Best Player In the World

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Hawkey Town 18, Aug 24, 2011.

View Users: View Users
  1. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Being the best player in the world is not always shown through award voting or statistics. For example: Sidney Crosby hasn't won a single individual award the past two seasons, but he's been considered the best player in the world over that time.


    I would like to try to reconstruct a timeline of the players that were considered "The Best In The World" for as far back as we can go. There will be transition years where there might be 2 players to list and there might even be a period where there is no consensus best. Also, to keep it simpler, please exclude goalies.

    Here is a VERY RAW attempt at starting things off...

    2017: Crosby
    2016: Crosby
    2015: Crosby
    2014: Crosby
    2013: Crosby
    2012: Crosby
    2011: Ovechkin/Crosby
    2010: Ovechkin/Crosby
    2009: Ovechkin/Crosby
    2008: Ovechkin/Crosby
    2007: Lidstrom/Crosby
    2006: Nicklas Lidstrom
    2004: Peter Forsberg
    2003: Peter Forsberg
    2002: Jagr/Lemieux/Lidstrom/Forsberg???
    2001: Jaromir Jagr
    2000: Jaromir Jagr
    1999: Jaromir Jagr
    1998: Jaromir Jagr
    1997: Lemieux/Jagr
    1996: Mario Lemieux
    1995: Mario Lemieux
    1994: Mario Lemieux
    1993: Mario Lemieux
    1992: Mario Lemieux
    1991: Mario Lemieux
    1990: Lemieux/Gretzky
    1989: Lemieux/Gretzky
    1988: Wayne Gretzky
    1987: Wayne Gretzky
    1986: Wayne Gretzky
    1985: Wayne Gretzky
    1984: Wayne Gretzky
    1983: Wayne Gretzky
    1982: Wayne Gretzky
    1981: Wayne Gretzky
    1980: Trottier/Gretzky?
    1979: Guy Lafleur
    1978: Guy Lafleur
    1977: Guy Lafleur
    1976: Orr/Lafleur
    1975: Bobby Orr
    1974: Bobby Orr
    1973: Bobby Orr
    1972: Bobby Orr
    1971: Bobby Orr
    1970: Bobby Orr
    1969: Hull/Orr
    1968: Bobby Hull
    1967: Bobby Hull
    1966: Bobby Hull
    1965: Bobby Hull
    1964: Bobby Hull
    1963: Howe/Hull
    1962: Howe/Hull
    1961: Gordie Howe
    1960: Gordie Howe
    1959: Gordie Howe
    1958: Gordie Howe
    1957: Gordie Howe
    1956: Gordie Howe
    1955: Gordie Howe
    1954: Gordie Howe
    1953: Gordie Howe
    1952: Gordie Howe
    1951: Richard/Howe
    1950: Maurice Richard
    1949: Maurice Richard
    1948: Maurice Richard
    1947: Maurice Richard


    I figured the end of WWII was a good place to stop. I pretty much did this off the top of my head, so I'm sure there will be a lot of things that need to be changed, especially for the earlier years. Looking forward to everyone's contributions...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
    Calderon likes this.
  2. ricky0034

    ricky0034 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    9,391
    Likes Received:
    675
    Trophy Points:
    109
    actually i'd say it was Thomas for 2011 and Ovechkin for 2010

    edit: oops didn't see the goalie part
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  3. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    In the OP I said goalies are excluded, but you bring up an interesting point that I may not have explained well. This is not meant as who had the best performance that particular year, it's who was the reigning "Best Player In The World." The last 2 years the general consensus has been that Crosby has overtaken Ovechkin for that title, and no other player was even really in the discussion besides those 2.
     
  4. ricky0034

    ricky0034 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    9,391
    Likes Received:
    675
    Trophy Points:
    109
    yeah I just saw that oops

    and ah that would explain the big blocks of single players too when normally it would probably be more broken up
     
  5. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,306
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    2002: Lidstrom? I'd at least have him as one of the choices. One of the weakest seasons for forwards ever.

    2005: nobody. I would not give Forsberg credit for the lockout year. I know why you did - who else would it be? I wouldn't give any player credit for 2005, to be honest. It makes Forsberg look like he was considered best in the world for longer than he actually was.

    I wrote out a long year by year post for the post-lockout years, but you know what? I think we both need to take a step back.

    From 2008-2011, it should be Sidney Crosby / Alexander Ovechkin every season.

    The goal is not to look at seasons by themselves but to look at the bigger picture when possible right? Otherwise, Lafleur wouldn't have it for so many years in a row.

    This is how I would change it:

    2011: Crosby/Ovechkin
    2010: Crosby/Ovechkin
    2009: Crosby/Ovechkin
    2008: Crosby/Ovechkin
    2007: Lidstrom/Crosby
    2006: Nicklas Lidstrom
    2005: nobody
    2004: Peter Forsberg
    2003: Peter Forsberg
    2002: Nicklas Lidstrom
    2001: Jaromir Jagr
    2000: Jaromir Jagr

    I basically agree with everything you put from 81-99. 1980 was a transition year kind of like 2007. 1976 should probably be Orr alone.

    Not sure of the details of when the transitions from Howe to Hull and Hull to Orr went.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
    sharkhawk likes this.
  6. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Bizz.
    Location:
    Sherbrooke, Quebec
    Mikita. Esposito..

    You need to add Stan Mikita to Bob Hull in the mid 60s..And perhaps Esposito next to Orr a few times...Beliveau over Richard & next to Howe in the mid 1950s.
     
  7. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,306
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    In the second half of the 50s, I definitely think it should be Howe/Beliveau, now that I think about it.

    Not sure how to treat Mikita/Hull. Were they really considered the co-best player in the world for an extended time?

    I disagree that anyone should be listed other than Orr from 70-76
     
  8. tombombadil

    tombombadil Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    West Kelowna, Canada
    i like it. Agree pretty much right down your list. If goalies were added I would think they would only jump into 3 spots, at most. Hasek 98-99, because, well - that's obvious. Thomas this year. Thomas might not have the legend status of Roy/Brodeur, but he picked the right yer to have his best year, in regards to you rlist. With Sid out, and Ovie slumping...
     
  9. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,855
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    bohemia
    Considered by who? Fans? Media? Other players? Coaches/GMs?

    At the beginning of the season? During the season? At season's end?

    The seasons that probably should be changed:

    Lemieux only played 22 games in '94 and missed entire '95 season. He might be the pre-season choice in '94, but given Gretzky's '93 playoffs and '94 season Gretzky had to be close. By '95, it was clear that Jagr and Lindros were the best.

    1994- Gretzky/Lemieux
    1995- Jagr/Lindros

    Forsberg missed the entire 2002 regular season and wasn't even a 2nd Team All-Star the previous two seasons. This might be better:

    2001and 2002- Sakic/Jagr/Lemieux

    The lockout season is tough, but don't see Lidstrom as clearly the best player of 2005 and 2006. He only scored 38 points in 2004 and wasn't even an All-Star, and he didn't play in Europe in 2005. There's a number of players who could be considered for 2005, but 2006 thinned the herd a bit:

    2005- ??? (Sakic, Forsberg, Jagr, Thornton, Lidstrom)
    2006- Jagr/Thornton (Lidstrom?)

    As for the earlier seasons, was Howe always considered clearly better than Beliveau and Hull always above Mikita?
     
  10. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Jagr obviously had the better season, playing twice as many games, but what is the case for Jagr as a better player than Lemieux in 2001? Lemieux had the best GPG, APG and PPG in that year.
     
  11. Walkingthroughforest

    Walkingthroughforest johnny be good

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,889
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    96
    2002 and 2008 are both Iginla.

    2002 he had one of the greatest seasons ever considering the era, and 2008 he singlehandedly carried the entire team on his back to the playoffs scoring 50 goals being centred by a rotating door. If anyone had developed chemistry with Iginla compared to that of Ovechkin had with Backstrom the second half of the season, it would have been Iginla winning the Hart that year.
     
  12. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,855
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    bohemia
    Jagr was about even with Lemieux in the games they both played. He was also ~ PPG player in the games before Lemieux arrived, so as you said he had the better season. The perception (at least by the media) was that Lemieux was the better player, but this seems false since Lemieux's durability was still an issue.
     
  13. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Once again, this isn't about who was the best player that specific season, it's who was considered the best player in the world.

    For example, some might say Corey Perry has played the best hockey in 2011 or H. Sedin in 2010, but when you're asking who's the best player in the world it's a two horse race between Crosby and Ovechkin and has been for the last 4 years.

    Another example is the transition from Gretzky to Lemieux. Lemieux clearly had the better season in 1988-89, but he wasn't instantly considered the best player in the world, it took a couple seasons to prove he was consistently better.
     
  14. livewell68

    livewell68 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Lemieux wasn't even playing in 1995. Jagr won the Art Ross, Lindros won the Hart. The 3 best players in 1995 were Lindros, Jagr and Hasek.

    In 1996 eventhough Lemieux's season was outstanding and he was the best player, Jagr was actually not that far behind him. He was more consistent and didn't have 3-4 game stretches without a point like Lemieux did.

    I would think 149 Pts (29 more than the 3rd leading scorer) means Jagr should be considered as the best player along with Lemieux in 1996.

    In 1994 Fedorov was considered the best player in the world.

    In 1997, Jagr was actually considered Lemieux's equal, if not for injuries that limited him to 63 games, Jagr might have beaten Lemieux for the Art Ross. He was outscoring him at the halfway mark of the season that year.
     
  15. livewell68

    livewell68 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Ovechkin and Malkin had much better performances than Iginla did that year. Iginla has only been mentioned as the best player in the world a few times, during the 2004 Stanley Cup and during his lone Art Ross winning season.
     
  16. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I like most of these changes...

    Having both Crosby and Ovechkin for the last 4 years is probably the best way to do it, they've really gone back and forth during that time.

    I am also good with just eliminating the lockout year.

    2002 is still a tough one. First, I'm not sure what to do about Mario Lemieux during that time period, he tore it up from the beginning of the 01-02 season up until the olympics, missed the rest of the season, but then came back very strong for the beginning of the 02-03 season. Lidstrom probably deserves to be at least mentioned. I still can't get away from Forsberg. The way I remember it, in the late 90's and early 2000's he was right behind Jagr, and with Jagr's dropoff as well as Forsberg's incredible playoff performance in 02 and 02-03 season he became the reigning best player. I would like to hear more input on this year from others.


    I would also like to hear from some of the older posters regarding Beliveau, transitions to Hull and Orr, and if Mikita belongs on here at all.
     
  17. KingGallagherXI

    KingGallagherXI Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,890
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Would the NHL "experts" have voted for Lidstrom in 2002 if you asked them who was the best player in the world? I doubt it.

    In hindsight, he probably was, but I thought this thread was about who was "considered" best in the world.
     
  18. livewell68

    livewell68 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    101
    I think this is a bit of a disrespect towards Malkin. Before his injuries, many considered Malkin to be among the 3 Best along with Ovechkin and Crosby.

    He won an Art Ross, was runner up to Ovechkin twice for the Hart, was runner for the Art Ross once as well to Ovechkin and won a Calder and Conn Smythe, this was all in his first 3 seasons before injuries stalled his rise to the top.

    Heck people are still predicting his comeback to the top and some are picking him to win the Art Ross this coming season.
     
  19. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    48,464
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Location:
    South Cackalacky
    The Hockey News rated him as the #1 player in the world in their yearbook after the 2001-02 season (not sure about after 2002-03 but I'd imagine he ranked highly). By the 2002-03 season, either the start or the end, Lidstrom was likely to be legitimately in the discussion for "best player in the world" (in as much as that designation matters) due to having 5-6 high-end seasons in a row (along with a Conn Smythe win), whereas a lot of the forwards at that time period (although certainly not all) were going through stretches where they'd have a great season for one year, then a down year or significant injuries in another.
     
  20. livewell68

    livewell68 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    101
    This is true.

    The 2002 to lockout period was a weak one for forwards. It featured mostly one year, Art Ross wonders although Forsberg and Jagr were still considered by many to be among the best in the world.

    I would say between 2002 and 2005, the best forwards were Iginla, Naslund, Bertuzzi, Sakic, Kovalchuk, Forsberg, Thornton, Elias, Hossa, St. Louis and Jagr.

    Lidstrom though was consistently being thrown in the mix for best player in the world and I think in the end it's him.

    I think we should add goalies to the list though, players like Roy, Hasek and Brodeur were at points considered among the best players in the league.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  21. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    48,464
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Location:
    South Cackalacky
    Agreed, I would say Malkin should be included for both 2007-08 (where Crosby missed significant time due to injury) and 2008-09 (where Crosby was clearly behind Malkin and Ovechkin during the regular season, and behind Malkin during the playoffs). I'd say it's more like:

    2011: Crosby/Ovechkin
    2010: Ovechkin/Crosby
    2009: Ovechkin/Malkin
    2008: Ovechkin/Malkin/Crosby
    2007: Crosby/Lidstrom

    Lots of equivocating there of course, by having multiple names for each year. But for at least 2008-09 Crosby fell behind as evidenced by Ovechkin and Malkin fighting it out for the Art Ross trophy and the Hart trophy, while Crosby wasn't even in the top 5 of Hart voting.
     
  22. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    48,464
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Location:
    South Cackalacky
    I missed that on the initial list. I think Hasek definitely needs to be listed for 1998, and co-listed with Jagr for 1997 and 1999, at the very least.
     
  23. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    1995

    I think people are being too quick to de-throne Lemieux here.

    Here's what happened: In 1994, Lemieux only played 22 games, but there were no games at all played in the fall/winter of 1994 because of the lockout, so he pretty much played all the games he could. Fedorov having one great year doesn't just knock Lemieux off his throne either. Lemieux still had the highest PPG of anyone that season. He misses the spring of 95, but plays the entire fall/winter of 95 and is clearly the best player in the world.

    It takes time to lose the title of best player in the world. Looking at it in present day...If Crosby misses the first couple months of the 11-12 season his name will still be in the conversation for best player in the world.
     
  24. livewell68

    livewell68 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    101
    It's sad but one off year for Ovechkin and many have been predicting his slip. Many don't consider him to be among the best in the world anymore.

    In fact some would put St. Louis, the Sedins ahead of Ovechkin.

    I think the Sedins are being vastly overlooked for the past 2 seasons.
     
  25. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,306
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    Most of them wouldn't. But I do remember that in 2000 or 2001, THN declared Lidstrom the best player in the world and I was one of the few to agree (Jagr and Forsberg were the popular choices). I've been trying really hard to find that article but haven't been able to do it.

    Edit: Apparently, this was it!

     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"