Eric Staal vs. Vincent Lecavalier

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Vagrant, Dec 25, 2003.

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  1. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    This comparison eluded me for the longest time but I just recently thought about it and I think it's a pretty accurate one. Both came in as more playmakerish, but both have proven able to score goals. Not saying that Staal is anywhere near accomplished as much as Lecavalier, but he could be pretty soon.

    Size coming out of Junior:

    Lecavalier: 6'4 180
    Staal: 6'3 182

    Last Junior Season:

    Lecavalier: 1997-98 Rimouski (Quebec) 58 44 71 115
    Staal: 2002-03 Peterborough OHL 66 39 59 98

    Frist Pro Season:

    Lecavalier: 1998-99 Tampa-Bay Lightning NHL 82 13 15 28
    Staal: 2003-04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 33 7 8 15

    Lecavalier:

    GPG: 0.158 per
    APG: 0.182 per
    PPG: 0.341 per

    Staal:

    GPG: 0.212 per
    APG: 0.242 per
    PGP: 0.454 per

    Now right now Staal has the better first year pro numbers, but he could hit a slump. I just thought all this information was pretty interesting, but I can be a stat nerd at times. Who else thinks this comparison is a pretty decent one? All hype aside.
     
  2. Mizral

    Mizral Registered User

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    It's a pretty solid comparison. I think in terms of pure talent, Lecavalier one-ups Staal. But I also think Staal is more versatile and could perhaps be the better player down the road, talent or not.

    I still think Lecavalier has an extra gear (or two) left, and if he acheives his maximum potential, Staal cannot match him.

    That said, I think Staal is already looking like a sure thing down the road. You hate to say that so early in a kid's career, but he seems like a very driven individual with loads of talents that you don't always find in one player. I really like both of these young guys, so I don't think I'm biased here. I'll give an edge to Lecavalier, but if he continues to only show up every second night 2 years from now, Staal could leapfrog him for sure.
     
  3. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    I agree with Le Mizral! (;) )

    This is a solid comparison and from what I have seen of Staal so far this year and what I have seen of Vinnie I would take Staal every day of the week. Vinnie is good but that is about all he looks to be to me. Good. Staal is showing, (and here is the important bit) on a consistant basis, an abillity to be a "special" player and a dead on battler where Vinnie shows us flashes of that sort of play but he hasn't done anything to seperate his self from other young centers and while as I said, I think him a good young player, I just don't see greatness in his future. A solid bloke to captain your team for certain, but as to his becomming the stud he was thought to be? Not in my opinion. Of course, I am a bit daft but that is how it looks to me.

    Give me Staal.
     
  4. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    I can pretty much agree with all the sentiment expressed above. Lecavalier has the talent to be on the second tier of superstars in this league with the likes of players like Forsberg, Jagr and such. But under the Gretzky, Lemuiex tier. Staal is going to be a fine point per game player who plays a devastating two-way game. Consistancy has just been the major flaw for Lecavalier and I think that is one of the most underrated problems with hockey players. Guys often say "if he could only be consistant", well he probably can't. That is probably a lot of the reason why the points between these two will stay about even throughout their entire careers. I was just seeing if the name Vincent Lecavalier alone was enough for people to think this was a laughable comparison. A lot of people never got over the hype he came in with and still see his name as superstar.

    It just hit me all of a sudden and it was almost eerie how much these guys had in common.
     
  5. Vincent_TheGreat

    Vincent_TheGreat Registered User

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    Here's the thing. Vinny went to a much worse team, however they seem to be at about the same level comparing there rookie year. Lecavalier spent a good part of his first year on the third line with Sandy McCarthy. Staal is probably better defensively while Vinny has the offensive wizard. I haven't seen Vinny play all out since the playoffs or his second year. When he is into the game his speed and skill is amazing. Staal is going to be a great player, but Vinny just has that extra talent that could make him a megastar. I think Vinny is the better overall player and the better offensive talent.
     
  6. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    As evidenced where mate? I mean, if Vinnie has this "extra talent" (not mocking by the way) then why doesn't it show up on the score sheets? I mean, if he does then where is the proof. Sure I have seen him make some dead crazy moves but then miss the net or miss his pass. I mean, I have heard how great this fellow is since he were drafted but other than on occasion, I have yet to see him prove it. He in my opinion is a second line center talent (as evidenced by his point production) on most good teams and has yet to prove that he could be a true top pivot on a good team yet let alone anything close to a superstar. I wouldn't say his name and Forsbergs (floppa) in the same breath. He isn't even close in talent to him. I would compare him to other solid but not star quality pivots based on his producion so far. He is young and can find his game and become deadly but to say that he is anything more than slightly better than good right now is an over statement that isn't based on his on ice production. That *is* where it counts. Last season *might* be a breakout season with his 34 goals and 78 points while averaging 19mins a game on the ice but he follows it this year with another mid range effort. Not bad, just nothing special. He has been in the league long enough to have the experience to be able to prove his skills and while last year he looked good he has yet to prove that it wasn't a fluke and is closer to proving it was.

    Remember, I talking about the idea that Vinnie is being called more than just an average top six pivot. As to his being good enoug and slightly better than the average pivot then I wouldn't argue that. As to calling him a superstar or even a "star" well then, there are allot of "stars" out there that are better than him. I guess maybe it depends on what we each think qualifies a player as a star.

    The way I see it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2003
  7. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    1998 Tampa Bay Lightning literally sucks! They drafted Lecavalier 1st overall in hope to make it to the playoff. 5 years later the guy lead the team in goals and has 78 points and the Lightning made it to the second round. Thats all I need to know ;)
     
  8. tinyzombies

    tinyzombies Registered User

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    Vinnie's not a finisher, he's always trying to make a pretty play. Damned pond hockey player.

    Staal is already making people notice. He was excellent last time out against the Habs and was driving the net.
     
  9. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    Yes, he ONCE had a good year. Does that make it fair to call him a superstar or even compare him with any of the established players that are. Josef Stumpel has scored that many points as well, is he a "star" in the league?

    The Lightning also don't suck mate. Last year they were pretty good and this year they are better. I don't watch allot of thier games as I have to pick and choose what games I want to watch because of the time delay and what but I can say that the standings show them to be a good one and in the handful of games I have seen them play they were great enough.

    Vinnie is an over rated talented young player at this point and with any luck he will become what allot of fans think he is. In the meantime, he has done nothing to make me believe he is the player they seem to think he is. Yet.
     
  10. tiredman

    tiredman Registered User

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    Staal for sure
     
  11. Sotnos

    Sotnos Registered User

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    Very well said. And let me say, Vinny's linemates haven't really improved a whole lot since then (Andre Roy was one of them tonight). ;) Consistency is obviously a problem, but the talent is certainly there. He's getting to the age where he needs to kick it up a notch.

    Anyway, interesting comparison you dug up there, Caniac. Can't say I ever thought of it before! It's not laugable at all. Staal was fantastic in the preseason, haven't really had many chances to see him since though.
     
  12. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    I did not said the Lightning sucks last year or this year, I said they sucks in 1998!

    Nothing to prover? they guy scored 67 points in his second season on a Lightning that yes sucks THAT YEAR! that is as many points as Kovalchuk or Gaborik scored on the second season and pretty much everybody think they are superstar or atleast star.

    And he was a BIG part when the Lightning reach the playoff last season and that was one of the thing the Lightning want when they drafted him 1st overall in 1998. And that was one of the thing of many things I have seen to say that Lecavalier are a star and will be a superstar.
     
  13. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    You might want to head back and re read my post mate. You seem to have missed big parts of it. Maybe its a language thing. I can clear it all up for you though right here to make it easy. Vinnie has done nothing, on a consistant basis, (thats the important bit) to establish his self as a better than average player. Period. He is a solid top six pivot with the talent to be one of the games better centers. He NEVER has been able to do it consistantly and that is why I refuse to compare him with Forsberg or Sakic let alone Lemiux as so many others seem ready to do. The guys numbers aren't any better than allot of middle of the road centers in the league and while that is good enough to be recognized as a solid player today, he certainly has done nothing *yet* (there is a part that you seem to have missed also) to give anyone a reason to remember him after he has retired. He went to a horrible team at the time he were drafted and were thier go to guy. He didn't do too much with it in his first year, had a solid second year and has had one good year since and isn't off to a great one this year. Average or slightly better than is about all he has shown so far.

    If his being on a poor team is the excuse for his not doing well then why have so many other players that have gone to "horrible" teams to start thier careers that don't get nearly as much attention as him done so well by starting with them? Kovy went to the worst team in the league and he tore it up and still is. HE is a budding superstar and is proving that he is worthy of the praise he recieves.

    Vinnie is nothing special yet. He has the skills to become that if he wants to, he just hasn't done anything special yet. 78 points in a season is good play, not star or superstar quality in my book but then, I have actual standards for what I think is star or super star talent.
     
  14. Sticky*

    Sticky* Guest

    Give me Staal any time of the week, and twice on sunday.
     
  15. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    Then I guess we just have different of how many points a player should get to be star then...
     
  16. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    You are right. I don't consider Andy Delmore, Randy Robitaille,Curtis Brown, Brad Isbister or Bryan Smolinski "stars". (they all scored equal points in the standings year before last and when averaged out, not considering Vinnies one good year those are the names that seem to be around him in the final scoring tallies each year). Names like thiers are always right where he is at the end of the year where scoring is concerned until last year, where, like I said, would be great if he were to have started this year at the same pace. He hasn't and if anything, he looks closer to the 40ish point Vinnie than anything else.

    To me, a "star" is a player who either keeps scoring great or is steadily building his scoring totals over the beggining of his career until he steadily finishes in the top 15 in scoring every year. IF Vinnie were to do what he did last year from now on then he would be one of *todays* stars but unless he were able to score more than 80+ points per year or so for at least a few years in a row, he is off to an average start. At this point, while I find him a good young player, I think that Comrie is closer to being a star than Vinnie is. Comrie has been the more consistent scorer in his short career and the stats are comparable.

    Not to beat a dead horse but, it isn't that I have too high of a standard when it comes to what a "star" is or isn't, its that the word is too easily thrown around these days and that is a problem. I mean, how many threads do we have to see where Vinnie is compared to a young Mario before we all get sick? All of the players who stick in the NHL are stars of a sort, they are playing at the highest level of hockey in the world and that is amazing in itself. That is why I will only call players that have done something specific to seperate themselves from the pack a star, they all have achieved noteriety, stardom is totally different in my opinion.

    Maybe in three years when Vinnie is 26 we can talk about what a great star player he is, now he is just one of the good ones with allot of promise, the way I see it.
     
  17. PanthersRule96

    PanthersRule96 Registered User

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    Staal hasn't started fighting with the coach and I don't think he ever will. Precious Vinny, the Tampa Superstar, loses this one IMO.
     
  18. FlyersGuy69

    FlyersGuy69 Registered User

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    well for me, I would take Staal right now over Lecavalier.

    but hey, that's just me.
     
  19. zeppelin97

    zeppelin97 Registered User

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    Staal.

    Staal seems like he will develop into a go-to-guy. Its about choices, and i think staal is willing to go through the growing pains & work hard (beyond what most players put in), in order to become one of the best players in the league.

    Lecavalier is still young so theres is hope he could reach his potential...i just don't think he's willing to go the extra steps.
     
  20. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    I think that has a large part to do with it. I think Lecavalier was hyped too early and it all went to his head. If everybody is telling you that you're the best, it's hard to keep focused and continue to work hard to get better. You get used to pacing the field and when you're moved up into an enviroment where you're not a man among boys, it takes you a little while to catch up. Staal was never heralded as the second coming of Gretzky or the Michael Jordan of Hockey. He simply had to put his time in to become as impressive as he is and has realized the use of shutting your mouth and listening to players that are older and more experienced than you are.

    It's pretty much an argument over supreme skill combined with an average work ethic to moderate skill combined with an amazing work ethic. I honestly think the pre-draft comparisons to Francis were pretty well founded.
     
  21. PotiFan107

    PotiFan107 Registered User

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    well id say the two players are pretty equal.. staal has yet to do anything specatacular but his career is just starting out.. Lecavalier is a bonified scoring threat but the thing i dont get..

    EVERYONE considers Marian Gaborik a superstar somehow.. and hes never topped 67 points and quite inconsistent himself.. while lecavalier and him are a year apart and Lecavalier has accomplished quite a lot more on teams with about the same skill.

    Personally id go with the for now PROVEN guy with still ALOT of potential to increase those #'s by alot
     
  22. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    Exactly!!!!!! Gaborik scored 67 points and everyone consider him a star (not that I dont like Gaborik because I do like him), and before this breakout season everyone think Kovalchuk are a star too and he also only socred like 67 points in his two previous season. And Lecavalier have also scored 67 points in hi second season and last season the guy had 78 points!!! Why is he not a star???
     
  23. Green Star

    Green Star Seggy #91

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    You cant compare the like of Robitaille, Delmore and so on with the star status Lecavalier have. And yes Comrie is good and maybe are already a star. But dont compare Comrie with Lecavalier beacause Lecavalier are already a star. And why cant u compare Lecavalier to a young Lemieux? They play the same style but as I mention in another post, Lecavalier play on a lower level than a young Lemeiux. And why do so many consider Kovalchuk and Gaborik a star because they scored 67 points or so in previous seasons but not Lecavalier?
     
  24. Sotnos

    Sotnos Registered User

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    I'm beginning to think you people are all very jealous, since Panther fans are the only ones who call Vinny "Precious". :joker: You also seem to want to get your $.02 in about situations you obviouly don't fully understand.

    A big problem was that his first coaches when he came to the team treated him like gold and basically let him do whatever he wanted to. Torts stresses conditioning and defensive responsibility, so it was quite a shock when he came onboard and tried to get Vinny to play in a team system where he was expected to work hard on the backcheck. :eek: Torts also has zero control over his mouth when it comes to the media, and trashed Vinny several times in the press when Dudley was here. It shouldn't surprise anyone that there have been problems between the two. Vinny's been taking it and keeping his mouth shut since Torts has been here, now he finally fights back publically and suddenly everyone thinks he's on the block. :shakehead

    Sorry punchy1, but it seems to me you're looking at nothing but stats, whereas several of us have been watching Vinny for years, some since he was in juniors. He can absolutely dominate a game, but at this point he really needs to do it more often. I don't think this was meant as a "who would you take" thread anyway, Caniac was just making an observation and asking if it had merit.

    I do have a question, who does Staal play with usually? I've only seen him a few times during the regular season and never really noticed.
     
  25. punchy1

    punchy1 Registered User

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    Sorry mate but you should read my post again. I said he *can* dominate *a* game, he just seems to choose not to quite often. You are also implying that I *haven't* watched him (vinnie) too much and I have watched him a bit since he came into the league but not so much prior to his team coming together last year. (maybe a dozen times a year)

    Although, it could be argued that it would be a better and more honest evaluation if you were to take two blokes who haven't seen him play before and then let them watch three or four games of his and then let them tell you what they think.

    If he is a *Star* as some would like us to believe then wouldn't it shine through? I mean, if he is a *star* then wouldn't I have seen it in the dozen or so games a season of his (remember, prior to last season for me where I watched around 30 of his games as that were all I could get at times) that I have seen?

    I have no bias against him by the by. He is a very good young player with solid skills as I have said several times in this thread, I simply don't see any star qualities in his game yet accept on rare occasions.

    The problem is that people are confusing popularity with *star* quality. There are tons of popular players who are well known around the league, they come and go every year. That doesn't mean that they have a shot at the Hall Of Fame or have or will do anything special in thier careers besides playing in the most heavily marketed hockey league in the world. Especially a player like Vinnie who has achieved some of his fame for *not* being all that special.

    I agree RL, I am seeing this all wrong. Vinnie *IS* a young Lemieux. Frolov *IS* a young Guy Lafluer. Gaborik *IS* a young Jari Kuri. Staal *IS* a young Gordie Howe. Avery *IS* a young Essa Tik. Heatly *IS* a young Gretzky. Visnovsky *IS* a young Bobby Orr. etc etc etc.

    It would be a miracle if *any* of them players do anything close to what the players they are compared to have done but sure, they can all be compared to them as young players. They are all young, they all play in the NHL just like those lot did. Other than that, it is *ludicrous* to compare them.

    Lemieux is one of the top three forwards to ever play the game. Vinnie is a slightly better than average pivot with the skills to become a very good one but not the drive as of yet.

    He also at this point (and remember, its all any of us have to make our opinions on, what they have done to this point) has done *nothing* to make me believe that he will ever break the 100 point mark let alone crash beyond it like Lemiux has.

    If the two of them were starting thier careers at the same time you wouldn't even say thier names in the same sentence unless it were to say how much worse Vinnie is than Mario the way I see it and again, I am only basing my opinion on what has happened to this date with both players.

    The reason that I *Can* use those names along with Vinnie's is that they all score the same amount of points as him or have in a season. (using total season stats and not just portions) With the exception of *one* season, Vinnie is more comparable to Josef Stumpel than he is to Lemieux. Vinnie has had one season where he scored 78 points. Stumpel has had two of them (76/79) and the rest of the time he has scored in the 50's. Take the two of them and point wise, Vinnie has scored the around the same points. He projects more as a Stumpel than a Mario as far as scoring goes.

    If you want to argue that the rest of his game is comparable (not the scoring) to Mario's then I would take issue with that as well. Mario came into the league and within a season was one of the most dominant players in the game night in and night out. Vinnie is a dominant player on occasion but with nowhere near the same frequency.

    Sorry mate, I am just never going to buy any comparison of the two until Vinnie proves he can do allot better than he has so far in his career. If we use your logic then every descent player in the league is comparable to 99 and 66 and that isn't true. You can want him to be all you want, at the end of the day, you can only go by what he has accomplished and that, while nice, isn't anything all to special.
     
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