Joe Sakic's place in history

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Randall Graves*, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. He's basically accomplished everything a player can aspire to do, from individual success to Cups, to a gold medal.

    So where does Joe rank all time amongst centers, forwards, and overall?
     
  2. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Among centres: he's definitely below Gretzky, Lemieux, Beliveau, Esposito, Mikita, Morenz, Clarke, Trottier and Messier. I'd say he's also behind guys like Milt Schmidt and Syl Apps. Put him in a class with guys like Yzerman (although I'd take Yzerman ahead of Sakic), Max Bentley, Henri Richard, Ted Kennedy, Newsy Lalonde and Nels Stewart. Take him ahead of former teammates Peter Forsberg and Peter Stastny, as well as guys like Ron Francis, Gilbert Perreault, Elmer Lach, Bill Cowley, Frank Boucher and Dave Keon.

    As for his overall place in the game, he's somewhere in the top 45 to 60. There are a lot of centres in that echelon.
     
  3. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

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    I agree with most of that, but I would say that Sakic is somewhere in the 35-45 range (with Yzerman being in the 20s)
     
  4. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    I think Sakic's underrated and would put him in same league as Trottier, Yzerman, and Messier.
     
  5. NOTENOUGHBREWER

    NOTENOUGHBREWER Registered User

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    Sakic is one of the best clutch players ever.
     
  6. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    money center, one MVP, multiple cups. That puts him in the same class as Elmer Lach, Ted Kennedy, Peter Forsberg, Milt Schmidt and a few others. Who's best? What the means, that's up for debate.
     
  7. NOTENOUGHBREWER

    NOTENOUGHBREWER Registered User

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    Wouldnt his overall rank in points push him above most of those?
     
  8. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    No, because career point totals bias modern. Scoring was lower in the original six era due to much greater parity, there are more games in a season and equipment, training and medical advances have led to longer careers.
     
  9. Heat McManus

    Heat McManus Registered User

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    didn't one of his former coaches once tell Sakic that he was in a league with Lemieux and co?
     
  10. hattub

    hattub Registered User

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    I can only base it on the players in his generation...(or the generation that've been able to watch and remember, starting in the mid 80's)

    Sakic has been one of my favorite players for a long time, and i compare him to Stevie Y.

    In Ranking the Centers, my list would be:

    1. Gretzky
    2. Mario

    3. Messier
    4. Yzerman
    5. Sakic

    6. Forsberg
    7. Hawerchuk
    8. Francis
    9. Gilmour
    10. Federov

    Thats my list, forgive me if i forgot someone. I just missed Trots and Stastny in their prime, so i didn't include them.
     
  11. Badger Bob

    Badger Bob Registered User

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    Marcel Dionne, who played with mediocre teams, has to be included among the pantheon of greats. He'd be compared with other great centers of his generation, such as Gilbert Perreault.

    The comparisons of Sakic with Trottier are interesting. Trottier was on twice as many Cup winners and probably would have the edge on two-way play. It could be argued that Sakic's skills were better. He had really good linemates, but not HOF caliber. Like all elite center, he made his wingers play better. Trottier had the luxury of being able to feed one of the greatest pure goal scorers in history, Mike Bossy. Clark Gillies could handle the rough stuff. Unquestionably, they constituted one of the finest line...ever.

    Behind them, was one of the finest d-men, Denis Potvin. Sakic played a couple of seasons with an all-time great d-man, Ray Bourque, but that was not while he was in his prime. Foote and Blake were definitely elite, but not up to Potvin and Bourque. In goal, Billy Smith was definitely not of Patrick Roy's caliber. (Could the Isles have won with Chico Resch?) This is the difference. The Avalanche would not have won it all without Patrick Roy. Fiset and Thibeault could not have lifted the organization to the next level.

    Didn't the Avs win a Cup with Forsberg out for the playoffs. That might be a difference maker in comparing the two.

    Might take the high road here, and say "too difficult to compare players of different eras," even if there was some overlap. My gut's giving Sakic an edge though.
     
  12. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I wouldn't rate Marcel Dionne anywhere near the top 15 centres of all time, maybe even the top 20. He was not a guy you could rely on in the most important hockey. Yeah, he played on some mediocre teams, but 45 points in 49 career playoff games - for a player who didn't bring you anything other than offence - can't be overlooked. A choke artist. He did enough in the regular season to get into the HHOF, but I wouldn't rate him ahead of Sakic. And I wouldn't put Dionne in the all-time top 50.

    Incidentally, Trottier won three times as many rings as Sakic: 6-2. He was in Pittsburgh for both of their triumphs. He was nowhere near the player he was in his Islander heyday, but you can't underestimate his leadership or defensive play for those two championship Pittsburgh teams.

    While Billy Smith isn't in Roy's class, you could make a case for him as one of the top 10 goalies ever. Only selected to one all-star team (a first team birth in 1982), but that's partially reflective of Al Arbour's desire to have a two-goalie system in the regular season. Once the playoffs started, the Isles pinned their hopes on Smith, and for good reason. One of the best money goalies ever, and a guy who lived for the post-season. The Islanders would not have won those Cups with Chico Resch (a guy I'm a huge fan of) or Rollie Melanson.

    I would agree that Sakic is the more skilled of the two. I'd say he's the better goal scorer - his wrist shot is simply outstanding - and likely the better playmaker. He's been one of the best playmakers in the league since the moment he stepped on the ice. Very few players in NHL history could score 100 points playing with the talent that Sakic had in Quebec from 1989-1991. Sakic did, and he did it in his second and third seasons. As good as Sakic is defensively, Trottier was better, and Trottier was much more physical. I know I'm in the minority, but I'd take Trottier over Bossy from the Isles dynasty. It's a pick your poison situation, but Trottier brought more to a team than Bossy did.
     
  13. trevchar1971

    trevchar1971 Registered User

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    Sakic is Top 25 all time IMO.
     
  14. Weztex

    Weztex Registered User

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    Around 20-25 with the likes of Trottier and Dionne. I don't know which one of Sakic or Yzerman I consider the greatest. Both of them won the Conn Smythe, but Yzerman has one more cup in a much more stacked team. Sakic have a Hart while Yzerman didn't. Still Yzerman got to compete against 99 and 66 for the award. I'd give the edge to Sakic probably due to clutch performances but my mind isn't set.
     
  15. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Minor correction, I looked over Schmidt's stats, and I'm not sure I'd call him clutch, he was highly inconsistent in the playoffs, seems Brimsek was the key to the Bruins success then.
     
  16. Badger Bob

    Badger Bob Registered User

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    You're basing this assessment of Marcel Dionne on what exactly? That you scanned over some stat sheets? For everybody else, here are the numbers:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/players/data04/00001374.html

    731 goals on all mediocre/poor teams. He played for the Red Wings, Kings and Rangers. All of those organizations had seen better days than the era that Dionne played for them. Since most of his time was with LA, look at what they had. It was a one-line team with Simmer and Taylor - no slouches either - riding shotgun. They had the vastly underrated Rogie Vachon in net. Can't remember, but Pat Quinn might've played D for them for a few years.

    "Choke artist." Pretty tall words for somebody, who might never have seen him play or at least had vivid recollections. Without getting too personal, your profile reveals you to be 28 years old. Your parents weren't ever dating when he broke into the NHL. It'd be better to rely on the thoughts and opinions of those who played with and against him during that period.
     

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