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The Best Players

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

In The Cult rankings, six players were given “top player points” for each NHL year, with the points going to three forwards, two defencemen and one goalie.

A player earned three points in a season if he finished first in MVP voting. So Wayne Gretzky, with his nine Hart Trophies, earned 27 of his 37 top player points in that manner.

A player earned two points if he finished second in Hart Trophy voting in the pre-Second World War period. In the post-Second World War period, voters started to under-value defencemen, so in the Cult’s rankings we tried to correct for this by having the winner of the Norris Trophy each year take the second place points. Nicklas Lidstrom, with his seven Norris Trophy wins, earned 14 of his 20 points that way. In the end, the Cult system of awarding points saw 18 defencemen get ranked in the top 54 players, which is the correct distribution.


I have a feeling readers may question some of the Top players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Primis's avatar

This is kinda’ like the BCS using human polls.  Nobody says the Hart voting either a) makes sense, or b) is necessarily a good indicator.  Humans can do dumb things like vote Kwame Kilpatrick into office, or vote Alex Ovechkin onto two all-star teams at once, at different positions.  Voters aren’t always the brightest lot, as has been shown time and time again.

Some of these guys listed played during times when there wasn’t much competition.  Then you have a case like Steve Yzerman, who had the misfortune of coming into an era with both Gretzky and Lemieux playing at the same time.  Had a guy like Yzerman come about a few years earlier or later, things might have been very different.  Instead his prime scoring years putting up bonkers numbers were essentially wasted against Gretzky and Lemieux putting up even MORE bonkers numbers.  So you’re essentially still comparing apples and oranges.

As for the active players… I don’t even know where to begin.  The truth is the list about 1- 17 isn’t that bad…. and then it kinda’ just is all over the place after that, and probably an indicator that the Eye Test works fine for the very top, but Shoalts’ method still doesn’t work any better after that.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/13 at 11:46 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Staples’ list, not Shoalts.  I have too many hockey-related tabs open late night I guess.  My bad.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/13 at 11:48 PM ET

LiteWork's avatar

Not a bad list for top 20. Guys like Kennedy and Cowley are too high. Lidstrom is a little high at 5. Jagr having the same points as Malkin is pretty funny.

Posted by LiteWork on 08/10/13 at 04:49 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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