I would understand giving Chan such an importamce if his world victories were undisputed. But they are not.
The writer forget about Lambiel, forget about Taka, forget too many things. For example let's see first how Chan will fare in the next 10 years if now is less than a stable skater. Then compare him with Plushenko. For now he should have compared Plushenko till he was 23 and not with the end of career of Plushenko, when too many injury let him to minimalise his programs.
Yes, Chan has used cleverly the point system, but was he so inovative? Was any of his transition, steps, spins something new with which he really pushed the sport?
Patrick Chan is the first person to combine Quads with non-stop transitions (except going into the 3Axel...it must be said). That's great.
But it comes at the cost of sacrificing performance, choreography, and interpretation. Not to mention consistency.
End result: not worth it. Virtually nobody wants to watch his skating instead of the skating we've seen from Yagudin, Lambiel, or Browning. It's not as exciting. It's not as interesting. It's not as FUN.
I hope these several years with fall is just a transition and all the skaters will come back stronger next season.
Chan was not incredibly innovative but he did the things you mention + the most difficult jumps extremely well. He is a very good all-around skater. Also, he had some of the most technically difficult footwork seen in singles competitive programs and the purity of his edges in his basics are greatly admired. He and his coaches/teachers invested in that; he wasn't just born with those skills.
At the end of the day, the message i got from Chan is the next " the aim is to gather as many points you can, using your strength, not the daring way, not the risky way and you can have as many imperfections you want as long as the math is working". Pretty in the same shoes of Lysacek, even when Chan is miles better in his skills. My problem with him is his miss of charisma and of big tricks. When i look at him skating i always went "oh, this is a nice move, oh here he is gliding so nice, here this steps are interesting". After 5 minutes i forget all, there is nothing special that remains in my head, even his steps are not in my heads like those of Yagudin in Winter program or steps and spins of Lambiel in so many programs (to compare just with two skaters i liked). I miss at him that big emotion, big feeling, big atlethic mindset, that "i moved the mountains".
That is why i see not so much long lasting influence for the future from his part and not at all as a legend (i am refering here to comparing him with Prometheus, who has fight with the gods and dared). Yes, people learned from him that you can gather points from every blade moving. Naturally, he is not as the end of his career, this may change. But as it is, in this moment, nope. If he stops now, he will be seen as a hard-working gifted skater, but influencial? I see in Yuzuru more the influence of both Plushenko and Takahashi than Chan, for example.
Also, they didn't do the most difficult jumps; the most difficult jumps landed in competition are the 4Lz and 4S, and none of these skaters have landed either. Chan and Lambiel also had iffy 3As and Takahashi had iffy 4Ts. As a more general point, I find the fixation on transitions at the expense of all else baffling. What's so good about transitions that lead to botched elements and are in the program just to show that a skater can do many transitions?
The premise of the article is ridiculous. Plushenko had a huge impact on many skaters (including Hanyu). Chan had a huge impact on many skaters. They're both achieved a lot in skating, and there's no need to put one down to make the other look better.
With respect to the posters upthread, I actually don't agree with them. The author makes it out like this: Plushenko - calculating hack who skates the bare minimum he has to win. Due to timing and luck, for most of his career the "bare minimum" hasn't been very much. Chan - an inspired arteeste, who pours his soul out on the ice with sophisticated choreography, mind-boggling transitions AND fabulous jumps to fully express his talent, scores be damned. But that's such BS. They are both calculating athletes who do what they have to do to win. It just so happened that the rules under which they had to do that differed. Plushenko skated clean, minimal programs to win, and he did win. Chan packs his program with stuff to win, and sometimes it works because even when he botches his jumps, the rest of the stuff is worth enough points to win. I disagree completely Chan is doing it for kicks. He is doing it - just like Plushenko - to win.
Really, this might make more sense if Chan could 3A to save his life. But his proficiency with quads is mostly just a way for him to make up for his sketchy and unreliable axel, not cause he's trying to push this sport.
There were so many Titans at Sochi. Besides Chan and Hanyu, there were Takahashi, Machida, Liebers, Reynolds, Verner, Abbott -- they all botched their quads while daring greatly. No timid souls here.It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
If anything, all these sketchy Chan wins should be making the sport reevaluate if it really values transitions that much over performance quality.