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03-30-2013, 04:38 AM
I voted for Kodos
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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I've been working on an ordered list of who I consider the top-150 defensemen of all-time. It started bugging me when I would say in some assassination or another that player X is "average" or "above average" or "****ing terrible" or whatever, because I realized that past a certain point, I wasn't sure, myself, where I thought the players in question actually fall in the grand hierarchy of all-time defensemen, because I didn't have a clear overview of my own preferences deep enough to make judgements about at least a lot of 2nd and 3rd pairing guys. So I thought it was time to make my own list. Here it is, broken down into rough tiers:

Orr = 1

+ Harvey, Shore, Bourque = 4

+ Lidstron, Potvin, Kelly = 7

+ Robinson, Fetisov = 9

+ Chelios, Park, Coffey = 12

+ Pilote, Clancy = 14

+ MacInnis, Pronger, Cleghorn, Seibert, Stevens, Horton = 20

+ Clapper, Gadsby, Salming, Leetch = 24

----------------------- "True #1 D" ^^

+ Howe, Quackenbush, Vasiliev = 27

+ Lapointe, Savard, Stewart, Langway = 31

+ Tremblay, Chara, Gerard = 34

----------------------- #1 D ^^

+ Niedermayer, Conacher, Pronovost, Laperriere, C. Johnson, Goodfellow = 40

+ Blake, E. Johnson = 42

+ Boucher, Kasatonov, Suchy = 45

+ Murphy, Stuart, Siebert, Brewer, Cameron, Coulter, Reardon = 52

+ Johnson, Flaman, Mantha, White, Pospisil, Bouchard, Howell, Thomson, Stanley, Wilson, L. Patrick = 63

+ Zubov, Stapleton, Desjardins = 66

----------------------- #2 D ^^

+ Pulford, Ross, Day, McCrimmon = 70

+ Lutchenko, Grant, Gonchar = 73

+ Baun, Horner, Hitchman, Vasko, Crawford, Suter, D. Hatcher, Mohns = 81

+ Gardiner, Neilson, Mortson, Schoenfeld, Goldham, Housley, Simpson = 88

+ Griffis, Heller, Wentworth, Boivin, Lowe, Green, Hall, Boyle, Beck, Konstantinov, Ragulin = 99

----------------------- #3 D ^^

+ F. Patrick, Duncan, Cook, Rowe, Ramsey, Pratt = 105

+ Foote, Watson, Burrows, Davydov, Harper, Tsygankov = 111

+ Carlyle, Weber, Reise Jr., Dutton, Numminen, Hollett = 117

+ Sologubov, Harris, Harmon, Hartsburg, K. Hatcher = 122

+ Svedberg, Hajt, Reinhart, Ivanov, Egan, Vadnais, Bergman, Samuelsson, Keith, Morrow, Ludwig, Sjoberg = 134

----------------------- #4 D ^^

+ Ozolinsh, Liapkin, Kuzkin, Ruotsalinen, Larson, Rafalski, Ramage = 141

+ D. Smith, Tikal, Drinkwater, Phaneuf, J. Patrick, Korab, Bilyaletdinov, Seiling, Timonen, Stackhouse, Armstrong, Russell, Duchesne = 154
As I said, my purpose in doing this is not to make some kind of definitive or methodological ranking, but rather to make clear to myself the ordering of my own preferences beyond the point where I could hold all the information in my head at once and make an easy judgment. And these are loosely ordered tiers with which every GM in the draft will probably disagree on some point or another. Also please note that these are strictly my "in a vacuum" values, and do not take into account playing style, team chemistry or usefulness in an ATD setting. For ATD purposes, you can generally assume that physical two-way players are at the greatest premium, and soft one-way guys at the biggest discount.

At any rate, I realize after doing this list that I was being systematically "too hard" on a lot of defensemen. That is, my gut told me that they were "average #4s" or somesuch, but when I look at an actual ordered list of my preferences, I find that they're generally a little bit better than I had thought. It's a bit like the problem of the "true #1" defenseman. There are never as many of them as there are teams in the league, and yet it is somewhat unfair to call the 30th best defenseman of all-time not a #1 D...if you get my drift. I called Teppo Numminen a "below average #4" in an earlier thread, for example, but when I look at the above, I have him in the tier that would place him almost directly at the average for a #4.

So anyway, any comments about defensemen I've made before today, just refer to this post if you want to know where I really think they fall in an all-time sense. I found this exercize very useful, and I encourage others to come up with their own lists. I think that many of you may surprise yourselves with the results.

Last edited by Sturminator: 03-30-2013 at 10:58 AM. Reason: forgot Sjoberg
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