+/- : Plus player every season of a career?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Chili, Feb 28, 2006.

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  1. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    I know that the +/- stat is not a tell all stat. It is reflective more of the team than the player himself but I still find it interesting.

    I'm curious how many players were able to be a plus player every year of their career.

    I have found at least two, Bobby Orr and Larry Robinson. Al MacInnis was a plus player every season except his last, which only consisted of 3 games and a -1 so I give him an asterisk.

    Unfortuneately the stat was not always kept so we don't know about great players of the past.

    Check some great players of recent past here and you'll see they practically all had at least one minus season.

    Edit: Add Bobby Clarke. Also, Peter Forsberg so far in his career.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  2. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Add Bill Barber.

    Scott Stevens was never a minus, but did have one year where he was even.
     
  3. Nols

    Nols Registered User

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    Milan Hejduk (was even in 01-02) ???

    Gretz was a + player in all the edmonton years.
     
  4. looooob

    looooob Registered User

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    not exactly a hall of famer, but one of my all time faves Craig Ramsay qualifies I think

    I looked up Brad McCrimmon also...turns out he just misses (like alot of players I'm sure) but man that dude had an impressive career plus minus

    edit: well I went on to look up about 20 names...alot of the guys are only minus players in their last, or second last year...in other words....some current players might be ok, if they are still in their prime...but if they hang on too long...whammo
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  5. JCD

    JCD Registered User

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    I know he is a minor player, but I found it impressive that Joe Reekie, despite playing on a host of bad teams (including the expansion Lightning) and never scoring so much as 20 points in a season, had only 2 minus seasons (a -2 and a -3) in his 900+ game, 16-year career.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/players/stats?playerId=768
     
  6. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    There are probably a bunch who had shorter careers (I notice Magnus Arvedsson is one).
     
  7. Heaton

    Heaton Moderator

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    Lidstrom
     
  8. HVPOLARBEARS19

    HVPOLARBEARS19 Registered User

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    Forsberg hasn't yet...
     
  9. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Mario Tremblay
    Rejean Houle

    Jacques Lemaire never had a minus year, but had one even year.

    Jean Ratelle, Yvan Cournoyer and Jacques LaPerriere all had only plus seasons, but played part of their career before the stat was kept.
     
  10. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    According to these NHL stats he has been a plus player every year of his NHL career so far. Obviously that could change before the end of his career.

    The one common thread I see with the players listed so far, they were all good two way players.
     
  11. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Also they all played on great teams their entire careers. The biggest reason by far.
     
  12. pnep

    pnep Registered User

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    Player -- POS -- Last Season -- Years
    ===========================
    Robinson Larry -- D -- 1992 -- 20
    Clarke Bobby -- C -- 1984 -- 15
    Ramsay Craig -- L -- 1985 -- 14
    Ratelle Jean -- C -- 1981 -- 14
    Dupont Andre -- D -- 1983 -- 13
    LeClair John -- L -- 2003 -- 13
    Barber Bill -- L -- 1984 -- 12
    Cournoyer Yvan -- R -- 1979 -- 12
    Lidstrom Nicklas -- D -- 2003 -- 12
    Tremblay Mario -- R -- 1986 -- 12
    Houle Rejean -- L -- 1983 -- 11
    Orr Bobby -- D -- 1979 -- 11
    Lindros Eric -- C -- 2003 -- 10
    Fetisov Viachelsav -- D -- 1998 -- 9
    Therien Chris -- D -- 2003 -- 9
    Forsberg Peter -- C -- 2003 -- 8
    Henderson Paul -- L -- 1980 -- 8
    Mondou Pierre -- C -- 1985 -- 8
    Richard Henri -- C -- 1975 -- 8
    Laperriere Jacques -- D -- 1974 -- 7
    Mahovlich Frank -- L -- 1974 -- 7
    Arvedson Magnus -- L -- 2003 -- 6
    Konstantinov Vladimir -- D -- 1997 -- 6
    Stapleton Pat -- D -- 1973 -- 6
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2006
  13. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    Great job as always, thanks.
     
  14. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    No question of that at all, as I said in my first post it is more of a team stat than an individual one.
     
  15. pnep

    pnep Registered User

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    Minus player every season of a career

    Player -- POS -- Last Season -- Years
    =============================
    Croteau Gary -- L -- 1980 -- 12
    Sullivan Mike -- L -- 2002 -- 11
    Gardner Paul -- C -- 1986 -- 10
    Holt Randy -- D -- 1984 -- 10
    Huber Willie -- D -- 1988 -- 10
    McLlwain Dave -- C -- 1997 -- 10
    Delorme Ron -- C -- 1985 -- 9
    Klassen Ralph -- C -- 1984 -- 9
    Skriko Petri -- L -- 1993 -- 9
    Stewart Bob -- D -- 1980 -- 9
    Daigle Alexandre -- R -- 2003 -- 8
    Gagne Paul -- L -- 1990 -- 8
    Hogaboam Bill -- C -- 1980 -- 8
    Kitchen Mike -- D -- 1984 -- 8
    Patrick Craig -- R -- 1979 -- 8
    Pavese Jim -- D -- 1989 -- 8
    Polonich Dennis -- C -- 1983 -- 8
    Quint Deron -- D -- 2003 -- 8
    Terrion Greg -- L -- 1988 -- 8
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2006
  16. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Nice work as always Pnep. A few additions...

    - As mentioned earlier, Bill Barber (12 yrs), and Mario Tremblay (12 yrs) had plus marks every season.

    - Andre Dupont (13 yrs), Viacheslav Fetisov (9 yrs) and Pierre Mondou (8 yrs) also were +`s in every season.

    - John LeClair (14 yrs) and Chris Therien (10 yrs) have perfect records so far, but will likely end this season.

    - As for the other current streaks: Forsberg will easily make it this year, Lidstrom should as well, but it`s going to be close for Lindros, Arvedson and Kaberle.

    - Like Stevens and Lemaire, Yvon Lambert and Keith Crowder never a minus year but had one even year.

    Some notable players:

    - Gretzky: plus his first 12 yrs, minus 6 of his last 8 yrs.
    - Lemieux: 9 plus yrs, 6 minus yrs, 1 even. (will likely be minus this year too)
    - Lafleur: plus his first 12 yrs, minus 4 of his last 5 yrs
    - Messier: minus his first two yrs, plus 14 of his next 16 yrs, minus 6 of his last 7
    - Bourque: plus his first 17(!!) yrs, minus 3 of his last 5
    - Trottier: plus his first 12 yrs, minus 4 of his last 5

    The trend seems to be that the minus years start to show up at the end of their careers.
     
  17. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Again more a factor of the teams they played on. All those players except Trottier played on far worse teams at the end of their careers and were part of dynasties at the start. Trottier being an exception, he was a defensive forward on good teams at the end of his career when he no longer was a scorer. But he also faced the best teams top line as a defensive forward so that is the reason for the minus rating. Plus-minus isn't the best stat. Excellent defensive forwards on bad teams have minus ratings even though they often keep the other teams top line from scoring more than they usually do. Defensive forwards on good teams often have worse plus-minus than poor defensive forwards on good teams. Plus minus is interesting and can indicate some things about a player but is not generally a good stat to put alot of weight in as it can be decieving on many, many occasions.
     
  18. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    You make some good points, but the fact is that all statistics are somewhat influenced by the team are somewhat influenced by the team a player plays on. For example, when Chico Resch got traded from the Islanders to the Rockies, his GAA went up. Was it he suddenly became a bad goalie? No, it was because the defence in front of him was a lot worse. Bernie Nicholls scored 70 goals in `89, but never hit 50 any other year. Was it a coincidence that that year happened to be the year he was teammates with Gretzky? Of course not. We don`t throw away all those statistics because of that though. We look at the whole picture, and use a little common sense.

    No plus/minus isn`t the be-all and end-all; but it does tell a lot. As someone who watched a lot of Sabre games in the 70s and 80s, I can tell you that Craig Ramsay`s marks were not just because he played on a top team, but because he was one of the best two-way forwards in the game. Gil Perreault, a far weaker defensive player on the same team, always struggled in +/-. If somebody who never saw them play looked only at their point totals, they`d think that Perreault was infinitely better than Ramsay. +/- shows that Ramsay had value beyond just his goals and assists. The cool part about researching statistics is discovering that certain underrated, forgotten players were actually quite better than they got credit for.

    The stat has its flaws. It`s more accurate to look at it as a % compared to the players teammates, and take into account the players role on the team and if he was likely matched against the top scorers, but it can tell you a lot when you look at someone`s entire career.

    One other fact to consider: it`s easy to say the only reason Bobby Clarke or Bobby Orr had high +/- marks was because they were on great teams. It also has to be considered that Clarke and Orr were a big reason why their respective teams were so great.

    To everybody who says +/- is a meaningless stat, take a look at pnep`s list of plus players and list of minus players. Which group of players would you rather have: Bobby Clarke or Gary Croteau? Larry Robinson or Bob Stewart? If it was completely random and meaningless, then both those lists would be equal.
     
  19. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

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    It's useful, but not defining

    Submitted for your consideration:

    Mario Lemieux
    career +115, playoffs +20

    Ron Francis
    career -10, playoffs +28

    Jaromir Jagr
    career +231, playoffs +29

    Deducting Mario's first two and last three years (all minus): +199, +21
    Deducting Francis' first four and last four years (7/8 minus): +103, +32

    Only 90/91-00/01 (Jagr's years with Penguins):

    Lemieux +140, +21
    Jagr +207, +27

    Only 90/91-97/98 (Francis' years with Penguins):

    Lemieux +125, +17
    Francis +70, +28
    Jagr +146, +17

    Only years Lemieux played (90/91-93/94, 95/96-96/97, 00/01):

    Lemieux +140, +21
    Jagr +125, +13

    Only years Francis & Lemieux played (90/91-93/94, 95/96-96/97):

    Lemieux +125, +17
    Francis +28, +20
    Jagr +106, +9

    Only years Lemieux played majority of regular season (91/92-92/93, 95/96-96/97):

    Lemieux +119, +7
    Francis +31, +9
    Jagr +95, +10

    Only years Francis played majority of regular season (91/92-97/98):

    Lemieux +117, +3
    Francis +70, +15
    Jagr +150, +15

    Considering that Jagr didn't really hit full stride until at least 92/93 (third season), my conclusion is that he held his own on a plus/minus basis with Lemieux (a legend) and Francis (a legend, or at least great player known for playing pretty good defense) while on the same teams (and therefore much more easily comparable).

    It's much more difficult to compare players on different teams, especially when one has a Dryden/Robinson or Brodeur/Stevens type defense, and the other is on a mediocre (or worse) defensive team.
     
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