I'm heavily working on a database that mathematicaly list every player that ever played in the NHL (kinda like pnep's HHOF monitor) and some observations got me confused. I've always defend the fact that there's no difference between a player finishing 1st in scoring in 1960 or in 2000, and used that as a rule. However it's obvious that, for example, the players finishing 5th in 1988 (Stastny, Robitaille, Messier) are much better players that the 5th in 1998 (Palffy, Leclair, Francis). That fact got me a lot of problems especially with the defensive years of the late 90's (i.e. Naslund over Hawerchuk). Moreover, I'm not too fond of adjusted stats which I believe grossly underate early days talent. So, I'm not sure how can anyone could help me but what I'd like is some information about the level of talent of the NHL by era or years. For example, in 1945 the NHL was maybe 30% weaker in 1940. How does expansions or other disturbance affected the level of play, what year is stronger than the last, etc... Hope I'm not too confusing.