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ATD 2011 Draft Thread V

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Old
02-20-2011, 02:08 PM
  #126
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Detroit Red Wings complete their first line by selecting


Steve Larmer, RW

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02-20-2011, 02:34 PM
  #127
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One thing has to change.

One concept that I have never fully subscribed to, and one that I will try to prove is ultimately flawed in the approach that it is generally taken in, is the idea that seasons in which a player dominated lesser competition are meaningless. To use this as a blanket over every season in which a player dominated supposedly lesser players is an irresponsible practice when taken out of context, and I will demonstrate this with Duke Keats. First, the context:

In the 1915 - 1916 NHA season, Duke Keats was 5th in goals (79% of 1st, 88% of 2nd, 92% of 3rd), 4th in assists (47% of 1st, 70% of 2nd, 88% of 3rd), and 4th in points (74% of 1st, 83% of 2nd, 85% of 3rd).

In the 1916-1917 NHA season, Duke Keats played only 13 games due to military service. Are we going to hold that against him? I don't, for reasons I'll explain later. He had 16 goals and 2 assists. 19 games seemed to be the amount the leaders played, so if we extrapolate that, he would have scored 23 goals and 3 assists, for 26 points. 23 goals would have been good for 6th in the league (56% of 1st (2 guys), 82% of 2nd, 85% of 3rd), and while his assists would have been pretty inconsequential, his points would have had him good for 6th in the league (54% of 1st, 60% of 2nd, 81% of 3rd).

Using these adjusted numbers, over these full 2 seasons, Keats was 5th in total points (66% of 1st, 76% of 2nd, 83% of 3rd), and 5th in total goals (68% of 1st, 75% of 2nd, 82% of 3rd).

For a guy playing his first two pro seasons, these are impressive numbers, especially considering every single guy ahead of him was, to that point, an experienced veteran in the league.

Now, on to my rant:

Schmidt, and the war

A lot of people seem to believe that Schmidt should be given credit for seasons that he didn't play during the war years. Well, Keats also went to war, for two full years and another 1/3rd of a season. Should we give credit to him for that, as well as all the other star players who did the same during this period, Fredrickson included? There seem to be many who have absolutely no problem doing this for guys like Schmidt, yet these older players seem to be forgotten regarding this fact. If Milt Schmidt deserves credit for seasons he never played, then so does Keats. Both guys showed that before and after the war, they were stars.

Guys that played during World War 2

On a very similar note, guys that played hockey during the war, and showed that they were good players both before and after the war are generally not deducted anything for these war seasons. Duke Keats proved before his military service that he was an elite player in his first two seasons in the NHA, and then afterwards, he went on to be the best player in the leagues he played in for seven straight seasons. Especially considering what Keats did before his time in the Big-4, WCHL and WHL, why does he not deserve credit for these seasons? I find it impossible to imagine a world where a guy who played incredibly well his first two seasons, then absolutely dominated his league for the next 7 seasons would not have been a dominant player if those 7 seasons were played in a stronger league. He was consistently top-5 in scoring, and a couple times absolutely destroyed his peers. What reason do we have to believe that Keats suddenly would not have been an improved player in the PCHA/NHA during these seasons? I can understand not subscribing to this argument if the player couldn't show his best stuff against strong competition before these seasons, but Keats did incredibly well, all things considered, in his first two pro seasons against experienced vets. He was so valuable to Toronto, that Toronto attempted to block the 228th battalion from snapping him up, saying that if he would not play in Toronto, then he would not play at all. It did not work, but obviously Toronto must have felt they had a star in the making if they went to these lengths to keep this player. This argument is further validated by the fact that when he went to the NHL, despite having slowed considerably, he still played well enough to be twice in the top-10 in scoring out of 3 seasons that he played more than 5 games.

Why are these guys given the benefit of the doubt?

The Russians: These guys are typically given a lot of credit for what they did in their domestic leagues, their international play being used as the validation behind this. Yet when many of these players went to the NHL, they did not do nearly as well as expected, and one guy absolutely failed. Yet they are given the benefit of the doubt because of their great pre-NHL careers, despite their sometimes struggles in the show. Why can Keats not be given the benefit of the doubt for the same reasons?

Pre-NHA stars: Some of these guys dominated the **** out of their respective leagues, and the claim is that the best players in the world played in these leagues. Yet how many of these guys were actually good enough to give the best players a run for their money? I don't see a whole hell of a lot of difference in the depth of the leagues that, for example, Frank McGee played in and the WCHL that Keats played in. The only difference is that other great players existed in other leagues during Keats' time, and fortunately for McGee, this wasn't really the case for him. His short career is used more of an argument against him than any competition (or lack thereof) that he may or may not have faced.

To conclude, I see absolutely no reason why Keats should not have his Big-4/WCHL years taken into account for his peak. He demonstrated before these years what he was capable of against veteran players of the NHA. He goes on to become the best player in his leagues for 7 consecutive years. I simply cannot imagine a world where this man would not have been a dominant player in the NHA or PCHA if he had played there instead. And honestly, anecdotal accounts confirm just how good he was during these years as well. I'll let you guys decide how to view this, but I firmly believe that in cases where guys played in lesser leagues, one must take each case into account individually. The context behind these scenarios is oftentimes wildly inconsistent from player to player.

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02-20-2011, 02:36 PM
  #128
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As for Fredrickson's PCHA all stars, that's odd, because SIHR has nothing on his ASTs (which I also find odd). Where did BM67 get this information?

EDIT: Ah, The Trail. OK, fair enough.


Last edited by jarek: 02-20-2011 at 02:41 PM.
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Old
02-20-2011, 03:14 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
The problem I have with this whole Krutov deal is that during the 60s-70s there were players playing high on cocain. So how should we punish them if we are going to punish Krutov?
How did cocaine make them better players? Okay, I can see it making Bob Probert an angrier and scarier fighter. But a better player?

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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
One of those guys had to go head to head with both Gretzky and Lemieux. That same guy led his team in scoring by some pretty wide margins.

Modano was not better in the play-offs.
It's not like removing Gretzky and Lemieux turns Federko into an Art Ross contender. He'd be 7th in scoring, instead of 9th. Modano didn't compete against talent that high end, but he did have Europeans to compete against. And Modano led his team in scoring every year of the dead puck era, usually by 20-30 point margins.

Modano was a much bigger impact player in the playoffs. They are only close if you look at offense.

Edit: Damn, I'm just agreeing with everything 70s already posted. First time for everything.


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Old
02-20-2011, 03:25 PM
  #130
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Cocaine won't help you get better , that's for sure.
A player taking cocaine is 100% sure to play worst after a week of abuse.

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Old
02-20-2011, 03:26 PM
  #131
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Ok...as promised, some more information on Frank Frederickson. I have to say: Frederickson was a really interesting guy. This is the most fun I've had researching in quite some time. Well, on with the show...

Frederickson seems to have been a very explosive athlete. His speed and size/strength are mentioned in some way pretty much every time his name appears in contemporary publications. This should come as no great surprise, as Frederickson looks pretty scary in the photos we have of him, but it's nice to have some confirmation of our assumptions. The first piece is from a really excellent site which chronicles the Winnipeg Falcons glory years and Olympic victory in 1920. The bits on Frederickson:

Quote:
It was here and then that Frank Fredrickson came onto the hockey horizon. A pretty small fellow but with a determined chin, and an able ability to concentrate and go home and practice what he had seen the elders doing in the hockey games of that time. Frank from the very beginning was a 'winner,' and the rink that his father built for him and the lads of the neighbourhood was one of the strongest factors in his early hockey education.

...

But the same xxxxxx, with his great puck carrying ability, his tenacity of purpose and his unselfishness when he saw a chance to pass, together with Frank Fredrickson with his speed, weight and exceptional ability in shooting these two whose thoughts and actions were as one, made a great combination on the attacking line. Add to this xxxxxxx sensational skating proclivities (he was at the time Canadian speed skating champion) and one need not wonder at the power of their attack and their superb defensive play.
It should be noted that the first reference to Frederickson describes him as an adolescent. By the time he's a grown man, Frederickson is big, fast and strong. Another very interesting article on Frederickson, which offers a lot of information on his amateur and professional career:

Quote:
Returning from Iceland, Frederickson was wooed west from Winnipeg by the late Lester Patrick and signed a $2,700 contract with the professional Victoria Cougars of the Pacific Coast League. The musclebound centre powered the Cougars to an upset Stanley Cup victory in 1925 over Montreal Canadiens - no mean feat considering the Canadiens roster included such greats as Georges Vezina, Aurel Joliat, Howie Morenz, xxxxxxx and the Cleghorn brothers.

The following year the Cougars lost out in the Stanley Cup final to Montreal Maroons and the Patricks, Lester and xxxxxxx, sold their PCHL interests to the National Hockey League. Frederickson was sold to Boston but quietly signed a $6,000 contract with Detroit for the 1926 season, $2,000 more than the Bruins offered. It produced a major verbal brawl after Boston general manager Art Ross threatened to have Frederickson suspended for life.

The Winnipeg centre weathered the storm, but ironically was anything but happy in Detroit. Midway through the 1927 season Fredrickson got himself sold back to Boston, then in the NHL cellar. Quickly regaining his form, Fredrickson rocketed the Bruins into the Stanley Cup final against Ottawa, though the Senators took the series. In 1930 the Bruins sold him to Pittsburgh Pirates where he became the NHL's first player-coach-manager, receiving $8,000 a season. Early in the 1931-32 season, Fredrickson took a hard check by Bill Cook of New York and suffered a torn knee cartilage which ended his professional career.
I draw the reader's attention to the description of Fredrickson as "musclebound". The description of events in 26-27 after Fredrickson was traded to Boston seems to explain his Hart trophy finish quite adequately, although his 4th place finish in league scoring certainly didn't hurt. Here is a very interesting article from just after Fredrickson's trade (ironically, he was swapped for Duke Keats and another player) out of Detroit back to Boston in 26-27:

Quote:
It's interesting to note what they think of Frank Fredrickson out on the coast, where he performed for many years as a member of the Victoria Cougars. Here's what a Vancouver paper says of the tempermental Icelander traded by Detroit: Frank Fredrickson has been traded by xxxxxxxx of Detroit to Boston for Duke Keats and xxxxxx, and xxxxxxx has sold xxxxxxxx to Montreal Maroons, a club that desired him months ago but couldn't get him because he was still part of the Victoria Cougars, sold en bloc to Detroit for $100,000 smackers by the Patricks.

It is doubtful that Fredrickson was happy under xxxxxxx. There are few men in hockey who can get the best out of Fredrickson. Lester Patrick could, but he did it by closely fraternizing with the highly strung Icelander whose principal bent in life is hockey and music. Fredrickson is as tempermental as Suzanne Lenglen is suspected to be by her American contemporaries. Lester knew this and was usually the first to dig up Freddy's "uke" when the Cougars were on the road and his centre star was indulging in a fit of the blues. In a moment Fredrickson would be striding up and down the aisle of the flying railway coach, tawnging the beloved strings, plaintively wondering what had become of Sally, while Lester's fine baritone led the boys in hot pursuit.

Other times Patrick would talk to Fredrickson to the absolute exclusion of all others. Again the pair would rag each other unmercifully or Lester might tell at length, before all the team, one of Freddy's innumerable foibles, real or imagined. Yet there was a deep affection between them. Fredrickson would do anything, reasonable or freakish, that Lester could ask and it was for the tall grey-haired skipper of the Cougars that the brilliant and erratic Icelander played his finest hockey. Every summer Fredrickson announced himself out of hockey. Every fall he was the first to report to Lester. With xxxxxxx, phlegmatic and centred on his first managerial job, it was hardly to be expected that Fredrickson would be happy.

He will probably fit in much better with Art Ross in Boston. Ross is an experienced pilot who knows his hockey players. He is a stickler for discipline but if he pays a little direct attention to Fredrickson and his idiosyncracies, press wires will soon be carrying stories of Boston's brilliant centre. Fredrickson is a great hockey player. But not for every manager. That Keats and xxxxxxxxx should figure in an even trade for him, however, is surprising. It probably means that Ross has too many stars elsewhere, but not enough speed in centre ice. Keats has more hockey brains than Fredrickson, perhaps, but he hasn't the high-strung temperament, or the flashing speed net-wards that is Fredrickson's forte. Fredrickson broke into professional hockey with Victoria and this change is his first since he led the Winnipeg Falcons to a world's amateur championship at the Olympic games.
Overall, I think a very informative piece on Frederickson, more as a person than as a player. He was apparently almost as great a character as he was a physical specimen, though it doesn't seem to have affected his performance on the ice. But anyway...great skater. Here is another little bit about Frederickson (the person, not the player) from his hall of fame induction:

Quote:
Election Monday to hockey's Hall of Fame left Frank Fredrickson speechless for five full seconds. This was the greatest form reversal since Diefenbaker beat the Liberals that time last June. Normally Mr. Fredrickson exhibits a tongue a mile long and every inch of it lively as a flea. His avocation is conversation.

First words Fredrickson found after the good news were, "I'm too old to be overly proud." He is 63.
Quite an interesting characterization of Frederickson the man. He does, indeed, seem to have been a fairly high-strung character. Other source material I've found indicates that Frank worked for many years as an NHL scout and as some form of ombudsman for the league, and practically never stopped talking the whole time. Another funny little mention of Frederickson:

Quote:
Gordie Fashoway gave five reasons why they hold an annual hockey players' golf tournament at the PNE course.

1) It's almost the only way a hockey player can get his name in the papers during the summer time.

2) It provides another opportunits for Frank Fredrickson to prove no living human can out-talk him.

3) It gives Babe Pratt a chance to prove he can count up to 134 when he turns in his score card.

4) Tends to confirm a long-standing suspicion that xxxxxxxx cheats at golf.
Heh. Obviously Pratt was a crappy golfer, but I'm not sure what that's supposed to say about his intelligence. At any rate, Frank Frederickson seems to have been a quite explosive athlete - big, strong and fast.

I have a few articles which mention Frederickson's poke-checking, and will share them if anyone is really interested, but I'm not going to bother with that. As nik has pointed out (correctly), poke-checking, alone, was not a strong indicator of defensive play from forwards in this period. Suffice it to say, Frederickson does not seem to have been a weak defensive player, but I don't see any reason to believe that he was a particularly good one, either.

Although he seems to have been fairly dominant athletically, I also haven't found any evidence that Frederickson was a particularly aggressive or physical player. He doesn't seem to have been a cupcake or afraid of contact, but he was also no Bill Cook.

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Old
02-20-2011, 03:29 PM
  #132
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First, next time I'd appreciate getting a PM when I'm on the clock.

Second, so damn hard deciding on pick. There's a lot great RWs and centers availiable, but I've decided to go with

Ott Heller, D

Heller's a solid pick. I was strongly leaning towards drafting him until I realize Babe Pratt was still available and Hart Trophy winning defensemen don't grow on trees at this point in the draft (even if it was a War Year). Ultimately went with Pratt because

1) Pratt's in the HOF and Heller isn't, and they were contemporaries. And it wasn't the veteran's committee going back and being like "oh Pratt has a Hart. We have to induct him!" He was inducted in 1966 by people who saw him play.

2) Better awards recognition. Heller has the 2nd Team in normal year. Pratt has a 1st and 2nd in war years. On it's own, I think those are quite equal when we are talking about 2 defensemen. But Babe Pratt did win the Hart Trophy, and competition among all players wasn't THAT bad. More on that in his profile.

3) Personally, I think it's quite likely (though far from proven) that Pratt suffered in awards voting due to his playboy lifestyle.

4) While Heller was super-strong, Pratt was a freaking giant for his era. With Eric Lindros in my division, having a mobile giant who wasn't afraid to play rough on my 2nd pairing is incredibly helpful.

Two questions about Pratt before I do his profile:

1) He's listed at #47 in the "best 100 Rangers of all time" book, despite having his two biggest years in Toronto. If anyone has the book (Leaf Lander I'm looking at you), can you PM me or post what it says about Pratt? Thanks.

2) Some sources list him as a defenseman/left wing, but every reference I have seen to his play is as a defenseman. Did he actually play left wing in the NHL? Anyone know what seasons?

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02-20-2011, 03:34 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by ReenMachine View Post
Cocaine won't help you get better , that's for sure.
A player taking cocaine is 100% sure to play worst after a week of abuse.
It's like the Olympic Committee taking away Czechoslovakia's victory over Poland because Pospisil took a banned substance (codeine) for a head cold the night before. Does that make sense to anyone?

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02-20-2011, 03:39 PM
  #134
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Although he seems to have been fairly dominant athletically, I also haven't found any evidence that Frederickson was a particularly aggressive or physical player. He doesn't seem to have been a cupcake or afraid of contact, but he was also no Bill Cook.
This is my impression, too.

Mats Sundin, for example.

Quote:
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2) Some sources list him as a defenseman/left wing, but every reference I have seen to his play is as a defenseman. Did he actually play left wing in the NHL? Anyone know what seasons?
Which sources? I have always been suspicious of his offensive totals but never saw any evidence he played some forward.

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02-20-2011, 03:40 PM
  #135
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You are on the right track with this system. However, (and I don't think this particularly matters in a comparison between Keats and Fredrickson specifically but could matter at other times) there were three major leagues in 1922, 1923, and 1924, before the PCHA and WCHL merged. In 1923 and 1924 they played an interlocking schedule so were "almost" one league but had separate leaderboards.

So I think in those first three seasons you need to treat these players as though they finished highly in "one of three leagues", not just "one of two". Obviously you're smart enough to understand what that means your formula would have to look like.

Or, if you think the WCHL was weak for a couple years, then combine their leaderboard with that of the PCHA and consider it one league, then do the same thing you did.
You are, of course, correct. It has occured to me that the presence of three major leagues for a short time complicates matters even further. My honest opinion is that the WCHL was remarkably weak in 21-22, with basically Keats (in his one really dominant season) at the top and a bunch of stiffs (yeah, I know a few of those guys are lower-end ATDers, but I don't think they were at their peaks yet) filling out the rest of the scoring leaders. I think it adds only a single player to the consolidated scoring leaders, somewhere in the top-10, though I'm not really sure where.

So I see the 22-23 and 23-24 seasons as the most problematic when judging scoring accomplishments. In Frederickson's case, it is wholly irrelevant for the 22-23 season, as he was clearly the best offensive player in the world, and by far. In 23-24, however, an accurate accounting of every player's accomplishments needs to take into account the fact that there were three major leagues, yes. Frederickson finishes second in PCHA scoring in 23-24 and I have judged that as the modern equivalent of a 4th place finish in my analysis. It may have really been a 5th place finish, I dunno, but as you said, I don't think it changes much in this case.

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02-20-2011, 03:41 PM
  #136
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It's like the Olympic Committee taking away Czechoslovakia's victory over Poland because Pospisil took a banned substance (codeine) for a head cold the night before. Does that make sense to anyone?
Yeah, that was really bad call. Czechoslovakia finished the game against Poland with only 12 players because of influenza

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02-20-2011, 03:47 PM
  #137
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Which sources? I have always been suspicious of his offensive totals but never saw any evidence he played some forward.
Wikipedia and hockeydb list him as D/LW

Hockey-reference lists him as D only and LOH only refers to him as a defenseman.

Anything I've read about specific instances of his play talk about him being a defenseman.

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02-20-2011, 03:56 PM
  #138
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Heller's a solid pick. I was strongly leaning towards drafting him until I realize Babe Pratt was still available and Hart Trophy winning defensemen don't grow on trees at this point in the draft (even if it was a War Year). Ultimately went with Pratt because
Pratt was on my radar, but I picked Heller because:

1. I was looking for more of a D-man that'd be strong defensively while providing good offense, instead of the strongly offensively oriented Pratt.

2. I didn't want to defend a player with prime in war years.

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02-20-2011, 04:07 PM
  #139
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Let's go Marky Mark, I'm awfully eager to pick.

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02-20-2011, 04:10 PM
  #140
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Krutov was 5'9" and I've seen his weight listed as anything from 181 to 195 pounds.

That's medically overweight, though not obese. He was notorious for being "stocky."

And yet he wasn't out of shape in the USSR, not at all - he was one of the fastest players on the ice!

It's very strange. Of course, Krutov could have just had a very unique body type.
Krutov may well have used, but I'm not sure his body type proves much. Charles Barkley was a very athletic basketball player who played most of his career with at least 20 extra pounds. Some guys are just different.

Fredrickson and Larmer were great picks. I think you can argue Larmer was as good as his linemate Savard. Look at how they fared after Savard was traded.

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02-20-2011, 04:10 PM
  #141
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Pratt was on my radar, but I picked Heller because:

1. I was looking for more of a D-man that'd be strong defensively while providing good offense, instead of the strongly offensively oriented Pratt.

2. I didn't want to defend a player with prime in war years.
Ah, see I had that impression of Pratt before, but I found quite a bit of evidence about how strong he was defensively before his big offensive years in Toronto during the war.

Heller's a right handed shot, which does add a tiny bit of value to him.

Here's a quote we can both use:

Quote:
. In 1939-40, Pratt teamed with Heller to form the league's best defense pairing. In 48 games, they allowed only 17 goals and their play was instrumental in the Rangers' Stanley Cup win that season.
So uh, which one of us is trading the other guy the other one so we can put them together?

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02-20-2011, 04:11 PM
  #142
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http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ke+keats&hl=en

This article has a column near the top right corner that talks about players converting from forward to defense. Apparently, Hap Day's first three seasons were at RW.

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02-20-2011, 04:47 PM
  #143
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http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...ke+keats&hl=en

This article has a column near the top right corner that talks about players converting from forward to defense. Apparently, Hap Day's first three seasons were at RW.
Where have you been, jarek? Everybody knows this.

LF, Dreakmur and I have had very long debates about this.

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02-20-2011, 04:52 PM
  #144
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Where have you been, jarek? Everybody knows this.

LF, Dreakmur and I have had very long debates about this.
So you choose to respond to this, and not my long rant about relativism in league strengths as it pertains to player greatness? How sad..

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02-20-2011, 04:59 PM
  #145
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So you choose to respond to this, and not my long rant about relativism in league strengths as it pertains to player greatness? How sad..
Yes, how sad it is that I'm sitting in the doctor's office and using my phone.

And sometimes rants just need to be rants. They don't necessarily merit a response.

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02-20-2011, 05:00 PM
  #146
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Didn't you own Hap Day just last draft at LC, Boy Wonder? I'm just floored that this was news to you.

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02-20-2011, 05:06 PM
  #147
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We never discussed that, and I didn't really look into it too much.

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02-20-2011, 05:07 PM
  #148
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yes, how sad it is that I'm sitting in the doctor's office and using my phone.

And sometimes rants just need to be rants. They don't necessarily merit a response.
I was expecting a response, ESPECIALLY from you, the biggest detractor of league strengths affecting scoring.

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Old
02-20-2011, 05:16 PM
  #149
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I think you can argue Larmer was as good as his linemate Savard. Look at how they fared after Savard was traded.
No offense, but I don't see this, and I don't really think it's close either. I see what makes you think it, with Larmer's numbers staying steady and Savard's declining after they were split up, but they were in different scenarios. Larmer goes from being on a line with Savard as his center to************ as his center (not really that much of a dropoff), and then after that he goes to a great Rangers team. Meanwhile, Savard is traded to a very defensive minded Montreal team.


Also, I think there is good chance that the Savard trade coincided with his natural decline. He had played over 800 games (reg season + playoffs), and while I haven't looked for any quotes to support this, growing up in Chicago and being a big Hawks fan during that time I remember Savard having a reputation of not taking the best care of himself (lazy at practice, smoking, bad diet), but still being great because of his phenomenal natural talent.

Finally and maybe most importantly, Larmer being on the same level as Savard does not pass the eye-test for me.


Last edited by seventieslord: 02-20-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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Old
02-20-2011, 05:18 PM
  #150
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Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
I was expecting a response, ESPECIALLY from you, the biggest detractor of league strengths affecting scoring.
Ok, now I am extremely confused. What makes me a detractor of league strength affecting scoring?

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