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Gunnar Odinsson could stop playing and still likely win the Funk Trophy


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Hello there. Gunnar Odinsson is very good, though he hasn't always been.


HEY WAIT A MINUTE, THE TITLE IS A LIE. No, it's an exaggeration. I don't actually think that Gunnar Odinsson going from 21 goals and 43 points last season to 41 goals and 95 points would be enough to be named the Most Improved Player. I guess if he literally didn't play anymore and there were enough voters who favored his per 20 stats, but other players have made pretty big improvements as well. Pistil Stamen had just 38 points last season and is already at 74 this season, though he has had multiple 60+ point seasons in his career. Jivere Zolnek already has 30 more points than he had last season, though he hasn't even matched his goal total yet. There are possibly other players, but these ones are among those who are atop the league after having relatively weak seasons. I haven't even looked at goalies.


Gunnar Odinsson definitely appears to be the favorite to win it, though, because he's not going to stop playing for the rest of the season. I think there is a case to be made for Jivere Zolnek, and to explain why that is, I will talk about Odinsson and Stamen.


Odinsson, like Stamen, is coming off of a season which was not his best. In Season 77, Odinsson had 34 goals, 36 assists, 70 points, 338 shots on goal, and 129 hits. Although not a phenomenal season, just as Stamen's 61 and 76 point seasons were not, it begs the question: his he improving or is he bouncing back? Some might argue that his stronger season should be taken into account, rather than just last season compared to this season. The fact that Stamen also had better seasons (one of which was better than Odinsson's best) is why I don't think a case could be made for him against Odinsson. Zolnek is a different story.


Jivere Zolnek is playing in his fourth season. He has gone from 5 to 16 to 26 goals and from 10 to 33 to 47 points. This season, he has 25 goals and 77 points thus far. At the rate he is going, his point total will end up being nearly 30 greater than his first three seasons combined. Odinsson, who is also playing in his fourth season, is not even on pace to match his first three seasons in points.


However, if we were just comparing each player's best previous season to their current, rather than the usual comparing of last season to this season, Odinsson's improvement would still trump Zolnek's. Odinsson is on pace to top his career bests by 32 goals and 82 points, whereas Zolnek is on pace for 12 goals and 71 points more than his bests.

Edited by scoop
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