Historical debates, all time rankings etc

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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:22 am

I also don't think Rylan was serious to begin with...
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:02 am

mikey287 wrote:I also don't think Rylan was serious to begin with...


Neither was chef :wink:

In response to the thread I think it becomes a tired out brain bashing over the top 4. A consensus top 4 that, IMO, can be interchanged so much that I believe it really should be T-1: Gretz, Lemieux, Orr, and Howe.

Why don't we do something a little different like say greatest Russian to play in the NHL. A different debate that I don't recall ever happening, no?
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:46 am

Re: Chef comment: Oh...oops.

Clarification: Greatest Russian to play in the NHL? Or Greatest Russian NHL career? Big difference. Because the greatest Russian/Soviet to play in the NHL was likely Slava Fetisov...but he didn't have the greatest NHL career. It was a combo job of his Soviet exploits and his NHL excellence.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby MRandall25 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:47 am

If we're talking best Russian NHL career, I'm assuming Sergei Fedorov is somewhere in the top 5?
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:54 am

MRandall25 wrote:If we're talking best Russian NHL career, I'm assuming Sergei Fedorov is somewhere in the top 5?


That's a fair start in my opinion. His peak is unbelievable. Until we really start to break it down, pending clarification, we'll see where exactly (or so I hope)...

Assuming it's NHL-only exploits, you gotta figure Fedorov, Bure, Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, etc. will be major players in this. Kovalev, Mogilny, Yashin, Konstantinov will all receive some love as well...

EDIT: Zhamnov, Zubov, and the professor himself Igor Larionov shouldn't be left out either.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Zach6668 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:13 pm

The best Russian debate will be pretty interesting, because most of us will have seen most of their careers first hand.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby topshelf on Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:12 am

mikey287 wrote:Re: Chef comment: Oh...oops.

Clarification: Greatest Russian to play in the NHL? Or Greatest Russian NHL career? Big difference. Because the greatest Russian/Soviet to play in the NHL was likely Slava Fetisov...but he didn't have the greatest NHL career. It was a combo job of his Soviet exploits and his NHL excellence.


Right.

If you're looking at talent, Kovalev may find his name on that list. If you're looking at career, not so much.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:30 pm

Let's go with Russians in the NHL basing it on only NHL-era achievements. Meaning, we can still factor in international play if necessary but it must be within the context of their NHL careers (i.e. 1998 Olympics).

I'd hypothesize it probably looks close to this:

1. Sergei Fedorov (Hart trophy, 2 Selke's, 1st team AS, two top-10 point finishes, multi-position player, major piece to 3 Cup wins and another runner-up finish, highest scoring Russian in NHL history, represented himself well in the first best-on-best olympics (silver), a peak that rivals Forsberg, left you wanting a tiny bit more after teasing us with that 1994 season that was one of the finest seasons in NHL history. Noted defensive force, so much so that he was moved to defense both later in his career and at times in his prime. All situation player. A mortal lock for the HHOF).

2. Alexander Ovechkin (2x Hart Trophy, 5x 1st team AS, 2nd team AS, five top-10 point finishes (4x top-3!), six top-5 goal finishes (led league twice), fine playoff player though limited team success, his "worst" seasons are still elite or near-elite. If his body can withstand his rather reckless style of play, he has a shot to take on Gretzky's 894 goals record and even if he doesn't break it, being discussed for such a thing in a fairly low scoring era is impressive. Likely HHOFer even if he retired today).

3. Evgeni Malkin (Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, 3x 1st AS (at center), three top-2 point finishes (led league twice), still maturing as a player and may have turned the corner with his domiant 2012 performance. Another dominant playoff run or two (especially one that culminates with a Cup) would really help to cement his playoff legacy. Sort of like Fedorov, you get the sense that sometimes Malkin is holding back a little in certain instances - though less often than Fedorov. On pace to have a rock-solid HHOF career if he isn't already there - which he likely is).

4. Pavel Bure (1st AS, 2x 2nd AS, four top-10 point finishes, five top-5 goal finishes (led the league 3 times), remarkable success with losers (like scoring 29.5% of the team's goals in 2001, 46% of their total offense (59 goals and 92 points on 200 GF; second place at 14 goals and 37 points). Did really well with the 1994 Canucks, leading their charge offensively to being a runner-up. Injury-riddled career. Did make the HHOF, but one wonders if he would have gotten there sooner (ignoring injury) had he properly finished off the Rangers in game 4 and the Czechs in the Gold Medal game, but it's immaterial now I suppose. As his teams got worse, so did his cherry picking).

5. Ilya Kovalchuk (1st AS, 2nd AS, five top-10 point finishes, eight top-10 goal finishes (led the league once), noted marksman. Like Bure, was saddled with a disastrous team for much of his career. Only won one playoff game in his first nine seasons. Finally got a chance with a decent team and went to the Finals, leading the playoffs in goals. Has opportunity to become a 5x Russian Olympian at this pace. Along with Ovechkin, one of the finest goal-scorers of his era. Like Ovechkin, not known for his defensive exploits, though he has the hockey sense to play PK and does - better than his resume would indicate also. Lost a year to the lockout, suffered through the C&G Era to start his career and still is looking like a certain 600, or even 700-goal scorer. A mortal lock for the HHOF).

HM (in no order): Sergei Zubov, Sergei Gonchar, Alexei Kovalev, Alexander Mogilny, Vladimir Konstantinov

Discussion? Anything?
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:39 pm

Mikey, I intentionally left the question open-ended. I don't want to handcuff discussion. I never saw Slava Fetisov. The most Soviet hockey I have ever seen is the game against the Flyers where the Soviets left the game. So :shrugs:
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:40 pm

No Igor Larianov in the HM?
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:46 pm

Rylan wrote:No Igor Larianov in the HM?


Not as impressive of an NHL resume as he has a "combined" resume. Fine depth player in the NHL, but wasn't counted on like he was with Krutov and Makarov...in fact, when the Wings went into the playoffs, Larionov's ice time went down, not up. Despite his elite defensive skills. All the players I've mentioned had more impactful NHL careers as far as I'm concnerned.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:53 pm

I can understand that but I mean the Red Wings hockey teams had Federov and Yzerman. In the playoffs you get those guys on the ice as much as possible no matter what. And wasn't he in his mid-30s during their run as well?

(Is it just me or does Yzerman's career sometimes seems underrated?)
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:55 pm

And no love for Yashin either?
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:12 pm

Rylan wrote:I can understand that but I mean the Red Wings hockey teams had Federov and Yzerman. In the playoffs you get those guys on the ice as much as possible no matter what. And wasn't he in his mid-30s during their run as well?

(Is it just me or does Yzerman's career sometimes seems underrated?)


Let's be mindful that Yzerman wasn't considered with much more regard than Joe Thornton in terms of his playoff heroics going into the mid-90's and was the subject of much trade discussion for newest flavors of the month (Lindros, Daigle, etc.). It wasn't until Bowman got a hold of Yzerman around this time we're talking about that Yzerman became this top-notch defensive force. The coaches could have easily acquired Larionov and marginalized Yzerman if they so chose. It wasn't abundantly clear at the time that Larionov wasn't Yzerman's replacement when he was acquired early in October of 1995 for Ray Sheppard. Larionov was older (nicknamed the "professor") but it doesn't make sense to adjust for age for Larionov because it's a difficult line to draw. Surely, a younger Sergei Makarov would have dominated the league...just going by what Larionov accomplished, which while noteworthy, doesn't crack the top-10 for me as the offensive exploits of players like Kovalev and Mogilny was more impactful for longer. Above their potential replacements, Kovalev and Mogilny would have a bigger impact if they were lost vs. Larionov on those Wings teams. As an extra minute or so from Yzerman, Fedorov and Draper would have yielded a nearly similar result I project. Especially given their dominantion in the 1997 and 1998 Finals. Neither team was in the series from the start. Larionov's combined two assists in those two Finals would have been easily replaced. His defensive play under a Scotty Bowman system would have been damaging to lose (as he was terrific) but far from crippling, in my opinion. Though, you could certainly make a different case and not be wrong. I'm just not sure I see Larionov having a more impactful NHL career than players like Kovalev and Mogilny, even though I hold them in lesser regard than many.

As far as Yzerman's underratedness, that would solely depend on how he is originally rated.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:18 pm

Rylan wrote:And no love for Yashin either?


Considered Yashin. Didn't consider him top-10. 2nd team AS, 1x top-10 points, 3x top-10 goals. I think he has a second place finish for the Hart in 1999 (Jagr), IIRC. All in all, his mercenary style (bolted for KHL, heldout for major money) and lackluster defensive play makes him an easy match versus all offense players like Mogilny and Kovalev and he simply doesn't match up. Probably wouldn't be considered too dissimilar to Larionov in terms of NHL impact.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Zach6668 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:26 pm

This is really boring, but I whole heartedly agree with your top 5.

Random, but Kovalchuk's career numbers are going to be astonishing compared to how he's generally perceived, although moreso before this playoff run.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:35 pm

Zach6668 wrote:This is really boring, but I whole heartedly agree with your top 5.

Random, but Kovalchuk's career numbers are going to be astonishing compared to how he's generally perceived, although moreso before this playoff run.


Nothing boring about it. I don't make these lists to be controversial, I make them because I research them and believe them to be historically accurate.

Yes, Kovalchuk is underrated among current fans it seems. There was a thread not long ago that was asking about current NHLers that are bound for the HHOF, I was floored when I saw some "no" responses for Kovalchuk...
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Zach6668 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:57 pm

Heh, I meant my post would be boring. :)
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Zach6668 wrote:Heh, I meant my post would be boring. :)


Haha yeah, I know. I meant that too, though in re-reading my post, I don't make that abundantly clear...my apologies.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Zach6668 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:02 pm

NO I'M THE ONE WHO WASN'T CLEAR.

Yeah, I did see that HHOF post, Kovy's numbers already kinda floored me when I looked at them... pretty crazy. He obviously got underrated because of his massive contract, which isn't really all that crazy aside from the length, and the amount of circumvention, I suppose.

IMO, the most underrated part of his game is his 2-way play, commitment to defense, but that could be a new thing, since coming to NJ, I didn't really watch him too much in Atlanta.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Rylan on Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:29 pm

As much as I was a fan of Bure, Ilya Kovalchuck should be ahead of him. But it really is splitting hairs to me.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Zach6668 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:39 pm

Eh, probably will be by the end of his career. Bure's peak is better though, IMHO.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Rylan wrote:As much as I was a fan of Bure, Ilya Kovalchuck should be ahead of him. But it really is splitting hairs to me.


He will be with another elite season or two. Right now, I'm comfortable with Bure being ahead. Though, like you said, the argument can go virtually either way. Making the adjustment for what Bure did in the heart of the C&G Era, I mean, look at Bure's 1999 season...had he played those remaining 8 games, he was going to have a 64 or 65 goal season! That would give him more goals than anyone had assists in the league that year. And 20 more goals than second place (47 to 48% more goals than second place!). On a near championship team in Vancouver in '94 he had a 60g/100pt season (and he missed six games, so it could have been a 66-goal season) where there was only one other 30-goal scorer on the team (Linden, 32). And then he was responsible for 21.1% of the team's goals (41% of overall production) in that playoffs. Granted, he's most remembered for not scoring on that famous penalty shot in game 4, but he could have been vindicated when Nathan Lafayette hit the crossbar late in game 7.

In any event, Bure's best is better than Kovalchuk's best. Bure has his best on both a good team and a bad team. Kovalchuk might get such an opportunity and will likely pass Bure, but not quite yet in my book.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby Gaucho on Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:44 am

Here are the Top 10 Russian players of all time according to THN: http://www.1972summitseries.com/toptenrussians.html

It's from 2002, so I would assume that AO, Geno and Kovalchuk are all at least in the discussion by now.
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Re: Historical debates, all time rankings etc

Postby mikey287 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:10 am

Gaucho wrote:Here are the Top 10 Russian players of all time according to THN: http://www.1972summitseries.com/toptenrussians.html

It's from 2002, so I would assume that AO, Geno and Kovalchuk are all at least in the discussion by now.


Right, that includes Soviet players obviously, so it's tough to match it up. I don't trust much from THN, but that list is fine...it's difficult to totally judge...while doing historical research for a project, I came across another Soviet whose peak really rivals some of the best in Soviet history...Alexander Kozhevnikov, a big, pretty burly winger that didn't see eye-to-eye with Tikhonov and was punished for it. But the overall Soviet discussion is a tough one as there are few English sources on the topic.
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