Sail On, Big E

I think it’s impossible to keep Eric Lindros out of any reasonable Hockey Hall of Fame. I also think it’s completely reasonable to assume that he will not make the Hall for many, many years.

Why? Lindros is a “perfect storm” for what the HHOF does and does not like. They put a tremendous amount of importance on winning one or more Stanleys, which is reflected in the fact that 15 Toronto Maple Leafs from the 1960s Cup teams are in the Hall (you can look it up, but here are the names: Al Arbour, George Armstrong, Andy Bathgate, Johnny Bower, Dick Duff, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, Marcel Pronovost, Bob Pulford, Terry Sawchuk, Allan Stanley). I could include Gerry Cheevers to make it even more incredible, but in the interest of fairness a few of the names (Olmstead, Moore) belong to another era.

Lindros also had some rebel in him, and in a league like the NHL a guy like Lindros is going to pay for it for a long, long time. Last night I saw a tsn between period conversation that included Bob McKenzie, Mike Milbury and Bobby Clarke. Milbury said he shouldn’t get in (Milbury is an outstanding tv personality btw, I mean it’s incredible), McKenzie said he should and then Clarke was left to break the tie.

Clarke said on ability alone he should be in, and then proceeded to bury him. Again. Hey, I don’t know Eric Lindros from a load of hay. But I’ll tell you in the years between his draft day and this one I always hoped he’d be an Oiler and knew he could help any team win hockey games. He was an exceptional player whose combination of skills were varied and elite, and he delivered big time. His ppg total (1.27 over 760gp) in the deadball era was as impressive to see as it is to contemplate now that his run is through.

Eric Lindros had an achilles and it was exposed again and again, but only after he established himself as a worthy Hall of Famer in the “peak value” category. I invite arguments to the contrary, but you better pack a lunch because it’s going to take you all day.

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40 Responses to "Sail On, Big E"

  1. PDO says:

    I wanted Neely to be in… and by the same metric, Lindros is easily in.

    Dominant player, impacted the way the game is played today, and played at an extremely elite level for a significant period of time.

  2. uni says:

    His days with Philly are just incredible. Looking at his stats and the way the league was it’s pretty clear he is Hall of Fame worthy.

    Also a nod goes to pivoting one of the all time great monikers for a line: The Legion of Doom.

  3. Oilman says:

    I never liked the guy and it won’t hurt me to see him stew for 10 years but he’s the 2nd all time point getter for Canada in international play behind The Great One, and I believe that speaks volumes.

  4. Bruce says:

    If winning Cups was all that mattered, Glenn Anderson would have been in the Hall long before Cam Neely or Pat Lafontaine. Obviously, there’s more to it than that.

    Eric Lindros is an interesting case. He had an absolutely spectacular amateur career, having won a Mem Cup, two World Juniors, a Canada Cup, and Olympic silver by the age of 19. He was dubbed “The Next One” as he entered the NHL, generating large-font headlines by snubbing small market Canada and prompting a bidding war between two of hockey’s big-money American teams.

    The Big Ego was a prodigious talent, but not good enough to win by himself — who is? Rather than signing with a promising young Nordiques squad that already had drafted the likes of Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Adam Foote, Lindros forced the trade that gutted his new team, the Flyers. Was it a big surprise that he was never surrounded with a supporting cast good enough to win? He brought it on himself.

    For certain, the team (such as it was) was built around him. He got first-line icetime, prime PP time, the two best wingers on the team, and put up some excellent regular-season numbers. But his team went nowhere in the playoffs, reaching the Finals just once where they were swept aside by the Red Wings.

    The high-profile stud with the obnoxious parents and the asshole GM was an obvious target — stop Lindros, stop the Flyers was a pretty easy formula. Playing in a division with the likes of Darius Kasparaitis and Scott Stevens, it was just a matter of time before somebody caught him with his head down. To everyone’s surprise, The Next One turned out to have a glass jaw, and his career went south in a hurry.

    His leadership skills were questionable at best: the World Junior team he captained finished in sixth place, and the Nagano Olympic team fourth. He was rarely the guy who came up with the big goal or the clutch performance when the chips were truly down.

    Hall of Fame talent? Unquestionably. Hall of Fame career? Looking at the record, the sum is much less than the parts. If he does get in, it’ll be because of a Cam Neely-type sympathy vote … showed enough when healthy to make you wonder how truly great he might have been. Alas, Lindros is a fairly unsympathetic figure so I don’t see him garnering the requisite votes any time soon.

  5. K says:

    Lindros was a favourite of mine growing up. In grade 3 in ’91 or ’92, we had to pick someone famous to write a letter to so I chose Lindros. I was the only student in class to get a reply back which included a signed promo pic of him during his Oshawa General days. Still have it filed away somewhere.

  6. Ribs says:

    Milbury and Clarke in the same room, on television!
    That’s a better idea than any sitcom pilot ever made. Throw Burkie in as the curmudgeoning next door neighbour and Jerry Seinfeld will be serving you your lunch!

    I feel sorry for Lindros because he got himself stuck in Philly and couldn’t find a way out and paid dearly for it. What a waste.

    Should he be in the HHOF? Yeas but only for the things that could have been. If Neely’s in, so is Eric.

  7. dwillms says:

    Hall of Fame talent? Unquestionably. Hall of Fame career? Looking at the record, the sum is much less than the parts.

    So, are you saying a player should be judged not just by what he accomplished, but also by whether he lived up to his potential?

    Should a guy like Joe Mullen (1000 games, 500 goals, 1000 points) who was undersized and went undrafted, get more credit than someone like Lindros?

  8. Bohologo says:

    LT’s post is actually a sneakily subversive one targeting the HHOF. Flipped this around, the obvious question is: what’s the criteria to get into the HHOF?

    According to their website, “HHFM works with members of the Canadian and international hockey community to ensure that those players, builders and officials who have made significant contributions and achievements in the game are honoured and memorialized through their election into Honoured Membership”

    Significant contributions and achievements is a pretty broad definition, encompassing a continuum from Dick Duff to Bobby Orr. Does Lindros fit on that continuum? Sure. But I think LT’s point (if I may surmise), is that the Hall does not have the most finely calibrated metrics for inclusion.

  9. Bohologo says:

    One more thing: the HOF lists “The following attributes are the basis on which the election of nominees to Honoured Membership is to be considered”, as the following:

    “Playing ability, sportsmanship, character and their contribution to the team or teams and to the game of hockey in general.”

    Lindros scores very high on the first, breathtakingly low on the second, and barely neutral on the last. Now-how are these weighted, if that truly is the combination of attributes used to choose the worthy.

  10. Art Vandelay says:

    Eric Lindros let his mom makes his bed. Now he has to lie in it.

  11. Gret99zky says:

    Until Paul Henderson and Glenn Anderson get in the HHOF,

    inducting Eric Lindros is just another example that the bar by which excellence is measured has continued to get lower and lower.

  12. Shawn says:

    I’ll never understand the Paul Henderson thing. He had a great tournament and scored a huge goal. I think he’s been more than rewarded for it!

  13. dwillms says:

    Here’s something interesting I never thought of until looking at the all-time NHL scoring leaders list:

    If he were also to retire today, would you also consider Peter Forsberg a Hall-Of-Fame player?

    It’s pretty remarkable to me how similar their careers have turned out. Traded for one another, both were considered the best player in the game at one point, and both have had their careers shortened significantly due to their reckless style of play.

    * Stanley Cups: Forsberg (2-0)
    * World Championship Gold: Forsberg (2-0)
    * Olympic Gold: Forsberg (2-1)
    * WJC Gold: Lindros (2-0)
    * Canada Cup Gold: Lindros (1-0)
    * Hart: Tied (1-1)
    * Art Ross: Forsberg (1-0)
    * Calder: Forsberg (1-0, although Lindros did lose to Selanne’s monster year)
    * Goals/Game: Lindros (0.49-0.36)
    * Points/Game: Forsberg (1.25-1.14)
    * Playoff Goals/Game: Lindros (0.45-0.44)
    * Playoff Points/Game: Forsberg (1.16-1.08)

    Would Lindros have won 2 Stanley Cups if he had Sakic, Roy, Bourque, Blake, and the supporting cast that Forsberg did?

  14. Bruce says:

    Hall of Fame talent? Unquestionably. Hall of Fame career? Looking at the record, the sum is much less than the parts.

    So, are you saying a player should be judged not just by what he accomplished, but also by whether he lived up to his potential?

    No I don’t think I’m saying that. His potential and whether he lived up to it should have neither a positive nor a negative impact on HHoF credentials. What did he actually accomplish?

    In Lindros’ case, 865 regular season points, just 57 in the playoffs, zero Stanley Cups, and a lot of international success sprinkled with some failure. Those numbers don’t appear that extraordinary. He was a dominant player for a few years, and if he had carried on his early career curve for 10 or 12 years he would be a HHoFer without question. But he played just one year of more than 73 games, and was on the downhill slope by the time he was 25.

    Should a guy like Joe Mullen (1000 games, 500 goals, 1000 points) who was undersized and went undrafted, get more credit than someone like Lindros?

    Yes, because Lindros didn’t achieve any of those milestones and Mullen did. The underdog-makes-good story didn’t hurt his cause, and neither did three Stanley Cups, but Mullen made the Hall based on what he actually accomplished, not unfulfilled potential. Lindros should be similarly judged on what he actually did, not what he might have done if …

  15. Lowetide says:

    Well the numbers don’t appear extraordinary because much of his career was played in Dodger Stadium. Lindros at his peak was an impact player in the broadest sense, able to impact a game on all kinds of levels.

    As for the Forsberg comp, it’s interesting but I don’t think they are in the same general area of my HHOF.

    Lindros makes it in without a throw, Forsberg is extremely close to my “inner circle” Hall of Fame. He was one of the very best players I’ve ever seen.

  16. mc79hockey says:

    As I see it, there are two criteria by which we evaluate these guys: career and peak. Mike Gartner kind of represents “career”; for peak, say someone like Bobby Orr. Cam Neely made it on peak value. On peak value, I don’t think that anyone can disagree that he’s inner circle – Bruce?

    By the way, characterizing Lindros’ international career as being a disappointment really misses the mark. As far as I know, there are two living Canadians with two Olympic men’s hockey medals – Lindros and Kariya. Toss in a Canada Cup and the WJC and Lindros has a fine track record.

  17. goldenchild says:

    I have always had more issue with guys that make it in by playing forever and puting up good numbers than players who for a shorter period and have great seasons.

    For Example Don Sutton is in the Baseball Hall of Fame because he won 300 games over 23 seasons. Never won a Cy Young , never won 20 games, in fact outside of one year winning 18 his next best was 15 wins and his career winning % was a 56%

    Compare that to Pedro who won’t finish anywhere near 300 wins, just over 200 now but has 3 Cy Youngs, and a 6 or 7 year period where he was virtually unhittable and was among league leaders in almost every important pitching category. He has no where near as durable as Sutton but with a winning percentage of almost 70% who is the real Hall of Famer?

    As Peter King says of why he won;t vote for Art Monk in he NFL Hall of Fame it is it should be the Hall of the great not the hall of the really good for a long time.

    Lindros in his peak years was a premiere player, MVP winner first team all-star and as productive as any players the league has seen in the games he played. He is definitly a hall of Famer.

  18. Oilman says:

    Pedro will be a sure HOFer too though… should have probably used an example like Doc Gooden, whose first few years were as dominant as any pitcher I’ve ever seen, but for many reasons (well mainly drugs and injuries) will not be a HOFer…

  19. goldenchild says:

    Oilman sorry my post was more a case against Sutton and guys like him who ammass impressive career stats by playing forever. Pedro is the best example I could think of for a guy who doesn’t have the career numbers but at his peak was so dominating that he is clearly a first ballot guy.

    I never have issue with guys who were brilliant for a shorter period making it but I do have a problem with the guys who hang around forever putting up good to very good years making it. The NHL HOF is full of them and 88′s resume no matter how short is way more impressive than many already in.

  20. Master Lok says:

    I actually value the guys with long careers making it because they’ve proven consistency and longevity – and those are valuable markers in my books.

    if you’re only looking at peaks – then is Teemu Selanne in?

  21. Dennis says:

    Is it just me, or does everytime Lain uses , “Sail On.”, you think about the Commodores? Then, if you’re me, you think about Tommy Davidson doing a lame Lionel Ritchie impersonation where he signs that song and pretends he has a deviated septum.

    And then perhaps, you might think about Lionel Ritchie’s fro and maybe later, you think about Faith No More covering “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”

    I’m just asking…

  22. Lowetide says:

    I stole it from Sail on, Sailor which is a Beach Boys song.

  23. Slipper says:

    Anyone who scores 500 goals probabley gets in, no?

    Selanne sits 25th all-time at 540 goals. If Goulets gets in with 548 and no cups, then Selanne’s a lock.

    Plus he’s Finnish.

  24. Vic Ferrari says:

    One of the best to ever play. His PP production lagged well behind Mario and Wayne, but he scored at an outrageous rate at 5v5. And this in the dead ball era, with linemates who were not stars in their own right, and against really good forwards and D on most nights. And without bleeding goals against the way that Mario and Wayne did. This with goaltending behind him that was rarely great.

    Also: I give him extra marks for refusing to move a thousand miles away from home to play hockey when he was a teenage boy. And I don’t deduct any for refusing to play in Quebec. Partly because I think that the amateur draft is the most perverse thing in North American sports.

    Hall of Fame inner circle IMO.

  25. Black Dog says:

    Gartner – definitely Don Sutton.

    How many years was Lindros near the top? An impact player? Eight or nine? And still good enough to be a member of the SLC team in ’02.

    How many years did Orr play – about the same, if not less?

    Now Orr is in another stratosphere but if Lindros was an elite guy for the same amount of time, which I believe he was, then he is in. Don’t like him personally but I’d say he’s in.

  26. Bruce says:

    Cam Neely made it on peak value. On peak value, I don’t think that anyone can disagree that he’s inner circle – Bruce?

    Just because I’m an argumentative son of a bitch, I’ll say that on peak value, Marty St.-Louis makes it.

    As Laurie Anderson puts it, “Is time long, or is it wide?” A high, narrow peak doesn’t really cut it. Lindros had a number of very good if injury-shortened seasons, but he won just the one Hart Trophy (in the bastard 1995-95 season that was only 48 games long and where the two conferences never even played each other, so waht does it mean?), one first All-Star selection (same year, same objection) and one Second All-Star selection. One 100-point season. One season of 75+ games. Zero Stanley Cups.

    Inner circle? Nope, to me he’s a “coulda been” in that category. I think on balance I personally would be tempted to vote for him (eventually), but I don’t have a vote, and for the reasons I cited previously I think he’s gonna have to wait awhile.

    By the way, characterizing Lindros’ international career as being a disappointment really misses the mark.

    Not sure if that’s still aimed at me, mc, but I certainly never said that. What I did say, in the midst of admiring remarks about his international accomplishments, is that Lindros’ international record as team captain was not good. As a supporting cast player — early World Juniors, 1991 Canada Cup, 2002 Olympics — he did fine.

    But if that’s your criterion, then Ryan Smyth should be in the Hall.

  27. Rob says:

    If you’re me, when Lowetide uses “Sail On”, you immediately think of the Beach Boys, then Tandyn Almer, then “Along Comes Mary”.

    But that’s neither here nor there.

    Lindros is a HOF-er, no doubt, particularly considering who is already in.

    Finally got in a visit to the Hall a couple of years ago, after only dreaming of it during my years spent out West, and… well, does anyone else think it ain’t near, uh, hallowed enough ?

    I’m not talking about the members, I’m talking about the atmosphere of the place itself.

    I suppose I was hoping for a shrine, a place where people take off their hats, something a little more solemn.

    Instead I got interactive gimmicks and tourists lining up to rub their grubby mitts on the Cup.

    I was hoping for more museum and less theme park, I guess.

    I’ve never been to Cooperstown, but I’d like to think it has a bit more, er, dignity (I’m probably wrong).

    Maybe I’m just a crank.

  28. Colby Cosh says:

    I feel sorry for Lindros because he got himself stuck in Philly and couldn’t find a way out and paid dearly for it.

    The guy is a Hall of Famer but isn’t this like pitying John Wayne Gacy for all the tough household cleanups?

    Also, if LT is really being fair to the ’60s Leafs I think we have to admit that Al Arbour is probably not in the Hall on playing ability.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Colby: Oh yeah, agreed. In the interest of fairness, I also should have said that a guy like Olmstead (or Dickie Moore) were players of interest but not really a part of the group.

    I find it difficult to be fair when it comes to Toronto, but you’re certainly correct.

  30. Bruce says:

    LT: When it comes to contribution to the Leafs, Moore’s was minimal. He played just 38 games in T.O in 1964-65, a non-Cup year in his first of two short comebacks (the other was with Scotty Bowman’s Blues in 1967-68). Moore scored all but 14 of his regular season points with the Habs between 1951-63.

    Olmstead OTOH, played his last four full seasons with the Leafs, after being claimed on waivers from the Habs following their third straight (of five) Cup in 1957-58. Olmstead was a key veteran presence as the young Leafs rose from the cellar to contender, and played a big role in their first (of three straight) Cup win in 1962, after which he retired for good. Never a big goal scorer — his career high was 20 with the Hawks in 1949-50 — Olmstead was a first-rate grinder who found considerable playmaking success playing with Jean Beliveau and Bernie Geoffrion in the mid-50s. When I started watching around 1962, Olmstead held the NHL record for most assists in a season (56). So he’s probably in the Hall “as” a Hab, but he probably sealed his nomination with that last, hard-earned Cup.

    As for Arbour, there’s no doubt he’s in there as a coach first and foremost, but he had considerable success as a utility defenceman, winning the Cup with Chicago in 1961 and three more with the Leafs in 1962-64. Thus he won four straight Cups twice, once as a player and once as a coach.

  31. Vic Ferrari says:


    Martin St. Louis is a feel good story. And he’s a great player in a narrow view. So far this season he has played a bunch with both Vinny and Richards. He is much, much more likely to be thrown on the ice going forward than any other player on Tortorella’s squad. He is rolled after Richards a bunch, who sees a lot of his shifts start without possession and sees a lot of them end with it in the other end (Vinny and Marty time!). If not … that’s when Marty takes the ice with him.

    Watch for that, it’s blindingly obvious if you’re looking for it IMO. But let me know if I’m wrong.

    Richards takes a shitload of own zone draws and turns them into forward possession … cue Martin for the next shift. And if the play is moving forward with Brad … It’s Marty time again! Vinny too.

    If St. Louis wasn’t such a feel-good story, I’d like to think that someone would have pointed out that he was just the third best player on his own team the year that he won MVP.

    But Lindros was the polar opposite. Like a super-Zetterberg. Neilson used to throw his rawest young defencemen out there with Eric, because it didn’t really matter anyways, Philly would always have the pill on his shifts. Ever look at Renberg’s and LeClaire’s sans-Eric production?

    I remember one time Janne Niinimaa (pre-Neilson, I’m sure) was interviewed after an EDM at MTL game, he was asked about how his production had dropped a bunch from his early years. In that great Finnish tradition, he told us the truth … when he was a rookie they played him with Lindros. His job was just to get the puck to a forward and skate up ice with the play. The reason I remember the interview though, was that he also told us how he had matured as a player, and that he was playing the hard minutes for the Oilers. I thought the Oilers brass might be pissed, because Lowe had been telling us that others had that gig (Brewer and Smith iirc) for reasons unknown. I’d like to think that if Hughson were announcing games back then, in his current style, that they wouldn’t have had the nerve. But who knows.

    In any case, that year they decided to leave the “best defencemen” voting in the hands of the journalists. Smith won (love him btw). But I remember talking with a bunch of people before the game, on ballot day, and Janne would have won hands down if they’d left it to the unwashed masses to decide. There was a grassroots lobby afloat to vote him unsung hero btw, but I think Marchant won it (also deserving, though he would later where an NHLPA jacket to an EIG event and seal his own fate)

    That’s why I have difficulty accepting “awards” as a criterion.

    I mean right now Zetterberg is getting a lot of love from journalists, but that’s probably just because he’s helping them win their hockey pools. With the type of load he’s carrying, those counting number rates just aren’t sustainable, even though he probably is the best player in the league. He’ll fall out of favour soon enough. Still, if he stays healthy, Draper should be the odds on favourite to win the Selke. That’s just the way it seems to work.

    So forgive me if I take the “awards” criterion with a grain of salt.

  32. Bruce says:

    If St. Louis wasn’t such a feel-good story, I’d like to think that someone would have pointed out that he was just the third best player on his own team the year that he won MVP.

    I don’t really want to get into that again, vic, I had an extended debate with riversq on mc79′s site about MSL v. Richards last spring. Richards has backed up last year’s abysmal -19 by posting an early season -10, second worst in the NHL so far. I keep hearing about his tough minutes but looking at the results, he hasn’t been measuring up. Judging by the numbers I’d rather have Shawn Horcoff playing equally tough minutes for less than half the money.

    But let me know if I’m wrong.

    For the record, I do think you’re wrong, about ice-time deployment, about productivity and about MSL’s status within his own team in 2003-04. He won that Hart Trophy on merit, an obvious choice IMO. (And to be fair, Richards won the Smythe on merit as well.)

    But the point today was peak value as the criterion for HHoF selection. MSL’s peak was his “miracle” year of 2003-04 when he won the Stanley and World Cups, the Hart and Ross Trophies, made the First All-Star team and led the league in a bunch of categories like +/- and shorthanded scoring. It was a Hall of Fame type season IMO. But you need more than one of those to make the Hall, which was my point.

    Lindros had a few more very good seasons than MSL has to date, so he does indeed have a larger career value, but on “career year” peak value it’s pretty close. That’s my point … be cautious with absolute statements.

  33. Dennis says:

    Vic, as much as I hate Hughson for his Van bias, you’re right, the guy’s a slave to the matchups, in a good way, IMO. I remember when he called the San Jose series for us in ’06, he was all over the macT vs wilson sidebar.

    BTW, I’m still a huge Niinmaa fan and it honestly bothered me to see how bad he was for the Habs last year. I think Horc’s the new Niinimaa, actually, because for some, it’s just obvious all the good things both guys did but for others, they’re just looking at the things they couldn’t do.

  34. Bruce says:

    Richards takes a shitload of own zone draws and turns them into forward possession

    OK, maybe I will get into it, just a little. Just looked it up and Brad Richards ranks 132nd out of 187 with a faceoff percentage of 44.7%. Slightly skewed cuz he takes more faceoffs SH than on the PP, but at even strength he’s at 46.4%. He does take a lot of draws, 6th most in the NHL, but he’s 5th on the list of FOL and just 23rd in FOW.

    Nothing in there that suggests forward possession, but maybe some of you hockeymetricians can set me straight on what I’m missing.

  35. Vic Ferrari says:


    Yeah, I was probably a bigger Janne fan than I should have been because he just never got the recognition he deserved for the responsibility he carried most nights. Even that year with the bad knee. And that got on my tit.

    There is just so little time for D to make decisions at this level of hockey, it’s crazy. And Janne always bought a bit of extra time by being willing to take the hit. I mean even the great ones like Lidstrom bail on occasion, and the very good like Zubov, Hatcher, Pronger, Gonchar, etc … they bail a lot when some nutter like Torres is railing in. Which is sensible.

    In that way, I saw a bit of Janne in Mathieu Roy’s game when he first came up last season. I’m sure I commented on that a few places.

    Turns out that it’s not a trait that leads to career longevity.

  36. Vic Ferrari says:


    You’re on a tangent I think. I don’t care about the minutae, I’ve never paid attention to the RTSS stuff. Fact is that this season, in terms of zones for faceoffs:

    Lecavalier: -24
    St. Louis: -30 (team leading)
    Richards: 0

    And that’s just generally the way that Tortorella rolls. St. Louis gets icetime with both Richards and Lecavalier every night, more with the latter. And it’s usually when the puck is headed North.

    St. Louis is a good player no doubt, but he’s not a world beater. Because of the slingshot effect, he shoot beat both 4 and 19 in all offensive stat categories every year. And that’s because:
    a. He’s a winger and their centres
    b. He’s not as good as them.

    And I watched quite a bit of the Lightning last season, down the stretch. And their goaltending was absolutely brutal then. And they were a tonne of fun to watch.

    And Vinny is still Vinny. I heard Feaster on the radio last January-ish, whenever Tampa were in town. He waxed lyrical about all the little things that Vinny does now that he didn’t before … gets the puck in deep before a line change, doesn’t try to beat guys at his own blue line, supports the puck well in his own end … those are close to exact words by my memory. And they’re also a load of crap. I think it’s just some sort of self fulfilling prophecy theory that Jay is working on, I dunno.

    Vinny is a terrific talent, and there are scoring chances aplenty at both ends of the rink when he’s out there. I know that he bore down for a couple of the playoff seasons for those guys, but by and large, No.4 is No.4.

  37. Bruce says:

    Like I said, vic, I’ll let the hockeymetricians tell me what I’m missing. But I’m not up on some of the terminology, so you’ll have to explain. St.Louis -30 means what? He’s been on the ice for 30 more offensive zone faceoffs than defensive? Don’t know where you find that stuff, and don’t know what it means exactly, but it sure in hell doesn’t explain why MSL is even on the year and Richards -10. That’s a lot of bad results for 30 extra faceoffs.

    Slingshot effect?

    As for your comment that MSL should beat VL and BR in offensive categories a) because he’s a winger, why? Centres have always been high scorers. As for b), he should outscore them because he’s not as good as they are, WTF? Am I misreading you?

    Meanwhile RTSS faceoff stats are minutiae, but “zones for faceoffs” are not? Convince me.

  38. Vic Ferrari says:

    Honestly, Bruce. We just see the game completely differently.

    To my mind, I’m making simple and obvious points that are easily evidenced by the games themselves. And at least some of the time I bother to dig up evidence to support my arguments. I think it’s simple and rational. To you I’m a nutter who throws out random and senseless numbers

    You’ll find that the vast majority of stats guys on the internet will agree with you though. They’ll also agree with you that level of competition, and all context, are immaterial.

    You’re the same guy who rates Coffey as one of the best defencemen ever, no? And you don’t rate Lindros?

    We just see different things. To me Coffey was fun to watch, but he gave up as much or more than he created. And Lindros had more impact on icetime at 5v5 than any player I’ve ever watched. You don’t have to like his family, or his behavior off ice, or his mysterious live-in butler. The man was a terrific player on the ice.

  39. Bruce says:

    Well thanks, vic, except you didn’t answer my questions about what your numbers mean. No I don’t think you’re a nutter — at least not yet :) — but I’m just not sure where you’re coming from on zones for faceoff stats and such. I do know that last year BR and MSL and VL all had similar quality of opposition, middle of the pack, which seems logical (to me at least) cuz they had so much icetime they would play against pretty much everybody. And MSL’s stats totally destroyed BR’s and were fairly similar to VL’s. In 2003-04 his stats were significnatly superior to both.

    You’re the same guy who rates Coffey as one of the best defencemen ever, no? And you don’t rate Lindros?

    Yes I think Paul Coffey was a great defenceman and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but not at the very top of the list. He was +271 in his seven years in Edmonton, suggesting he didn’t give up quite as much as he created, but he was a little too “high event” for my liking. I will, however, stand by my comment of the other day that he was a little better than Denis Grebeshkov.

    As for “not rating” Lindros I said I do consider him HHoF worthy despite having less than spectacular gross numbers in his career, esp. in the playoffs. He also came with warts and distractions and an injury bug which made him less than the be-all and end-all. But there’s no doubt he was a dominant player for a number of a years, esp. in Philly where he posted a very solid +188 in 8 years. Not quite Coffey-esque, but …

    (and yes, vic, I’m yanking your chain there, I know they were different players in different positions in different eras, and that +/- is just one measure of 5v5 impact, a pretty good one but still lacking context as you put it)

    Tell me more about the mysterious live-in butler.

  40. Dennis says:

    Vic, I never really thought about the whole thing of hanging in there to take the play. I liked Janne because he was a dandy skater, worked like a fucker, was tough as nails and played against the big guys. Always accountable in interviews, too. Always took the bullet when the gun was rightfully pointed at him.

    I was choked the way things went down with him heading out of town. He was playing hurt and giving his all and then when he was dealt, Lowe said his effectiveness was hurt by his injury. No shit, Sherlock. But Janne was doing the right thing for the team by playing through it. That was one of the moves that really made his mistrust Lowe, I must say. It was also the one that drove Marchant batty because he say it on the ticker while they were waiting to play a game in Calgary, right? man oh man, how much would you like to have a beer with Marchant and find out what he knows?

    In any case, janne got his big payday on the Island and good for him. he never got to win a Cup but I always rooted for him. Even when he was a Hab, and you can’t even begin to know what that says about how much I liked Niinimaa:)

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