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Mats Sundin HHOF worthiness

View Poll Results: ??
Yes 113 70.19%
Maybe 20 12.42%
No 28 17.39%
Voters: 161. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
09-10-2011, 07:56 PM
  #76
plusandminus
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
How can he be a compiler when he was constantly the leading scorer on his team, and by quite a bit most years as well.

Also he was consistently a top performer in the best on best tournaments he played in, hardly a compiler.

This argument simply doesn't hold any water IMO.
I agree. He lead his team in scoring a huge number of times, perhaps more than any other player during the last 40 years. (I looked it up, and posted about it some while ago, but have forgotten.) Usually he lead his team in goals, assists and points.

He was also great internationally, probably a top 10 player if aggregating the last 20 years, and very "clutch".

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09-10-2011, 09:43 PM
  #77
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Sundin is a lock for the current HoF, but is an example of the cut-off to get into my 'ideal' Hall.

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09-11-2011, 01:23 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yes this is true. I think people misuse the term "compiler". Sundin was not a compiler. Modano was not a compiler. Francis was not a compiler.

To me a compiler is a guy who hangs around the game far past when he should have retired and then he has higher point totals than you imagined when all is said and done just based on this compiling. But he's never a guy who ever stood out among the NHL.

These players are ones like Andreychuk. How many people take Andreychuk on their team before Sundin? Neither would I.
Agreed entirely. My personal definition of a compiler in the strictest sense of the world would be something along the lines of: a player who performed at a level far beneath his typical average career norms and who reached several or more important statistical milestones primarily as a result of career length. The aforementioned names which you listed above (Sundin, Francis, and Modano) were elite 70-80 point first-line centres for close to two decades. In Sundin's case, he averaged close to a PPG production rate (and a minimum of 70+ point pace) in every single season of his career excluding his rookie campaign and his half-season stint with Vancouver to end his NHL life. Hardly a compiler in any sense; a remarkably consistent first-line producer by any measurable definition.

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Old
09-11-2011, 01:40 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by plusandminus View Post
I agree. He lead his team in scoring a huge number of times, perhaps more than any other player during the last 40 years. (I looked it up, and posted about it some while ago, but have forgotten.) Usually he lead his team in goals, assists and points.

He was also great internationally, probably a top 10 player if aggregating the last 20 years, and very "clutch".
Sundin led the Toronto Maple Leafs in scoring in every single season that he was a member of the team excluding the 2002-03 season when Alexander Mogilny became the first non-Sundin Leaf since Doug Gilmour in 1993-94 to led the club in scoring.


Mats Sundin in Toronto



Goal totals

1994-95: 23 goals (1st)
1995-96: 33 goals (2nd)
1996-97: 41 goals (1st)
1997-98: 33 goals (1st)
1998-99: 31 goals (2nd)
1999-00: 32 goals (1st)
2000-01: 28 goals (2nd)
2001-02: 41 goals (1st)
2002-03: 37 goals (1st)
2003-04: 31 goals (1st)
2005-06: 31 goals (1st)
2006-07: 27 goals (1st)
2007-08: 32 goals (1st)


Assist totals

1994-95: 24 assists (3rd)
1995-96: 50 assists (1st)
1996-97: 53 assists (1st)
1997-98: 41 assists (1st)
1998-99: 52 assists (1st)
1999-00: 41 assists (1st)
2000-01: 46 assists (1st)
2001-02: 41 assists (1st)
2002-03: 35 assists (4th)
2003-04: 44 assists (1st)
2005-06: 47 assists (3rd)
2006-07: 49 assists (1st)
2007-08: 46 assists (1st)


Point totals

1994-95: 47 points (1st)
1995-96: 83 points (1st)
1996-97: 94 points (1st)
1997-98: 74 points (1st)
1998-99: 83 points (1st)
1999-00: 73 points (1st)
2000-01: 74 points (1st)
2001-02: 80 points (1st)
2002-03: 72 points (2nd)
2003-04: 74 points (1st)
2005-06: 78 points (1st)
2006-07: 76 points (1st)
2007-08: 78 points (1st)


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Old
09-11-2011, 01:43 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
That's a common misconception, that if you post something in support of player, you must be a fanboy. I was iffy on Sundin without thinking about it in any detail, but your post does make a good case.
True

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Well, Brodeur does suffer from a 4-season stretch in mid-career (98/99 to 01/02) with decidedly unimpressive save percentages (including two seasons below the league average). The next couple of seasons after that were not much above average either.
Not to take this off-topic, but I assume that's before the scorekeeper effect is taken into account?

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09-11-2011, 01:45 PM
  #81
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Leading his team in scoring is nice, but I'm not sure how much of a factor it should be in a player's HHOF case. I don't see many people clamoring to induct Shane Doan into the Hall. Doan led the Coyotes in scoring 8 times, IIRC.

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09-11-2011, 01:51 PM
  #82
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Shane Doan was leading the Coyotes in scoring with 60 point seasons and was certainly not even anywhere near close to being a top five or even top ten player at his position, which is also considerably less competitive than that of a pivot. Sundin was one of the most productive centres in the game for close to sixteen seasons and was one of the two best at his position on two occasions (he was certainly more deserving of the First All-Star Team nod than Sakic in 2001-02).

I'm sure you would agree that the two situations don't really have a very strong parallel looking at the data and context.

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09-11-2011, 01:53 PM
  #83
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I think the fact that Sundin led his team in scoring so often and so consistently in and of itself doesn't add much to the HOF case (due to examples such as the Doan one), but what it does do is bolster it indirectly by dispelling the idea that he was a "compiler".

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09-11-2011, 01:59 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Leading his team in scoring is nice, but I'm not sure how much of a factor it should be in a player's HHOF case. I don't see many people clamoring to induct Shane Doan into the Hall. Doan led the Coyotes in scoring 8 times, IIRC.
Doan is in a far worse situation than Sundin as he plays for a team that has never been even remotely close to a contender. I would like to see how he (and Sundin to some extent) would have produced or played on a better team.

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09-11-2011, 02:00 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
Shane Doan was leading the Coyotes in scoring with 60 point seasons and was certainly not even anywhere near close to being a top five or even top ten player at his position, which is also considerably less competitive than that of a pivot. Sundin was one of the most productive centres in the game for close to sixteen seasons and was one of the two best at his position on two occasions (he was certainly more deserving of the First All-Star Team nod than Sakic in 2001-02).

I'm sure you would agree that the two situations don't really have a very strong parallel looking at the data and context.
I voted "yes" for Sundin in this poll, so don't think I was comparing him to Doan. Just saying that the "he led his team in scoring many times" isn't as strong an indicator as many people think.

I do disagree with you about 2001-02. I think Sakic deserved 1st Team. Only 1 point less than Sundin for a much lower scoring team, while playing a much better defensive game.

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Old
09-11-2011, 02:26 PM
  #86
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The HHOF would become a disgrace if they didn't include Sundin.

Looking at their standards of selections, he should walk in with ease.

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Old
09-11-2011, 02:30 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
Sundin led the Toronto Maple Leafs in scoring in every single season that he was a member of the team excluding the 2002-03 season when Alexander Mogilny became the first non-Sundin Leaf since Doug Gilmour in 1993-94 to led the club in scoring.


Mats Sundin in Toronto



Goal totals

1994-95: 23 goals (1st)
1995-96: 33 goals (2nd)
1996-97: 41 goals (1st)
1997-98: 33 goals (1st)
1998-99: 31 goals (2nd)
1999-00: 32 goals (1st)
2000-01: 28 goals (2nd)
2001-02: 41 goals (1st)
2002-03: 37 goals (1st)
2003-04: 31 goals (1st)
2005-06: 31 goals (1st)
2006-07: 27 goals (1st)
2007-08: 32 goals (1st)


Assist totals

1994-95: 24 assists (3rd)
1995-96: 50 assists (1st)
1996-97: 53 assists (1st)
1997-98: 41 assists (1st)
1998-99: 52 assists (1st)
1999-00: 41 assists (1st)
2000-01: 46 assists (1st)
2001-02: 41 assists (1st)
2002-03: 35 assists (4th)
2003-04: 44 assists (1st)
2005-06: 47 assists (3rd)
2006-07: 49 assists (1st)
2007-08: 46 assists (1st)


Point totals

1994-95: 47 points (1st)
1995-96: 83 points (1st)
1996-97: 94 points (1st)
1997-98: 74 points (1st)
1998-99: 83 points (1st)
1999-00: 73 points (1st)
2000-01: 74 points (1st)
2001-02: 80 points (1st)
2002-03: 72 points (2nd)
2003-04: 74 points (1st)
2005-06: 78 points (1st)
2006-07: 76 points (1st)
2007-08: 78 points (1st)

Certainly makes a good case for the Maple Leaf Hall of Fame.

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Old
09-11-2011, 02:40 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yes this is true. I think people misuse the term "compiler". Sundin was not a compiler. Modano was not a compiler. Francis was not a compiler.

To me a compiler is a guy who hangs around the game far past when he should have retired and then he has higher point totals than you imagined when all is said and done just based on this compiling. But he's never a guy who ever stood out among the NHL.

These players are ones like Andreychuk. How many people take Andreychuk on their team before Sundin? Neither would I.
Compiler sounds like a dirty word going by this definition, but this sounds like Sundin (not the hanging around past his prime) except a tier or two higher. He was consistently very good or great for a long time, which is impressive, but he never really stood out as a cream-of-the-crop player in the league.

As a result though, his cumulative career numbers are up there in league history.

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09-11-2011, 03:01 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Not to take this off-topic, but I assume that's before the scorekeeper effect is taken into account?
That's just the official save percentage numbers.

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09-11-2011, 03:03 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by asdf View Post
Compiler sounds like a dirty word going by this definition, but this sounds like Sundin (not the hanging around past his prime) except a tier or two higher. He was consistently very good or great for a long time, which is impressive, but he never really stood out as a cream-of-the-crop player in the league.
He was a second-team All-Star twice at the position most difficult to make an All-Star team.

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09-11-2011, 08:00 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I voted "yes" for Sundin in this poll, so don't think I was comparing him to Doan. Just saying that the "he led his team in scoring many times" isn't as strong an indicator as many people think.

I do disagree with you about 2001-02. I think Sakic deserved 1st Team. Only 1 point less than Sundin for a much lower scoring team, while playing a much better defensive game.
Sundin finished second in the entire NHL in goal-scoring that year, fourth in total scoring points-wise, and was first at centre in both categories. Sundin also finished with 17 more goals than the next closest Leaf (Tucker with 24), a gap of over 41%, and 21 more points than the next closest Leaf (Tucker with 59), a gap of 27%. There's no way that anyone can convince me that Sundin wasn't the most dominant centre in the NHL that season. He was fantastic in 2001-02.

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09-11-2011, 10:08 PM
  #92
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Watching his play on a regular basies and common sense should be enough to pursuade people that he never was an elite player. He's consistent, I give him that but to be honest I don't think he was a HHOF based on his NHL statistics. He's got no hardware whatsoever. It's the International resume that will get him inducted though. In about 20 years, he's going to get looked at like Sittler as a weak induction. He won't be the worst induction, but good gosh, please let him wait at least a year to get in. He certainly should wait behind Sakic, Shanny, Makarov and Oates.

IMO, he squeaks in, but I"m not happy about it.

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09-11-2011, 10:37 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by JaysCyYoung View Post
Sundin finished second in the entire NHL in goal-scoring that year, fourth in total scoring points-wise, and was first at centre in both categories. Sundin also finished with 17 more goals than the next closest Leaf (Tucker with 24), a gap of over 41%, and 21 more points than the next closest Leaf (Tucker with 59), a gap of 27%. There's no way that anyone can convince me that Sundin wasn't the most dominant centre in the NHL that season. He was fantastic in 2001-02.
This is probably something that we will have to agree to disagree on, but here are the stats on Sakic:

Sakic had 79 points (1 point less than Sundin). The next closest Av was Rob Blake, a defenseman with 56 points (23 points behind). The second highest scoring Av forward that season was Alex Tanguay with 48 points (31 points behind Sakic).

Sundin's Maple Leafs scored 249 total goals, 3rd in the league and only 5 behind 1st place Vancouver. They were 12th in goals against. Sakic's Avalanche scored 212 total goals, 18th in the league. But the Avs were 1st in the league in goals against. This is evidence that the Maple Leafs played a more offensive style than the Avs that season, helping Sundin's totals relative to Sakic.

Sakic finished 9th in Selke voting in 01-02 after finishing 2nd in 00-01, which is evidence of his personal defensive reputation.

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09-12-2011, 10:41 AM
  #94
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There is also evidence that Patrick Roy's First All-Star Team performance and .925 save percentage deserves a lot of credit for Colorado's defensive excellence that season (including possessing a franchise defenceman in Rob Blake in the midst of three consecutive Norris Trophy nominations), while the Leafs received a rather pedestrian below-average .906 performance from Curtis Joseph that season. Sundin's statistics were remarkably consistent across all of his seasons, even in years when the Leafs weren't as high-scoring. For instance, the previous season he only scored six fewer points on a Leafs team that ranked fourteenth in the NHL in goals for. The fact of the matter is that Sakic wasn't any better than Sundin that season. They were highly comparable but it was bizarre to see the centre who led his position in goals and points while also being competent defensively not receive the nod (although the voting was fairly close).

Therefore, if we apply the Bill James Hall of Fame formula from baseball, generally considered to be an excellent set of criteria for judging Hall of Fame enshrinement worthiness regardless of sport, to the spectrum of Sundin's candidacy in hockey, one of the questions would have received an affirmative response: was the player at any point the best player at his respective position over his career? In 2001-02 I consider Sundin to have been the top centre. And the close voting with Sakic for the First All-Star Team spot, despite the fact that I feel the voters made the wrong choice based primarily on reputation that season, illustrates that voters felt that it was at least a respectable position to take on the matter. And to me a distant ninth place Selke Trophy finish isn't really even worth mentioning on Sakic's part. It is just so far removed from even being in the consideration for the award it has just as much merit as Sundin's defensive performance by the time you get that far down the list. I am a colossal Joe Sakic fan but his defensive reputation has always been overrated on here: he was good, but not Doug Gilmour or Sergei Fedorov elite in terms of his defensive game.


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Old
09-12-2011, 10:52 AM
  #95
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Originally Posted by connellc View Post
Watching his play on a regular basies and common sense should be enough to pursuade people that he never was an elite player. He's consistent, I give him that but to be honest I don't think he was a HHOF based on his NHL statistics. He's got no hardware whatsoever. It's the International resume that will get him inducted though. In about 20 years, he's going to get looked at like Sittler as a weak induction. He won't be the worst induction, but good gosh, please let him wait at least a year to get in. He certainly should wait behind Sakic, Shanny, Makarov and Oates.

IMO, he squeaks in, but I"m not happy about it.
Neither Adam Oates nor Brendan Shanahan have a single piece of individual hardware to their name either, so I find it bizarre that you would penalize Sundin for lacking individual awards while excusing those two from a similar threshold of expectation. Shanahan deserves credit as being one of the important pieces on three dominant Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup winners in 1997, 1998, and 2002, but those teams were also stacked and I think they could have been similarly successful sans his presence. Moreover, Sundin's all-star team and all-star game resume is actually superior to Oates, without even taking into consideration the fact that Oates was never selected to a Team Canada squad once in his nineteen year career. Even given the tremendous talent at the position one would think that he would have merited far stronger consideration than he did, particularly for the 1991 Canada Cup squad after coming off of his second of five consecutive 100 point seasons and is generally considered to have played an instrumental role in Brett Hull's incredible 86 goal Hart Trophy campaign. To me that's telling of his perception within the hockey world.

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09-12-2011, 11:37 AM
  #96
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And to me a distant ninth place Selke Trophy finish isn't really even worth mentioning on Sakic's part. It is just so far removed from even being in the consideration for the award it has just as much merit as Sundin's defensive performance by the time you get that far down the list.
Sakic's Selke finish isn't proof that he was the 9th best defensive forward in the game or anything, but it's proof that his defensive ability was held in much higher esteem than Sundin's - for good reason, too.

You're correct about Patrick Roy, but part of the reason his personal stats were so good that season is because the Avs changed to a defense-first system for basically the first time since he was traded to the time in the wake of Forsberg's injury and Bourque's retirement.

The Leafs under Pat Quinn always played a relatively wide open game.

Quote:
I am a colossal Joe Sakic fan but his defensive reputation has always been overrated on here: he was good, but not Doug Gilmour or Sergei Fedorov elite in terms of his defensive game.
Sakic wasn't Gilmour or Fedorov, but he was much better than Sundin without the puck.

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09-12-2011, 12:13 PM
  #97
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Sakic's Selke finish isn't proof that he was the 9th best defensive forward in the game or anything, but it's proof that his defensive ability was held in much higher esteem than Sundin's - for good reason, too.
None of which means that he was better that season. I'm also part of the crowd that values goal-scoring above assists and Sundin was second in the league in goals that season, with a full 15 more than Sakic. That's a sizable difference by any measure. And there's no way that Sakic's defence made up for a 36.6% difference in scoring production that season. He was a superior defensive player than Sundin without question, but Mats was decidedly average in this respect. He trends to get penalized on this forum for his lackadaisical defensive reputation in Quebec, but several seasons into his Toronto tenure he was routinely being used in penalty killing situations and had turned into a competent defensive player. He was also sixth in the NHL that season in face-off percentage, winning 57.4% of his draws to Sakic's 52.2%, a consistently elite element of Sundin's game that remains largely overlooked by hockey observers.

Quote:
You're correct about Patrick Roy, but part of the reason his personal stats were so good that season is because the Avs changed to a defense-first system for basically the first time since he was traded to the time in the wake of Forsberg's injury and Bourque's retirement.
Save percentage generally functions independent of team defensive play (one only has to look at Brodeur's statistics to understand this), so I'm not convinced that this is an appropriate explanation for Roy's numbers that year. 2001-02 was the best all-around season of Roy's career from a regular-season standpoint from my perspective, and Colorado's defensive excellence that season was largely due to his all-world goaltending. It was his best campaign as an Avalanche by a fair margin.

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The Leafs under Pat Quinn always played a relatively wide open game.
They did, but the Leafs also typically used balanced lines. In the 2001-02 season Sundin's most common pair of line-mates were Jonas Hoglund and Mikael Renberg. Not exactly Milan Hedjuk or Alex Tanguay. To me there's a better argument that Sakic benefited from his situation offensively than Sundin did. And the fact that so much of Sundin's offence that season was generated through goal-scoring, and thus relied on him to create the bulk of his own offensive production, precludes the notion that the Leafs style under Quinn gave him any semblance of a boost in production.

Quote:
Sakic wasn't Gilmour or Fedorov, but he was much better than Sundin without the puck.
He was better but again, I think his defensive reputation is being overstated if you think he was much better. And again, Sundin's understated yearly prowess in the face-off circle certainly narrows any existing discrepancy in defensive play given the importance of winning draws, which Sundin was consistently more effective than Sakic at performing.

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09-12-2011, 12:28 PM
  #98
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None of which means that he was better that season. I'm also part of the crowd that values goal-scoring above assists and Sundin was second in the league in goals that season, with a full 15 more than Sakic. That's a sizable difference by any measure.
I think most people value goals more than assists. I certainly do, and it is the argument for Sundin. The argument for Sakic is that his superior defense and overall offensive game more than made up for Sundin's superior goal scoring that season.
Quote:
And there's no way that Sakic's defence made up for a 36.6% difference in scoring production that season.
36.6% difference in goal scoring; not overall production. I realize goals are more valuable than assists, but assists matter too. Their difference in points was minimal.
Quote:
He was a superior defensive player than Sundin without question, but Mats was decidedly average in this respect. He trends to get penalized on this forum for his lackadaisical defensive reputation in Quebec, but several seasons into his Toronto tenure he was routinely being used in penalty killing situations and had turned into a competent defensive player. He was also sixth in the NHL that season in face-off percentage, winning 57.4% of his draws to Sakic's 52.2%, a consistently elite element of Sundin's game that remains largely overlooked by hockey observers.
You're right - Sundin's faceoff ability definitely got overlooked. I didn't know it was that high that year.

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Save percentage generally functions independent of team defensive play (one only has to look at Brodeur's statistics to understand this), so I'm not convinced that this is an appropriate explanation.
I completely disagree that save percentage is independent of team defensive play, but this isn't the right thread for that argument.

Quote:
2001-02 was the best all-around season of Roy's career from a regular-season standpoint from my perspective, and Colorado's defensive excellence that season was largely due to his all-world goaltending. It was his best campaign as an Avalanche by a fair margin.
It was Roy's best campaign as an Av. He was a 1st Team All Star over the Hart winner for a reason, right? But I can't see how it wasn't affected by the team playing more defensively than usual.

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They did, but the Leafs also typically used balanced lines. In the 2001-02 season Sundin's most common pair of line-mates were Jonas Hoglund and Mikael Renberg. Not exactly Milan Hedjuk or Alex Tanguay.
In 2001-02, Hoglund scored 47 points and Renberg scored 52 points. That season, Hejduk scored 44 points and Tanguay scored 48 points.

And are you sure that Sundin didn't play with Mogilny more often? I remember the two of them playing together. At least on the powerplay, Sundin got to play with Mogilny, who scored 57 points in 66 games. Mogilny was far better offensively at this point than anyone Sakic played with that season.

Sakic's 2002 season seems to have become very underrated as time has gone on. People remember the Avs as a stacked team that played an offense-first style; and forget that 2001-02 was an exception to both. Sakic actually was responsible for a significantly higher percentage of his team's offense and his line's offense than Sundin was.
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To me there's a better argument that Sakic benefited from his situation offensively than Sundin did.
I honestly don't understand how. Sundin had the best offensive teammate on paper (Mogilny), his linemates and teammates scored more than Sakic's linemates and teammates in real life, and Sundin's team played a more offensive-style.

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And the fact that so much of Sundin's offence that season was generated through goal-scoring, and thus relied on him to create the bulk of his own offensive production, precludes the notion that the Leafs style under Quinn gave him any semblance of a boost in production.
I'm not sure how this is so. I understand the case that Sundin scored more goals, which is why it's plausible to argue that he had the better season. But Quinn never asked his stars to sacrifice offense for defense.

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He was better but again, I think his defensive reputation is being overstated if you think he was much better. And again, Sundin's understated yearly prowess in the face-off circle certainly narrows any existing discrepancy in defensive play given the importance of winning draws, which Sundin was consistently more effective than Sakic at performing.
Sundin's faceoffs definitely narrow the defensive gap, but Sakic was still better without the puck. And perhaps more importantly, Sakic's team in 2001-02 played a style where they sacrificed more offense for more defense, due to the fact that they lost so much in the off-season.

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09-12-2011, 01:26 PM
  #99
JaysCyYoung
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I think most people value goals more than assists. I certainly do, and it is the argument for Sundin. The argument for Sakic is that his superior defense and overall offensive game more than made up for Sundin's superior goal scoring that season.
And I don't find that argument a compelling one in the least bit. Racking up assists to me is less important than being the focal point of an offence with underwhelming line-mates that was one of the most productive in the league largely due to Sundin's individual brilliance in 2001-02.

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36.6% difference in goal scoring; not overall production. I realize goals are more valuable than assists, but assists matter too. Their difference in points was minimal.
Yes, hence why I used the term scoring and not points.

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You're right - Sundin's faceoff ability definitely got overlooked. I didn't know it was that high that year.
In most seasons it approached or exceeded 55.0%. It's one of the reasons why I feel that Sundin's defensive play is overlooked. I cannot tell you how many face-offs over the years with the Leafs that he won in close and late situations that had a tremendous impact in diffusing an opposition rally or enabling the Leafs to get prime scoring chances to put games away or take leads. It was an extremely overlooked aspect of his game and one in which he was only a step down from the likes of Perreault as tops in the league in that category.

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I completely disagree that save percentage is independent of team defensive play, but this isn't the right thread for that argument.
No it's not the right thread for that debate, but there is more than enough available data to suggest that a team's impact on a goaltender's save percentage is incredibly minimal. Roberto Luongo and Tomas Vokoun are both credible more recent examples of this trend.

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It was Roy's best campaign as an Av. He was a 1st Team All Star over the Hart winner for a reason, right? But I can't see how it wasn't affected by the team playing more defensively than usual.
Goaltending is an inexact science and for whatever reason players sometimes just perform better in some seasons than in others. I'm prepared to accept that Roy just had an elite season, even by his Hall of Fame standards, that year. The Avalanche individually did not really impress me that much from a defensive standpoint beyond the likes of Stephane Yelle, Rob Blake, and Adam Foote. They had bought into a system but they weren't New Jersey dominant. Roy was the king-maker that season for Colorado in terms of their defensive ranking.

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In 2001-02, Hoglund scored 47 points and Renberg scored 52 points. That season, Hejduk scored 44 points and Tanguay scored 48 points.
Yep. And Sundin is also renown in Toronto for turning Jonas Hoglund into a 30 goal scorer two seasons prior to that. He was legendary for maximizing his talents with minimal line-mates. Even after Mogilny's arrival the two rarely played together and Mogilny was a fixture on the second-line. And are you really going to try and argue that two all-stars in Hejduk and Tanguay (one of whom is a Rocket Richard Trophy winner) really constitute comparable line-mates? Come on. Hedjuk had a close to 100 point season and Tanguay has multiple PPG campaigns under his belt.

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And are you sure that Sundin didn't play with Mogilny more often? I remember the two of them playing together. At least on the powerplay, Sundin got to play with Mogilny, who scored 57 points in 66 games. Mogilny was far better offensively at this point than anyone Sakic played with that season.
Nope. The two rarely played together during their time in Toronto. The first line for the Leafs in 2001-02 was Hoglund - Sundin - Renberg and the second-line was Roberts - Reichel - Mogilny.

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Sakic's 2002 season seems to have become very underrated as time has gone on. People remember the Avs as a stacked team that played an offense-first style; and forget that 2001-02 was an exception to both. Sakic actually was responsible for a significantly higher percentage of his team's offense and his line's offense than Sundin was.
The reason Sakic's 2002 season isn't remembered as fondly as his other campaigns is because he established an exceedingly high standard by which to be judged and he was decidedly mediocre that season in relation to his other years. Whether that's fair or not is for the honest observer to judge, but I felt he was a clear step down in performance from his career-best 2000-01 season and his excellent 2003-04 season (which is easily a 100+ point season when adjusted for the minimal scoring numbers of that year). 2002 might have been the best season of Sundin's career when adjusted for scoring. His 41 goals probably translates to in excess of 50 when normalized (I'm not certain), which is rather incredible goal-scoring production from a centre who had minimal help in terms of line-mates.

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I honestly don't understand how. Sundin had the best offensive teammate on paper (Mogilny), his linemates and teammates scored more than Sakic's linemates and teammates in real life, and Sundin's team played a more offensive-style.
The fact that Sakic was playing with two PPG players? The fact that they happened to have poor seasons does not detract from the fact that Hejduk and Tanguay are clearly superior to any player Sundin played with in Toronto. I sincerely doubt anyone would rationally dispute this fact.

Secondly, again, Sundin rarely played with Mogilny on the Leafs until 2002-03. For whatever reason the two never exhibited any significant element of chemistry with one another. Renberg was used as his primary right-winger because of his ability to retrieve loose pucks from the corner and battle along the wall effectively. Mogilny was a pure skill player and complimented the grit and determination of Roberts on the second-line. Roberts often interchanged with Hoglund on the first line as well, especially by the 2001-02 season. Hoglund was used as the primary left-winger with very few exceptions in each of the previous two Leafs seasons.

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I'm not sure how this is so. I understand the case that Sundin scored more goals, which is why it's plausible to argue that he had the better season. But Quinn never asked his stars to sacrifice offense for defense.
You're making an incorrect hypothesis from the get-go here, which is why this position is problematic: Quinn's teams were more offensive on average, therefore Sundin had to have benefited from said systems because offensive style has to mean greater offensive production. Right?

The problem with this line of thinking is that, as I have illustrated beforehand, Sundin actually played just as consistently offensively in seasons in which the Leafs were a decidedly average club from a goal-scoring perspective (such as the previous season in 2000-01 when they finished middle of the pack in scoring). The next year they're challenging for the league-lead in scoring and Sundin has a mere six additional points to show for it. How does the data illustrate a correlation between the Leafs style of play and Sundin's offence? Paul Maurice was a notoriously defensive coach and Sundin's numbers remained fairly similar (with a slight boost owing to the post-lockout rulebook designed to increase scoring levels), averaging a 84.75 point pace with him at the helm of the Leafs bench. There is simply nothing to suggest he ever benefited offensively from Quinn's style of hockey.

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Sundin's faceoffs definitely narrow the defensive gap, but Sakic was still better without the puck. And perhaps more importantly, Sakic's team in 2001-02 played a style where they sacrificed more offense for more defense, due to the fact that they lost so much in the off-season.
And again, even taking into account Sakic's defensive advantage I simply don't see any way in which his defensive skill could have mitigated the 15 goal difference between the two players. Had Sakic scored 35 goals that season we would have a different argument, but he didn't.


Last edited by JaysCyYoung: 09-12-2011 at 01:36 PM.
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Old
09-12-2011, 01:33 PM
  #100
matnor
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As for Sundin's teammates, here are the top 3 players with the most points together with Sundin for each season. Share indicates the share of Sundin's total points that was scored with the collaborator.

Season Collaborator Goals Share
90/91 Joe Sakic 39 66.1%
90/91 Mike Hough 12 20.3%
90/91 Bryan Fogarty 8 13.6%
93/94 Valeri Kamensky 28 33.3%
93/94 Joe Sakic 22 26.2%
93/94 Scott Young 19 22.6%
94/95 Doug Gilmour 15 35.7%
94/95 Mike Gartner 9 21.4%
94/95 Todd Gill 9 21.4%
95/96 Benoit Hogue 19 24.1%
95/96 Doug Gilmour 14 17.7%
95/96 Larry Murphy 13 16.5%
95/96 Mike Gartner 13 16.5%
96/97 Doug Gilmour 26 28.3%
96/97 Sergei Berezin 24 26.1%
96/97 Wendel Clark 13 14.1%
97/98 Mike Johnson 22 33.3%
97/98 Derek King 15 22.7%
97/98 Igor Korolev 13 19.7%
98/99 Steve Thomas 50 59.5%
98/99 Fredrik Modin 19 22.6%
98/99 Dmitry Yushkevich 12 14.3%
99/00 Steve Thomas 35 47.9%
99/00 Jonas Hoglund 32 43.8%
99/00 Tomas Kaberle 12 16.4%
00/01 Jonas Hoglund 30 40.5%
00/01 Steve Thomas 24 32.4%
00/01 Gary Roberts 20 27%
01/02 Mikael Renberg 37 46.3%
01/02 Jonas Hoglund 34 42.5%
01/02 Bryan McCabe 13 16.3%
01/02 Tomas Kaberle 13 16.3%
02/03 Alexander Mogilny 35 48.6%
02/03 Tomas Kaberle 18 25%
02/03 Mikael Renberg 16 22.2%
03/04 Gary Roberts 30 40%
03/04 Alexander Mogilny 18 24%
03/04 Bryan McCabe 17 22.7%
05/06 Tomas Kaberle 19 24.4%
05/06 Darcy Tucker 19 24.4%
05/06 Bryan McCabe 16 20.5%
06/07 Alexei Ponikarovsky 22 28.9%
06/07 Bryan McCabe 21 27.6%
06/07 Nik Antropov 20 26.3%
07/08 Nik Antropov 25 32.5%
07/08 Tomas Kaberle 22 28.6%
07/08 Jason Blake 16 20.8%
08/09 Ryan Kesler 16 57.1%
08/09 Pavol Demitra 15 53.6%
08/09 Alexander Edler 5 17.9%
08/09 Kevin Bieksa 5 17.9%

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