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Sakic vs Yzerman Debate

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Like hell if I'm clicking the link to see what another board thinks. Sakic was a VERY good captain in his own right, but come on, he is not Yzerman or greater as far as captaincy is concerned.

They are over there arguing how Sakic was a better two way player that Yzerman. I guess that explains why he won more Selkes than Stevie....Oh wait that's right... he never won any.....

But seriously its pretty amazing Stevie went on to have the career he did after having those horrible knee injures.

On August 2, 2002, less than two months after leading the Red Wings to their third Stanley Cup title in six years, Yzerman underwent an osteotomy, or realignment of the knee. The operation was designed to remedy the acute arthritic condition of his right knee, a condition rarely seen in someone so young. Even Yzerman's knee surgeon, Pete Fowler of London, Ontario, was astounded at the hockey player's rebound from surgery. "I don't know of a pro athlete who has had an osteotomy," Fowler told Ryan Pyette, sports reporter for the London Free Press. "I certainly don't know of a pro athlete who has had an osteotomy while they were still a pro athlete. We didn't do it (the surgery) so Steve could return to hockey. We did it so Steve could return to walking without pain and for day-to-day activities."

nuff said

Edited by Original-Six

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Burnaby Joe was awesome. Sakic had an amazing career, putting up great numbers and collecting good hardware. He was cool, he was a leader, he was a warrior, he was talented, and he was a winner.

I always wanted Vancouver to make a big push to somehow sign him and bring him home to build a franchise around. He was a class act.

Stevie Y was all that plus a little bit more. Maybe it's personalitity of the two guys, but Stevie Y wouold always be the leader out of the two in my opinion. If I'm starting a franchise with anyone pick I can take, I'm taking Yzerman over Sakic.

Incidently, Vancouver's Team 1040's Poll Question today:

Who is the best defenceman in last decade?

Nicklas Lidstrom

60%

Scott Niedermayer

40%

Most callers saying that while Nieds was great, it's not even close.

Edited by T.Low

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He's talking about

.

Meh, that was nice, but that wouldn't even make Stevie Y's top 10.

Since so many have been quoting stats to make their arguments, I decided to look at their numbers on a per-season basis rather than their whole career and here's what I found:

Yzerman and Sakic both had 6 100-point seasons, look at the difference

Yzerman: 155, 137, 127, 108, 103, 102

Sakic: 120, 118, 109, 105, 102, 100

As someone else pointed out, only 2 players have ever recorded more points in a single season than Yzerman's 155.

Top 5 goal totals

Yzerman: 65, 62, 58, 51, 45

Sakic: 54, 51, 48, 48, 41

Again, advantage Yzerman.

Basically, what it boils down to is that Yzerman had the higher peak, while Sakic's peak lasted longer. You can attribute Yzerman's "decline" to a combination of injury and coaching style, but for a long time he was the only good player on his team, whereas Sakic had a better supporting cast for longer.

From a purely objective view, the slight advantage goes to Yzerman, but as a Wings fan and more importantly as someone who grew up idolizing him, there is no contest, Yzerman hands down.

Edited by McAwesome

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Sakic never scored 60 goals and 150 points in a a season. He was never the offensive powerhouse Yzerman was in his prime.

The injuries made Stevie a worse player towards the end of his career than what Sakic was, but as far as all time ranking, I have Yzerman ranked higher.

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Sakic never scored 60 goals and 150 points in a a season. He was never the offensive powerhouse Yzerman was in his prime.

The injuries made Stevie a worse player towards the end of his career than what Sakic was, but as far as all time ranking, I have Yzerman ranked higher.

It should be noted: Yzerman scored 155 points the season after wrecking his knee in 87-88 (102 points in 64 games) when he was on pace for 63 goals and 127 points

He also scored 127 points (89-90) and 137 points (92-93) later on in his career. He was on pace for 35 goals, 84 assists, and 119 points (3rd in the NHL) in 1993-94 but he missed 26 games due to a serious neck injury. 1994-95 (38 points in 47 games) would represent one of only two seasons between 1996-97 and 1983-84 when Yzerman did not score at least a point per game.

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I'll digress from this debate to tell a story I once read on the Internet. When Gretsky and Howe are together and someone asks who's the greatest NHL player, each of them points to the other, and says, "He is!" Chew on that for awhile.

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I'll digress from this debate to tell a story I once read on the Internet. When Gretsky and Howe are together and someone asks who's the greatest NHL player, each of them points to the other, and says, "He is!" Chew on that for awhile.

Yeah but Gordie means it more than Wayne does. :P

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Yeah but Gordie means it more than Wayne does. :P

If Howe played in the 80s he would be a stronger, meaner and more defensively sound Messier - scoring 160+ points regularly to boot.

I have Howe behind only Gretzky, and it's not by a large margin.

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Yeah but Gordie means it more than Wayne does. :P

How true. I've never met either of them, but from what I've heard this is indicative of their personalities, Gordie being a supremely confident, mean-spirited force on the ice, but humble and approachable off, while Gretzky being the much less forceful on the ice but very aloof and elitist off the ice.

Transitioning back on topic, if you were to put Yzerman and Sakic in the same situation, both would have nothing but sincere praise for one another. In many ways, they are like mirror images of each other, almost eerily so.

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Howe was actually very ackward and shy off the ice in the 50s, sounding like a country bumpkin. He almost always deferred to Ted Lindsay during interviews. His personality did not really emerge until the 60s.

Sort of like Datsyuk letting Zetterberg do all his talking until only recently.

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Its almost blasphemous for me on a personal level to debate this, because both were such monumental characters for their teams and the league, in skill and class. Every time I was asked this in the past I would note that its of no importance who is better when each of them have done so much.

This. I really can't debate much to this. They were both GREAT captains. Stevie is and always will be my idol for all sports and life. The dude just does everything right (meh Tampa, guy had to take a gm spot). Great family man, great leader, greatest player to emulate. I just don't feel I can add anything to this "debate" with Sakic aside from knowing how just damn talented of a player he was. Long and short both great lol. LGW frequenter, sooo gotta go with Stevie obviously.

Edited by HankthaTank

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I think it's kind of silly for the people to say that what Ovechkin and Crosby are doing is better than what Yzerman And Sakic did. There are more teams now than there were back in the Prime of Yzerman and Sakic's carrier. The talent level was not as watered down as it is now. Not to mention Yzerman And Sakic had to compete with the likes of 99 and 66. To me that argument holds very little water.

Edited by hellsson

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I think it's kind of silly for the people to say that what Ovechkin and Crosby are doing is better than what Yzerman And Sakic did. There are more teams now than there were back in the Prime of Yzerman and Sakic's carrier. The talent level was not as watered down as it is now. Not to mention Yzerman And Sakic had to compete with the likes of 99 and 66. To me that argument holds very little water.

Well to be fair, the amount of Europeans has increased by a lot compared to Yzerman/Sakic's primes.

The best European players didn't play in the NHL, at least not all of them like today.

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1994-95 (38 points in 47 games) would represent one of only two seasons between 1996-97 and 1983-84 when Yzerman did not score at least a point per game.

To be fair, you mention a 13 year stretch for Yzerman in which he only missed a point per game 2 times.....Sakic had a 17 year stretch (1989-90 to 2006-07) in which he only had 2 seasons of sub point per game play (63pts in 64 games and 79pts in 82 games). Apart from those 2 years, there were only 3 other seasons (rookie year and last 2 years) that he was sub point per game, but still very close, 62pts in 70 games, 44pts in 40 games and 12pts in 15 games.

I think it's kind of silly for the people to say that what Ovechkin and Crosby are doing is better than what Yzerman And Sakic did. There are more teams now than there were back in the Prime of Yzerman and Sakic's carrier. The talent level was not as watered down as it is now. Not to mention Yzerman And Sakic had to compete with the likes of 99 and 66. To me that argument holds very little water.

They are not at that level yet, but it is probably silly not to recognize how special they truly are. Barring something crazy, they are both already HOFers (maybe they've already done enough to get there).

These two players now have 4, 100pt seasons in their first 5 years in the league. Crosby would be 5 for 5 if not for injury. They have done this in a much lower scoring era then when Yzerman racked up his points.

I'm not going to start comparing either to the likes of Yzerman and Sakic yet, but when all is said and done, these two could very well be amongst the all time greats.

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To be fair, you mention a 13 year stretch for Yzerman in which he only missed a point per game 2 times.....Sakic had a 17 year stretch (1989-90 to 2006-07) in which he only had 2 seasons of sub point per game play (63pts in 64 games and 79pts in 82 games). Apart from those 2 years, there were only 3 other seasons (rookie year and last 2 years) that he was sub point per game, but still very close, 62pts in 70 games, 44pts in 40 games and 12pts in 15 games.

They are not at that level yet, but it is probably silly not to recognize how special they truly are. Barring something crazy, they are both already HOFers (maybe they've already done enough to get there).

These two players now have 4, 100pt seasons in their first 5 years in the league. Crosby would be 5 for 5 if not for injury. They have done this in a much lower scoring era then when Yzerman racked up his points.

I'm not going to start comparing either to the likes of Yzerman and Sakic yet, but when all is said and done, these two could very well be amongst the all time greats.

I mentioned a 13 year stretch in which Yzerman received a severe knee injury early on and a severe neck injury later on.

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I mentioned a 13 year stretch in which Yzerman received a severe knee injury early on and a severe neck injury later on.

Sakic has had his issues with injury as well, but I don't think it really matters.

Is Crosby better than Ovechkin because Crosby has had to deal with a serious injury while Ovechkin has not? Taking it even further, you could use Lindros as an example. He'd likely be an all-time great if not for injury, instead, we're left with many wondering if he even deserves the hall of fame, while guys like Neely are in there.

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Sakic has had his issues with injury as well, but I don't think it really matters.

Is Crosby better than Ovechkin because Crosby has had to deal with a serious injury while Ovechkin has not? Taking it even further, you could use Lindros as an example. He'd likely be an all-time great if not for injury, instead, we're left with many wondering if he even deserves the hall of fame, while guys like Neely are in there.

I was pondering the Neely thing the other day, and came to a conclusion: Neely is in there because he scored 50 goals in 49 games. That's it. Had he not done that, he would not be in.

Sakic's first significant injury was a lacerated calf in 96-97, which would be equivalent to Yzerman receiving his first major injury (such as the knee injury) in 91-92. Imagine Yzerman playing the 88-89 season with no lingering effects from the knee injury? What could he have done, 80 goals and 180 points maybe?

Early in the 2007-08 season, Sakic underwent hernia surgery to accelerate the recovery of a hernia that hat caused him to miss 12 games the previous season. He missed 38 games recovering from the surgery, but still scored 40 points that season as the team waited until he was truly ready to return.

In summer 2008, Sakic discussed his future with the team with the team's GM, Francois Giguere. Early in that season, Sakic suffered a herniated disc similar to the one Yzerman had suffered in his neck. Had he recovered properly, he would have been back around mid-season. However, during normal off-ice activities, Sakic had a snowblower accident. He announced his retirement later that season, a few months earlier than he had intended to.

So while Sakic did suffer his share of injuries, one of them came during his prime. Yzerman suffered a knee injury that would plague him for the rest of his career during what many call his first "superstar" season, where he scored 50-52-102 in only 64 games, numbers that would have placed him second in goals, tenth in assists, and fourth in points had he continued at that pace. As I said before, who knows what Yzerman might have done if that knee injury had never occurred, or had occurred in 91-92, and then the neck injury in 2002-03? Yzerman might have played 150-250 more games and scored 200-300 more points over his career. He's likely top 3 in goals over his career, top 5 in assists, and top 3 in points. Probably second in goals and points given how close he already is to those marks, a healthy Yzerman in his scoring prime plus a healthier Yzerman in his later years (plus maybe one or two more seasons of productivity) might have cleared them. Granted, Sakic probably gets near 700 goals and 1800 points if he doesn't have the snowblower accident and plays another season after that one, putting up very similar career scoring numbers to Yzerman's current stats.

I don't think I've said it in this thread, but while I rate Yzerman above Sakic, it's not a wide gap as you might see between Fedorov vs Gilmour.

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This type of debate reminds me of when I was about 7 years old, and the kid across the street argued with me.

"My dad's arms are bigger than your dads!!!" He argued

"No they're not! My dads are way bigger!!!" I retorted.

And every time I see it raised, I think....oh great, here goes the kid wars again.

My opinion on the matter. Yzerman was better in his prime than Sakic. Sakic was more consistent throughout his career than Yzerman. Injuries and what not aside, that is how the stats lay out.

But each had different teams, and different obstacles, and combined they won 5 cups. They both dealt with adversity, and they both had some great teams beneath them.

I bet Yzerman's legacy will last a lot longer in Detroit than Sakic's will in Colorado though. Hell in Colorado half those people don't even know they have a team still :)

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Guest EZBAKETHAGANGSTA   
Guest EZBAKETHAGANGSTA

Well to be fair, the amount of Europeans has increased by a lot compared to Yzerman/Sakic's primes.

The best European players didn't play in the NHL, at least not all of them like today.

Also the level of athleticism is so much higher nowadays, creating more parity between good players. We will most probably never see such a gap of talent from the superstars to the regular stars as we did in the 80s.

Sports and athletes evolve. I honestly believe that if you took Boyd Deveraurax as he is right now, and put him in the 1950's NHl, he would have been a consistent all-star. The speed and evolution of skill is unfathomable. I know none of the older players had any control over this, but it evens out a lot of the natural talents, thus creating less of a skill gap.

Edited by EZBAKETHAGANGSTA

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