It's That Time Again: The Mythical Power Forward

Here I come to save the day! - USA TODAY Sports

Alex Ovechkin has always been the solitary figure in the mists of power forward land. Is he getting company?

I've looked at the mythical beast for the past few years and found that it's Ovechkin and some big guys that can sometimes put a solid season together and make the list.

As I've done with each look, I set the minimums for the position at .3 goals per game (25 goals over an 82-game season) and 1.5 hits per game. For the reasoning, check the article behind the "mythical beast" link above.

The following charts detail each player by season that met the minimums.

06-07 Power Forwards

0607pf_medium

07-08 Power Forwards

0708pf_medium

08-09 Power Forwards

0809pf_medium

09-10 Power Forwards

0910pf_medium

10-11 Power Forwards

10-11_power_forwards_medium

11-12 Power Forwards

2011-12_power_forwards_medium

12-13 Power Forwards

2012-13_unicorns

Return Trips:

  • Alex Ovechkin went back to a 50 goal pace last season. He's just an amazing player.
  • Chris Kunitz is back again for the third time in a row, fourth time overall. Having Crosby at centre makes it easier, but Kunitz is still a solid 25 goal guy who plays a very aggressive game. He's had three different centres in his four years on the list and is as close to the myth as possible.
  • Two guys are back for the third time and third time in a row: Jamie Benn and Ryan Callahan. I wonder if Benn will stop hitting, like James Neal did when he became highly-compensated? Callahan is anything but the prototypical power forward, but he keeps appearing here.
  • David Clarkson is on the list for a second year in a row and Toronto gave him an enormous contract for doing so. Wayne Simmonds and Evander Kane join him in the back-to-back club.
  • Ryan Getzlaf returns to the list as the only full-time centre to make it.
  • Has anyone looked into Winnipeg over-counting hits and other stats?

The seven-year standings:

* indicates current consecutive years on the list

Alexander Ovechkin 7
*******
Chris Kunitz 4
***
Dustin Brown 4
*
Erik Cole 4
Jamie Benn 3
***
Ryan Callahan 3
***
Ryan Getzlaf 3
*
Mike Fisher 3
Mike Richards 3
Ryan Malone 3
Shane Doan 3
Evander Kane 2
**
Wayne Simmonds 2
**
David Clarkson 2
**
Milan Lucic 2
Bobby Ryan 2
Brenden Morrow 2
David Backes 2
Devin Setoguchi 2
James Neal 2
Ryane Clowe 2
Pascal Dupuis 1
Troy Brouwer 1
Blake Wheeler 1
Andrew Ladd 1
Jarome Iginla 1
Joffrey Lupul 1
Jordan Staal 1
Scott Hartnell 1
Vincent Lecavalier 1
Alexei Ponikarovsky 1
Andrei Kostitsyn 1
Blake Comeau 1
Brandon Dubinsky 1
Chuck Kobasew 1
Danny Cleary 1
David Booth 1
Guillaume Latendresse 1
Johan Franzen 1
Jonathan Cheechoo 1
Michael Ryder 1
Rick Nash 1
Rod Brind'Amour 1
Ryan Kesler 1
Steve Ott 1
Tuomo Ruutu 1

I have a running conclusion about the traditional Power Forward:

A roster fix via the vaunted "power forward" is nearly impossible. The players in this mold are extremely rare and the ones that do actually exist come with a heavy cap number. Their trade cost is just about priceless. Beyond that, the guys that fit this mold aren't necessarily dynamic scorers...

...there were 85 "power forward" seasons by 46 different players during the last seven seasons.

Even the players that just flirt with the list now and again, Clarkson and Lucic, are landing enormous contracts. These types of seasons have a very low rate of repeatability. The players that aren't named Ovechkin (and now maybe Benn and Callahan) depend on high shooting percentages to accumulate goals. When those percentages regress, those forwards drop from the list. Put simply, the traditional "power forward" is almost a myth.

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