Best Player by Age

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by The Hockey Socrates, Jan 14, 2011.

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  1. Kant Think

    Kant Think Chaotic Neutral

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    Hi HOH board.

    I Haven't post in a while, but I read this board almost daily.

    I had the Idea to make a list of the best players by age (if the player turns 30 during the season, I consider him to be 30 years old), starting at 16 (earlier would be too much trouble with no real meanning to it) and all the way to 52 (For obvious reasons).

    I do include evey league (Europeans, WHA, others...) although my knowlege of European leagues is lacking and therefore my list might be missing some European league players.

    I've spend quite some time putting this list together, still I am quite sure that I haven't considered many worthy seasons (especially for 16 and 44 going up) and that together we can make it better.

    I loved the exercise and debating between specific seasons will be a thrill.

    16-Sidney Crosby
    17-Wayne Gretzky
    18-Wayne Gretzky
    19-Wayne Gretzky
    20-Wayne Gretzky
    21-Wayne Gretzky
    22-Wayne Gretzky
    23-Wayne Gretzky (3 completely awesome seasons, But I think Wayne clearly takes the cake)
    24-Wayne Gretzky
    25-Wayne Gretzky
    26-Bobby Orr (Extremely close)
    27-Bobby Orr (I was kind of hoping for Lemieux here)
    28-Wayne Gretzky
    29-Wayne Gretzky (Again...)
    30-Mario Lemieux)
    31-Phil Esposito (Really tough call here)
    32-Phil Esposito (I’m surprised to see him twice, both close calls)
    33-Jacques Plante (I know, I know, But I think he had a better season than Hasek, very close though)
    34-Dominik Hasek (Really close call with Jagr here)
    35-Eddie Shore (Easily)
    36-Nicklas Lidstrom (Quite a bit in front of Hasek)
    37-Gordie Howe (Surprisingly, many really good seasons)
    38-Nicklas Lidstrom
    39-Gordie Howe
    40-Jacques Plante (almost a tie with Gordie Howe)
    41-Gordie Howe
    42-Gordie Howe
    43-Gordie Howe
    44-Chris Chelios
    45-Chris Chelios
    46-Gordie-Howe
    47-Gordie-Howe
    48-Gordie-Howe
    49-Gordie-Howe
    50-Gordie-Howe
    51-Gordie-Howe
    52-Gordie-Howe


    Your thoughts?
     
  2. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    11 - Gretzky (378 goals, over 600 points in an 82 game schedule, lol).
     
  3. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    At 18; is Gretzky's 110 points in 80 WHA games more impressive than Mario's 133 goal, 282 point explosion in 70 QMJHL games?
     
  4. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    Though it is close I'd take Orr's season at 22 (1970-1971) over Gretzky's (1982-1983).
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  5. SidGenoMario

    SidGenoMario Registered User

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    18 - Crosby

    And because I'm extremely biased, what do you guys think about:

    19 - Crosby?
     
  6. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    I haven't seen Hasek's play in Europe post-NHL but I heard he was named goalie of the week in the KHL last week. He'll be 46 at the end of this season. I have no idea how to compare his current performance to Howe's in the WHA however.

    Also, wasn't his first post-lockout season in Ottawa quite good? Second in save percentage and second in GAA. Howe's 103 point season might be better though.
     
  7. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    You have Gordie Howe at 42 and 43, even though he was in retirement those years. I'd nominate Igor Larionov at 42 and Doug Harvey at 43 instead.
     
  8. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered User

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    Exactly what I was thinking.
     
  9. Kant Think

    Kant Think Chaotic Neutral

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    Yeah, I tought about Larionov, but I wasn't sure where to fit him.


    And wasn't Gordie Howe's retirement when he was 44 and 45?
     
  10. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I would change 22, 23 and 24 to Orr on the original list. I could see Sakic or possibly Bourque at 31 instead of Esposito.
     
  11. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

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    Fun exercise. Some thoughts (I used the age given on hockey-reference, so hopefully that matches)...


    It feels like Orr needs to be on here more. I have his 37-102-139 season with a +124 as age 22. I think he should win that over Gretzky's 71-125-196.

    Age 21 is very tough between Gretzky and Orr, it's Gretzky's 92 goals against an Art Ross season for Orr. I would give the regular season to Gretzky, but if we are suppose to factor in playoffs, Orr's Cup and Conn Smythe might put him over the top.


    There may be a case for Chelios over Howe for the age 40 spot? Chelios was the Norris runner-up and logged the second most minutes to Lidstrom in a Cup winning playoff run.

    Note: If Lidstrom keeps his pace this year (which would likely win him the Norris), then he should probably surpass both of these guys for the age 40 spot.


    I also agree that Sakic needs serious consideration for age 31. He was the Hart winner, Art Ross and Selke runner-up, and had a Conn Smythe caliber playoff.
     
  12. Kant Think

    Kant Think Chaotic Neutral

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    Yeah, I really hesitated between Sakic and Esposito here, I ultimately choosed Esposito because he did won the scoring race by 26 points(While grabbing a retro-Richard). I think it could go both ways.

    As for the Orr-Gretzky argument:

    22

    Gretzky
    196 points, 72 more points than the second one

    Orr
    Art Ross (Mind=Blown) by 21 points, the second best scorer being Esposito.

    Tough choice, But I don't think that Orr's intangibles (Especially at the time) are worth 76 more points.

    23

    Gretzky
    Highest ppg in modern history, on pace for 227 points.
    Won the scoring race with a margin of 79 points(205 points), the second best scorer being coffey

    Orr
    His Highest scoring season(139), and although Esposito scored more than him (152) and won the Hart, I have no doubts that Orr was the better player that season.

    Again here, you have to ask yourself if Orr's overall play is worh the difference of 66 points.
    I would say it's close, but it is probably the best season of Wayne Gretzky here and I don't think that Orr's defensive play was as good as it become later in his (short) career.

    24
    Gretzky

    208 points, 73 more points than Kurri

    Orr
    117 points, second to Esposito again(133), great season once again.

    It is pretty much the same dilemma once more, with prime Orr going against prime Gretzky, the point difference being of 91 this time, but Orr's defensive game improving at the same time.
    I still give the edge to Gretzky Because of the HUGE difference in points (78% more points)


    And just so you know, I do not have a pro-Gretzky bias, this is simply the conclusion to which I arrived.
     
  13. Kant Think

    Kant Think Chaotic Neutral

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    Yeah, it seems that our years do not match, as I said, if a player turn 30 during the season, I mark him as being 30.

    And yes, I'm still unsure about the 31 ans Sakic
     
  14. Fire Sweeney

    Fire Sweeney Registered User

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    Ray Bourque at 40 years old.
     
  15. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    I'd take Jean Béliveau's 39 YO over Gordie Howe 39 YO, right away.

    It's something to be a PPG player during the season, but being a PPG player during the season AND during the playoffs -- SC Win, 20 games! -- is really on another level. And Howe wasn't a PPG in 66-67, the year he turned 39. He did rank higher in the Top-10 finishes than Beliveau, but Beliveau played 90 games.

    Only five players put up over 20 points in the playoffs while being over 35 years old and more. Doing so at 36 is impressive. Beliveau did it at 39 (and a late-39, I might add). It took close to 30 years before another 39 years old player played over 90 games in a season -- Guy Carbonneau in 1999-00 -- who was at this point a 3rd liner and didn't had exactly quite the same icetime.

    Gordie Howe : 65 pts in 69 games
    Jean Beliveau : 98 pts in 90 games
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  16. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    No opinions on this question?
     
  17. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

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    Should we really be counting that as his 39 year though?

    He turned 39 on March 31st and played exactly 1 game, (Detroit did not make the playoffs).

    His real year as a 39 year old was the following season. 67-68; when he was a ppg player:

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/h/howego01.html
     
  18. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    Well, Lafontaine put up gaudy totals the previous year as well. Q was extremely offence-oriented.
     
  19. MXD

    MXD Original #4

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    Well, I thought Howe's 39YO was 67-68 at first, and that's why I edited my post. Either way, Beliveau's season was more impressive, because Howe didn't made the playoffs.

    Making the playoffs is a team thing, I know -- but we can't credit Howe for the games he haven't played.
     
  20. Reds4Life

    Reds4Life Registered User

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    Hasek at 44 had a very solid regular season, but in playoffs, he won 12 out of 13 games in Czech extraliga, posting a 1.68GAA and .937% SV. He was unbeatable that summer. Obviously not as good as NHL, but Chelios at 44 had only 11 points in the NHL.
     
  21. WilliamRanford

    WilliamRanford Registered User

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    I think there should just be one cut off date for birthdays to counter the ambiguity. Hockey Refernce uses February 1 for their querying tool, and I think that's a good date. That means if you have a birthday on February 1, you have at least a couple of months to play at that age.

    Here's what I'm using for age 22 for instance:

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/pla...at=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=points_per_game

    I'd honestly have to go with Orr this season.
     
  22. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    Patrick Roy was 36 during 2001-02.
     
  23. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    If playoffs count, I think Gretzky setting a playoff record with 38 points in 16 games (34 in the first 12) with a trip to the Finals might push him past Orr's 12 pts in 7 games in a first round loss to the Habs, where Montreal had their own Miracle at Manchester in Game 2.

    Also, no love for Johnny Bucyk's 51 goals? Eddie Shore seems to have won age 35 in the original post, but that may be referring to Shore at age 36, depending on how you determine a player's age in a season.
     
  24. Passchendaele

    Passchendaele Registered User

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    Orr at 27, better than Lemieux at 27? Meh. He went through cancer and had arguably the most dominant season anybody ever had. Finished the year with 56 points in his last 20 games.
     
  25. Mouse21*

    Mouse21* Guest

    hows about sakic at 38? 100 point season.
     

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