Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sergei Makarov, Well-deserved Hall of Famer


Sergei Makarov was overdue to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. His longtime teammates, Igor Larionov and Slava Fetisov were elected in 2008 and 2001 respectively. There is no reason Makarov should have waited so long. As dominance in his league went, he was the Wayne Gretzky of the Russian League in the 1980s.

Makarov was a 1st-Team All-Star in Russia for eight consecutive years starting in 1981. He was top scorer in the league for nine of ten years beginning in 1979/80. The only year he didn't lead in points he missed 16 games and still produced 42 points in 30 games. It's not just the fact that Makarov was the top scorer either, it's the margins by which he finished ahead of the second place man. See below his percentage of points he was ahead of second place:

79/80 11.5%
80/81 29.5%
81/82  5.6%
83/84 28.1%
84/85 22.6%
85/86 19.2%
86/87  6.0%
87/88 17.7%
88/89 31.7%

Over his nine seasons as top-scorer he led by an average of 19.1% over the next best player. That is the equivalent over an 80 game season of scoring 119 points to lead when second place has 100 points. Dominance indeed.
If we were to look at only Makarov's international numbers, his Hall of Fame credentials grow even larger. In Canada Cup, Challenge Cup, Olympics, Rendezvous 87, Super Series and World Championship play, Makarov played a total of 168 games. In these matches he produced 93 goals, 112 assists and 205 points. He was named to a World Championships All-Star team on eight occasions.
Simply, Sergei Makarov was a Hall of Famer before he even played a game in the NHL.

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