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09-16-2005, 01:13 AM
  #8
God Bless Canada
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Bentley reunion
Country: Canada
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Wow, you sure didn't ask for easy players to rank, did you? To me, there's only one easy choice: Beliveau at No. 1. IMO, the top six players in NHL history are virtually undebatable. (Orr, Howe, Gretzky, Lemieux, Richard, Beliveau). Until Mario Lemieux came along, Beliveau was the greatest combination of size and skill. His graceful skating was years ahead of it's time.

I've also said that outside of the top 10, the rankings become very challenging, as it's too close to call. Ask someone for a list of players 11-25, and you'll get at least 20 different names and hundreds of combinations. The rest of the players on this list fall outside of the top 10, and most are in the top 25.

*Esposito
*LaFleur
*Hull
*Trottier
*Mikita
*Bossy
*Clarke
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*Dionne
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*Perrault

IMO, from Esposito to Clarke, we're talking about seven players who could be slotted in the 11 to 25 range. Each had something special that they brought to the table. Dionne's place in the all-time scoring list is more a testament to his longevity. Not to take anything away from his career, he was a doozy of an offensive player, but I'd say he falls in the 30-40 range. (Trottier, Clarke and Mikita had the grit that Dionne lacked, and in the case of Trottier and Clarke, they had leadership and playoff performance that Dionne lacked). Perrault would fall somewhere between 40-50.

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