There’s been a lot of talk about the future around these parts lately. With today being an off day for the prospect series and the top TWO prospects coming at you tomorrow, I figured the hole in the schedule today would be an appropriate time to look backwards.
I recently queried all of Hockey Reference’s player season data going back to 1942, creating the most cumbersome Excel file in existence. While I have longer term plans for what to do with that data, for today I kept it simple – I tried to identify the top Canuck seasons in history when adjusted for league scoring context.
Some of the methodology I used isn’t great — it doesn’t separate forwards from defenseman and simply uses "total league points / total league games" rather than any sort of minute-adjusted production measure. That’s all stuff to come (eventually), so for today take these highlights as nothing more than a fun trip down memory lane.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, given the decline in goal scoring in the NHL since the early 1990s, that the top two seasons belong to current Canucks. The 2009-10 seasons for Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin top the list as the best league-adjusted point totals in Vancouver Canucks history.
That season, Henrik posted 112 points in 82 games at a time when the average NHL player was only producing 0.42 points per game. That means Henrik’s output was about 327 percent of what an average player produced, or 227 percent above league average. While Daniel’s season was shortened to just 63 games due to injury, he managed 85 points, a pace that was 322 percent of what an average NHL player produced that year, or 222 percent above league average. Daniel Sedin’s 2010-11 season als ranks as the fourth best season for a Canuck player using this metric, and both brothers litter the top-25.
But what about number three, that spot between Daniel seasons? That belongs to Markus Naslund’s impressive 2002-03 season. At a time when the average player produced less than 0.4 points per game, Naslund put up 104 in a full 82 game slate, a mark 219 percent above league average. Not surprisingly, Naslund is another name that litters the leaderboard here.
Two other names you were likely expecting are Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny, players who played the bulk of their careers when scoring was slightly higher but still produced large point totals. Bure’s 1993-94 season (107 points in 76 games) is hit best at 194 percent above average, while Mogilny’s 1995-96 (107 points in 79 games) follows right behind at 190 percent above average.
There’s a name between the Sedin-Naslund grouping and the Mogilny-Bure grouping, though, and it’s a name I had kind of forgot was really good for two seasons. Todd Bertuzzi’s 2001-02 and 2002-03 are the fifth and sixth highest marks on this list, respectively, as Bertuzzi combined for 182 points in 154 games, outproducing the average player by about 200 percent for the two-year span.
Some other interesting notes:
*Ed Jovanovski’s 2003-03 and 2005-06 top the list for defenseman as Jovo outproduced an average player (not defensemen, all skaters) by about 70 percent.
*The top "old guy" season goes to Mark Messier’s 1998-99 when, at age 38, he scored 48 points in 59 games, more than doubling the production of an average skater.
*Shawn Antoski scored three points in 55 games in 1993-94 when NHL scoring was much higher, producing just 10 percent of what an average skater would have produced.
*The Sedin’s outproduced the league average by 134 percent (Henrik) and 112 percent (Daniel) this past year.
Here’s a table of the top-20 individual seasons:
|name||year||age||gp||g||pts||gpg||ppg||gcpg||spg||season scoring||GPG+||season ppg||PPG+|
|Pavel Bure *||1993-94||22||76||60||107||0.79||1.41||0.61||4.92||0.18||438.06||0.48||294.05|
|Pavel Bure *||1997-98||26||82||51||90||0.62||1.1||0.48||4.01||0.15||422.92||0.39||282.72|
|Pavel Bure *||1992-93||21||83||60||110||0.72||1.33||0.56||4.9||0.20||356.74||0.54||246.62|