Thursday, November 24, 2005

Is Pavol Demitra's Prime Going Unnoticed?

A few days ago, Jes Golbez commented that Pavol Demitra is not getting his "props" as the NHL star that he is. I will go on record in agreement with this idea.

Demitra was a star with the St Louis Blues for several years before the lockout. In 1999/2000, he won the Lady Byng Trophy as the player who best combines sportsmanship and playing ability in the NHL. From 1999 to 2003 he scored at or above point per game rate for the Blues (although never having an MVP type season). His 2003/04 season saw a bit of a slip offensively, (he only scored 58 points in 68 games) which was largely due to concussion and injury. In the lockout season, he was arguably the best player in the world. Demitra led the Slovakian league in scoring last season. Demitra was one of the best players in the 2005 World Hockey Championships. For the most part, this season will be lost and forgotten since it was not an NHL season. This season, Demitra leads the West Conference in scoring. This is the lower scoring conference this season and since Demitra has yet to play a game outside of this conference, it is reasonable to consider him the top scorer in a lower scoring league. Since there are people who are outscoring Demitra in the "East League", this acheivement is unnoticed by most fans.

I would argue that Pavol Demitra's current prime years could be good enough for the Hall of Fame one day, depending on how well he carries his career for the next few years. Its a shame that his acheivements are going unnoticed by many of the fans.

Hall of Fame? Wow, you are thinking big! :) Pavol got a bit of a late start thanks to the lack of trust the Senators had in him plus the fact he lost a prime season to the lockout. I know he'll make the Slovak Hall of Fame (The Great Hall), in any event.
I'm not promising the Hall of Fame (thats a big acheivement). I am recognizing that many players already in the Hall had primes about as dominant as Demitra's - but they got there with some longevity as well as a very good prime. Demitra just needs the longevity.
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