Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by ForsbergForever4ever, Mar 25, 2011.
Like was he a star around the league? Or just a pretty good player with some big seasons?
I feel like he was a bit overrated based in the potential he had earlier in his career. He had some monster years but he fell a bit short and his playoff record was pretty crappy. I'd put him in the category between a Brendan Shanahan and a Jason Arnott for star power...
He wasn't a Gretzky obviously but there were a few years where he had a legit claim to being the best left wing in the league. Star power was always going to be limited if you play for Winnipeg/Phoenix in the 90s and St.Louis in the 2000s.
I actually thought this question was going to be about post-lockout Tkachuk when I first saw it...
He was a superstar in the late 90s, then suffered from injuries and became quite the power play specialist who choked in the playoffs. But everyone thought he was still a superstar. I think his contract in St. Louis was for 10 million dollars a year.
How physically big was he? In his prime about 6'2" 220 lbs.
In general he was highly revered for a short time and then seemed to live off a good reputation from it afterwards despite not being the same player anymore. He won't be a Hall of Famer but when you look back on things there is one distinct thing I remember. When the Hockey News did that famous list in 1997 of their top 50 players the idea was that players like him, Bryan Berard and Eric Lindros would be future members of that list. I distinctly remember him being pegged as one of those guys.
For some reason he was always a guy teams liked for the playoffs even though he was an atrocious playoff performer. I guess they never learned
Looking at his stats and size and remembering his style, it strikes me how similar to John Leclair he was in his prime.
Playoff Choker. I remember when the Coyotes had a 3-1 series lead on St. Louis in the late-90s only to lose the next two and Tkachuk guaranteed a win in game 7. Coyotes lost the game and Tkachuk, as usual, did nothing to contribute.
This is actually the perfect description of tkachuk.
He was a big, nasty presence around the net with a pretty wicked scoring touch. His biggest problem was that he played playoff style hockey in the regular season, and regular season style hockey in the playoffs. His temper may have been his undoing, as it seemed pretty easy for almost every team to knock him off his game in a seven game series.
But make no mistake, in the regular season the guy was scary good. He'd check your brains out, punch you in the mouth, then score three goals against you. It probably would have done him a world of good to play with a great, steady leader, ala Gretzky, Yzerman, or Sakic. Someone who could have focused his rage and talent might have turned him into a First Ballot Hall of Famer.
i remember watching the canucks facing the jets in the playoffs the year before tkachuk's official rookie year. that was his first taste of the bigs and already you could see he would be a scary player. always won puck battles, was like a wrecking ball out there on the boards, he fought guys, wreaked havoc in front of the net, halfway through the series, i was so sick of hearing his name. but he was always in the thick of things. ended up leading the jets in goals that spring.
and that's probably the only time i ever thought he was good in the playoffs, when he was a raw and cocky rookie with no expectations to do anything out there.
It's an interesting question, did his re-signing with St.Louis in 2007 show loyalty or was it a sign of taking stability/money over the chance to finally do something in the playoffs.
I mean his "best" playoff team-wise was the 01 run to the Western finals with St.Louis and they got demolished by the Avs there. That's not a whole lot to show for in a 500 goal/1,000 point player career.
A lot of players like him would probably have taken a pay-cut to go to a contender for their last contract. I mean he was still a 25-30 goal scorer at the time.
Dunno but he is huge now.
He still lives in St. Louis now. He never wanted to leave/uproot his family.
Good grief! He's only, what, 10 months from being an active NHL player?
He looks like he's about 50 years old and 260 pounds there.
You're undercutting him a bit here.
He was an elite player from 1993-2004 which is a hell of a long time. He only fell off past age 32-33 which is pretty normal.
His numbers suffered a bit from 1997-2004 because of injuries (seemed to miss 10-15 games every year) but if you pro-rate his numbers he would have been top-10 in the league in goals practically every year in that stretch and top-10 in points in some of them as well.
His regular season career is clearly HHOF calibre - elite goalscoring record in his prime, 500 goals and 1000 points, two post-season All-Star nods, one of the best power forwards ever.
If he'd done anything at all in the playoffs - even had one strong run before losing in the Finals like Alfredsson - he'd be going to the HHOF. But he didn't, and his playoff record is one of the worst ever from an elite player.
The 2001 playoffs in particular were godawful. He was aquired at a huge price by St. Louis at the deadline that year, was dead in his prime, and St. Louis were an elite team who were a legitimate Cup contender. He was supposed to be the guy that put them over the top. Instead, he was completely invisible, scored 2 goals in 15 games as the Blues were bounced in the Conference Finals. Pierre Turgeon carried the team on his back that playoffs while Tkachuk and Demitra were abysmal.
As someone else noted, it's odd that he seemed to get worse and worse in the playoffs as his career went along. Looked great on bad Jets teams in his first couple seasons, scored 17 goals in his first 32 career playoff games. Then scored 11 in his next 57, which is just shocking when you think about it - essentially turned from a guy who averaged 35-40 goals/82 games in the regular season to one who pro-rated out at 16 goals/82 games in the playoffs.
What if he was on the Wings his entire career? Bigger star and HHOFer? Probably better playoff player with others having the pressure?
In his two 50 goal seasons, his numbers were padded with a lot of empty-netters:
Wow, Bure scored 9 (!!!) ENG in 99/00.
I think he was the best player @ the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Perhaps together with Iginla.
Unfortunately he got injured late in the tournament and had to play with one leg.
impossible. they would have traded him to carolina for brendan shanahan.
so those numbers are a bit inflated.
he was a definitely a star player but he was most definitely not a superstar
not in the sense that he could carry his team anywhere in the playoffs
well, that's less goals scored with a goalie in the net, but it does show that he was counted on to be on the ice at the end of a one goal game, which speaks to his importance as a player on those teams. and EN goals generally indicates that he did his job correctly and helped his team preserve the win.
frankly, i'm surprised and impressed. big walt is not someone i would think to tap on the shoulder if i were trying to defend a lead, both because he wasn't the best defensively until near the end of his career (i don't think he was taking faceoffs in his 50 goal years) and because he wasn't exactly the best of players in pressure situations.
this may just be the prevailing fallacy about physical players, but he was very highly regarded around the league and i think the assumption was that he would eventually become a guy you'd want in the playoffs, like neely or shanahan. but, like bertuzzi, powerforward doesn't always = grit, and it certainly doesn't always = warrior.
Well yeah. I dont even want to know how many empty netters Wayne Gretzky has scored. Yet we all know Tkachuk had two 50+ goals seasons but also 6 and 8 empty net goals respectively. That's quite a lot and those goals are always a bit pis poor.
Nice for him that he was on the ice and sealed the deal but anybody can put the puck in the net with no goalie.
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