win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award last season.

Now imagine him on skates holding a hockey stick.

Watt, who begins another NFL season Monday, grew up playing hockey, attending University of Wisconsin games, and competing on local travel teams that ventured as far as Canada and Germany. More than a decade after making the switch from the ice to the gridiron, the NFL star holds a spot in his heart for hockey.

"Growing up in Wisconsin, a big hockey state, I started skating when I was 3 years old. I played all over," Watt told NHL.com. "The hockey community [in Wisconsin] is great. It's very tight-knit. It's a lot of fun. You have to be tough to play hockey. You have to work hard, and I think that's why I was drawn to it."

Watt left the sport when he was 13, slowly starting to grow into the body that would one day torment NFL quarterbacks. The scheduling constraints of weekly hockey games and practices, along with the financial burden of constantly replacing his equipment, convinced Watt to pursue football instead.
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=681464


Quote:
5. Hockey is expensive, and seemingly more expensive by the day. How did your parents, who had five children, get three boys all the way through minor hockey in the city?

PK: Many, many sacrifices. And help. They did receive help from people. But they made very, very, very big sacrifices.

6. How much of a threat do you think the cost of playing hockey is to the future of the game in Canada?

PK: [jumps in quickly] Huge threat. Huge threat, because you’re missing a big part of the population, in terms of being able to afford to play the sport. So what does that mean? That means you’re missing out on talent for the game, you’re missing out on potential interest for the game, you’re missing out on growth for the game. You’re missing out on a lot of things. When you look at soccer, it’s the most popular sport in the world. Why? Because everybody can play it … so everybody feels welcome.

7. Your father has said you used to break a lot of sticks in minor hockey. How much do the sticks you use today cost?

PK: Anywhere from $300 to $400.

8. Do you ever think about that when you break a stick today?

PK: No. Because those sticks are so cheap to make, but they’re so expensive, and that’s hockey. It’s comparable to golf. It’s very expensive. And I used to try to break them so I’d get a new one. I was one of those kids. And now I realize: ‘Wow, I can’t believe my parents had to shell out that type of money.’ It’s unbelievable.

9. In a book released last year — Selling the Dream: How Hockey Parents and Their Kids Are Paying the Price for Our National Obsession — it was estimated that Matt Duchene’s family spent more than $320,000 just to get him through minor hockey. Is that possible?

PK: That’s accurate. That’s not surprising, whatsoever.
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/...herrys-antics/


so do we really believe we're getting more elite athletes playing hockey than back in the day when you just had to buy gloves, a stick, and skates and head to the outdoor rink, where some volunteer from the church or community center would coach you and set up games against other teams for free? (okay, maybe i'm describing the romanticized "cinq maurice richards contre un autre cinq maurice richards" version here, but the general point stands despite the nostalgic hyperbole.)

or are we just getting more rich kids (some of whom will be elite, many of whom won't) than previously?

the cost of playing hockey has risen astronomically in canada over my lifetime. travel teams, camps, tournaments year-round, and all those other thing you have to do to stay competitive probably costs ten times what it did when i was a kid. icetime costs more now. equipment costs way more now, and at least sticks break more readily.

so even just looking at canada: more people, more immigrants, more children of immigrants, yada, yada. but fewer public rinks, more expensive sports complexes, and you're getting a country club talent pool. some of those richers will become eric lindros. others of them will have life priorities that come before skipping high school to play junior hockey in some po-dunk mining town in interior british columbia.

elsewhere, an american talent pool exists in more places today than previously. ice centers in california, texas, and whatever. but again, as minor hockey becomes more professionalized and bureaucratized, without even 1% of the corporate sponsorship base that youth basketball in the US has paying the bills, who are you really drawing? and for every rich suburban kid you get from anaheim or fort worth, how many working class kids in upstate new york and new england and the upper midwest are you now not getting?

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08-02-2014, 06:39 PM
  #865
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I don't think you can just remove all non-Canadians and then the issue is completely resolved. You can't take either at face value, but I think it's a lot closer to leveling the playing field for comparison purposes, than it is without doing so. It's another perspective, that's all.

Now you bring up some good points, but just remember how those apply to the O6 and early expansion years: very limited opportunity, except for the top 18 forwards or so. A talent pool that is almost exclusively Canadian and drawn from a much smaller Canadian population. Yet we are to believe that a top 5 or 10 finish then is basically equal to the same finish now, and it's not.

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08-02-2014, 06:42 PM
  #866
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
the cost of playing hockey has risen astronomically in canada over my lifetime. travel teams, camps, tournaments year-round, and all those other thing you have to do to stay competitive probably costs ten times what it did when i was a kid. icetime costs more now. equipment costs way more now, and at least sticks break more readily.

Off-topic, but the impossibility for many canadians to play hockey in childhood because of financial reasons is a complete tragedy.Something should be done politically to help more coast to coast.Honestly, I don't like it when a guy who would love to play hockey is forced to play soccer because his parents don't have the money.Every under-18 canadian should be able to play hockey.


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08-02-2014, 08:20 PM
  #867
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't think you can just remove all non-Canadians and then the issue is completely resolved. You can't take either at face value, but I think it's a lot closer to leveling the playing field for comparison purposes, than it is without doing so. It's another perspective, that's all.

Now you bring up some good points, but just remember how those apply to the O6 and early expansion years: very limited opportunity, except for the top 18 forwards or so. A talent pool that is almost exclusively Canadian and drawn from a much smaller Canadian population. Yet we are to believe that a top 5 or 10 finish then is basically equal to the same finish now, and it's not.
i'm not suggesting that we shouldn't think about the differences in talent pool between different eras, and maybe even try to come up with some kind of calculation for it (maybe... i can't think of a way that would begin to make sense though). i'm just suggesting that taking out all non-canadians, as hardy has often done in comparing players across eras, is bad methodology.

by the way, while i agree with you that we do have to account for unbalanced talent streams/pools, that should in no way be taken as me agreeing with what you say about the O6.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BenchBrawl View Post
Off-topic, but the impossibility for many canadians to play hockey in childhood because of financial reasons is a complete tragedy.Something should be done politically to help more coast to coast.Honestly, I don't like it when a guy who would love to play hockey is forced to play soccer because his parents don't have the money.Every under-18 canadian should be able to play hockey.
they were talking about this as early as twenty years ago, when i was a kid. nothing was done, to my knowledge, but yeah-- a total tragedy.

if i was a kid today, even if my parents had $300 grand, there is 0% chance that they would invest it in my hockey career when that amount could pay for me AND a sibling to go to the fanciest, most expensive US college for all four years. boggles the mind.


*** the ridiculous cost of private post-secondary education in the united states... well that's another rant.

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08-02-2014, 08:57 PM
  #868
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i'm not suggesting that we shouldn't think about the differences in talent pool between different eras, and maybe even try to come up with some kind of calculation for it (maybe... i can't think of a way that would begin to make sense though). i'm just suggesting that taking out all non-canadians, as hardy has often done in comparing players across eras, is bad methodology.

by the way, while i agree with you that we do have to account for unbalanced talent streams/pools, that should in no way be taken as me agreeing with what you say about the O6.
So you don't think a much larger Canadian population, all the overseas & U.S. talent, and the much greater opportunities for quality ice time, make it substantially more difficult to finish in the top X players now than during the O6?

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08-02-2014, 09:01 PM
  #869
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
So you don't think a much larger Canadian population, all the overseas & U.S. talent, and the much greater opportunities for quality ice time, make it substantially more difficult to finish in the top X players now than during the O6?
i think it's a complicated question with variables on both sidesvthat i haven't thought about enough to take a position on yet.

related: but if i have time in the next few days, i've got some thoughts on how different kinds of players are advantaged by a smaller league, while others are disadvantaged. ditto large/small talent pool.

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08-03-2014, 02:30 AM
  #870
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't think you can just remove all non-Canadians and then the issue is completely resolved. You can't take either at face value, but I think it's a lot closer to leveling the playing field for comparison purposes, than it is without doing so. It's another perspective, that's all.

Now you bring up some good points, but just remember how those apply to the O6 and early expansion years: very limited opportunity, except for the top 18 forwards or so. A talent pool that is almost exclusively Canadian and drawn from a much smaller Canadian population. Yet we are to believe that a top 5 or 10 finish then is basically equal to the same finish now, and it's not.
Who claims that they are equal?

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08-03-2014, 07:08 PM
  #871
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Who claims that they are equal?
Pretty much no one,except form on example as i can recall and the usual the best are always the best comments along with we should judge guys against their peers argument as well.

There also seems to be some counterbalance to the modern view on the main boards that appears to give past stars the benefit of the doubt against the modern guys.

Taking a step back and looking at Soviet stars and Czech (Slovaks too) stars who never played in the NHL, compared to guys who did (especially at full integration post early 90's and we see a trend clearly favoring the earlier guys.

Also any discussion centering around top 5,10 finishes always spills over to Hart and all star voting and the integration of non Canadian elite players into the post season all stars since the early 90's has brought most of those players down that group down a notch as the variable of chance in a 30 team league will have an impact on player rankings and ratings.

The overall lack of serious discussion also makes it appear that some are more interested in defending a position, ie current prevailing thought or group think, instead of seriously analyzing the differences and difficulties in comparing players over vast time and competition changes.

I have often brought up the Canadian expansion of talent in very recent times in the maritime provinces and BC and the lack of response would seem to indicate a "if we ignore it, maybe it will go away" response or the rather sad "let's call him the always modern guy" approach instead of replying to the post and making it about the poster that even a moderator has often done in the all time threads.

The fact of the matter is that non Canadian nations have produced elite talent when they did and not before that.

Hopefully guys like Palffy, Mogilny and Bondra(great examples of the 90's) will get a serious comparison with earlier Canadian only guys but the fact that it's been mentioned that they might be missing from some lists seems almost shame full and as an action of omission speaks louder than the question of equality that is mentioned in this post that I'm responding to.

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08-03-2014, 07:13 PM
  #872
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
So you don't think a much larger Canadian population, all the overseas & U.S. talent, and the much greater opportunities for quality ice time, make it substantially more difficult to finish in the top X players now than during the O6?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i think it's a complicated question with variables on both sidesvthat i haven't thought about enough to take a position on yet.

related: but if i have time in the next few days, i've got some thoughts on how different kinds of players are advantaged by a smaller league, while others are disadvantaged. ditto large/small talent pool.
Not to point you out, as other have claimed the same thing but how could it not be more difficult in a 30 team league and with elite talent say from 30-40% from none Canadian sources since the early 90's than say in 1952?

Simple math will tell us that variance is much more likely in a 30 team league than a 6 team one all with top line and PP opportunities for each team.

Sure getting a calculation would be difficult and maybe even pointless and it wouldn't be perfect by let perfection hold us back from an improvement on the current let's judge guys how they did against their peers approach, which implies inherent equality through out time?

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08-03-2014, 08:10 PM
  #873
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Not to point you out, as other have claimed the same thing but how could it not be more difficult in a 30 team league and with elite talent say from 30-40% from none Canadian sources since the early 90's than say in 1952?
Because a League of the top 120 Canadians playing each other 70 times a year (14 times each) is still one tough environment to excel in.
Compared to today where there's over 600 players on a starting lineup and over 300 of them are still Canadian.
This is a major factor that you choose to ignore over and over and over.

As I mentioned in another thread, Howe was facing the top 3 Norris candidates any where from 28-42 times PER season.
Crosby faced the top 3 Norris candidates what? 5-7 times last season.

Like seriously, how many 100 point seasons does Crosby still have if he had to face Lidstrom and Chara 28 times a season?

It's not like all your points are invalid or don't come with at least some justification.
That's never been the problem with them. The problem has always been with the weight you give them...which is all of it while ignoring other factors.

I personally don't believe that the elite talent pool has expanded by 500% since the O6 days. I don't believe that an average 3rd pairing Dman today is on the same level as an average 3rd pairing Dman in the O6, nor do I believe that an average 4th liner today is on the same level as an average 4th liner in the O6.

When the Wall first came down and there were only 21-24 teams in the early 90's there is prolly a case but not with 30 teams.


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08-03-2014, 08:32 PM
  #874
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Because a League of the top 120 Canadians playing each other 70 times a year (14 times each) is still one tough environment to excel in.
A lot tougher & harder. The opposition learns everything from coaching techniques & what to expect from one another & thats a daisy chain affecting every single play & player. Read each other like a book. A game of constant reinvention & digging deep. Whole other level that todays NHL cant even begin to touch, left on the side of the tracks decades ago with hasty, ill conceived over~expansion which resulted in the acceleration of the development of talent and shorter careers on the main.

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08-03-2014, 09:27 PM
  #875
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Thank you for posting this, vadim. It provides a stark contrast from an earlier era when a professional hockey career was a way for men to escape poverty.

I'm going to post Sturminator's counterexamples from ATD2011 and bold what IMO are his most important points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
You seem to be forgetting that a disproportionate number of professional athletes in North America played hockey in the prewar era, as hockey and baseball were the only real paying sports on the continent. There is tons of anecdotal evidence that athletes from other sports (football, lacrosse, etc.) were attracted to hockey and became professionals because of the money. The Conacher family is the best example that comes to mind, but there are many more, including Newsy Lalonde, who was a great lacrosse player in the offseason, Tommy Phillips, who was a great rower, and Joe Hall, who wrestled bears and killed crocodiles with his bare hands (I made that part up).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reds4Life
The talent pool is significantly better and bigger today. Is that even arguable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
Yes, it is. North America was, on the whole, a good deal poorer in the prewar era than it is today. The fewer other opportunities there are for people, the more attractive sport becomes; this is simply common wisdom. Middle and upper class kids pursue sports, but many talented athletes give up sport at an early age in order to pursue a more stable, comfortable life when the opportunity presents itself. The existence of the professional athlete is a hard one, in which a single moment of bad luck can essentially ruin all that you have worked for. It is not a coincidence that the countries with relatively high poverty levels (like the United States and Brazil) produce a disproportionate number of the world's best athletes in comparison to more "civilized" western nations (yes, I called the United States uncivilized).

North America in the prewar era (even before the Great Depression) had a considerably lower standard of living than we enjoy today. It is only logical that more talented athletes would have attempted to become professionals in lieu of other pursuits. Add to that the fact that hockey was the only major professional sport in Canada (very few Canadians played baseball professionally), and we have every reason to believe that the Canadian population produced a significantly higher proportion (as a percentage of population) of elite hockey players than it does today. For quite a long time, basically every Canadian kid who wanted to make money as an athlete was funneled towards hockey. The cold part of America produced its share of stars, as well (Brimsek, Dillon, etc.)

The size of the North American population is often cited as evidence of the increased talent pool of North American hockey, but this is a superficial analysis which completely ignores the hugely increased affluence of the population and the explosion of competing professional sports leagues, both of which significantly dilute the amount of elite athletic talent that ends up in the NHL. Instead of one major professional sport, Canadian kids now play four. It is also sadly the case that an extremely small percentage of the black, hispanic and asian population in North America is interested in hockey enough to pursue it professionally, and this exact segment constitutes a very large portion of the population increase in North America over the last 100 years. North America is an extremely diverse continent, but sadly the hockey-playing pool of talent has hardly diversified itself, at all. Minority players exist, but they are the exceptions to the rule. The North American hockey hotbeds that produced elite talent 90 years ago are mostly the same ones that produce it now, and these segments of the population haven't grown nearly as fast as the population as a whole. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that Canada produces any more elite hockey talent today than it did in the 1920's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
Affluence may not be a strong deterrent in the era of the superrich athlete, but poverty is, has and always will be a strong encouragement for kids to pursue sports. I happen to be in possession of a great article on Charlie Conacher written shortly after his death which talks about his family life growing up and the crushing poverty that the Conachers faced. I'll let Charlie do the talking:

Quote:
Conacher was born and raised in downtown Toronto in an area he described as "one of Toronto's high-class slums in the 1920s." His brother Lionel, Canada's athlete of the half century who died of a heart attack in 1954, had a meteoric career in the NHL and this lured Charlie into the NHL.

"It represented money," Charlie said. "We didn't have a pretzel. We didn't have enough money to buy toothpaste." Charlie played hockey in the streets, without skates, sharpening his shooting skills. He later was achnowledged as the man with the hottest shot in the game. "If I developed the hardest shot in hockey as they said," he once remarked, "then I did it the hard way."

He was a poor skater until Lionel, nine years his senior, made it big in the game and then, out of pride, "I skated until I thought my legs would drop off." Charlie played as hard as he worked at the game. Once, during a heated argument, Conacher grabbed room-mate xxxxxxxxx and held him out a seventh-floor hotel window until xxxxxxxxx conceded the point.
Here we have a clear example of crushing poverty in Canada driving fully three of the top 120 or so greatest hockey players of all time to the sport. Lionel Conacher, had he been born in the 21st century, never would have played hockey, as football was his great sporting love. But he couldn't make any money at it, and turned to the sport through which he could support his family. His brothers followed him, and hockey gained three superstars in the process.

Thankfully, the kind of poverty the Conachers suffered is all but extinct in Canada these days. While high salaries may provide incentive even for affluent kids to pursue professional sports, those incentives pale in comparison to the forces that drove the Conachers into hockey.
I disagree with Sturm (from 3 years ago) that Lionel and Roy Conacher were top 120 All-Time players, but they were definitely all-time greats, though not on the same status as Charlie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Well...it's not hard to argue (I won't use the word "prove" and neither should you) that the Conachers went into hockey because they were dirt poor. That the Canadian population in the historical (and current) hockey hotbeds has grown more slowly than the population as a whole (largely due to immigration) is also a known fact, just like changes in demographics due to aging, which HO pointed out, have created a false perspective when one looks at raw population data. That Canada loses a significant number of elite athletes to other sports is also easy enough to argue. Look at Steve Nash, Justin Morneau, Kurt Warner, Joey Votto, Eric Bedard, etc. That's a lot of talent which would have almost certainly been playing hockey rather than some other sport in prewar Canada, and that doesn't even touch on Canadian Olympic athletes who are now able to make sport their (less well paid than hockey) vocation.

This "Canada's population is biggor now! Old-timers were teh suck!" Bilrosian **** needs to be put to bed. The idea that players today are several times better than players in the twenties is absolutely laughable. It does a terrible violence to history and is built on a foundation of entirely superficial insights. If we actually take this perspective seriously, then a huge number of ATD players do not deserve their status. Why are we drafting Eddie Shore in the top-10 draft after draft if his accomplishments were really only a third or a quarter the value of their modern equivalent? Welcome to the age of Bilros.

Any serious hockey historian must take into account the influx of European talent when comparing performance across eras, but the case for a greatly increased talent pool of North American hockey players is absolutely riddled with holes. I guess this was a discussion we needed to have in the ATD. Now is as good a time as any, I suppose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
Also, if Canada's supply of top hockey talent smoothly followed it's population growth, we should have expected a great boom in elite Canadian hockey talent in the 70's as the baby boomers came of age, which is, in fact, the opposite of what actually happened. 70's hockey was, on the whole, of a poorer quality than the "Golden Age" Original Six hockey that preceded it and the Flying 80's hockey that followed it. I can say this with confidence because I lived through it. Canadians spent a lot of time with hand-wringing in the 70's wondering where all the great talent had gone and why their beautiful game had been replaced by thuggery. And this in spite of a large increase in the population of hockey-age adult men - the largest single period of North American demographic change since the beginning of professional hockey, actually.
I used to fully endorse the theory that the Canadian talent pool had more or less tracked the native-born Canadian population. But now I have serious doubts.


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