For the best Player, Mike Bossy and Sergei Makarov are extremely close together. I think Makarov was more talented and his on ice play impressed me more, but for whatever reason Mike Bossy put up better results, even in International competition. Still tough to choose between these two, probably Bossy by a hair.
Bryan Trottier would have to come afterward. He was kinda like Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov combined together.
I wouldn't put Krutov too far behind Trottier though, at least in their primes. Larionov would be behind Krutov but again, not too far behind.
The thing is, I can't see Clark Gillies anywhere close to Igor Larionov, which is what makes this question really hard to answer.
The KLM line's chemistry also should be factored in. While the Islander's trio is definitely one of the greatest lines in NHL history, the KLM line was said by many to have outperformed even better lines (at least on paper) iced by Canada.
Although Mike Bossy is one of the most underrated players ever. He could be argued as a top 5 player ever, but never is.
No he isn't. Bossy never gets underrated around here. He's usually among the top 20 players of all time and that's fair.
If you put him top 5 who do you replace? This is my top 5: Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Lemieux and Beliveau. He was great but he wasn't quite at the same level as either one of these guys. Plus there's also Hull, Richard, Lafleur, etc.
But to the OP, this is a good poll, I never thought of it before. The people that think this is "not even close" either way probably didn't watch both lines play. All of the KLM line were playing like HHOFers in their prime. Gillies is one guy most of us agree shouldn't be in the HHOF, but he is. Gillies is the worst of all 6 of these players. Bossy is probably the best, followed extremely closely by Trottier and Makarov. Krutov is very close behind him and Larionov is close behind Krutov. Then there's a big drop with Gillies. All in all, when you look at how the KLM line dominated in Canada Cups, you have to give them the edge. Even in international play, only Bossy was as good as either one of them, not even Trottier in his sole Canada Cup in '81 and definitely not Gillies