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11-15-2012, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Eskimo44 View Post
I think people forget how wonderful of a two way talent Stevens was. Before NJ's prime years he was a dominant offensive defenseman, and in NJ he was arguably the best shutdown defenseman in the league. He was basically a Shea Weber like talent. I don't think Pronger>Stevens is as easy a call as people make it out to be, although an argument for it is fair. Myself, i'd take Stevens.
Originally Posted by Jerk Store View Post
Wow, some don't remember Stevens it seems. I'm a big Pronger fan, but Stevens was an offensive dynamo for a while, putting up 60+ and 70+ points, then became one of the best shutdown guy I've seen in my lifetime.

Pair that up with Neidermayer and to me it's not really that close, Stevens!
Stevens had five 60+ seasons, two of which cleared 70.

The thing is this, though:

Assuming that we are intended to only evaluate the block of time when the players played together, and the players as they were, then Stevens' big offensive years cannot be included. Because he put three 60+ and one 70+ up while playing a "******* defense" style in Washington in the 1980s. He did have his 78-point year in 1993-94, and finished second in Norris voting. But other than that year and his 57 points in 1992-93 (Niedermayer's rookie season) he was a sub-30 defenseman while Niedermayer was there, aside from 31 points in 2000-01.

Not exactly a two-way dynamo. Star offensive defenseman who switched to a defensive style? Yes.

Pronger was a top defenseman at both ends; he didn't have to give up his offense to provide top level defense. Furthermore, Niedermayer was better as a Duck than as a Devil. And finally, Pronger had some of his best years as a Duck.

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