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contents

the Best of...


editors notebook Player Defenseman goal-scorer Coach gM goaltender Money Player owner respected outdoor game hidden gem shooter shot-blocker Playmaker

Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes

4 8 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36

Puck-handling goalie glove hand stand-up goalie slapshot Wrist shot backhand one-timer Power forward Leader faceoff Man hitter skater Defensive forward grinder Pest

38 40 42 44 46 48 49 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64

Penalty Killer fighter Power Play Pt. Man interview shootout shooter shootout Move shootout goalie referee Linesman Womens Player Development org. Panic threshold Cheerleaders Mascot intermission

66 68 70 71 72 74 76 78 79 80 82 83 84 86 87

Jersey business savvy broadcast voice broadcast team AhL team Celebration Zone vantage Point P.r. team Dressed Arena food neighborhood hockey Movie hockey song nhL teams Ken Campbell

88 90 92 93 94 96 98 99 100 102 103 104 106 108 170

On the Cover Sidney Crosby by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images; Tim Thomas By Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images; Alex Ovechkin By Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images
the best of everything | 3

editors notebooK

Jason Kay
Editorial
Senior Editor

EST. 1947

Publisher Caroline Andrews Editor in Chief Jason Kay

Art
Sr. Associate Art Director

brian Costello
Managing Editor

erika vanderveer
Designer

edward fraser
Senior Writer

gregory Pynn thn.com


Web Editor

Ken Campbell
Associate Senior Writer

ryan Kennedy
Columnist/Writer

Adam Proteau
Copy Editor

rory boylen
Video Producer

ronnie shuker

ted Cooper

thomas next stop


With some serious hardware backing his credentials, longevity is all thats between Bruin and the Hall of Fame
hen the lockout ended and the nhL resumed play in october 2005, there was little reason to believe tim thomas would be an nhL regular, let alone develop into a hall of fame contender. he was 31 and the poster boy for hockey journeymen, having traveled around the globe to stop pucks for pay. you could count on one hand his nhL appearances and he was slotted on the bruins depth chart behind reigning Calder trophy winner Andrew raycroft. six years later, theres a good case to be made for decorating him with honored member status. the colorful, unorthodox stopper from flint, Mich., is the best goalie in the NHL right here, right now. A panel of experts confirmed that for us for this project (see pgs. 20-21) following his stanley Cup/ Conn smythe/vezina trophy-winning season. but the hall? Why not? We compared his accomplishments to the eight hall of fame netminders of the post-expansion era omitting those who played predominantly pre-1967 because of the uneven surface (and vladislav tretiak, who never played in the nhL) and thomas emerges nearly mid-pack. vezina trophies: While this went to the goalie with the best goalsagainst average pre-1982, its still telling and thomas has two. four of those in our study group failed to win more than one vezina. All-star berths: thomas pair beats two singles gerry Cheevers and billy smith and ties grant fuhr. shutouts: Despite his late blossoming, thomas has more nhL shutouts than smith and, for now, the same number as Cheevers. Wins: this is where it gets dicey for thomas. entering 2011-12, he had 161 regular season Ws, nearly 70 fewer than the bottom man among the group of eight (Cheevers). With a couple more 35-win seasons, that gets erased. stanley Cups: thomas now joins the elite group, while only ed giacomin failed to sip from stan. in addition, every goalie post-67 who has won two or more vezinas is either in the hall or a shoo-in when they become eligible (Martin brodeur, Dominik hasek). the only real argument against thomas induction is lack of longevity. but look at Ken Dryden, who retired at 31. or Cheevers, who jumped to the WhA at 32. Many of the all-time great stoppers only really, truly shone for a handful of seasons. thomas just happens to be doing it later in life.

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annual subscrIptIon rates North America: $62.95 including taxes, U.K. and Europe: 159.95 Outside Europe: $269.95 U.S.D. for airmail newsstand Weekly Cover Price $3.99 Distributed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership, and the English Poolbook (Cover Price $7.99). The French Poolbook national distributor is Transcontinental, (Cover Price $7.99). the hockey news offIces canada 25 Sheppard Ave. W., Suite 100, Toronto, Ont. M2N 6S7, Canada Phone: 416.733.7600 Fax: 416.340.2786 usa Transcontinental, 300 International Drive, Suite 200. Williamsville, NY. 14221. Attn: John Rebmann subscriptions & customer services 1.888.361.9768 website www.thehockeynews.com For fundraising opportunities with THN log onto http://www.thehockeynews. com/fundraising or contact Doris Chan at 416-227-8276 The Hockey News (ISSN 0018-3016) publishes 26 regular issues (three times each in February, March, September, November and December; twice in January, April, May and October; once each in June, July and August), and four specialty magazines (February, April, August, October). Minimum Single Copy Price: $3.99. Distribution Canadian publications Mail Agreement No.40064924, Registration No.09255 paid at Gateway, Mississauga ON. Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to THN Circulation, Box 904, Stn B, Toronto, ON, M2K 2T6. In the U.S. periodical postage (579-540) paid at Buffalo, N.Y., 14240-9544 and at additional mailing ofces. POSTMASTER return undeliverable U.S. addresses to THN Circulation, Box 904, Buffalo, NY, 14240-9554. Email thn.service@transcontinental.ca Reproduction rights/Copyrights All reproduction requests must be made to: COPIBEC (paper reproductions) 800.717.2022 CEDROM-SN1 (electronic reproductions) reproduction@cedrom-sni.com The Hockey News co-founded by Ken McKenzie and W.V. Cote in 1947.

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On occasion, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened organizations whose product or service might interest you. If you prefer that we not share your name and address(postal and or e-mail), you can easily remove your name from our mailing list by reaching us at any of the listed contact points. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at www.thehockeynews.com. transcontInental medIa g.p. president Natalie Larivire Vice-president finance Haig Poutchigian senior Vice-president, business and consumer solutions group Pierre Marcoux senior Vice-president, sales & 360 solutions Reneault Poliquin Member of the Transcontinental Media G.P. Printed at Transcontinental RBW Graphics 2049 20th St. E., Owen Sound, Ont.

4 | the best of everything

www.transcontinental-media.com We acknowledge the nancial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities.

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experts choice

the Write stuff


Eight years after our first edition of the Best of Everything in Hockey, our writers offer second opinions
By Brian Costello e produced our first best of everything in hockey magazine in 2003 after one of our readers asked the question: What if there were 50 nhL awards rather than just 14 or 15? so we asked our 30 nhL team correspondents to vote on best skater, best hitter, best fighterthe things you dont see awards given out for. its the writers who vote for many of the nhL awards. so who better to judge indiscriminately than the journalists who travel throughout the league and watch games? What started out as a story idea evolved into a potential cover story, then mushroomed into a full-blown 186-page collectors edition magazine. it was the start of our best of everything series that included great Debates in 2004, the Lighter side of hockey in 2005, All-Access Pass in 2006, 60 Moments that Changed the games in 2007 and more over the years. version 1 of the best of everything in hockey was a hit. A panel of 42 writers selected their top three candidates on a variety of categories and we profiled the winner. We did the same thing again this summer, only we asked our scribes to name just one winner. the mandate was basic: tell us the name of the player or team that first came to mind when we ask about a topic. So its more about a gut feeling than a heavily researched response. And its all about the best in the game right now, not all-time or over the course of a players career. the results are broken down on each of the feature pages, in pie chart form and a list showing the percentage of vote for each recipient. We also include a breakout box on the runner-up. After the 57 best of features, we have the team section where we identify each clubs best season with a mini-feature on how it unfolded. Then we update the first and second all-star teams for each of the 30 nhL clubs. heres where things differ a bit from the 2003 edition. eight years ago, we selected each organizations top three forwards on the first all-star team. This year, we nailed down the all-stars by the specific position they played most of their careers. established teams such as Montreal and Toronto saw little or no change to the first and second units. but edmonton, for example, had a few changes based on

There are plenty of new best faces and all-star teams since our 2003 edition.

positional needs. The Oilers first all-star forwards in 2003 were Wayne gretzky, Mark Messier and Jari Kurri. this year, gretzky is the center, Kurri the right winger and esa tikkanen the left winger. Messier gets bumped to second-line center between glenn Anderson and ryan smyth. surprisingly, one of the great young players in the game today didnt make the first or second team for one of the leagues youngest franchises. steven stamkos has been a gem and nhL award winner for the tampa bay Lightning so far, but not enough yet to usurp Vincent Lecavalier as first-team center or brad richards on the second team. its important to note we selected our all-star teams in consultation with our 30 nhL correspondents as well as our 1997 publication The Top 100 NHL Players of All-Time. because this authoritative listing was determined by a 50-member panel of executives, historians and ex-players, it trumps all other opinions. toronto fans, for example, vary greatly in their opinion of the greatest Maple Leaf of all-time, from teeder Kennedy to Dave Keon to Darryl sittler. even Mats sundin gets some support from younger followers. but according to the top 100 list in our 1997 ranking, center syl Apps, who played in the 1930s and 40s, ranks the highest. Kennedy was second-team center, meaning Keon, Sittler and Sundin didnt make our profiles. the team section concludes with top-10 leaders in the main statistical categories, including coaching wins. Active players still with the organization are denoted with an asterisk.

6 | the best of everything

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beSt all-around player

Sidney Crosby

Sidney CroSby
AGE 24 born cole harbour, n.s. ht 5-11 wt 200 tEAm pittsburgh nhl sEAsons 6 drAft 1st, 2005

8 | the best of everything

both: GreGory ShamuS/NhLI vIa Getty ImaGeS

sidney Crosby

best all-around player

more than just a kid


The pride of Cole Harbour has already lived up to the hype. The Next One? Crosbys time to dominate is right now
By Jay Greenberg idney Crosbys being out of sight for the last half of 2010-11 naturally caused people to go out of their minds sizing up wannabes for the games best player. forget that Alex ovechkin has two hart trophies while Crosby has just one. yes, tampa bays steven stamkos has 96 goals over the past two seasons, but it could just be the greatest short sample since Jimmy Carson. the sedin twins? Well, if you put the two together you get just one superstar. And never mind evgeni Malkin won the Art ross in 2008-09 by outscoring Crosby by 10 points. People who ride the stagecoach in Pittsburgh know which player is driving and which one is riding shotgun. no, Crosby remains the best player in the game because being the best remains not good enough for him. validation of sids extraordinary promise began in his second season, when he won his only hart and Art ross trophies. since then, after never breaking 40 goals in his first four seasons, Crosby added a slapshot to his scoring repertoire that helped him to 51 tallies and a share of the rocket richard trophy in 2009-10. Plus, after winning only 45.5 percent of his faceoffs in his rookie year, Crosbys percentage last season rose to 55.6

Sidney Crosby was born on Aug. 7, 1987, giving his No. 87 a double meaning.

voting results

percent, good for 14th in the nhL, ahead of even the leagues quintessential twoway center, Pavel Datsyuk, and right up there with the faceoff masters. Crosby continues to be the only active player who has reached 100 points in every season hes played at least 75 games. And as the active leader in assists per game, hes the best at making his teammates better, too. but what sets Crosby apart from other super-skilled players in the league is his unmatched work ethic. the slickest player in the nhL draws a lot of lubrication from his elbows. they apply more grease to a task than in a Primanti brothers sandwich, the kind with the fries

best all-around player


1. Sidney Crosby, Pit 80.0% 2. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 10.0% 3. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 4. Ryan Kesler, Van Steven Stamkos, TB 5.0% 2.5% 2.5%

Points in 412 career games. Crosbys points-per-game average (1.39) ranks fth all-time, behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, and Bossy

572

the best of everything | 9

beSt all-around player

Sidney Crosby
Crosbys golden goal at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics came 7:40 into overtime.

inside that Crosbys fans eat after Penguins games. if, while hanging on by a goal in the third period, it seems to opponents he never leaves the ice, they should see him at practice, where none of this improvement would be occurring if Crosby was the first guy off, dressed and out to lunch. in fact, out to lunch better describes the foes who think they can get into Crosbys head. henrik Lundqvist, once unhappy to see Crosby prone on the ice from a Marc staal cross-check, stood over the Kid and added his own lecture on sportsmanship to those of the hooting Madison square garden crowd. not appreciating that, Crosby got up and crosschecked the goalie, then soon twisted himself like the faces of hating new york fans to keep himself onside on a popped-up Chris Kunitz pass before feeding Mike rupp for a goal to cut the rangers lead to one. Not finished,

Crosby stood his ground with staal at the edge of the crease when Alex goligoski scored the tying goal from the corner, then was on the ice for the overtime winner. visiting Uniondale on the final day of 2009-10, Crosby needed one goal for 50 and eight points to tie henrik sedin for the scoring title. the Kid had No. 50 by 17 minutes of the first period and five points before the end of the second. Crosby was so dominant he made it look like the 1980s again and people watching

10 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

2
No.

actually were starting to think he could make up eight points in one game. the Pens captain fell three short, but just the thought he could do it was enough. only two months earlier, he delivered Canada the gold medal at the 2010 Olympics in vancouver. his golden goal in overtime between ryan Millers legs came after Crosby was criticized for a mediocre tournament, as if seven points in seven games against the best players in the world demanded his apology.

Years and nine months, Crosbys age when he was appointed the youngest permanent captain in the history of the NHL (2007)

19

alex ovechkin
washington
sid or ovie? the debate has raged since the two no. 1 overall picks shared the same rookie year out of the lockout. ovie won the calder, but sid has a cup. sid has one hart and one richard, while ovie has two of each. either way, theyre both the most dynamic players in the game.

top: Alex livesey/Getty imAGes; bottom: JAmie sAbAu/NHli viA Getty imAGes

this is what happens when you raise the bar as Crosby has. he can lead the play or come from behind it, equally create a hole or jump into one. And though boston capturing the Cup finished off a sensational post-season this past spring, the playoffs still suffered without the most dominant presence in the league. During his Cup run, the Kid had 31 points in 24 games. of active players, Crosby has a higher-pointsper-game playoff scoring average (1.32) than anyone except Ovechkin (1.35), who, in never getting past the second round, has played 25 fewer playoff games. As long as you have to keep winning games to keep playing in the post-season, this seals the argument. Ultimately the biggest winner is the best player. And that is sidney Crosby.

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Best defeNsemaN

Nicklas Lidstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom is now in his sixth season as captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

votiNg resuLts

best Defenseman
1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 45.0% 2. Zdeno Chara, Bos 3. Shea Weber, Nsh 35.0% 20.0%

BaroN of BLueLiNers
Detroits ageless wonder is the master of the safe, smart play. Hes destined to go down as among the best ever
By Ryan Kennedy sk a good number of young blueline prospects who their nhL mentor is and the answer will be nicklas Lidstrom. In some cases the style of play fits, in others youre left to wonder if they just gave the answer they thought they were supposed to give. either way its a pretty big compliment for the sublime swede youngsters know that to play like Lidstrom is to welcome success. A stalwart in Detroit for nearly 20 years now, Lidstroms trophy case is well-stocked, with the 2011 norris making it seven for the red Wings rearguard. but its astonishing to think that if hockey hadnt worked out for Lidstrom, his educational background was telecommunications. Meaning, that if he hadnt become the best european hockey player ever and the second-best defenseman behind bobby orr, he might have spent the past two decades asking the fine citizens of vasteras Can you hear me now? the hockey world has certainly heard him over the years, even if his play is devilishly

Norris Trophies captured by Lidstrom, all after turning 30. He was runner-up another three times, all in his 20s

12 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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understated. Lidstrom is the best because he rarely makes mistakes and he always chooses the safe play. his shot is no lightning bolt, but always manages to find the seams and get on net at an impressive clip. Lidstrom entered what is likely to be his final season at the age of 41, but based on how year 40 went, its too soon to tell. the norris was earned through 23:28 of ice time per night, most on

the Wings and top-30 in the young mens nhL. true, he was a minus-2 on the season (the first time hes been in the red his entire nhL career), but his 62 points in 82 games were the most he had gathered since Detroit last won the Cup in 2007-08. And you know thats what Lidstrom wants before he rides off into the sunset: a fifth ring to complete the hand.

zDeno chara
boston
Despite being recognizeD as one of the games top Dman During his 12 seasons, chara has just one norris trophy anD one runner-up to show for it. he Does, however, have a cup ring.

top: Claus andersen/Getty ImaGes; bottom: dave sandford/nHlI vIa Getty ImaGes

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Best gOAl-scOrer

Alex Ovechkin

AGE 25 Born Moscow, rus. ht 6-2 Wt 233 tEAm washington nhL sEAsons 6 drAft 1st, 2004

14 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all: GraiG abel/NHli via Getty imaGes

Alex Ovechkin

alex ovechkin

Best goal-scorer
Alexander Ovechkin made the NHL first all-star team five times in six seasons.

voting results

beSt goal-Scorer
1. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 55.0% 2. Steven Stamkos, TB 32.5% 3. Corey Perry, Ana 4. Sidney Crosby, Pit 7.5% 5.0%

stop him if you can


Always a threat to score when hes on the ice, Alexander the Great strikes fears in the hearts of opposing goalies
By Brian McNally he top priority for the new york rangers entering their first-round playoff series with the Washington Capitals last spring was to stop Alex ovechkin, the best goal-scorer in the nhL. it did not matter ovechkin had recorded by far the fewest goals of his career (32) or that he looked injured during certain stretches of the 2010-11 season and lethargic at others. the 26-year-old russian can take over a playoff series with one monster night and the rangers knew that better than anyone. Just two years earlier, ovechkin tormented new york goalie henrik Lundqvist with 49 shots in a seven-game series. he scored on three of them. the task of slowing ovechkin this time fell to the rangers talented young defense pairing, Dan girardi and Marc staal, who matched Washingtons top line and by series end drew universal praise. ovechkin managed just 17 shots and had another 23 blocked. the vast majority of those were thanks to staal and girardi. ovechkin averaged 5.8 shots per game

Goals over the past three seasons, most in the NHL

138

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No.

in his previous 28 post-season games. staal and girardi dropped that to 3.4 in the five games they shadowed him. but heavy minutes, including two ot games, caught up to them on the decisive play in game 5. ovechkin, standing in front of his own net, saw nicklas backstrom win possession in the corner and took off. two quick passes later ovechkin skated onto the puck at center ice and exploded past an exhausted

staal before deking Lundqvist with a backhander for the eventual winning goal. by the end, girardi had a bum ankle, a dislocated finger and needed sports hernia surgery, the effort of stopping the sports best pure scorer taking a decisive toll on both him and staal. they played well. but with three goals and three assists in the five-game series, ovechkin still found a way, as he so often does.

Steven StamkoS
tampa bay
Second only to ovechkin in goalS during hiS firSt three SeaSonS, StamkoS haS a deadly Shot and a world-claSS teammate feeding him the puck in martin St-louiS.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 15

BesT coach

Barry Trotz

Barry TroTz
AGE 49 born winnipeg, Man. nhl sEAsons 12 nhl GAmEs 984 rEcord 455-398-131 plAyoffs 14-26

16 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes

BesT coach

Barry Trotz

BesT coach
Barry Trotz has been the only coach in the history of the Nashville Predators.

voTing resulTs

best coach
1. Barry Trotz, Nsh 2. Mike Babcock, Det 3. Dave Tippett, Phx 4. Dan Bylsma, Pit 5. Guy Boucher, TB 42.5% 22.5% 15.0% 12.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

masTer moTivaTor
Nashvilles bench boss is popular with his players, but stern enough to squeeze the most out of his troops
By Jason Kay very summer, the small-market nashville Predators suffer greater losses than gains in unrestricted free agency. And for a period, pundits perennially discounted them because of it. but not anymore. not when the hockey world has come to believe in the wise ways of barry trotz. the nhL record-holder for games coached from the inaugural season for an expansion franchise, trotz led the Preds into the playoffs five of six post-lockout seasons despite a series of daunting challenges. Due to a frugal budget, nashville saw players such as tomas vokoun, Paul Kariya, Jason Arnott and Dan hamhuis depart year after year. An unstable ownership situation in 2007 contributed to roster uncertainty. thanks to trotzs high panic threshold and sturdy leadership, the Preds have thrived more often than not. he has created a family atmosphere in the organization, one in which newcomers quickly learn how to play for one another. A classic example is sergei Kostitsyn, acquired from Montreal in 2010. Upon his arrival, he was withdrawn, virtually living on an island. After being exposed to trotzs system for a couple months, a light went on and he

Claude Julien, Bos Jacques Martin, Mtl

top: eLiot J. scHecHter/nHLi Via Getty imaGes; bottom: DaVe reGinek/Getty imaGes

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completely bought into the culture. by seasons end, hed become a mainstay, leading the team in goals. A key part of the annual bonding process for the Predators is a boot camp training session trotz holds in fort Campbell, Ky. A military attitude is instilled from the get-go, one in which players learn to sacrifice for each other. that philosophy carries through the season. trotz, meantime, is a noted consensus builder, soliciting his leadership group for opinions on all things Preds.

455
Regular season coaching wins, ranks 20th all-time

that includes the small decisions such as hotel choices and practice times. As such, he gives his dressing room a voice. in turn, that earns him unparalleled respect among his employees and motivates the troops to consistently play hard for him even in the face of key personnel losses.

mike babcock
detroit
babcock is the first and only coaching member of hockeys triple gold club stanley cup (2008), olympic gold medal (2010) and world championship gold (2004).
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 17

Best general manager

Ken Holland voting results

best general manager


1. Ken Holland, Det 2. Peter Chiarelli, Bos George McPhee, Wsh Paul Holmgren, Phi Ray Shero, Pit 6. Mike Gillis, Van David Poile, Nsh 8. Bob Murray, Ana Stan Bowman, Chi Doug Wilson, SJ 50.0% 7.5% 7.5% 7.5% 7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%
holland: dave Reginek/nhli via getty images; chiaRelli: BRuce Bennett/getty images

arcHitect of success
Holland has maintained a winning tradition in Detroit by balancing familiarity and occasional change
By Ken Campbell hose of you who read the hockey news on a regular basis will come to the conclusion we have a mancrush on Ken holland and his Detroit red Wings. they always seem to top our franchise rankings and whenever the discussion of the best gM comes up, holland is right near or at the top. that must have something to do with the fact since taking over as Wings gM in 1997, holland has won three Cups, compiled a .590 winning percentage, led a draft effort that has been exemplary and created a culture that has made the Wings the destination of choice for any vet who wants to win the Cup. When you talk to holland, he can come across as scatter-brained, but thats because hes always thinking. he rarely completes a sentence before moving on to a deeper thought. he never does anything without analyzing it from every possible angle and discussing every aspect of it with his most trusted hockey operations guys. but after he does, he acts decisively. When he pursues a free agent, the pitch goes something like, We dont have the cap

Steve Yzerman, TB

18 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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room to give you as much as other teams will offer you, but we can give you a chance to win. heres how much were offering, but we need to know your answer in 15 minutes because if you decline, we have to move on. And he gets them almost every time. so few of his moves are clunkers, from the reclamation of Dan Cleary to his faith in Chris osgood to his draft picks to his late-season trades. he has done it in the free-spending epoch and

Stanley Cups won by Ken Holland in 13 seasons since he took over as Red Wings GM in 1997-98

the salary cap era. every year people wait for the Wings to decline. As long as holland is running things, it promises to be a long wait.

peter chiarelli
boston
one of four gms to finish tied for second in balloting, chiarelli was thns pick as top executive in 2010-11 for leading the bruins to the stanley cup.

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BesT goalTender

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas
AGE 37 born flint, Mich. Ht 5-11 Wt 208 tEAm boston nHL sEAsons 6 drAft 217th, 1994

20 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Harry How/Getty imaGes

tim thomas

Best goaltender
Tim Thomas had a stellar 2010-11, with an NHL-record .938 save percentage.

voting results

best goalie
1. Tim Thomas, Bos 2. Ryan Miller, Buf 3. Pekka Rinne, Nsh 73.3% 13.3% 3.3%

Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 3.3% Carey Price, Mtl Jonas Hiller, Ana 3.3% 3.3%

Beantown Breakout
Thomas spent years trying to make the NHL. Now, the league is frantically trying to solve his unorthodox style
By Ken Campbell

top: Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes; miLLer: cLaus andersen/Getty imaGes

hen you contemplate which goalie is the best in the NHL, ask yourself the following question: Youre about to take the opening faceoff for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Is there anyone youd want to look back and see occupying the crease more than Tim Thomas? Well, considering Thomas has the latest Game 7 Stanley Cup final victory to his credit, were willing to bet that a huge number of people wouldnt be able to come up with any other names. At least 17 of the leagues 30 GMs feel that way because thats how many gave him firstplace votes in balloting for the Vezina Trophy this past season. Thomas is certainly not the most technical or orthodox goaltender in the league, but the belief hes simply freelancing and diving around the crease making spectacular saves is off base. You get the sense that, like Dominik Hasek, he loves making people believe hes flopping around and desperately diving for pucks, when in reality there really is an elaborate and well thought-out plan in place. Damned

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if we can figure it out, but its certainly working. At different times during his career, Thomas has been the best goalie in college, Finland and the NHL. Its time to stop thinking of him as a plucky underdog and come to the realization he should have been in the NHL a long time ago. And that this was one of the few times in NHL history when all 30 teams got it wrong. Thomas once recalled his first NHL camp in Colorado

Games in 2010-11 Thomas allowed two goals or fewer

37

in 1995. Future Hall of Famer Patrick Roy took one look at the way he played and said (in Thomas words): No, you are doing it all wrong. You have to do it like zis. Thomas ignored him, not out of a lack of respect, but because he was confident in his own abilities. And he has finally been rewarded.

ryan miller
buffalo
no goalie means more to his team than miller. with one vezina already on his shelf and more on the way, it will be miller time in buffalo for the next decade.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 21

BeSt money player

Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby has 572 points in 412 career games, along with a flair for the dramatic.

voting reSultS

Captain ClutCh
Crosby already has one famous goal imprinted in the memories of a nation. The scary part? Hes still only 24
By Rory Boylen ts a call that still stops Canadian hockey fans in their tracks: sidney Crosby, the golden goal! And Canada has a once-in-a-lifetime olympic gold! the countrys historic gold-medal win in overtime on home ice in vancouver against its rival from the United states came courtesy of a goal scored by sid the Kid. Money. in his short and illustrious six-year career, Crosby has become synonymous with clutch. from the generational tally on feb. 28, 2010, to the shootout winner at the 2008 Winter Classic in buffalo with thick flakes of snow falling around him, Crosby is pictureperfect in the world of hockey, stepping up when the stage lights shine brightest. Unfortunately, his 2010-11 season was cut short to a concussion, but his 66 points

22 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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in 41 games had him off to his best projected point total yet. theres no telling what Crosby would have done if he had been available for the Penguins post-season, but its a good bet he would have shone and set the pace for his team as his 30 goals and 82 points in 62 career postseason matches attest. by 24, Crosby had a rocket richard trophy, Lester Pearson Award, an Art ross trophy, a hart trophy, a stanley Cup and, of course, a gold medal. the Penguins have risen from the depths to the heights of the worlds best league since hes been on the roster. there are few players who can reawaken a slumbering fan base with their play alone, but Crosby is in this special class. before him, the Penguins were a financial black hole with a decrepit arena and a listless roster. that all changed when the team won the rights to the Kid in the first post-lockout draft. his presence spurred the team to move into a new arena and build a contending team around him, paying no. 87, what else, $8.7 million on average per season. With a 1.39 PPg career average, Crosby is the most offensively effective player in the post-lockout nhL and has the hardware to back up being labeled the best money player as well.

best money player


1. Sidney Crosby, Pit 32.5% 2. Jonathan Toews, Chi 17.5% 3. Corey Perry, Ana 4. Tim Thomas, Bos 5. Martin St-Louis, TB 10.0% 7.5% 5.0%

Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 5.0% Daniel Briere, Phi 8. Pavel Datsyuk, Det Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 5.0% 2.5% 2.5%
crosby: harry how/getty images; toews: Jeff Vinnick/nhLi Via getty images

Tomas Holmstrom, Det 2.5% Mark Recchi, Bos Brad Richards, NYR Teemu Selanne, Ana 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Henrik Zetterberg, Det 2.5%

Career playoff points in 62 games, giving Crosby the highest points-per-game mark among active NHLers

82

jonathan toews
chicago
crosby has the golden goal, but toews has a conn smythe to go with his cup. at 23, toews has captured hockeys highest honors, both nhl and international.

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Best owner

Mike Ilitch votIng results

Best owneR
1. Mike Ilitch, Det 2. Rocky Wirtz, Chi 3. Mario Lemieux, Pit Ted Leonsis, Wsh Terry Pegula, Buf Ed Snider, Phi 7. Jeff Vinik, TB 70.0% 7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5%

Years have passed since Ilitch founded Little Caesars

Ilitch started rebuilding Red Wings from the top down. And he hasnt changed the key ingredients
By John Grigg

es a hard-working, salt-of-the-earth type who earns the respect and loyalty of everyone who works for him. He knows where he came from and makes sure to give back to the city he grew up in. he turned a moribund franchise into a perennial powerhouse and stanley Cup winner and was selected to the Hall of Fame as a builder. Mike ilitch is, quite simply, the best owner in the nhL, on and off the ice. Ilitch, 82, and his wife, Marian, bought the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 for a cool $8 million, a little more than they pay their most expensive players today. but the money theyve earned by turning the Wings into one of the leagues most valuable franchises doesnt just go into the family coffers. the ilitch family is famous for the executive group it put and kept together through decades of success. Senior VP Jim Devellano has been there from the start in 1982. GM Ken holland has been around in one position or another since 1985. Assistant GM and VP Jim Nill has been with Detroit since 1994. All have had multiple offers to leave. None have.

24 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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in his 29-year ownership, the Wings have missed the playoffs just three times, won four stanley Cups and been to two other finals. The formula? Draft well, treat people well, lean on a veteran core and reclaim floundering careers. but just as important to the Detroit area are the philanthropic ventures the Ilitches have undertaken. A food program feeds the hungry and victims of natural disasters its been

recognized by three different U.S. presidents. A veterans program gives former military personnel business opportunities ilitch received the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A grassroots community program addresses social issues in Detroit. And, of course, Little Caesars Pizza, which they founded, is also the sponsor of one of Americas best youth hockey programs.

Rocky wiRtz
chicago
the Blackhawks did an aBout-face when wiRtz took oveR foR his pennypinching fatheR, Bill. the fRanchise is fan fRiendly, adRoit at maRketing and successful.

illitch: GreGory ShamuS/Getty imaGeS; wirtz: Bill Smith/Nhli via Getty imaGeS

PIzza kIng Makes dough

52

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No purchase necessary. Entries must be received by 5pm ET on the contest closing date, Thursday, December 1st, 2011. This contest is open to all residents of Canada and the US who have reached the age of majority in their province/territory/state of residence and only where the contest is offered and permitted by law. Void where prohibited by law. Employees, directors and ofcers (and those with whom they are domiciled) of The Hockey News (Transcontinental Media G.P.), Travel Manitoba and their respective advertising and promotional agencies are prohibited from entering the contest. One Grand Prize will be awarded. Approximate value of the prize is $9,000 Canadian. Chances of winning dependent on number of entries received. For complete contest rules log on to www. thehockeynews.com/contests

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most respected

Nicklas Lidstrom votiNg resuLts

most respected player


1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 75.0% 2. Jarome Iginla, Cgy 3. Martin St-Louis, TB 4. Shane Doan, Phx Mark Recchi, retired Joe Thornton, SJ Martin Brodeur, NJ 10.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Seasons in the NHL, all with the Detroit Red Wings. His 1,494 games played with one team is third all-time

19

digNified defeNder
Europes most decorated player is also the NHLs current Mr. Hockey. Enjoy this super Swede while you still can
By Adam Proteau f you want to know why nicklas Lidstrom is the most respected player in hockeys greatest league, you have to look beyond his four stanley Cup championships and seven norris trophies as the games top defenseman. you have to focus on more than accolades such as the hockey news naming him (a) the greatest european player in nhL history and (b) the ninth-best player since the league expanded in 1967. Lidstrom is much more than that. remember the old saying, its not what you do that matters, its how you do it? Lidstrom not only did as much as virtually any modern-day defenseman besides bobby orr, he did so with equally superhuman amounts of humility, grace and quiet artistry. Hes one of those guys who you could definitely say played the right way each and every night out there, said goalie Marty

turco, who had an ice-level view of Lidstroms excellence when he played against him as a member of the Dallas stars. you never see him make a dirty play, swing his stick at somebody, insult a guy, anything like that. hes a fantastic competitor, but he never steps over the line and thats why we as players have a ton of respect for him. in other words, there was a reason Lidstrom was chosen to captain one of the teams at the 2011 All-star game in

raleigh, n.C. (the 12th time hed been picked for the Asg.) hurricanes center eric staal was a natural choice to pick one of the teams (in a radical game format switch), but the other captain couldve been anyone in the nhL. the choice was easy. it was a soon-to-be 41-year-old defenseman still at the top of his game who got the nod. because Lidstrom doesnt just command respect, he exudes and exemplifies it.

26 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

jeff gross/getty images

Nicklas Lidstrom

left: john russell/nhli via getty images; right: gerry thomas/nhli via getty images

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No.

most respected

jarome iginla
calgary
iginla has starred for 14 years in calgary, taking the team to the final in 2004. a class act off ice as well, he always talks with a smile.

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best outdoor game

2008 NHL Winter Classic

08 iN buffaLo
GreGory ShamuS/nhLI vIa Getty ImaGeS

Date Jan. 1, 2008 venue r. Wilson stadium Score Pit 2 Buf 1 (SO) attenDance 71,217 weather light snoW 1St Star sidney Crosby

28 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

2008 NHL Winter Classic

best outdoor game


Brian Campbell, No. 51, scored the tying goal for the Sabres prior to the shootout.

votiNg resuLts

Best outdoor game


1. Buffalo, 2008 2. Boston, 2010
3. Edmonton, 2003

31.6% 23.7%
21.1%

4. Chicago, 2009 5. Calgary, 2011 Michigan, 2001

18.4% 2.6% 2.6%

oN buffaLos frozeN poNd


The NHLs first Winter Classic was played amidst snowflakes and decided in dramatic fashion in a shootout
By John Vogl he program for the 2008 Winter Classic proved to be a tremendous feat of foreshadowing. The cover featured Sabres and Penguins skating inside a snow globe, flakes fluttering all around them. Midway through the New Years Day classic in Buffalo, fluffy white flakes filled Ralph Wilson Stadium. The football home that became a hockey arena quickly became a snow globe, one containing an NHL-record crowd and some of the games biggest stars. With more than 71,000 fans standing to cheer the elements and the extravaganza, the event immediately lived up to its Classic name. The outing created an annual tradition that has yet to match its premiere. I dont think they can equal it, said legendary Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret. I know theyre going to have one every year, or two every year, whatever theyve got to do. I just dont think they can capture what we had at the football stadium on that afternoon. The Winter Classic was designed to celebrate the outdoors, something the league

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did first with the Heritage Classic in 2003. The game in Buffalo perfected the outing. Folks tailgated for hours in the parking lots, shooting pucks and cooking on grills in mid-winter. When the made-for-TV event came on the air, fans drew the cameras near by going shirtless in the snow. The tens of thousands who packed the lower bowl never sat once, standing through the opening fireworks, the game-deciding shootout and

the post-game salute from the players. Sidney Crosby closed the scoring with the shootout winner, a memorable conclusion to something that was more than just a regular season game. We had 70,000 people here and it was a hootenanny, Jeanneret said. It didnt matter a huge portion of them were Penguins fans. It was a party and they all loved it.

10 WInter classIc
fenWay park
Bostons IconIc fenWay park Was the sIte of the 2010 outdoor game. the hometoWn BruIns Beat phIladelphIa 2-1 In overtIme thanks to a goal By marco sturm.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 29

both: Dave SanDforD/Getty ImaGeS

best hiddeN gem

Frans Nielsen
Trained in Sweden, Frans Nielsen is the first Danish citizen to play in the NHL.

votiNg results
best hidden gem
1. Frans Nielsen, NYI 2. Jamie Benn, Dal 3. David Backes, StL Patrick Sharp, Chi 6. Douglas Murray, SJ Ryan Callahan, NYR Jason Blake, Ana Dave Bolland, Chi Matt Bradley, Fla Corey Crawford, Chi Loui Eriksson, Dal Vern Fiddler, Dal Alex Goligoski, Dal 10.0% 7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%
nielsen: Paul Bereswill/Getty imaGes; Benn: andy devlin/nHli via Getty imaGes

uNheralded ...uNtil Now


Unsung Islanders center Nielsen has slipped by under the radar. Be sure to watch him this season
rans Nielsen doesnt like to think of himself as a pioneer. But as the first player from Denmark to establish himself as an NHL regular, youd think at least Nielsens visibility in North America would be higher. Im not sure if thats a good or a bad thing, but Im going to take it as a good thing, Nielsen said when informed his underrated play earned him THNs hidden gem moniker. Im not looking for (recognition), just to help this team make the playoffs. Nielsen, 27, has helped the Islanders in many unheralded ways throughout his fiveyear career. His primary responsibility remains strong defensive play from the center position. Last season, on a team that gave up

By Peter Botte

30 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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35 more goals than it scored, he had a career-best plus-13 rating. I put a lot of pride into (defense), Nielsen said. But I only had 13 goals, which I dont think is enough, considering I played with Grabs (34-goal scorer Michael Grabner) and in the second half with Okie (Kyle Okposo). Theres a lot of stuff I can work on and my goal-scoring is the biggest one. Of those 13, Nielsen did pot an NHL-best seven shorthanded tallies. Hes so concentrated on his defensive responsibilities and penalty-kill work and faceoffs, that I think his offensive numbers still have room to grow, said coach Jack Capuano. Fransys versatile. He can play on any line, in any situation, but I dont think hes reached where he can be offensively. Nielsens father, Fritz, coached a semi-pro team in his hometown of herning, Denmark. Nielsen left home at 17 to play in the Swedish Elite League before the Isles made him a third round pick in 2002. Hockeys growing now (in Denmark), Nielsen said. We still dont have many rinks, but every one is packed with kids. With me and the other guys in the NHL now (including childhood pal Peter Regin of the Ottawa Senators), they know its possible.

James van Riemsdyk, Phi 5.0%

Tobias Enstrom, Wpg 2.5%

Patric Hornqvist, Nsh 2.5% Marcus Johansson, Wsh 2.5% Kevin Klein, Nsh Mike Knuble, Wsh Andrew Ladd, Wpg Brad Marchand, Bos Marc Methot, Clb Rich Peverley, Bos Derek Roy, Buf Mike Santorelli, Fla Wayne Simmonds, Phi Jordan Staal, Pit Ryan Suter, Nsh 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%
2.5%

Lauri Korpikoski, Phx 2.5%

Dennis Seidenberg, Bos 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Lubomir Visnovsky, Ana 2.5% Mats Zuccarello, NYR 2.5%

Jamie benn
dallas
a late round pick in 2007, benn has always shown a nice touch around the net. hes moved up the depth chart in dallas and is on the cusp of being a go-to player.

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beSt Shooter

Steven Stamkos

Steven StamkoS
AGE 21 born markham, ont. ht 6-1 wt 196 tEAm tampa bay nhl sEAsons 3 drAft 1st, 2008

32 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

FrANcoIS LAcASSe/NHLI vIA Getty ImAGeS

steven stamkos

best shooter

voting results

best shooter
1. Steven Stamkos, TB 42.5% 2. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 30.0% 3. Sidney Crosby, Pit 4. Corey Perry, Ana Zdeno Chara, Bos 6. Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ Shea Weber, Nsh 12.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5%

big shot stamkos


The best release in the NHL didnt come by accidentally. The Tampa terror labors at his special craft
By Wayne Fish
top: Scott Audette/NHLI vIA Getty ImAGeS; bottom: GrAIG AbeL/NHLI vIA Getty ImAGeS

16.5
Shooting percentage in 2010-11 on 272 shots

ome great shots appear like gifts from hockey heaven. others, like the lasers off the stick of steven stamkos, are a product of the shooter working likewell, lets just say a slightly lower place. Do 100 practice rounds a day at age nine get your attention? three hundred? how about 500? you get the idea. the lightning-quick release of stamkos shots didnt simply fall from the clouds into his lap. the scoring machine is a product of preparation. And that toil is mainly why stamkos, not Alex ovechkin or sidney Crosby or any other 20-something hotshot, has led the nhL in goals the past two seasons with 96. Wrist shots, snap shots, one-timers they were all born on synthetic ice when steves dad, Chris, took him to shooting school because the boy wanted to be like his idols, brett hull and brendan shanahan. When school wasnt in session, the stamkos family converted their dining room into a makeshift rink. that, as any mom around the world will tell you, is the ultimate sacrifice.

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from formative years through blue-chip prospect to nhL superstar, the dream has always been to perfect the ability to shoot and score in the blink of an eye. if hes not there yet, hes darn close. but hes not about to settle for close. to this day, im still practicing my one-timer, stamkos said. i think its such a good shot in todays game with how good the goalies are. if you give them that extra split second by stopping the puck

on your stick, theyre going to be there. future hockey hall of fame goaltender Martin brodeur says its as much to do with stamkos accuracy as his speed. hes seen enough to consider himself an expert on the subject. its so fast off his stick and so heavy, brodeur said. even though the goalie knows where he has to get to, the shot literally beats him. that speaks to how heavy the shot is and how accurate.

Alex ovechkin
wAshington
stAmkos And ovechkin Are the most dynAmic goAl-scorers in the nhl. ovechkins goAl totAls hAve slipped from 65 to 56 to 50 to 32 the pAst four seAsons.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 33

best shot-blocker

Dan Girardi

Dan GirarDi
AbelimAges/getty imAges

AGE 27 born welland, ont. ht 6-1 wt 206 tEAm n.y. rangers nhl sEAsons 5 drAft undrafted

34 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Dan Girardi

best shot-blocker
Dan Girardi has gone from undrafted free agent to New York Rangers mainstay.

votinG results

best shot-blocker
1. Dan Girardi, NYR 2. Greg Zanon, Min 28.2% 17.9%

3. Dennis Seidenberg, Bos 12.8%

4. Mark Giordano, Cgy 5. Mike Fisher, Nsh Toni Lydman, Ana Zbynek Michalek, Pit

7.7% 5.1% 5.1% 5.1% 2.6% 2.6%

broaDways brick wall


Unheralded Rangers defenseman Girardi makes sure little gets past him to the goalie no matter the cost
By Ryan Dixon or the most part, every new york ranger should be setting aside a part of his day to swing by henrik Lundqvists stall and thank the King for all the great work he does in the crease. really, where would the blueshirts be without the consistently top-notch goaltending Lundqvist provides? but if the swedish stopper ever wants to extend some gratitude himself, the first hand he should shake is that of defenseman Dan girardi. Actually, maybe it would be better to just hand him an ice pack. girardi is a fearless shotblocking force, making life for Lundqvist easier by flinging himself in front of pucks all over the ice. Considering the number of tough guys in the nhL, theres obviously more to turning away rubber than having nerves of steel. theres also an element of timing, which girardi clearly has down pat based on the fact he led the league with 236 blocks in 2010-11, a full 127 more than his next-closest teammate, rearguard Marc staal. in 2009-10, girardis 180 blocks also paced the rangers and slotted him sixth league-wide.

8. Zdeno Chara, Bos Chris Pronger, Phi

Francois Beauchemin, Ana 2.6% Brett Clark, TB Mike Komisarek, Tor 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

top: len Redkoles/getty imAges; bottom: ClAus AndeRsen/getty imAges

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No.

blocking shots has become a vital skill since play resumed after the 200405 lockout season. When defensemen were no longer able to hack away at legs and backs, preventing goal-mouth chances became more about making sure the puck never got there than trying to push bodies out of the way. At 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, its not exactly like girardi is slight of stature. hes able to be far more effective fronting forwards that

Andy Sutton, Edm

Anton Volchenkov, NJ 2.6%

is to say, getting between them and the incoming shot and trying to stop the puck himself rather than attempting to drive big bodies to outskirts of the slot. the only downside is that its his body, not the forwards, that is black and blue at games end.

greg zanon
minnesota
hardly a household name, this wild defender is durable and fearless. in five seasons, zanon has never been lower than eighth in the nhl in shots blocked.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 35

best playmaker

Henrik sedin

Henrik sedin
AGE 30 born ornskoldsvik, swe. ht 6-2 wt 188 tEAm vancouver nhl sEAsons 10 drAft 3rd, 1999

36 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes

Henrik sedin

best playmaker
Henrik Sedin much prefers to pass, with 509 career assists compared to 157 goals.

voting results

best playmaker/passer
1. Henrik Sedin, Van 2. Sidney Crosby, Pit 3. Joe Thornton, SJ 4. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 5. Steven Stamkos, TB Scott Gomez, Mtl Martin St-Louis, TB 42.5% 20.0% 17.5% 12.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

tHe on-ice general


NHLs reigning assists leader is the best playmaker in the league. Just ask his brother about his generosity
By Aaron Portzline
top: Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes; bottom: DaVe sanDforD/nHLi Via Getty imaGes

enrik Sedin and his twin brother Daniel have always had an uncanny ability to communicate, as if the two share a private radio frequency. but to truly grasp the playmaking wonder that is henrik, consider two glaring examples of rather ordinary players who have had extraordinary seasons in vancouver playing on the starboard side of henrik. Anson Carters nhL career was heading downhill when in 2005-06 he broke out for 33 goals with the Canucks, thanks to 26 primary assists from henrik. one season later, after moving on as a free agent, Carter played out his career in switzerland. Alex burrows is the latest, greatest example. burrows never had more than 12 goals in an American League season and scored only 22 goals in his first three NHL seasons. seeking a little speed and grit to partner with the sedins, burrows was elevated to the no. 1 line and a star was born. A former eChL player, burrows has posted 89 goals in the past three seasons, ranking him with some of the best in the league.

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henrik was derided early in his career, along with his brother, for being a soft player who melted in the wake of physical opponents or high-pressure moments. that criticism died for good when he won the hart trophy in 2010, but folks in vancouver knew henrik was special long before that. he hasnt missed a game since the lockout scuttled the 2004-05 season, playing in all 492 games. only defenseman Jay bouwmeester

Assists in 37 NHL playoff games the past two seasons

30

(florida, Calgary) shares that distinction. And sedin has done so much more than just show up. since the start of 2006-07, no player has more assists than henrik, whose 350 helpers put him ahead of Joe thornton (338), Martin st-Louis (330), sidney Crosby (294) and Pavel Datsyuk (270).

sidney crosby
pittsburgh
crosby has improved his goal-scoring, but his passing is still sublime. its a cliche to say sid makes his teammates better, but it doesnt make it any less true.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 37

Best puckhandling goalie

Martin Brodeur

the third defenseMan


The winningest goalie of all-time is no slouch with the stick. Its no wonder why the Devils are superb defensively
By Rich Chere ike most NHL goaltenders, Martin Brodeur had practised shooting the puck the length of the ice into an empty net many times. But it took skill, precision and nerve to pull it off in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens on April 17, 1997. After stopping a wrap-around shot behind his goal, Brodeur skated out from the side of the net and shot the puck over several players and beyond the red line before it went in. That was his most memorable moment of stickhandling, but it was just one of many (search youtube for the 75-foot pass beyond Zdeno Chara of the Bruins that sent David Clarkson on a breakaway to score against Bostons Tim Thomas on March 15, 2010). When he is long gone, people will ask how good Brodeur was at stickhandling. The answer can simply be, The Brodeur Rule. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is one of many who believe Brodeur is so good he was the reason the trapezoid was instituted by the NHL in 2005-06. There is no doubt in my mind, Lamoriello said. Its unfortunate when you take a skill away from somebody for the wrong reasons. Imagine if a quarterback couldnt throw. Former coach Jacques Lemaire agrees. I dont know first of all, why they put that in, Lemaire said. They never put in a rule against (Wayne) Gretzky because he was so great. They never

Martin Brodeur has 625 career wins (and counting), leading all NHL goalies.

voting results

said, you cant make more than five passes in a period. you cant score more than two goals in a period. brodeur has been handcuffed, but not defeated by the trapezoid. He still controls the puck like a third defenseman, able to clear it from attackers and start breakouts, a throwback to earlier puck-moving goalies such as ron hextall and tom barrasso, as well as his contemporary, Ed Belfour. It just happened so often over the years that it was expected and it wasnt a surprise whether he made a chip pass to a guy or a breakout pass, Lamoriello said. Especially when the trapezoid wasnt there. You almost took it for granted.

puckhandling goalie
1. Martin Brodeur, NJ 2. Marty Turco, UFA 3. Kari Lehtonen, Dal 4. Rick DiPietro, NYI 69.2% 12.8% 5.1% 2.6%

Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy 2.6% Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 2.6% Carey Price, Mtl Mike Smith, Phx 2.6% 2.6%
graig abel/nhli via getty images

Career assists, sixth all-time among NHL goalies

36

38 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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TOP 5 TOUGHEST
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BROUGHT TO YOU BY

GUARANTEED TOUGH.

5 TOUGHEST 1,000-POINT SCORERS


Martin Brodeur
AGE 39 born montreal, Que. ht 6-2 Wt 215 tEAm new jersey nhl sEAsons 17 drAft 20th, 1990
top: Francois lacasse/nhli via getty images; bottom: JeFF vinnick/nhli via getty images

GORDIE HOWE: There is no player in the history of the game that embodies the essence of the sport more than Mr. Hockey. Howe could beat you with his peerless playmaking and sharp shooting, or with his punishing elbows and scythe-like stick. Despite his intimidating presence on the ice, he was a class act off it. And thats what hockeys all about.

BRENDAN SHANAHAN: Its tting that Shanahan recently took over as the NHLs head disciplinarian, because he sure knew how to dish out punishment in his playing days. A complete package of skill and strength, Shanny nished his career with 1,354 points and is the only player in history to record more than 600 goals and 2,000 PIM.

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No.

3
marty turco
free agent
puckhandling has always been a secret passion for the cagey 36-year-old. as a starter in dallas, turco recorded at least one assist every season.

MARK MESSIER: If there was a Mr. Hockey of the modern era, Messier was it. Like his predecessor, Messier was a nasty competitor willing to do whatever it took to win. The Moose was more of a scorer and natural-born leader than a ghter, but, like Howe, he was a vicious foe at times and had a glare that would keep even the toughest opponent honest.

DALE HUNTER: While many will remember Hunter for his ultra-aggressive, often-dirty style of play, he was the heart and soul of every team he played on, only missing the playoffs once in his 20-year career. With 1,020 points, Hunter could score too. Not bad for a guy who spent 3,565 minutes watching from the penalty box.

BOBBY CLARKE: He was the toothless face and leader of one of the toughest teams of all-time: the mid-70s Flyers, or Broad Street Bullies. Clarke had an undying motor and was a ruthless warrior on the ice, leading his team to back-to-back Stanley Cups. He also won three Hart Trophies and racked up 1,210 points and 1,453 PIM. t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 39

best glove hand

Pekka Rinne

AGE 28 Born Kempele, fin. Ht 6-5 Wt 207 tEAm nashville nHL sEAsons 3 drAft 258th, 2004

40 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

GRaIG abel/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

Pekka Rinne

Pekka Rinne

best glove hand

voting Results

besT glove hand


1. Pekka Rinne, Nsh 2. Tim Thomas, Bos 27.0% 16.2%

Marc-Andre Fleury, Pit 16.2% 4. Ryan Miller, Buf 5. Cam Ward, Car 13.5% 10.8%

6. Roberto Luongo, Van 5.4% Carey Price, Mtl 5.4%

8. Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy 2.7%

Rinnes glove hand is the first to react to any shot. No ones better at snaring pucks and limited rebounds
By Edward Fraser

flashing leatheR

Dwayne Roloson, TB

top: John Russell/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: Dave sanDfoRD/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

hen the attribute of best glove hand is discussed, the mind immediately searches for a keeper with a swinging bottom-to-top style, dramatically plucking a puck headed to the top shelf a la Patrick Roy, Grant Fuhr and especially Bill Ranford in the early 1990s. But while the NHLs current Lord of the Snag has high-end high shot-grabbing capabilities, its the variety of ways Pekka rinne uses the tool that gives him the no. 1 spot. The 6-foot-5, 207-pound Finn uses his glove in an extremely effective but unorthodox style. rinne, a right-hander who uses a standup/butterfly hybrid technique, will often grab the puck only a few inches off the ice whereas most goalies would kick such an attempt away with their pad. rinne also catches pucks headed into the core of his body instead of attempting to smother them in his stomach and will reach back-handed completely across his body to snag a puck in lieu of directing it away with his blocker. The advantage of this approach is the increased suffocation of rebounds, which limits an opposing teams second chances.

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And nowhere is this advantage more pronounced than when the Predators are on the penalty kill. only Cup winner tim thomas had a better save percentage than rinnes .930 among goalies in 2010-11, a massive reason behind nashville owning the nhLs fifth-best PK unit. rinnes handiness can be traced back to his development days in finland. several of the worlds best trap-men Miikka Kiprusoff, Antti niemi, niklas backstrom

Shutouts the past three seasons, tied for best in NHL

20

2.7%

all come from that corner of the world. But Rinne has emerged as a king among men. his paw prevalence has, in large part, made him one of the leagues top stoppers. A 2010-11 top three finish in both goal-against average and save percentage, as well as a top 10 in shutouts and saves, garnered him the first of what will be many Vezina trophy nominations.

Tim Thomas
bosTon
Rinne may gRab moRe pucks wiTh his glove, buT Thomas uses his TRappeR foR a wideR vaRieTy of saves, swipes, pushes, leans, shoves and high fives.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 41

besT sTand-up goalie

Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas is one of the few goalies who doesnt butterfly when a player takes a shot.

voTing resulTs

best stand-up goalie


1. Tim Thomas, Bos 2. Martin Brodeur, NJ 3. Pekka Rinne, Nsh 42.4% 15.2% 12.1%

4. Roberto Luongo, Van 6.1% 5. Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy 3.0% Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 3.0% Carey Price, Mtl Ilya Bryzgalov, Phi Jonas Hiller, Ana Ryan Miller, Buf Dwayne Roloson, TB Cam Ward, Car 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0%

sTand-up sTand-ouT
Thomass unorthodox stand-up stylehas fooled critics, foiled goal-scorers and flabbergasted fans
By Ryan Dixon rying to pin a label on tim thomas goaltending style is about the only thing tougher than attempting to stuff a puck past him. thomas earns top honors in the stand-up goalie category not because he truly employs an upright style or relies exclusively on kick saves like goalers of the original six era, but because hes one of the very few stoppers in the league who doesnt drop down into the butterfly before a shooter even draws his stick back. Also, for the sake of being concise, there is no best goalie who could probably make the save even if he was hanging upside down from the crossbar by his skate laces classification. thomas has always lived by the whatever-it-takes code. When he was a kid growing up in flint, Mich., and times were a little tough for the family, he started selling apples door-to-

Record-setting save percentage in 2010-11, bettering Dominik Haseks .937 standard from 1998-99

.938

42 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Dave SanDforD/nHLI vIa Getty ImaGeS

door. he didnt let the fact that, by his 31st birthday, hed only played four nhL games stop him from chasing down a dream. After he lost his starting job to youngster tuukka rask in 2009-10, he had off-season hip surgery and returned stronger than ever at age 36. When vancouver Canucks star henrik sedin wandered a little too close to thomas crease during the 2011 Stanley Cup final, the scrappy puckstopper leveled him

with a shove to the chest. Did thomas get away with one when the refs didnt call a penalty? Perhaps, but then again hes been getting away with guessing right his whole career if you ask his critics. After two vezina trophies, one Conn smythe and a stanley Cup, were guessing the amount of thomas doubters left could probably fit into his goalie bag which, if he heard them bad-mouthing him, might be where theyd end up anyway.

tim thomas

best stand-up goalie

Left: Harry How/Getty ImaGeS; rIGHt: CHrIStopHer paSatIerI/Getty ImaGeS

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martin brodeur

new jersey
brodeur stuck with stand-up netminding through the butterfly trend and made himself a future hall of famer.

best slapshot

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara
AGE 34 born trencin, svk ht 6-9 wt 255 tEAm boston nhl sEAsons 13 drAft 56th, 1996

44 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

GraiG abeL/nHLi via Getty imaGes

Zdeno Chara

best slapshot
Zdeno Charas big bomb from the point is the Bruins primary weapon on the PP.

voting results

best slapshot
1. Zdeno Chara, Bos 2. Shea Weber, Nsh 3. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 4. Steven Stamkos, TB 47.5% 40.0% 7.5% 2.5%

Dustin Byfuglien, Wpg 2.5%

get out of the way


Charas cannon has broken records, busted bones and shattered the will of many whove dared to get in front of it
By George Richards
top: Francois Lacasse/nHLi via Getty imaGes; bottom: GraiG abeL/nHLi via Getty imaGes

Power play goals for Chara in 2010-11. That tied for second among defensemen

hen Zdeno Chara was just getting his size-12 skates wet in the nhL, tomas vokoun wasnt very impressed. When he came into the league, he was a very average player, the Capitals goalie said of Chara. not good at all. It took him a few years to find his way in the league, but after the senators traded for a 24-year-old Chara at the 2001 draft, sending Alexei yashin in exchange for the second overall pick (Jason spezza), Chara and bill Muckalt, the hulking 6-foot-9 defenseman found his stride. today, Chara is captain of the reigning stanley Cup champion with one of the most feared shots in the league. When the big Bruin uncorks, goalies around the league cringe. And they arent the only ones. Last April, Charas booming slapshot took down ryan Callahan of the rangers when he had the audacity to try and block it. You have to respect a guy like that, Chara said after being told about Callahan breaking his ankle on impact.

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how hard is Charas slapper? hes the four-time defending hardest shot champ at All-star weekend, with his latest winning shot topping his previous record. Chara, who left the senators for boston in 2006, had his first shot clocked at 105.9 mph at last seasons skills competition in raleigh, n.C. Chara will go for a record fifth straight hardest shot title this season in, coincidentally, ottawa. Aside from Chara, only hall of famer Al Macinnis has

won the title four straight times. he has really worked on his game and works as hard as anyone, vokoun said. he has plenty of strengths and it isnt just his shot. hes a very smart player. but i respect him for that work because he wasnt very good at all with the islanders and now he could be the best defenseman in the league.

shea weber
nashville
webers big blast from the point is only a hair less hard than charas and almost as feared. goalies often get a bad case of wobbly knees whenever he winds up.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 45

best wrist shot

Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel
AGE 24 born madison, Wisc. ht 5-11 ht 202 tEAm toronto nhl sEAsons 5 drAftEd 5th, 2006

46 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

GraiG abel/NHli via Getty imaGes

Phil Kessel

best wrist shot


Phil Kessel has been a consistent 30-goal man his past three NHL seasons.

voting results

best wrist shot


1. Phil Kessel, Tor Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 27.0% 27.0%

3. Alexander Semin, Wsh 8.1%

4. Steven Stamkos, TB Marian Hossa, Chi Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ 7. Pavel Datsyuk, Det

5.4% 5.4% 5.4% 2.7% 2.7% 2.7% 2.7% 2.7% 2.7%

a flicK of the wrists


Blink and youll miss it this Toronto wingers wrist shot is the fastest and most dangerous blur in the league
By Mike Traikos

Sidney Crosby, Pit Jonathan Toews, Chi Martin St-Louis, TB Mike Green, Wsh Teemu Selanne, Ana

top: GraiG abel/NHli via Getty imaGes; bottom: G Fiume/Getty imaGes

lapshots are for the big and strong. they cave in shin pads and burn holes through nets. they are cannons. but to watch Phil Kessel score a goal with his wrist shot is like watching a hunter kill a bear with a bowand-arrow. it is silent and deadly accurate. in a way, it is beautiful. The thing you notice first with Kessels wrist shot is the flex. he makes the stick look like a palm tree in a hurricane, bending it so hard against the ice you expect it to snap in half. But before it does, the stick violently whips forward as though it were a taut elastic band that has finally been released. our 40-member panel voted Kessel tied with Alex Ovechkin as the best wrist shot in the league. Ask Kessel about how he came to have such a hard and accurate wrist shot and he shrugs his shoulders. some suggest he uses a junior model, which is lighter and more flexible than other sticks. but it comes down to technique born through years and years of practice. Kessel fired 325 pucks on net last year (fourth most in the league), most of which

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were the result of wrist shots. you would too if you were packing his kind of heat. his release is lightningquick. Watching Kessel handle the puck, you dont know if he is going to deke or snap a shot on net. that is why opposing goaltenders look so stunned after so many of his goals. in most cases, they didnt even know a shot was coming something toronto Maple Leafs teammate tyler bozak can attest to after being struck by

Marian Gaborik, NYR 2.7% Zach Parise, NJ 2.7%

a Kessel shot at practice last season. he actually didnt get a hold of that, thank god, bozak said after being struck in the ear. to think if he got a hold of it, id be in the hospital. so im thankful for that.

alex ovechkin
washington
no. 8s most memorable goals involve sprawling on the ice or one-handed dekes, but give ovie space to unleash his wrister and hell show you he can whip it good.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 47

beSt baCkhand Shot

Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosbys powerful backhand is one of many ways he can beat netminders.

voting reSultS

best baCkhand shot


1. Sidney Crosby, Pit 2. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 3. Daniel Sedin, Van 4. Patrick Kane, Chi 5. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh Joe Thornton, SJ 46.7% 20.0% 10.0% 6.7% 3.3% 3.3%

Henrik Zetterberg, Det 3.3%

WiCked Weapon
You can add the baddest backhand in the league to Crosbys impressive array of weapons in his arsenal
By Rob Rossi o properly assess the awesome nature of sidney Crosbys backhand, an astute hockey fan could point out that only by learning to trust his forehand did the Kid become the scorer who was on pace for a career-best 64 goals before a concussion cost him the final 41 games last season. Had he hit that mark, Crosby would have racked up 115 goals over his fifth and sixth NHL seasons more than any other player. As it was, he finished half a season with 32 goals last year, only one fewer than his total from the regular season that preceded the Penguins stanley Cup in 2009. It was those 2009 playoffs that Crosby elevated his goalscoring, leading all players with 15 in 24 games, most of them scored from the slot with a wicked wrister that he had gradually developed over his first four seasons. of course, the wrister was easier for him to get off because by that point Crosbys backhand was his most feared weapon and not just because he could saucer a tape-totape pass with it while leading a rush. rather,

Patrick Marleau, SJ Evgeni Malkin, Pit

3.3% 3.3%

48 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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Crosby could do with a backhand what Pavel bure once did with his forehand: get it on net from anywhere in the offensive zone, always with speed, usually with elevation, and customarily with pinpoint placement. too much credit was paid then to his nearly flat stick blade; not enough to his remarkable eye-hand coordination and innate ability to generate power from his tree-trunk legs through his stone-solid core, unleash-

ing it with hulk-like forearms, but controlling it with feather-soft hands. opponents had to respect Crosbys backhand more than his forehand, thus creating an impossible challenge for defensemen and goalies. of course, Crosby has become equally dangerous whipping the puck with his forehand as he has matured a thought, no doubt, that doesnt please opponents as he returns from the concussion that cost him a rocket richard trophy.

pavel datsyuk
detroit
Crosbys is the most feared baCkhander, but datsyuks is Certainly the sneakiest. the sliCkmitted Center often buries his baCkhand before goalies reaCt.

top: GreGG Forwerck/NHLI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: Dave saNDForD/Getty ImaGes

steven stamkos

best one-timer
Steven Stamkos grabbed a share of the Richard Trophy in his second NHL season.

voting results

best one-timer
1. Steven Stamkos, TB 68.4% 2. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 10.5%
3. Alexander Semin, Wsh 7.9%

4. Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ 5. Shea Weber, Nsh Jarome Iginla, Cgy

5.3% 2.6% 2.6%

Mike Cammalleri, Mtl 2.6%

lightning strike
Its no secret: Stamkos is the NHLs king of one-timers. Just another weapon for the splendid sniper
By Damian Cristodero
top: Scott Audette/NHLI vIA Getty ImAGeS; bottom: dAve SANdford/NHLI vIA Getty ImAGeS

he thing about steven stamkos one-timer is even when goaltenders know its coming, its so hard and accurate its extremely difficult to stop. i compare him to (hall of famer) Jari Kurri, said Lightning television analyst and former Philadelphia flyers goaltender bobby the Chief taylor. his release is so quick. As a goalie, sometimes you can see the way the stick is going to be going, and you have a pretty good idea where the puck is going. but because his release is so fast, you have no time to read it. you know its coming and you cant do a thing about it. stamkos, 21, usually takes the shot during the power play. his favorite spot is at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, though last season one of his most memorable goals was Dec. 10 in vancouver where he scored the winning overtime tally against the Canucks on a one-timer from the center of the blueline. that the Lightning center was off his usual spot was no accident. As teams have tried more and more to stop stamkos from getting his one-timer off, he has set up during power

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plays in various places in the offensive zone, such as the high slot, against the side wall and next to the goal. the extra attention was part of stamkos second-half swoon in 2010-11, in which he scored just five goals in his last 28 games after getting off to a huge start to the campaign. but that doesnt diminish the effectiveness of the one-timer when stamkos gets it off. former bolts gM Jay feaster says goalies can prepare

Power-play goals the past two seasons. No other NHL player has more than 30

41

all they want for stamkos, but it probably wont help. his release is so quick, you can watch all the tape you want, he said. you know its coming, you know where the shot is coming from and it just doesnt matter. And lets face it, hes just going to continue to get better.

alex ovechkin
washington
ovechkin may be no. 2 here, but that says more about stamkos than the caps superstar. ovie is thns top goal-scorer (pg. 14) and has a nifty one-timer of his own.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 49

best power forward

Milan Lucic

AGE 23 born vancouver, b.c. HT 6-4 WT 220 TEAm boston nHL sEAsons 4 drAfT 50th, 2006

50 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

GraiG aBeL/nHLi via Getty imaGes

MILaN LUCIC

Milan Lucic

best power forward

voting resuLts

bEsT powER FoRwARd


1. Milan Lucic, Bos 2. Ryan Getzlaf, Ana 3. Corey Perry, Ana 4. Rick Nash, Clb 5. Jarome Iginla, Cgy 6. Ryan Kesler, Van 7. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh Mike Knuble, Wsh Marian Hossa, Chi 22.5% 20.0% 15.0% 12.5% 10.0% 7.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

MauLing by MiLan
Bostons Lucic has always been a tough customer, but now hes added top offensive acumen to his resume
top: Brian BaBineau/nHLi via Getty imaGes; Bottom: DeBora roBinson/nHLi via Getty imaGes

Anze Kopitar, LA Bobby Ryan, Ana

By Mike Loftus aybe he didnt score in this past post-season as consistently as he did during his breakout 201011 campaign, but Milan Lucic was still a big man making big plays in big games. take a look at linemate nathan hortons game 5 and Game 7 overtime goals against Montreal in the first playoff round of 2011. thats Lucic holding the puck as horton got open, daring the Canadiens to try to take it away. or look at vancouvers defense in games 2-7 of the stanley Cup final. No Dan Hamhuis, because the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder didnt play again (he had sports hernia surgery in late June) after stepping up to hit the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Lucic in game 1. two fears of opposing players were realized in 2010-11: Lucic, whose power forward reputation had previously exceeded his statistics, led boston with 30 goals after scoring 34 his first three years and found a way to be effective when he wasnt scoring in the post-season (five goals all in the last 15 games and 12 points). He created space for his center, David Krejci, to lead the league

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with 23 playoff points and for horton to go 8-9-17 before missing the last four games with a concussion. though hampered by a sinus issue (addressed with off-season surgery on his oft-broken nose) and playing the final 13 playoff games on a broken toe, Lucic considers 2010-11 an injury-free campaign and looks forward to another. only 23 as he enters his fifth season, he has adapted to life without center Marc

Hits thrown by Lucic last year to lead the Bruins

167

savard, learned to deal with high expectations and remained an intimidating, physical winger (no. 1 on bostons hits list) despite having fewer fights only seven last year. It was definitely a great year, Lucic said. i hope this keeps going.

RYAN GETZLAF
ANAHEIM
INjuRIEs sLowEd THE ducks cApTAIN LAsT YEAR, buT wHEN GETZLAF Is HEALTHY, HEs A TERRoR cApAbLE oF posTING 90pLus poINTs ANd 120 pENALTY MINuTEs A sEAsoN.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 51

besT leader

Jonathan Toews

AGE 23 born winnipeg, Man. ht 6-2 wt 210 tEAm chicago nhl sEAsons 4 drAft 3rd, 2006

52 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

GraiG abel/NHli via Getty imaGes

JonaThan Toews

Jonathan toews

best leader

voting results

best leader
1. Jonathan Toews, Chi 22.5% 2. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 20.0% 3. Jarome Iginla, Cgy 4. Zdeno Chara, Bos 5. Chris Pronger, Phi Shane Doan, Phx 7. Sidney Crosby, Pit Martin St-Louis, TB 9. Tim Thomas, Bos 15.0% 10.0% 7.5% 7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

the chief blackhawk


Toews may be young, but hes won at every level in hockey. This captain is already the sporting king of Chicago
By Ryan Kennedy

Mark Recchi, Bos Eric Staal, Car

top: Jeff viNNick/NHli via Getty imaGes; bottom: claus aNderseN/Getty imaGes

ts the type of nickname youd never give yourself and one youd hope wont stick from someone else. but still in the early years of his career, Chicago blackhawks center Jonathan toews is already saddled with Captain serious. Despite wearing the C in Chicago, toews is fair game for chirpers in the dressing room, more so because of his normally reserved air. Dave bolland calls him the worst Call of Duty player on the team, while toews points out wryly hes got better things to do than play video games. best friend and wingman Patrick Kane mischeviously claims toews even holds their greatest triumph together against him Kanes overtime goal against Philadelphia that claimed Chicagos first Stanley Cup in 49 years. the joke between us was that i was the last guy off the bench because i wanted to be 100 percent sure it was in, toews said. hell say its because i wanted to score it. toews can take solace in the fact he won the Conn smythe trophy that night and, as captain, was the first to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head. At just 23, he had reached the

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pinnacle of his sport as a leader. the Winnipeg native has long been a captain on teams and used his drive to lead by example. for myself, there was no alternative, toews said. one level after another, you get better. At 15, he set off on his own to play for shattuck-st. Marys prep school in Minnesota. After flirting with the Western League, he then headed off to north Dakota, where his excellent freshman season made him the third

Points in 22 games during the Hawks 2010 cup run

29

pick overall in the draft. he could have jumped straight to the show, but decided another year of schooling would serve him best. Already a Cup champ and an olympic gold medalist, Captain serious clearly knows how to make the right decisions.

nicklas lidstrom
detroit
the nhls current elder statesman, lidstrom has been a wings fixture for the past two decades and is respected not only in detroit, but throughout the league.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 53

best faceoff Man

Manny Malhotra

Manny Malhotra
Jeff Vinnick/nhLi Via Getty imaGes

AGE 31 born mississauga, ont. ht 6-2 wt 220 tEAm vancouver nhl sEAsons 12 drAft 7th, 1998

54 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

manny malhotra

best faceoff man

voting results

best faceoff man


1. Manny Malhotra, Van 30.0% 2. Jonathan Toews, Chi 22.5% 3. Ryan Kesler, Van 4. David Steckel, NJ 12.5% 10.0%

5. Patrice Bergeron, Bos 7.5% 6. Joe Thornton, SJ Pavel Datsyuk, Det Jarret Stoll, LA 9. Paul Gaustad, Buf 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5%

dominator of the dot


The quickest and slickest off the draw, Malhotra has owned his opposition inside the faceoff circle
By Kevin Woodley anny Malhotra has no problem talking about the things that make him the best faceoff man in the nhL. because if the Canucks pivot has learned anything in his 12 years on the draw, its that the secrets to his ongoing success wont help anyone else beat him on one. that was one of the biggest things i learned from Craig Mactavish early in my career (with the rangers), Malhotra said. As much as he tried to teach me, he said its all about personal preference and learning what works for you. its about developing a book not just on other players, but a book on yourself. for Malhotra, that means getting low to the ice, both with his center of gravity and his bottom hand, giving him a feeling of being more stable or stronger. given the 31-year-old has been up over 60 percent in the circle the past two seasons and consistently above 55 percent since the lockout, its working. But finding that zone isnt all that goes into being the leagues best on faceoffs.

top: Rich Lam/Getty imaGes; bottom: cLaus andeRsen/Getty imaGes

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so many things go into that split second, Malhotra said. Anticipation, seeing the puck come out, knowing who you are going up against, what they are trying to do, position on the ice, time and score. All those things come into account. so too does the linesman, who is among many things Malhotra studies, not so much on video before a game, but during the contest. if winning faceoffs is a balance of skill and will the

55.2
Career faceoff winning percentage

biggest things are anticipation and strength then the will portion is a mixture of preparation before a draw and battle during it. you have to put in time and repetitions and learn from mistakes, he said. but once you are in the moment it depends on how much you want to battle for that puck. for the past six seasons, few have wanted it more.

jonathan toews
chicago
captain serious takes every part of his game seriously. his faceoff wins have increased every year, culminating in a career faceoff percentage of 55.8.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 55

best hitter

Cal Clutterbuck

Cal ClutterbuCk
claus andersen/Getty ImaGes

AGE 23 BORN Welland, ont. HT 5-11 WT 213 TEAM Minnesota NHL SEASONS 3 DRAFT 72nd, 2006

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Cal Clutterbuck
Many an NHLer had paid the price for attempting to go around Cal Clutterbuck.

best hitter

voting results

Wild About hitting


top: Bruce KlucKhohn/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes; Bottom: Jeff vInnIcK/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

No one in the NHL doles out as much pain as Clutterbuck. No one has more fun doing it, either
By Michael Russo he quintessential Cal Clutterbuck moment came in november. Like a bowling ball rolling down the alley, Clutterbuck took out two Columbus blue Jackets with one hit before finding a loose puck and scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 Minnesota victory. He buried the puck as Jan Hejda and Jakub voracek were busy shaking off the cobwebs, causing then-coach Todd Richards to quip, He took out the five and seven pin on one play. It was a vintage play for the Wilds wrecking machine, who at 23 has led the nhL in hits in all three of his seasons. night after night, Clutterbuck, who at 5-foot-11 is built like a bull, throws his weight around, finishing each and every check. I just dont enjoy it when Im not buzz-

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ing around, he said. When I have a couple blah shifts, i sit there on the bench and tell myself, go do something. youre not doing anything. go stir the pot or hit somebody hard. Clutterbucks father, tim, says his son never got in much trouble as a kid, so he and his wife, Jocelyn, never imagined theyd be raising a future agitator/heavy hitter. Before contact came into hockey, i wasnt sure how the hitting would work with him. His size was always sort of average, Tim Clutterbuck said. So when they started hitting, i was actually surprised how he took to it. i thought, thats the sort of thing thatll wear off. The thing is, it never really wore off. he hits harder than he looks like he should be able to. Clutterbuck, who learned his rough and tumble ways during his junior hockey days with the St. Michaels Majors and the oshawa generals, takes a lot of flak for not backing up his physicality with fights. Hes had just seven tilts in his nhL career and none last season, but theres little doubt that for somebody who hits as much as he does (1,010 in 230 games), he does it cleanly (207 penalty minutes). I take pride in that, Clutterbuck said.

best hitter
1. Cal Clutterbuck, Min 17.5% 2. Dustin Brown, LA Milan Lucic, Bos 4. Douglas Murray, SJ 5. Zdeno Chara, Bos 6. Shea Weber, Nsh Niklas Kronwall, Det Dion Phaneuf, Tor 9. David Backes, StL Ryan Callahan, NYR Shane Doan, Phx Steve Downie, TB Chris Neil, Ott Cory Sarich, Cgy 15.0% 15.0% 12.5% 10.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Average hits per game in his 230 NHL contests

4.4

dustin brown
los angeles
the kings captain has the quantitative (top three every year since the lockout) and qualitative (check out youtube) data to prove hes one of the premier bangers.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 57

best skater

Marian Gaborik

AGE 29 born trencin, svk ht 6-1 wt 204 tEAm n.y. rangers nhL sEAsons 10 drAft 3rd, 2000

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aNDy maRlIN/NHlI vIa Getty ImaGes

Marian Gaborik

Marian Gaborik
Marian Gaborik only needs the smallest of openings to blow by defenders.

best skater

votinG results

GallopinG Gabbie
top: Rebecca tayloR/NHlI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: Dave ReGINek/NHlI vIa Getty ImaGes

The best make it look easy. And Gaboriks sublime strides are the simplest of them all
By Adam Proteau ew York Rangers star Marian gaborik is far from the most rugged nhLer around. however, the right winger is better than any other player in one regard: skating. hes not fearless and hes not durable, one nhL scout said of gaborik. but look at the beauty of his (skating) strides. Because hes so smooth, so fluid with his skating, he might come across to the average fan as if hes not putting any effort into it. but thats not true at all. hes just so technically proficient at it, he doesnt have to look like hes squeezing all he can out of his legs. it just comes naturally to him. the swift-skating slovak isnt known for going into the dirty areas of the ice, so he often uses his speed to beat defenders wide.

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He has benefitted from his blazing strides since he first arrived in the nhL with Minnesota back in 2000. in 2003, gaboriks third year in the league, he made his first All-Star Game appearance and won the fastest skater competition in a lap time of 13.713 seconds. And in a 2011 nhL poll conducted by the Canadian broadcasting Corporation and the nhL Players Association, Gaborik was selected by his peers as the leagues best skater and by a considerable margin. he garnered 26 percent of the votes, while superstar sidney Crosby was a distant second with 17 percent. its that ability to get to anywhere on the ice easier and quicker than anyone else that forces gaboriks opponents to respect him. if defenders slip even just a little behind gaborik, they know theres no catching up. if youre defending against him, all it takes is for you to lose a quarter-step on him by catching a rut, or by shifting your weight in the wrong direction and hell blow right past you, the scout said. Defensemen have to give him a very generous amount of room out there, because theyve been made aware, either through experience or coaching direction, that his hands arent the only weapon hes able to hurt you with.

best skater
1. Marian Gaborik, NYR 15.0% 2. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 12.5% 3. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh 10.0% 4. Michael Grabner, NYI 7.5% Duncan Keith, Chi 6. Martin St-Louis, TB Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ 9. Jonathan Toews, Chi Sidney Crosby, Pit David Booth, Fla 7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Mason Raymond, Van 5.0%

Jay Bouwmeester, Cgy 2.5% Andrew Cogliano, Ana 2.5% Drew Doughty, LA Cam Fowler, Ana Nathan Gerbe, Buf Claude Giroux, Phi Sergei Gonchar, Ott Mike Green, Wsh Patrick Marleau, SJ Jeff Skinner, Car 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

Points in 345 games since the end of the lockout

363

Pavel datsyuk
detroit
datsyuk isnt the fastest Player in the league, but hes definitely the sliPPeriest. the shifty red Wings center is nearly imPossible to knock off the Puck.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 59

best Defensive forwarD

Pavel Datsyuk

Pavel Datsyuk
Dave SanDforD/Getty ImaGeS

AGE 33 born sverdlovsk, rus. ht 5-11 wt 194 tEAm detroit nhl sEAsons 9 drAft 171st, 1998

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Pavel datsyuk

best defensive forward


Pavel Datsyuk led the NHL in takeaways three of the past five seasons.

voting results

best defensive forward


1. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 2. Ryan Kesler, Van 48.7% 35.9%

3. Patrice Bergeron, Bos 7.7% 4. Jonathan Toews, Chi 5. Kris Draper, retired 5.1% 2.6%

defensive wizard
An unheralded sixth round pick, Datsyuk has become a superstar for his play at both ends of the ice
By Ansar Khan avel Datsyuk dazzles opponents and entertains fans with his wide array of slick moves, which have made the Detroit red Wings forward one of the top offensive players in the nhL. but its Datsyuks play without the puck that has garnered him more individual accolades. nobody is better at sneaking up on opponents and stripping them of the puck. that stealth ability, coupled with his lightning-fast hands and knack for winning puck battles, has made Datsyuk the premier defensive forward in the league for the past several seasons. he is so good with his stick, taking away the puck from opposing players, said Wings goaltender Jimmy howard. Just when you think you might have him beat, he reaches out and extends his stick and hes gone the other way. some of the stuff he does, youre just in pure amazement. ironically, Datsyuk was not regarded as a good defensive player when he entered the nhL in 2001-02 as a late-blooming sixth
top: Dave SanDforD/Getty ImaGeS; bottom: KIm StallKnecht/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGeS

Career plus-minus in 662 regular season games

187

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round pick. but he worked hard on that aspect of his game and now takes just as much pride in neutralizing opponents as he does in scoring himself. Datsyuk won the selke trophy as best defensive forward three years in a row, from 2007-08 to 09-10 and, despite missing nearly onethird of the 2010-11 season with injuries, still finished third in selke balloting behind ryan Kesler and Jona-

than toews. Datsyuk plays against the opponents top lines and is the teams best faceoff man. he led the nhL in takeaways three of the past five seasons and finished second in another. thats where it usually starts, where he gets most of his offensive chances from, said teammate Johan franzen. he has great speed and is so strong on the puck. hes a smart player. hes tough to play against at both ends.

ryan kesler
vancouver
kesler finally won the selke this past season. ironically, keslers defensive responsibilities were reduced, but the canucks pivot is still a matchup terror.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 61

best grinder

dave bolland

dave bolland
cLaus andeRsen/Getty imaGes

AGE 25 born mimico, ont. ht 6-0 wt 180 tEAm chicago nhl sEAsons 4 drAft 32nd, 2004

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dave bolland
Dave Bolland is at his best in the spotlight. He has 34 points in 43 playoff games.

best grinder

voting results

an unlikely agitator
This former junior star has embraced his newfound shutdown role on the high-octane Blackhawks
By Tim Sassone

top: Rich Lam/Getty imaGes; bottom: aL beLLo/Getty imaGes

aybe Dave Bolland doesnt fit the classic description of a grinder, but that doesnt mean the Blackhawks center isnt one. Lets call Bolland a hybrid grinder. There isnt a way Bolland doesnt contribute on the ice. Hes one of the top checking centers in the NHL. Hes physical, he agitates, has a nasty streak and wont be exchanging Christmas cards with either Henrik or Daniel Sedin anytime soon. Bolland annoyed and frustrated the Sedins the past two years in the playoffs, earning the nickname of the Rat from his appreciative teammates. Hes versatile, said Hawks GM Stan Bowman. If you look back to his junior days, he was a 100-point scorer, but the reason hes so

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valuable is he embraces the role as a player who doesnt need the limelight. He doesnt need the points. There arent too many guys that are accepting of a role where, Im going to go out and stop the other teams best player and if I score in the process, thats great. I guess in my mind, typically your grinders are maybe a little less talented than Bolland, but he certainly takes that role and runs with it. The Hawks wouldnt have won the Stanley Cup in 2010 without Bolland matching up successfully against the likes of Henrik Sedin, Joe Thornton and Mike Richards. Even in last springs first-round playoff loss to Vancouver, the Hawks battled back from a 3-0 hole to force overtime in Game 7 largely because of Bollands return from a concussion for Game 4. The Hawks barely lost in a defensive struggle. Bolland has the hands and skill to be the Hawks secondline center, but coach Joel Quenneville fights the urge to play him there. I think were a special team when you have him slotted as a third-line center, the bench boss said. As a team, weve done pretty well with him when he gets that checking assignment. I dont think you want to change that role or job description for him.

best grinder
1. Dave Bolland, Chi 2. Ryan Callahan, NYR Scott Hartnell, Phi 4. Cal Clutterbuck, Min Milan Lucic, Bos 10.5% 7.9% 7.9% 5.3% 5.3%

Tomas Holmstrom, Det 5.3% Troy Brouwer, Wsh Dan Cleary, Det Brad Marchand, Bos 10. Steve Ott, Dal Claude Giroux, Phi Andrew Ladd, Wpg Jordan Staal, Pit 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

Shawn Thornton, Bos 2.6% Gregory Campbell, Bos 2.6% David Clarkson, NJ Ryane Clowe, SJ Curtis Glencross, Cgy Chris Kelly, Bos Brooks Laich, Wsh John Madden, UFA Maxime Talbot, Phi Nate Thompson, TB RaffiTorres,Phx Daniel Winnik, Col 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

ryan callahan
ny rangers
the new rangers captain puts up good numbers, but this hard-nosed forward epitomizes the typical john tortorella team: gritty, hard-working and full of heart.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 63

beSt peSt

Steve Ott

AGE 29 born summerside, P.e.i. ht 6-0 wt 192 tEAm dallas nhL sEAsons 8 drAftEd 25th, 2000

64 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

gerry tHomAs/nHLi viA getty imAges

Steve Ott

steve Ott

best pest

vOting results

best Pest
1. Steve Ott, Dal 2. Sean Avery, NYR 22.5% 20.0%

3. Brad Marchand, Bos 15.0% Alex Burrows, Van 5. Dan Carcillo, Chi Cal Clutterbuck, Min Patrick Kaleta, Buf 8. David Bolland, Chi Matt Cooke, Pit 15.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

the texas tOrmentOr


Ott is a world-class pain in the rump, but he brings more to the ice than just the ability to annoy
By Mike Heika
top: Andre ringuette/nHLi viA getty imAges; bottom: Len redkoLes/nHLi viA getty imAges

Maxim Lapierre, Van Tuomo Ruutu, Car Jordin Tootoo, Nsh

heres a great YouTube video where steve ott is trying to annoy then-Anaheim Ducks winger Mike brown through the Plexiglas between the benches, just like your kid brother used to bother you in the back seat of the car. that is the genius of ott. As much as he can go crazy at times, he is more of an annoyance a constant itch that never goes away. he picks at opponents using goofy faces, taunting looks and funny lines, just as much as he does with a well-placed stick jab or face-wash. in fact, the humor he uses to embrace his job is one of the ways he makes the game fun for his teammates and even the opposition. sometimes you see the other team laughing at him, said teammate stephane robidas. he keeps everything loose and fun. People get annoyed by him, but i think they also respect what hes doing. ott is an interesting mix. An army brat who traveled around Canada, he learned to adapt in school with toughness and humor. his dad

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butch is a scout for the stars and his intense determination shows in otts work ethic. but ott said he got his attitude and timing from his mom, Debby, who also served in the military. you didnt want to get on the bad side of my mom, ott said. she would let you hear all about it. i probably picked up my mouth from her. ott is far from just a pest. hes also a primary penaltykiller and one of the top faceoff men on the stars.

Penalty minutes last season was a career-high

183

And his 22 goals in 2009-10 proved he can put the puck in the net as well. ive found the thing that kills the other team most is when i score a goal, ott said. thats something that really gets under their skin.

sean avery
ny rangers
His trasH-talking is legendary, as are His antics botH on and off tHe ice. averys most recent enemies include PHillys Wayne simmonds and even tHe laPd.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 65

best penalty KilleR

Ryan Kesler

AGE 27 born livonia, Mich. ht 6-2 wt 202 tEAm vancouver nhl sEAsons 7 drAft 23rd, 2003

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Jeff Vinnick/nHLi Via Getty imaGes

Ryan KesleR

ryan kesler

best penalty killer

In addition to his career high in goals (41), Ryan Kesler had a plus-24 in 2010-11.

voting results

the great equalizer


When the Vancouver Canucks find themselves a man down, they turn to the gritty Kesler to even the odds
top: Len RedkoLes/nHLi Via Getty imaGes; bottom: Jim mcisaac/Getty imaGes

By Ryan Dixon

hy is Ryan Kesler the best penalty-killer in the league? start with the fact he helps his team start with the puck. faceoffs have always been a critical part of penalty killing, but their significance is heightened even more now that every power play begins with an offensive zone draw. Often, the outcome of that initial faceoff can dictate the pace of the entire two-minute mismatch. if the attacking team controls, it can settle in and generate chances, but if the defensive squad snags possession, it can clear the puck, not only killing precious time, but often denying its opposition an opportunity to find its rhythm. in 2010-11, Kesler went 135-116 on

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shorthanded draws, good for a winning percentage of 54 percent. that meant, more often than not, he gave his vancouver Canucks a chance to fire the puck the length of the ice and get set for a counterattack or get off the ice and on the bench for a valuable breather. the runaway 2011 selke Trophy winner Kesler finally won best defensive forward honors on his third nomination with 105 of 127 first-place votes is a puck hound, but has also evolved into a disciplined enough player to know when to chase and when to sit back and stay in a lane. When he does see an opening, Kesler is more than capable of making a team pay. While Alex burrows is the Canuck best known for burying when a man down, Keslers strong wrist shot helped him pace vancouver with three goals and four points while shorthanded in 2010-11. While the addition of former Shark and faceoff wizard Manny Malholtra (pg. 54) allowed coach Alain vigneault to give Kesler more offensive freedom in 201011, the second-line center is still the clubs defensive heart and soul. the gritty American has been among the clubs top five in average shorthanded ice time per game for the past five seasons.

best penalty killer


1. Ryan Kesler, Van 2. Jordan Staal, Pit 3. Mike Richards, LA 4. Brad Marchand, Bos Maxime Talbot, Phi Alex Burrows, Van Pavel Datsyuk, Det Jamie Benn, Dal Hal Gill, Mtl 21.1% 10.5% 7.9% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3%

10. Zbynek Michalek, Pit 2.6% Chris Pronger, Phi 2.6%

Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 2.6% Nate Thompson, TB Shea Weber, Nsh 2.6% 2.6%

Henrik Zetterberg, Det 2.6% Manny Malhotra, Van 2.6% Pascal Dupuis, Pit Darren Helm, Det Torrey Mitchell, SJ Pekka Rinne, Nsh 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

Fewer rst-place vote than Datsyuk for 2010 Selke

jordan staal
pittsburgh
its the big three, not the big two. sidney crosby and evgeni malkin are the penguin centers who score, but its staal who eats up the minutes on the pk.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 67

best fiGhter

George Parros

GeorGe Parros
Jeff Gross/Getty ImaGes

AGE 31 tEAm anaheim NHL yEArs 6 Ht 6-5 wt 228 borN washington, Pa. drAftEd 222nd, 1999

68 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

george Parros
Fans love the George Parros moustache; fighters fear the Anaheim enforcers fists.

best fighter

voting results

by george, hes tough


top: JamIe sabau/NHLI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: aNdy devLIN/NHLI vIa Getty ImaGes

Parros may have graduated from Princeton, but his real education is at the school of hard knocks
By Eric Stephens s nice and rewarding as it is to have a degree from an ivy League university on your mantle, it doesnt do any good when it comes time to drop the gloves on the ice and exact a bit of frontier justice. When it comes to doing the dirtiest of jobs on the ice, Princeton graduate george Parros does it with zeal for the Anaheim Ducks and his success rate in scrapping makes him one of the leagues top heavyweights. Parros led the nhL in fighting majors last season with 27. the popular website Hockeyfights.com judged the 31-year-old right winger to have won 12 decisions and earned a draw 12 other times while only losing three brawls. based on the competition he tends to take on, thats a pretty remarkable result for a dance card.

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Many enforcers are full of personality and often become fan favorites with their teams. Parros has taken that bond to the next level in Anaheim. not only does his success in winning his fights energize the home crowd, but the 6-foot-5 right winger has generated a huge following thanks to his persona, created largely by the thick, dark mustache hes worn the majority of his pro career. fans of his often refer to themselves as being part of Parros nation and a number of them can be seen wearing similar-looking fake staches that are sold in the team store at the honda Center. but the bond goes beyond his appearance. Parros is one of the Ducks most charitable players and notably grows his hair long each year to have it cut and donated to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for children who have had medical hair loss. how much do the Ducks think of their enforcer? the club petitioned for his name to be engraved among his teammates on the stanley Cup in 2007 despite appearing in only 32 regular season games. two years later, the team re-signed him to a three-year extension. Many players have to do a dirty job, but few do it with more class.

best fighter
1. George Parros, Ana 2. Colton Orr, Tor 20.5% 12.8%

3. Steve MacIntyre, Pit 10.3% 4. Matt Carkner, Ott Deryk Engelland, Pit Zenon Konopka, Ott 7. Jarome Iginla, Cgy Brandon Prust, NYR 7.7% 7.7% 7.7% 5.1% 5.1%

Shawn Thornton, Bos 5.1% 10. Milan Lucic, Bos Zdeno Chara, Bos 2.6% 2.6%

Paul Bissonnette, Phx 2.6% Jared Boll, Clb Dan Carcillo, Chi Michael Rupp, NYR John Scott, Chi 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

Career ghts in 367 regular season games over six seasons. His goal total is 16

129

colton orr
toronto
A concussion hAs slowed him down of lAte, but orrs bouts with ottAwAs mAtt cArkner Are keeping the bAttle of ontArio Alive right now.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 69

best power pLay poiNt maN

Nicklas Lidstrom
With Nicklas Lidstrom at the point, the Wings had the fifthbest power play in 2010-11.

votiNg resuLts

Hockeys poiNt guard


Ever after two decades at the helm, this Detroit defenseman is still the best in the league at running the PP
By Bob Duff he Detroit Red Wings were down 3-0 in the second round of the 2011 playoffs against san Jose, when captain nicklas Lidstrom made the sort of play only he could make. getting his body in front of a henrik Zetterberg feed, Lidstrom swatted the puck goalward out of mid-air. it one-hopped the ice and jumped into the roof of the net behind startled sharks goalie Antti niemi. the power play goal helped propel the Wings to their first win of the series and push the sharks all the way to a deciding seventh game. its that hand-eye coordination that helped make Lidstrom the choice as the nhLs best power play point man. no player in the league keeps more pucks in at the blueline than Lidstrom, whose knack for picking pucks

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out of the air with his stick is incredible. the guy is magical, said todd bertuzzi. Lidstroms work with the man advantage, where hes collected 128 career power play goals with his booming, accurate shot, is a combination of ability and cleverness. hell deliberately miss the net to take advantage of Joe Louis Arenas live back boards, banking the puck to a wide-open teammate for a slam-dunk goal. his puckmoving skills in the attacking zone are smooth and his passes are crisp. he reads the play exceptionally well, finding open seams to create shooting opportunities. he makes it easy, said brian rafalski, who played alongside Lidstrom on Detroits power play point from 2007-11. if i gave the puck to him, i could jump up the ice. If I could find space, hed find me. thns panel of experts also recognized Lidstrom as the most respected player, best defenseman and player with the highest panic threshold. Lidstrom also finished second to Jonathan toews in the voting for best leader. no surprise to his teammates. hes the best player in the league and hes the backbone of our team, said niklas Kronwall. We got a lot of great players in here, but none as good as nick.

best power play qb


1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 47.2%
2. Lubomir Visnovsky, Ana 8.3%

Dan Boyle, SJ 4. Brad Richards, NYR Shea Weber, Nsh 6. Drew Doughty, LA Sidney Crosby, Pit Duncan Keith, Chi Sergei Gonchar, Ott Mike Green, Wsh

8.3% 5.6% 5.6% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8%


top: Andre ringuette/nHLi viA getty imAges; bottom: Andy devLin/nHLi viA getty imAges

Tobias Enstrom, Wpg 2.8% Matt Carle, Phi Kris Letang, Pit Chris Pronger, Phi 2.8% 2.8% 2.8%

Years of age when Lidstrom scored his rst career hat trick in December, 2010. He became the oldest blueliner to get three goals in a game

40

lubomir visnovsky
anaheim
the highest-scoring blueliner in 2010-11, this puck-moving duck is a steadying influence on the power play. it doesnt hurt that he also has a big shot.

tim thomas
Theres often a moment of silence before Tim Thomas responds to questions.

best interview

voting results

the thinker in repose


top: thomas Nycz/NhLI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: aNdy marLIN/NhLI vIa Getty ImaGes

No doubting Thomas is the man scribes want to talk to when it comes to getting a thoughtful response
By Ken Campbell im Thomas can be an interviewers nightmare and dream all in the space of the same question. there are times when you put a query to thomas and it is followed by an awkward, uncomfortable silence. that is until you come to the realization thomas is not content to spew the standard hockeyspeak players are famous for. you soon understand thomas is not staring into space, hes actually thinking of an intelligent response. thomas has an enormous amount of respect for the position he is in as a hockey spokesman and he cares about how the words come out. he speaks with a refreshing sense of honesty without sounding brash or boastful. he has a wonderful, dry wit that sometimes requires the interviewer to meet him halfway. he wants to make sure the

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words he uses accurately portray what hes trying to say, so if he doesnt have any pertinent thoughts on a subject or doesnt know the answer, he simply admits it. he does it when youre speaking to him 1-on-1 and when hes speaking to a large group. his scrums during the Stanley Cup final were insightful and interesting during a time of the year when most players are too focused on the task at hand. When roberto Luongo complained he had complimented thomas, but had not received any kind words from him, thomas replied, i guess i didnt realize it was my job to pump his tires. thomas won our poll as the best interview in the game. Most of the other names you see on the list are players who look you in the eye and are mostly up front and honest with answers. thomas is a man who can spin a yarn. once he talked about a time he was bow hunting in northern Manitoba and got trapped up in a tree while an enormous black bear hovered below. the way he described the bear clacking his teeth together made you feel like you were up in the tree with him. it took thomas years to get to the nhL. if he had been given a chance to talk his way there, it would have been much quicker.

best interview
1. Tim Thomas, Bos 2. Martin Brodeur, NJ
Chris Pronger, Phi

15.4% 10.3% 10.3%

4. Paul Bissonnette, Phx 7.7% 5. Adrian Aucoin, Phx


Jarome Iginla, Cgy Teemu Selanne, Ana Martin Biron, NYR

5.1%
5.1%

5.1% 5.1% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

9. Max Talbot, Phi


Jonathan Toews, Chi Sidney Crosby, Pit Mark Recchi, retired Steve Ott, Dal Daniel Briere, Phi David Backes, StL Zenon Konopka, Ott Kevin Bieksa, Van Adam Burish, Dal

Mike Commodore, Det 2.6% Cam Janssen, NJ Joffrey Lupul, Tor P.K. Subban, Mtl

2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

martin brodeur
new jersey
brodeur gets credit for always delivering an honest, insightful answer to scores of journalists, even after 20 years of much the same questions.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 71

beSt Shootout Shooter

Jarret Stoll

AGE 29 Born Melville, sask. Ht 6-1 Wt 215 tEAm los angeles nHL sEAsons 7 drAft 36th, 2002

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andy devlIn/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

Jarret Stoll

Jarret stoll

best shootout shooter

voting results

best shootout shooter


1. Jarret Stoll, LA 2. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 3. Alex Tanguay, Cgy 4. Jonathan Toews, Chi Jussi Jokinen, Car 6. Steven Stamkos, TB Sidney Crosby, Pit Martin St-Louis, TB Bobby Ryan, Ana 36.8% 15.8% 10.5% 7.9% 7.9% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

automatic weapon
Stolls homework on goalie tendencies combined with a lethal wrist shot makes him the man after 65 minutes
By Jonathan Davis
top: Bruce KlucKhohn/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes; Bottom: claus andersen/Getty ImaGes

Brad Boyes, Buf

Erik Christensen, NYR 2.6% Thomas Vanek, Buf Radim Vrbata, Phx 2.6% 2.6%

ome call him the Closer, others Mr. Automatic. either way there is no questioning the success of Kings center Jarret stoll when it comes to the shootout. stoll was 9-for-10 last season with four game-deciding goals. he was second in total shootout goals to Alex tanguay, who had 10 goals in 16 attempts, but stolls 90 percent success rate was tops among shooters with more than five attempts. not bad for a guy who came into the season just 4-for-13 in his shootout career. A little bit of luck and paying more attention to goalies tendencies, stoll said, explaining his newfound success. Whatever the goalies tendency was, stoll often used his blistering wrist shot that usually found the top corner above the netminders glove. According to one Kings source, when stoll was being sent out for the shootout at a game in boston, he was contemplating trying something other than his patented shot, but was quickly informed if he tried something new and missed, he need not come back to the bench. While there was a definite tone of sarcasm from the coach-

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ing staff, stoll decided not to stray from what had made him so successful. the 1-2 punch of stoll and goalie Jonathan Quick, who was a perfect 10-0 in shootouts in 2010-11, made the Kings virtually impossible to beat if overtime couldnt decide a victor (Jonathan bernier was in net for the Kings only two shootout losses). that being said, stoll is still not convinced shootouts are the best way to go. the league made the deci-

Jussi Jokinen shootout goals is the NHL career record

28

sion shootout wins wouldnt count in the tiebreaker and i think that was the right way to go, he said. its fun for the fans and if it gets us an extra point, well take it.

pavel datsyuk
detroit
the dazzling speed and moves of datsyuk are daunting in 1-on-1 situations. hes third all-time with 26 shootout goals, behind Jussi Jokinen and slava kozlov.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 73

best shOOtOut mOve

Linus Omark

AGE 23 born overtornea, swe. ht 5-10 ht 174 tEAm edmonton nhl sEAsons 1 drAft 97th, 2007

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Andy devlin/nHli viA Getty imAGes

Linus Omark

Linus omark

best shootout move

voting resuLts

best shootout move


1. Linus Omark, Edm Pavel Datsyuk, Det 3. Jussi Jokinen, Car Martin St-Louis, TB Mike Ribeiro, Dal 7. Bobby Ryan, Ana Thomas Vanek, Buf Radim Vrbata, Phx Kris Letang, Pit Anze Kopitar, LA P-M Bouchard, Min Matt Cullen, Min Wojtek Wolski, NYR 23.5% 23.5% 5.9% 5.9% 5.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9%

Mikhail Grabovski, Tor 5.9% Erik Christensen, NYR 2.9%

one sLick swede


Oilers forward Omark is the leagues Michelangelo of the shootout and he has the YouTube clips to back it up
By Rob Tychkowski t takes the hands of a surgeon, the mind of an artist and the guts of a tightrope walker. And skin as thick as a gators doesnt hurt, either, because when those fancy hot-dog shootout moves dont work, theres a long line of opponents and haters waiting to shove that failure in your face. but when they do work, and Linus omarks conversion percentage is making them worth the effort, Internet traffic shifts into overdrive and a cult hero is born. if hes got the jam to be that creative and do something extraordinary, great, said oilers coach tom renney. its entertainment and 19,000 people have a hell of a time watching. im sure goalies think whats this little bugger going to do next. In his first shootout attempt in his first nhL game, with the outcome on the line, the youtube Kid did a full-speed spin-o-rama at the blueline before scoring the winner against tampa bay. eight months later, internet videos of it generated over a million hits. ive done it before, i know it works,

Mats Zuccarello, NYR 2.9%

top: Andy devlin/nHli viA Getty imAGes; bottom: dAve sAndford/Getty imAGes

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omark shrugged. thats my game, i do stuff like that, so why should i stop at this level? of course its bad if it doesnt work, but if you think like that, itll happen. if you dont think that, itll work. Whether faking a deke before flipping the puck over a goalies head or doing a spin-o-rama at the blueline, omark is far from boring. And even further from controversy. While fans love the showboating, opponents have mixed feelings.

i didnt think it showed a lot of respect, said tampas steve stamkos. i mean, you dont see Crosby or ovechkin doing that and theyre the two best players in the game. i dont know why he did that. Cocky? you can say that, or you can say hes very confident, said oilers goalie nikolai Khabibulin. We kind of need that kind of confidence.

pavel datsyuk
detroit
how do you get a goalie to bite on a move so hard he slides out of the crease? red wings fans are familiar with the phrase datsyukian deke for a reason.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 75

best sHootout goaLie

Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist
Jeff ZeLevaNSky/Getty ImaGeS

AGE 29 born Are, swe. Ht 6-1 Wt 195 tEAm n.y. rAngers nHL SEASonS 6 DrAft 205th, 2000

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henrik lundqvist

best shootout goalie


Henrik Lundqvist excels in his positioning against shooters and the puck.

voting results

best shootout goalie


1. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 57.9%

2. Jonathan Quick, LA

23.7%

3. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pit 10.5%

4. Pekka Rinne, Nsh Tim Thomas, Bos Ryan Miller, Buf

2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

drama on the line


Swedish stopper uses size, quickness and patience to stonewall shooters in hockeys ultimate 1-on-1 battle
By Adam Scully

top: Scott Levy/NHLI vIa Getty ImaGeS; bottom: aNdy devLIN/NHLI vIa Getty ImaGeS

hether posing as one of People magazines 100 most beautiful people, sitting courtside at a New York Knicks game with Justin Bieber or kicking out pucks at top speeds, Henrik Lundqvist shines with confidence. Ever since the NHL implemented the shootout in 2005-06, King Henrik has taken the league by storm. He holds the record with 37 career shootout victories and his career .768 shootout save percentage is second amongst goalies who have faced 100 or more shots in the contest. The 29-year-old native of Are, Sweden, stymies shooters using his size and quickness. Hes patient when shooters break in on him and doesnt bite on leg kicks or pump fakes. He ensures his hands are in front of his body as the skater approaches, allowing him to be in control of his movements. When Lundqvist does get caught out of position, hes explosive in recovery and can slide back in time to make stunning saves. But most of the time, his positioning has him fooling players and making the high-pressure job look easy.

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nowadays, a large percentage of goalies use the butterfly to stop shots. Lundqvist is different. Although he does use the butterfly sometimes, hell keep shooters guessing by kicking out a leg or even staying on his feet to make a save. And hes not afraid to make a quick pokecheck to knock the puck away, such as when he stopped slick-handed Steven Stamkos cold with the move in an 11-round shootout with the Lightning on Dec. 23 last season.

.848
Save percentage in 46 shootout shots last season

Lundqvist knows the lows that come with losing a shootout, particularly the loss to the Flyers in the final game of 2009-10 that cost the Rangers a post-season berth. But as the leagues premier shootout stopper, hes tasted victory more often than not. And you know he enjoys them, punctuating many of his shootout victories with a jubilant fist pump.

jonathan quick
los angeles
quick was a perfect 10-0 in shootouts last season and is an impressive 22-7 during his threeyear career. he has an overall save percentage of .734 in shootouts.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 77

beSt referee

Stephen Walkom voting reSultS

besT referee
1. Stephen Walkom Bill McCreary 3. Kelly Sutherland 4. Paul Devorski 5. Dan OHalloran 6. Wes McCauley Tim Peel 23.3% 23.3% 16.7% 13.3% 10.0% 3.3% 3.3%

Don van Massenhoven 3.3% Brad Watson

Walkom has the unique perspective of bookending ref duty around a stint as NHLs supervisor of officials
By David Pollak layers and coaches want the same thing from an NHL referee: consistent calls and open lines of communication. Though no one wearing the orange armband on a striped shirt is perfect, those traits are what they say they get from Stephen Walkom. Anytime a referee will give you the time to plead your case, whether he answers you that youre right or wrong, at least he gives you a chance to say your piece, said NHL veteran Owen Nolan, who spent his share of time dealing with officials during his five seasons as captain of the San Jose Sharks. Hes always done that for me. As for Walkoms consistency, Nolan draws a baseball analogy. Its almost like a pitcher with an umpire, the 39-year-old veteran said. They all have certain tendencies and there are some things you can get away with a little bit more. But hes been pretty even the whole way through. Credit all refs with knowing the rules, of course, but Walkom likely knows the intent behind several better than most. After 15 years on the ice as an NHL referee, he became

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the leagues supervisor of officials in 2005 just as changes were being implemented at the end of the lockout. In that role, Walkom not only met with officiating crews, but also explained things to players, coaches and fans in a series of league videos. Sharks coach Todd McLellan cites Walkoms wide range of experience in grouping the 48-year-old North Bay, Ont., native among those officials who have helped

Referees are typically on payroll each NHL season

improve lines of communication over the past six NHL seasons. Beyond that, McLellan said, Walkom falls into the category of referees who understand that hockey has an emotional side. They let you blow off a little bit of steam, the Sharks coach said, yet theyre still very much in control of the game.

bill mccreary
referee
The Nhls seNior sTaTesmaN amoNg zebras, mcreary reTired lasT seasoN aT age 56 wiTh 1,737 games uNder his belT. ThaTs secoNd oNly To Kerry fraser.

top: Jim mcisaac/Getty imaGes; bottom: bill Wippert/NHli via Getty imaGes

authority figure

38

3.3%

mike Cvik

best linesman
Mike Cvik is one NHL official who can literally look at Zdeno Chara eye to eye.

voting results

best linesman
1. Mike Cvik Jean Morin Jay Sharrers 4. Shane Heyer 5. Pierre Racicot 6. Greg Devorski Scott Driscoll 19.0% 19.0% 19.0% 14.3% 9.6% 4.8% 4.8% 4.8% 4.8%

a tower of power
By Randy Sportak
top: Dave Reginek/nHLi via getty images; bottom: anDy maRLin/nHLi via getty images

Andy McElman Jonny Murray

Whether its breaking up fights or making sure faceoffs are fair, Cvik commands respect around league
t 6-foot-9, linesman Mike Cvik has the size to command respect from nhL players. hes a gentle giant out there, said Calgary flames center Brendan Morrison. (Officials) have a difficult job, so its best to treat them with respect. if you treat them with respect, theyll be respectful towards you. Mike doesnt lose his cool. hes one of those who likes to get in a conversation and that makes guys more comfortable. Cvik, with more than 1,500 nhL games, has earned it in other ways over the years. such as the night in vancouver when trevor Linden became the Canucks all-time leading scorer. fans were standing to cheer their star player, but there was an edict from the league to drop the puck as soon as possible. Cvik, who officiated Western League games when Linden was with the Medicine hat tigers, decided it was time to fix a hole in the ice. it was important to let the crowd cheer trevor, Cvik said. the crowd cheered trevor for a good two minutes. he came over and said thanks.

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of course, you cant talk to a linesman about the issue of simply dropping the puck instead of throwing players out of the faceoff circle. Cvik is aware so many want to just get the game going, but is adamant about the importance of making it fair. you want every player to know theyll have a fair shake and wont lose because the other guy is cheating, Cvik said. if you let one guy get away with cheating, you lose the respect of the other cen-

On Cviks sweater indicates the season he was hired

88

ters. i threw Jonathan toews out a few times and finally went over to him in a tv timeout and said, you have to trust ill make it fair and stop cheating. he stopped cheating and he won the next four faceoff draws.

jean morin
linesman
Voting for best linesman came down to a three-way battle between mike cVik, jean morin and jay sharrers. all haVe more than 1,000 games nhl experience.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 79

best Womens player

Hayley Wickenheiser

Hayley WickenHeiser
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImaGes

AGE 33 born shaunavon, sask. Ht 5-10 Wt 171 tEAm university of calgary IntErnAtIonAL StAtS: GP-41 G-31 A-37 PT-68 PIM-34

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Hayley wickenheiser

best womens player


Hayley Wickenheiser first captained Canada to a gold medal in 1998.

voting results

best womens Player


1. Hayley Wickenheiser, Can 38.1%

2. Meghan Agosta, Can 3. Marie-Philip Poulin, Can 4. Meghan Duggan, USA Angela Ruggiero, USA Shannon Szabados, Can

33.3% 14.3% 4.8% 4.8% 4.8%

all Hail Hayley


By Adam Proteau

Wickenheiser has been the face of womens hockey for almost 20 years. The 2014 Olympics will be her last

top: Bruce Bennett/Getty ImaGes; Bottom: harry how/Getty ImaGes

ts still up for debate whether hayley Wickenheiser is the greatest female hockey player of all-time. but it isnt debatable shes the best there is right now, nor that shes been the best for a very long period. Wickenheiser, 33, has done as much individually as anyone in the sport including being named MvP at the 2002 and 2006 olympic games and setting a record in 2010 for career olympic goals (16) but when you start looking at her lengthy, phenomenal resume and adding up all the teambased achievements, you get a better sense of her impact. she has been the most dangerous player on Canadian national teams that have won three olympic gold medals, six world championships and 12 four nations Cups. She first made Team Canada as a 15-year-old and has been dominating at the elite level for 18 years. And even now, after shes already announced the 2014 sochi games will be her last, Wickenheiser is an integral part of her teams strategy. i think consistency is what sets hayley apart, said team Canada legend and Wick-

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enheisers former teammate, Cassie Campbell-Pascall. shes by far the most consistent player ive ever played with. Weve maybe had someone with better skills, like a Danielle goyette, or someone whos a better goalscorer, like Jayna hefford. but i think hayley is the complete package. And she just does it year-in and year-out. one of the games greatest leaders herself, CampbellPascall often saw Wickenheiser provide leadership

Games in various secondary mens pro leagues in Europe

43

with her actions, not her words. shes not a talker in the room at all, Campbell-Pascall said. shes not the type of player who would speak up in the dressing room and say something. her leadership is on the ice and its in her hard work, her work ethic in the gym. shes someone players look to emulate in terms of her work ethic.

meghan agosta
team canada
the mercyhurst college grad was mVP of the 2010 olymPics womens tournament in VancouVer, leading canada with nine goals and 15 Points in fiVe games.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 81

best Development oRganization

Detroit Red Wings voting Results

best development team


1. Detroit 2. Nashville 3. Buffalo Los Angeles Washington 6. Philadelphia 7. Montreal San Jose 42.1% 18.4% 7.9% 7.9% 7.9% 5.3% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%
top: Claus andersen/Getty ImaGes; bottom: Jeff VInnICk/nHlI VIa Getty ImaGes

scouting foR success


The secret to a two-decade dynasty: become the gold standard in the NHL for drafting and developing talent
By Brian Costello he entry draft is hockeys great equalizer. teams finishing at the bottom of the standings get first crack at the next wave of incoming talent. Cellar-dwelling regulars of past decades such as Quebec (Colorado), Pittsburgh and Chicago placed low enough long enough to build championship teams. so why is it the Detroit red Wings are universally recognized as the organization that best develops talent year after year? the Wings havent had a top-10 pick in the draft in 20 years. Their average first pick in that span has been 41st overall. Yet seven of Detroits first picks since 1992 have stanley Cup rings. A team such as Columbus, on the other hand, has had 10 top-10 picks since 2000 and just one playoff berth (and no wins) to show for it. thats the difference between drafting and developing. the red Wings, with assistant gM Jim nill calling the scouting shots, have selected the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan ericsson, valtteri filppula, Johan franzen and Darren helm with picks in the third round or later. none of them made the jump to regular nhL duty for at least another three seasons of development or until they

Pittsburgh New Jersey

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were 25. the Wings handle player development like Paul Masson handles wine no prospect is rushed before his time. in being named the best development organization, the Wings bucked the odds established by a panel of scouts who rank prospects every year in thns future Watch. Detroit regularly ranks among the bottom teams, mainly due to the fact it never has high picks in its system. Datsyuk was never a top-50 prospect in future Watch in his development

Picks since 1992 who have played at least 300 games

14

years and Zetterberg peaked out at No. 24 in 2002. And of the late-round prospects who do develop later on, few are well known by the scouting community until years after the draft. Prospects either develop well under the Wings tutelage or its the biggest aberration of all-time.

development
nashville
nashville may not have flashy stars, but the preds consistantly develop nhlers, as 16 players on the team, including ryan suter, were home drafted.

nicklas lidstrom

highest panic threshold

Nicklas Lidstrom has both a poker face and the guts of a burglar in on-ice situations.

voting results

ice water in his veins


top: Dave Reginek/nHLi via getty images; bottom: Len ReDkoLes/nHLi via getty images

They dont come any calmer or cooler than Lidstrom. His in-game patience is as renowned as his all-world skills
By John Grigg wedes arent generally known as high-strung. shy? Quiet? introspective? yes. Panic-stricken? not so much. so its no surprise a swede leads the list of players with the highest panic threshold. you also dont play 20 years in the NHL if youre a nervous Nelly. And you definitely dont become a playoff MvP, 10-time first-team all-star, seven-time Norris Trophy winner and sure-fire, firstballot hall of famer like nicklas Lidstrom. Ask any player about the sublime blueliner and theyll wax poetically about how calm, cool and collected he is, how poised he is with the puck and how he exudes quiet confidence. When the red Wings broke their 42-year stanley Cup drought in 1997, Lidstrom was central to the cause. he wasnt an offensive

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force that post-season, but he made arguably the play that ultimately got Detroit over the hump. the simmering rivalry between Detroit and the Colorado Avalanche that had boiled over a year earlier with the Claude Lemieux-Kris Draper incident was roiling again as the teams met in the Western Conference final a second consecutive year. it was Lidstrom who, in game 2, saved a tying goal with just a few minutes to play. he swooped in behind goaltender Mike vernon and batted a scott young shot out of and away from a wideopen net. Already down 1-0 in the series, a loss wouldve been hard to overcome. instead the red Wings won that game 4-2 and the series in six. Plays like that are often overlooked when speaking of Lidstroms greatness. yes, hell likely finish his career as one of the five highestscoring blueliners ever, but its the angles he plays on defense, the extra second he takes to explore passing outlets and the escapability he has defending the forecheck that separate him from the rest of the pack. All of those skills are based on Lidstroms innate ability to calmly and rationally survey situations and react in the best way possible: without panicking.

highest panic threshold


1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Det 48.6%

2. Chris Pronger, Phi 3. Pavel Datsyuk, Det 4. Sidney Crosby, Pit Tim Thomas, Bos 6. Ryan Kesler, Van Zdeno Chara, Bos Jonathan Toews, Chi Dan Boyle, SJ Tomas Kaberle, Car Patrick Kane, Chi Drew Doughty, LA

11.4% 8.6% 5.7% 5.7% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9%

Plus-minus career total attests to his composed play

429

chris pronger
philadelphia
Few deFensemen in the league are better at carrying the puck out oF his own zone and considering passing options than the crusty 37-year-old pronger.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 83

beSt cheerleaDerS

Dallas Stars

Ice GIrls 19 members NHl seasoNs 7 left megan ceNter Kaime rIGHt meagan

84 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

andrew dieb/crystal clear media

DallaS StarS

dallas stars

best cheerleaders
Ice Girls such as Robbyn and Katharina are tested for their hockey knowledge.

voting results

best cheerleaders
1. Dallas 2. Chicago 3. Carolina 4. Florida 5. Los Angeles Nashville 7. Anaheim 26.7% 20.0% 16.7% 10.0% 6.7% 6.7% 3.3% 3.3% 3.3% 3.3%

three cheers for dallas


Theres something about cheerleading and Dallas that go together. The Stars Ice Girls reinforce that notion
By Ryan Kennedy

Edmonton New Jersey NY Islanders

top: andrew dieb/crystal clear media; bottom: Jim mcisaac/Getty imaGes

hen you want the most accurate answer, you go to an expert. so if you need any proof that Dallas has the best cheerleaders in the nhL, take in this anecdote about Paul bissonnette: the Phoenix Coyotes enforcer, better known on twitter as biznasty, had publicly stated the stars ice girls needed to have a calendar, like some of the other cheerleading squads in the nhL. When the Coyotes came to town, the whole crew signed a picture for their biggest fan, with a message attached: Dear Paul, thanks for the kind words. but we hope you still lose tonight! Fun, flirty thats the Ice Girls in a nutshell and in texas, cheerleading is serious business. the Dallas squad takes pride in the craft and the girls are put through their paces by a co-ordinator with all the right moves on her resume: Wendy Dutton, former cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks. they have hockey tests, Dutton said. i quiz em. the boss also tapes her crew at regular intervals to make sure the girls on the ice have the proper posture while skating (shoulders

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back) and that the dancers on the risers are executing their kicks and pirouettes properly. And, everyones hair has to be fabulous, of course. in a state where cheerleading is just behind football in popularity, its no surprise Dallas has the top squad in the latter category. ive cheered since i was nine, said Kaime, a veteran ice girl. its what you do. With so much of a talent pool to draw from, getting into the ice girls is competi-

tive and the work is hard. every week during the season, the group has a training session that lasts five or six hours, including classroom time. the end product is a closely knit unit that has a little bit of southern charm that puts the group over the top. After all, you dont mess with texas.

chicago blackhawks
cheerleaders
in chicago, theyre called the blackhawks ice crew. during tV timeouts, they clean up loose snow on the ice. down side is, Very few men go to concessions during these stoppages in play.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 85

best masCot

Calgary Flames
Harveys guile and goofiness has earned him the adoration of Flames fans.

voting results

best mascot
1. Cgy (Harvey the Hound) 35.7%

2. Montreal (Youppi!)

17.9%

3. Nashville (Gnash) 4. Buffalo (Sabretooth)

14.3% 7.1%

San Jose (S.J. Sharkie) 7.1% 6. Atlanta (Thrash) Chi (Tommy Hawk) 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6%
top: Gerry thomas/NhLI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: Dave saNDforD/Getty ImaGes

Hounding opponents
Calgarys pesky pooch loves to make life miserable for opposing teams, much to the delight of Flames fans
By Randy Sportak

Los Angeles (Bailey) TB (ThunderBug) Toronto (Carleton)

arvey the Hound is the original, the pioneer of nhL mascots. to top it off, hes still the best. but it was no easy road. When harvey made his debut at a Calgary flames game in february 1984, it was without fanfare. Within 10 seconds, someone told me, go to hell!, recalled grant Kelba, who created harvey and convinced the flames to give a full-time mascot a shot. thankfully, everybody persevered and a few years later, harvey the hound a name Kelba came up with while en route to his debut had become a staple part of the team. truth is, during some lean seasons, he was the best part of the flames. nearly 200 dog years later, the hound is going strong, even through the introduction of big screens, ice girls, power rings and earsplitting music after every whistle. over the years, harvey has been given ideas by players who cant help but catch some of his antics during the game. the hound has also found ways to gain attention, well beyond the usual fare of a drum hit

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by a bone, naturally and a t-shirt gun. take the time he became another chapter in the battle of Alberta on a dreary night in January, 2003. the flames had a 4-0 lead with seven minutes remaining and harvey was offering his sympathy to the edmonton oilers. the oilers didnt take kindly to the dog leaning on the glass behind them and began spraying him with water. edmonton coach Craig Mactavish had enough

and grabbed the first part of harvey he could, which happened to be his tongue, pulling it out of the dogs mouth. Amazingly, the oilers stormed back to make it a 4-3 game and nearly tied it. good thing they didnt, because were sure harvey would have received the old yeller treatment if the flames lost that game. And the nhL would be without its best and most beloved mascot.

youppi!

montreal
the former montreal expos baseball mascot was adopted by the canadiens in 2005 and has been charming the habs faithful ever since with his crazy antics.

nashville Predators

best intermission
Carrie Underwood and a cabal of country stars have entertained Preds fans.

voting results

best intermission
1. Nashville 21.0%

2. Montreal

15.8%

3. Chicago Los Angeles Washington Toronto 7. NY Rangers

10.5% 10.5% 10.5% 10.5% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3%

nashville nights
No team serves up intermission fun like the Predators, who have patented Hockeytonk entertainment
By Connie Jensen
top: John Russell/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes; bottom: phIllIp maccallum/Getty ImaGes

Calgary Carolina Vancouver

mack-dab in the heart of nashville is broadway Avenue, the home of bridgestone Arena and the nashville Predators. honky-tonks align the street, paying homage to where Music City gets its nickname. With all the musical history, it comes as no surprise the Preds organization wanted to incorporate some boot scootin boogie into their 17-minute intermissions. thats why they put a stage at the Zamboni-end of the arena. the platform allows for local garage bands to get exposure, but has also housed country stars such as season-ticket holder vince gill, who often plays for the fans. During the Preds first-ever playoff round win, big names such as Carrie Underwood (married to nashville center Mike fisher), big & rich and gretchen Wilson all took to the Wildhorse saloon band stage. ryan Porth, a season-ticket holder and blogger at smashville 24/7 says the stage is what sets nashvilles intermission apart from the rest of the league. ive been to multiple arenas and during the intermission theyll just have maybe trivia with the fans, or the

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arena will go dark and theyll just play music on the P.A., he said. but its really a festive atmosphere at intermission and unique to nashville. When there isnt music playing, nashville fans are treated to some obscure entertainment. the colorful human slinky moves around, fans take part in sumo wrestling competitions and animal mascots called Zooperstars perform a choreographed dance. sometimes, young players

from the nashville youth hockey League take part in drills with gnash, the Preds mascot. but the big highlight came this past season. on feb. 5, rocker Alice Cooper, a Wings fan while growing up in Michigan, joined gill for a set during a game against Detroit. everybody was rocking out and really loving it, Porth said. no one was really on the concourse. everybody stayed (in their seats) so it was pretty unique and cool to see.

montreal

intermission
the habs have always been fun to watch, but a combination of lights, lasers and projections on the ice make the time between periods a joy for fans as well.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 87

Best jersey

Chicago Blackhawks

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dave sandFord/HHoF imaGes

Chicago blackhawks

best jersey
The colorful Hawks crest has spawned many imitations the best form of flattery.

voting results

best jersey
1. Chicago

47.5%
20.0%

2. Montreal

3. Boston 4. San Jose Detroit 6. Toronto NY Rangers

7.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

blaCkhawk Crowned
The brainchild of a ballroom dancer, Chicagos sophisticated jersey tops some stylish competition
By Ryan Kennedy
top: Francois Lacasse/nHLi via Getty imaGes; bottom: GraiG abeL/nHLi via Getty imaGes

Philadelphia Nashville Colorado Calgary

n her heyday, irene Castle was a star, a trailblazer and a style icon. And while ballroom dancing made her famous, her most lasting legacy actually came at the other end of the athletic spectrum. Castle was married to Major frederic McLaughlin in 1926 when he bought a new franchise in the nhL, which he named the Chicago black hawks. the movie starlet and owners wife quickly put a stamp on both the team and hockey history when she designed the squads uniform, complete with its iconic indian-head logo. over the years, the blackhawks (the name was condensed to one word by former owner bill Wirtz in 1986) have worn sweaters of red, black and white, with varying stripes and sometimes a circle around the famous logo. but no matter the variation, theyve always looked good. the Chicago jersey is always a front-runner, if not the winner, when best jersey in hockey comes up and its no surprise that imitation has followed them as a form of flattery. from the Portland Winterhawks to the University of north Dakota fighting sioux, many

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teams have cribbed ideas from the Chicago sweater. in popular culture, its hard to think of national Lampoons Christmas vacation without picturing Chevy Chase in his griswold blackhawks jersey. And while nhL glory in Chicago has historically been in short supply, the City of broad shoulders will always have the 1961 squad that ruined a Montreal Canadiens dynasty, plus the youthful 2010 edition that brought the

stanley Cup back to town 49 years later. Most notably, in an era when teams with logos and nicknames referencing native Americans have either been changed or publicly shamed as racist, the Chicago blackhawks sweater and logo have been lauded as a respectful tribute. for a ballroom dancer, perhaps irene Castle knew what she was doing in the hockey world, after all.

jersey

montreal
the montreal canadiens bleu, blanc et rouge jersey uses its classy color scheme to buoy one of the most iconic logos in all of professional sports.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 89

Best Business savvy

Chicago Blackhawks

BlaCkhawks
NHL seasoNs 85 Cups 3 years betweeN Cups 49 Left bobby huLL CeNter Denis savarD rigHt stan Mikita
Bill Smith/Nhli via Getty imaGeS

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Chicago blackhawks

best business savvy


Rocky Wirtz turned around his late fathers franchise and Chicago has thanked him.

voting results

best business savvy


1. Chicago 2. Detroit 3. Washington 4. Tampa Bay Toronto 6. Montreal Pittsburgh Vancouver 21.2% 15.2% 12.1% 9.1% 9.1% 6.1% 6.1% 6.1% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0% 3.0%

from blaCk to gold


Chicagos new-look organization didnt take long to get back in the citys good graces
By Brian Costello

9. San Jose Los Angeles Boston Minnesota Philadelphia

top: leN RedkoleS/Nhli via Getty imaGeS; Bottom: dave SaNdfoRd/Getty imaGeS

ad The Hockey News turned a morbid cheek a decade ago and put out a special magazine called the Worst of everything in hockey, the Chicago blackhawks would have been a fairly prominent team. not only were the hawks dreadful on the ice earlier this century, they were being run by a dinosaur owner, bill Wirtz, who didnt believe in spending money to make money. Dollar bill served as team president for more than four decades and had a reputation for being a hall of fame tightwad. he wouldnt allow Chicago home games to be shown on tv unless they were picked up by a national broadcaster. Wirtz also burned bridges with former blackhawks greats, who invariably left Chicago with sour tastes in their mouths. blackhawks fans blamed Wirtz for a stanley Cup drought that was approaching a half-century. All that began to change when Wirtzs son rocky took over running the franchise (bill Wirtz passed away sept. 26, 2007). it wasnt long before he altered some of the business strategies his father stubbornly maintained.

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games started appearing on local television. former Chicago Cubs president John McDonough was hired to fast-track the hawks marketing philosophies. young talent secured through high draft picks turned fortunes around on the ice and before too long attendance ramped up and the blackhawks were making friends again. even the legends were welcomed back. its great to be part of the family again, said hall

of famer bobby hull. there were a lot of years when i was not welcome here and i have rocky Wirtz to thank for making amends. its great being back with the fans and to see guys like stan Mikita and tony esposito welcomed back as well. Chicago, which ended its Cup drought at 49 years in 2010, was voted the team with the best business savvy in the nhL. it could be because the franchise has risen from deep, dark depths.

detroit

business of hockey
no longer the dead things they were once known as, the red wings are money in the bank both on the ice and off, making them one of the most popular nhl teams.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 91

bEst announcing voicE

Mike Emrick
Mike Emrick has graced the airwaves with his calls for more than 40 years.

voting rEsults

best announcing voice


1. Mike Emrick 2. Chris Cuthbert Jim Hughson 4. Bob Cole 5. Rick Jeanneret Budd Lynch 33.3% 13.9% 13.9% 11.1% 5.6% 5.6% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8% 2.8%
top: Justin K. Aller/Getty imAGes; bottom: tsn

listEn to thE doc


Long-time voice of the Devils was honed through perseverance, preparation and professionalism
By Jim Gintonio he old Toledo Sports Arena, a since-demolished 5,230-seat riverfront arena in ohio, always will hold a special meaning for Mike Doc emrick. he used that venue as a springboard for a hockey broadcasting career that is almost entering its fifth decade. emrick was recognized for his body of work later this year by being inducted into the United states hockey hall of fame. but back in 1973, while calling his first professional game for Port huron of the now-defunct international League against the toledo hornets, he never saw any of that coming. All he wanted was a chance to prove himself, half-jokingly saying both he and the players in the league were two phone calls away from the nhL. not only did our players have pretty distant hopes of ever making it, i think i did, too, said emrick, who announced this summer that hes leaving as voice of the new Jersey Devils to work exclusively for nbC. but what i was encouraged to do all along, not only by my parents, but the people i worked with, was just to keep working and keep following true with your work every day

7. Pat Foley John Shorthouse Chuck Kaiton John Forslund Jim Martin

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and hope that would at least get you to progress ahead. even with all the accolades that have come emricks way, peers say he has not changed. Analyst Darren Pang praises emricks level of preparation, but likes this even more: he treats everybody in the game with such great respect. he has such great integrity as a person. At the core of emricks professionalism is the mantra of doing the right thing. Unable to work the 2009 Winter

Lou Nolan

Classic due to illness, he left all his game notes for his replacement, Dave strader. i still have them, strader said. the hotel told me i had an envelope at the front desk and it was Docs personal research, with a little note basically saying, thanks for doing this. here he is, thanking me, like who wouldnt step in given that opportunity?

chris cuthbert
tsn
cuthberts high-pitched voice sets him apart from his peers. his call of sidney crosbys golden goal at the 2010 olympics will go down as one of the best ever.

strangis/reaugh

best broadcast tandem

voting results

best broadcast tandem


1. Strangis/Reaugh 2. Hughson/Simpson Rosen/Micheletti 4. Miller/Ferraro Weber/Crisp Edwards/Brickley
DaRyL REaugH & RaLPH StRaNgiS

17.9% 10.7% 10.7% 7.1% 7.1% 7.1% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.6%

7. Emrick/Resch Cole/Neale Jeanneret/Neale

ralph n razor
Dallas dynamic duo turns the ordinary into the extraordinary for viewers and listeners of the Stars
By Luke DeCock egular viewers of Dallas stars games have gotten used to the esoteric references, graduate-school vocabulary, original catchphrases and general tonguetwisting of tv analyst Daryl reaugh who, along with long-time play-by-play partner ralph strangis, turns ordinary nhL games into three-hour examinations of life, liberty and the pursuit of hockey. reaugh is known as razor for his last name and not his sharp wit (though either would work). Like most former goalies reaugh played 27 games for the edmonton oilers and hartford Whalers special attention is paid to the position, with his most famous phrase used for the most dramatic saves: Larceny! regular viewers collect razorisms, the off-hand nuggets he tosses in during a broadcast. An example: its prison rules down there at ice level. together, the duo is awfully good at calling a hockey game something stars fans have appreciated for years, to the point where the tv broadcast is simulcast on radio not by necessity but by popular demand. hockey fans around the world have known reaugh from the years he contributed the color commentary to eA sports series of nhL

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games including razorisms such as sergei Zubov can pass to a teacup and i only hope the second period is as good as the first alongside Jim hughson. strangis sometimes joins Reaugh on his flights of fancy, but typically plays the straight man. he had the call when brett hull netted the stanley Cup winner for the stars in 1999: hull scores! yes! yes! yes! strangis started out as the analyst on Minnesota north stars games, moved south with the franchise and became the play-byplay man in 1993. reaugh joined him from the hartford Whalers in 1996, and the rest, as reaugh might say, is mastodonic.

Mishkin/Esposito Foley/Olczyk Hahn/Remenda Kelly/Pang Kerber/Chase Lange/Bourque Maher/Rogers Miller/Fox

Seasons Strangis and Reaugh have been the Stars broadcast team

15

top: Elliot lowE; bottom: cbc/grEg rEEkiE

hughson/simpson
cbc
from jim hughsons straightforward, gimmickless play calling to craig simpsons astute analysis, the hockey night in canada tandem are two of the best.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 93

Best aHl team

Hershey Bears
bRyan helMeR & gReg aMadio

HersHey Bears
justsports photography

seasons 73 Reg. season titles 8 caldeR cups 11 lost in final 11 playoff gaMes 556 avg. att. 10-11 9,800

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hershey bears

best ahl team


Bears defender John Carlson, center, is now a go-to man on the Washington blueline.

voting results

Best ahl team


1. Hershey Bears 2. Chicago Wolves 56.3% 12.6%

3. Binghamton Senators 9.4% 4. Manchester Monarchs 6.3% Portland Pirates 6. Hamilton Bulldogs 6.3% 3.1% 3.1%

hersheys Kiss
For many aspiring NHLers, there arent any better places to play on the way up to the big time
By Adrian Dater

Houston Aeros

W-B/Scranton Penguins 3.1%

top: justsports photography; bottom: ross dettman photography

ershey, Pa., is best known for a certain confection. but it also has a rich hockey history and tourists shouldnt feel obliged just to visit the iconic chocolate factory for a fun day out. the hershey bears are the American Leagues longest-running franchise, joining in 1938 after first being known as the hershey bars of the tri-state League in 1932. A total of 2,280 regular season and playoff games were hosted by the bears at hersheypark Arena from 1936-2002. in 1962, the building also hosted Wilt Chamberlains nbA record 100-point game, but much more hockey was played in the old barn replaced in 2002 by the current giant Center. in 2010, the bears won their 11th Calder Cup, most of any AhL team. the following season, the bears led the league in attendance (392,005). not many AhL rinks were built on a $65 million budget, but that was the case with the 10,500-seat giant Center. its a nicer building than a handful of nhL arenas. but hersheypark Arena is still standing its the practice facility for the bears and is a

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wonderful, veritable museum for any visitor. While playing in the AhL doesnt guarantee a spot in the big league, many nhLers have called themselves a bear, including ron hextall and vinny Prospal, plus a host of current Washington Capitals. some players who went on to hockey success beyond the AhL have retired in the hershey area and its no wonder. thanks largely to its main corporate benefactor, its a

Games played by franchise leader Mike Nykoluk

972

clean, family-friendly area with gentle rolling hills and scenic vistas. the hershey Lodge is a wonderful, oldschool motor inn and is the place to stay. yes, the air does in fact smell like chocolate in large parts of the city. What, is that a problem?

chicago wolves
american league
Despite having the nhl Blackhawks in town, the wolves Draw nearly 8,000 a game. in 10 years, theyve never haD a losing season, winning two calDer cups.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 95

best CelebRation zone

Calgary Red Mile

sizzling stRetCh
Calgarys red hot playoff run, coupled with the smokin locals, prove the Red Mile is No. 1
By Brian Costello

ombine a large number of fans packed onto pedestrian-only streets, great weather, cold beverages, a favorite team trying to achieve hockey history, some girls gone wild, and what do you get? hockeys best-ever celebration zone. fans who experienced the Calgary flames run to the 2004 Stanley Cup final got to witness these shenanigans every night on the red Mile. the red Mile rose to prominence in the spring of 2004. Located near the heart of downtown Calgary, it extended eight blocks on 17th Avenue sW, where there are a number of restaurants, bars and patios. on game nights, the bars were buzzing and as the flames continued to advance, they got more difficult to get into. The first round, the bars were busy, but not packed, said glen scott, co-owner of bob the fish, a popular watering hole that anchors one end of the red Mile. by the second round, you had to reserve a table before games and after a win youd have trouble getting in. by the third round, all the establishments were packed, so happy fans just strolled the red Mile. by that time, police had shut down 17th Ave., to motorists, making it a pedestrianonly strip before and after games. if that wasnt an invitation to come by and celebrate, nothing was. good ol Western hospitality. by the fourth round, the hockey world found out about it. tens of thousands of fans hung out some literally in the celebration zone on game days. it was a sea of red and the atmosphere was incredible. talk about, er, exposure.

During one game early in the playoffs that year, scott said, i was at a bar in the saddledome when this gorgeous girl at a table next to us just lifted her top. i think she was celebrating a goal. then before you know it, theyre doing it on the street. the red Mile gained popularity when some females upped the ante, lifting their tops when the flames scored. Calgarys success turned into Mardi gras. it was paradise for male fans. they could get away with cheap lines like shirts off for Kiprusoff as

a tribute to their star goalie. in short order, the website flamesgirls.com which no longer exists was getting millions of hits across the world. it was said Calgarys run to within one win of the stanley Cup in 2004 turned the city Cup crazy. Literally. b and C cups mostly, but A, D and e cups were welcome as well. the flames lost to tampa bay in seven games and havent won a playoff series since. but there isnt an adult male hockey fan who doesnt know about the red Mile.

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dave Buston/Getty imaGes

calgary red Mile

best celebration zone


At its peak, 50,000 people turned Calgarys Red Mile into pedestrian gridlock.

voting results

best celebration zone


1. Calgary 2. Montreal Pittsburgh 4. Tampa Bay Carolina Buffalo 50.0% 14.3% 14.3% 7.1% 7.1% 7.1%

Playoff series wins since the Flames lost to Tampa in the 2004 nal. Calgarys lost in the rst round four times and missed the playoffs twice

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rue ste-catherine
montreal
the meeting place for hockeys most passionate fans, along with their spirit of choice, after playoff wins and there have been plenty. former mayor Jean drapeau deemed it the usual route for cup parades.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 97

RichaRd WoloWicz/Getty imaGes

beSt vantaGe point

Madison Square Garden


Writers become part of the crowd at Rangers games; that has its pros and cons.

votinG reSultS

best vantage point


1. MSG, NYR 2. Nassau, NYI 3. Pengrowth, Cgy 4. AA Center, Dal Rexall Place, Edm Bell Centre, Mtl HP Pavilion, SJ
56.5%

13.0% 8.7% 4.3% 4.3% 4.3% 4.3% 4.3%


top: Bruce Bennett/Getty ImaGes; Bottom: mIke stoBe/nHLI vIa Getty ImaGes

new YorkS Super bowl


Covering a Rangers game got you up close and personal especially with the Blueshirts rowdy faithful
By Guy Curtright

Xcel Energy, Min

ith the opening of each new arena, the press box seemed to be pushed higher and higher. Players almost became specks and the puck was nearly invisible. It became difficult to say which was the worst press box for viewing a game. in ottawa, you seemed to be the farthest from the ice, but maybe it was just an optical illusion. Whether in Dallas, st. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia or Washington, it was like you were peering down from a low-flying airplane. because of that, you didnt mind being in the middle of new Jersey swampland when you covered a Devils game. the view outside may not have been much, but the view from the arenas lower press box made up for it. in the Meadowlands, you were at the top of the lower bowl and perfectly situated between the bluelines. What a great place to cover a hockey game. then the Devils moved to newark. Up to the rafters the media went. that left Madison square garden with the best and most unique viewing spot. in addi-

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tion to the main press box where television and radio stations broadcast new york rangers games, newspaper beat writers got their own quarters low in a corner. talk about a different view. nothing beat being up close and personal with the action at your end. you could almost feel the hits. the view wasnt the only thing different, either. At the garden, the writers became part of the crowd. you clearly heard the insults thrown out

at players. sometimes you were insulted yourself. As a visiting writer, i once tried to come to the aid of a beleaguered goalie for the expansion Atlanta thrashers, but the young boy heckling netminder norm Maracle would have none of it. your writing sucks, too, he yelled back at me in his new york accent. now Msg is undergoing a major renovation. times change. not always for the better.

nassau coliseum
n.y. islanders
it may be one of the most disdained arenas in the league right now, but at least isles media can delight in a nice view of the game at oldschool nassau.

san Jose sharks

best public relations department


Joe Thornton is a popular man and his gatekeepers make sure hes comfortable.

voting results

public perception
top: Brad Watson/nHLI vIa Getty ImaGes; Bottom: Jeff vInnIck/nHLI vIa Getty ImaGes

San Joses public relations department juggles a lot of responsibility and does so with the utmost professionalism
By Jeremy Rutherford

n an era when media are arriving at the rink in many new forms, the san Jose sharks media relations department has developed a reputation of being accommodating and supportive to those covering the nhL from out of town and in the bay Area. its a lot easier to try to be helpful and nice than it is to shut people out, said san Joses director of media relations scott emmert. Were trying to sell the team, sell our players. its not rocket science what we do. its more having the willingness to cooperate and foster a good relationship. the sharks staff, which includes assistants tom holy and ryan stenn, won the Dick Dill-

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man Award four consecutive years from 2007-2010 and was a finalist last season. The honor, which is presented by the Professional hockey Writers Association, recognizes fairness, cooperation, efficiency, accuracy and a willingness to help facilitate interviews. in a market that also encompasses san francisco and oakland, accounting for as many as 300 media credentials per season, it can be difficult fulfilling everyones requests. the media sometimes think youre not doing enough by themthe hockey staff may think youre doing too much, emmert said. Weve joked about it. Unless one of those sides is mad at you, you probably arent doing your job. During the season, game days can be very long. emmert and his staff can work as many as 16 hours a day in and around hP Pavilion. And since the sharks are always playoff contenders, the years never too short, either. but as emmert says, Were very lucky to be able to do what we do. its nice that people recognize us and we hope well continue to be able to earn that respect. the game is about the players and were just the support staff behind the scenes. but at the same time, we do take our job very seriously.

Best pr department
1. San Jose 2. Chicago 3. Washington Boston 5. Philadelphia 6. Carolina Minnesota Anaheim Atlanta 10. Nashville Phoenix Calgary 26.3% 15.8% 10.5% 10.5% 7.9% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 5.3% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

Games averaged by Sharks in past four years, including playoffs. Thats a lot of interviews to arrange and game notes to print out

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pr department
chicago
as the teams fortunes changed on the ice, so did the attention paid and the requests made. Brandon faBer, adam rogowin and paul Kennedy do a Bang-up joB.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 99

best dressed

Henrik Lundqvist

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JeNNifer pottheiser/NhLi via Getty imaGes

Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist likes to show up at photo shoots with his own wardrobe.

best dressed

voting resuLts

tHe royaL wardrobe


As the brightest star on Broadway, King Henrik has the clothes to go with his place among Manhattan royalty
By Steve Zipay
top: Nick Laham/Getty imaGes; bottom: JemaL couNtess/Getty imaGes

ast December, a day after Forbes magazine had named henrik Lundqvist and sean Avery as two of the 15 best-dressed athletes in professional sports, the rangers goaltender and left winger were sitting together in the visitors dressing room in ottawa. someone asked about the survey and their fashion preferences. id say my style is more european boots, tight-fitting jeans and shirts. your look is good, but more classic, Lundqvist told Avery, who disagreed and opened a debate on designers. not your basic post-morning skate stuff, where t-shirts and sneakers are the dominant attire. Avery, who interned for Vogue magazine one summer, is more of a fashionista than the 29-year-old Lundqvist that once appeared at

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a hugo boss show in berlin. but the taller Lundqvist whether strolling down the corridor in a dark suit and thin tie or his preferred open-collared white shirts, or a sweater draped just-so exudes a casual, effortless elegance. thats one of the reasons Lundqvist, who was married in early August to long-time girlfriend therese Andersson, was named the best-dressed nhL player in thns best of everything poll. in new york, youll often find Lundqvist sporting tiger of sweden, a clothing line, and shopping at reiss, a branch of the Londonheadquartered store on West broadway in soho, not far from where he and Avery are partners in a bistro called tinys. Lundqvists international flair was evident during a television interview last season, when he wore tiger jeans, a reindeer jacket from swedish brand stephen f., a shirt by Atlas Design, suede boots from J. bloom and Prada sunglasses. ive tried to get the guys to dress better, Lundqvist said. im getting there. i dont think it has to be a certain style. its about feeling comfortable and being self-confident about how you dress and look. i think if you look good, you feel good and you play better.

best dressed
1. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 48.1%

2. Sean Avery, NYR 3. Steven Stamkos, TB Alex Ovechkin, Wsh Ilya Kovalchuk, NJ

7.4% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7%

Henrik Zetterberg, Det 3.7% Dustin Byfuglien, Wpg 3.7% Maxime Talbot, Phi Ryan Getzlaf, Ana Patrick Sharp, Chi Brent Burns, SJ Brian Gionta, Mtl 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7%

Mike Modano, retired 3.7% Marc Savard, Bos

Most Beautiful People in the World People magazines famous list, which Lundqvist made back in 2006

100

3.7%

sean avery
n.y. rangers
avery is no stranger to the fashion world: in 2009 he partnered with design house commonwealth utilities and is friends with designer icon vera wang.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 101

best arena food

Montreal
The Bell Centre menu passes the taste test for those with more discerning palates.

voting results

best arena food


1. Montreal 2. Toronto 3. Chicago NY Rangers Carolina Dallas San Jose Tampa Bay 40.0% 10.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0%
top: Francois Lacasse/nHLi via Getty imaGes; bottom: sean GaLLup/Getty imaGes

5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0% 5.0%

la cuisine Magnifique
The home of the poutine is also the home of the best arena food in the NHL: Montreal offers a culinary treat
By Mike Wyman

Pittsburgh Philadelphia Buffalo Phoenix

omparing rink food is not an easy task. Menus vary widely from one locale to another, with offerings spanning the gap between fast food and fine dining. bring regional specialities into the mix and the job gets even tougher. But there is one staple that is available throughout the NHL, that lowest common denominator of arenas from tampa to Tuktoyaktuk, the oft-maligned but nonetheless overwhelmingly popular hot dog. And the best of the bunch is the chien chaud at the bell Centre in Montreal. At least thats what Steve Williamson claims. And he ought to know. in the fall of 2007, the florida resident spent a month on the road, hitting all 30 NHL barns in as many days. He exhausted his vacation time and frequent-flyer points, but he managed to find the frankfurter counter in all but one rink. I had fish tacos in Anaheim, Williamson said. but i made up for it last year. i was in L.A. and went to a Ducks game and had that 30th hot dog.

102 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

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No.

Montreals epicurean delight begins with the bun. first off, its cut on the top, unlike most in the U.s., Williamson said. they put butter or margarine on it and they throw it on the griddle, but its not greasy, its flavorful. theyre incredibly fast serving them to you, too. I was able to eat four and not miss much of the action. I never ask what goes into the meat of a hot dog because i probably dont want

to know. i tried one with ketchup, one with mustard, one just plain and one with everything on it. i know it sounds old school, but for that particular hot dog, i think ketchup worked best. Does Williamson often chow down on dogs away from the arena? At home? no way. i dont think I even know how to make a hot dog. thats someone elses job.

air canada center


toronto
the acc has something for everyone: Patrons have more eclectic oPtions like sushi and red wine in addition to gourmet twists on standard arena fare.

nashville

best neighborhood
Music City isnt a traditional hockey market, but fans there sure party like it is.

voting results

best neighborhood
1. Nashville 2. Montreal 3. NY Rangers 4. Los Angeles Boston Columbus 7. Washington 34.4% 18.8% 12.6% 9.4% 9.4% 9.4% 6.3%

the music city mile


Hot food, cold drinks and tons of live music: Downtown Nashville has the NHLs best post-game entertainment
By David Boclair
top: Frederick Breedon/Getty imaGes; Bottom: Francois Lacasse/nHLi via Getty imaGes

ridgestone Arena is a major league venue, one that attracts (among other things) concerts by the biggest names in the music industry on days when the Nashville Predators are on the road or simply have the night off. right across the street are the minor leagues. The honky-tonks of lower Broadway are the proving grounds in Music City, UsA, the places where aspiring artists hone their craft and attempt to attract attention. there are a dozen clubs or more within four blocks of the arena where live music plays prior to faceoffs, after faceoffs, well into the night and first thing the next morning. The centerpiece of it all is Tootsies Orchid Lounge, where some of the biggest names in country music history drank between sets on the Grand Ole Opry in the days when the venerable radio show took place at the Ryman Auditorium, just across the back alley. Next door is Legends Corner, a modern take on the traditional dive bar. Roberts Western World, which dubs itself Hillybilly

2
No.

Heaven, is part outfitter and part nightclub. other attractions include The Stage and The Second Fiddle, not to mention restaurants and bars to satisfy any craving of mind, body and soul all within four or five blocks of the arenas main entrance. virtually everyone who exits Bridgestone following a Predators game quickly gets drawn inside a nearby venue by the music, the sounds of merriment, the lure of a cold beverage, the possibility to

witness musics next best thing, or all of the above. It is, all at once, ground zero for the citys tourism industry and square one for those who hope to make it in the music business. That combination makes it the best surrounding neighborhood for any of the NHLs 30 arenas.

neighborhood
montreal
the nhls winningest team has given fans a lot of reasons to celebrate over the years. during the playoffs, its a pure party atmosphere around the bell centre.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 103

beSt hockey movie

Slap Shot

104 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

mark wilson

slap shot

best hockey movie


Paul Newman played the role of player-coach Reggie Dunlop in the 1977 cult classic.

voting results

best hocKey movie


1. Slap Shot 2. Miracle 3. Les Chiefs
Mystery, Alaska

57.5% 22.5% 5.0% 5.0% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5%

5. Net Worth
A Sept. to Remember The Rocket

the gangs all here


Hockeys greatest movie provided a peak into a previously unknown world and unforgettable characters
By Adam Proteau ear after year, hollywood churns out a handful of hockey movies. And year after year, they disappear into ignominy. The Love Guru, anyone? Most Valuable Primate? how about Score: A Hockey Musical? (ill wait for you to throw up before i continue.) there is, however, one hockey movie that will be remembered for the rest of time as the film that best captured the history and spirit of the sport at the professional level. that movie is, of course, Slap Shot. it isnt just the spot-on hockey scenes that make Slap Shot the ideal hockey film. It also isnt defined by its super-salty language (that any elite player will tell you accurately reflects the professional game) or by letterperfect casting (including the immortal Paul newman starring as player/coach reg Dunlop). nor does the most original ending to a climactic hockey game in cinematic history set it apart from all the rest. What makes Slap Shot the quintessential hockey film is simple: the sheer joy coursing through the body of the movie. you see it in the scenes where newmans sad-sack Charlestown Chiefs have turned

Youngblood

2
No.

their season around and in turn, get chased around from town to town by a busload of ever-partying, diehard fans. you see joy in the gleeful way Chiefs gM Joe Mcgrath (played by another movie icon, strother Martin) describes the penalty box, er, antics of a player he coached in omaha in 1948. even co-lead character (and newmans foil) ned braden a Debbie Downer wet blanket of a character eventually sees the light

during his final game, with the famous striptease. When nhLers retire, the word they inevitably reference when describing what theyll miss the most is the camaraderie of the dressing room. thats the heartbeat of Slap Shot. it is an exercise in camaraderie, a chemistry experiment gone hilariously right. you know you want to put down your race car track and stinkin root beer and watch the perfect hockey movie again.

miracle
movie
Kurt russell embodies the spirit of legendary team usa olympic coach herb brooKs in this feel-good story of a bunch of college Kids who shocKed the world.

courtesy ken blake

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 105

BeST HoCkey Song

The Hockey Song By Stompin Tom Connors

Tom ConnorS
AGE 75 born saint john, n.b. first rEcord 1967 Albums 20 junos won 6 ordEr of cAnAdA 1996

106 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

bruce bennett/Getty imaGes for nhL

the hockey song by stompin tom connors


Stompin Toms anthem has been played at Senators games since 1992-93.

best hockey song

voting results

the hockey Anthem


The best song you can name? Its the good ol hockey song Stompin Toms 1973 tune is still going strong
top: John Giamundo/Getty imaGes; bottom: dave sandford/Getty imaGes

By Bruce Garrioch he Hockey Song will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2013. heres hoping it lives on forever. While the Hockey Night in Canada theme that was snapped up by tsn from the CbC is considered by many to be the anthem for the greatest game on ice, its the stompin tom Connors hit written in 1973 that still resonates. in fact, these days its played in every arena in the league, but that wasnt always the case and stompin tom can thank the ottawa senators for the fact his hit was chosen as the most popular hockey tune by a panel of writers. While Connors is off in seclusion writing a new album with no cellphone or email, the saint John, n.b. native who has put out

2
No.

more than 20 albums in his career will be thrilled to learn the popularity of the song is still going strong. After returning to the nhL in 1992-93, the senators dusted off The Hockey Song and started playing it at the Civic Centre. no, it wasnt done to get the crowd riled up, but it did get them singing along and its tough to get people off their hands in ottawa. the Maple Leafs soon followed suit in toronto. it didnt take off overnight either, Connors said in a 2008 interview. i didnt even know the senators were playing iti hadnt even heard it watching the games. People were telling me theyre playing your hockey song (in ottawa). thats how i got wind of it. it became a sleeper and what i mean by that is radio didnt care to know anything about it. they still dont play it. the song has since become a national symbol eA sports has used the anthem to market their nhL video games and when late-night host Conan obrien brought his show to toronto, Connors was invited to sing on-air. the senators still use the song at scotiabank Place. its a song where people either start stomping their feet or clapping their hands, said glen gower, the senators director of game entertainment.

best hockey song


1. The Hockey Song
Stompin Tom Connors

34.2% 7.9% 7.9% 7.9% 5.3%

2. Big League
Tom Cochrane

Brass Bonanza
Jack Say

Chelsea Dagger
The Fratellis

5. Right Back Where


Maxine Nightingale

Here Come the Hawks 5.3%


Dick Marx Orchestra

Fifty-Mission Cap
The Tragically Hip

5.3% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

8. Get Ready for This


2 Unlimited

Goalie
Atom & His Package

God Bless America


Smith/Hart

Hockey Paradise
Seven Williams

I Make Dough, You Get Glory 2.6%


Kathleen Edwards

Little Bit South of Saskatoon 2.6%


Sonny James

O Canada
Calixa Lavalee

2.6% 2.6% 2.6% 2.6%

Pretenders
Foo Fighters

Saturday Night
Nickelback

Zamboni Song
Martin Zeller

big league

by tom cochrane
the canadian rockers 1988 hit is the anthem of hockey parents everywhere who dream what he screams: my boys gonna play in the big league.
t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 107

anaheim ducks

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1993-94
(33-46-5)

games +/- .500

-47

stanley cups playoff record

55-43

playoff streak (2006-2009)


Rob and scott niedermayer were shutdown siblings for the champion Ducks.

4 yrs

team records
most points 110 (2006-07) most wins 48 (2006-07) most losses 46 (1993-94) most goals 258 (2006-07) win streak 7 (1998-99) losing streak 8 (twice) shutouts 9 (2002-03) captains 8 coaches 7 gms 6

RuGGed RinGs
anaheim Ducks | 2006-07

From fists and fist-pumps to black eyes and Stanleys silver, Anaheims best were rough, tough and ultra-skilled

top coaching wins


were a heavily penalized team, said center ryan getzlaf. no kidding. in 21 playoff games, the rugged Ducks were shorthanded an incredible 121 times, but thanks to a penalty kill led by defensive wizards sammy Pahlsson and rob niedermayer who along with Moen formed a devastating shutdown line throughout the run Anaheim managed to stay alive with an 86.8 percent kill rate and even netted two shorthanded goals along the way. Anaheim steamrolled through the competition, losing just five games en route to capturing its first Stanley Cup, including a 4-1 series shellacking of the ottawa senators in the final. We played hard, no matter what situation we were in, getzlaf said. Up in the game, down in the game, it didnt matter we were a confident group. Captain niedermayer passed the Cup to his brother Rob in a fitting tribute to the teams defensive capabilities, while selanne got his first title in his 14th NHL season. 1. randy carlyle * 2. ron wilson 3. craig hartsburg 4. mike babcock 5. pierre page 6. bryan murray 7. guy charron 266 120 80 69 26 24 14

Years the team was known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The name was adjusted prior to 2006-07

13

108 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Jim mcisaac/Getty imaGes; riGht: Jeff Gross/Getty imaGes

or a Ducks team already featuring future hall of famers scott niedermayer and teemu selanne, the trade that brought Chris Pronger from edmonton instantly made Anaheim a stanley Cup favorite. i think at the beginning of the season we felt we had the team to go all the way, said goaltender Jean-sebastien giguere. that was our year to do it. We went to the conference final the year before without expectation and we improved our team that summer. Anaheim stormed out of the gates, dropping just two games in regulation in its first 25 contests. not only did the Ducks have skill, but headlined by the surly, 6-foot-6 Pronger, they were nasty. enforcers george Parros and shawn thornton, plus the hard-nosed travis Moen racked up 39 fights during the regular season. to add to the fray, gM brian burke picked up an old favorite of his in brad May, who was acquired in late february for an extra dash of leadership and pugilism. We

all-Time Team

anaheim ducks

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
Teemu selanne
95-01, 05-11 gp 774 g 410 a 461 pts 871 pim 381 right wing
the finnish flash has had two brilliant stints with anaheim, including his 48-goal stanley cup season in 2006-07. 1. teemu selanne * 2. paul kariya 3. Steve Rucchin 4. Ryan Getzlaf * 5. corey perry * 6. scott niedermayer 7. andy Mcdonald 8. bobby ryan * 9. Matt cullen 10. chris kunitz

points

871 669 432 415 369 264 259 202 200 192

paul kariya
1994-2003 gp 606 g 300 a 369 pts 669 pim 213

ryan geTzlaf
2005-11 gp 430 g 126 a 289 pts 415 pim 417

scoTT niedermayer
2005-10 gp 371 g 60 a 204 pts 264 pim 306

1. teemu selanne * 2. paul kariya 3. corey perry * 4. Steve Rucchin 5. Ryan Getzlaf * 6. bobby ryan * 7. andy Mcdonald 8. chris kunitz 9. Matt cullen 10. Petr Sykora

goals

410 300 168 153 126 105 92 81 65 64

left wing

center

defense

Anaheims first-ever draft pick had blazing speed and a dynamic scoring touch.

Getzlaf has the hands to score more, but prefers to be one of the leagues best passers.

The face of the franchise for five seasons, winning the cup and conn smythe in 2007.

chris pronger
2006-09 gp 220 g 36 a 114 pts 150 pim 285

J-s giguere
2000-10 gp 447 w 206 l 163 t/o 59 so 32

randy carlyle
2005-11 gp 492 w 226 l 169 o 57 po 36-26

1. Dave Karpa 2. ruslan salei 3. george parros * 4. Jason Marshall 5. todd ewen 6. stu grimson 7. corey perry * 8. Ryan Getzlaf * 9. Warren rychel 10. Vitaly Vishnevsky

pims

788 735 727 706 650 583 537 417 416 403

defense

goalie

coach

Big, strong and a whole lot of nasty, pronger was the missing piece needed for the 2007 Cup.

In net for the 2007 Cup win, but best known for his superhuman, Conn Smythe performance in 03.

Five playoff appearances in six seasons, including the franchises only stanley cup in 2007.

all-Time second Team

1. teemu selanne * 2. Steve Rucchin 3. paul kariya 4. ruslan salei 5. samuel pahlsson 6. corey perry * 7. Jean-sebastien giguere 8. guy hebert 9. Ryan Getzlaf * 10. Matt cullen

games played

774 616 606 594 527 450 447 441 430 427

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2007-11 bobby ryan

1994-04 steve rucchin

2005-11 corey perry

94-96, 99-02 oleg tverdovsky

1996-06 ruslan salei

1993-01 guy hebert

1. Jean-sebastien giguere 206 2. guy hebert 173 3. Jonas hiller * 89 4. Mikhail Shtalenkov 34 5. Ilya Bryzgalov 26 6. Martin gerber 17 7. dominic roussel 12 8. curtis Mcelhinney 11 9. ron tugnutt 10 10. Steve Shields 9

goalie wins

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 109

boston bruins

Greatest team Ever tEam facts


debut season

1924-25
(6-24-0)

games +/- .500

+527

stanley cups playoff record

275-287-6 29 yrs
(1968-96)

playoff streak

bobby orr brought hope back to boston and two more stanley Cups, too.

72 rEiGn: orr shinEs


The crescendo of an unbelievable streak began in Beantown with the arrival of No. 4
boston bruins | 1971-72

team records
most points 121 (1970-71) most wins 57 (1970-71) most losses 47 (twice) most goals 399 (1970-71) win streak 14 (1929-30) losing streak 11 (1924-25) shutouts 15 (1927-28) captains 18 coaches 28 gms 7

top coaching wins


proving to be savvy bench boss, the 67-68 Bruins earned the first of an unprecedented 29 consecutive playoff berths. the 68-69 squad was an offensive powerhouse the first NHL team to top 300 goals. however you wanted to play, we could do it, orr said. Physical, skilledi mean, our team was just so good. one playoff round in 68 became two in 69 and by 1970 Boston wasnt to be denied. only the rangers, who edged Montreal for the fourth and final East Division playoff slot, put up a post-season fight. After 29 years, the stanley Cup had returned to boston. two years later, it was back again, after the highly motivated bruins gutted out a tough, six-game final against the Rangers. but if anything gnaws at the bruins of that era, its that they didnt win in 1971. We basically blew it, said Dallas Smith, orrs frequent defense partner. the next year we knew we had to use our heads a little more. 1. art ross 2. milt schmidt 3. don cherry 4. gerry cheevers 5. claude julien * 6. harry sinden 7. tom johnson 8. brian sutter 9. lynn patrick 10. terry oreilly 361 245 231 204 179 153 142 120 117 115
both: bruce bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS

n the beginning of the nhLs expansion era, the boston bruins captured their second stanley Cup championship in three years in 1971-72. the starting point was the incomparable bobby orr, whose name was well known long before he got to boston. out of the playoffs since 1959, Boston finally had something to look forward to with orr. the savior arrived in 1966-67 at the age of 18. While he was nearly everything he was supposed to be, orr still wasnt enough. Coached for the first time by nearly as fresh a face as orrs harry sinden, 34 the bruins finished last in the NHL despite Orrs Calder trophy, second all-star season. fortunately, a critical link to bostons longago golden era was still in place. Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt had just finished his second stint coaching the talentchallenged bruins in 1965-66 when team president Weston Adams sr. made him gM. With more talent on the roster and sinden

retired numbers
2 shore 3 hitchman 4 orr 5 clapper 6 esposito 7 neely 8 bucyk 15 schmidt 24 oreilly 77 bourque
(1926-40) (1925-34) (1966-76) (1927-47) (1967-75) (1986-96) (1957-78) (1936-55) (1971-85) (1979-2000)

110 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

boston bruins

All-time numbers

best r e Player ev

bobby orr
1966-76 gp 631 g 264 a 624 pts 888 pim 924

defense

the best defenseman of all-time, orr changed the way the position was played. he was a magician with the puck.

1. ray bourque 2. John bucyk 3. phil esposito 4. rick middleton 5. bobby orr 6. wayne cashman 7. Ken hodge 8. terry oreilly 9. cam neely 10. peter mcnab

Points

1,506 1,339 1,012 898 888 793 674 606 590 587

john bucyk
1957-78 gp 1,436 g 545 a 794 pts 1,339 pim 436

phil esposito
1967-75 gp 625 g 459 a 553 pts 1,012 pim 512

cAm neely
1986-96 gp 525 g 344 a 246 pts 590 pim 921

1. John bucyk 2. phil esposito 3. rick middleton 4. ray bourque 5. cam neely 6. Ken hodge 7. wayne cashman 8. bobby orr 9. peter mcnab 10. don marcotte

goals

545 459 402 395 344 289 277 264 263 230

left wing

center

right wing

a respected captain, bucyk was a model of consistency, scoring 20 or more goals 15 times.

esposito sniped 60 or more goals four times and helped boston win two stanley cups.

the quintessential power forward scored 50-plus goals three times before an injury ended his career.

eddie shore
1926-40 gp 543 g 103 a 176 pts 279 pim 1,038

frAnk brimsek
1938-49 gp 444 w 230 l 144 t/o 70 so 35

Art ross
1924-45 gp 728 w 361 l 277 t/o 90 po 27-33-5

1. terry oreilly 2. mike milbury 3. Keith crowder 4. ray bourque 5. wayne cashman 6. ted green 7. eddie shore 8. fern flaman 9. lyndon byers 10. dallas smith

Pims

2,095 1,552 1,261 1,087 1,041 1,029 1,038 1,002 959 936

defense

goalie

coach

the punishing rearguard made opponents have nightmares. he won the hart trophy four times.

in his rookie year, brimsek recorded 10 shutouts and won the calder, vezina and stanley cup.

the winningest coach in bruins history was also an innovator, designing the first helmet and net.

All-time second team

1. ray bourque 2. John bucyk 3. don sweeney 4. wayne cashman 5. terry oreilly 6. rick middleton 7. don marcotte 8. dallas smith 9. dit clapper 10. p.J. axelsson

games Played

1,518 1,436 1,052 1,027 891 881 868 861 833 797

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1935-54 woody dumart

1936-55 milt schmidt

1936-52 bobby bauer

1979-00 ray bourque

1927-47 dit clapper

1928-39 tiny thompson

1. tiny thompson 2. frank brimsek 3. gerry cheevers 4. eddie Johnston 5. tim thomas * 6. gilles gilbert 7. andy moog 8. byron dafoe 9. Jim henry 10. reggie lemelin

goalie wins

252 230 229 180 161 155 136 132 93 92

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 111

buffalo sabres

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1970-71
(24-39-15)

games +/- .500

+271

stanley cups playoff record

124-132 11 yrs
(1975-85)

playoff streak

Gilbert Perreault (No. 11) led buffalos most potent trio back in the 1970s.

QuiTe a connecTion
A deep fog couldnt slow down the Sabres famous French trio only the Philadelphia Flyers could
buffalo sabres | 1974-75 ot only was 1974-75 a breakout season for the buffalo sabres, it was also a coming out party for the franchises famed french Connection line. Led by the trio of rene robert, gilbert Perreault and rick Martin, who combined for 291 regular season points (89 more than the season prior), the sabres won 49 games. in the conference final, Buffalo bested the juggernaut Montreal Canadiens who began a run of four straight stanley Cups the next year and advanced to the final for the first time in franchise history. Up against the mighty Philadelphia flyers, the Sabres lost the first two games on the road and entered a virtual must-win situation at home in game 3. but the broad street bullies werent the only obstacle the sabres had to overcome to secure a victory. Due to unusually hot weather in buffalo, thick fog covered the ice for large portions of the contest. the soup made it

team records
most points 113 (twice) most wins 53 (2006-07) most losses 44 (1986-87) most goals 354 (1974-75) win streak 10 (twice) losing streak 8 (2002-03) shutouts 13 (twice) captains 24 coaches 15 gms 6

top coaching wins


tough for players to see much of anything in front of them on the ice. every three or four minutes wed have to go out and skate around with towels to try and get the fog off, Martin said in 2010. nevertheless the game continued and in overtime the french Connection connected. taking a pass from Perreault in the flyers zone, Robert fired a shot through goaltender bernie Parents legs, giving the sabres a 5-4 victory and new life in the series. but the celebrations were short-lived. buffalo lost two of the next three games, giving Philadelphia its second straight stanley Cup. it was great to get there, but there has to be a winner and a loser and unfortunately we were the loser, said Martin, who passed away in 2011 at age 59. it took the sabres 24 years to return to the final (losing on Brett Hulls skate-in-crease goal for Dallas) and the franchise is still looking for its first Stanley Cup, but that 1974-75 team was something special. 1. lindy ruff * 2. scotty bowman 3. floyd smith 4. john muckler 5. ted sator 6. rick dudley 7. joe crozier 8. ted nolan 9. marcel pronovost 10. roger neilson 526 210 143 125 96 85 77 73 52 39

retired numbers

2 tim horton (1972-74) 7 rick martin (1971-81) 11 gilbert perreault (1970-87) 14 rene robert (1971-79) 16 pat lafontaine (1991-96) 18 danny gare (1974-81)

112 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Melchior DiGiacoMo/Getty iMaGes; riGht: B Bennett/Getty iMaGes

all-Time Team

buffalo sabres

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
dominik hasek
1992-01 gp 491 w 234 l 170 t/o 70 so 55
1. gilbert perreault 2. Dave andreychuk 3. rick martin 4. Craig ramsay 5. phil housley 6. rene robert 7. Don luce 8. mike foligno 9. Danny gare 10. miroslav satan

points

goalie

Whether it was his pad, back, mask, arm or toe, hasek did whatever it took to stop the puck. his six vezina trophies say it all.

1,326 804 695 672 558 552 526 511 500 456

rick marTin
1971-81 gp 681 g 382 a 313 pts 695 pim 475

gilberT perreaulT
1970-87 gp 1,191 g 512 a 814 pts 1,326 pim 500

danny gare
1974-81 gp 503 g 267 a 233 pts 500 pim 686

1. gilbert perreault 2. rick martin 3. Dave andreychuk 4. Danny gare 5. Craig ramsay 6. mike foligno 7. miroslav satan 8. rene robert 9. Don luce 10. alexander mogilny

goals

512 382 368 267 252 247 224 222 216 211

left wing

center

right wing

the two-time 50-goal scorer was able to fool goalies with his blistering slapshot and agility.

the face of the franchise for 17 years, perreault holds almost every sabres offensive record.

although short in stature, the speedster sniped more than 45 goals three times.

mike ramsey
1979-93 gp 911 g 73 a 256 pts 329 pim 924

jim schoenfeld
1972-85 gp 584 g 45 a 183 pts 228 pim 1,025

lindy ruff
97-active gp 1,066 w 526 l 390 t/o 150 po 57-44

1. rob ray 2. mike foligno 3. larry playfair 4. brad may 5. matthew barnaby 6. lindy ruff 7. jim schoenfeld 8. mike ramsey 9. mike hartman 10. jerry Korab

pims

3,189 1,450 1,392 1,323 1,248 1,126 1,025 924 890 870

defense

defense

coach

the steady rearguard earned his mark as a defensive D-man and was part of the miracle on ice.

the tough-as-nails blueliner dropped the gloves with anyone who crossed his path.

the 2005-06 jack adams recipient is easily the longest tenured coach in the nhl.

all-Time second Team

1. gilbert perreault 2. Craig ramsay 3. mike ramsey 4. rob ray 5. bill hajt 6. Dave andreychuk 7. Don luce 8. alexei Zhitnik 9. rick martin 10. ric seiling

games played

1,191 1,070 911 889 854 837 766 712 681 664

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1982-01 Dave anDreyChuK

1991-96 pat lafontaine

1971-79 rene robert

1982-90 phil housley

1973-87 bill hajt

2003-active ryan miller

1. Dominik hasek 2. ryan miller * 3. Don edwards 4. martin biron 5. tom barrasso 6. bob sauve 7. Daren puppa 8. roger Crozier 9. gerry Desjardins 10. jacques Cloutier

goalie wins

234 221 156 134 124 119 96 74 66 50

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 113

calgary flames

greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1972-73
(25-38-15)

games +/- .500

+134

stanley cups playoff record

94-114
(1976-91)

playoff streak

16 yrs

calgarys win in Montreal was sweet revenge from its loss three years earlier.

showdown in cowTown
Calgary lost to Montreal in 1986, but added depth and clutch saves put the Flames over the top three years later
calgary flaMes | 1988-89 l MacInnis was a deserving winner of the Conn smythe trophy the year the flames won their only Cup in 1989. but if not for the heroics of goalie Mike vernon in the opening round, Macinnis would have spent most of that spring on the golf course. Do a youtube search for the greatest glove saves of all-time and youll see a couple vernon stops from overtime in the seventh and deciding game of an opening-round series with vancouver. i can still see that glove save he made on tony tanti, said flames original play-by-play man Peter Maher. And i can still see the one he made on stan smyl. Ask around and youll hear about other saves he made in overtime April 15, 1989 on trevor Linden, Petri skriko and greg Adams. the regular season champion flames survived that opening round against a Canucks team that finished 43 points behind them, then had little trouble with nemesis Wayne Gretzky, in his first season with the Kings.

team records
most points 117 (1988-89) most wins 54 (1988-89) most losses 41 (TWICE) most goals 397 (1987-88) win streak 10 (1978-79) losing streak 11 (1985-86) shutouts 11 (2003-04) captains 19 coaches 16 gms 6

Calgary swept Los Angeles and disposed of Chicago in five games, setting the stage for a rematch of the 1986 final with the Canadiens, the no. 2 team during the season. Calgary was first or second in the league in goals for, goals against, power play and penalty killing. the offense was initiated by puck-moving blueliners Macinnis and gary Suter and executed by finishers such as 50goal men Joe Mullen and Joe nieuwendyk. everything was pointing towards a Calgary-Montreal showdown, said Lanny McDonald, who scored the go-ahead goal in the clinching game 6. We had quite a few guys from that 86 team. We had great goaltending, phenomenal depth. our three centers were Joe nieuwendyk, Doug gilmour and Joel otto. Where are you going to find two better offensive guys and one better checker? the flames even traded away a young brett hull, they were so deep up front. that team had everything, Maher said. There didnt seem to be a flaw.

1. bob johnson 2. fred creighton 3. terry crisp 4. dave king 5. darryl sutter 6. al macneil 7. mike keenan 8. brian sutter 9. brent sutter * 10. bernie geoffrion

193 156 144 109 107 107 88 87 81 77

retired numbers

9 lanny mcdonald (1981-89) 30 mike vernon (82-94, 00-02)

114 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: Gerry thomaS/nhli via Getty imaGeS

top coaching wins

all-Time Team

calgary flames

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
jarome iginla
1995-active gp 1,106 g 484 a 522 pts 1,006 pim 766 right wing
hes a leader who scores big goals, drops the gloves, runs the power play and does community work. What more can you ask for? 1. Jarome iginla * 2. theoren fleury 3. al macinnis 4. Joe nieuwendyk 5. gary suter 6. kent nilsson 7. guy chouinard 8. gary roberts 9. eric vail 10. paul reinhart

points

1,006 830 822 616 565 562 529 504 452 444

gary roberTs
1986-97 gp 585 g 257 a 248 pts 505 pim 1,736

joe nieuwendyk
1987-95 gp 577 g 314 a 302 pts 616 pim 330

al macinnis
1981-94 gp 803 g 213 a 609 pts 822 pim 950

1. Jarome iginla * 2. theoren fleury 3. Joe nieuwendyk 4. gary roberts 5. kent nilsson 6. lanny mcDonald 7. al macinnis 8. eric vail 9. hakan loob 10. guy chouinard

goals

484 364 314 257 229 215 213 206 193 193

left wing

center

defense

the heart and soul of the flames eclipsed the point-per-game mark in four of his calgary seasons.

nieuwendyk scored clutch goals and won a lot of important draws during the flames cup run.

macinnis patrolled the calgary power play with a booming shot that terrified opposing goalies.

gary suTer
1985-94 gp 617 g 128 a 437 pts 565 pim 872

miikka kiprusoff
2004-active gp 482 w 262 l 156 t/o 55 so 37

bob johnson
1982-87 gp 400 w 193 l 155 t/o 52 po 25-27

1. tim hunter 2. gary roberts 3. Joel otto 4. Jim peplinski 5. theoren fleury 6. ron stern 7. Willi plett 8. al macinnis 9. gary suter 10. robyn regehr

pims

2,405 1,736 1,642 1,467 1,339 1,288 1,265 960 872 802

defense

goalie

coach

the 1986 calder winner combined nifty offensive awareness with booming bodychecks.

the finn relies on raw athleticism to always be square to the puck. has great vision through screens.

badger bob led calgary to the playoffs each of his five seasons, including the Cup final in 86.

all-Time second Team

1. Jarome iginla * 2. robyn regehr 3. al macinnis 4. theoren fleury 5. Joel otto 6. Jim peplinski 7. gary suter 8. Jamie macoun 9. gary roberts 10. Joe nieuwendyk

games played

1,106 826 803 791 730 711 617 586 585 577

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1973-81 eric vail

1980-85 kent nilsson

1988-99 theoren fleury

1980-88 paul reinhart

1999-11 robyn regehr

1982-02 mike vernon

1. miikka kiprusoff * 2. mike vernon 3. Dan bouchard 4. rejean lemelin 5. phil myre 6. trevor kidd 7. roman turek 8. rick Wamsley 9. pat riggin 10. fred brathwaite

goalie wins

262 262 168 144 76 72 63 53 51 51

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 115

carolina hurricanes

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1979-80
(27-34-19)

games +/- .500

-191

stanley cups playoff record

59-68

playoff streak (1986-92)


cam Ward guided carolina to its only cup and took the conn smythe, too.

7 yrs

team records
most points 112 (2005-06) most wins 52 (2005-06) most losses 54 (twice) most goals 332 (1985-86) win streak 9 (twice) losing streak 9 (1982-83) shutouts 6 (4 times) captains 13 coaches 11 gms 8

winninG GambiT
Few knew what to expect in the NHLs new era, but the Hurricanes embraced post-lockout hockey from Day 1
carolina hurricanes | 2005-06 ew would argue losing a year of hockey over a labor dispute was a good thing, but it sure helped the Carolina hurricanes. When play resumed after the 2004-05 lockout, the new nhL was born and no team transitioned better or faster than the hurricanes. Coach Peter Laviolette believed the nhL would be steadfast this time after many failed crackdowns on obstruction and preached discipline with his team, penalizing them with extra laps at practice any time a soft hook was used in place of hard stride. early on, i think we had the best grasp of any team on the rules, said captain rod brindAmour midway through the 2005-06 season. right from Day 1 at training camp, before we ever stepped on the ice, we had a meeting and (Laviolette) said there would be consequences for hooking, holding and interference. the point was driven home that these things would not be allowed moving forward.

top coaching wins


The other ramification of the lockout was it forced eric staal into a year of American League hockey. staal had a modest 31-point season as a 19-year-old rookie in 2003-04, but after a year of minor league seasoning, he became an nhL star as a sophomore, leading the Canes with 45 goals and 100 points. Carolinas other young hero didnt emerge until the second game of the playoffs when a 22-year-old Cam Ward replaced Martin gerber in goal. the Canes had already lost game 1 of their first round series with Montreal and dropped game 2 in overtime, falling behind 2-0 with two home-ice losses. but after being exposed to playoff hockey in the extra-time setback, Ward started game 3 and won his next seven outings. Carolina eliminated Montreal and new Jersey, then won seven-game series over buffalo and Edmonton to claim its first Stanley Cup in franchise history, with Ward becoming the first rookie goalie to win the Conn Smythe since Patrick roy in 1986.
left: dave sandford/getty images; right: Bruce Bennett studios/getty images

1. paul maurice * 2. peter laviolette 3. jack evans 4. larry pleau 5. rick ley 6. paul holmgren 7. don blackburn 8. jimmy roberts 9. pierre mcguire 10. larry kish

376 167 163 81 69 54 42 26 23 12

retired numbers

2 glen wesley (1994-08) 10 ron francis (81-91, 98-04) 17 rod brindamour (2000-10)

116 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-Time Team

carolina hurricanes

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
ron francis
1981-91 98-04 gp 1,186 g 382 a 793 pts 1,175 pim 684
1. ron francis 2. kevin dineen 3. eric staal * 4. rod brindamour 5. Jeff oneill 6. Pat verbeek 7. blaine stoughton 8. geoff sanderson 9. erik cole 10. ray ferraro

points

center

the ultimate canes captain led by example and made any player around him better. he joined the hall of fame in 2007.

1,175 544 504 473 416 403 377 369 363 351

ray whiTney
2005-10 gp 372 g 119 a 215 pts 334 pim 176

kevin dineen
1984-99 gp 708 g 250 a 294 pts 544 pim 1,439

glen wesley
1994-08 gp 913 g 51 a 176 pts 333 pim 620

1. ron francis 2. kevin dineen 3. eric staal * 4. blaine stoughton 5. Jeff oneill 6. geoff sanderson 7. Pat verbeek 8. sylvain turgeon 9. rod brindamour 10. erik cole

goals

382 250 226 219 198 196 192 178 174 168

left wing

right wing

defense

an intelligent winger and creative playmaker with a quick, underrated shot.

the ultimate two-way forward could play on a top line or play a checking role shutting down stars.

the steady rearguard shut things down on the canes blueline for years. won his only cup in 2006.

ulf samuelsson
1984-91 gp 463 g 31 a 144 pts 175 pim 1,110

cam ward
2005-active gp 346 w 175 l 126 t/o 33 so 16

paul maurice
1996-03 08-active gp 895 w 376 l 378 t/o 141 po 25-28

1. kevin dineen 2. torrie robertson 3. Pat verbeek 4. ulf samuelsson 5. adam burt 6. Paul macdermid 7. randy ladouceur 8. mark Janssens 9. ron francis 10. glen wesley

pims

1,439 1,368 1,144 1,110 875 744 717 712 684 620

defense

goalie

coach

feared by opposing forwards crossing the blueline, he racked up more than 150 Pim six times.

cool as a frozen cucumber, the unflappable Ward is on pace for 400 wins by the time hes 34.

known league-wide as a players coach, maurice does a remarkable job developing young talent.

all-Time second Team

1. ron francis 2. glen wesley 3. kevin dineen 4. rod brindamour 5. Jeff oneill 6. adam burt 7. eric staal * 8. erik cole 9. sami kapanen 10. niclas wallin

games played

1,186 913 708 694 673 626 560 557 520 517

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1990-98 geoff sanderson

2000-10 rod brindamour

2001-11 erik cole

1979-82 mark howe

1985-91 dave babych

1998-04 arturs irbe

1. cam ward * 2. arturs irbe 3. mike liut 4. sean burke 5. Peter sidorkiewicz 6. greg millen 7. steve weeks 8. kevin weekes 9. martin gerber 10. John garrett

goalie wins

175 130 116 107 71 62 40 39 38 36

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 117

chicago blackhawks

greatest Team Ever TEam facTs


debut season

1926-27
(19-22-3)

games +/- .500

-168

stanley cups playoff record

216-236-5 28 yrs
(1970-97)

playoff streak

Fresh face brigade included bobby hull, stan Mikita, bill hay and glenn hall.

sTopping a dynasTy
These young, proven Hawks had no business knocking off the five-time champions. But they did
chicago blackhawks | 1960-61 he only team ever to win five consecutive Cups should have, by all rights, made it six in a row. Chicagos Kids and the hall. ruined it. the Montreal Canadiens dynasty of the late 1950s should have carried into the early 1960s because most of their future hall of famers were in their prime. Jean beliveau, boom boom geoffrion, Dickie Moore, Doug harvey, henri richard and Jacques Plante are among hockeys best players ever. the opening-round series between the habs and the young hawks was a David vs. goliath battle. the habs dominated the regular season, while the hawks were just five games above .500. Chicagos greenhorns included 22-year-old bobby hull and 20-yearold stan Mikita. good thing the hawks had a 29-year-old superstar between the pipes. We had glenn hall in goal, is how hull summed up Chicagos 1961 Cup victory 49 years later. if hes not the greatest to ever play goal, then hes one of the greatest.

team records
most points 112 (2009-10) most wins 52 (2009-10) most losses 51 (1953-54) most goals 351 (1985-86) win streak 9 (2008-09) losing streak 12 (1950-51) shutouts 15 (1969-70) captains 35 coaches 37 gms 9

top coaching wins


After getting blitzed 6-2 in the opening game, Chicago bounced back for a 4-3 win in game 2. game 3 turned out to be the pivotal match. When Murray balfour scored 12:12 into the third overtime period, it was like the bells going off to signal Apollo Creed he was in for a long battle with young rocky balboa. i couldnt believe how ready they were to be knocked off, Mikita recalled. We went into the series with gumption, but it wasnt until that triple overtime game that it registered with us: this could be really big. the Canadiens rallied in game 4, but then hall blanked the habs in back-to-back 3-0 games to complete Chicagos upset. Montreal had gone 88 straight games without being shut out. Chicago beat the fourth-place red Wings 4-2 to win the 1961 Cup. i was too young to appreciate how important it was, hull said. this was going to be one of many that we were going to win. turns out, Chicago didnt win its next title for another 49 years.
left: Hulton ArcHive/Getty imAGes; riGHt: Denis BroDeur/nHli viA Getty imAGes

1. billy reay 2. bob pulford 3. rudy pilous 4. mike keenan 5. joel quenneville * 6. darryl sutter 7. paul thompson 8. craig hartsburg 9. orval tessier 10. brian sutter

516 185 162 153 141 110 104 104 99 91

retired numbers

1 glenn hall (1957-67) 3 pierre pilote (1955-68) 3 keith magnuson (1969-80) 9 bobby hull (1957-72) 18 denis savard (80-90, 95-97) 21 stan mikita (1958-80) 35 tony esposito (1969-84)

118 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-Time Team

chicago blackhawks

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
bobby hull
1957-72 gp 1,036 g 604 a 549 pts 1,153 pim 640
1. stan mikita 2. bobby hull 3. denis savard 4. steve larmer 5. doug wilson 6. dennis hull 7. pit martin 8. Jeremy roenick 9. tony amonte 10. bill mosienko

points

left wing

one of the most feared offensive players in the game, goalies always knew when his hook was on the ice. Known for his heavy shot.

1,467 1,153 1,096 923 779 640 627 596 541 540

sTan mikiTa
1958-80 gp 1,394 g 541 a 926 pts 1,467 pim 1,270

sTeve larmer
1980-93 gp 891 g 406 a 517 pts 923 pim 475

chris chelios
1990-99 gp 664 g 92 a 395 pts 487 pim 1,495

1. bobby hull 2. stan mikita 3. steve larmer 4. denis savard 5. dennis hull 6. tony amonte 7. Jeremy roenick 8. bill mosienko 9. Ken wharram 10. pit martin

goals

604 541 406 377 298 268 267 258 252 243

center

right wing

defense

mikita was a phenomenal skater and a nifty passer. he sits 14th all-time in career points.

larmer scored more than a point per game seven times and had an epic consecutive games streak.

an offensive d-man with a nasty streak, Chelios had more than 200 pim three times.

pierre piloTe
1955-68 gp 821 g 77 a 400 pts 477 pim 1,205

glenn hall
1957-67 gp 618 w 275 l 229 t/o 106 so 51

billy reay
1963-77 gp 1,012 w 516 l 335 t/o 161 po 57-60

1. Chris Chelios 2. Keith magnuson 3. al secord 4. dave manson 5. phil russell 6. stan mikita 7. bob probert 8. pierre pilote 9. eric nesterenko 10. denis savard

pims

1,495 1,442 1,426 1,322 1,288 1,270 1,210 1,205 1,012 1,005

defense

goalie

coach

Combined offensive awareness with harsh intensity. won three consecutive norris trophies.

mr. goalies athleticism and durability allowed him to play a remarkable 502 straight games.

although he never won a championship, Reay posted five straight seasons with 40 or more wins.

all-Time second Team

1. stan mikita 2. bobby hull 3. eric nesterenko 4. bob murray 5. doug wilson 6. dennis hull 7. steve larmer 8. denis savard 9. Chico maki 10. pierre pilote

games played

1,394 1,036 1,013 1,008 938 904 891 881 841 821

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1939-52 doug bentley

80-90, 95-97 denis savard

1993-02 tony amonte

1935-45 earl seibert

1977-91 doug wilson

1969-84 tony esposito

1. tony esposito 2. glenn hall 3. ed belfour 4. Jocelyn thibault 5. murray bannerman 6. mike Karakas 7. Charlie gardiner 8. nikolai Khabibulin 9. denis deJordy 10. al rollins

goalie wins

418 275 201 137 116 114 112 90 90 81

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 119

colorado avalanche

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1979-80
(25-44-11)

games +/- .500

+41

stanley cups playoff record

132-117 11 yrs
(1995-06)

playoff streak

ray Bourque never played another game after lifting the cup in June, 2001.

mission possible
The star-studded Colorado lineup was given a dose of inspiration from future Hall of Famer Ray Bourque
colorado avalanche | 2000-01 he talent-laden 2000-01 Colorado Avalanche was a team on a mission. When ray bourque, whom the Avalanche acquired in 2000, decided to come back for one last kick at stanleys can, it became a source of inspiration for the team to give the wily old vet an opportunity to raise the Cup for the first time. everybody was on board with Mission 16W, a moniker derived from the 16 wins needed to take home stanley. The Avalanche didnt lose their first game until oct. 30 and only went through one extended losing skid all year, dropping four in a row to start February. Colorado finished with a 52-16-14 record for 118 points, earning the franchises second Presidents trophy in five years. In the first round of the playoffs, the Avalanche faced their division rivals from vancouver, who they easily swept aside. in round 2, the Avs gave up a 3-1 series lead to the Los Angeles Kings, but came away with

team records
most points 118 (2000-01) most wins 52 (2000-01) most losses 61 (1989-90) most goals 360 (1983-84) win streak 12 (1998-99) losing streak 14 (1990-91) shutouts 11 (2001-02) captains 9 coaches 13 gms 6

top coaching wins


a 5-1 game 7 win. And, despite losing Peter forsberg to a freak injury for the rest of the playoffs, Colorado trumped the Blues in five games in the Western final. the stanley Cup was a back-and-forth tilt against the new Jersey Devils. After new Jersey took a 3-2 series lead it was perhaps a slice of destiny that played a part in Colorados ultimate comeback. heading to new Jersey for game 6, the Avs took the bus to Continental Airlines Arena off the new Jersey turnpike. someone pointed out that it was exit 16W, said gM Pierre Lacroix. i couldnt believe it. Patrick roy posted his fourth shutout of the playoffs and the Avs forced the series back to Denver for game 7, which they won 3-1 to cap off Mission 16W. the journey was made complete when the customary awarding of the Cup to the captain was presented to Joe sakic. he immediately passed it off to an emotional bourque, who finally got to hoist the chalice. 1. michel bergeron 2. bob hartley 3. marc crawford 4. Joel quenneville 5. tony granato 6. pierre page 7. Joe sacco * 8. ron lapointe 9. Jacques demers 10. dave chambers 265 193 165 131 104 98 73 33 25 19

retired numbers

3 J-c tremblay 8 marc tardif 16 michel goulet 19 Joe sakic 26 peter stastny 33 patrick roy 77 ray bourque

(1972-79) (1979-83) (1979-90) (1988-09) (1980-90) (1995-03) (2000-01)

120 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: elsa/allsport; right: Michael Martin/nhli via getty iMages

all-Time Team

colorado avalanche

best r e Player ev

all-Time numberS
joe Sakic
1988-09 gp 1378 g 625 a 1016 pts 1641 pim 614
1. Joe sakic 2. peter stastny 3. michel goulet 4. milan hejduk * 5. peter forsberg 6. anton stastny 7. dale hunter 8. valeri kamensky 9. alex tanguay 10. mats sundin

Points

center

twenty seasons, two stanley cups, one conn smythe, a hart trophy and the franchise leader in almost every offensive category.

1,641 1,048 945 757 755 636 464 414 400 334

michel gouleT
1979-90 gp 813 g 456 a 489 pts 945 pim 613

milan hejduk
98-active gp 910 g 357 a 400 pts 757 pim 302 right wing
Quietly one of the franchises most prolific scorers, including his league-leading 50 in 2002-03.

curTiS leSchyShyn
1988-97 gp 524 g 34 a 107 pts 141 pim 431

1. Joe sakic 2. michel goulet 3. peter stastny 4. milan hejduk * 5. anton stastny 6. peter forsberg 7. valeri kamensky 8. dale hunter 9. adam deadmarsh 10. alex tanguay

goals

625 456 380 357 252 217 166 142 138 137

left wing

defense

four straight 50-goal seasons, goulet retired as the highest scoring left winger of all-time.

a solid, stay-at-home defender and good foot soldier for nearly a decade.

adam fooTe
91-04, 07-11 gp 967 g 56 a 203 pts 259 pim 1,279

paTrick roy
1995-03 gp 478 w 262 l 140 t/o 65 so 37

bob harTley
1998-03 gp 359 w 193 l 118 t/o 57 po 49-31

1. dale hunter 2. steven finn 3. paul gillis 4. adam foote 5. randy moller 6. mario marois 7. adam deadmarsh 8. peter stastny 9. gord donnelly 10. Jeff odgers

Pims

1,562 1,514 1,351 1,279 1,002 778 723 687 668 634

defense

goalie

coach

tenacious and tough, foote anchored the blueline in two tours of duty.

stuck it to montreal with his cup win with the avs in 96 and brought the club another in 01.

took the avs to the Western conference final in his first four years, winning one stanley cup.

all-Time Second Team

1. Joe sakic 2. adam foote 3. milan hejduk * 4. michel goulet 5. peter stastny 6. alain cote 7. anton stastny 8. steven finn 9. peter forsberg 10. paul gillis

games Played

1,378 967 910 813 737 696 650 605 591 576

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1980-89 anton stastny

1994-11 peter forsberg

1995-00 claude lemieux

1995-00 sandis ozolinsh

2000-06 rob blake

1980-85 dan bouchard

1. patrick roy 2. dan bouchard 3. peter budaj 4. david aebischer 5. stephane fiset 6. mario gosselin 7. clint malarchuk 8. craig anderson 9. Jose theodore 10. ron tugnutt

goalie wins

262 107 101 89 84 79 62 51 42 35

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 121

columbus blue jackets

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

2000-01
(28-39-9-6)

games +/- .500

-161

stanley cups playoff record

0-4

playoff streak

1 yr
(2009)

steve mason didnt start 2008-09 with Columbus, but he had a great finish.

at last, the dance


After eight long seasons, the Jackets finally break through to the playoffs thanks to Mason and the mastermind
columbus blue jackets | 2008-09 oted as a defense-minded coach, Ken hitchcocks game plan helped elevate Columbus to the playoffs for the first time in 2008-09, eight seasons into the franchises existence. but the backbone to any good team, defense-first or not, is a good goalie. And while 20-year-old steve Mason garnered much attention by posting 10 shutouts and earning the Calder trophy, hitch said he was impressed by how the youngster handled the increasing expectations. i thought he was immune to the pressure, hitchcock said. his ability to play the way he did really helped us sell to the rest of the players on the commitment necessary. once we could see we could play and win one-goal games, the buy-in was pretty easy. the maturation of the teams captain and offensive catalyst as a two-way player was also important in Columbus development. rick nash saw his plus-minus improve by

team records
most points 92 (2008-09) most wins 41 (2008-09) most losses 47 (2001-02) most goals 226 (2008-09) win streak 6 (2005-06) losing streak 8 (Twice) shutouts 11 (Twice) captains 5 coaches 7 gms 2

top coaching wins


nine, but he also put up his highest point-total in his career to that point and accumulated 40 goals for the second time. but aside from the two stars, hitchcock attributes much of the success to the teams defense corps, namely the top pairing of Jan hejda and off-season free agent signing Mike Commodore. hejda and Commodore gave us a pair that was able to check down the best players, hitchcock said. When we had players we knew could compete against the other teams top guys it became a lot easier for the coaching staff. And, despite getting swept by the secondseeded Red Wings in the first round, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time went a long way in finally establishing Columbus as a legitimate nhL franchise. i think making the playoffs validates your team, hitchcock explained. (it) was a relief to everybody in the city because it made us feel a part of the nhL. 1. ken hitchcock 2. dave king 3. gerard gallant 4. scott arniel * 5. doug maclean 6. claude noel 125 64 56 34 24 10

More goals surrendered than scored by the defense-minded Jackets in 2008-09, their only playoff season to date

122 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

both: Jamie Sabau/NhLi via Getty imaGeS

all-time team

columbus blue jackets

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
rick nash
2002-active gp 592 g 259 a 229 pts 488 pim 528 left wing
nash is the Jackets leader and the teams only bona fide superstar. Hes a punishing power forward who has highlight-reel hands.. 1. Rick Nash * 2. David Vyborny 3. Nikolai Zherdev 4. Geoff Sanderson 5. R.J. Umberger * 6. Manny Malhotra 7. Kristian Huselius * 8. Ray Whitney 9. Jason Chimera 10. Jakub Voracek

points

488 317 181 168 158 145 142 140 136 134

espen knutsen
2000-04 gp 188 g 27 a 81 pts 108 pim 99

ray whitney
2000-03 gp 151 g 45 a 95 pts 140 pim 36

jan hejda
2007-11 gp 302 g 11 a 56 pts 67 pim 163

1. Rick Nash * 2. David Vyborny 3. Geoff Sanderson 4. Nikolai Zherdev 5. R.J. Umberger * 6. Jason Chimera 7. Kristian Huselius * 8. Tyler Wright 9. Antoine Vermette * 10. Manny Malhotra

goals

259 113 88 76 74 62 58 57 53 53

center

right wing

defense

The first Norwegian-born player to suit up for an NHL All-Star Game (2002).

Whitney provided leadership to the Blue Jackets young core during their first few seasons.

The hulking defender was always reliable in the defensive zone, twice putting up a plus-20 rating.

jaroslav spacek
2002-04 gp 153 g 16 a 56 pts 72 pim 139

steve mason
2008-active gp 173 w 77 l 67 t/o 23 so 18

ken hitchcock
2006-10 gp 284 w 125 l 123 t/o 36 po 0-4

1. Jody Shelley 1,025 2. Jared Boll * 737 3. Rick Nash * 528 4. Rotislav Klesla 508 5. Derek Dorsett * 439 6. Tyler Wright 436 7. Jason Chimera 372 8. Duvie Westcott 299 9. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen 273 10. Adam Foote 255

pims

defense

goalie

coach

Always a dependable blueliner, Spacek made the Blue Jackets special teams much better.

The southpaw is technically sound and an excellent puckhandler. Had 10 shutouts in 2005-06.

Hitch provided defensive structure, leading the Jackets to their first playoff appearance in 2009.

all-time second team

1. Rick Nash * 2. David Vyborny 3. Rotislav Klesla 4. Jody Shelley 5. Manny Malhotra 6. Jason Chimera 7. Tyler Wright 8. Jan Hejda 9. Jared Boll * 10. Nikolai Zherdev

games played

592 543 515 380 344 331 309 302 291 283

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2000-06 geoff sanderson

2008-active antoine vermette

2000-08 david vyborny

2001-11 rostislav klesla

2008-active fedor tyutin

2000-06 marc denis

1. Marc Denis 2. Steve Mason * 3. Pascal Leclaire 4. Fredrik Norrena 5. Ron Tugnutt 6. Mathieu Garon 7. Fred Brathwaite 8. Martin Prusek 9. Jean-Francois Labbe 10. Ty Conklin

goalie wins

84 77 45 35 34 22 4 3 3 2

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 123

dallas stars

Greatest team Ever tEam facts


debut season

1967-68
(27-32-15)

games +/- .500

-29

stanley cups playoff record

154-153
(1980-86)

playoff streak

7 yrs

Ken Hitchcocks stars laughed together and celebrated together.

pErfEction in planninG
Dallas created a fine-tuned machine to win its first Stanley Cup title, even prepping for Hulls contentious winner
dallas stars | 1998-99 here was talent on the 1999 stanley Cup champions, but even more impressive, there were characters. What was great about that team was it was something interesting every day, said Craig Ludwig. We could have fights in practice, just dig at each other in the locker room and then have a party that same night. but no matter what happened, we all showed up ready to play. in building the stars, gM bob gainey made some impressive decisions. After trading for Joe nieuwendyk (in exchange for prospect Jarome iginla), he took a chance on two defensemen who werent fitting in with their current teams. Darryl sydor had lost all confidence in Los Angeles, while Sergei Zubov didnt understand what Mario Lemieux wanted in Pittsburgh. but what gainey and assistant coach rick Wilson saw were two guys with tremendous skill who were in need of confidence boosts. the pair was given the chance to play

team records
most points 114 (1998-99) most wins 53 (2005-06) most losses 53 (twice) most goals 346 (1981-82) win streak 7 (4 times) losing streak 10 (1975-76) shutouts 11 (twice) captains 20 coaches 20 gms 10

top coaching wins


23 minutes a game, most of the time with nieuwendyks line. that left the shutdown pair of Derian hatcher and richard Matvichuk to support a line that was learning to play great defense (led by Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen). Modano was tasked with defending against the other teams best players. We knew Mike had tremendous skills and we needed to find a way to get him out on the ice more, said coach Ken hitchcock. so instead of protecting him, we challenged him. the stars clinched the stanley Cup over buffalo in game 6 when brett hull scored a controversial goal in triple overtime. hulls skate was in the crease, but gainey had researched the rule and found an exception when the player had control of the puck, which he believed extended to rebounds. the rule was very clear and we brought it to the leagues attention during the playoffs, gainey said at the time. i think it helped that we had already had that discussion. 1. ken hitchcock 2. dave tippett 3. glen sonmor 4. bob gainey 5. jack gordon 6. marc crawford 7. lorne henning 8. pierre page 9. ted harris 10. wren blair 277 271 174 165 116 79 68 63 48 48

retired numbers

7 neal broten (80-95, 96-97) 8 bill goldsworthy (1967-76) 19 bill masterton (1967-68)

124 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

Left: Stephen Dunn/ALLSport; right: gLenn JAmeS/nhLi viA getty imAgeS

all-time team

dallas stars

best r e Player ev

all-time numbers
mike modano
1989-10 gp 1,459 g 557 a 802 pts 1,359 pim 928
1. mike modano 2. neal broten 3. brian bellows 4. dino ciccarelli 5. bobby smith 6. sergei Zubov 7. dave gagner 8. Jere lehtinen 9. bill goldsworthy 10. tim young

Points

center

mr. everything to the franchise, modano was captain, won a stanley cup and is tops in every major offensive category.

1,359 867 722 651 554 549 534 514 506 494

brian bellows
1982-92 gp 753 g 342 a 380 pts 722 pim 537

jere lehtinen
1995-10 gp 875 g 243 a 271 pts 514 pim 210

derian hatcher
1991-03 gp 827 g 71 a 223 pts 294 pim 1,380

1. mike modano 2. brian bellows 3. dino ciccarelli 4. neal broten 5. bill goldsworthy 6. dave gagner 7. Jere lehtinen 8. steve Payne 9. brenden morrow * 10. bobby smith

goals

557 342 332 274 267 247 243 228 226 185

left wing

right wing

defense

lit the lamp steadily for a decade through as a member of the upand-down north stars.

won the selke trophy three times and played his entire career with the stars.

big, punishing defenseman was team captain and a defensive stalwart on the blueline.

sergei zubov
1996-09 gp 839 g 111 a 438 pts 549 pim 254

ed belfour
1997-02 gp 307 w 160 l 95 t/0 44 so 27

ken hitchcock
1996-02 gp 504 w 277 l 160 t/o 67 so 47-33

1. shane churla 2. basil mcrae 3. derian hatcher 4. willi Plett 5. brenden morrow * 6. brad maxwell 7. mark tinordi 8. steve ott 9. mike modano 10. dennis obrien

Pims

1,883 1,567 1,380 1,137 1,088 1,031 1,015 1,014 922 836

defense

goalie

coach

Played big minutes and quarterbacked the power play during the clubs heyday.

the eagle saved his best for the stars in the playoffs, posting a brilliant 1.84 gaa.

his suffocating defensive systems turned the stars into an elite team in the late 1990s.

all-time second team

1. mike modano 2. neal broten 3. Jere lehtinen 4. sergei Zubov 5. derian hatcher 6. curt giles 7. brian bellows 8. brenden morrow * 9. richard matvichuk 10. fred barrett

games Played

1,459 992 875 839 827 760 753 749 733 730

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1999-11 brenden morrow

80-95, 96-97 neal broten

1980-89 dino ciccarelli

1979-89 craig hartsburg

1995-09 darryl sydor

2000-10 marty turco

1. marty turco 2. ed belfour 3. cesare maniago 4. gilles meloche 5. Jon casey 6. don beaupre 7. andy moog 8. darcy wakaluk 9. Pete loPresti 10. Kari lehtonen *

goalie wins

262 160 145 141 128 126 75 54 43 40

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 125

detroit red wings

greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1926-27
(12-28-4)

games +/- .500

+329

stanley cups

11

playoff record

312-273-1 20 yrs

playoff streak (1939-58, 1991-11)


the Wings put out the Rocket and shut down the Habs in the 1952 final.

detroits great eight


History is made as Wings sweep to the Cup and a tentacled ocean dweller makes his Olympia debut
detRoit Red Wings | 1951-52 he Red Wings didnt just steamroll to the franchises fifth Stanley Cup, they also turned a slimy sea creature into a symbol of dominance. During the second period of the Cup-clinching fourth game against Montreal at the Olympia, an octopus was fired onto Detroits home ice for the first time. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. So, too, is the raw power of the 51-52 outfit. The Wings became the first team since the introduction of the best-of-seven format in 1943 to go a perfect 8-0 en route to the Cup. Much of the credit goes to 22-year-old sophomore goalie Terry Sawchuk, who didnt allow a goal in four games at home. Overall, he stopped 213 of 218 shots in the playoffs and went 277 minutes and 54 seconds without allowing a goal at the Olympia. You could throw a handful of rice at him and hed catch every grain, marveled teammate Ted Lindsay. Sawchuk was one of seven future Hall of

team records
most points 131 (1995-96) most wins 62 (1995-96) most losses 57 (1985-86) most goals 369 (1992-93) win streak 9 (7 times) losing streak 14 (1981-82) shutouts 13 (1953-54) captains 35 coaches 26 gms 11

top coaching wins


Famers in the lineup three of whom played on one line. Gordie Howe led the league with 47 goals and 86 points in 70 games, while Lindsays 69 points ranked him second. The two men flanked veteran center Sid Abel to form The Production Line, the most feared trio in hockey. Defenseman Red Kelly and sophomores Alex Delvecchio and Marcel Pronovost were also legends in the making for a team that led the league in goals scored and fewest allowed, while finishing with 100 points. The outfit was coached by Tommy Ivan, inducted into the Hall as a builder. In addition to the Art Ross Trophy, Howe also took home the Hart as league MVP, while Sawchuk claimed the Vezina. Howe, Sawchuk, Lindsay and Kelly were named first-team allstars that season. Thats the best Detroit team Ive ever handled best by far, said GM Jack Adams in the Wings dressing room after the Cup-clinching game. When you put legs and heart together youve really got something. 1. jack adams 2. scotty bowman 3. sid abel 4. mike babcock * 5. tommy ivan 6. jacques demers 7. bryan murray 8. jimmy skinner 9. dave lewis 10. alex delvecchio 413 410 340 304 262 137 124 123 100 82

retired numbers
(49-55, 57-64, 68-69) 7 ted lindsay (44-57, 64-65) 9 gordie howe (1946-71) 10 alex delvecchio (1951-73) 12 sid abel (38-43, 45-52) 19 steve yzerman (1983-06)

1 terry sawchuk

126 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: hhof

All-time team

detroit red wings

best r e Player ev

All-time numbers
gordie howe
1946-71 gp 1,687 g 786 a 1,023 pts 1,809 pim 1,643
1. Gordie Howe 2. Steve Yzerman 3. Alex Delvecchio 4. Nicklas Lidstrom * 5. Sergei Fedorov 6. Norm Ullman 7. Ted Lindsay 8. Pavel Datsyuk * 9. Brendan Shanahan 10. Reed Larson

Points

right wing

Mr. Hockey was the definition of consistent 17 seasons with better than a point per game. He played competitively into his 50s.

1,809 1,755 1,281 1,108 954 758 728 651 633 570

ted lindsAy
44-57, 68-69 gp 862 g 335 a 393 pts 728 pim 1,423 left wing
Though just 5-foot-8, 163 pounds, Terrible Ted Lindsay knew how to intimidate opponents.

steve yzermAn
1983-06 gp 1,514 g 692 a 1,063 pts 1,755 pim 924

nicklAs lidstrom
1991-active gp 1,494 g 253 a 855 pts 1,108 pim 486

1. Gordie Howe 2. Steve Yzerman 3. Alex Delvecchio 4. Sergei Fedorov 5. Ted Lindsay 6. Norm Ullman 7. Brendan Shanahan 8. John Ogrodnick 9. Nicklas Lidstrom * 10. Tomas Holmstrom *

goals

786 692 456 400 335 324 309 265 253 232

center

defense

Stevie Y captained the Red Wings for 20 years, eventually winning three Stanley Cups.

Four Cups, a Conn Smythe, seven Norris Trophies, a 12-time all-star and still one of the games best.

red kelly
1947-60 gp 846 g 162 a 310 pts 472 pim 253

terry sAwchuk
1949-69 gp 734 w 352 l 244 t 130 so 85

JAck AdAms
1927-47 g 964 w 413 l 390 t 161 p0 52-52-1

1. bob probert 2. joey kocur 3. Gordie Howe 4. Gerard Gallant 5. Ted Lindsay 6. Darren McCarty 7. Dennis Polonich 8. Reed Larson 9. Gary Bergman 10. Brendan Shanahan

Pims

2,090 1,963 1,643 1,600 1,423 1,302 1,242 1,127 1,101 1,037

defense

goalie

coach

One of the best defenders and ambassadors in the game, Kelly won the Lady Byng four times.

The moody goalie took home four Vezina Trophies and had five seasons with a GAA under 2.00.

Jack Adams built the foundation of the Red Wings early on and coached his teams to three Cups.

All-time second team

1. Gordie Howe 2. Alex Delvecchio 3. Steve Yzerman 4. Nicklas Lidstrom * 5. Kris Draper 6. Marcel Pronovost 7. Tomas Holmstrom * 8. Sergei Fedorov 9. Kirk Maltby 10. Norm Ullman

games Played

1,687 1,549 1,514 1,494 1,137 983 952 908 908 875

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

38-43, 45-52 sid abel

1951-73 alex delvecchio

1955-68 norm ullman

1938-50 jack stewart

1950-65 marcel pronovost

1944-50 harry lumley

1. terry sawchuk 2. Chris Osgood 3. Harry Lumley 4. Roger Crozier 5. Tim Cheveldae 6. Greg Stefan 7. Dominik Hasek 8. Manny Legace 9. Jim Rutherford 10. roy edwards

goalie wins

351 317 163 131 128 115 114 112 97 95

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 127

edmonton oilers

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1979-80
(28-39-13)

games +/- .500

+64

stanley cups playoff record

152-99
(1980-92)

playoff streak

13 yrs

Wayne Gretzky led the parade with 35 points as edmonton won cup no. 1.

new titans emerGe


Young Oilers learned to win by losing to the mighty Islanders then mastering the art of a dynasty
edmonton oilers | 1983-84

team records
most points 119 (twice) most wins 57 (1983-84) most losses 50 (1992-93) most goals 446 (1983-84) win streak 9 (2000-01) losing streak 11 (1993-94) shutouts 8 (3 times) captains 13 coaches 10 gms 4

top coaching wins


season, the oilers plowed through Winnipeg in three games, outlasted division- and province-rival Calgary in seven games and swept minnesota, setting the stage for a Cup rematch with the islanders. After splitting the first two games, the Oilers surprised with back-to-back blowouts in games 3 and 4. We felt we had an edge. We had all the experience, we had the youth and then we had an edge tactically, moog said. (assistant coach) John muckler gave us a little insight in how to beat the islanders up the ice. Prior to the decisive game, gretzky spoke to his teammates, explaining just how much this last win would mean and inspiring his team to push through the finish line. Wayne stood up in the dressing room before the game and said all the individual awards hes won could never compare to winning the stanley Cup, messier said. edmonton won 5-2 and was crowned champion and slayer of the islanders.
Left: focus on sport/Getty ImaGes; rIGht: Bruce Bennett studIos/Getty ImaGes

ith names like Wayne gretzky, mark messier, Jari Kurri, glenn anderson, grant fuhr and Paul Coffey, you have to wonder how the 1983-84 edmonton oilers lost a game at all. but at that time in history, the oilers were still the new kids on the block. four years into its nhL sojourn, edmonton had won two smythe Division titles and reached the Cup final once. The Oilers were built on offense and speed. not only was the franchise young, but the players on the 83-84 roster were still in their early-to-mid-20s. there was a little bit of naivety; we were all young and inexperienced, said goalie andy moog. that burned off as we moved through to our first Cup final and lost to the islanders. Collectively we had our eyes opened about what commitment was. the young oilers had been manhandled in the 1983 Cup final by the dynastic and more experienced new york islanders. the next

1. glen sather 2. craig mactavish 3. ron low 4. john muckler 5. ted green 6. kevin lowe 7. pat quinn 8. tom renney * 9. george burnett 10. bryan watson

464 301 139 75 65 32 27 25 12 4

retired numbers

3 al hamilton (1972-80) 7 paul coffey (1980-87) 9 glenn anderson (80-91, 96) 11 mark messier (1979-91) 17 jari kurri (1980-90) 31 grant fuhr (1981-91) 99 wayne gretzky (1979-88)

128 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

edmonton oilers

best r e Player ev

All-time numbers
wAyne gretzky
1979-88 gp 696 g 583 a 1,086 pts 1,669 pim 323
1. Wayne gretzky 2. Jari kurri 3. mark messier 4. glenn anderson 5. Paul coffey 6. doug Weight 7. ryan smyth * 8. esa tikkanen 9. shawn horcoff * 10. ales hemsky *

Points

center

hes known as the great one for a reason. hes the best player in the history of the game and redefined the term dominant.

1,669 1,043 1,034 906 669 577 549 436 401 395

esA tikkAnen
1984-93 gp 522 g 178 a 258 pts 436 pim 759

jAri kurri
1980-90 gp 754 g 474 a 569 pts 1,043 pim 348

pAul coffey
1980-87 gp 532 g 209 a 460 pts 669 pim 693

1. Wayne gretzky 2. Jari kurri 3. glenn anderson 4. mark messier 5. ryan smyth * 6. Paul coffey 7. craig simpson 8. esa tikkanen 9. doug Weight 10. craig mactavish

goals

583 474 417 392 265 209 185 178 157 155

left wing

right wing

defense

the feisty finn was great at distracting opponents, but had a nice scoring touch, too.

not only did kurri score at a torrid pace, he was an exceptional penalty-killer as well.

one glance at his stats and youd think he was a forward. he was the catalyst to the power play.

kevin lowe
1979-88 gp 1,037 g 74 a 309 pts 383 pim 1,236

grAnt fuhr
1981-91 gp 423 w 226 l 117 t/o 54 so 9

glen sAther
1979-94 gp 842 w 464 l 268 t/o 110 po 122-60

1. kelly buchberger 2. kevin mcclelland 3. kevin lowe 4. mark messier 5. steve smith 6. dave semenko 7. lee fogolin 8. georges laraque 9. glenn anderson 10. louie debrusk

Pims

1,747 1,291 1,236 1,122 1,080 981 886 826 798 797

defense

goalie

coach

the steady rearguard kept opponents to the outside and had a very efficient, active stick.

all fuhr did was win as an oiler. Whether the score was 1-0 or 8-7, hed make big saves at key times.

sather took a group of teens and evolved them into an overpowering group of men.

All-time second team

1. kevin lowe 2. mark messier 3. glenn anderson 4. kelly buchberger 5. ryan smyth * 6. Jari kurri 7. craig mactavish 8. Wayne gretzky 9. charlie huddy 10. shawn horcoff *

games Played

1,037 851 845 795 770 754 701 696 694 684

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

94-07, 11-active ryan smyth

1979-91 mark messier

1980-91, 96 glenn anderson

1985-91 steve smith

1981-91 charlie huddy

1987-96 bill ranford

1. grant fuhr 2. bill ranford 3. tommy salo 4. andy moog 5. dwayne roloson 6. curtis Joseph 7. Jussi markkanen 8. mathieu garon 9. ron low 10. ty conklin

goalie wins

226 167 147 143 78 76 35 32 30 27

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 129

florida panthers

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1993-94
(33-34-17)

games +/- .500

-150

stanley cups playoff record

13-18

playoff streak (1996-97)


the panthers captured the imagination of florida in the spring of 1996.

2 yrs

southern rat pack


Young franchise was searching for its identity when Scott Mellanby found it with a one-timer
florida panthers | 1995-96 fter missing the playoffs by one point in both of the franchises first two years of existence, the year of the rat proved to be a special one for the Panthers. The luck was foreshadowed at the beginning of 1995-96 at the teams home-opener when Scott Mellanby set off what would become the teams calling card. Shortly before they took the ice, a rat scurried into the dressing room and made a beeline for the Panthers leading scorer that season. As it got to me, really out of self defense more than anything and probably fear I just one-timed it, Mellanby chuckled. Probably the best one-timer of my career because I certainly wasnt going to rival Brett Hull. Mellanby scored two goals that night, which led goalie John Vanbiesbrouck to remark the right winger had achieved the rat trick. It was a theme that began to pick up steam, culminating in a shower of plastic rats raining on the ice after each home goal.

team records
most points 98 (1999-00) most wins 43 (1999-00) most losses 44 (2001-02) most goals 254 (1995-96) win streak 7 (3 times) losing streak 13 (1997-98) shutouts 9 (2009-10) captains 5 coaches 10 gms 8

top coaching wins


The Panthers began the season with 14 wins in 18 games and didnt stumble until they wrapped up the year with a 6-12-2 stretch, leaving them fourth in the conference. What followed was an unlikely run to the Stanley Cup final from a team of checkers who might have been considered spare parts on other clubs. Vanbiesbrouck was spectacular, posting a .932 save percentage and 2.25 goals-against average with a 12-10 record in his most successful playoffs. After beating Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, however, the Panthers ran into a strong Colorado Avalanche squad that overwhelmed them in the final. The Panthers lost 3-1, 8-1 and 3-2 in the first three games and forced Game 4 into the third overtime period, before Uwe Krupp put the Cinderella run to rest. It amazes me how well that team did, period, Mellanby said of his Panthers. That team had a unique chemistry and I wish you could bottle it.
left: glenn cratty/getty images; right: Bruce Bennett studios/getty images

1. jacques martin 2. peter deboer 3. doug maclean 4. terry murray 5. roger neilson 6. mike keenan 7. duane sutter 8. bryan murray 9. rick dudley 10. john torchetti

Playoff round victories since being swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 Stanley Cup nal

110 103 83 79 53 45 22 17 13 10

130 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-time team

florida panthers

best r e Player ev

all-time numbers
roberto luongo
2000-06 gp 317 W 108 l 154 t/o 41 so 26
1. Olli Jokinen 2. scott mellanby 3. stephen weiss * 4. nathan horton 5. Viktor Kozlov 6. Robert Svehla 7. Radek Dvorak 8. rob niedermayer 9. Pavel Bure 10. ray whitney

Points

goalie

saw more rubber than a tire factory in his five seasons in the sunshine state and still put up stellar numbers.

419 354 333 295 291 290 268 266 251 227

ray whitney
1997-01 gp 273 g 97 a 130 pts 227 pim 109

olli jokinen
2000-08 gp 567 g 188 a 231 pts 419 pim 597

pavel bure
1998-02 gp 223 g 152 a 99 pts 251 pim 134

1. Olli Jokinen 2. scott mellanby 3. Pavel Bure 4. nathan horton 5. stephen weiss * 6. Radek Dvorak 7. rob niedermayer 8. Viktor Kozlov 9. ray whitney 10. David Booth *

goals

188 157 152 142 124 113 101 101 97 87

left wing

center

right wing

crafty winger led the cats in scoring his first two seasons and was second to Pavel Bure in his third.

franchise leader in goals, assists and points, but never took the panthers to the post-season.

had 90-point seasons and scored nearly 60 goals in each of his two full campaigns with the cats.

jay bouwmeester
2002-09 gp 471 g 53 a 150 pts 203 pim 329

robert svehla
1994-02 gp 573 g 61 a 229 pts 290 pim 603

doug maclean
1995-98 g 187 W 83 l 71 t/o 33 po 13-14

1. paul laus 2. peter worrell 3. scott mellanby 4. bill lindsay 5. Robert Svehla 6. Olli Jokinen 7. Ed Jovanovski * 8. rob niedermayer 9. brad ference 10. Brian Skrudland

Pims

1,702 1,375 953 609 603 597 549 435 432 401

defense

defense

coach

bouwmeester was a stud on the Panthers blueline, averaging 24:58 of ice time in six seasons.

big-time tough and seriously underrated, Svehla missed only three games in seven seasons.

Took Florida to the Cup final in 1996 and has the highest winning percentage of any cats coach.

all-time second team

1. Radek Dvorak 2. Robert Svehla 3. Olli Jokinen 4. stephen weiss * 5. scott mellanby 6. paul laus 7. rob niedermayer 8. bill lindsay 9. jay bouwmeester 10. nathan horton

games Played

613 573 567 557 552 530 518 506 471 422

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1995-11 radek dvorak

2001-active stephen weiss

1993-01 scott mellanby

1993-99 gord murphy

1993-02 paul laus

1993-98 john vanbiesbrouck

1. roberto luongo 2. John Vanbiesbrouck 3. Tomas Vokoun 4. Mark Fitzpatrick 5. Trevor Kidd 6. ed belfour 7. craig anderson 8. Sean Burke 9. Mike Vernon 10. scott clemmensen *

goalie wins

108 106 101 43 28 27 24 23 18 17

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 131

los angeles kings

greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1967-68
(31-33-10)

games +/- .500

-224

stanley cups playoff record

69-113
(1974-82)

playoff streak

9 yrs

Wayne gretzky overcame back woes to lead a spirited charge in 1993.

silver surfers
L.A. went further than ever before with a chaotic squad that came together at the perfect time
los angeles kings | 1992-93

team records
most points 105 (1974-75) most wins 46 (3 times) most losses 52 (1969-70) most goals 376 (1988-89) win streak 9 (2009-10) losing streak 11 (2003-04) shutouts 10 (2000-01) captains 13 coaches 22 gms 8
left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: Steve BaBineau/nhli via Getty imaGeS

top coaching wins


had stumbled. gretzky returned for game 39, but Melrose was already benching stars such as future hall of famer Jari Kurri. Paul Coffey was traded to Detroit after scoring 57 points in 50 games and Kelly hrudey, the teams no. 1 netminder, fell into what he described as the worst slump he had ever gone through. We had to fight tooth-and-nail to resurrect my career, hrudey said. Los Angeles finished sixth in the Campbell Conference and was primed to lose early in the playoffs. but it didnt happen. the Kings bested division rivals Calgary and Vancouver in the first two rounds. They then went the distance with toronto in the conference final, winning 5-4 in Game 7 thanks to gretzkys hat trick and game-winning goal. the Kings moved on to face Patrick roy and the Montreal Canadiens for the Cup, losing the championship 4-1, but made a name for themselves with their first and only trip to the Stanley Cup final. 1. andy murray 2. bob pulford 3. terry murray * 4. larry robinson 5. tom webster 6. bob berry 7. barry melrose 8. pat quinn 9. robbie ftorek 10. marc crawford 215 178 126 122 115 107 79 75 65 59

t was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for the 1992-93 Los Angeles Kings, but in the end they finished as the greatest edition in franchise history. the Kings were coming off a 10th overall finish and a first-round exit in the playoffs the season prior. rookie coach barry Melrose planned to put the onus on youngsters, guys in their early 20s with just a year or two of experience in the league, most notably on the blueline. We might take some lumps early, Melrose said prior to the season. Those knocks came earlier than expected when superstar center Wayne gretzky was lost with a herniated disc in his back during training camp. At the time, there was speculation gretzky would have to retire and the Kings were just hoping hed return at some point during the season. instead of folding, however, the surprising Kings were on pace to set a team record for wins after 25 games. but the hockey gods are a fickle group and by the halfway mark L.A.

retired numbers

16 marcel dionne 18 dave taylor 20 luc robitaille

(1975-87) (1977-94) (1986-94, 1997-01, 2003-06) 30 rogie vachon (1971-78) 99 wayne gretzky (1988-96)

132 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-Time Team

los angeles kings

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
marcel dionne
1975-87 gp 921 g 550 a 757 pts 1,307 pim 461
1. Marcel Dionne 2. Luc Robitaille 3. Dave Taylor 4. Wayne Gretzky 5. Bernie Nicholls 6. Butch Goring 7. Rob Blake 8. Jim Fox 9. Charlie Simmer 10. Mike Murphy

points

center

Dionne was L.A.s first marquee superstar. He had six seasons with 50 or more goals and has the fifth most points in NHL history.

1,307 1,154 1,069 918 758 659 494 479 466 457

luc robiTaille
86-94, 97-01, 03-06 gp 1,077 g 557 a 597 pts 1,154 pim 924

dave Taylor
1977-94 gp 1,111 g 431 a 638 pts 1,069 pim 1,589

rob blake
90-01, 06-08 gp 805 g 161 a 333 pts 494 pim 1,231

1. Luc Robitaille 2. Marcel Dionne 3. Dave Taylor 4. Bernie Nicholls 5. Butch Goring 6. Wayne Gretzky 7. Charlie Simmer 8. Mike Murphy 9. Jim Fox 10. Alexander Frolov

goals

557 550 431 327 275 246 222 194 186 168

left wing

right wing

defense

The highest-scoring left winger in NHL history had at least 44 goals eight times over his career.

Sits third or better on the Kings all-time in games played, goals, assists and penalty minutes.

Known for his blistering shot and bone-crushing bodychecks, Blake was a great two-way D-man.

maTTias norsTrom
1995-07 gp 780 g 14 a 128 pts 142 pim 583

rogie vachon
1971-78 gp 389 w 171 l 148 t/o 66 so 32

andy murray
1999-06 gp 480 w 215 l 176 t/o 89 po 10-14

1. Marty McSorley 2. Dave Taylor 3. Jay Wells 4. Rob Blake 5. Ian Laperriere 6. Sean ODonnell 7. Luc Robitaille 8. Jay Miller 9. Mark Hardy 10. Tony Granato

pims

1,846 1,589 1,446 1,231 1,017 940 924 865 858 821

defense

goalie

coach

Rock-steady and a hard-rock bodychecker, Norstrom captained the Kings from 2001-07.

Diminutive stopper had a quick glove and cat-like reflexes. He had five or more shutouts four times.

Murray is the first Kings coach to have 35 or more victories in three consecutive seasons.

all-Time second Team

1. Dave Taylor 2. Luc Robitaille 3. Marcel Dionne 4. Rob Blake 5. Mattias Norstrom 6. Butch Goring 7. Mike Murphy 8. Mark Hardy 9. Jay Wells 10. Bernie Nicholls

games played

1,111 1,077 921 805 780 736 673 616 604 602

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1977-85 charlie simmer

1988-96 wayne gretzky

1980-90 jim fox

2008-active drew doughty

1986-99 steve duchesne

1988-96 kelly hrudey

1. Rogie Vachon 2. Kelly Hrudey 3. Jonathan Quick * 4. Mario Lessard 5. Jamie Storr 6. Stephane Fiset 7. Felix Potvin 8. Gary Edwards 9. Mathieu Garon 10. Bob Janecyk

goalie wins

171 145 96 92 85 80 61 54 44 41

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 133

minnesota wild

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season (25-39-13-5) games +/- .500

2000-01 -25

stanley cups playoff record

11-18

playoff streak (2007-08)


the wild knocked off Colorado and Vancouver in the spring of 2003.

2 yrs

comeback kids
Wild rode the defense-first philosophy of coach Lemaire in rallying from 3-1 deficits to make the final four
minnesota wild | 2002-03 ittle was expected of the 2002-03 Minnesota Wild after their first two campaigns as an expansion outfit proved lackluster. but a recordsetting post-season vaulted the franchise into relevancy and provided the teams best season. Carried by a 20-year-old Marian gaborik and a solid team game plan led by players such as Pascal Dupuis and Andrew Brunette, as well as Jack Adams Award-winning coaching by Jacques Lemaire, Minnesota clinched its first playoff spot as the Wild after a 42-win regular season. In the first round of the playoffs, the Wild found themselves down 3-1 to the Avalanche before rallying to win Game 5 on the road and game 6 at home in overtime. back in Denver for a do-or-die Game 7, the Wild knocked out the Avalanche 3:25 into overtime on a goal by the veteran brunette. It was such a rewarding goal, not just for myself, but for the entire team, Brunette said.

team records
most points 104 (2006-07) most wins 48 (2006-07) most losses 39 (2000-01) most goals 235 (2006-07) win streak 9 (2006-07) losing streak 8 (2010-11) shutouts 8 (twice) captains 22 coaches 2 gms 2

top coaching wins


In the West semifinal, the Wild again found themselves down 3-1, this time against the Canucks, heading for a Game 5 on enemy ice. This was different than the Colorado series, we felt we deserved to be up 3-1, Brunette said. We had a lot of confidence and liked the way we were playing and just wanted to keep it up. that belief propelled the Wild to a dominating 7-2 win in Game 5 and they again came from behind to claim the series in seven games. Although they were swept by Jean-Sebastien giguere and the Mighty Ducks in the conference final scoring just a single goal in the series the Wild became the first and only team in nhL history to come back from two 3-1 deficits in a single post-season. We all accepted and cherished our roles that season, Brunette said. We were all unselfish in the way we played. We just all wanted to be a winner and we worked on our roles to do that. 1. jacques lemaire 2. todd richards 293 77
left: Brian Bahr/Getty imaGes/nhli; riGht: Jim mcisaac/Getty imaGes

Goal-scoring has always been an issue in Minnesota. The Wild have never ranked among the top 16 teams in any of their 10 seasons. They topped out at 17th in 200708 with 2.68 goals per game

17

134 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-time team

minnesota wild

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
marian gaborik
2000-09 gp 502 g 219 a 218 pts 437 pim 301
1. marian Gaborik 2. andrew brunette 3. mikko koivu * 4. pierre-marc bouchard * 5. brian rolston 6. brent burns 7. wes walz 8. pascal dupuis 9. Filip kuba 10. nick Schultz *

points

right wing

the smooth-skating speedster may be brittle, but hes a dynamic sniper and the only superstar minny has ever had.

437 321 317 305 202 183 182 141 132 125

andrew brunette
01-04, 08-11 gp 489 g 119 a 202 pts 321 pim 106 left wing
missed only three games in six seasons with the wild and potted more than 20 goals three times.

mikko koivu
05-active gp 433 g 96 a 221 pts 317 pim 306

nick schultz
01-active gp 681 g 25 a 100 pts 125 pim 292

1. marian Gaborik 2. andrew brunette 3. mikko koivu * 4. brian rolston 5. pierre-marc bouchard * 6. wes walz 7. pascal dupuis 8. antti laaksonen 9. brent burns 10. antti miettinen

goals

219 119 96 96 89 82 67 55 55 51

center

defense

Finnish pivot is a skilled two-way center now entering his prime years with the wild.

Solid, stay-at-home d-man has provided the wild with stability for a decade.

brent burns
2003-11 gp 453 g 55 a 128 pts 183 pim 325

niklas backstrom
06-active gp 281 w 141 L 91 o 35 so 22

jacques lemaire
2000-09 gp 656 w 293 L 265 t/o 188 po 11-18

1. matt Johnson 2. derek boogaard 3. willie mitchell 4. brent burns 5. mikko koivu * 6. marian Gaborik 7. nick Schultz * 8. wes walz 9. brad brown 10. Stephane Veilleux

pims

698 544 333 325 306 301 292 272 267 254

defense

goalie

coach

big-bodied blueliner has an allaround skill set, including a big blast from the point.

backstrom has been the backbone of the wild since 2006 behind a punchless offense.

defensive mastermind led the wild to an improbable western conference final run in 2002-03.

all-time second team

1. nick Schultz * 2. marian Gaborik 3. andrew brunette 4. pierre-marc bouchard * 5. brent burns 6. wes walz 7. mikko koivu * 8. Stephane Veilleux 9. Filip kuba 10. pascal dupuis

games played

681 502 489 485 453 438 433 361 357 334

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2005-08 brian rolston

2000-08 wes walz

2002-active pierre-marc bouchard

2000-06 willie mitchell

2008-active marek zidlicky

2001-06 dwayne roloson

1. niklas backstrom * 2. manny Fernandez 3. dwayne roloson 4. Josh harding * 5. Jose theodore 6. Jamie mclennan 7. anton khudobin 8. wade dubielewicz 9. derek Gustafson

goalie wins

141 113 62 28 15 5 4 1 1

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 135

montreal canadiens

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1917-18
(13-9-0)

games +/- .500

+1,007

stanley cups

23

playoff record

410-291-8 24 yrs
(1971-94)

playoff streak

Guy Lafleur and the Habs lost just eight regular season games in 1976-77.

kinG of the dynasties


A record-smashing collection of Hall of Famers created a season better than any other in league history
montreal canadiens | 1976-77

team records
most points 132 (1976-77) most wins 60 (1976-77) most losses 40 (twice) most goals 387 (1976-77) win streak 12 (1967-68) losing streak 12 (1925-26) shutouts 22 (1928-29) captains 25 coaches 25 gms 16

retired numbers

1 plante 2 harvey 3 bouchard 4 beliveau 5 geoffrion 7 morenz 9 m. richard 10 lafleur

12 moore
lach

16 h. richard 18 savard 19 robinson 23 gainey 29 dryden 33 roy

cournoyer

136 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Denis BroDeur/nHli via Getty imaGes; riGHt: Pictorial ParaDe/Getty imaGes

top coaching wins


When we scrimmaged, you were playing against the best players in the world, recalled Peter Mahovlich. You couldnt help but get better because we had a bunch of guys who loved to be on the ice. When you consider Montreals dominance that season, you must look at it through the prism of a four-year run in which the Habs won four Stanley Cups and established themselves as arguably the most dominant dynasty in the history of the sport. In those four years, the Canadiens lost just 46 games an average of 11.5 per season. To trace the lineage of that team, you have to go back a few years prior to the 1970-71 campaign, when the Canadiens shocked the hockey world by stunning the powerhouse Bruins in the first round of the playoffs en route to the Stanley Cup. As dominant as those teams were, however, they were not the 1976-77 Canadiens, the standard by which all other great teams in the NHL will continue to be measured. 1. toe blake 2. dick irvin 3. scotty bowman 4. cecil hart 5. pat burns 6. claude ruel 7. jean perron 8. guy carbonneau 9. newsy lalonde 10. bob berry 500 431 419 196 174 172 126 124 122 116

t might be difficult to believe, but the Montreal Canadiens actually had a losing record against the Boston Bruins in 1976-77. After one of those losses superstar Guy Lafleur said, I will never accept losing. Never. The law of averages is bound to catch up with us, but thats no excuse for a bad performance. And, that, in a nutshell, is what made the 76-77 Canadiens the greatest collection of talent in the history of the game. The Canadiens opened that season with a 10-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, finished it with a 2-1 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final and in between, they were the most electrifying, dominant and unstoppable team the NHL has ever seen. All told, they established 21 NHL records that season, including a 132-point performance that still stands as the leagues benchmark. Their goal differential of 216 is by far the best in NHL history, 40 ahead of the next-best mark (set by the 77-78 Habs).

all-time team

montreal canadiens

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
maurice richard
1942-60 gp 978 g 544 a 421 pts 965 pim 1,285
1. Guy Lafleur 2. Jean Beliveau 3. Henri Richard 4. Maurice Richard 5. Larry Robinson 6. Yvan Cournoyer 7. Jacques Lemaire 8. Steve Shutt 9. Bernie Geoffrion 10. Saku Koivu

points

right wing

The first player to score 50 in a season and 500 in his career, The Rocket beat goalies with his stare even before he took his shot.

1,246 1,219 1,046 965 883 863 835 776 759 641

dickie moore
1951-63 gp 654 g 254 a 340 pts 594 pim 575

jean beliveau
1951-71 gp 1,125 g 507 a 712 pts 1,219 pim 1,029

larry robinson
1972-89 gp 1,202 g 197 a 686 pts 883 pim 706

1. Maurice Richard 2. Guy Lafleur 3. Jean Beliveau 4. Yvan Cournoyer 5. Steve Shutt 6. Bernie Geoffrion 7. Jacques Lemaire 8. Henri Richard 9. Aurel Joliat 10. Mario Tremblay

goals

544 518 507 428 408 371 366 358 270 258

left wing

center

defense

Won six Stanley Cups and had the second-highest point total of the NHLs pre-expansion era.

Graceful, gifted, classy yet tough, Beliveau guided the Habs to their five straight Cups in the 1950s.

A fierce competitor with intimidating size, Big Bird was a defensive stud and an offensive force.

doug harvey
1947-61 gp 890 g 76 a 371 pts 447 pim 1,042

jacques plante
1952-63 gp 556 w 311 l 134 t 108 so 58

toe blake
1955-68 g 914 w 500 l 255 t 159 po 82-37

1. Chris Nilan 2. Lyle Odelein 3. Shayne Corson 4. Maurice Richard 5. John Ferguson 6. Mario Tremblay 7. Doug Harvey 8. Jean Beliveau 9. Doug Risebrough 10. Henri Richard

pims

2,248 1,367 1,341 1,285 1,214 1,043 1,042 1,029 959 928

defense

goalie

coach

One of the all-time great blueliners, he was talented, smart and dictated the tempo of a game.

A hockey innovator and legendary pioneer, Plante stopped pucks with eye-popping numbers.

The mastermind behind the five-Cup dynasty of the 1950s and three more Cups in the 60s.

all-time second team

1. Henri Richard 2. Larry Robinson 3. Bob Gainey 4. Jean Beliveau 5. Claude Provost 6. Maurice Richard 7. Yvan Cournoyer 8. Guy Lafleur 9. Serge Savard 10. Guy Carbonneau

games played

1,256 1,202 1,160 1,125 1,005 978 968 961 917 912

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1922-38 aurel joliat

1922-37 howie morenz

1971-85 guy lafleur

1921-25 sprague cleghorn

1966-81 serge savard

1970-79 ken dryden

1. Jacques Plante 2. Patrick Roy 3. Ken Dryden 4. Bill Durnan 5. George Hainsworth 6. Michel Larocque 7. Jose Theodore 8. Gerry McNeil 9. Charlie Hodge 10. Rogie Vachon

goalie wins

314 289 258 208 167 144 141 119 115 110

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 137

Nashville predators

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1998-99
(28-47-7)

games +/- .500

-14

stanley cups playoff record

14-26

playoff streak (2004-08)


peter Forsberg was a marquee trade deadline acquisition by nashville.

4 yrs

thrilliNG aNd illiNG


Forsberg, Kariya, Vokoun help Preds make noise in regular season, but injuries derail deep playoff push
nashville predators | 2006-07

team records
most points 110 (2006-07) most wins 51 (2006-07) most losses 47 (1998-99) most goals 272 (2006-07) win streak 8 (2005-06) losing streak 7 (1999-00) shutouts 10 (twice) captains 5 coaches 1 gms 1

top coaching wins


tunately stuck behind division rival Detroit, thus relegating nashville to the fourth seed and a date with the potent san Jose sharks, who dispatched them in five games. for a team used to losing assets due to financial constraints, the Preds marched out an impressive roster in 2006-07, one which featured forwards Paul Kariya, Jason Arnott, Alexander radulov and steve sullivan (whose season was cut short by a major back injury). tomas vokoun was rock-steady in goal, while Kimmo timonen led the defense corps. that was the most talented team weve had, said barry trotz, the only coach the Preds have known. they were a good group. they believed they could win the Cup and that was the first time we believed we could. the downside was we never got to see that because we had a lot of people out with injuries come playoff time. if we could have stayed healthy, i would have liked to see if we couldve done some damage. 1. barry trotz * 455
left: Bruce Bennett/Getty ImaGes; rIGht: PhIllIP maccallum/Getty ImaGes

t was an historical moment for a star-crossed franchise. the 2006-07 nashville Predators, small-market sellers for most of their existence, landed the biggest name available at the nhL trade deadline. Peter forsberg, foppa to his admirers, came to Music City in a blockbuster deal that sent left winger scottie Upshall, defenseman Ryan Parent, plus the Predators first and third round selections in the 2007 draft to the Philadelphia flyers. the move sent a bold message to a group of players in the midst of putting together nashvilles best year to date, a campaign that would see the Preds rack up 110 points in the regular season. he was one of the best players of the 1990s, said David Legwand, the first draft pick in Predators history. it was awesome to have him and learn from him. The Predators finished second in points in the Western Conference, but were unfor-

Preds regulars were minus players in 2006-07, a testament to the teams overall defensive prowess

138 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-time team

Nashville predators

best r e player ev

all-time Numbers
shea weber
2005-active gp 402 g 80 a 134 pts 214 pim 323
1. david legwand * 2. martin erat * 3. kimmo timonen 4. j-p dumont 5. steve sullivan 6. scott walker 7. greg johnson 8. jason arnott 9. cliff ronning 10. shea weber *

points

defense

whether hes blistering slapshots through nets or making opponents forget their names, shea weber is one of the best defensemen today.

448 402 301 267 263 247 238 229 226 214

steve sullivaN
2003-11 gp 317 g 100 a 163 pts 263 pim 175

david legwaNd
1998-active gp 768 g 169 a 279 pts 448 pim 398

martiN erat
2001-active gp 616 g 140 a 262 pts 402 pim 370 right wing
erat is able to beat defensemen wide with his blazing speed and his quick shot fools goalies.

1. david legwand * 2. martin erat * 3. jason arnott 4. steve sullivan 5. scott walker 6. scott hartnell 7. greg johnson 8. j-p dumont 9. cliff ronning 10. shea weber *

goals

169 140 107 100 96 93 93 93 81 80

left wing

center

a masterton winner, sullivan is one of four predators to score 30 goals in a season.

the longest-tenured predator leads the team in almost every offensive category.

ryaN suter
2005-active gp 463 g 31 a 161 pts 192 pim 366

pekka riNNe
2006-active gp 177 w 95 l 54 t/o 18 so 20

barry trotz
1999-active gp 984 w 455 l 398 t/o 131 po 14-26

1. jordin tootoo * 2. scott hartnell 3. scott walker 4. david legwand * 5. dan hamhuis 6. cale hulse 7. martin erat * 8. ryan suter * 9. kimmo timonen 10. drake berehowsky

pims

633 544 465 398 375 370 370 366 348 327

defense

goalie

coach

the 2010 olympian is a steady influence in the defensive zone and can chip in with offense.

rinne combines raw athleticism with efficient technical play. One of the games best goalies today.

the only coach in franchise history has always had the utmost respect from all of his players.

all-time second team

1. david legwand * 2. martin erat * 3. kimmo timonen 4. greg johnson 5. dan hamhuis 6. ryan suter * 7. jerred smithson * 8. scott hartnell 9. scott walker 10. jordin tootoo *

games played

768 616 573 502 483 463 444 436 410 409

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1. tomas vokoun 2. pekka rinne * 3. mike dunham 4. chris mason 5. dan ellis 6. anders lindback *

goalie wins

161 95 81 58 49 11

2005-07 paul kariya

2006-10 jason arnott

1998-06 scott walker

1998-07 kimmo timonen

2003-10 dan hamuis

1998-07 tomas vokoun

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 139

new jersey devils

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1974-75
(15-54-11)

games +/- .500

-134

stanley cups playoff record

122-106 13 yrs
(1997-10)

playoff streak

larry robinson, top right, earned a Cup ring after a late-season appointment.

a fTorek in The road


Controversial late-season coaching change helps relax players, vault them to franchises second championship
new jersey devils | 1999-2000

team records
most points 111 (2000-01) most wins 51 (2008-09) most losses 56 (1983-84) most goals 308 (1992-93) win streak 13 (2000-01) losing streak 14 (1975-76) shutouts 14 (2003-04) captains 15 coaches 24 gms 5

top coaching wins


Robinsons player-friendly approach was manna from heaven to a team worn down by Ftoreks iron-fisted ways. The results of the relaxed-yet-focused Devils were on display: New Jersey swept Florida in the first round, dispatched Toronto in six games, then rallied to beat Philadelphia in the conference final. In the Cup final, New Jersey faced the defending champion Dallas Stars. The Devils stomped Dallas in Game 1, but the Stars fought back and their triple overtime, 1-0 win in Game 5 extended the series to a sixth game in Dallas, which New Jersey won on a doubleovertime goal by Jason Arnott. To Lemieux, the Devils 1999-00 team was as balanced as it was talented. There were a lot of expectations on guys like (2000 Conn Smythe Trophy-winner) Scotty Stevens, Brodeur and myself, Lemieux said, but the Maddens and Gomezes...who chipped in at the right time late in the year and in the playoffs were valuable, too. It was just a very talented team. 1. Jacques lemaire 2. doug carpenter 3. brent sutter 4. pat burns 5. robbie ftorek 6. larry robinson 7. John cunniff 8. tom mcvie 9. Jim schoenfeld 10. claude Julien 276 100 97 89 88 87 59 57 50 47

retired numbers

3 ken daneyko 4 scott stevens

(1983-03) (1991-04)

140 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: B Bennett/Getty ImaGes; rIGht: GraIG aBel/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

n the mind of former Devils winger randy McKay, the 1999-00 new Jersey team was more talented than the 199495 squad that won the organizations first Stanley Cup. in 95, a lot of things went right for us, said McKay. In 2000, we had a lot more speed and we had more talent, top-to-bottom. Forwards Petr Sykora and Bobby Holik were smart and steady; blueliners Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer played tough, responsible defensive hockey; goalie Martin brodeur was an all-star; and gM Lou Lamoriello repatriated veteran Claude Lemieux from Colorado. As well, young players, such as center scott gomez and defenseman brian Rafalski, emerged as key contributors. The Devils season had its share of lows. They lost 10 of 16 games starting in mid-February and with eight regular-season games remaining, GM Lou Lamoriello replaced head coach Robbie Ftorek with assistant coach and former NHL great Larry Robinson.

All-Time Team

new jersey devils

best r e player ev
mArTin brodeur
1993-active gp 1,132 w 625 l 350 t/0 137 so 116

All-Time numbers
1. Patrik Elias * 2. John MacLean 3. Kirk Muller 4. Scott Niedermayer 5. Bobby Holik 6. Aaron Broten 7. Scott Gomez 8. Scott Stevens 9. Bruce Driver 10. Jamie Langenbrunner

points

goalie

Brodeur is the definition of consistency. He has four Vezinas, three Stanley Cups and had 11 straight seasons with 35 or more wins.

816 701 520 476 472 469 450 430 399 385

pATrik eliAs
1995-active gp 961 g 335 a 481 pts 816 pim 459 left wing
Elias is known for using speed to beat defenseman wide. Hes had 30 or more goals four times.

bobby holik
92-02, 08-09 gp 786 g 202 a 270 pts 472 pim 863

john mAcleAn
1983-98 gp 934 g 347 a 354 pts 701 pim 1,168

1. John MacLean 2. Patrik Elias * 3. Bobby Holik 4. Kirk Muller 5. Pat Verbeek 6. Zach Parise * 7. Aaron Broten 8. Wilf Paiement 9. Brian Gionta 10. Randy McKay

goals

347 335 202 185 170 163 162 153 152 151

center

rght wing

A key cog to two championship squads, Holik was a tough, bigbodied two-way center.

The all-time leading goal-scorer in Devils history had 10 seasons with 20 or more goals.

scoTT sTevens
1991-04 gp 956 g 93 a 337 pts 430 pim 1,007

scoTT niedermAyer
1992-04 gp 892 g 112 a 364 pts 476 pim 478

jAcques lemAire
93-98, 09-10 gp 509 g 276 a 166 pts 67 t 35-26

1. Ken Daneyko 2. Randy McKay 3. John MacLean 4. Scott Stevens 5. Pat Verbeek 6. Joe Cirella 7. Bobby Holik 8. Colin White 9. Krzysztof Oliwa 10. David Maley

pims

2,519 1,418 1,168 1,007 943 938 863 848 724 683

defense

defense

coach

One of the most punishing hitters ever, Stevens was the Devils blueline super stud for 13 seasons.

The best skater in Devils history, Niedermayer was key to New Jersey winning three Cups.

The winningest coach in Devils history morphed the squad into a successful defense-first team.

All-Time second Team

1. Ken Daneyko 2. Martin Brodeur * 3. Patrik Elias * 4. Scott Stevens 5. John MacLean 6. Scott Niedermayer 7. Jay Pandolfo 8. Bobby Holik 9. Sergei Brylin 10. Randy McKay

games played

1,283 1,132 961 956 934 892 819 786 765 760

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2005-active zach parise

1984-91 kirk muller

90-95, 99-00 claude lemieux

1983-03 ken daneyko

1999-07 brian rafalski

86-96, 98-01 chris terreri

1. Martin Brodeur * 2. Chris Terreri 3. Glenn Resch 4. Sean Burke 5. Alain Chevrier 6. Craig Billington 7. Scott Clemmensen 8. Michael Plasse 9. Doug Favell 10. Ron Low

goalie wins

625 118 67 62 53 43 32 28 21 16

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 141

New York islaNders

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1972-73
(12-60-6)

games +/- .500

-69

stanley cups playoff record

134-106 14 yrs
(1975-88)

playoff streak

Bryan Trottier wasnt the captain, but was a great islanders leader.

well isled machiNe


Dynastic Islanders squad overcame injuries, complacency to hammer Oilers in Cup final
new york islanders | 1982-83

team records
most points 118 (1981-82) most wins 54 (1981-82) most losses 60 (1972-73) most goals 385 (1981-82) win streak 15 (1981-82) losing streak 12 (twice) shutouts 10 (1975-76) captains 12 coaches 15 gms 5

top coaching wins


corner and began playing a game reminiscent of Cup seasons past. Lines were set, injuries healed and the stars though theyd been putting up what today would be outstanding numbers began playing like stars again. the islanders were back and hungry. the isles beat Washington, the rangers and bruins in the playoffs before facing Wayne gretzky, Mark Messier and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers in the Cup final. New York swept the series in four games, scoring 17 goals along the way and holding the vaunted Edmonton attack to just six with a dogged determination to play tough team defense. the 1983 Cup made the isles one of the most dominant teams ever. they made it back to their fifth final in a row in 1984, winning a record 19 consecutive post-season series en route, which only added to the argument. I think we played 120 playoff games in five years, Potvin said. how many nhLers in history have played 120 playoff games? And we did it in five consecutive years. 1. al arbour 2. terry simpson 3. peter laviolette 4. ted nolan 5. scott gordon 6. mike milbury 7. steve sterling 8. butch goring 9. rick bowness 10. jack capuano * 740 81 77 74 64 56 56 41 38 26
both: bruce bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS

rom the outside looking in, the casual observer might not think the 1982-83 new york islanders were the best team the franchise has ever iced. but ask one of the best players in franchise history and hell beg to differ. i think we were a machine at that point, said hall of fame defenseman Denis Potvin. We were so grooved and so emotionally sharp. it was just such a joy to play; everything was automatic. the islanders were stacked, led by bryan trottier, Mike bossy, team captain and threetime norris trophy winner Potvin, all-time grinder Clark gillies and goaltender billy smith. behind the bench, the islanders were led by coach Al Arbour; and pulling the strings was gM bill torrey. A tough schedule, nagging injuries and a certain level of complacency put the team into a funk that lasted much of the regular season, but in March, things changed. And during the seasons final six weeks, the Isles turned a

retired numbers

5 denis potvin 9 clark gilles 19 bryan trottier 22 mike bossy 23 bob nystrom 31 billy smith

(1973-88) (1974-86) (1975-90) (1977-87) (1972-86) (1972-89)

142 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-Time Team

New York islaNders

best r e player ev

all-Time NumBers
deNis poTviN
1973-88 gp 1,060 g 310 a 742 pts 1,052 pim 1,354
1. bryan trottier 2. mike bossy 3. Denis potvin 4. clark gillies 5. brent sutter 6. pat lafontaine 7. john tonelli 8. bob bourne 9. bob nystrom 10. Derek king

points

defense

big, bruising D-man was as skilled as he was tough, scoring nearly a point per game and anchoring the isles blueline for 15 seasons.

1,353 1,126 1,052 663 610 566 544 542 513 499

clark gillies
1974-86 gp 872 g 304 a 359 pts 663 pim 891

BrYaN TroTTier
1975-90 gp 1,123 g 500 a 853 pts 1,353 pim 798

mike BossY
1977-87 gp 752 g 573 a 553 pts 1,126 pim 210

1. mike bossy 2. bryan trottier 3. Denis potvin 4. clark gillies 5. pat lafontaine 6. brent sutter 7. bob bourne 8. bob nystrom 9. Derek king 10. john tonelli

goals

573 500 310 304 287 287 238 235 211 206

left wing

center

right wing

big, mean and skilled, gillies is a hall of famer and a prototype for todays power forward.

equal parts shutdown center and playmaking pivot, trottier is the archetypal two-way middleman.

no one in nhl history has more goals per game (.76) than the isles sublime sniper. enough said.

sTefaN perssoN
1977-86 gp 622 g 52 a 317 pts 369 pim 574

BillY smiTh
1972-89 gp 675 w 304 l 230 t 104 so 22

al arBour
1973-94 gp 1,499 w 739 l 537 t 223 po 119-79

1. mick vukota 2. rich pilon 3. garry howatt 4. Denis potvin 5. bob nystrom 6. Duane sutter 7. clark gillies 8. eric cairns 9. bryan trottier 10. gerry hart

pims

1,879 1,525 1,466 1,356 1,248 893 891 814 798 783

defense

goalie

coach

paired with potvin, the soft-handed swede was part of one of the leagues best power play units.

infamous for guarding his crease by any means necessary, smith was money come crunch time.

only scotty bowman has more wins as an nhl bench boss than the isles legend.

all-Time second Team

1. bryan trottier 2. Denis potvin 3. bob nystrom 4. clark gillies 5. bob bourne 6. mike bossy 7. patrick flatley 8. brent sutter 9. billy smith 10. Derek king

games played

1,123 1,060 900 872 814 752 712 694 675 638

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1978-86 john tonelli

1984-91 pat lafontaine

1972-86 bob nystrom

1995-2004 kenny jonsson

1981-89 tomas jonsson

1974-81 glenn resch

1. billy smith 2. glenn resch 3. rick Dipietro * 4. kelly hrudey 5. roland melanson 6. glenn healy 7. tommy salo 8. mark fitzpatrick 9. chris osgood 10. garth snow

goalie wins

304 157 127 106 77 66 62 51 49 44

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 143

new york rangers

greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1926-27
(25-13-6)

games +/- .500

-36

stanley cups playoff record

197-212-8 10 yrs
(1978-87)

playoff streak

Manhattan went wild when Brian Leetch and Co. paraded stanley around.

54-year iTch
Captain Messier guides Rangers to much-anticipated championship and all of New York celebrates
new york rangers | 1993-94 here are few places in the world that know how to party like new york City. And in 1994, the big Apple celebrated the Rangers first stanley Cup since 1940 with the biggest party the nhL has ever seen. three generations of rangers fans had not seen a championship, said tv analyst glenn healy, the 1993-94 teams backup netminder. you can imagine the thirst for them to celebrate the championshipfrom the parade to radio City Music hall, it was an incredible ride with incredible emotion. the mug itself went through so much in 1994 the rules surrounding its stewardship were changed and the hall of fames keepers of the Cup were created. no longer were players simply handed stanley and told to go on their merry way, the Cup now had 24/7-chaperones who guarded it like a newborn baby. the rangers began with a 4-5-0 start and new coach Mike Keenan was quoted as saying itd take until Christmas before the players

team records
most points 112 (1993-94) most wins 52 (1993-94) most losses 44 (1984-85) most goals 321 (1991-92) win streak 10 (twice) losing streak 11 (1943-44) shutouts 13 (1928-29) captains 26 coaches 33 gms 11

top coaching wins


got used to his system and presumably him as well. but it didnt take that long. by nov. 14 the Blueshirts were 12-5-2, in first place, atop the league in power play and penalty-killing percentage and had nine shorthanded goals. When the all-star break arrived, new york was firmly atop the standings with 63 points and Keenan, for once, had little to gripe about. to cap off a long playoff run, new york faced vancouver for the works. the teams had been separated by 27 points in the standings, but the dynamic Pavel bure had been on a tear with vancouver and was backed up offensively by trevor Linden. in goal, the Canucks had a similarly hot Kirk McLean. In what is considered one of the best finals of the modern era, just two goals separated the squads during the seven-game series. After 54 years, the pressure was finally off and the party was on. it was almost surreal, said Adam graves. Winning in new york after 54 years, itd be tough to experience a greater feeling. 1. emile francis 2. lester patrick 3. frank boucher 4. tom renney 5. roger neilson 6. herb brooks 7. phil watson 8. colin campbell 9. john tortorella * 10. fred shero 342 281 181 164 141 131 119 118 94 82

retired numbers

1 ed giacomin 2 brian leetch 3 harry howell 7 rod gilbert 9 andy bathgate 9 adam graves 11 mark messier 35 mike richter

(91-97, 00-04)

(1965-75) (1987-04) (1952-69) (1960-77) (1952-64) (1991-01)

(1989-03)

144 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Keith torrie/NY DailY News archive via GettY imaGes; riGht: DeNis BroDeur/Nhli via GettY imaGes

all-Time Team

new york rangers

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
mark messier
91-97, 00-04 gp 698 g 250 a 441 pts 691 pim 667
1. rod gilbert 2. brian leetch 3. jean ratelle 4. Andy Bathgate 5. mark messier 6. walt tkaczuk 7. ron greschner 8. steve vickers 9. Vic Hadfield 10. adam graves

points

center

one of the best leaders in all of sport, messier knew how to get the best out of teammates. sits second all time in nhl points.

1,021 981 817 729 691 678 610 586 572 507

vic hadfield
1961-74 gp 839 g 262 a 310 pts 572 pim 1,036

bill cook
1926-37 gp 475 g 228 a 138 pts 366 pim 386

brian leeTch
1987-04 gp 1,129 g 240 a 741 pts 981 pim 525

1. rod gilbert 2. jean ratelle 3. adam graves 4. Andy Bathgate 5. Vic Hadfield 6. Camille Henry 7. mark messier 8. steve vickers 9. brian leetch 10. bill cook

goals

406 336 280 272 262 256 250 246 240 229

left wing

right wing

defense

Used aggression to find his way to the net. scored 20 or more goals in seven consecutive seasons.

Cook was one of the first pure power forwards in the nhl. he won two scoring titles.

Leetchs remarkable play allowed him to become the first American to win the Conn Smythe in 1994.

brad park
1968-76 gp 465 g 95 a 283 pts 378 pim 738

mike richTer
1989-03 gp 666 w 301 l 258 t 73 so 24

emile francis
1965-75 gp 654 w 342 l 209 t 103 po 34-41

1. ron greschner 2. jeff beukeboom 3. Harry Howell 4. Dave Maloney 5. Vic Hadfield 6. nick fotiu 7. lou fontinato 8. adam graves 9. ching johnson 10. Barry Beck

pims

1,226 1,157 1,147 1,113 1,036 970 939 810 798 775

defense

goalie

coach

Park combined skill and toughness, scoring 50 points and snagging 100 or more Pim four times.

Always known as a big-game goalie, richter leads the rangers in victories and saves.

the cat led the rangers to three consecutive seasons with at least 47 wins. Lost the 1972 final.

all-Time second Team

1. Harry Howell 2. brian leetch 3. rod gilbert 4. ron greschner 5. walt tkaczuk 6. jean ratelle 7. Vic Hadfield 8. jim neilson 9. adam graves 10. Andy Bathgate

games played

1,160 1,129 1,065 982 945 862 839 810 772 719

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1991-01 adam graves

1926-44 frank boucher

1952-64 andy bathgate

1952-69 harry howell

1926-37 ching johnson

2005-active henrik lundqvist

1. mike richter 2. ed giacomin 3. henrik lundqvist * 4. Gump Worsley 5. john vanbiesbrouck 6. dave kerr 7. Chuck Rayner 8. gilles villemure 9. john davidson 10. john ross roach

goalie wins

301 266 213 204 200 157 123 98 93 80

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 145

ottawa senators

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1992-93
(10-70-4)

games +/- .500

-55

stanley cups playoff record

51-58

playoff streak

11 yrs
(1997-08)

Jason spezza and the sens couldnt outmuscle the Ducks in the 2007 final.

Great run, fowl end


A sensational trio carried Ottawa all the way to the final before a feathered flock crushed Cup hopes
ottawa senators | 2006-07 fter years of talented squads that underachieved in the playoffs, the Senators finally broke through in 2006-07, riding a glut of scoring all the way to the Stanley Cup final. Our roles were really specified on that team, said Joe Corvo who patrolled the sens blueline for 76 games that year. We had our scoring line that we depended heavily on and thereafter everybody did their job to a T. That scoring line was the trio of center Jason Spezza between wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley. In the regular season, Heatley was fourth in NHL scoring with 105 points, while spezza and Alfredsson each racked up 87. The Sens scored 286 goals in total, second only to the Buffalo Sabres (298 goals), the team Ottawa knocked out in the Eastern Conference final. But for the Senators, the run started in the second half. Everything becomes automatic, Corvo said. Guys are playing the same way every game and you know theyre going to bring

team records
most points 113 (twice) most wins 52 (twice) most losses 70 (1992-93) most goals 314 (2005-06) win streak 11 (2009-10) losing streak 14 (1992-93) shutouts 10 (2001-02) captains 7 coaches 8 gms 7

top coaching wins


that effort. It turned into a well-oiled machine and we took that momentum into the playoffs. With Ray Emery holding the fort in net, the Sens leaned on their big line in the postseason. Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson led the NHL in playoff scoring with remarkable synchronicity: each player tallied 22 points in 20 games. The team lost just once per series in the first three rounds against Sidney Crosbys Penguins, Martin Brodeurs Devils and the loaded Sabres squad featuring Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. But in the final, Ottawa faced the big, bad Anaheim Ducks. Led by behemoth defenseman Chris Pronger, the Ducks outmuscled Ottawa, dispatching the Sens in five games. They bullied us, Corvo said. That was their game plan. If you watched any film on us youd know we werent the biggest hitting team or the most physical team. They played their game plan well and frustrated us.
left: Dave SanDforD/Getty ImaGeS; rIGht: anDre rInGuette/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGeS

1. Jacques martin 2. bryan murray 3. cory clouston 4. rick bowness 5. John paddock 6. craig hartsburg 7. dave allison 8. roger neilson

341 107 95 39 36 17 2 1

retired numbers

8 frank finnigan

(1924-34)

146 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-time team

ottawa senators

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
daniel alfredsson
95-active gp 1,056 g 389 a 634 pts 1,023 pim 449 right wing
the career senator is still the face of the franchise and is tops in almost every offensive category as well as games played. 1. Daniel alfredsson * 2. Jason spezza * 3. alexei yashin 4. wade redden 5. radek bonk 6. marian hossa 7. Dany heatley 8. mike fisher 9. shawn mceachern 10. chris phillips *

points

1,023 532 491 410 399 390 362 348 304 237

dany heatley
2005-09 gp 317 g 180 a 182 pts 362 pim 324

alexei yashin
1993-01 gp 504 g 218 a 273 pts 491 pim 222

wade redden
1996-08 gp 838 g 101 a 309 pts 410 pim 576

1. Daniel alfredsson * 2. alexei yashin 3. Jason spezza * 4. marian hossa 5. Dany heatley 6. mike fisher 7. radek bonk 8. shawn mceachern 9. martin havlat 10. wade redden

goals

389 218 192 188 180 167 152 142 105 101

left wing

center

defense

put up some superb numbers in four seasons, including two 50goal, 100-point campaigns.

Hes still vilified in Ottawa, but was a sens star for seven seasons and hart trophy runner-up.

though banished now to the nhls underworld, redden was an instant stud on the sens blueline.

zdeno chara
2001-06 gp 299 g 51 a 95 pts 146 pim 554

patrick lalime
1999-04 gp 283 g 146 a 100 t/o 30 so 30

jacques martin
1995-04 g 692 w 341 l 235 t/o 116 po 31-38

1. chris neil * 2. chris phillips * 3. Dennis vial 4. wade redden 5. zdeno chara 6. mike fisher 7. Denny lambert 8. andre roy 9. Daniel alfredsson * 10. radek bonk

pims

1,683 655 625 576 554 554 467 462 449 401

defense

goalie

coach

blossomed while in ottawa into the surly, skilled blueline behemoth he is now with the bruins.

Despite some post-season flops, still has twice as many sens wins as any goalie in club history.

couldnt get the sens to lord stanleys promised land, but turned them into a perennial contender.

all-time second team

1. Daniel alfredsson * 2. chris phillips * 3. wade redden 4. radek bonk 5. mike fisher 6. chris neil * 7. Jason spezza * 8. alexei yashin 9. marian hossa 10. shaun van allen

games played

1,056 945 838 689 675 659 526 504 467 465

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1996-02 shawn mceachern

2002-active Jason spezza

1997-04 marian hossa

1997-active chris phillips

2002-10 anton volchenkov

2002-08 ray emery

1. patrick lalime 2. ron tugnutt 3. ray emery 4. Damian rhodes 5. brian elliott 6. martin gerber 7. martin prusek 8. Dominik hasek 9. Jani hurme 10. pascal leclaire

goalie wins

146 72 71 65 59 49 28 28 25 16

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 147

philadelphia flyers

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1967-68
(31-32-11)

games +/- .500

+451

stanley cups playoff record

209-194 17 yrs
(1973-89)

playoff streak

Fred Shero created a bond between his bullies on their way to a pair of Cups.

team records
most points 118 (1975-76) most wins 53 (TWICE) most losses 48 (2006-07) most goals 350 (1983-84) win streak 13 (1985-86) losing streak 9 (2006-07) shutouts 13 (1974-75) captains 16 coaches 17 gms 6
left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: deniS Brodeur/nhli via Getty imaGeS

bro sTreeT bullies


Many teams have the talent to be a Stanley Cup contender, but the ones that win come together as a family
philadelphia FlyerS | 1974-75

top coaching wins


the Cup. It was the ability to get everyone to play together for each other. At the end of 1974-75, the Flyers had allowed only 181 goals, fewest in the nhL, riding the superb goaltending of Bernie Parent. Their 113 points put them in a tie with Buffalo and Montreal for league supremacy. The Flyers swept Toronto in the first round, then survived a scare in the second when the New York Islanders came back from their second 3-0 hole of the playoffs to force a game 7, only to fall to the flyers 4-1 in the series finale. Left winger Bill Barber said the Flyers paid attention to every detail. Owner Ed Snider even invited the players fathers and mothers to join them on the road for the games against Buffalo in the final, which was won by the Flyers in six games. Up 3-2, we tried to win that game in Buffalo, Barber said. It was a special time, because we had won a Stanley Cup at home (1974) and now we wanted to win one on the road. 1. fred shero 2. mike keenan 3. pat quinn 4. ken hitchcock 5. john stevens 6. bob mccammon 7. terry murray 8. paul holmgren 9. roger neilson 10. peter laviolette * 308 190 141 131 120 119 118 107 92 75

hen Fred Shero wrote the famous Win today and we walk together forever line on his office message board the morning of May 19, 1974, little did the coach know his Flyers team would not only win a stanley Cup that day, but another the following year. Corny as it might sound, it was a family. It was the last all-Canadian team to win a stanley Cup and without that camaraderie, that esprit de corps, the rare feat of back-to-back crowns might not have happened. Shero, always a proponent of challenging a players intellect rather than his physical talents, worked harder than ever at the mind game. He watched film of the Soviet Red Army team, how it played as a cohesive unit and instituted those same principles. Toughness was part of it, physical fighting was a small part of it, recalled Bobby Clarke, a three-time Hart Trophy winner. We had a lot of talent lots of teams have talent. But they dont win

retired numbers

1 bernie parent (67-77, 73-79) 4 barry ashbee (1970-74) 7 bill barber (1972-85) 16 bobby clarke (1969-84)

148 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

all-Time Team

philadelphia flyers

best r e Player ev

all-Time numBers
BoBBy Clarke
1969-84 gp 1,144 g 358 A 852 pts 1,210 pim 1,453
1. bobby clarke 2. bill barber 3. brian Propp 4. rick macleish 5. eric lindros 6. tim kerr 7. john leclair 8. mark recchi 9. rod brindamour 10. simon gagne

Points

center

the three-time mvP did whatever it took to win games for 15 years. he captained the flyers to two stanley cup titles.

1,210 883 849 697 659 650 643 627 601 524

Bill BarBer
1972-85 gp 903 g 420 A 463 pts 883 pim 623

reggie leaCh
1974-82 gp 606 g 306 A 208 pts 514 pim 276

mark howe
1982-92 gp 594 g 138 A 342 pts 480 pim 323

1. bill barber 2. brian Propp 3. tim kerr 4. bobby clarke 5. john leclair 6. rick macleish 7. reggie leach 8. eric lindros 9. simon gagne 10. rod brindamour

goals

420 369 363 358 333 328 306 290 259 235

LeFt WinG

riGht WinG

deFense

scored more than a point per game four times. often played the point on the power play.

leach notched 19 goals in 16 playoff games to win the conn smythe trophy in 1976.

one of the more underrated players of all-time, Howe finally entered the hall of fame in 2011.

eriC desjardins
1994-06 gp 738 g 93 A 303 pts 396 pim 406

Bernie parenT
1967-79 gp 486 w 232 l 141 t 103 so 50

fred shero
1971-78 gp 554 w 308 l 151 t 95 po 48-35

1. rick tocchet 2. Paul holmgren 3. andre dupont 4. bobby clarke 5. dave schultz 6. dave brown 7. bob kelly 8. gary dornhoefer 9. craig berube 10. glen cochrane

Pims

1,817 1,600 1,505 1,453 1,386 1,382 1,285 1,256 1,138 1,110

deFense

GoALie

coAch

he was masterful at reading plays and was always an excellent shutdown d-man late in games.

Parent is the only goalie to win the stanley cup, conn smythe and vezina in back-to-back years.

Led Flyers to five straight seasons with more than 44 wins. won two Cups and lost in the final once.

all-Time second Team

1. bobby clarke 2. bill barber 3. brian Propp 4. chris therien 5. joe watson 6. rick macleish 7. bob kelly 8. eric desjardins 9. gary dornhoefer 10. simon gagne

games Played

1,144 903 790 753 746 741 741 738 725 664

LeFt WinG

center

riGht WinG

deFense

deFense

GoALie

1994-07 john leclair

1992-00 eric lindros

1980-91 tim kerr

1967-78 joe watson

2007-Active kimmo timonen

1986-99 ron hextall

1. ron hextall 2. bernie Parent 3. wayne stephenson 4. bob froese 5. roman cechmanek 6. Pelle lindbergh 7. Pete Peeters 8. doug favell 9. brian boucher 10. martin biron

goalie wins

240 232 93 92 92 87 85 76 73 65

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 149

phoenix coyotes

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1979-80
(20-49-11)

games +/- .500

-178

stanley cups playoff record

32-71

playoff streak (1982-88)


ilya Bryzgalov was the centerpiece of a coyote resurgence in 2009-10.

7 yrs

pack mentality
The Coyotes couldnt count on a star, so they banded together when the hockey world wrote them off
phoenix coyotes | 2009-10 aming a best-ever Phoenix Coyotes team is a little like identifying your favorite shade of beige. none truly stand out for a franchise that hasnt won a playoff round since relocating from Winnipeg before 1996-97. the nod goes to the 2009-10 edition, one which overcame a file for bankruptcy, a legal tug-of-war between Jim balsillie and the nhL, questions about relocation and Wayne gretzkys departure to post a record-breaking regular season. because of the litigation and uncertainty surrounding the clubs future, adding highpriced free agents in the off-season wasnt an option. however, gM Don Maloney adeptly opted to shelve the youth movement and instead cobbled together a collection of veterans hungry to prove themselves. the result was a franchise-high 107-point campaign, despite prognostications of a last-place finish in the West by thn. to go from off-ice turmoil

team records
most points 107 (2009-10) most wins 50 (2009-10) most losses 46 (2006-07) most goals 246 (2005-06) win streak 9 (TWICE) losing streak 10 (TWICE) shutouts 9 (TWICE) captains 13 coaches 16 gms 7

top coaching wins


to put the focus back on the ice and on the game itself, i think weve come a long way this year, said coach Dave tippett. What happens now is weve set the bar higher for ourselves moving forward and its going to be a challenge to make sure that bar goes up again. Keys to success were goalie ilya bryzgalov, whose brilliance earned a vezina nomination, and tippett, whose bench skills put him in the running for the Jack Adams Award. Without an elite scoring presence, it was all about team play and adherence to systems. sadly for supporters, the team bowed out yet again in round 1, this time in seven games to Detroit. but the dramatic run to the playoffs set the tone for a brighter future. if someone would have told us in training camp wed finish with 107 points, 50 wins, we would have probably told them they were crazy, said center vernon fiddler. We took a great team to game 7, where anything can happen, and they just played better than us in one of the games. 1. bobby francis 2. wayne gretzky 3. john paddock 4. dave tippett * 5. dan maloney 6. barry long 7. jim schoenfeld 8. tom watt 9. bob murdoch 10. terry simpson 165 143 106 93 91 87 74 72 63 43
left: Christian Petersen/Getty imaGes; riGht: Denis BroDeur/nhli via Getty imaGes

retired numbers

9 bobby hull 10 dale hawerchuk 25 thomas steen 27 teppo numminen

(1972-80) (1981-90) (1981-95) (1988-03)

150 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

phoenix coyotes

best r e player ev

All-time numbers
dAle hAwerchuk
1981-90 gp 713 g 379 a 550 pts 929 pim 478
1. dale hawerchuk 2. thomas steen 3. shane doan * 4. keith tkachuk 5. teppo numminen 6. paul maclean 7. doug smail 8. Jeremy roenick 9. laurie boschman 10. morris lukowich

points

center

burst into the peg with a 103-point calder-winning campaign and put up five more 100-point seasons with the Jets.

929 817 738 623 534 518 397 379 379 345

keith tkAchuk
1991-01 gp 640 g 323 a 300 pts 623 pim 1,508

shAne doAn
95-active gp 1,119 g 296 a 442 pts 738 right wing pim 1,023
the biggest-name yote in arizona and the last active player from the first incarnation of the Jets.

teppo numminen
1988-03 gp 1,098 g 108 a 426 pts 534 pim 405

1. dale hawerchuk 2. keith tkachuk 3. shane doan * 4. thomas steen 5. paul maclean 6. doug smail 7. morris lukowich 8. Jeremy roenick 9. laurie boschman 10. teemu selanne

goals

379 323 296 264 248 189 168 152 152 147

left wing

defense

made a name for himself as one of the leagues top power forwards during his 10 years with the club.

His 15 years of steady service gave the franchise a stabilizing presence on the blueline.

fredrik olAusson
1986-93 gp 496 g 86 a 249 pts 335 pim 196

ilyA bryzgAlov
2007-11 gp 257 w 130 l 93 o 27 so 21

dAve tippett
09-active gp 164 w 93 l 51 o 20 po 3-8

1. keith tkachuk 2. laurie boschman 3. shane doan * 4. Jim kyte 5. kris king 6. tim Watters 7. thomas steen 8. randy carlyle 9. gord donnelly 10. paul maclean

pims

1,508 1,338 1,023 772 762 760 753 736 726 726

defense

goalie

coach

a smooth skater with soft hands, olausson is second only to numminen in assists and points for d.

Put up impressive numbers in his final two seasons to seal his selection as the franchises best in net.

Won the Jack adams in 2010 after a franchise best 107 points, followed by 99 points last season.

All-time second team

1. shane doan * 2. teppo numminen 3. thomas steen 4. dale hawerchuk 5. doug smail 6. keith tkachuk 7. randy carlyle 8. ron Wilson 9. paul maclean 10. laurie boschman

games played

1,119 1,098 950 713 691 640 564 536 527 526

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1981-88 paul maclean

1981-95 thomas steen

1992-96 teemu selanne

1980-86 dave babych

1983-93 randy carlyle

1994-99 nikolai khabibulin

1. Ilya Bryzgalov 2. bob essensa 3. nikolai khabibulin 4. sean burke 5. brian hayward 6. doug soetaert 7. curtis Joseph 8. daniel berthiaume 9. pokey reddick 10. brian boucher

goalie wins

130 129 126 97 63 50 50 50 41 28

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 151

pittsburgh penguins

greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1967-68
(27-34-13)

games +/- .500

-129

stanley cups playoff record

150-127 11 yrs
(1991-01)

playoff streak

A star-studded Pittsburgh lineup included six sure-fire Hall of Famers.

adversity conquered
It wasnt a cakewalk, at least not until midway through the playoffs when sickly gifted team became unbeatable
Pittsburgh Penguins | 1991-92 he Penguins put an exclamation point on their second straight nhL crown by winning their final 11 games, but getting there wasnt easy. the champs had to overcome contract squabbles, critical injuries and, most significantly, the tragic death of their coach. the secrets to their success? Dazzling depth, top-end talent and fierce desire. We had spectacular players, said tsns Pierre McGuire, an assistant coach with the 91-92 club. Its scary in terms of what it would cost to keep that team together today. the depth chart is an honor roll. start in the middle, with the best player in the league that season, Mario Lemieux, followed by an in-his-prime ron francis. the no. 3 center was bryan trottier. on right wing, 40-goal man Joey Mullen was followed by Mark Recchi (then later in the season, rick tocchet), while sophomore Jaromir Jagr flashed signs of his burgeoning brilliance amid a 32-goal year. Left winger Kevin Stevens recorded a team-

team records
most points 119 (1992-93) most wins 56 (1992-93) most losses 58 (1983-84) most goals 367 (1992-93) win streak 17 (1992-93) losing streak 13 (2003-04) shutouts 9 (1998-99) captains 13 coaches 20 gms 9
left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: deniS Brodeur/nhli/via Getty imaGeS

top coaching wins


best 54 goals and 254 penalty minutes, giving Pittsburgh the top power forward in hockey. The blueline featured Paul Coffey (until February), Larry Murphy and Ulf and Kjell Samuelsson. The last line of defense was money goalie tom barrasso, while all-time coaching guru scotty bowman pulled the strings after stepping in for Bob Johnson. That team could beat you any way, said Pens vice-president tom McMillan, a reporter in 1992. They could play a tough game, they could fight, they could play a defensive game and they could blow your doors off. yet, despite the riches, they stumbled at times, on occasion badly. Johnsons passing in november cast a pall, while francis contract impasse and Lemieuxs back woes created big challenges. it wasnt until late April the club finally hit on all cylinders. We hung in there, Murphy said. After the first couple rounds of the playoffs, it was like we were never going to lose another game. they never did. 1. eddie johnston 2. michel therrien 3. dan bylsma * 4. scotty bowman 5. johnny wilson 6. red kelly 7. bob berry 8. kevin constantine 9. ken schinkel 10. marc boileau 232 135 114 95 91 90 88 86 83 66

retired numbers

21 michel briere 66 mario lemieux

(1969-70) (1984-06)

152 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

pittsburgh penguins

best r e player ev

All-time numbers
mArio lemieux
84-97, 00-06 gp 915 g 690 a 1033 pts 1723 pim 834
1. mario lemieux 2. jaromir jagr 3. rick kehoe 4. ron francis 5. jean pronovost 6. sidney crosby * 7. kevin stevens 8. syl apps 9. martin straka 10. paul coffey

points

center

arguably the most talented player in nhl history. only gretzky (1.92) averaged more points per game than lemieux (1.88).

1,723 1,079 636 613 603 572 555 500 442 440

kevin stevens
87-95, 00-02 gp 522 g 260 a 295 pts 555 pim 1,046 left wing
his scoring prowess in the early 1990s with pittsburgh was matched only by his mean streak.

jAromir jAgr
1990-01 gp 806 g 439 a 640 pts 1,079 pim 593

pAul coffey
1987-92 gp 331 g 108 a 332 pts 440 pim 573

1. mario lemieux 2. jaromir jagr 3. jean pronovost 4. rick kehoe 5. kevin stevens 6. sidney crosby * 7. mike bullard 8. martin straka 9. ron francis 10. evgeni malkin *

goals

690 439 316 312 260 215 185 165 164 158

right wing

defense

only player besides gretzky and lemieux to win scoring titles (five) between 1981 and 2001.

his effortless strides made him the franchises all-time leader in points by a defenseman.

rAndy cArlyle
1978-84 gp 397 g 66 a 257 pts 323 pim 582

tom bArrAsso
1988-00 gp 458 w 226 l 153 t/o 53 so 22

dAn bylsmA
08-active gp 189 w 114 l 56 t/o 19 po 26-18

1. kevin stevens 2. troy loney 3. rod buskas 4. bryan Watson 5. paul baxter 6. mario lemieux 7. gary rissling 8. ulf samuelsson 9. Jay caufield 10. russ anderson

pims

1,048 980 959 871 851 834 832 804 714 684

defense

goalie

coach

the only pens defenseman to win the norris trophy with his 83-point campaign in 1980-81.

held the fort on the back end on offense-first/defense-maybe Pens clubs, especially in the early 90s.

Brought Pittsburgh its first cup in 17 years as a mid-season mastermind replacement in 2008-09.

All-time second team

1. mario lemieux 2. jaromir jagr 3. jean pronovost 4. rick kehoe 5. ron stackhouse 6. ron schock 7. dave burrows 8. bob errey 9. martin straka 10. ron francis

games played

915 806 753 722 621 619 573 572 560 533

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1968-78 jean pronovost

2005-active sidney crosby

1974-85 rick kehoe

2005-10 sergei gonchar

1990-95 larry murphy

2003-active marc-andre fleury

1. tom barrasso 2. marc-andre fleury * 3. ken Wregget 4. denis herron 5. jean-sebastien aubin 6. les binkley 7. greg millen 8. roberto romano 9. johan hedberg 10. jim rutherford

goalie wins

226 184 104 88 63 58 57 46 46 44

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 153

st. louis blues

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1967-68
(27-31-16)

games +/- .500

-2

stanley cups playoff record

138-169 25 yrs
(1980-04)

playoff streak

Jacques Plante and Al Arbour were veteran stalwarts with the Blues.

expansion sensation
Led by savvy veterans and a pair of all-time great goalies, Blues cruise to second straight Stanley Cup final
St. LouiS BLueS | 1968-69 he St. Louis Blues were still new to the nhL in 1968-69, but their roster oozed experience. Led by legendary defenseman Doug harvey, 44, the blues had six players older than coach scotty bowman, who was 35 at the time. Left winger red berenson said it was that wisdom of harvey, along with other veterans including 40-year-old Jacques Plante, 36-year-olds Jean-guy talbot, Al Arbour and glenn hall, and 35-year-old Camille henry, that guided the second-year blues to their second straight Stanley Cup final. there was a lot of respect, said berenson, who led the team with 35 goals and 82 points. And those players werent just old players. they were players who had played for stanley Cup teams, particularly Montreal. if you look at most of the players that were older, it was players that scotty had hand-picked himself to play for st. Louis because he knew they were winners and they knew how to win. that was a big factor.

team records
most points 114 (1999-00) most wins 51 (1999-00) most losses 50 (1978-79) most goals 352 (1980-81) win streak 10 (2001-02) losing streak 13 (2005-06) shutouts 13 (1968-69) captains 16 coaches 23 gms 11
left: Bruce Bennett StudioS/Getty imaGeS; riGht: Steve BaBineau/nhli via Getty imaGeS

top coaching wins


The Blues finished atop the Western Division with a 37-25-14 record. they were also the best defensive team in the league by a long shot, allowing just 157 goals 39 fewer than second best. their defensive success was thanks to the hall of fame goaltending duo of hall and Plante and a steady blueline patrolled by harvey and Arbour. they were as good as it gets, said berenson, whos been the coach at the University of Michigan since 1984. We didnt have to score a lot of goals to win a game. The Blues cruised to the Stanley Cup final without losing a game, sweeping Philadelphia and Los Angeles, but were swept themselves by the Montreal Canadiens for the second straight year. We had a pretty good season, Bowman said. Won the Western division, won the playoffs in the West, won the Vezina Trophy, had a player (red berenson) score six goals in one game to tie an all-time record. not a bad season. 1. Joel Quenneville 2. brian sutter 3. andy murray 4. scotty bowman 5. JacQues demers 6. red berenson 7. mike keenan 8. bob berry 9. JacQues martin 10. davis payne * 307 153 118 110 106 100 75 73 66 61

retired numbers

2 al macinnis 3 bob gassoff 8 barclay plager 11 brian sutter 16 brett hull 24 bernie federko

(1994-04) (1973-77) (1967-77) (1976-88) (1987-98) (1976-89)

154 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

st. louis blues

best r e player ev

All-time numbers
brett hull
1988-98 gp 744 g 527 a 409 pts 936 pim 286
1. bernie federko 2. brett hull 3. brian sutter 4. garry unger 5. pavol Demitra 6. al macinnis 7. keith tkachuk 8. red berenson 9. chris pronger 10. pierre turgeon

points

right wing

the no. 3 goal-scorer in nhl history owned the best one-timer ever. his signature blast ended with him down on one knee.

1,073 936 636 575 493 452 427 412 356 355

briAn sutter
1976-88 gp 779 g 303 a 333 pts 636 pim 1,786

bernie federko
1976-89 gp 927 g 352 a 721 pts 1,073 pim 463

Al mAcinnis
1994-04 gp 613 g 127 a 325 pts 452 pim 551

1. brett hull 2. bernie federko 3. brian sutter 4. garry unger 5. keith tkachuk 6. pavol Demitra 7. red berenson 8. jorgen pettersson 9. brendan shanahan 10. Wayne babych

goals

527 352 303 292 208 204 172 161 156 155

left wing

center

defense

gritty and always game, sutter had seven 20-goal, 100-pim seasons in st. louis.

the franchises leader in all-time offense registered four seasons with 100 or more points.

the 1999 norris winner could make any power play better thanks to his blistering slapshot.

chris pronger
1995-04 gp 598 g 84 a 272 pts 356 pim 931

mike liut
1979-85 gp 347 w 151 l 133 t/o 52 so 10

joel quenneville
1997-04 g 593 w 307 l 191 t/o 95 po 34-34

1. brian sutter 2. kelly chase 3. barclay plager 4. chris pronger 5. rob ramage 6. bob gassoff 7. perry turnbull 8. barret jackman * 9. bob plager 10. jamal mayers

pims

1,786 1,497 1,115 931 898 866 829 786 762 756

defense

goalie

coach

formed one of best tandems ever with macinnis. Won both the norris and hart in 2000.

franchise leader in games played and wins. Won the lester b. pearson trophy in 1980-81.

the winningest coach in blues history led the team to six consecutive playoff berths.

All-time second team

1. bernie federko 2. brian sutter 3. brett hull 4. garry unger 5. bob plager 6. barclay plager 7. al macinnis 8. larry patey 9. chris pronger 10. jamal mayers

games played

927 779 744 662 615 614 613 603 598 595

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2001-10 keith tkachuk

1970-79 garry unger

1979-86 joe mullen

1967-77 barclay plager

1982-88 rob ramage

1989-95 curtis joseph

1. mike liut 2. curtis joseph 3. grant fuhr 4. greg millen 5. brent johnson 6. rick Wamsley 7. roman turek 8. manny legace 9. vincent riendeau 10. glenn hall

goalie wins

151 137 108 85 76 75 66 63 58 58

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 155

san jose sharks

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1991-92
(17-58-5)

games +/- .500

-49

stanley cups playoff record

76-82

playoff streak (2004-active)


Patrick Marleau was named Sharks captain mid-way through 2003-04.

7 yrs

younG fins flourished


San Jose has iced a lot of competitive teams, but a bunch of emerging kids are the enduring heroes
San joSe SharkS | 2003-04 he Sharks have been teetering on the edge of glory for many years now. A perennial regular season powerhouse, the team has experienced only minimal playoff success. the 2003-04 version of the teal and black may not have been loaded with stars and offensive power, but they were young and gelled at the right time. it was a season that saw the emergence of a new generation in san Jose. the team was led in goal-scoring by 24-year-old Patrick Marleau and 23-year-old Jonathan Cheechoo. both players found the net 28 times and Marleau led the sharks in points with 57. A 25-year-old Marco sturm also had a productive season, netting 21 goals and 41 points. brad stuart, 24, led the rearguards, posting a career-high 39 points. the sharks believed in their youth movement so much they dealt long-time captain owen nolan to the toronto Maple Leafs for Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes and a first round

team records
most points 117 (2008-09) most wins 53 (2008-09) most losses 71 (1992-93) most goals 266 (2005-06) win streak 11 (2007-08) losing streak 17 (1992-93) shutouts 11 (twice) captains 11 coaches 8 gms 4

top coaching wins


pick that later became Mark stuart. this was a move that further solidified managements commitment to retool. Depth between the pipes was a non-issue. the sharks had evgeni nabokov starting and a solid backup in vesa toskala. Waiting in the midst was a young finn by the name of Miikka Kiprusoff. Coming off a season where they didnt even qualify for the playoffs, the sharks claimed the Pacific Division title with 104 points and got past the st. Louis blues and Colorado Avalanche with only three losses. however, they were ousted in the Western Conference final 4-2 by a determined Calgary flames team led by Jarome iginla and Kiprusoff, who the sharks dealt to the flames early in the season. While the sharks have yet to sink their teeth into the Stanley Cup, the 03-04 youth movement provided fans with their first of three trips to the NHLs final four. Its a huge step for the whole organization, nabokov said at the time. 1. ron wilson 2. darryl sutter 3. todd mclellan * 4. kevin constantine 5. george kingston 6. al sims 7. jim wiley 8. cap raeder 206 192 152 55 28 27 17 1

Franchise playoff record in Game 6 over the years. The Sharks have won two Game 7s, but rarely get that far

2-6

156 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImaGes; rIGht: don smIth/nhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

all-Time Team

san jose sharks

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
joe ThornTon
2005-active gp 465 g 137 a 410 pts 547 pim 315
1. patrick marleau * 2. joe thornton * 3. owen nolan 4. jeff friesen 5. jonathan cheechoo 6. vincent damphousse 7. marco sturm 8. mike ricci 9. joe pavelski * 10. ryane clowe *

points

center

thornton has changed the personality of sharks. he combines crafty playmaking with an underrated shot to spur a powerful attack.

766 547 451 350 291 289 273 263 244 215

paTrick marleau
1997-active gp 1,035 g 357 a 409 pts 766 pim 341 left wing
the longest-serving shark has eclipsed the 30-goal plateau five times and 20 goals nine times.

owen nolan
1995-03 gp 568 g 206 a 245 pts 451 pim 934

dan boyle
2008-active gp 229 g 40 a 125 pts 165 pim 189

1. patrick marleau * 2. owen nolan 3. jonathan cheechoo 4. jeff friesen 5. joe thornton * 6. marco sturm 7. joe pavelski * 8. mike ricci 9. vincent damphousse 10. milan michalek

goals

357 206 165 149 137 128 103 101 92 91

right wing

defense

a rough, in-your- face leader, nolan had a knack for scoring goals at clutch times.

in just three seasons, boyle has become the franchise leader in points for defensemen.

mike raThje
1993-04 gp 671 g 27 a 128 pts 155 pim 439

evgeni nabokov
1999-10 gp 563 w 293 l 178 t/o 66 so 50

ron wilson
2003-08 gp 385 w 206 l 122 t/o 57 po 28-24

1. jeff odgers 2. owen nolan 3. bryan marchment 4. jay more 5. andrei nazarov 6. dody Wood 7. scott thornton 8. mike rathje 9. mark smith 10. marcus ragnarsson

pims

1,001 934 706 545 490 471 439 439 398 392

defense

goalie

coach

rathje used his 6-foot-5 frame to intimidate opponents and apply his long reach effectively.

never had a standout playoff run for the sharks, but nabokov put together three 40-win seasons.

Wilson coached his teams to four straight seasons with 40 or more wins, but never made the final.

all-Time second Team

1. patrick marleau * 2. mike rathje 3. owen nolan 4. evgeni nabokov 5. marco sturm 6. mike ricci 7. marcus ragnarsson 8. jeff friesen 9. scott hannan 10. joe thornton *

games played

1,035 671 568 563 553 529 519 512 508 463

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1994-01 jeff friesen

1999-04 vincent damphousse

2002-09 jonathan cheechoo

1998-07 scott hannan

1998-02 gary suter

1993-96 arturs irbe

1. evgeni nabokov 2. vesa toskala 3. arturs irbe 4. mike vernon 5. steve shields 6. antti niemi * 7. Kelly hrudey 8. chris terreri 9. brian boucher 10. miikka Kiprusoff

goalie wins

293 65 57 52 48 35 20 19 15 14

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 157

tampa bay lightning

greatest team Ever tEam facts


debut season

1992-93
(23-54-7)

games +/- .500

-223

stanley cups playoff record

37-32

playoff streak (2003-07)


Dave andreychuk was 40 when he lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time.

4 yrs

struck by lightning
A mix of superstars and inspirational leaders helped the Lightning bring the first Cup to the Sunshine State
tampa bay lightning | 2003-04 he 2003-04 tampa bay Lightning were overflowing with storylines, ranging from a coach feuding with his star player to a key defensive acquisition. The equation wasnt traditional, but the results were ideal. The Lightning were coming off their first playoff season since 1996 and wanted to prove they were capable of more than a one and done. I think we learned a lot from the season before, said Jay Feaster, Tampas GM at the time. I felt after 2002-03 we could still show we were going to be Southeast Division champs. The issue was how much further could we go in the playoffs. Even through coach John Tortorellas fight to mould budding star Vincent Lecavalier, it wasnt long before the Lightning found out it could go all the way. After steamrolling the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens in the first two rounds, the Lightning went on to conquer the Philadelphia Flyers in seven, claiming their first Eastern Conference title.

team records
most points 106 (2003-04) most wins 46 (twice) most losses 55 (1997-98) most goals 253 (2006-07) win streak 8 (2003-04) losing streak 13 (1997-98) shutouts 9 (2001-02) captains 8 coaches 8 gms 6

top coaching wins


On a roster chock-full of offensive talent, it was the relatively unknown Ruslan Fedotenko who scored the winning goal in Game 7 against the Calgary Flames that brought the Stanley Cup to Florida for the first time. Despite all the star power Lecavalier, Martin St-Louis, Brad Richards, Dan Boyle, Nikolai Khabibulin and a wily vet and rallying-point (due to his 22 seasons without a Cup) in Dave Andreychuk Feaster believes it was the offthe-radar acquisition of defenseman Darryl Sydor prior to the trade deadline that made the difference. Acquiring him was huge, Feaster said. We had to have another experienced defenseman back there if we were going to do anything in the playoffs. It was Syd who was the one talking to the team about how you can play your whole career and never have a shot like we have with this kind of team and that this is an opportunity that you cannot let go by. Between that and his play, if he isnt part of it, I dont know if we make that run. 1. john tortorella 2. terry crisp 3. rick tocchet 4. guy boucher * 5. jacques demers 6. steve ludzik 7. barry melrose 8. rick paterson 239 142 53 46 34 31 5 0

Inches separated 5-foot-8 Martin St-Louis and Boston d-man Zdeno Chara in the Eastern nal last season

13

158 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: elsa/Getty ImaGes; rIGht: scott audette/NhlI vIa Getty ImaGes

all-time team

tampa bay lightning

best r e player ev

all-time numberS
martin St-louiS
2000-active gp 785 g 294 a 464 pts 758 pim 218 right wing
st-louis is the heart and soul of the bolts. the hart trophy winner in 2004 has scored more than 90 points four times during his career. 1. Vincent Lecavalier * 2. Martin St-Louis * 3. brad richards 4. Vaclav Prospal 5. brian bradley 6. fredrik modin 7. chris gratton 8. dan boyle 9. Steven Stamkos * 10. Pavel Kubina *

points

793 758 489 371 300 286 259 253 232 232

dave andreychuk
2001-06 gp 278 g 68 a 61 pts 129 pim 201

vincent lecavalier
2001-06 gp 934 g 351 a 442 pts 793 pim 667

dan boyle
2001-08 gp 394 g 66 a 187 pts 253 pim 288

1. Vincent Lecavalier * 2. Martin St-Louis * 3. brad richards 4. fredrik modin 5. Vaclav Prospal 6. Steven Stamkos * 7. brian bradley 8. chris gratton 9. rob Zamuner 10. Alex Selivanov

goals

351 294 150 145 127 119 111 98 84 78

left wing

center

defense

andreychuks leadership was an integral reason the lightning won the stanley cup in 2004.

The first overall pick in 1998 has been very consistent, scoring 20 or more goals 11 times.

boyle is a smooth-skating defenseman who makes power plays dangerous.

roman hamrlik
1992-98 gp 377 g 52 a 133 pts 185 pim 474

nikolai khabibulin
2001-04 gp 192 w 83 l 74 t/o 28 so 14

john tortorella
2001-08 gp 535 w 239 l 222 t/o 74 po 24-21

1. chris gratton 2. Pavel Kubina * 3. Vincent Lecavalier * 4. enrico ciccone 5. cory sarich 6. andre roy 7. roman hamrlik 8. Steve Downie * 9. rudy poeschek 10. jassen cullimore

pims

828 725 667 604 554 484 474 433 418 396

defense

goalie

coach

The first overall pick of 1992 developed into a solid NHL D-man in the early years of the lightning.

the bulin Wall was tampa bays first star goalie. A key cog to the 2004 cup run.

Even though hes a rough, intimidating and demanding figure, he gets the best out of his players.

all-time Second team

1. Vincent Lecavalier * 2. Martin St-Louis * 3. Pavel Kubina * 4. brad richards 5. cory sarich 6. chris gratton 7. rob Zamuner 8. Vaclav Prospal 9. fredrik modin 10. mikael andersson

games played

934 785 610 552 490 482 475 468 445 435

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1999-06 fredrik modin

2000-08 brad richards

1994-99 alex selivanov

1998-04 jassen cullimore

97-06, active

pavel kubina

1993-00 daren puppa

1. nikolai khabibulin 2. daren puppa 3. john grahame 4. Johan Holmqvist 5. mike smith 6. Kevin Weekes 7. corey schwab 8. antero niittymaki 9. rick tabaracci 10. Dwayne Roloson *

goalie wins

83 77 53 47 43 23 21 21 20 18

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 159

toronto maple leafs

Greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1917-18
(13-9-0)

games +/- .500

+17

stanley cups

13

playoff record

251-269-4 15 yrs
(1931-45)

playoff streak

Hall of fame goaltender Johnny Bower is still beloved by leafs nation.

re-leafed champions
Veteran-laded Buds team got big boosts from Keon, Kelly en route to second straight Cup win
toronto maple leafs | 1962-63

team records
most points 103 (2003-04) most wins 45 (3 times) most losses 52 (1984-85) most goals 337 (1989-90) win streak 10 (1993-94) losing streak 10 (1966-67) shutouts 13 (1953-54) captains 18 coaches 36 gms 14

top coaching wins


a 35-23-12 record and claim their first Prince of Wales Trophy in 15 years. A first round win over Montreal set up a final against Detroit that was a rubber match between the two franchises. the Leafs and Detroit had met 18 times in the playoffs before 1963 and each team had won nine series. Toronto won the first two games before Detroit took game 3. but Kelly and Keon combined for three goals and four points for toronto in game 4 and in game 5, Keon opened the scoring in torontos 3-1 seriesclinching win. We didnt play well at times during the season, Duff said, but we knew what was at stake in the playoffs and the guys came together so well. everybody stepped up at different timesthats what makes good teams great. When it was over, imlach made clear who his best player was. id have to take Davey (Keon), imlach said when asked to pick a playoff MvP. i wouldnt trade him for gordie howe. 1. punch imlach 2. pat quinn 3. hap day 4. dick irvin 5. red kelly 6. pat burns 7. john mclellan 8. ron wilson * 9. joe primeau 10. mike nykoluk 370 300 259 216 133 133 126 101 97 89

f you were looking for a team that employed future hall of fame players at every position and got crucial contributions from the top of the lineup to its bottom the 1962-63 toronto Maple Leafs would be your ideal choice. We were mostly an older team, but we had some younger guys who could play, too, said Dick Duff, a member of the 62-63 Leafs team that won the organizations 11th stanley Cup. the Leafs began 1962-63 as defending champs who had just won their first Cup in a decade. And most of the components from that team including captain george Armstrong, coach-gM Punch imlach, leading scorer frank Mahovlich and starting goalie Johnny bower were back in blue and white. toronto had many veteran warriors: red Kelly and tim horton on defense; and Mahovlich, Armstrong and Dave Keon (an emerging star who hadnt celebrated his 23rd birthday before the season began) up front. toronto edged Chicago to finish first in the NHL with

retired numbers

5 bill barilko 6 ace bailey

(1946-51) (1926-34)

nine other numbers are honored:

1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 17, 21, 27, 93

160 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Pictorial Parade/Hulton arcHive/Getty imaGes; riGHt: Bruce Bennett studios/Getty imaGes

all-time team

toronto maple leafs

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
syl apps
1936-48 gp 423 g 201 a 231 pts 432 pim 56
1. Mats sundin 2. darryl sittler 3. dave keon 4. borje salming 5. george armstrong 6. ron ellis 7. frank Mahovlich 8. bob Pulford 9. ted kennedy 10. rick vaive

points

center

a born leader, apps captained the leafs to three stanley cups in the 1940s while taking two years off to serve in the second world war.

987 916 858 768 713 640 597 563 560 537

frank mahovlich
1957-68 gp 720 g 296 a 301 pts 597 pim 782

charlie conacher
1929-38 gp 326 g 200 a 124 pts 324 pim 411

tim horton
1949-70 gp 1,185 g 109 a 349 pts 458 pim 1,389

1. Mats sundin 2. darryl sittler 3. dave keon 4. ron ellis 5. rick vaive 6. george armstrong 7. frank Mahovlich 8. wendel clark 9. bob Pulford 10. ted kennedy

goals

420 389 365 332 299 296 296 260 251 231

left wing

right wing

defense

had 20-plus goals in nine of 11 seasons as a leaf, including his high-water mark of 48 in 60-61.

the only leaf to lead the league in scoring twice, conacher was also tops or tied in goals five times.

known now more for his doughnut empire, horton was an elite d-man in his 18-year leafs career.

borje salming
1973-89 gp 1,099 g 148 a 620 pts 768 pim 1,292

turk broda
1936-51 gp 629 w 302 l 224 t 101 so 62

punch imlach
58-69, 79-80 gp 770 w 370 l 275 t 125 po 44-48

1. tie domi 2. tiger williams 3. wendel clark 4. tim horton 5. borje salming 6. red horner 7. bob baun 8. bob Mcgill 9. rick vaive 10. todd gill

pims

2,265 1,670 1,535 1,389 1,292 1,254 1,155 988 940 922

defense

goalie

coach

tough and talented, salming is the leafs highest-scoring defenseman by nearly 250 points.

the leafs premier puckstopper had a miniscule 1.98 goals-against average in the post-season.

led toronto to its four stanley cups in the 1960s, including the leafs last in 1967.

all-time second team

1. george armstrong 2. tim horton 3. borje salming 4. dave keon 5. ron ellis 6. Mats sundin 7. bob Pulford 8. tomas kaberle 9. darryl sittler 10. ron stewart

games played

1,187 1,185 1,099 1,062 1,034 981 947 878 844 838

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1929-39 busher jackson

1942-57 ted kennedy

19-26, 30-31 babe dye

1930-37 king clancy

1958-68 allan stanley

1958-69 johnny bower

1. turk broda 2. johnny bower 3. felix Potvin 4. curtis joseph 5. Mike Palmateer 6. harry lumley 7. lorne chabot 8. john ross roach 9. ed belfour 10. bruce gamble

goalie wins

302 219 160 138 129 103 103 98 93 82

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 161

vancouver canucks

Greatest Team ever Team facTs


debut season

1970-71
(24-46-8)

games +/- .500

-203

stanley cups playoff record

100-114 6 yrs

playoff streak (1979-84, 1991-96)


Losing to Boston turned the canucks bench into an area of stunned disbelief.

one ThaT GoT away


NHLs consensus best team had everything going for it until the most critical moment
vancouver canucks | 2010-11 hey set a handful of team records, had a host of individual award winners and all-stars and distanced the pack in several key team categories. they even had the stanley Cup in their grasp, just one home ice win away from satiating 40 years of anticipation. Ultimately, however, the 2010-11 vancouver Canucks will be remembered as one of the best teams not to win professional hockeys ultimate triumph. expectations were high for the team from the get-go. the hockey news, in its preseason yearbook, was among the pundits who predicted the Canucks would win it all. the bottom line is we have a better team this year (than last), said captain and thenreigning nhL MvP henrik sedin. We know that and with that comes expectations, but i think were prepared. And by nearly everyones estimation, they were. henriks twin brother, Daniel, grabbed the mantle of best player for much of the

team records
most points 117 (2010-11) most wins 54 (2010-11) most losses 50 (1971-72) most goals 346 (1992-93) win streak 10 (2001-02) losing streak 10 (1997-98) shutouts 10 (2008-09) captains 12 coaches 16 gms 10

top coaching wins


season, snaring the Art ross trophy for most points and ted Lindsay Award for top performer as selected by his peers. roberto Luongo and Cory schneider, playing behind perhaps the deepest defense in the league, won the Jennings trophy for fewest goals allowed. ryan Kesler was recognized as the best two-way forward in hockey with the selke trophy. Meantime, the Canucks set team standards for points (117) and wins (54) and led the league in goals (258) and power play efficiency (24.3). After a scare in the first round of the playoffs against Chicago, the Canucks grew stronger as the post-season progressed and were heavy favorites to beat Boston in the final. But somewhere between Games 2 and 3 they lost their mojo, sustained personnel setbacks and succumbed in seven games. Were not going to use injuries as (an excuse), said coach Alain vigneault following the loss. it came down to game 7 and we werent able to get it done. 1. marc crawford 2. alain vigneault * 3. harry neale 4. pat quinn 5. bob mccammon 6. phil maloney 7. tom watt 8. roger neilson 9. rick ley 10. hal laycoe 246 236 142 141 102 95 52 51 47 44

retired numbers

12 stan smyl (1978-91) 16 trevor linden (88-98, 01-08) 19 markus naslund (1996-08)

162 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Dave SanDforD/getty imageS; right: Jeff vinnick/nhli via getty imageS

all-Time Team

vancouver canucks

best r e player ev

all-Time numbers
henrik sedin
00-active gp 810 g 157 a 509 pts 666 pim 458
1. markus naslund 2. trevor linden 3. stan smyl 4. henrik sedin * 5. daniel sedin * 6. thomas gradin 7. pavel bure 8. tony tanti 9. todd bertuzzi 10. don lever

points

center

along with vision, durability and precision passing ability, we can now add leadership to henriks growing superstar credentials.

756 733 673 666 651 550 478 470 449 407

daniel sedin
00-active gp 787 g 249 a 402 pts 651 pim 324

markus naslund
1996-08 gp 884 g 346 a 410 pts 756 pim 614

maTTias ohlund
1997-09 gp 770 g 93 a 232 pts 325 pim 756

1. markus naslund 2. trevor linden 3. stan smyl 4. pavel bure 5. tony tanti 6. daniel sedin * 7. thomas gradin 8. todd bertuzzi 9. don lever 10. greg adams

goals

346 318 262 254 250 249 197 188 186 179

left wing

right wing

defense

the other brother is the sniper of the sedin twins and the go-to guy on the canucks power play.

captain canuck for nearly a decade, naslund is the franchise leader in goals and points.

the top defensive blueliner and premier penalty-killer for 11 seasons in vancouver.

jyrki lumme
1990-98 gp 579 g 83 a 238 pts 321 pim 379

roberTo luongo
06-active gp 331 w 193 l 101 o 33 so 28

alain vigneaulT
06-active gp 410 w 236 l 133 o 41 po 32-27

1. gino odjick 2. garth butcher 3. stan smyl 4. harold snepsts 5. tiger Williams 6. donald brashear 7. dana murzyn 8. todd bertuzzi 9. Jim sandlak 10. mattias ohlund

pims

2,127 1,668 1,556 1,446 1,324 1,159 900 822 789 756

defense

goalie

coach

the finnish blueliner was an integral part of vancouvers success in the early 1990s.

Has put up stellar numbers in five seasons with the canucks, almost taking them to cup glory in 2011.

nucks bench boss has brought in a sound defensive system without stifling the teams offensive stars.

all-Time second Team

1. trevor linden 2. stan smyl 3. markus naslund 4. henrik sedin * 5. daniel sedin * 6. harold snepsts 7. mattias ohlund 8. dennis kearns 9. doug lidster 10. thomas gradin

games played

1,140 896 894 810 787 781 770 677 666 613

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1978-91 stan smyl

88-98, 01-08 trevor linden

1991-98 pavel bure

1974-84 harold snepsts

1971-81 dennis kearns

1987-98 kirk mclean

1. kirk mclean 2. roberto luongo * 3. richard brodeur 4. dan cloutier 5. gary smith 6. glen hanlon 7. alex auld 8. kay Whitmore 9. dunc Wilson 10. garth snow

goalie wins

211 193 126 109 72 43 39 36 34 33

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 163

washington capitals

greatest team Ever tEam facts


debut season

1974-75
(8-67-5)

games +/- .500

-57

stanley cups playoff record

86-104
(1983-96)

playoff streak

14 yrs

a great playoff run didnt quell a disappointing ending for olaf Kolzig.

district of dEstiny
The Capitals took advantage of some first round upsets to make their mark despite being playoff afterthoughts
washington capitals | 1997-98 he 1997-98 Washington Capitals were no regular season juggernaut, but they bled character, which proved to be a catalyst for an unlikely run to the Stanley Cup final. the Capitals boasted the leagues top penalty kill and the highest winning percentage after trailing in the first period, showcasing their heart and a desire to compete. With captain Dale hunter, who sits second all-time in penalty minutes, and a new pragmatic bench boss in ron Wilson, the team had a solid backbone. Up front, they were propelled by franchise points leader Peter bondra, who netted 52 goals that season, along with skilled pivots Adam Oates and Joe Juneau. On the back end, which featured dependable Calle Johansson and free-wheeling Phil housley, the Caps were effective. the team also had ripening stars Andrew brunette and sergei gonchar, not to mention standout goaltender olaf Kolzig, who posted

team records
most points 121 (2009-10) most wins 54 (2009-10) most losses 67 (1974-75) most goals 330 (1991-92) win streak 14 (2009-10) losing streak 17 (1974-75) shutouts 9 (1995-96) captains 14 coaches 14 gms 4

top coaching wins


a 2.20 goals-against average and .920 save percentage, padding his franchise lead in wins and shutouts. fueled by a 6-2-1 record down the stretch, the Capitals finished fourth in the East and watched the top three seeds, new Jersey, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, get upended in the first round, clearing the way for the Caps to leverage home ice the rest of the way. They did their part by knocking off boston, ottawa and Buffalo, winning six overtime games. We all felt, myself included, that it was destiny, Kolzig said. facing off against a dynasty in Detroit, the Caps championship dreams came to a sudden halt. The Wings swept the series to capture their second consecutive Stanley Cup. youre just as disappointed as a team who doesnt make the playoffs because you didnt win the Cup, Kolzig said. But nobody expected us or had any expectations of us to go to the final and lose to Detroit. We kind of hang our hat on that. 1. bryan murray 2. ron wilson 3. bruce boudreau * 4. terry murray 5. jim schoenfeld 6. glen hanlon 7. gary green 8. tom mcvie 9. bruce cassidy 10. danny belisle 343 192 189 163 113 78 50 49 47 28

retired numbers

5 rod langway 7 yvon labre 11 mike gartner 32 dale hunter

(1982-93) (1974-81) (1979-89) (1987-99)

164 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

left: Rick StewaRt/getty imageS; Right: gReg fiume/Nhli via getty imageS

all-time team

washington capitals

best r e player ev

all-time numbers
alex ovechkin
2005-active gp 475 g 301 a 313 pts 614 pim 346 left wing
ovechkin has taken the term power forward to new heights. a beast on the ice, he has won numerous awards, except the cup. 1. peter bondra 2. mike gartner 3. alex ovechkin * 4. michal pivonka 5. dale hunter 6. bengt gustafsson 7. mike ridley 8. calle johansson 9. Dennis Maruk 10. scott stevens

points

825 789 614 599 556 555 547 474 431 429

dale hunter
1987-99 gp 872 g 181 a 375 pts 556 pim 2,001

peter bondra
1990-04 gp 961 g 472 a 353 pts 825 pim 679

scott stevens
1982-90 gp 601 g 98 a 331 pts 429 pim 1628

1. peter bondra 2. mike gartner 3. alex ovechkin * 4. mike ridley 5. bengt gustafsson 6. dave christian 7. bob carpenter 8. dennis maruk 9. Michal Pivonka 10. dale hunter

goals

472 397 301 218 196 193 188 182 181 181

center

right wing

defense

skilled and tough, hunter is the only nhl player with both 1,000 points and 3,000 penalty minutes.

the leading goal-scorer in caps history combined quick feet with a blistering wrist shot.

the brash bruisers career started in Washington, where his underrated offensive talents shone.

rod langway
1982-93 gp 726 g 25 a 177 pts 202 pim 502

olaf kolzig
1989-08 gp 711 w 301 l 293 t/o 86 so 35

bryan murray
1982-90 g 672 w 343 l 246 t/o 83 po 24-29

1. dale hunter 2. scott stevens 3. craig berube 4. alan may 5. brendan Witt 6. kevin hatcher 7. mike gartner 8. yvon labre 9. Greg Adams 10. joe reekie

pims

2,003 1,628 1,220 1,189 1,035 999 770 756 694 688

defense

goalie

coach

the 6-foot-3, 218 pound hall of famer is one of the games best defensive defensemen ever.

godzilla leads most caps goalie stats categories and led the caps to their only final in 1998.

the winningest coach in caps history had seven straight seasons with at least 38 wins.

all-time second team

1. calle johansson 2. peter bondra 3. kelly miller 4. dale hunter 5. michal pivonka 6. mike gartner 7. rod langway 8. olaf kolzig 9. Steve Konowalchuk 10. kevin hatcher

games played

983 961 940 872 825 758 726 711 693 685

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

1987-99 kelly miller

1979-89 bengt gustafsson

1979-89 mike gartner

1984-94 kevin hatcher

1989-03 calle johansson

1988-94 don beaupre

1. olaf kolzig 2. don beaupre 3. al jensen 4. pete peeters 5. jim carey 6. pat riggin 7. jose theodore 8. clint malarchuk 9. Michal Neuvirth * 10. bob mason

goalie wins

301 128 94 70 70 67 62 40 38 35

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 165

winnipeg jets

greatest team ever team facts


debut season

1999-00
(14-57-7)

games +/- .500

-173

stanley cups playoff record

0-4

playoff streak

1 yr
(2007)

a solid season was snuffed out following a four-game sweep to the rangers.

One and dOne


In 11 seasons of existence, Atlanta made the playoffs just once and it wasnt a memorable experience
atlanta thrashers | 2006-07

team records
most points 97 (2006-07) most Wins 43 (2006-07) most losses 57 (1999-00) most goals 281 (2005-06) Win streak 6 (2008-09) losing streak 12 (1999-00) shutouts 5 (2005-06) captains 8 coaches 5 gms 2

top coaching Wins


year and thats what got them off to a good start, said former NHL goalie and TV analyst Darren Eliot, who covered all Thrashers games since the teams inception in 1999. Still, theres no doubt who were two straws stirring the drink for that Atlanta team: franchise cornerstone Ilya Kovalchuk and linemate Marian Hossa. Kovalchuk potted 42 goals while Hossa became the first Atlanta player to post 100 points. Wanting to capitalize on the teams newfound success, Waddell added two veterans left winger Keith Tkachuk and defenseman Alexei Zhitnik at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, no Thrasher did much of anything come post-season. Atlanta scored just five times on Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and bowed out meekly in four games. A lot of things unraveled for them very quickly once they made the playoffs, Eliot said. that might be the best team the organization has had, but looking back it still seems like it was built like a house of cards. 1. bob hartley 2. john anderson 3. curt fraser 4. don Waddell 5. craig ramsay 136 70 64 38 34
left: Chris MCGrath/Getty iMaGes; riGht: sCott CunninGhaM/nhli via Getty iMaGes

onsidering the history of the Atlanta thrashers winner of zero post-season games in a decade of existence the concept of best team is somewhat relative. Although the new york rangers swept them in the first round, the 2006-07 Thrashers won a southeast Division title and made the playoffs, two accomplishments no other Atlanta team can claim. The 06-07 Thrashers took a hit before the season, when high-scoring center Marc savard signed with boston in the summer. However, you wouldnt have known by their record. They started the year with an 8-2-3 mark through the month of october and benefited from solid goaltending by Kari Lehtonen and a veteran-heavy collection (including Slava Kozlov, Scott Mellanby and Bobby holik) whose experience was valued by coach Bob Hartley and GM Don Waddell. Lehtonen was probably the best goalie in the league for the first two months of that

Points for Marian Hossa in 2006-07, making him the only Thrasher to hit the century mark in Atlanta

100

166 | t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g

All-time team

winnipeg jets

best r e player ev

All-tiMe nuMbers
ilyA kovAlchuk
2001-10 gp 594 g 328 a 287 pts 615 pim 429
1. ilya kovalchuk 2. slava kozlov 3. Marian hossa 4. Marc savard 5. dany heatley 6. Patrik stefan 7. tobias enstrom * 8. bryan little * 9. ray ferraro 10. todd White

points

left wing

the highest scoring player in thrashers history has dynamic speed and a lightning-quick release that often zips by goalies.

615 416 248 196 181 177 171 149 147 136

MArc sAvArd
2002-06 gp 184 g 63 a 133 pts 196 pim 262

MAriAn hossA
2005-08 gp 222 g 108 a 140 pts 248 pim 146

tobiAs enstroM
2007-active gp 318 g 26 a 145 pts 171 pim 178

1. ilya kovalchuk 2. slava kozlov 3. Marian hossa 4. dany heatley 5. bryan little * 6. Marc savard 7. Patrik stefan 8. ray ferraro 9. rich Peverley 10. jim slater *

goals

328 145 108 80 68 63 59 56 49 47

center

right wing

defense

savard anticipated plays and feathered impossible passes. also had an underrated shot.

the slovak had his best seasons playing for atlanta, including a 100-point campaign in 2006-07.

one of the top young defensemen in the nhl. rushes the puck well and is solid defensively.

niclAs hAvelid
2005-09 gp 303 g 10 a 72 pts 82 pim 184

kAri lehtonen
2004-09 gp 204 g 94 a 83 pts 17 so 14

bob hArtley
2003-08 g 291 w 136 l 118 t/o 37 po 0-4

1. eric boulton 2. jeff odgers 3. garnet exelby 4. Chris tamer 5. andy sutton 6. denny lambert 7. ilya kovalchuk 8. Chris thorburn * 9. slava kozlov 10. jim slater *

pims

639 532 511 503 474 434 429 362 312 280

defense

goalie

coach

the swede was a calming presense on any blueline. he read the play well and keeps things simple.

the second overall pick in 2002 was the best of a bad lot in goal with a decent season in 2006-07.

hartley guided the thrashers to their only southeast division win and playoff appearance in 2007.

All-time second team

1. ilya kovalchuk 2. slava kozlov 3. Patrik stefan 4. eric boulton 5. jim slater * 6. garnet exelby 7. Chris tamer 8. tobias enstrom * 9. Chris thorburn * 10. niclas havelid

games played

594 537 414 377 371 357 339 318 313 303

left wing

center

right wing

defense

defense

goalie

2002-10 slava kozlov

1999-02 ray ferraro

2001-04 dany heatley

1999-04 frantisek kaberle

2001-07 andy sutton

2007-10 johan hedberg

1. kari lehtonen 2. johan hedberg 3. Pasi nurminen 4. ondrej Pavelec * 5. Milan hnilicka 6. damian rhodes 7. Chris Mason * 8. Michael garnett 9. byron dafoe 10. Mike dunham

goalie wins

94 57 48 41 29 14 13 10 9 8

t h e b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g | 167

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CampBells sCoop

By Ken Campbell

memories so sweet
In a hockey reporting career that has spanned nearly 25 years, there are a lot of bests to recall
he Best of Everything in Hockey, Part i, was published in 2003. geoff sanderson was anointed the best player ever for the Columbus blue Jackets, as was Cliff ronning for the nashville Predators and scott Mellanby for the florida Panthers. barry trotz was named the coach for the Predators all-time all-star team. one question: Whos coaching their second all-star team? youve read an entire magazine about the best every nhL team has to offer. here are a few that didnt make the cut, a personal list gleaned over almost a quarter of a century covering the game at the nhL level: Place to run in the NHL: the seawall in vancouver, with a nod to Central Park in new york City and Mount royal in Montreal. theres something about the warm ocean air and rugged beauty that makes you go farther than you ever thought you could. Prediction on a player: in 1998-99, steve sullivan was being ridiculously underutilized and underappreciated as a fourth-liner in toronto. i predicted at the time he would one day be a 30-goal scorer in the nhL. People laughed. Event. Ever: not even close, the 2010 Winter olympics in vancouver. the pace was frenetic, the atmosphere electric and the level of hockey was better than the game had ever seen. NHL game. Ever: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, June 5, 2006. After years of subjecting its fans to turgid, suffocating play in the playoffs, the nhL had the best of its post-lockout hockey on display in Game 1 of the final between Edmonton and Carolina. the game featured everything from a penalty shot goal by Chris Pronger the first in the history of the final to a blown three-goal lead to a monumental gaffe by oilers backup Ty Conklin with 31 seconds left to give Carolina a 5-4 victory. Junior game. Ever: the 1990 Memorial Cup round-robin game between the oshawa generals and the Kitchener rangers. easily the most exciting game ive ever seen between two teams that could not have been more evenly matched. the gens won the game 5-4 in double overtime on a goal by Dale Craigwell. After the game, a radio reporter asked eric Lindros if he thought the game was ever going to end, to which he gave a bewildered look and said: i knew it would end. i just didnt know when. International game. Ever: The semifinal of the 2000 Under-17 hockey Challenge in timmins, ont. ilya Kovalchuk of russia was the story of the tournament, but the most intriguing game was the semifinal between Ontario and USA, which ended in a 6-5 win in a shootout for Ontario. Stephen Weiss scored the winner in the shootout after ontario blew a 2-0 lead, then battled back from a 4-2 deficit.

Steve Sullivans potential wasnt obvious to everyone at the beginning of his career.

NHL city: there is absolutely no better place to be on a saturday night or during the playoffs than Montreal. Bar: A little hole-in-the wall called Live bait in Philadelphia. Doesnt even exist anymore. My former colleagues at The Toronto Star, Damien Cox and Paul Hunter, will second that emotion. Draft interview: robbie earl, drafted 187th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004. Earl was expecting to be drafted on the first day, so much so that his grandparents booked their flight out of Raleigh on the second day of the draft and missed his selection. never seen a player so upset. talked about all the guys drafted before him who couldnt hold his jock strap and how he would show everyone how wrong they were. Were still waiting, actually. City for live music: nashville, of course. you dont even have to be a country music fan to appreciate the scene in that city. Inspirational moment: Game 5 of the first round playoff series between the Montreal Canadiens and boston bruins, April 17, 2004. Down 3-2 in the series, the Canadiens turned down the house lights at the bell Centre and played Where the Streets Have No Name by U2. As the opening guitar riff by The edge rose to a crescendo, they projected images of former habs greats on the ice surface. the Canadiens hit the ice just as the song reached its high point and 21,273 fans went berserk. the bruins didnt stand a chance. yanic Perreault played the game of his life and the Canadiens won 5-2. Day to cover hockey: All of em.

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