Thursday, October 21, 2010

THN's Top-100 Hits The Mark

The latest special edition of The Hockey News is their look at the top 100 players to play in the NHL by position. You get 20 per position (G, D, LW, RW, C), which is quite the exhaustive task. In the grand scheme of things, it's a very good representation of the players who have played in the league.

However, the biggest thing that impressed me was the fact that they were able to blend the eras together. Most of the time, these sort of lists have issues when it deals with the modern day players. The modern players really get too much credit if only because they are very much instilled in our short-attention spans. Sure, you have the guys who are always in there regardless of the era, but nothing this hardcore.

For instance, THN has Terry Sawchuk as their top goalie of all-time, with Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Jacques Plante, and Dominik Hasek rounding out the top five. Also on the goalie list, George Hainsworth (9th), Frank Brimsek (12th), and Clint Benedict (16th) mixed in with Ken Dryden (7th), Grant Fuhr (13th), and Ed Belfour (18th). For a position that has had the most change in style and equipment, it's quite the fine representation of everyone involved.

Defensively, the list is very interesting, with the old school players like Dit Clapper, King Clancy, and Eddie Shore being on the list, Shore being the 3rd overall. Granted, you did have a lot of the modern guys like Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens, and Chris Pronger on the list; with Ray Bourque and Nick Lidstrom being in the top-five.

The forwards is really were the modern guys are prominent, especially in center and right winger. The left wing position is really out there, proving it's the most shallow position out there in the league. You have a nice mix of Luc Robitaille (7th), Alex Ovechkin (8th), and Henrik Zetterberg (20th); but you have the likes of Busher Jackson (6th), Cy Denneny (9th), and Sweeney Schriner (16th). The latters are ones you have to Wikipedia to find out when they actually played, as all of them were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame before 1971.

While we all know that these lists are all really subjective to who's voting on this whole thing, but the point is this: The Hockey News did it right. They actually were able to make a list like this and incorporate all the eras of the NHL and didn't really buy into the hype of the modern era being the best era of all time. It could be, but you can't disrespect the past like some outlets do when making these all-time lists.

Don't believe me?? Go ahead and pick it up on your newsstands now.

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