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12-07-2007, 03:09 AM
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Orr was the second best player of all-time behind only Wayne Gretzky (though some would even call him the best). There is really no comparison between Orr and Lidstrom. Bobby Orr played nine full seasons before having his career ended by injury. In those 9 years, he won the Norris trophy as best defenseman 8 consecutive times, the Hart trophy for most valuable player 3 times, and led the league in scoring twice (something no other defenseman has even done even once). What made these accomplishments even greater is that he did not sacrifice defensive play. Any time he led a rush into the offensive zone, he was the first man back on defense, and was always willing to put his body on the line to block shots in an era where equipment in not even close to that worn today. Orr was in a class of his own when he played.

On that note, I also believe that calling Lidstrom the 2nd best defenseman ever is highly overrating him. Eddie Shore, Doug Harvey and Ray Bourque all accomplished significantly more than Lidstrom has, and did so against better competition. I rank Lidstrom as the 5th best defenseman ever behind only these four mentioned. He is, however, still playing and I believe that another 2 or 3 Norris trophies (if he can manage this) would likely cause me to change my mind.

As for being the best European player, that is also debatable. He is certainly one of the top three that has played in the NHL along with Jaromir Jagr and Domanik Hasek. I personally rank him as a close second to Jagr, though I recognize that the title of best European player ever could easily be given to any of the three players that I mentioned.

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