Monday, 13 February 2012

Gretzorr in the past

We've pretty well established a TPAK value of around 7.00 as the Gretkzy/Orr threshold, the type of number that only one of the absolute best players of all time can reach. You can't really fluke a season that good, and you have to be in the upper stratosphere of historic hockey talent to produce at such a level on a regular basis, someone like Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr.

All this talk about recent players is leaving a bad taste in my mouth, though. Let's look at some golden oldies. Are there any players who produced at a Gretzorr level in the early years of hockey history? Here are the best seasons, as measured by TPAK, up to 1927/28.

BOWIE, Russell1901Montreal VictoriasCAHL470140011.4-
BOWIE, Russell1903Montreal VictoriasCAHL470140010.6-0.2-
ROUTH, Havilland1895Montreal Winged WheelersAHAC480160012.0-
HOOPER, Art1902Montreal Winged WheelersCAHL480160011.3-
TRIHEY, Harry1899Montreal ShamrocksCAHL57014009.6-
MALONE, Joe1913Quebec BulldogsNHA580160010.00.9-0.410.56.56
BOWIE, Russell1905Montreal VictoriasCAHL480160010.8-0.2-
SMITH, Harry1908Pittsburgh BankersWPHL567134010.0-
MORENZ, Howie1928Montreal CanadiensNHL57815609.60.8-0.410.06.41
RUSSELL, Ernie1907Montreal WanderersECAHA572144010.0-0.3-
McGOLDRICK, Joe1886Montreal CrystalsMHT980160011.0-
TAYLOR, Fred1918Vancouver MillionairesPCHA48016008.
SMITH, Tommy1913Quebec BulldogsNHA77615208.91.0-
BRADLEY, Reg1892Ottawa GeneralsAHAC78016009.
McDOUGALL, Bob1896Montreal VictoriasAHAC76012007.
PHILLIPS, Tommy1907Kenora ThistlesMHL680160011.5-0.9-
NIGHBOR, Frank1917Ottawa SenatorsNHA57615207.62.0-
BOWIE, Russell1900Montreal VictoriasCAHL47014009.1-
SMITH, Tommy1914Quebec BulldogsNHA68016009.01.1-
SMITH, Harry1906Ottawa SenatorsECAHA66412808.5-0.2-
McNAUGHTON, Archie1890Montreal Winged WheelersAHAC48016009.
CAMPBELL, Jack1888Montreal VictoriasAHAC28020009.
McDOUGALL, Bob1897Montreal VictoriasAHAC78016009.

The appearance of Russell "Dubby" Bowie at the top of the list should come as little surprise to any versed in hockey history. The Montreal Vics superstar rover, who played senior hockey from 1898/99 to 1909/10, is arguably the greatest natural goal-scorer of all time. But the five-time "major-league" goal-scoring champ is underrated today - people may realize he was pretty great, but not how great he really was.

Not only does he possess the top two seasons up to 1927/28, his best season (1900/01) is almost surely the greatest single-season performance ever. He's credited with a TPAK of 8.00, but this is just an arbitrary figure. Knowing that Wayne Gretzky's performances are around 7.00, there's no way anyone could be too far above that, even in a relatively short season such as this (eight games, though bear in mind Bowie was playing 60 minutes per game). The actual calculations have Bowie with a TPAK of close to 9, but I rejiggered it to 8.00 to be more reasonable.

Bowie led the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL) in 1900/01 with 24 goals, despite his missing one of his team's eight matches. The next-best player had 10 goals. Hall-of-Fame forwards like Harry Trihey, Art Farrell, Rat Westwick, Bruce Stuart and Blair Russel could manage no more than 10 goals, yet Bowie put in 24. Bowie scored more goals than the entire Quebec hockey club did. Like Gretzky and Orr at their best, Bowie was playing the game at a different level.

Havilland Routh and Art Hooper also pass the Gretzky-Orr threshold, but only for a single season each.  Bowie possessing three of the top seven seasons here demonstrates that his appearance at the top of the list is no fluke. He had three seasons that were better than anything Howie Morenz or Cyclone Taylor ever did. It doesn't matter how great you believe Russell Bowie was; you're probably still underrating him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hostgator promo codes