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07-12-2013, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
With the exception of Bobby Orr, I feel that Pronger is in the discussion as the most physically gifted defenseman of all-time. I mean, its kind of ridiculous when you start to break it down: huge, could skate, tremendous hockey IQ, best first pass of his era
No. Not over guys like Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Rafalski, Zubov, Gonchar. Rafalski probably is the guy I'd go with. If you stretch it out a few years, Brian Leetch is in the mix and Pronger isn't anywhere near Leetch.

100 mph slapshot, poised with the puck, hits, blocks shots, shuts down top forwards, quarterbacks powerplays, mean as hell, insanely competitive. I don't if you could build a more complete defenseman if you tried.
I would take Pronger, in the best game of his career, over Lidstrom. I think he was the best defenseman I've ever seen in his own zone
Pronger was very good defensively, and in his prime was always among the best defensively... but I don't know that I would rate him as "best ever". Honestly, even at his best defensively I don't think he ever played the level of defensive game Konstantinov did, although Konstantinov obviously didn't have Pronger's offensive aptitude.

and I think he made an impact all over the ice in a way that Lidstrom didn't.
Lidstrom is arguably the best defensive defenseman ever, and he was the most effective offensive defenseman of his era (with only Sergei Zubov coming even close per-game). You're basically saying "I prefer physical defensemen." So as an aside, what's your take on Blake vs. Niedermayer?

But he didn't do that in a consistent manner, the way Lidstrom did (who was one of the best of all-time at always being at or near top form).
So you're saying that you think Lidstrom was always playing his at/near his best possible game, but Pronger usually wasn't? So the question; what makes you think Pronger's best game is better than Lidstrom's best game? Nothing but conjecture. It's basically the equivalent of saying "John Tavares would have won the Art Ross if he played on a line with Martin St. Louis".

That's where, IMO, Pronger is a bit of disappointment. Injuries, playoff meltdowns early in his career, and then taking it easy in regular seasons later in his career seem to have kept him from putting together an all-time type 15-to-20 year run. For all he did do, I feel its a disappointment that he did not have four or five Norrises, and is not in the conversation as fourth-to-tenth best D of all-time.

He should have three; 2000, 2004, and 2007. And he's the #14 defenseman (at least on my list) of all-time, right behind Gadsby and just above former teammate Al MacInnis.

Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Largely agree.

There is a lot to say about consistency, and for that reason, healthy Pronger or not, Nicklas Lidstrom was going to go down as the best defenseman of the era.
Despite the Hart trophy Pronger won, and the impression that (in that season) Pronger had the higher peak (both Pronger and Lidstrom had multiple seasons better than Pronger's 2000), Lidstrom was consistently the better player more often. Pronger's nationality and playing style don't change that fact.

But at his best... he showed what a Hart-level defenseman truly was, and we haven't seen that since Bourque.
Lidstrom's 2002 season was better than any year by Pronger.

Originally Posted by Metalcommand View Post
At his peak and prime Pronger is the best modern defenseman, better than Lidström. No-one i'd rather take as my 1D for a playoff run. Beastly physical, total ******* mean streak, magnificent puck mover, imposing all over the ice. Ruthless winner. No mercy. Mind games.

All hail Pronger! My favourite player all time.
Originally Posted by Guardian452 View Post
To call someone who was an elite player for over 10 NHL seasons a disappointment is like calling New York city a small town. Other than Lidstrom & Neidermeyer, can you list another defenseman with better credentials or who was a dominant as Pronger over the past 20 years?
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I agree with a lot of what you said - particularly Pronger on Selanne, which in 2006, looked like some Olympic retribution on Pronger's part when he really abused the guy in the Conference Finals - but I think Lidstrom was just fine against larger players. Once Lidstrom matured a little and stopped trying to force the offense (which was probably just him trying to emulate Coffey), the only player that I can recall ever really having his number was Peter Forsberg. But when your teammates are collecting seven Selkes and a Norris in addition to your own large collection, the system helps cover for any mistakes or weaknesses.
Pronger with the Blues and Ducks wasn't short of help either; guys like Drake, Demitra, McDonald, Pahlsson, etc. up front and MacInnis, Niedermayer, Beauchemin, etc. on the blueline.

In the era, Niedermayer probably had the best tools.
Really? Seriously?

Disappointment may be too strong of a word for him and Pronger, given the amount of team success that followed them, but I can't say that I ever saw that same 2003 playoff Niedermayer before or after that Spring. You know, the quality Niedermayer that people falsely like to project across his entire career.
Originally Posted by PhillyBluesFan View Post
At his best which is:

1998 playoffs
entire 2000
entire 2001 when on the ice
entire 2006
entire 2007 when on the ice
entire 2010

He's better than Bourque, Coffey, Lidstrom, Stevens etc could ever dream of being
Originally Posted by PhillyBluesFan View Post
It the truth. Never at any point were those guys as dominant as Pronger was at his best

Just no. I know I think highly of Wings players and some consider me a homer... but at least I make a valid case when I make any kind of claim.

What you said is basically like saying "Sergei Fedorov at his best is better than Beliveau, Mikita, Sakic, or Messier could ever dream of being".

Consider that statement. Consider how ridiculous it sounds. You just said that, but about Pronger instead of Fedorov.

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