Yesterday I asked readers to develop a comparables list for Sam Gagner:
Below is a list of centers (some later switched to wing) who plied their trade in the NHL from 1955 onwards:
Aaron Broten, Adam Creighton, Alan Haworth, Bengt-Ake Gustafsson, Bernie Nicholls, Bob Pulford, Bobby Carpenter, Brian Bellows, Brian Bradley, Butch Goring, Dale Hunter, Dan Quinn, Darren Turcotte, Dave Andreychuk, Dave Christian, Dave Keon, David Legwand, Daymond Langkow, Derek Plante, Don Lever, Don McKenney, Doug Gilmour, Garry Unger, Greg Malone, Guy Chouinard, Ivan Boldirev, Jim Fox, Jimmy Carson, John Chabot, John Tucker, Jozef Stumpel, Marc Savard, Martin Straka, Mel Bridgman, Mike Ricci, Murray Oliver, Nelson Emerson, Patrick Marleau, Paul Gardner, Pelle Eklund, Peter McNab, Peter Zezel, Pit Martin, Ralph Backstrom, Ray Ferraro, Robert Reichel, Ron Duguay, Ron Flockhart, Russ Courtnall, Scott Gomez, Stephen Weiss, Steve Kasper, Thomas Steen, Tim Young, Vincent Damphousse
In the comments, choose your best three Gagner comparables from the list.
I created the list by normalizing scoring in the league from 1955-2011 to level-set production by year. Jonathan Willis has done this previously and it's an outstanding idea. I set per game scoring to three goals per team per game, then calculated all numbers on a per 82 game basis. Performing these two adjustments to Sam Gagner's numbers over his first 366 games places his normalized per 82 game total to ~53 points.
The players in the list above all came within 20% of Gagner's adjusted number either prior to turning 23 (Gagner turns 23 in August) or during the following three years.
For now, I've abandoned the idea of adjusting for team production, but may re-visit this later.The numbers in the list below show that same breakout: normalized production prior to the 23 year old season and the following three seasons.
Do the normalized numbers change your mind about Gagner's comparables? Do the wide variety of results these comparables produced in their next three seasons change your mind about the possibilities for Gagner over the next three seasons?