Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

In Defense of Jeremy Roenick

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Well, I’ve clearly been noticing the amount of heat JR has been getting lately, after this week’s earlier announcement that he would be included as a “Legend” in NHL 12. “Outraged” would be the best term to describe most fan’s reactions to this announcement. I will admit, that I too was a bit surprised at this news, considering I put a lot of time and thought into my own short list of candidates who I felt would be worthy of such an honor. Of that list of mine, 7 of the 9 players I named ended up finding their way onto the NHL 12 Legends list. The two exceptions were Roenick and Salming.

As I said before, many fans were and continue to be outraged at the inclusion of Roenick on this list of Legends. As opposed to other, seemingly obviously choices… names such as Orr, Messier, and Beliveau, among many others. However, as I’ve been saying this whole time, I’m fairly confident that EA Canada - who makes NHL 12, was aware of such things, as they are all passionate hockey fans themselves. For whatever reason, be it money or time, or both. We will likely never know for sure why they weren’t able to include some of those “no-brainer” names on the list this year. That aside,  they had to find suitable alternate options, for what were likely two spots they hadn’t filled. Those eventually ended up being Roenick and Salming. Some people have complained about Salming as well, but the overwhelming majorly of the negative-reactions have been directed at the choice of Jeremy Roenick.

Granted I did start watching Hockey in the early 90s, so you’d think I’d be familiar when Roenick’s career, but the truth of the matter is, I’m not. So the other day I started doing a little research, and found some surprising results, at least surprising to me. Compared to the public outrage about Roenick being included. I’m not going to break down his whole career, as there is no need to. However, I am going to take a close look at the beginning of his professional career, which is when he became a superstar player, and almost lead Chicago to a few Cups. Which when combined with his eventual career totals, are what make him “Legend” worthy in my mind, but let us review a few of these things first, shall we?

Jeremy Roenick was drafted 8th overall by Chicago in the 1988 draft. After being drafted, there has been a long running rumor (although never confirmed) that he was then taken out to breakfast by Wayne Gretzky, who was attempting to persuade Roenick to play for QMJHL team that Gretzky had partial ownership of, the Hull Olympiques. Rather or not that story ever had any truth to it is of little point, but I thought it was interesting enough to include. Anyway, JR did go on to play for the Olympiques in the 88-89 season, where he earned 70 points in 28 games, including an additional 19 points in 9 QMJHL playoff games, proving that he was already NHL-ready at that point, considering that Chicago had drafted him out of high school.

Before going on to play for the Blackhawks though, JR represented the USA in two Would Junior Championship tournaments, the first in 1988, before he was drafted, he earned 9 points in 7 games. However, in his second appearance in the WJC in 1989, he landed himself on a line with future NHL superstars Mike Modano and John LeClair. Roenick lead the tournament in scoring that year, with 16 points in 7 games, and was named a Tournament All-Star. In addition, his future NHL superstar line, totaled 41 points that year, the most ever by any line for Team USA in the WJC, and sixth-most in the tournament’s history. Team USA still only managed to finish in 5th place, but Roenick’s combined scoring totals from both years, 25 points, stood as a Team USA record for 21 years. Before finally being broken by Jordan Schroeder in 2010. Although it took Schroeder a total of three WJC appearances to break JR’s record, which he set in just two appearances.

Following Roenick’s scoring success at the 1989 WJC, Chicago then called him up for the remainder of the 88-89 season, where he had a 18 points in his first 20 NHL games. His first full-time season with Chicago, in 89-90, he managed a very respectable 66 points in 78 games, as well as 18 points in 20 playoff games, as Chicago reached the Conference Finals that year before losing out to the eventual Stanly Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers. However, with Chicago’s new confidence in Roenick’s proven prowess, they decided to make what would turn out to be a key trade, sending Denis Savard to Montreal in exchange for Chris Chelios.

The following season of 90-91, would turn out to breakout year for both the Hawks, and Roenick. JR earned his first of what would be a total of nine appearances in the All-Star game, by putting up 94 points in 79 games. He also lead the team that season with ten game-winning goals. Plus, with the emergence of then rookie goaltender, Ed Belfour (now a Hall of Famer) - who went on to win the Vezina, Jennings, and Calder trophies that season. With the key addition of fellow All-Star, and now legendary defenseman Chris Chelios, the Blackhawks managed to win the President’s Trophy that season, but failed to have much success in the playoffs.

Then, in 91-92, Roenick stepped up his game even more, earning 103 points in 80 games. This would be his first of two-straight 50+ goal seasons for him, and would also represent the first of what would be three-consecutive 100+ point seasons, which puts JR up there with some pretty elite company, that have also had at least three-consecutive 100+ point seasons. More on that in a moment though. He also racked up a new personal best of 13 game-winning goals, which lead the entire league that year. The Hawks did considerably better in the playoffs that year as well, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. JR put up 22 points in 18 playoff games that year. Had the Hawks managed to win the Cup, there is no doubt JR would have been up for consideration for the Conn Smythe that year, along with fellow teammates Chris Chelios, and Ed Belfour. However, the Hawks would end up getting swept by a powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins team in the Finals that year.

Anyway, back to JR’s 100+ point seasons, starting with the 103 in 91-92, he followed that up with 107 points each of the next two seasons. As I said before, this puts him among some very special company, as only 17 other NHL players have ever managed to pull off at least 3-straight 100+ point seasons. The names and leaders in rank of this elite group are as follows.


Leading the pack by a large margin is Gretzky, who had 13-consecutive 100+ point seasons.
Bossy, Lafleur, Lemieux, Orr, Stastny, and Yzerman are tied with 6.
Dionne, Esposito, Hawerchuk, Kurri, and Trottier are tied with 5.
Brett Hull had 4.
Coffey, Federko, Ovechkin, Rogers, and Roenick are tied with 3.


Roenick’s 100+ point season streak came to an end the in lockout-shortened 94-95 season, as JR racked up 34 points in 33 games, before going down with a minor injury. Be it because of the lock-out, or the minor injury, or unknown reasons, JR would never quite be the same player he had been before, as the 95-96 season saw the start of a scoring trend that would continue for the remainder of his career. He put up 67 points in 66 games in his final year with the Blackhawks, before suffering another injury. Over that summer he was traded to Phoenix, and would then average about a point per game for the majority of the rest of his career, but more injuries eventually took their toll, and his production dropped, until he finally retired in 2009.


However, looking back on some of JR’s career totals… they aren’t nearly as bad as everyone seems to think they are. Here are some of Roenick’s notable NHL career rankings, all of which he is at least in the top 50 of All-Time.


- 9 All-Star Game Appearances (again, pretty good company there too, as the few other players with nine or more, would stand out to you)
- 40th in games played (1363)
- 36th in goals scored (513)
- 48th in assists (703)
- 40th in points (1216)
- 49th in even strength goals (301)
- 21st in power-play goals (184)
- 24th in short-handed goals (28)
- 11th in game-winning goals (92)


All stats and rankings in this post via Hockey-Reference.com.


Roenick is also among the list of NHL players who have 1000+ games played, 1000+ points, 500+ goals, multiple 50 goal seasons, and multiple 100 point seasons. I’d love to know who else might be on that list of players who have accomplished the combination of ALL of those during their NHL careers, but sadly, I can’t find such a list anywhere.

It should also be noted that JR wasn’t just known for his point production. He was a solid two-way forward, who also brought plenty of “grit” to his game, and is perhaps as well known for his chirping, to both opposing players and officials throughout his career, as he was for his scoring prowess.

Again, I’ll make it clear that I’m not trying to say that Jeremy Roenick is better than certain players who got left off this year’s Legends list in NHL 12, because he simply isn’t. I’m just pointing out the fact that he isn’t a bad alternative knowing that EA likely had a limited budget for said list. Personally, I think he’s more deserving of being on there than Borje Salming is. The same goes for another much-speculated about player who was rumored to be on the Legends list, although he never made any of my potential lists, at any point in time, nor the final official list by EA—Pavel Bure. Go ahead and look up their careers (Salming and Bure’s) they don’t compare to JR’s.

Roenick might have only had a brief “prime” in Chicago, but it as a damn good one while it lasted. There is also little argument that can be made that he was one of the best American-born hockey players of all time. Which is why I think EA eventually decided to include him, because he is a Legend, in terms of American hockey at least. The same goes for why I think they included Salming, because he is a Leafs Legend, as well as an International and Swedish hockey Legend.

Personally, I think that when most people think of JR, they only consider the more recent times, since has been working as a hockey analyst on TV. He is well known for having strong opinions on certain subjects, and he is not afraid to defended his opinion. Which rather you agree with him or not, I still think that alone deserves some respect, as it’s much better than hearing the same old generic hockey-analyst babble you hear over and over again, season after season. That’s what most people seem to think of when it comes to Roenick… which is why I wrote this post, to remind you all that he was indeed a great player, and even considered a superstar early in his career with Chicago, plus taking his entire career into account, he finished with some pretty impressive numbers.

Also, as the one last final bit to this post, it’s one thing to go over stats and talk about accomplishments, but it’s another thing to see a player in action. So I figured the most fitting way to end this post would be with a good Jeremy Roenick highlight reel. One of his time spent as a player with the Blackhawks, which no one can argue that those were his best years as a player, and is also fitting, as he will represent Chicago as a Legend in NHL 12, as he should. Enjoy.

Video via Haukiii on YouTube

 


I’ll be back tomorrow with a preview of the NHL 12 demo, set to be released sometime on Tuesday. Along with any other possible NHL 12-related news there might be at that time. Only a few more days away from the demo though… which is an exciting time for me, as it should be for the rest of you fellow NHL-series fans.

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, ea+sports+nhl+12, jeremy+roenick, usa+hockey

Comments

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Roenick is likely there because they needed an American and he’s unquestionably the most well-known of the guys in the argument for best American player ever (the other guys who can make a claim to that title are Leetch, who is about as quotable as Joe Sakic, Hull, who can be argued as not-really-from-the-US, and LaFontaine, whose career was derailed by a concussion at 30).

If there needed to be an ‘affirmative action’ pick, I might have gone with Leetch, but I understand why the NHL guys picked JR.

Salming’s the one I don’t quite get. There are a ton of Europeans with more storied careers than Salming, most of whom were soviets

Posted by steviesteve on 08/21/11 at 10:58 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Salming’s the one I don’t quite get. There are a ton of Europeans with more storied careers than Salming, most of whom were soviets - Posted by steviesteve

Well, consider the following about Salming, as I first stated he was a Leafs Legend first and foremost…

He holds 6 career and single season Toronto Maple Leaf records - including most career points by a defenseman, most career goals by a defenseman, most career assists (at any position), most assists in a season by a defenseman, and best career plus-minus.

Not to mention four-consecutive seasons with the Leafs having 70+ points.

I still think it has more to do with him being a Swede though, as he was the first Swedish hockey player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996

Salming was also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1998.

The NHL-series has gotten huge over in Europe lately… with most of those fans being either Swedes or Finns. Hence why I think they included Salming as an alternate to someone else they couldn’t afford at the time, to appease Leafs Nation, as well as their European fan-base.

His career isn’t as impressive as JR’s though. but people were to busy whining about him to notice or care (much) about Salming.

Personally, I’m just fine with the list, and presume that it will continue to grow next year as well.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/21/11 at 11:43 PM ET

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Don’t forget JR is a good promoter, and will no doubt help push sales more than some other players who were considered for inclusion

Posted by NedSparks on 08/21/11 at 11:51 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

This part as I was busy thinking about Salming…

Roenick is likely there because they needed an American and he’s unquestionably the most well-known of the guys in the argument for best American player ever - Posted by steviesteve

I wouldn’t say unquestionably, or even most well-known, because personally I don’t think there is much of an argument for the best American player ever…

Mike Modano

Which EA might have been considering, but with his “uncertain” status during game development (which goes on during the majority of the NHL season mind you). Would explain why he wasn’t even likely on their list of possibilities… simply because he is (or rather, was at the time) still playing.

Modano is the best American-born play of all time though, with little question in my mind, and the numbers and records all back that up. I suspect we will see him included on in a future crop of Legends on year, maybe not next year… but eventually.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/21/11 at 11:57 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Don’t forget JR is a good promoter, and will no doubt help push sales more than some other players who were considered for inclusion - Posted by NedSparks

Let me take a quick moment to debunk that thought. EA Canada - the studio that develops and makes the game, they don’t really care that much about sales… they are all passionate hockey fans, and want to make the best hockey game possible, and make it accessible to both hardcore hockey fans as well as casual ones.

EA Sports on the other hand, the big corporate branch at EA… all they care about is money… they don’t give a crap about the games, as long as they sell, and all include more ways for them to keep making money… like the ultimate teams now in pretty much every EA Sports game.

Personally, I don’t think JR’s “being a good promoter” had anything to do with it. From the sound of his tweet put out the day that he was announced as a Legend, he sounded legitimately surprised to have been included in such a list, which makes me wonder if he even knew about it before then.

The whole fact that Legends are in the game will help push sales more among casual fans, where as the hardcore hockey players want more overall gameplay improvements, and so far it looks like they have done a good job of making everyone happy this year… as even some hardcore fans like myself are very excited about the Legends this year.

Either way, none of it really matters… hockey isn’t that popular as a sport to begin with… so things likely aren’t going to change much, no matter what they do…

Oh if only there could have been an NFL and NBA lockout both this upcoming year… then the American sports fan would have to watch nothing buy hockey, muwahahaha! Too bad that didn’t work out… back to the bottom of the pile of “respect” from your average American sports fans…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 12:08 AM ET

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The only resume item Modano has over Lafontaine is better health. I can’t think of any category in which he edges Brian Leetch, since the reason Leetch wouldn’t be included in the game (never said an interesting or important thing in his life) also applies to Modano, whose points-per-game is not notably different as a center than Leetch’s was as a blueliner. Roenick just happens to be a lot more recognizable than these guys because of his foot-in-mouth disease and status as a broadcaster (John Madden, anyone).

It’s nice that Salming has a few Leafs records, but there are maybe a dozen Europeans with more impressive careers (Kurri, Federov, Zubov, half the guys who suited up as top line or d-pairing players for Red Army), probably even including another sans-championship Swedish Maple Leaf named Mats Sundin. So yeah, still don’t understand what he’s doing in this game.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/22/11 at 12:34 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s the NHL 94 legacy. He was essentially the perfect player when EA’s NHL 94 was a Sega title, so it wouldn’t matter if he was a real-world legend because he was one of EA’s most legendary players.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/22/11 at 12:44 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

The only resume item Modano has over Lafontaine is better health.

The same way that most hockey fans know that Lemieux would have likely passed most of Gretzky’s scoring records if not for the same “health” reason. Things are what they are, once history is written, it generally isn’t changed.

there are maybe a dozen Europeans with more impressive careers (Kurri, Federov, Zubov

The thing with Kurri, is he will always be debated until the end of time as being Robin to Gretzky’s Batman, with the exception of a small handful of seasons, mostly 89-90. I’m not even going to get into all that at the moment, as it would likely require several more hours of research and it’s own blog post…

Fedorov’s only issue is that they already had 2 Wings… and what did he do outside of Det? Hmm… nothing much. Since most of these Legends come down to their NHL careers for the most part.

Zubov is the one I could agree with you on, as he’s got the numbers and accomplishments to deserve the merit (so does Fedorov, just not as a 3rd Red Wing in the same class of Legends)

The only reason I can see EA going Salming over Zubov, is again, because of the whole massive population of Swedish and Finnish fans that play the NHL-series… not that many Russians… but looking at his career… he could warrant future consideration for sure.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 01:01 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

It’s the NHL 94 legacy. He was essentially the perfect player when EA’s NHL 94 was a Sega title, so it wouldn’t matter if he was a real-world legend because he was one of EA’s most legendary players. - Posted by George Malik

Well, he was only so highly rated in from the ‘93-‘96 EA Sports NHL era because of what he was doing in reality at the time… but I still agree with your point. smile

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 01:07 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Well, he was only so highly rated in from the ‘93-‘96 EA Sports NHL era because of what he was doing in reality at the time… but I still agree with your point.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/21/11 at 11:07 PM ET

Many forget, but I remember at the time that even then there was grumbling about how overrated Roenick regularly was.

Find it funny that years later, and here we are again arguing about Roenick being overrated by EA Sports… I’m just sayin’...

Posted by Primis on 08/22/11 at 01:29 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Many forget, but I remember at the time that even then there was grumbling about how overrated Roenick regularly was.

Find it funny that years later, and here we are again arguing about Roenick being overrated by EA Sports… I’m just sayin’... - Posted by Primis

There is big blank spot in my brain from early 90s EA NHL games up until the last few years of the late 90s (98-99) then again blank up until the newer generation (03-05) - then another gap up until 2008-present… I played them all, but memories that old are sparse. I remember him being really good back in the early 90s (like he was in real life - being a 50 goal and 100 point kind of TWF), but I don’t remember the rest… so if he was overrated between then and 08, you got me, but I’d like screen shots for evidence! Haha.

Personally I don’t think he’s overrated as a Legend in 12, consider it’s his “prime” of those early 90s years… so it all seems rather fitting to me… as things have come full circle so to speak.

I’d again like to point out that those ratings came off the HUT cards and groups of stats… I’m much rather see their full stat listings, as well as know how the game is going to play this year… then we can start really having said ratings discussions…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 01:43 AM ET

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I understand Salming’s statistics as a defensemen but the problem is, most people don’t know who the hell he was <—FACT, unless you’re a Swede maybe. Having players on a “legends” team should have an underlying immediate recognition by most hockey fans of who they were/are, I can’t say Salming really has that recognition factor unless you’re a die-hard Leafs fan or an old time Swedish hockey fan. An argument I would make if you HAD to have a Swede in there would be Mats Sundin (1,349 career points - 26th overall) or Peter Forsberg (885 career points). They are universally known by all hockey fans young and old and no one has made more of an impact in the Swedish side of hockey (aside from Lidstrom who has yet to retire) than those two retired beasts.

Posted by Ryan on 08/22/11 at 02:27 AM ET

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I agree with George’s comments. It doesn’t matter if Roenick belongs there or not, him being included is a throwback to how awesome he was in NHL 94.

Posted by bcrt on 08/22/11 at 02:40 AM ET

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When are they going to add the All-Time Great NHL teams to the game?? It’s a no brained.  Sales would go through the roof.

Posted by Dave from Portland, ME on 08/22/11 at 04:27 AM ET

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Dear Steviesteve, “Soviets” are not, nor ever were “Euros”. See, Europe ends at the Ural Mountains. Anything east of that is Asia. So Technically, Russians are, for the most part, Asians.

Class dismissed.

Posted by malamut on 08/22/11 at 05:24 AM ET

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Malamut;

75% of Russia’s population lives west of the Urals.  So, ‘for the most part’, you should probably be less pedantic.

Posted by jonquixote on 08/22/11 at 09:48 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I understand Salming’s statistics as a defensemen but the problem is, most people don’t know who the hell he was <—FACT

True, as even I’ll admit I didn’t know who he was when the announcement came down… as he was well before my time… and you are correct… isn’t that well known.

An argument I would make if you HAD to have a Swede in there would be Mats Sundin - Posted by Ryan

That is what I said if asked if there HAD to be a Leaf included, my mind first went to Sundin, and I didn’t even think about him being a Swede, as that wasn’t the question at the time.

The thing I didn’t know, is that EA needed another D-Man! As I had earlier predicted with the Legends, I figured the 9 would consist of 5 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie. Turned out I was right about that…. I just had no idea that Bobby Orr wasn’t going to make the list.

Thus, we get Salming. Who yeah, a week ago, I was clueless about too. Since then, I’ve obviously learned quite a bit about him. I have no problem with EA throwing us for the occasional loop, and including a player that most of us (of a certain generation) are like… who? Because that’s how you learn stuff.  I’m always eager to expand my hockey knowledge… so again, I have no problem with him being included. I suppose if they were looking for an older, very good, European defensemen, then Salming was their best choice, or at least that is what appears to be the case.

When are they going to add the All-Time Great NHL teams to the game?? It’s a no brained.  Sales would go through the roof. - Posted by Dave

Why do I feel like I’ve answered this question about 20 times this week? Anyway… as I’ve previously pointed out, I’m sure that they would have loved to include an entire team… but given their short development cycle and budget, this was apparently not something that could be done in a single year alone. Instead it looks like we are going to get Legends added to the series in small clusters over the years, and eventually I predict that there will be a true All-Legend team, and eventually probably even a second one. Just don’t expect them all overnight.

Personally, I like the Legends and all, but I’d honestly be happier if they put some of this money into getting the coaches license back from the NHLPA, so we could have real coaches again… and likely, a “Be a Coach” mode. These Legends will do for now though… and I’m really looking forward to them being in NHL 12, and hopefully, even more of them, including the current group, involved in future games in the series.
Nothing, however, is going to make sales go through the roof, as I believe I talked about in an earlier comment to this blog. Well, nothing short of all the other major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA) shutting down. That’s not going to happen though. Although, I do believe that the NHL-franchise has been doing progressively better in sales each and every year (going from memory of what I’ve heard, I haven’t seen the actual numbers)... which is all I suppose that I can realistically ask for… as more sales = more development m game.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 10:57 AM ET

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Agree with bcrt. He was awesome in NHL 94. So by being awesone on the best video game ever should automatically make you a legend.

Posted by callmedrw on 08/22/11 at 10:59 AM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I’m not really outraged.  I have nothing against Roenick.  He was a great player for sure.  It’s more of a “why him?” over many others that could have been chosen.  That’s my only real problem with it.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 08/22/11 at 12:15 PM ET

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uhh Chris Chelios in an american player so the JR as an American player is debunked….and far as the EA having limited budgeting…What are your sources for that…sounds mostly like random speculation to me…Salming just because he is a Swede….really yeah Mats Sundin would be a much better choice if you ask me along with Peter Forsberg as well once again I see people coming to EA’s defense when it isn’t warranted….it’s okay if they aren’t perfect so they screwed the pooch on it w/e who cares….they picked two very great players whatever nobody can debate that but seriously why defend it…you know its wrong I know its wrong

Posted by mike on 08/22/11 at 12:20 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

It would help to get some of KK’s Swedish readers to comment their thoughts, but as someone who married a swede I’ll go ahead and say that Borje is well ahead of Mats Sundin in popularity (Seriously, did Sundin ever resonate with aaaaanybody?).  Forsberg is the current hockey god for them, and had been since 94 really, but Borje is still very important and very relevant over there. He has a popular line of sportsware and is regularly on tv in advertisements for
other things.

More importantly, Borje has been immortalized, for me anyway, in the drunken refrain, “Det finns bara en Borje Salming” (there is only one Borje Salming) and it’s response (but what if there were two?) which, I’m told, was not uncommon in Swedish bars in the 90 and early 2000s.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 08/22/11 at 01:02 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Mike - I’m not even going to take the time point out all the various things you said that didn’t make any sense, given that I know you just simply skimmed over my post and some of the follow-up comments and questions, as I already addressed most of the issues that you brought up. So next time, I suggest reading a little bit more on such things, as you’ll look a little more intelligent when just randomly ranting on various things, as you tend to do. No offense meant by that, but that post looks makes you look really bad, and shows that you clearly haven’t read most of the information that I, or other people have been talking about in regards to this subject.

Then again, with some of the comments and questions I get, I have the feeling many people haven’t bothered to read much of my own follow-up comments - as I tend to see similar questions/comments from different readers, about things I’ve already covered, either in said post, or the follow up comments from myself, ether in that same post, or in previous updates. I know everyone doesn’t have time to go back and read everything, so I’m not really complaining, as the more comments, the better, as that means I’m doing my job of generating discussion.

Moving on… though…

He was awesome in NHL 94. So by being awesone on the best video game ever should automatically make you a legend.- Posted by callmedrw

Again, as I’ve said multiple times now… he was awesome in 94 because he was a superstar level player at that time, in reality. So I’m kind of getting tired of hearing this excuse to justify his inclusion. Even if it might have been part of EA’s reasoning for putting him in… it’s still kind of a lame excuse… as he was a great player at the time of his “overrated” status in the early 90s NHL-series games.

It’s more of a “why him?” over many others that could have been chosen.  That’s my only real problem with it. - Posted by Matt Fry

As I’ve stated before, I think the reason for that came down to time and/or money issues with EA Canada. They likely had a deadline to get all of the Legends done, and were just likely not to have been able to come to agreements with certain players in the time they needed to implement them into the game.

Personally, I would really love to ask them about it myself, as I know they are all passionate and intelligent hockey fans, and they know just as well as we do that Messier belonged on there more so than Roenick, and the same goes for Orr as opposed to Salming. We can only speculate for now, but I’m sure there is a valid reason for this… we just don’t know it yet, and we likely won’t find out until they start talking about next year’s group of Legends (should they exist, but I think they will). Then hopefully someone can explain the reasons why certain players got left out this year As I know that the team that makes this great series year after year is smarter than that, and wouldn’t leave a great player out for no reason.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 01:22 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

It would help to get some of KK’s Swedish readers to comment their thoughts - Posted by shanetx

That would be nice, but you yourself made some very good points that I’m sure most of us North American hockey fans didn’t know… which provides for some very interesting insight… so thank you!

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 01:25 PM ET

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by the way, go listen to the latest “got game” podcast on fan590, they interviewed the NHL 12 producer and he said that the reason they included him was because of his greatness in NHL 93/94

Posted by bcrt on 08/22/11 at 02:46 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

by the way, go listen to the latest “got game” podcast on fan590, they interviewed the NHL 12 producer and he said that the reason they included him was because of his greatness in NHL 93/94 - Posted by bcrt

I’ll take your word for it, as I’m going to try and get some sleep in soon, in preparation for what could turn into a long night / morning tomorrow. I will check it out later though, as that does sound rather interesting.

Again though, even if that is their apparent reason… it’s pretty much a completely different development team now than it was back then…. and JR only had so much greatness in the game back then, because of his real-life performance at the time. So I’m still sticking to my reason.. Even though it is essentially the same reason as EA’s supposedly was.

As the wise old Obi-Wan Kenobi once said… “It all depends on your point of view”.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 04:04 PM ET

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Dear Steviesteve, “Soviets” are not, nor ever were “Euros”. See, Europe ends at the Ural Mountains. Anything east of that is Asia. So Technically, Russians are, for the most part, Asians.

Class dismissed.

Posted by malamut on 08/22/11 at 03:24 AM ET

Most of Russia is in Asia. Most RUSSIANS are in Europe (same was true when they were called soviets). Way to nitpick someone to death and fail completely.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/22/11 at 04:09 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I’d love to know who else might be on that list of players.

Well here you go Doug…
...a list of NHL players who have 1000+ games played, 1000+ points,500+ goals, multiple 50 goal seasons, and multiple 100 point seasons.

In order by most career points.
———————————————————-
1) Gretzky
2) Dionne
3) Yzerman
4) Sakic
5) Jagr
6) Esposito
7) Kurri
8) Robitaille
9) Hull,B.
10) Lafleur
11) Selanne
12) Roenick
13) Ciccarelli
14) Goulet

notes:
~ As you can see this list is dominated by players who played from the late 70’s through the mid 90’s. Wow, the 80’s were a blast, I really miss them (as far as the NHL stands).
~ Mario Lemieux is the only player to meet all of the criteria except for the 1000 games played. He is just 85 games short, just over one full season.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 05:38 PM ET

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The same way that most hockey fans know that Lemieux would have likely passed most of Gretzky’s scoring records if not for the same “health” reason.

I’m not so sure about this quote.
Even if Lemeiux had stayed healthy for the twenty seasons needed it would take to break Gretzky’s career marks, the NHL was already in the clutch and grab era halfway through Mario’s career and scoring was already on a downward spirral. I believe he had a legitiamte shot at some of the single season records and even the career goal mark. But as far as career points(2857) and assists(1963) I’m not sure even a healthy Lemieux who played 20 seasons could reach those numbers. Like I said, with the clutch and grab era in full effect and expansion (which would take some skilled teammates away from Lemieux) it would seem all but impossible to break Gretzky’s career marks.
Gretzky’s highest career PPG mark was after his 7th season when it was at 2.417, so for the next 13 years it steadily declined after each seaon until he retired with a career PPG average of 1.921. Now for Lemieux, his career high for PPG came after his 12th season 2.051, it’s hasn’t fell much since (career PPG-1.883) because he hasn’t played much after that because of said injuries/bad health. Lemeiux’s decline started later in his career but it’s also starts at a point alot lower than Gretzky. So if you assume good health and the inevitable decline that comes with age it would look even harder to break Gretzky’s career marks.
Besides, isn’t staying healthy for a 20 year career another great quality for any athlete?

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 06:31 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Well here you go Doug…
...a list of NHL players who have 1000+ games played, 1000+ points,500+ goals, multiple 50 goal seasons, and multiple 100 point seasons. Posted by Lindas1st

Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I take it you had to take the time to compile that yourself? Since I wasn’t able to find one after about an hour of looking. Great job though, as you have helped prove my point that Roenick is also among elite company when it comes to that feat as well!

That list also helps with a little personal debate I’ve been having with a buddy of mine lately, about Sakic vs Forsberg! As we were arguing over who the better player of the two was, and I felt fairly confident in my mind with my stance on Sakic, but his place on that list just reassures me that I was indeed correct, taking certain things into account. Knowing my friend though, three is no winning that debate with him, or any debate with him for that matter.

Anyway, as for Lemieux… thanks for making me notice my typo just now, as I meant to say “most hockey fans assume  that Lemieux would have likely passed most of Gretzky’s scoring records ” Although, I used to be on that side of the argument, just comparing numbers…. but you just made several good points, which have changed my stance on that discussion. Further proving what I was saying to you before that numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Which I suppose I should have taken my own advice in that Gretzky vs Lemieux discussion, but that was years ago, and I hadn’t thought much about it since.

Thank you for that well thought out point about Lemieux as well, though.

Besides, isn’t staying healthy for a 20 year career another great quality for any athlete? - Posted by Lindas1st

I’d say so, even though it might require some degree of luck. Although, I think conditioning makes for a huge part of that too, as does mental preparation and mentality towards the game itself. Which is why Nicklas Lidstrom has only missed a small handful of career games, because of his approach to the game itself, as well as everything else I mentioned.

Again, thank you for the list, and for your excellent points… you are quickly becoming my blog’s #1 commenter, in my mind of quality comments at least… no offense to anyone else, but some of this stuff is pretty damn impressive, as well as older conversations I’m sure most people didn’t catch.

Anyway, I’ll probably go back and update this post with that list, once I know for sure who to give credit to, although something tells me you did the work of putting it together.

Also, as a PS, since I know your a Crosby fan, although you of all people already know this, the only reason he never made it onto that list of at least 3+ consecutive 100 point seasons was because of injuries. As a hockey fan, it’s starting to worry me a bit about some of the eerie coincidences between him and Lemieux.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 07:31 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Oh yeah, totally forgot this part with everything else I had to say….

As you can see this list is dominated by players who played from the late 70’s through the mid 90’s. Wow, the 80’s were a blast, I really miss them (as far as the NHL stands). - Posted by Lindas1st

Personally, I don’t really miss the era much… being a goaltender myself. I don’t think there has ever really been an era dominated by goaltending, just a few select runs or periods of time. Here’s just a few off the top of my head.

- Giguere’s run in the 2003 playoffs
- Hasek’s dominance in the late 90s - particularly 98 and 99
- Thomas’ run last season, including the playoffs, and especially in the Finals (I really thought he deserved at least a nod for the Heart for that season… but sadly it didn’t happen)

Again, just a few off the top of my head… I know there are many, many more examples, but again, I don’t believe there was ever an “era” for goaltenders in general

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 07:47 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Most of Russia is in Asia. Most RUSSIANS are in Europe

Correct.
Russia is the only two conitnent country. And two of it’s biggest cities (Moscow & St.Petersbugh) are in Europe.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 08:39 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Correct. Russia is the only two conitnent country. - Posted by Lindas1st

Not correct, actually. There are small handful of “transcontinental” countries as they are called. Here is the short list.

Asian-European boundary: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey.

African-Asian boundary: Egypt

Finally - under a less common, alternative view of the North-to-South American boundary (due to the famous canal) is Panama.

Thank you internets. Fun facts that may help us all one day on random game-shows. smile

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 09:03 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I stand corrected- more than 1.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 09:57 PM ET

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Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

You’re very much welcome.
It wasn’t that hard at all. I love hockey history and historical stats (not so much modern sabermetrics though). So this is something I like to do. I went to Hockey-Reference.com.‘s (which btw, I’m a huge fan of and been using for the last 4 seasons) Play Index, put in the career marks for games, goals and points. It retuned 37 Players (I think) and from that list I just picked the players who I knew had multi-50 goal & multi-100 point seasons. If I wasn’t sure, I just clicked on the player to get thier career stats to find out if they had the multi 50/100 seasons.

Although, I used to be on that side of the argument…

Yeah, sorry about that. I realized it when I reread the comment after I posted my first comment.

As far as the Sakic/Forsberg debate goes.
Sakic has that Yzerman thing about him -you know the one where you change your role from offensive star to checker for the good of the team.Only Sakic’s offense didn’t suffer much.  He played the first half of his career on a bad Quebec team with not much help but he put up real good numbers (save +/-). He was a few seasons late to really enjoy the early to mid 80’s Quebec playoff teams of Stastny & Goulet.This may have led him to some poor defensive habits and a reputation as a defensive liability. Even though they had Sundin they couldn’t turn the corner. This all changed when Forsberg arrived. Forsberg did or had what Sundin didn’t - a winning pedigree. Sakic knew what the team had in Forsberg and they used it to thier advantage. Forsberg was a winner at every level and he brought that with him to Que/Col. Forsberg was a better all-around player than Sundin and much more intense. He pushed Sakic in ways Sundin could never do.  I really believe the arrival and skill of Forsberg rejuvinated Sakic’s career. And it was Forsberg who changed the whole attitude of the franchise. Even though it is Sakic’s franchise. He will forever be thier franchise player. At Forsberg’s very best he probably was a better hockey all-around player than Sakic (though, nowhere near the goal-scorer). But those times were few and far between. Sakic is one of the most skilled scorers in NHL history who had a better NHL career than Forsberg. It’s the longevity thing again. It’s sort of the same thing that happened with Yzerman and Fedorov.

As a hockey fan, it’s starting to worry me a bit about some of the eerie coincidences between him and Lemieux.

yeah, I know and I’m doing my best not to think like that.


And BTW since Sid & Forsberg were both brought up here. I always thought of Sid as a “Forsberg who could finish”. Both have similar styles - playmakers who are very gritty and love to play on the wall, except Sid has much more natural goal scoring ability. Just a thought.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 10:05 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I stand corrected- more than 1. - Posted by Lindas1st

Hey, I didn’t even know, but when I saw that, and thought about it, I had to go look it up, because I knew there had to be some others with questionable borders, turns out I was right.

Anyway, you never answered my all important question.

Did you put that list together yourself or find it somewhere?

I’d like to know so I can update this post with it, and I want to know who to give credit to. wink

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 10:07 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I put it together. I wrote it in my previous comment, here it is again. Copy & pasted-I don’t feel like typing it all again.

I went to Hockey-Reference.com.‘s Play Index, put in the career marks for games, goals and points. It retuned 37 Players (I think) and from that list I just picked the players who I knew had multi-50 goal & multi-100 point seasons. If I wasn’t sure, I just clicked on the player to get thier career stats to find out if they had the multi 50/100 seasons.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/22/11 at 10:48 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I put it together. I wrote it in my previous comment, here it is again. Copy & pasted-I don’t feel like typing it all again. - Posted by Lindas1st

I see that now, I just didn’t see it before as we were likely typing at the same time, as I tend to review my comments in previews before posting them. Then I got distracted by having to do some updates on my more recent post… so sorry I missed it.

Interesting thoughts all around, as I usually expect from you.

I’ll probably update this post with your list sometime early tomorrow morning when I get up before the NHL 12 demo release… for now, I am off to bed for the night. Long and early day tomorrow, but a very exciting one for me!

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/22/11 at 11:34 PM ET

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You will not find a greater Roenick fan than I. He is and always will be my favorite player for one reason….. he left everyting on the ice, every shift, every game . NOW IF YOU LOVE HOCKEY,  You can’t ask for more.  as far as his off ice opinion at least he has the balls to not back down from them, right or wrong. My only wish was that Chicago would of brought him back the year they one, it would of been icing on the cake.  One last thing,  after Chicago won and the post game when the hockey nation tear up,  most people thought that was a weakness , but what it really was is PASSION….  Here’s hoping the hall calls you home soon JR, you more than deserving of it .

Posted by steven rochelle from illinois on 08/23/11 at 12:17 AM ET

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NHL ‘94 was the pinnacle for many.  These games are needlessly complex now.  As far as gaming is concerned the game is more important than the reality.  In the game Roenick was king.  He’s also a personality amidst a sea of bland.

Posted by 13 user names on 08/23/11 at 03:05 AM ET

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J.R. was a great two-way player and for me he was the “prototype Blackhawk” with his hard hitting play.  When he was traded for that milksop Alexei Zhamnov they should have locked up owner Bill Wirtz for doing something so criminal.  I think there is room for J.R. on the list.

Posted by Strat from Northwest Indiana on 08/27/11 at 02:01 AM ET

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