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10-03-2013, 05:17 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by mrhockey193195 View Post
Hm, that definitely gives more ammo for the pro-Niedermayer posters. Not sure how much weight I would put on those rankings, but it's definitely an eye-opener for me...did not expect Niedermayer to be top 10 that many times before 2003 (1998 was the only year where I expected to see him in the top ten).

I also have a VERY tough time believing that people thought he was the fifth best defenseman in the league in 2000 (going into the 00-01 season). Who was ranked above him on the list? Pronger just came off his Norris/Hart season, Lidstrom was starting to get recognized as one of the NHL's elite, and most of the veterans from the 90s were still around and relevant: Stevens coming off one of the most dominant postseasons ever by a defensive defenseman, Bourque, Chelios, Hatcher, Desjardins, Blake, etc. I guess Leetch and MacInnis had off years in 99-00, but even then there is no way Niedermayer was 5th best. That ranking is the toughest to be on board with.
Yeah that's usually how the Hockey News did it. Brian Boucher after the 2000 season was ranked higher than Patrick Roy (who by his standards I guess had an off year and then didn't win the Cup). This was the year Boucher took the Flyers to within a game of the final. Strange list.

But even despite the weird selections the Hockey News made, you can clearly see that even their had him rated a lot lower than he was in the Norris and post Norris years. Not sure I could find room for him in the top 10 before 2003, but the times he was 8th or 9th on those lists at least explain that he wasn't the cream of the crop at the time.

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