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HOH Top 60 Defensemen of All-Time (Preliminary and General Discussion)

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Old
08-28-2011, 02:17 PM
  #101
Dreakmur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I guess I'm saying that I would consider Taylor's PCHA years at rover as more C than D.

If someone wants to make a case for Taylor on the D list, I'm listening. Was Taylor considered the best player in the world while he was playing defence, or at least in the conversation? For how long? Just trying to get a feel for how to rank those seasons.
Taylor was viewed as one of the best in the world when he was a defenseman. Once Hod Stuart died, he was probably the best defenseman in the world.

He was 2nd among NHA defensemen scoring in both 1910 and 1911.

I beleive he also led the ECAHA in defensemen scoring in both 1908 and 1909. I haven't gone through the stats, but I can't think of another defensemen who would have scored more than 9 goals.

Also, he led the IHL defensemn scoring in both 1906 and 1907. 1906, he tied with Hod Stuart, but with about half as many games.

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Old
08-28-2011, 02:30 PM
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Steve,

Where did you get the list of the complete WC All Star teams? I've tried really hard to find it, but can't. Wikipedia has a link to the directorate awards for "best defenseman" and "best forward," but not the All Star Teams as far as I can tell.

Also, I'm not sure your list is complete - I have that Vitaly Davydov was the best defenseman in 1967 and was an AS in 1974. Not sure if that's complete, but that's at least twice that he should be listed as a WC All Star.
I believe there are two concepts here. One is the All Star Team, which is selected by the media. This has two defencemen, three forwards and one goalie.

There are also awards for best defenceman, best forward, best goalie and tournament MVP. These are selected by the tournament directorate. Did you have a link to these?

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08-28-2011, 02:48 PM
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
This is the site I use for IIHF stuff.

http://hockey365.celeonet.fr/hockeya...s/archives.htm

It is in french, but even if you can't read the write-ups, the stats are pretty easy.
That seems to explain it. Davydov was named best defenceman by the directorate in 1967, but Brewer and Ragulin were the media's All Star Team selections.

I seem to recall that one of the awards, for practical reasons, is voted on before the final game, while the other is voted on after. Can't remember if it's the media or the directorate. If one player had a great or a particularily bad final game, that might explain why the selections were different.

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08-28-2011, 02:56 PM
  #104
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Harry Smith II

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I happen to think smith is a player pretty underrated by history.


By the way, why are we talking about guys like Joe Simpson? He's good but this is a top-60.

If there is any player whose primary position for ranking purposes needs to be determined, we should do that now. Taylor, I definitely consider a center.

I edited dreakmur's post.
Good semi-pro defenceman who impressed at the World's because he was not challenged in his own end. Puts the Euro game in context for the early 1960's.

Not a member of the IIHF HOF.

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08-28-2011, 02:58 PM
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Taylor was viewed as one of the best in the world when he was a defenseman.
He was indeed.

I beleive he also led the ECAHA in defensemen scoring in both 1908 and 1909. I haven't gone through the stats, but I can't think of another defensemen who would have scored more than 9 goals.[/quote]
In 1908, Joe Power played cover and scored 15 goals. In 1909 Jack Marshall scored 10 at cover; Walter Smaill also had 9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Also, he led the IHL defensemn scoring in both 1906 and 1907. 1906, he tied with Hod Stuart, but with about half as many games.
Taylor played rover in the IHL.


Last edited by Iain Fyffe: 08-28-2011 at 03:00 PM. Reason: typo
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08-28-2011, 03:06 PM
  #106
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Defensively

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Taylor was viewed as one of the best in the world when he was a defenseman. Once Hod Stuart died, he was probably the best defenseman in the world.

He was 2nd among NHA defensemen scoring in both 1910 and 1911.

I beleive he also led the ECAHA in defensemen scoring in both 1908 and 1909. I haven't gone through the stats, but I can't think of another defensemen who would have scored more than 9 goals.

Also, he led the IHL defensemn scoring in both 1906 and 1907. 1906, he tied with Hod Stuart, but with about half as many games.
How was Cylcone Taylor's defensive play rated for a defenceman?

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08-28-2011, 04:16 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
How was Cylcone Taylor's defensive play rated for a defenceman?
Lester Patrick said he had a good poke-check, but that wasn't specific to his time on defense... Haven't researched taylor enogh to know a lot about his style unfortunately... And nobody seems to give hi good bios.

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Old
08-28-2011, 05:02 PM
  #108
Hawkey Town 18
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Here are the records of Top 5 finishes of a few defensemen in Soviet League MVP voting from 1967-68 to 1990-91

*Note: Data missing for spots 2-5 in 1978-79.


Slava Fetisov: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5
Valeri Vasiliev: 3, 5, 5
Alexei Kasatonov: 5
Alexander Ragulin: 5

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08-29-2011, 12:13 PM
  #109
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Non-NHL accomplishments of players drafted high in the last ATD
  • Note: WC All Star Teams have existed from 1961 until today.
  • Note: Golden Stick for best player in Europe (different from Golden Hockey Stick for best player in Czechslovakia) existed from 1978-79 to 1988-89.

USSR
  • The USSR became the dominant nation in International Tournaments around 1963
  • 2nd and 3rd Team All Stars only existed from 1966-69 and 1971-73 and may not have been official.
Vitaly Davydov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1962, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970)
  • 2nd Team Soviet League All Star (1971)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1967)
  • Ranked the 4th best Soviet Player All-Time at the Olympics (2nd among defensemen)
Viacheslav Fetisov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
  • Soviet Player of the Year (1982, 1986)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1978, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989)
  • WC All Star (1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991)
  • Canada Cup All Star (1987)
  • Golden Stick Winner - best player in Europe (1984, 1988, 1989)
  • Ranked the 3rd best Soviet Player All-Time at the Olympics (1st among defensemen)
  • First Defenseman on the IIHF Centennial Team (most votes of any player at any position)
  • Long term captain of the Soviet National Team
  • Joined the NHL at the prior to the 1989-90 season
Eduard Ivanov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1963, 1964, 1965)
  • 2nd Team Soviet League All Star (1966)
  • Selected best forward in 1964 Olympics (a controversial decision; Ivanov was a positional defenseman who played a roving role)
Alexei Kasatonov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1983)
  • WC All Star (1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991)
  • Canada Cup All Star (1981)
  • Ranked the 9th best Soviet Player All-Time at the Olympics (3rd among defensemen)
  • Joined the NHL in the middle of 1989-90
Vladimir Konstantinov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1990, 1991)
  • Joined the NHL prior to the 1991-92 season
Viktor Kuzkin
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1965, 1971)
  • 2nd Team Soviet League All Star (1966, 1967, 1968, 1969)
  • Captain of the Soviet National Team in the 1972 Summit Series
Vladimir Lutchenko
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977)
Alexander Ragulin
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1965)
  • WC All Star (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)
Nikolai Sologubov
  • 1st Team Soviet League All Star (1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1956, 1957, 1960)
Valeri Vasiliev
  • 1st Team Soviet All Star (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981))
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1973, 1977, 1979)
  • WC All Star (1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981)
  • Long term captain of the Soviet National Team

CSSR
  • In the late 1960s - 1970s, Czechoslovakia challenged the USSR as the dominant world hockey power
  • Golden Hockey Stick for best player in Czechoslovakia created in 1969
Frantisek Pospisil
  • Golden Hockey Stick Winner (1971, 1972)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1972, 1976)
  • WC All Star (1972, 1976, 1977)
  • Long term captain of the Czechoslovakian National Team
Jan Suchy
  • Golden Hockey Stick winner (1969, 1970)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1969, 1971) *the 1970 winner thought Suchy should have won then too
  • WC All Star (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971)

Sweden
  • Sweden was not a world power in the 1970s, but their individual players were competing against the USSR and CSSR for honors in International Tournaments
Nicklas Lidstrom
  • Olympics All Star (2006)
Borje Salming
  • WC All Star (1973)
  • Canada Cup All Star (1976)
  • Second Defenseman on the IIHF Centennial Team
  • Joined the NHL before the 1973-74 season
Lennart Svedberg
  • WC All Star (1968, 1969, 1970)
  • IIHF Best Defenseman (1970)

Finland

Kimmo Timonen
  • World Cup All Star (2004)
  • Olympics All Star (2006)
  • Note: Kimmo was not drafted in the first 11 rounds of the ATD, but I included him because he was an AS in more than one best-on-best tournament

Canada
  • Note: Only including best-on-best tournamants and the WCs when they were best-on-best in Europe
Rob Blake
  • Best Defenseman at the Olympics (1998)
Ray Bourque
  • Canada Cup All Star (1987)
Carl Brewer
  • WC All Star (1967)
Paul Coffey
  • Canada Cup All Star (1984)
Adam Foote
  • Canada Cup All Star (2004)
Al MacInnis
  • Canada Cup All Star (1991)
Bobby Orr
  • Best Player at the Canada Cup (1976)
  • Canada Cup All Star (1976)

USA
  • Note: Only including best-on-best tournamants and the WCs when they were best-on-best in Europe
Chris Chelios
  • Canada Cup All Star (1991)
  • World Cup All Star (1996)
  • Best Defenseman at the Olympics (2002)
  • Olympics All Star (2002)
Rod Langway
  • Canada Cup All Star (1984)
Brian Leetch
  • Olympics All Star (2002)
Brian Rafalski
  • Best Defenseman at the Olympics (2010)
  • Olympics All Star (2010)

Let me know if I forgot to list any accolades that can be listed in bullet point format.

Top 10 Soviet Players at the Olympics, put together by the IIHF in 2002:
http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1...s/rutop10i.htm

IIHF Centennial All-Star Team:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IIHF_Ce..._All-Star_Team

IIHF WC All Star Teams:
http://www.hockeycanada.ca/index.php...49/la_id/1.htm

IIHF WC Directorate Awards:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._award_winners

Links are to past ATD bios

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Old
08-29-2011, 12:15 PM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Here are the records of Top 5 finishes of a few defensemen in Soviet League MVP voting from 1967-68 to 1990-91

*Note: Data missing for spots 2-5 in 1978-79.


Slava Fetisov: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5
Valeri Vasiliev: 3, 5, 5
Alexei Kasatonov: 5
Alexander Ragulin: 5
Does this include every Soviet defenseman I listed in my post above?

On another note, someone really needs to make a profile for Lutchenko in the ATD. His All-Star record is dominant in a very strong time for Soviet hockey (stronger than when Ragulin played), yet we rarely hear about him.

On a second note, I hope people don't forget about the two star Czechoslovakian defensemen of the late 60s-70s. Czechoslovakia was not a world power for as long as the USSR was, but during that time period, they were almost as strong.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 08-29-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old
08-29-2011, 12:27 PM
  #111
Hawkey Town 18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Does this include every Soviet defenseman I listed in my post above?

On another note, someone really needs to make a profile for Lutchenko in the ATD. His All-Star record is dominant in a very strong time for Soviet hockey (stronger than when Ragulin played), yet we rarely hear about him.

On a second note, I hope people don't forget about the two superstar Czechoslovakian defensemen of the late 60s-70s. Czechoslovakia was not a world power for as long as the USSR was, but during that time period, they were almost as strong.
I am pretty sure the guys I listed were the only ones that received a Top 5 MVP vote. With the exceptions of Fetisov and Tretiak, the Soviet League MVP voting was mostly forwards.

I am working on putting together something similar for the Soviet League end of year All Star teams. That should give a better picture of who the best Soviet defensemen were.

I completely agree about Lutchenko. We were hoping to get him in last year's ATD, so I did some research on him. Unfortunately, he didn't quite fall far enough for us. I believe someone put together a pretty good bio on him in one of the last 2 ATDs.

EDIT: Nevermind, looks like you have the All Star Teams covered. We should point out though, that while you have 2nd Team listed for a few players, there are only records of 2nd and sometimes 3rd team All Stars for select years (I believe mid 60's to early 70's)

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08-29-2011, 12:50 PM
  #112
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Couldn't fine a bio on Lutchenko, I guess I was mistaken.

Here is a link to his childovski profile: http://www.chidlovski.com/personal/1...oster/ru03.htm

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08-29-2011, 01:12 PM
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
EDIT: Nevermind, looks like you have the All Star Teams covered. We should point out though, that while you have 2nd Team listed for a few players, there are only records of 2nd and sometimes 3rd team All Stars for select years (I believe mid 60's to early 70's)
As a rule, I didn't list 3rd Teams because I don't think they are meaningful at this level - it's a 3rd team in a weaker league, when we are talking about the top 80 defensemen of all time. The list I made is just supposed to be the highlights of a player's career. I would hope that people would read a bit more about a guy they were thinking of ranking.

I did include the disclaimer about 2nd Teams in the Notes for the USSR, along with the additional disclaimer that they may not have been official.

Edit: I did only include defensemen drafted in the first 11 rounds of the ATD, and there are a couple of guys with All Star votes I didn't included. Feel free to show comprehensive voting, though I think it's unlikely that anyone I didn't list will be a factor in making the final top 60.

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08-29-2011, 01:19 PM
  #114
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By the way, check out Chris Chelios' dominant international record.

For a guy who sometimes gets slammed with "he wouldn't have been as effective if he didn't play so dirty," he has an outstanding record in international tournaments where thuggery is not allowed.

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08-29-2011, 02:24 PM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
I would be interested in hearing/learning more about Harry Cameron if anyone has any info on him. I am not quite sure how to evaluate him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
I feel pretty good about defensemen from 1910 or so onwards, but could use additional information on players from the ~25 years before that. Iain?
Past bios on defensemen who picked before the 1926 consolidation are here: http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=2...&postcount=120

Might as well use the aborted HOHHOF project for something.

My read on it is that the best defensemen of the era are these guys:

Before 1900: Mike Grant
early 1900s: Hod Stuart, then Harvey Pulford. Edit: Si Griffis?
WWI era: Lester Patrick & Art Ross
WWI-consolidation (alph order): Georges Boucher, Harry Cameron, Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Gerard, Ernie "Moose" Johnson. Maybe Bullet Joe Simpson? Cyclone Taylor if he counts.

Am I missing anyone?


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 08-30-2011 at 10:14 AM.
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Old
08-29-2011, 02:52 PM
  #116
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Should we have a poll on Taylor to settle the issue with respect to this project?

Q: How should Cyclone Taylor be considered for the HOH Top Player lists?

Some possible choices:

-center
-defensemen
-a rover list should be created at the end
-any number of positions where voters decide he is worthy of placement
-not included
-(whatever other reasonable options people think should be given)

This could be done with some other debatable players, position-wise.

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08-29-2011, 03:30 PM
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Harry Smith from the Trail Smoke Eaters - 3 time AS at the World's, should put European defencemen from the sixties in perspective:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p....php?pid=12465

http://www.historicsmokeeaters.ca/sm...irdperiod.html
Early 60s only. He was an All Star in 1961, 1962, and 1963.

1962-63 is about when the new generation of Soviets took over and they started dominating international tournaments (and the Canadian amateurs in them) almost overnight.

Here are some great links on the competitiveness of early European hockey:

Soviet Hockey Before the 1972 Summit Series

Czechoslovak Hockey Development

Note that Czechoslovakia was basically 0.500 vs the USSR from 1966-1972 and won the WCs in 1972, 1976, and 1977.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Just something to consider about Sologubov: I totally understand where the argument of weak competition is coming from. At that time Soviet hockey was still behind Canada by a wide margin.

But say you were going to rate just the greatest Soviet defencemen of all-time, solely looking at that country and nothing else. He'd definitely be there, maybe even in the top 5. He'd be considered on the pioneers of the early Soviet game.

Harvey Pulford and Mike Grant are probably going to be on many lists here. But is there really much difference in the competition level of their day compared with players of today, and Sologubov's compared with Soviets of 30 years later?

Canadian hockey has evolved a lot over the years, and the talent pool has consistently grown. The same thing happened with Soviet hockey, only a few decades later. Is it fair to punish Sologubov, and not Pulford, because hockey was being played on the other side of the world earlier?

I understand that Canadian amateurs were still superior to Russia's best at that time. But should we be making perhaps a special case for players in his position? And could it be that maybe he had developed further than his countrymen. Would he make a NHL roster at the time if he had the chance? I honestly don't know.
This is a great point, and one that I don't want to get lost. I have no idea if Sologubov was good enough to play in the NHL in the 1950s. I'm pretty sure that he wasn't good enough to star. But it's not his fault he was born in Europe, and he did tower over the other defensemen in the developmental period of Soviet hockey. Is it is really fair to slag on the lack of competitiveness of the European hockey during its developmental phase while ignoring the developmental periods of Canadian hockey? (pre 1900 or pre WW1, whatever)

I'm not sure I'll consider Sologubov for my final list, but it's definitely worth considering this point.

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08-29-2011, 03:34 PM
  #118
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Quote:
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The discussion of early players has been really good so far. To go in a completely different direction, on which there is probably significantly less to say, are there any active defensemen (besides the obvious three - Lidstrom, Pronger, and Chara) who merit consideration for a position in the top 60 or even top 80? Duncan Keith is the first name that comes to mind - he's only got one top 5 finish in Norris trophy voting but it is a win, and in my opinion an impressive season at that. Add in an outstanding playoff run (one where I felt he should have won the Conn Smythe trophy), and an argument could be made that he was overall player of the year for the 2010 season (in as much as such a designation is important). He's also had some good seasons outside of that one outstanding year, although I'm not sure if his aggregate career is enough at this point to make it on the list. Among other active players, Shea Weber, Dan Boyle, and Mike Green have all finished in the top 5 in Norris trophy voting twice.
My first impression is that Lidstrom, Pronger, and Chara are the only active guys with a chance to make the list, but that seems a bit low. I guess it's because so many of the best defensemen in the league currently are young and haven't accomplished as much yet.

As for Duncan Keith, how does he compare to one time Norris winner Randy Carlyle, a fringe candidate to make the list IMO?

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08-29-2011, 03:36 PM
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
Should we have a poll on Taylor to settle the issue with respect to this project?

Q: How should Cyclone Taylor be considered for the HOH Top Player lists?

Some possible choices:

-center
-defensemen
-a rover list should be created at the end
-any number of positions where voters decide he is worthy of placement
-not included
-(whatever other reasonable options people think should be given)

This could be done with some other debatable players, position-wise.
I would like to discuss his case more before making a poll, but it might come down to that in the end.

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08-29-2011, 03:45 PM
  #120
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Can anyone provide a bit more detail about the relative competitiveness of European leagues over history?

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08-29-2011, 04:01 PM
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
Should we have a poll on Taylor to settle the issue with respect to this project?
There's no need for a poll. People will either value his time as a defenseman and he will make the list, or people will not value his time as a defenseman and he won't make the list.

Quote:
Q: How should Cyclone Taylor be considered for the HOH Top Player lists?

Some possible choices:

-center
-defensemen
-a rover list should be created at the end
-any number of positions where voters decide he is worthy of placement
-not included
-(whatever other reasonable options people think should be given)

This could be done with some other debatable players, position-wise.
As I said already, there is no good reason that players should not be eligible to make these lists at multiple positions. If a guy is truly good enough to be recognized at two or more positions, why should we limit him to just one? There are only a few players who could make the cut at multiple positions anyway, so it's not a huge deal.

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08-29-2011, 04:03 PM
  #122
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Founders

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Early 60s only. He was an All Star in 1961, 1962, and 1963.

1962-63 is about when the new generation of Soviets took over and they started dominating international tournaments (and the Canadian amateurs in them) almost overnight.

Here are some great links on the competitiveness of early European hockey:

Soviet Hockey Before the 1972 Summit Series

Czechoslovak Hockey Development

Note that Czechoslovakia was basically 0.500 vs the USSR from 1966-1972 and won the WCs in 1972, 1976, and 1977.



This is a great point, and one that I don't want to get lost. I have no idea if Sologubov was good enough to play in the NHL in the 1950s. I'm pretty sure that he wasn't good enough to star. But it's not his fault he was born in Europe, and he did tower over the other defensemen in the developmental period of Soviet hockey. Is it is really fair to slag on the lack of competitiveness of the European hockey during its developmental phase while ignoring the developmental periods of Canadian hockey? (pre 1900 or pre WW1, whatever)

I'm not sure I'll consider Sologubov for my final list, but it's definitely worth considering this point.
Basically comes down to creating a "Founders" category for North American - pre NHA and European hockey - pre 1969-70 season.

The rules and strategies were a far cry from the game that evolved and we have little solid data to make informed decisions. Combined with short seasons, growing pains, lack of league standards,etc this would be the only equitable solutions.

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08-29-2011, 04:06 PM
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Can anyone provide a bit more detail about the relative competitiveness of European leagues over history?
See the two links to thread started by Triffy that I posted in post 117.

The Soviet League appears to have gotten a great deal better in 1963 - that's when they started dominating the World Championships. From 1966-1979, it appears that Czechslovakia was almost on the same level as the USSR. After 1979, the CSSR program declined for a variety of reasons (part of which was that their very best players started defecting to the NHL). In the 80s, Sweden was probably the second best hockey country in Europe, but were nowhere near as strong as Czechoslovakia was in the 70s. In 1989, the Soviet hockey program fell apart, along with the rest of the country.

So it appears that from 1963-1989, the USSR had the clearcut best hockey program in Europe. From 1966-1979, Czechoslovakia was #2 in Europe, closer to the USSR than to #3. Czechslovakia actually beat the USSR just as often as they lost during their best stretch, but didn't dominate the rest of Europe as the USSR did.

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08-29-2011, 04:06 PM
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Can anyone provide a bit more detail about the relative competitiveness of European leagues over history?
Basically, all European league were significantly weaker than the NHL. The Soviets and Czechs were the closest, but, even at their peaks, they were nowhere close to the NHL. They all progressed slowly toward their peak, so earlier eras were weaker weaker as they get further from the peak.

The Czechs peaked in the late 60s and early 70s. They were weakened when players left for the NHL - a little bit in the mid 70s and a lot in the early 80s.

The Soviets peaked in the 80s. The were significantly weaked when players left for the NHL in 1990.

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08-29-2011, 04:09 PM
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As I said already, there is no good reason that players should not be eligible to make these lists at multiple positions. If a guy is truly good enough to be recognized at two or more positions, why should we limit him to just one? There are only a few players who could make the cut at multiple positions anyway, so it's not a huge deal.
There is a good reason - already stated in the thread. Considering players for multiple positions hurts their overall rankings. If you sever Red Kelly's time at forward from the rest of his career, then he probably ranks lower than if you consider his time as forward adding to his value.

That said, it's easy to consider Kelly a defenseman primarily and just say that his time at forward adds to his legacy. With Cyclone, I think I might just throw up my hands and accept that there's a good chance he'll be on multiple lists. We just need to recognize that wherever he ends up on a "best defensemen" list will be very arbitrary and have very little to do with his full career value.

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