Top-100 Hockey Players of All-Time - Round 2, Vote 17

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by quoipourquoi, Mar 5, 2019.

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  1. quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    Procedure
    • You will be presented with 10+ players based on their ranking in the Round 1 aggregate list (10 players plus anyone with 99% of the voting points of the 10th ranked player)
    • Players will be listed in alphabetical order to avoid creating bias
    • You will submit ten names in a ranked order, #1 through #10, without ties via PM to quoipourquoi
    • Results of this vote will be posted after each voting cycle, but the individual ballots themselves will remain secret until the completion of this project
    • The top-4 players will be added to The List in Vote 1, while the top-5 players will be added to The List in subsequent voting cycles (#1-4 in Vote 1, #5-9 in Vote 2, #10-14 in Vote 3, #15-19 in Vote 4, #20-24 in Vote 5, #25-29 in Vote 6, #30-34 in Vote 7, #35-39 in Vote 8, #40-44 in Vote 9, #45-49 in Vote 10, #50-54 in Vote 11, #55-59 in Vote 12, #60-64 in Vote 13, #65-69 in Vote 14, #70-74 in Vote 15, #75-79 in Vote 16, #80-84 in Vote 17, #85-89 in Vote 18, #90-94 in Vote 19, #95-99 in Vote 20)
    • A 100th player will be added to The List in Vote 21 from an expanded group of 15 candidates

    Eligible Voters
    • Ballots from voters who have submitted an approved Round 1 ranking of 120 players (which was used to shape the aggregate list) will have their votes tabulated in the History of Hockey ranking
    • Art of Sedinery, Batis, BenchBrawl, blogofmike, bobholly39, Canadiens1958, ChiTownPhilly, DannyGallivan, Dennis Bonvie, Dr John Carlson, ehhedler, Hockey Outsider, Iceman, ImporterExporter, Johnny Engine, JoseTheodore2002, kruezer, Kyle McMahon, Mike Farkas, MXD, pappyline, quoipourquoi, ResilientBeast, Sentinel, seventieslord, steve141, ted1971, TheDevilMadeMe, TheGeneral, The Macho Man, tony d, VanIslander

    Guidelines
    • Respect each other. No horseplay or sophistry!
    • Stay on topic and don't get caught up in talking about non-eligible players
    • Participate, but retain an open mind throughout the discussion
    • Do not speculate who cast any particular ballot. Do not make judgments about the mindset of whoever cast that particular ballot. All individual ballots will be revealed at the end of the project.

    House Rules
    • Any attempts to derail a discussion thread with disrespect to old-time hockey will be met with frontier justice
    • We encourage interpositional discussion (forward vs. defenseman vs. goaltender) as opposed to the safer and somewhat redundant intrapositional debates. Overemphasizing a tired single-position argument like, I don’t know, Harvey/Lidstrom, will only be briefly tolerated before one is asked to move on to a less tedious comparison.
    • Take a drink when someone mentions the number of hockey registrations in a given era
    • Finish your drink when someone mentions that goaltenders cannot be compared to skaters

    The actual voting period will open up on Friday, March 8th at midnight and continue through Sunday, March 10th at 8:59pm. Eastern time zone. I will release the results of the vote on Monday, March 11th.


    Vote 17 Candidates
    • Bill Durnan
    • Bill Gadsby
    • Boris Mikhailov
    • Borje Salming
    • Brett Hull
    • Brian Leetch
    • Elmer Lach
    • Nels Stewart
    • Sergei Fedorov
    • Turk Broda
     
  2. MXD Original #4

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    That Fedorov guy is starting to look not so bad, suddenly.

    Seriously, other than Salming, it feels early for all of these guys. Starting with Brian Leetch, who'll firmly hold the last spot 'till the end. And I don't even like Salming that much in the grand scheme of things... but he was my 3rd highest unavailable skater from Round 1 (and my ... 9th highest available player), so it's not like I can really complain, other than....

    I fully expected Ed Belfour to have been available this round.

    Also, that's way too many B's.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  3. quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    If discussion is really flowing, we’ll go until St. Patrick’s Day.
     
  4. bobholly39 Registered User

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    Can't believe Brett Hull is still here.
    He should have been ranked 30+ positions ago imo
     
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  5. MXD Original #4

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    For one, I'm very happy that he's still available here, because he a lot like Nels Stewart, but better at just about everything, which helps put Stewart in context.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  6. ted2019 Know your History

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    I think Lach, Salming, Durnan are shoo-ins for me early on. Hull & possibly Fedorov being 4/5. The rest seem interchangeable.
     
  7. Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    Hart trophy voting results

    Player1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th+Total
    Brett Hull121?3 (4?)
    Nels Stewart213
    Elmer Lach1113
    Bill Durnan1113
    Sergei Fedorov112
    Turk Broda11
    Borje Salming11
    Boris Mikhailov0
    Bill Gadsby0
    Brian Leetch0

    See my commentary for the past two rounds on why I gave Hull a question mark for one of his Hart finishes (relates to the dumb voting rules used after the 1994-95 season).

    In terms of "quality of league" disclaimers - Lach won his Hart trophy during 1945, at the peak of the talent vacuum. His other two years as a finalist are legit. Stewart won his first Hart trophy in 1926 (right before North American professional hockey was consolidated into one league). Durnan's third place finish was in 1946, when the league was still recovering from the war.

    Remember that I'm using a 5% threshold when presenting results. This affected Brian Leetch more than anyone (he got Hart results in three different seasons, but never more than a few at a time).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  8. Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    VsX - 1927 to 2018

    Player 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 7YR 10YR
    Nels Stewart 100.0 97.1 90.7 90.7 88.7 83.0 81.8 81.8 79.5 77.8 90.3 87.1
    Brett Hull 113.9 94.0 87.6 82.3 80.8 79.1 78.2 75.2 73.1 71.4 88.0 83.6
    Elmer Lach 102.6 101.7 94.2 80.6 78.3 75.8 69.6 68.2 67.2 53.7 86.1 79.2
    Sergei Fedorov 100.0 89.2 79.8 75.6 74.7 74.1 71.9 71.4 68.7 66.0 80.8 77.1
    Brian Leetch 87.9 82.3 76.5 71.6 70.8 65.8 61.1 58.6 58.6 54.9 73.7 68.8
    Bill Gadsby 71.8 67.2 64.8 61.4 53.2 50.7 44.0 38.9 38.8 36.1 59.0 52.7
    Borje Salming 74.3 69.7 62.9 59.7 48.9 47.9 42.9 38.1 36.3 35.5 58.0 51.6

    Remember that Sturminator's benchmarks include "fudge factors" for WWII, so Lach's results are probably reasonably accurate.

    Note that this excludes Stewart's 1926 campaign (pre consolidation) when he led the league in goals and points by comfortable margins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  9. DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

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    I'm kinda in the same boat. I had Hull and Durnan as shoe-ins in previous rounds (it's tough being an outlier, sometimes). I like that the often-overlooked Elmer Lach is up. Salming was a very likeable player, but he played for the Leafs which automatically tarnished him ;) I had him 113 on my list of 120, so yeah, I'm thinkin' it's a little early for him. Still liked him, though. Meanwhile, I had Leetch 118. It's safe to say I still have several players still available on my original list of 120.
     
  10. TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I like that Gadsby, Leetch, and Salming are available at the same time - they seem similar in quality to me. None totally wows me now, but they won't be bottom of the list for sure.

    I definitely prefer Lach to Fedorov. Not entirely sure where to put Stewart there, but I lean towards having him fairly high. Too bad Ullman and Cowley aren't here, but not worth complaining about.

    As one-dimensional goal-scorers go, Stewart had many more great years than Hull, but he doesn't have the clutch thing that Hull does.

    Broda will be fairly high for me. Among short prime players, Durnan vs Leetch is worth looking at.

    Fedorov might still be last, but it isn't guaranteed.
     
  11. Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    *raises hand* I have a dumb question...the more I look into it, the less dumb I feel about it, but I'm wearing a lead shirt today, so do your worst...

    Was Turk Broda really better than Johnny Bower? Is Broda just a slovenly Billy Smith?
     
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  12. MXD Original #4

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    Well, Broda played LOTS of games and his playoff results are, I think, better than Bower.

    I don't really think we should care about team records, but it's telling that Broda became the first player to register 300 wins with a single team (and, well, the first player to register 300 wins), despite missing 2.75 seasons to WWII. The next player to achieve this was, I think, Jacques Plante. Much later. With more games per season. Broda had absolutely crazy longevity and had more NHL games than Bower DESPITE shorter sesons and WWII. Bower was stuck in the minors, but maybe if he was, you know, better, somone would've traded for him?
     
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  13. Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    Durnan, Broda, and Fedorov were three of my top five last round, so they start this one at the top of the pile. I'm not sure what the record is for most times listing a player at #1 on a ballot is, but I think I might well set it with Durnan. Not really sure what was said last round to suddenly send Kurri and Denneny sailing past him.

    Brett Hull and Nels Stewart both have the lazy/one-dimensional tag with them. I think Hull has fallen about as far as reasonable though. He's been the best goal scorer left on the board for quite a while. Ken Hitchcock and Scott Bowman both wanted him around when they were winning Cups. Stewart has been described as lazy/floater to the extreme...but two Hart Trophies suggest this has to have been exaggerated to some extent.

    I like the strong overall games of Lach and Mikhailov, I could be talked into having them in my top five this round.

    I had Salming and Gadsby right next to each other on my initial list. I don't think they're out of place, they too could be in the mix for top five for me.

    No clear last place for me, though I'd say Leetch might be the early favorite for that.
     
  14. MXD Original #4

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    Martin Brodeur and Ken Dryden, 3 times.
     
  15. TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Finally some of the backlog of non-modern centers appear.

    Elmer Lach - great two-way player - probably not as good defensively as Fedorov, but his offensive results are quite a bit higher. Keep in mind that (as HO says), the current VsX model already discounts war years, so we don't have to make a mental fudge like we did in the centers project.

    Lach seems to have played a "bigger than his size" style similar to Forsberg, and like Forsberg, was often injured. So end of season metrics like VsX probably underrate him a bit. On the other hand, Lach regularly centered Maurice Richard, However Hart voting shows Lach was a finalist 3 times (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes), so voters had a lot of respect for his overall game.

    Lach will definitely be in my top 5 this round.

    Nels Stewart - Great comparison to Brett Hull. As noted above, his best season came before 1926, yet his offense still looks tops this round. As a regular season goal scorer, Stewart is easily #1 this round.

    Stewart was great in the 1926 playoffs as a rookie (Retroactive Conn Smythe), and generally poor afterwards.

    Seems to have been a decent all-round player as a rookie too, then gotten lazy and started letting his teammates do the hard work to get him the puck in scoring position.

    Still, if there is any player who should get in based on regular season goal scoring alone:

    Goals
    1925-26 NHL 34 (1st)
    1926-27 NHL 17 (8th)
    1927-28 NHL 27 (3rd)
    1928-29 NHL 21 (2nd)
    1929-30 NHL 39 (4th)
    1930-31 NHL 25 (4th)
    1931-32 NHL 22 (7th)
    1932-33 NHL 18 (9th)
    1933-34 NHL 22 (3rd)
    1934-35 NHL 21 (6th)
    1936-37 NHL 23 (1st)
    1937-38 NHL 19 (8th)
    1938-39 NHL 16 (9th)
    Stewart has a pretty good shot at my top 5 this round.
     
  16. VMBM Touch a mountain... m'kay?

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    Too bad a player like Maltsev and/or Martinec isn't available; not that I would rank them above Mikhailov, but they'd still be relevant contemporaries (and at least Maltsev would have a decent case vs Mikhailov).
     
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  17. TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Elmer Lach's all-round game

    In 1948, Canadiens coach Dick Irvin called Lach "the perfect 4 way center" - not only could he score goals and backcheck, but he was also adept at going to both sides of the ice. I assume this is contrasting Lach's creativity with the kind of center who would mostly stay in his lane. (@ehhedler posted this in the centers project)

    The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search

    Irvin loved Lach:

    Dink Carroll, The Montreal Gazette - March 10, 1952
    The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search

    More sources on Lach's all-round game:

    _____________________________

    Lach's runner up Hart finish in 1951-52 was largely due to his performance with Maurice Richard out of the lineup

    In the center's project, @overpass noted how strong Lach's performance was in 1951-52 when Maurice Richard was injured:

    Here's a contemporary source on Lach's play during the season:

    The Montreal Gazette - Recherche d'archives de Google Actualités
     
  18. Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Maurice Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1945.

    Elmer Lach pretty handily beat him for the Hart that season.

    I think that's worth mentioning, even though we all know it.
     
  19. BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Disappointed in no Eddie Gerard or Serge Savard.

    To posters who saw all of them play: Wasn't Bill Gadsby a good notch above Salming and Leetch?
     
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  20. Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    I don't think so, no.

    I will say that Gadsby may have been hurt statistically - if I'm remembering right - by having to deal with some five-forward power plays in Detroit. Delvecchio and Ullman occupied the points often in Detroit. So - if I'm correct in remembering - Gadsby got older but didn't get a lot of easy minutes or slightly easier points...

    Leetch was a better talent, but Leetch wasn't nearly as good defensively of course. Salming was more well-rounded than both for me.
     
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  21. Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Gadsby was more physical - 1956 almost ended Horton'scareer with a clean, open ice hit.

    Also, Gadsby had a more complete defensive toolbox - shot blocker, better slot control.
     
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  22. BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Biggest knock on Gadsby, the so-called "3rd man" behind a supreme duo of competition in Doug Harvey and Red Kelly, is that he lost the Norris to Tom Johnson in 1959, after Tom Johnson got the opportunity to shine in Harvey's absence due to an injury.Kelly was a nonfactor in Norris voting by that point.

    Age was not a factor, Gadsby was 31 and Johnson 30.

    Maybe that says more about Tom Johnson's hidden abilities than Gadsby's though.
     
  23. K Fleur Better Days

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    If this post belongs in the previous voting thread I apologize.

    A lot of talk about whether Fedorov is romanticized due to his one big season(93-94)

    From 94-95 through 02-03 Fedorov was the 21st highest scoring player in the league. He was also 3rd in playoff points during that same stretch. Important to remember that points weren’t the only thing Fedorov brought to the game. Still a relatively unimpressive regular season performer.

    I picked that particular stretch of his career because it was immediately post Hart trophy through Fedorov’s last season with Detroit and of significant relevance.
     
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  24. TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Compilation of posts on Nels Stewart from the HOH centers project


    Link to overpass's thread thread on Nels' rookie season (the best season of his career and one of the best rookie seasons ever): Nels Stewart and the 1926 Montreal Maroons

    The information is the thread is quite long and detailed. I'm not going to repost here, but I'd urge voters to at least skim the OP of that thread.

    My short response:

    I found this article where one writer gave his All-Star selections for the 1928-29 season. It was during a brief period in Stewart's career when he played left wing:

    He chose Nels Stewart as his All Star LW, followed by Joliat closely over George Hay

    About Stewart:
    The Morning Leader - Google News Archive Search

    SO by 1928-29, Stewart's "careless manner" of standing around letting his teammates do all the work was already well established, though he was still a strong backchecker when he wanted to be.

    Then there's this passage from Eddie Shore and that Old Time Hockey, quoted in Dreakmur's ATD profile:

    But that book was written well after Stewart's career.

    My take is that Stewart was capable of being a force all over the ice (at least prior to the forward pass), but that as his career went on, he got lazier and lazier, letting his linemates do all the hard work. The famous "S Line" (Babe Siebert, Nels Stewart, Hooley Smith) basically turned the two wingers (who were good enough to be HHOFers when not playing with Stewart) into glorified grinders who would do all the puck retrieval and backchecking for the line, while Stewart's slow ass cherrypicked.

    This is consistent with Stewart's awards recognition. He won his second Hart Trophy in 1929-30, but barely factors into the awards voting in the 1930s, despite still racking up the goals.
    ____________________-

    One minor factoid about Stewart: He was the second center of his generation enshrined in the HHOF. Morenz (1945) then Stewart (1952), then Frank Boucher (1958).

    _____________________-

    Posts on Stewart's brief stint as a defenseman early in his career:

    Nels Stewart vs Joe Malone as goal scorers

    I'm burying the bulk of this in a quote, as Malone went a few rounds ago.

    I'll leave my conclusions outside the quote:
    • Joe Malone's 1913 NHA season (when he score 43 goals vs 29 for second place) is the most impressive goal scoring season between the two players.
    • Overall, their best 5 years as goal scorers are too close to call (a 575-572 margin for Malone is easily within the margin of error for something like this)
    • Nels Stewart had significantly more longevity as an elite goal scorer, easily beating Malone in every season past the 5 year mark, and having an overall 14-8 advantage in relevant seasons.
    I don't think that, as a group, players of Malone's generation had longevity that was any worse than Stewart's generation (see Newsy Lalonde), so I think a straight up comparison of their longevity as elite players is fair.

    New 2019 comment: 2 factors in Joe Malone's favor that weren't originally present in my OP:

    1) While Stewart certainly seemed capable of driving the play in the late 1920s, for the bulk of his goal scoring prime in the 1930s, he seemed to lazily stand or skate around as a pure finisher and let teammates do all the hard work. How much of this was due to laziness and how much of it was due to the greater role of speed in game after the forward pass was allowed in 1930 (Stewart was a notorious slow skater).

    2) Malone seems to have been "ok" defensively. Stewart was actually pretty good as a rookie, but was a floater for most of his career.

    That said, I don't think Stewart should go too far below Malone.

    Relevant to this round, I'd like to compare Stewart to Brett Hull. @Hockey Outsider , do you have the VsX equivalent for just goal scoring between Hull and Stewart?
     
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  25. Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    A quick and dirty argument for Bill Durnan...(I won't repost a bunch of stuff from previous discussions, it's all there for everyone to see).

    When Durnan finished his career, it is not outlandish that he might have been considered the best ever at his position. This was an argument that was successfully made for Vezina, who has been on the list for a while. The contemporary challenger to Vezina's claim, Clint Benedict, also got elected two rounds ago. Charlie Gardiner was the next goaltender who could possibly make this claim, and he topped voting last round. Finally, Durnan's contemporary Frank Brimsek has a solid case for retiring as the game's greatest netminder, and he too was listed ages ago.

    This will apply to Broda's candidacy as well, but there seems to be a peculiar gap forming between the WWI era of goaltenders and the WWII era. Questions were raised, reasonably so in my opinion, about the importance and quality of goaltending in the pre-forward pass era on back. It seems to be generally accepted that the position evolved continuously and grew in importance as the years went on. The high rankings of Plante, Hall, and Sawchuk would indicate that the position had definitely "arrived" by the early 1950s, and unless evidence to the contrary is presented, it seems reasonable to assume this growth was fairly linear.

    Yet here we stand with Vezina, Benedict, and Gardiner now listed, while Brimsek is the lone goaltender from a pretty broad expanse (1935-1950 or so) to make the list. At this point, keeping Durnan or Broda out again would be hard to fathom. Unless somebody wants to argue that the quality of goaltending circa 1920 was superior to the quality circa 1950. Because the second-best goaltender from the WWI era (deemed to be Benedict by our panel) is already going to be at least a handful of spots better than the second-best from the WWII era (be it Durnan or Broda), despite apparent universal agreement that the goaltender position improved considerably between the two time periods.
     

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