Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:10 AM
Clarkson's had a hell of a year. It took a lot of luck to get 30 goals. He'll be the first to admit (and I've heard him say it many times in interviews) that he's been the benefit of so many lucky bounces this season (be it shots off his body or taking teammates goals at the goal line), but he's still improved his game a lot this year. He's strong on the puck, and he's avoided doing the same two moves every second.
I was wondering how rare this season is historically. I'm talking about a guy who has been in the league for 5-6 years getting a 30-goal season without ever having a 20-goal year. And I am not talking about guys doing it their rookie year or 2nd or 3rd year in the league where they hit their stride (Parise got 31 goals in his second year after 14 in his first. Semin got 38 goals after 10 during his rookie season..etc.) Because that has probably happened many times. But someone like Clarkson who has been around for 5 to 6 years or so. Remember Clarkson's top two goal campaigns combined didn't even equal 30 goals (17 and 12).
Haven't found many so far. Mike Knuble scored 30 goals at the age of 30 after seasons of 7 and 8 goals. He also got to play on a line with Thornton and Murray though. But he did score 20 or more goals 7 straight seasons after. Olli Jokinen followed a 9-goal campaign with 36 in 2002. And Marty St. Louis had his first 30-goal seaosn at the age of 27. His previous high was 18.
I am sure there are a few more examples out there, but needless to say, this is very uncommon.
You're forgetting one of our own: Scott Gomez. Five seasons of 19 goals or less to start his career, then 33 goals in '05-'06, and no more than 16 in any season since. Granted, '05-'06 was a goofy year statistically, almost so much so that you can nearly throw out some of those numbers (Gio's 48 goals anyone?). But Gomez fits your criteria.
As for Clarkson, can't say I'd ever expect another season like this one, but even with all the freaky puck luck he enjoyed this year, he can look back on his career and say he had a 30-goal season...pretty damned good for an undrafted player. So good for Clarky. But if he ever DID repeat this season next year, scary to think of the money that might await him ($4 mil or more per year...not outlandish when Brandon Dubinsky is making that much)...more than he ever thought he'd get I'm sure.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 01 April 2012 - 07:17 AM.
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