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Mizral 05-01-2004 12:12 AM

The NHL's Top 10
 
I did this last year, and I thought I'd do it again. It's near the end of the season/playoffs, so maybe we might adjust it a little bit later on, but probobly not a huge amount.

Last year (July/August 2003 approx.), The Hockey News came out with it's NHL Yearbook, full of analysis, prognosis, and predictions. In it, THN writes up it's yearly top 50 players in hockey. For the sake of keeping things a little simpler right now (maybe tackle the top 50 well into the off-season), I thought I'd limit it to Top 10 for now.

Here was The Hockey News' top 10 players going into the 2003 season:

1. Peter Forsberg, C, Col
2. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Det
3. Joe Thornton, C, Bos
4. Markus Naslund, LW, Van
5. Martin Brodeur, G, NJ
6. Mario Lemieux, C, Pit
7. Mike Modano, C, Dal
8. Dominik Hasek, G, Det
9. Joe Sakic, C, Col
10. Sergei Fedorov, C, Ana

To THN's credit, it's very difficult to predict things from a year to year basis, but those 10 guys aren't terrible picks (though there's a few I wouldn't have had on mine). In retrospect, of course, it looks a lot worse.

Now, your endevour is to pick your top 10. Please note a few things before picking your top 10:


1. Salary is not a factor
2. Age is not a factor - in terms that if a player is better now, then he would be given preference. For instance, those willing to put Rick Nash over a guy like Nicklas Lidstrom ought to have their heads examined!
3. We're looking for top 10 going into next season - not top 10 after this season. Who will be the best players next season? That's the question to ask.


Good luck on your picks. If you like, put a bit of reasoning behind your rankings. No doubt this is the kind of thread that gets bumped in mid-season to show how stupid you might have been at the time, so pick wisely or face the reprecussions!

sparkplug 05-01-2004 12:17 AM

1. Ilya Kovalchuk- Raw talent-wise, one of the best in the league and willing to play physical when required. Can't see any reason why he won't continue to improve.
2. Joe Thornton- After a sub par playoffs performance, the heat is on to rebound with a significantly better regular season.
3. Marian Hossa- Skilled and strong, entering the prime years of his career.
4. Nicklas Lidstrom- Had a smaller share of the offensive duties this year on the Detroit blueline but I expect that to change agains next year.
5. Markus Naslund- Until put off course by an injury, was on pace for 104 points. Wasn't the same after it.
6. Zdeno Chara- Quickly establishing himself as one of the best, if not THE best deffensive dmen in the league.
7. Alex Tanguay- Has proven this year he doesn't need Forsberg to carry him with a breakthrough season. With Kariya, Selanne, and Forsberg possibly leaving the Avalanche next season, he'll face additional responsibilities.
8. Roberto Luongo- With a maturing team, he may just take them to the playoffs
9. Bryan McCabe- Has strengthened his all around game and was one of the best deffensemen in the league this season. Playing with Leetch full time next year will benefit his numbers.
10. Scott Niedermayer- With the future of Stevens in the air, Niedermayer is now the number one deffenseman in New Jersey, and will be an essential part of the continued success of their system.

Traitor8 05-01-2004 12:18 AM

Very very tough but here's what i'm thinking(I think Forsbreg will play in Nhl)

1-Peter Forsberg
2-Nicklas Lidstrom
3-Martin Brodeur
4-Mario Lemieux
5-Roberto Luongo
6-Martin St-Louis
7-Ilya Kovalchuk
8-ALEX KOVALEV
9-Markus Naslund
10-Joe Thornton

monster_bertuzzi 05-01-2004 12:25 AM

^I disagree, so I'll leave Forsberg off my list.

1-Iginla
2-Thornton
3-Luongo
4-Naslund
5-Pronger
6-Brodeur
7-Bertuzzi
8-Lidstrom
9-Kovalchuk
10-St.Louis

Mizral 05-01-2004 12:27 AM

My picks:

1. Nicklas Lidstrom

An off year, but Lidstrom is to good to have another poor offensive outing like this again. The best player in the league on the best team in the league.

2. Markus Naslund

No player combines playmaking, durability, and goal scoring in this league at the level Naslund does. With Todd Bertuzzi coming back, Naslund may be the favorite for the Art Ross trophy.

3. Martin Brodeur

How many guys in the world can have a 'so-so' year and be up for the Vezina trophy? Brodeur is going to come into 2004-05 like a house on fire.. whenever the season starts at least, especially with the defense coming back healthy again.

4. Joe Sakic

It does not look like Forsberg will be back (which by the way is the reason he is not on my list), so this means Sakic will be given the reigns to the Avs. One of the most consistant guys in the league - Sakic will once again threaten for the Art Ross.

5. Chris Pronger

A great campaign for Chris and he's now in the prime of his career. There's no reason to suggest he can't be up for another Norris next season.

6. Marian Hossa

Hossa was Ottawa's best player in the 2003-04 playoffs, and by all rights he had a dissapointing season by his standards, going way down from the 45 goals he had in '02-'03. He'll be well in the top 10 in points next year.

7. Zigmund Palffy

Perhaps the most underrated player in the league, Palffy has been on the cusp of having a head-turning season twice now, but has faced either linemates being injured, a decimated team around him, or injury himself. Sooner or later he's going to have the season that Kings fans are hoping for. I'm picking 2004-05 for Palffy.

8. Jarome Iginla

Commanding playoffs, Rocket Richard winner (along with Nash & Kovalchuk), and he's turning into a veteran player.. and a captain. He'll do it again too.

9. Mike Modano

Before this past season, Modano was touted as the most consistant player in the league. Uhh.. whoops. Still, the Stars went through a change and the C weighed heavy on Modano's shoulders. It can go one of two ways now - back up to the penthouse, or remain in the outhouse. But Modano is too good not to bounce back.

10. Jean-Sebastion Giguere

A terrible season no doubt... but Giguere is so good, I don't think he can be kept down for two seasons straight. A new season for Giguere & the Ducks could mean a big-time turnaround for the Ducks. He's capable of being the best goaltender in the league for a long period of time.

DownFromNJ 05-01-2004 12:08 PM

1. Iggy - He grinds, he fights, he holds rocket richards... he's the best.

2. Mario - If he stays healthy, he wins the art ross.

3. Brodeur - Bad year and he gets a Vezina nominee. Already been said, he's a great player.

4. Forsberg - He'll likely be injured, so he's 4th. When he can play, he sure can play. Almost to Mario's level.

5. Robert Lang - I don't know how he does it, but he looked like he was going to grab the Art Ross before he got injured. One hell of a player.

6. Joe Thornton - Has tremendous skills, just needs to use them

7. Marty St. Louis - Proved he's a great player this year, and he has no reason to slow down. All around, he's the complete package.

8. Patrick Elias - Found the perfect line, and was a contender for the Richard on the defense first NJ Devils. Plays great defensively, even on the pk. Most underrated guy in the NHL.

9. Scott Niedermayer - (yeah, I'm Devils bias) - Has proven he is the best defenseman in hockey, and will win the Norris. Next year, the Devils defense will be more solid allowing Niedermayer more freedom to do what he does best.

10. Chris Pronger - The complete package. Physical, offensive, defensive, and a leader.

Nik#11 05-01-2004 12:13 PM

Once again Sundin doesn't get any respect. One of the best clutch players in the game.

felixd 05-01-2004 12:28 PM

By the way, this is incredibly hard.

1. Dany Heatley(Art Ross next season)
2. Jarome Iginla
3. Roberto Luongo
4. Ilya Kovalvchuk
5. Markus Naslund
6. Nicklas Lidstrom
7. Joe Sakic
8. Scott Niedermayer
9. Robert Lang
10. Mats Sundin

Russian_fanatic 05-01-2004 12:34 PM

Markus Naslund
Marian Hossa
Peter Forsberg
Roberto Luongo
St. Louis
Lidstrom
Todd Bertuzzi(He can dominate when he wants to , if he did it more often he would be number 1 tied with Forsberg)
Martin Brodeur
Scott Neidermyer
Joe Sakic *most heart of all of them , along with Scott Neidermyer*

Habsfunk 05-01-2004 12:36 PM

1. Ilya Kovalchuk
2. Peter Forsberg
3. Markus Naslund
4. Niklas Lidstrom
5. Jarome Iginla
6. Joe Sakic
7. Dany Heatley
9. Chris Pronger
10. Martin St. Louis

This was tougher than I thought. I didn't include goalies because I hate comparing them to skaters.

detredWINgs 05-01-2004 01:05 PM

Defenseman
1. Lidstrom
2. Pronger
3. Leetch
4. Schneider
5. Zidlicky
6. Niedermayer
7. Johnsson
8. Jovo
9. Blake
10. Souray
Dark Horse: B. Jackman

Goalies
1. Brodeur
2. Nabokov
3. Giguere
4. Luongo
5. Raycroft
6. Kiprusoff
7. Esche
8. Khabibulin
9. Lehtonen
10. Belfour
Dark Horse: Weekes

Forwards
1. Heatly
2. Palffy
3. Bertuzzi
4. Kovalchuk
5. Fedorov
6. Sakic
7. St. Louis
8. Lang
9. Cheechoo
10. Naslund
Dark Horse: Zetterberg

thestonedkoala 05-01-2004 02:16 PM

Roloson gets really no press for a goalie, he'll be the dark horse...And Gaborik should come back with avengence...With him and Wallin really lightning it up at the end of the year, should be fun to watch.

Chaos 05-01-2004 02:32 PM

No love for Turco around here I see :dunno:

DownFromNJ 05-01-2004 02:36 PM

Best Goalies next yeaR:

1. Brodeur
2. Roloson (best goalie this year who played a moderate amount of games)
3. Turco
4. Luongo
5. Gigure
6. Aebby
7. Raycroft/Kirpy/Esche

velimiiro 05-01-2004 02:36 PM

1. Rick Nash
2. Kovalchuk
3. Brad Tapper
4. Bobby Holik
5. Steve Rucchin
6. Tie Domi
7. Paul Laus
8. Barnaby
9. Jagr
10. Worrell

sparkplug 05-01-2004 02:44 PM

This is the top 10... what?

monster_bertuzzi 05-01-2004 03:07 PM

Forwards
Iginla
Thornton
Naslund
Kovalchuk
Bertuzzi
Hossa
Sakic
Sundin
Palffy
Lang

Defenceman
Lidstrom
Niedermayer
Pronger
Blake
Jovanovski
Redden
Ohlund
McCabe
Chara
Foote

Goaltenders
Luongo
Brodeur
Belfour(if he doesn't retire)
Nabokov
Turco
Kiprusoff
Khabibulin
Theodore
DiPietro
Giguere

Youreallygotme 05-01-2004 03:13 PM

people who keep complaining about other peoples lists, make your own list then.

this would be mine:
1. Martin St. Louis
2. Jarome Iginla
3. Joe Sakic
4. Nicklas Lidstrom
5. Markus Naslund
6. Ilya Kovalchuck
7. Roberto Luongo
8. Joe Thornton
9. Todd Bertuzzi
10.Martin Brodeur(he's on a downfall IMO)

Sting 05-01-2004 05:55 PM

Ok time for the unbiased version:

1. Jarome Iginla
2. Peter Forsberg (assuming he plays)
3. Marian Hossa
4. Martin St.Louis
5. Joe Thornton
6. Ilya Kovalchuk
7. Marcus Naslund
8. Zdeno Chara
9. Scott Niedermayer
10. Robert Lang
11. Patrick Marleau (assuming Forsberg doesn't play)

felixd 05-01-2004 06:22 PM

Looking at my list I realised I forgot Forsberg :shakehead This is so hard, I have no idea who to take out. I'm pretty confident in my top 5, but it's all guesswork after that.

blues1234 05-01-2004 06:39 PM

1. Forsberg
2. Lidstrom
3. Brodeur
4. Naslund
5. Pronger
6. Thornton
7. Modano
8. Hossa
9. Iginla
10. Niedermayer

That is so hard to do, if I were to do it again tomorow it would probably be different. The top five were fairly easy for me but after that it gets tough.

Snugglepuss 05-01-2004 08:07 PM

1. Thornton
2. Lidstrom
3. Brodeur
4. Sakic
5. Iginla
6. Sundin
7. Naslund
8. Heatley
9. Pronger
10. Kovalchuk

easton122 05-01-2004 09:33 PM

1. Peter Forsberg- If he plays no one is more dominant and no one is better. After an injury riddled season we can all hope he is healthy for most of 2004-2005 so we can see someone get above 100 points.

2. Dany Heatley- He is the only other player capable of breaking 100 points next season IMO. He has size, a goal scorers touch, and is an amazing playmaker. With Kovalchuk lighting the lamp and getting 40+ goals Heatley should be a lock for 60+ assists.

3. Ilya Kovalchuk- Should get at least 40+ goals next season but im betting with Heatley he will be the only player in the league who breaks the 50 goal mark.

4. Chris Pronger- He played good this season and should be even better next. His wrist should be even better and he will be looking to lead the Blues into the post-season again.

5. Zdeno Chara- You never think a player so bulky and big would be such a great hockey player. Amazing play offensively and defensively should get him the runner up for the Norris.

6. Marian Hossa- Should come back and score 40+ goals with the new coach in Ottawa. Most likely he will use the offensively talented players a little better than Martin did and Hossa will get to play with the very young and talented Jason Spezza.

7. Evgeni Nabakov- I have a feeling that his post-season success is going to bring this guy into his own and he will win the Vezina.

8. Vinny Lecavalier- I think he will rise above Martin St. Louis and be the leader of the Lightning for next season. He has amazing talent and I believe we are just starting to see it. I predict he will finish top 5 in scoring for next year.

9. Niklas Lidstrom- He will regain some form but not be as completely dominant with all the competition he has now behind his own blue line. Hatcher, Schneider, and Fischer will fight for his minutes.

10. Markus Naslund- I believe this depends on Bertuzzi's status regarding the 2004-2005 season. Without him he will score 35+ goals and will probably get around 90 points again but he might be able to break 100 if Bertuzzi plays.

DownFromNJ 05-01-2004 10:50 PM

Quote:

Goaltenders
Luongo
Brodeur
Belfour(if he doesn't retire)
Nabokov
Turco
Kiprusoff
Khabibulin
Theodore
DiPietro
Giguere
Again, no Roloson?

sparkplug 05-01-2004 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easton122
1. Peter Forsberg- If he plays no one is more dominant and no one is better. After an injury riddled season we can all hope he is healthy for most of 2004-2005 so we can see someone get above 100 points.

2. Dany Heatley- He is the only other player capable of breaking 100 points next season IMO. He has size, a goal scorers touch, and is an amazing playmaker. With Kovalchuk lighting the lamp and getting 40+ goals Heatley should be a lock for 60+ assists.

3. Ilya Kovalchuk- Should get at least 40+ goals next season but im betting with Heatley he will be the only player in the league who breaks the 50 goal mark.

4. Chris Pronger- He played good this season and should be even better next. His wrist should be even better and he will be looking to lead the Blues into the post-season again.

5. Zdeno Chara- You never think a player so bulky and big would be such a great hockey player. Amazing play offensively and defensively should get him the runner up for the Norris.

6. Marian Hossa- Should come back and score 40+ goals with the new coach in Ottawa. Most likely he will use the offensively talented players a little better than Martin did and Hossa will get to play with the very young and talented Jason Spezza.

7. Evgeni Nabakov- I have a feeling that his post-season success is going to bring this guy into his own and he will win the Vezina.

8. Vinny Lecavalier- I think he will rise above Martin St. Louis and be the leader of the Lightning for next season. He has amazing talent and I believe we are just starting to see it. I predict he will finish top 5 in scoring for next year.

9. Niklas Lidstrom- He will regain some form but not be as completely dominant with all the competition he has now behind his own blue line. Hatcher, Schneider, and Fischer will fight for his minutes.

10. Markus Naslund- I believe this depends on Bertuzzi's status regarding the 2004-2005 season. Without him he will score 35+ goals and will probably get around 90 points again but he might be able to break 100 if Bertuzzi plays.

Spezza's going to stay with Havlat as his RW imo. Those two developed great chemistry this season and were feeding off of eachother alot.


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