Last night Sportsnet noted that Johnny Gaudreau is the 5th fastest Flames to manage 100 points in franchise history behind Joe Nieuwendyk, Sergei Makarov, Carey Wilson and Eddy Beers.
The thing that is immediately apparent when we look at that list is all those other guys played in the ’80s, when goals were much easier to come by than they are today. And because we’re stretching across multiple eras, we’re comparing apples to oranges when it comes to putting Gaudreau on that list. So I wondered how Gaudreau would look if we corrected for era-scoring.
Spoiler: he’s #1.
Flames to 100 (Era Corrected List)
To compare apples to apples, I looked at the NHL’s goals-per-game average during the period each guy was scoring his initial 100 points. For example, Makarov and Nieuwendyk were putting together their first 100 points when the average goals per game in the league was about 7.3-7.4. Beers and Wilson were earlier in the decade, so goals were even cheaper – about eight per game.
If we adjust each player’s scoring rate to the current era (just 5.3 goals per game), here’s what we get:
Gaudreau: 0.87 PPG, 115 games to 100 points
Nieuwendyk: 0.81 PPG, 123 games to 100 points
Makarov: 0.77 PPG, 130 games to 100 points
Wilson: 0.60 PPG, 166 games to 100 points
Beers: 0.58 PPG, 170 games to 100 points
Of course, this is all theoretical because we can’t actually teleport Gaudreau back in time (or Nieuwendyk forward) to see how he would compare to the players in past eras.
However, this exercise helps to put Gaudreau’s accomplishment in better perspective. Also, keep in mind the quality of team factor when looking at this list as well. i.e.; the roster Nieuwendyk and Makarov had to work with was superior compared to Gaudreau’s surrounding cast.
Johnny Hockey is just 22 years old and he’s already the Flames’ most deadly offensive weapon. Given the list above, he’s also starting to look like he could be one of the best Flames of all time.