Top-100 Hockey Players of All-Time - Round 2, Vote 9

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by quoipourquoi, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Czechoslovakian goaltending may have benefitted from the Mike Buckna(Trail Smoke Eaters) coaching era, pre and post WWII.

    Soviet goaltenders do not seem to have roots in a specific school.
     
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  2. ChiTownPhilly

    ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    Conacher's PPG placings amongst his Maple Leaf teammates, for the six relevant years discussed above: 1,2 (by .01 PPG- really a virtual tie), 1, 2, 1, 1. If he isn't THE key, then the key is composed of invisible anti-matter.
     
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  3. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    In the 5 or 6 season stretch, Charlie Conacher other than AST honours received only a 2nd and 4th place Hart consideration.

    Indication that he was viewed by 1930s voters as prolific but not key.
     
  4. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    .....Jeez man. If, after everything I say, you also see invisible text reading, "and I've written nine articles for THN and been the top consultant for an entire special edition so just shut up and take what I say as gospel", then that's your problem.

    One can say something in a definitive sense without trying to come off as authoritative.
     
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  5. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    As peak point producers he and Apps were approximately equal. But there's something not captured in the point totals that the Hart voters of the time could see. Defensemen and goalies removed, Apps finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd in Hart voting. Conacher was 1st and 3rd.

    I know Apps wasn't great defensively - he said so himself. It doesn't look like Conacher was, either. Conacher wasn't exceptionally punishing or a "everywhere at once" wrecking ball like a Bill Cook, yet he had a reputation for toughness. Apps was a leader and gentleman and had a Beliveau-like Aura to him. Did he get Hart votes for the mythical "stud factor" that some HF posters have complained Messier received too often? It's really hard to say.

    Was it the team success he enjoyed? Conacher enjoyed just one cup in 7 seasons, with three finals losses and a semifinal loss. Apps lost three finals too, but he won four cups, serving as captain for all four of them.

    Was it playoff production? Off the top of most people's heads they'd say Conacher was an underwhelming playoff scorer and Apps a playoff stud. That overrates Apps while underrating Conacher. In a 20-game minimum sample, during Conacher's 7-year Toronto career, his 26 pts are 1st and his 0.63 PPG is 93% as high as the #2 guy. With Apps, it's not apples to apples. He's got the 2nd most playoff points from 37-48, and 7th in PPG (just 56% of #2) but this includes three WW2 seasons in which he didn't play, and the guys who did (who were ahead of him in PPG) had a combined 98 points in 78 games (1.25 PPG) in those playoffs, in which Apps was unable to play.

    Was it performance relative to team? Doesn't seem likely. Conacher had 1.03 PPG in his Leaf career, to Jackson's 0.87 and Primeau's 0.83 over the same time. Apps had 1.02 in his career, with the next highest who didn't feast during WW2 being Drillon at 0.93 (in a sample half the size).

    Was it due to a better player at another position getting the credit? Conacher had an elite puck moving defenseman getting him pucks in King Clancy. The Leafs had Pratt who exploded for a few years, but Apps missed basically that entire burst. He had no one of note. He may have had an easier time being seen as the "it" guy on the team than Conacher did, and his team was far more successful despite his teammate disadvantage.

    It's hard to show exactly why it happened the way it did, but Apps should definitely be seen as the better all-time Leaf because his Hart voting record is too comparatively strong to ignore. It would be revisionist to put Conacher ahead. And I'm not even sure that I want Apps in this round.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  6. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Clancy, on the other hand, I'm pretty sure was better than Apps. Maybe not even by a small margin. And he'll definitely get my vote in this thing before Apps. But if we're strictly talking "best Leafs of all-time", one must consider length of service, and over half of Clancy's best seasons were in another city.
     
  7. ChiTownPhilly

    ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    So much information here- let's dig into it a little more... it's interesting:
    Were they, though? If we could count Ross trophies/Ross equivalents, Conacher would have a 2-0 edge. Of course, that's just counting- and a lens that helps make Apps look better is if we go by Points per Game. But- sauce for the goose- if we view Apps by PPG, we should do the same with Conacher. Apps in PPG rankings, six best seasons: 1,2,2,4,4,4. Conacher in PPG rankings, six best seasons: 1,1,2,2,3,6. [And- those two '1s' involve gapping 2nd place by almost 20%!] Of course, this is something of a cherry-pick. Apps absolutely has added value outside of these top six seasons- value that just isn't there for Conacher- but let's not forget the parameters of the assertion- "[a]s peak point producers."

    As peak point producers, the data lead me to the conclusion that Conacher has a visible edge.
    Part of Apps' Playoff success was Prime Turk Broda. I expect we'll be discussing him before this Project is over. Who did Conacher have? Lorne Chabot. We won't be discussing him. He also had 37-38-39-40 year-old George Hainesworth*. Maybe we'll discuss him later, maybe we won't. At any rate, by the time he was THAT age, he was ordinary.
    Maybe it would be clearer to say that there's something not captured in the point totals that we take on faith that Hart voters could see. To use a hackneyed legal phrase, it's something like "penumbras formed by emanations." We're looking through a glass darkly here, and so we latch on to what we can- I get it. Let me leave with this thought, though:

    If we relied on the testimony of those closest to the situation as our primary resource, we'd still be rating Kharlamov ahead of Makarov.

    *for a couple of brief moments, Charlie Conacher also had HIMSELF as a netminder, with a few parlor-trick turns in goal at varying points in his career- maybe minding the crease while the starter was in the box, perhaps? And- as far as I could see, he never let one in, either(!)
     
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  8. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    For the record, since Hart voting finishes were cited as looking advantageous for Apps (vs Conacher), here are the Soviet "Best Player" voting finishes of Kharlamov and Makarov (with goalies and defencemen removed):

    Kharlamov: 1, 1, 1, 2*, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5.
    Makarov: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 7.

    *Tied with 1st place in points.

    So the Apps/Kharlamov and Conacher/Makarov equivalencies don't exactly work. Makarov does look better than Kharlamov in contemporary voting.
     
  9. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    One thing to bare in mind with early NHL voting is that it didn't always take place at the end of the season. All-star voting for the 30's and 40's generally took place well before the season was over. In 1935 the voting was done a month or more before the season's last game. The individual all-star votes were printed in the paper from Feb. 22, with final totals printed on Mar. 14, and the season ended on Mar. 19.
     
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  10. wetcoast

    wetcoast Registered User

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    Hard to draw any definitive conclusions from the numbers.

    The league and team constructs are far different in the 40's and 2008.
     
  11. ted1971

    ted1971 History Of Hockey

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    Except Lindros did benefit from playing with the Legion of Doom. He needed LeClair and Renberg so he could play his game.
     
  12. ChiTownPhilly

    ChiTownPhilly Not Too Soft

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    Lindros was the hypotenuse of that particular triangle, or indeed, any other Philly-based triangle (e.g.: 'Crazy-8s Line') in which he was involved.

    Charlie Conacher was the hypotenuse of the 'Kid Line' triangle. Mutual benefit exists- was not my intention to deny it... but the balance-of-trade wasn't exactly co-equal, in either instance.
     
  13. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    Perhaps there was no "key" member of the line. Busher Jackson fared well in AS voting as well, and Joe Primeau had lots of Byng support when it was considered a major award. Conn Smythe felt Primeau was the best player. As was pointed out to me some time ago, old Conn may have just preferred "Gentleman Joe" to the rougher Conacher and the hard-drinking Jackson for reasons not entirely based upon on-ice performance, but I think it's a quote still worth considering.
     
  14. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    What do we make of the fact that Tretiak seems to have had nobody to learn from? He easily became the best Soviet goaltender at a young age. But it seems the Soviets were very poor at developing goaltenders on the whole. Great as he was, it's quite possible there remained untapped potential. In a North American environment, or anywhere with an established culture of development at the position, perhaps he receives the necessary coaching and mentoring to become greater than he was?
     
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  15. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Tretiak peaked very early-1972 and never replicated.

    Co-Jean hockey school in Montreal is a hockey goalie factory.Allaire's first job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  16. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    Is anybody else feeling that the a lot of the new candidates have a leg up on a lot of the previous holdovers?

    At this point, I like Boucher and Richard over Coffey, Park, and Chelios. And I think King Clancy has a good argument as the best defenseman available. Among the short career guys, I could possibly have Dryden third among himself, Conacher, and Apps. I like Kharlamov at this stage, not particularly high on Tretiak. Pilote is kind of my wild card here. I wasn't aware of how strong he was offensively compared to his peers.
     
  17. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    That's the thing, by the time he was 20 he had reached his top level. And it seems there was no real avenue to get any better. Should we have any leniency in regard to his development curve? And does he get extra credit for being (apparently) self-taught? I'm trying to think of a parallel situation...it's almost like a great golfer who only has access to the local municipal course, but he can shoot par at Augusta on a good day.
     
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  18. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    From the goalies project, I remember Tretiak being significantly more consistent on the international stage (where he faced actual competition from other goalies) in the early 1980s, than in the 1970s, when he was fairly up and down.

    In some sense I feel like it might not be fair to judge Tretiak primarily on international play when someone like Dryden was very up and down in international play during his career. But Dryden was consistently amazing in the NHL for the duration of his short career.

    I just can't get a handle on what it means for Tretiak to be easily the best goalie in the USSR, when even USSR hockey people themselves openly said that their goaltending (other than Tretiak) wasn't very good. It's not even an NHL vs Europe thing, because other countries (primarily Czechoslovakia but also Sweden) produced their share of good goalies during the time.
     
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  19. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Not sure he was self-taught. Red Army previously had Puchkov and Konovalenko.

    Lacked graduate level courses and an International/NHL data bank.
     
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  20. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I couldn't quite bring myself to vote Clancy over Chelios, but I had them a lot closer than I did on my Round 1 list.
     
  21. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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  22. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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  23. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    Huh? That's not what the people thought who saw him regularly every season. Tretiak in Soviet Best Player voting:

    1970-1971: 5th
    1971-1972: 6th
    1972-1973: 4th
    1973-1974: 1st
    1974-1975: 1st
    1975-1976: 1st
    1976-1977: 4th
    1977-1978: 2nd
    1978-1979: x
    1979-1980: 8th
    1980-1981: 1st
    1981-1982: 3rd
    1982-1983: 1st
    1983-1984: 2nd

    According to this, Tretiak reached his prime in 1973-1974.

    He achieved World Championships honours (All-star or Best Goaltender or both) in: 1974, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1983.
     
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  24. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    I don't think it means all that much by itself. What puts Tretiak on the map is not that he was the greatest Soviet goaltender, it's his performances in international competition and competition against NHL clubs. He wowed North American observers and the (mainly) European observers at the WCH also thought highly enough of him to give him individual honous in five different years (out of ten) in his prime. That seems like a good and impressive combination to me.

    What I think is the difficult question to get a handle on is what to make of Tretiak's Best Player voting finishes relative to Kharlamov, Makarov etc. Just how big is the grain of salt you need to take his 1st places with? How much did Tretiak's superiority over the other Soviet goaltenders of his time inflate his value and greatness in the eyes of the Soviet observers? Only a little or to a significant degree?
     
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  25. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I really don't think the World Hockey Championships is the best thing to bring up to make the case for Tretiak, considering Jiri Holecek has a better awards record there while peaking at the same time.

    Yes, yes, in the goalies project, I was finally convinced to rank Tretiak (a bit) over Holecek because of his superior longevity and superior performances vs Canada.
     

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