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Who was the better Wing/Player? Yzerman or Lidstrom


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Poll: Who is the better player/wing?

Stevie or Nick?

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#21 F.Michael

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:23 AM

Lids - better player...

Stevie Y - heart & soul that made the Red Wings go!

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#22 Motown4013

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

Great topic. I agree with analogy that Yzerman was the better wing and Lids the best player BUT you have to consider what they meant to the team as well. When Stevie was drafted ( and initially lived partially in Lafontaines "pretend" shadow) we were the era of the Dead things. Basement dwellers until Yzerman got some help with Demers at the helm and guys like Oates and Gallant. Stevie Y put fans in the seats, and quickly became one of the most respected character guys in the NHL.
In contrast, Lids came into a up and coming organization who had already aquired Coffee and Federov and were building the russian 5, and a dynasty. There was no pressure on him to the the face of the franchise. No pressure for him to be great (even though he was!) so these things made a difference.
Yzerman changed detroits destiny and Lidstrom took over that well oiled ship once he left.
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#23 Nev

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:02 AM

No he was the 3rd behind Gretzky and Lemieux


He was at best 3rd behind those. Most non-biased non-Wing fans have Sakic + Yzerman ranked equally, then you have to throw guys like Messier into the mix, and like I say, thats not including those who played pre-1980 and post 2000. None of that is to diss Yzerman, who as I also already said, is IMO the greatest wing.

If I really wanted to put the cat amongst the pidgeons, I would ask where Gordie Howe fits into all this :P

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Edited by Nev, 17 October 2012 - 11:03 AM.

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#24 GMRwings1983

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Better player. Lidstrom

Better Red Wing. Yzerman.


I think Lidstrom's all time ranking will ultimately be higher around NHL circles, but Yzerman was more important for the franchise and being the face of the team so long.
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#25 StevieY is the captain

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

Yzerman, with no doubt.
Lets say that you had to have one of these two players to bring your team out of an era of failure, which would do the better job?
Without Yzerman the Wings could very well have maintained the gold standard of fail around the league.
I love me some lids, but he could NOT have been the spark this team needed to reach success.
I draft a rookie Yzerman over a rookie Lids each and every time.

Dont forget that Yzerman was a mad mad point producer, scoring 1040 points before Bowman took over and made him a two way player. Had Yzerman remained the pure scorer he was he would have challenged many records.

10 years before 2 way play by Bowman 1040 points, After Bowman, 12 years 715 points.
Now I'm not arguing that this helped us win our first cup in forever, just that Yzerman unselfishly changed his entire game for this team, and he could have gone on to break records had he decided to not put this team first.

Yzerman is the better Wing and the better player.

#26 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

Better player. Lidstrom

Better Red Wing. Yzerman.


I think Lidstrom's all time ranking will ultimately be higher around NHL circles, but Yzerman was more important for the franchise and being the face of the team so long.

This.

#27 Uncle Danny

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

To the OP, I'm going to parrot what others have already said. Yzerman was the better Red Wing, Lidstrom the better player. That said...

10 years before 2 way play by Bowman 1040 points, After Bowman, 12 years 715 points.
Now I'm not arguing that this helped us win our first cup in forever, just that Yzerman unselfishly changed his entire game for this team, and he could have gone on to break records had he decided to not put this team first.


I actually came here to refute this point by saying that Stevie's body broke down in later years, and he no longer would've been able to compete with a purely offensive game. I still think this is true, and I don't believe he would've lasted 12 more seasons that way.

However...

I took a quick peek at the all time scoring leaders, and it is not unfeasible (hi, double negative!) that he could've taken the number two all time spot if things had gone differently. Had he even played one more season in the real world, he definitely would've ousted Dionne, and possibly even taken the #4 spot from Francis had he remained healthy (given his numbers from his last two seasons -- 75gp, 55p and 61gp, 34p).


With him only 132 pts behind Messier even with his switch up to two way play, I could honestly have seen him topping every other forward all time save for the Great One.

2 Mark Messier EDM, NYR, VAN, NYR 1756 1887 1.07 3 Gordie Howe DET, HFD 1767 1850 1.05 4 Ron Francis HFD, PIT, CAR, TOR 1731 1798 1.04 5 Marcel Dionne DET, LAK, NYR 1348 1771 1.31 6 Steve Yzerman DET 1514 1755 1.16

...of course then we'd have exactly zero cups, and people would be talking about how he was the best centerman never to win the big one...
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#28 toby91_ca

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:49 PM

Yzerman, with no doubt.
Lets say that you had to have one of these two players to bring your team out of an era of failure, which would do the better job?
Without Yzerman the Wings could very well have maintained the gold standard of fail around the league.
I love me some lids, but he could NOT have been the spark this team needed to reach success.
I draft a rookie Yzerman over a rookie Lids each and every time.

Dont forget that Yzerman was a mad mad point producer, scoring 1040 points before Bowman took over and made him a two way player. Had Yzerman remained the pure scorer he was he would have challenged many records.

10 years before 2 way play by Bowman 1040 points, After Bowman, 12 years 715 points.
Now I'm not arguing that this helped us win our first cup in forever, just that Yzerman unselfishly changed his entire game for this team, and he could have gone on to break records had he decided to not put this team first.

Yzerman is the better Wing and the better player.

It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.
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#29 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:58 PM

People remember Yzerman's bum knee in 2002 but you have to remember that injury first occurred in 1988 when he slid into a goalpost. It's something that bothered him most of his career.

Had that not happened, or had they had moorings like they do now, Stevie would've been an even better player later into his career.

#30 cupcrazy

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:43 PM

He was at best 3rd behind those. Most non-biased non-Wing fans have Sakic + Yzerman ranked equally, then you have to throw guys like Messier into the mix, and like I say, thats not including those who played pre-1980 and post 2000. None of that is to diss Yzerman, who as I also already said, is IMO the greatest wing.

If I really wanted to put the cat amongst the pidgeons, I would ask where Gordie Howe fits into all this :P

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Wait, now I'm confused. You started with Yzerman wasn't even 2nd best of his era, now your changing it to all time and asking were would Howe fit in?

I have no idea were Yzerman ranks all time, but there is no doubt for about a 7 or 8 year window if not for Lemieux and Gretzky he would have been top two at the least. Yzerman has the slight edge on Sakic with points production early in there careers,

Yzerman sacrificed his points production to become a beast of a two way forward to become a complete hockey player. Between him and Messier you can debate either way.

My point was if not for the two GREATEST FORWARDS EVER playing during his entire prime there is no question Yzerman is considered top two during his ERA.

Edited by cupcrazy, 17 October 2012 - 01:46 PM.

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#31 up2here

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

I maintain that Lidstrom is the greatest Red Wing of all-time and and at the very least the greatest Red Wing that I got to see play.

Stevie was awesome and certainly played in Gretzky and Lemieux's shadow but if you compare Lidstrom and Yzerman by position the choice is clearly in Lidstrom's favor. Another thing to keep in mind about Lids is that he was unappreciated early in his career and probably should have won a couple more Norris trophies.

Edited by UP2HERE, 17 October 2012 - 02:57 PM.


#32 GMRwings1983

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

I maintain that Lidstrom is the greatest Red Wing of all-time and and at the very least the greatest Red Wing that I got to see play.

Stevie was awesome and certainly played in Gretzky and Lemieux's shadow but if you compare Lidstrom and Yzerman by position the choice is clearly in Lidstrom's favor. Another thing to keep in mind about Lids is that he was unappreciated early in his career and probably should have won a couple more Norris trophies.


No way Lidstrom ranks above Howe on any NHL list of best players.
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#33 Uncle Danny

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:09 PM

It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.


I'm not saying he'd have maintained the same pace. That would indeed be very foolish. If you'd read what I posted, I'm saying that if he'd forgone the defense that became the hallmark of his later years, tallying an additional 133 points over his actual career total would not have been a stretch.

EDIT: WOOPS! Thought you were quoting me there. My apologies. Apparently it's my reading comprehension that needs work.

Edited by Uncle Danny, 17 October 2012 - 03:15 PM.

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#34 up2here

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:22 PM

No way Lidstrom ranks above Howe on any NHL list of best players.

I admit its difficult to beleive but when I watch games from the 60's and 70's I'm amazed by how slow the game was. I dont mean to take anything away from Gordie he's basically a god but i beleive the current NHL era is FAR superior.

I watched a game between the Wings and Montreal from 1975 and I literally saw defenseman (Mostly on the Wings) who could barely skate backwards and whos transition from skating backward to forward was just awful. What was REALLy noticebale was the size of the goalie equipment.

#35 redwingmachine

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

Impossible to vote, it's like dividing by 0.

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#36 StormJH1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:43 PM

It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.


There are other reasons. People tend to forget (or didn't witness it firsthand if they are under, say, 30 years old) that NHL scoring fell off a cliff after roughly the 1992-93 season.

http://www.quanthock...oalsPerGame.php

If you only talk with Red Wings fans, you grow up with the impression that the 90's and early 2000's were this golden age of hockey. And they were...for a Red Wings or Avalanche fan. Everyone else refers to it as the "Dead Puck" era - the first time in this history of hockey were goaltenders were absolutely fearless in net, when they wore absurdly large (and since outlawed) jerseys, pads, and chest protectors that took up the whole net, but still benefited from trapping defensive schemes, no two-line passes, and unmitigated obstruction that slowed the game down. There's a reason Teemu Selanne scored 70 goals as a rookie and never got close to that total again. If Gretzky's career started in 1991 instead of 1979, he'd still have been a great player, but I'm almost certain he doesn't break Howe's goal record. It wasn't even the same game in the 1980's, and blocked shots are a huge difference even between the 90's and 2000's.

I want to say Lidstrom in the poll (who won an extra Cup, and did so as the leader of a Salary Cap-limited team), but my heart knows that it's Yzerman. However, I do think that the praise for Yzerman swings a little too far at times, and people forget that that those 80's Wings teams where Yzerman was an offensive beast were still basically the likable losers. It wasn't until Fedorov and Lidstrom came along that this became a perennial playoff team, Bowman got the star players to play defense, and even then, they still couldn't beat the other great teams of the day ('95 Devils, '96 Avs) until they added Shanahan and some other "spare parts". But if you look at Yzerman's first half of his career compared to Lidstrom's, he was a much more important player to his team, even if the team wasn't doing much at the time. Lidstrom may well be among the Top 5 or Top 10 defensemen of all time, yet Yzerman's importance to the Red Wings is somehow much more complex than that.

#37 StormJH1

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:48 PM

I admit its difficult to beleive but when I watch games from the 60's and 70's I'm amazed by how slow the game was. I dont mean to take anything away from Gordie he's basically a god but i beleive the current NHL era is FAR superior.

I watched a game between the Wings and Montreal from 1975 and I literally saw defenseman (Mostly on the Wings) who could barely skate backwards and whos transition from skating backward to forward was just awful. What was REALLy noticebale was the size of the goalie equipment.


This ties into my post above. Comparing eras is difficult and unfair in a lot of ways, but both Wayne and Gordie were DOMINANT players relative to what everyone else did at their time. True, Gordie played largely before slapshots and with goalies who basically had to give up if you shot at a low corner, but to survive physically in that era and put up decades of star production is a truly amazing feat.

Just because the "skill" level of the players in the 80's was clearly better than the 60's or 70's doesn't necessarily mean it was harder for Wayne to score in that era. The entire game was offense-oriented. Not to sound like Malcolm Gladwell, but Wayne Gretzky came into the league at the exact perfect time to put up a 20-year career with massive point totals. And, by the way, so did Yzerman - he just wasn't as gifted of a player as Gretzky was.

#38 Nev

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:52 PM

Wait, now I'm confused. You started with Yzerman wasn't even 2nd best of his era, now your changing it to all time and asking were would Howe fit in?


I'm not changing anything, I was just expanding the point about where he ranks in all time centers. Lidstrom would make an all-time all-NHL team. So would Howe. Yzerman probably wouldn't.
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#39 Uncle Danny

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:50 PM

I'm not changing anything, I was just expanding the point about where he ranks in all time centers. Lidstrom would make an all-time all-NHL team. So would Howe. Yzerman probably wouldn't.


That's actually a pretty fair point. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Lidstrom would be on the first or second pairing all time. Yzerman would likely be among the best players on the practice squad (ouch, that kinda hurt to type).
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#40 Z Winged Dangler

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:11 AM

First off, I will never vote against Yzerman.

Yzerman and Lidstrom will go down as possibly the 2 best Wings ever. Howe, Dats, Federov....up there, but those 2 are THE best.

It's hard to vote between the 2 cause of the forward/defence difference. So I will say this. Yzerman brought the Wings from the obscurity of the Dead Wings era and made them competitive. When Lids came along with Federov and Konstantinov, the Wings became a powerhouse.

Yzerman got the Wings out of the trash, Lids kept them there. If I could vote for both I would. I call it a tie.

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