Datsyuk is consistently one of the players' favorite hockey players. Euro prospects and superstars alike look to Datsyuk as their "i want to play the game like him" player. This doesn't tally into any specific statistic or category, but it should be noted that the way he approaches the game is like the consummate paragon of professional hockey athlete. I hear every year that Datsyuk is one of the best players in the world, which I agree that he is. So why does he get that title? Its hard to quantify because he is a great 2-way player, not a point machine, but i'll do my part to give PD his fair shake.Points Per Game
P. Datsyuk: .981
Notables in the same PPG area (note: i put lower comps because i dont expect Datsyuk's numbers to increase towards the end of his career, but decline a little bit during that span):
J. Lemaire: .979
L. Robitaille: .974
D. Gilmour: .959
C. Neely: .956
Barring injuries, which could be an issue, Datsyuk's PPG is more than acceptable when discussing his prowess to be in the hall...and scoring isnt his best asset to a team. Neely would be a good comparison, in my opinion, because of his 2-way ability, though Neely obviously was more rugged and tough. By the end of his career, he will be the 3rd highest scoring russian center of all-time in the NHL behind Malkin and Federov, while having several hundred less shots than either one of them. He's had 4 seasons where hes had 87 points or more. Not completely overwhelming stats, just interesting to the discussion and a basis for my conclusion.The Selke Effect
Because the Selke doesn't have the glitz and glamour of the Richard, Hart, etc., doesn't mean is should be used as a throwaway in terms of what Datsyuk has accomplished to date. In 732 GP, he has only 186 PIMS. Datsyuk knows how to be aggressive on the forecheck, lead the league at times in his career in takeaways, and do so while staying within the limits of the rules. Again, not a smoking gun of his inclusion into the Hall, but its the sum of all parts. I could spout of a couple of different defensive metrics on adv hockey statistics and how they pertain to Dastyuk's Selke years, but I dont have the time to breakdown DGVT's and DPS's. To sum it up in simplistic terms, His FO% is great, and better in defensive situations. Combine that with his relatively low PKtime% and it makes for some really interesting thresholds between his takeaway statistics versus the (read: most) rest of the league and the top two-way forwards of all-time. It could be viewed as a slight that he doesnt get 50%+PK time, but DET likes to use bottom 6 guys for that role more than other comparable types on other teams. If I get time on Monday, Ill try and throw together a little chart of numbers that better mean what im trying to say. Its hard to quantify defensive statistics that prove this without being exhausting in the process. I dont care for RTSS most of the time due to its rink-by-rink subjectivity, but im not gonna let go of takeaways lol.Where Does He Rank? (read: canaan's opinion)
Datsyuk is one of the best two way forwards of all-time. Top 20 for me. In terms of overall skaters, I would put im in the top 75. And thats at this moment of his career. I hope he has a healthy end to his career and with that, he would be in the top 50-60 for me. Hes a complete player. His shot, his pass, his approach, his hands. His hands are probably his most underrated asset. You can use all of the tired cliche "stickhandles in a phone booth" blah blah blah you want, but Datsyuk is incredible. Hes not Kovalev, but he can dangle with the best of them. All in all, I think hes a shoo-in for the HHOF, even if his career trails off/ends abruptly. If it continues on the same arc, he will be a first ballot addition. You can add in the previous statistics that Mikey stated above and the list compiled by wiki
Wikipedia wrote:NHL Second All-Star Team — 2009
Selected to the NHL All-Star Game — 2004, 2008, 2009 (did not attend), 2012
Played in the NHL YoungStars Game — 2002
Stanley Cup (Detroit Red Wings) — 2002, 2008
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy — 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Frank J. Selke Trophy — 2008, 2009, 2010
NHL Plus-Minus Award — 2008
2010-2011 NHL Players Poll: Hardest to Take the Puck Off of, Cleanest Player.
2011-2012 NHL Players Poll: Smartest Player, Most Difficult to Play Against, Hardest to Take the Puck From, Most Difficult to Stop, Cleanest Player, Toughest Forward to Play Against
Add also: (2) time Stanley Cup winner, (7) 20 goal seasons, Hart nominee, and only (1) season with a - rating
Like a freshman ending a term paper, ill leave you with a quote:
Zdeno Chara wrote:I remember we had a game against [Datsyuk] in Boston and he was on a short-handed situation and made two or three guys look like Peewees… He just does stuff that really makes you go, ‘Wow, that was special.'
hypothetical for thought: Would you build a franchise around this player? I sure as hell would.
/Pierre-esque Pasha love fest