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top 10 *NHL* defensemen ever

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Old
07-11-2005, 12:53 PM
  #1
arrbez
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top 10 *NHL* defensemen ever

I'm trying to get a feel for how good a lot of the 50's, 60's, 70's players were (my hockey memories begin at around 1990), so if you guys could post your personal lists of top-10 defensemen alltime (and maybe with your reasons for selection), it would be great


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Old
07-11-2005, 01:01 PM
  #2
John Flyers Fan
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My list only includes players whose prime is after 1980 (think starting with Potvin), and does not include Fetisov, who would certainly be a top 5 seletion.

Assume all current players retired today and never played another game.

1. Bourque
2. Potvin
3. Coffey
4. MacInnis
5. Chelios
6. Stevens
7. Lidstrom
8. Leetch
9. Howe
10. Murphy
11. Langway
12. Niedermayer
12. Blake


Last edited by John Flyers Fan: 07-12-2005 at 07:15 AM.
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Old
07-11-2005, 01:02 PM
  #3
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1. Bobby Orr
2. Eddie Shore
3. Ray Bourque
4. Doug Harvey
5. Red Kelly
6. Paul Coffey
7. Denis Potvin
8. Nicklas Lidstrom
9. Pierre Pilote
10. Harry Cameron
11. Dit Clapper
12. Chris Chelios
13. Larry Robinson
14. Brad Park
15. Sprague Cleghorn
16. Lionel Conacher
17. Al MacInnis

This encompasses, Hart Trophies, Norris Trophies, Conn Smythe Trophies, Scoring abilities, and Stanley cups won.


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Old
07-11-2005, 02:36 PM
  #4
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1. Bobby Orr - A no-brainer. Gifted in all aspects of the game, not just scoring. Excellent backchecker and a feared fighter. Best player ever to lace up the blades. What more can we say that hasn't been said?
2. Eddie Shore - There are some old-timers in Boston who will tell you Shore was better than Orr. Ferocious defensively. Won multiple Harts. Would have won multiple Norris', if it existed at the time.
3. Doug Harvey. Excellent defensively and put up numbers in an era when few others did. Seven Norris Trophies is pretty damn impressive.
4. Ray Bourque. Best defenceman in the post-Orr era. Was a star at both ends of the ice and in the community.
5. Denis Potvin. Part of the famed Isles dynasties. A Calder, three Norrises, four Cups and an excellent blend of skill, defensive acumen and physical play.
6. Larry Robinson. "Big Bird" has long been a standard for larger defencemen, more than a decade after he retired. Two Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe, countless Cups, one of the best combinations of size and skill ever and great leadership.
7. Red Kelly. Likely the most versatile player ever. He could kill a team at centre or on the blue-line. Some might downgrade his place among the all-time blue-liners because he played so much centre, but he dominated when he played defence.
8. Paul Coffey. The best offensive defenceman ever not named Orr. Blazing speed and pinpoint passing were his calling cards. Average defensive ability drops his rating slightly. Showed a commitment to defence in the lockout-shortened 1995 season and it resulted in one of the best seasons I've ever seen from a defenceman.
9. Vyacheslav Fetisov. Considered by many to be the Russian Bourque. Sadly, NHL fans never got to see him at his best in the league. Offensive skill, defensive presence and a vicious physical side. (Just ask Coffey).
10. Brad Park. The only reason the guy didn't win multiple Norris Trophies is because of some guy named Orr. Multiple first-team all-star selections bear witness to that. Was a solid contributor well into the late stages of his career.

HM to (in no particular order): Pierre Pilote (best defenceman between the Harvey and Orr eras), Tim Horton (great combo of skill and defensive presence), Scott Stevens (legendary physical and defensive presence, great shut-down defenceman), Dit Clapper (three-year waiting period for the HHOF was waved for him), Chris Chelios (capable of dominating all aspects of the game unlike anyone else), and Al MacInnis (awesome shot, great all-round defenceman well into his 30s).

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Old
07-11-2005, 02:48 PM
  #5
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1.Orr
2.Bourque
3.Shore
4.Harvey
5.Potvin
6.Lidstrom
7.Robinson
8.Coffey
9.Pilote
10.Kelly

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Old
07-11-2005, 03:30 PM
  #6
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Savard, you ******!!

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Old
07-11-2005, 03:32 PM
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This is a pedantic point and not a 50s-to-70s pick (though neither is Eddie Shore), but how about a quick shout-out to Hobie Baker? Organized hockey has not had the "rover" position (kind of like a midfielder, neither striker nor defender) in quite sometime, but in reading the few histories available, Baker was the Orr of his era. He would routinely collect the puck in his own end, blaze in and score.

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07-11-2005, 03:36 PM
  #8
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Borje Salming

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Old
07-11-2005, 04:17 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammer
This is a pedantic point and not a 50s-to-70s pick (though neither is Eddie Shore), but how about a quick shout-out to Hobie Baker? Organized hockey has not had the "rover" position (kind of like a midfielder, neither striker nor defender) in quite sometime, but in reading the few histories available, Baker was the Orr of his era. He would routinely collect the puck in his own end, blaze in and score.
He was like Orr but, in what league? The NHL is the benchmark of greatness.

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07-11-2005, 08:24 PM
  #10
BM67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
My list only includes players whose prime is after 1980 (think starting with Potvin), and does not include Fetisov, who would certainly be a top 5 seletion.

Assume all current players retired today and never played another game.

1. Bourque
2. Potvin
3. Coffey
4. MacInnis
5. Chelios
6. Lidstrom
7. Leetch
8. Howe
9. Murphy
10. Langway
11. Niedermayer
12. Blake
Stevens, Robinson, Pronger?

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Old
07-11-2005, 08:29 PM
  #11
BM67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yammer
This is a pedantic point and not a 50s-to-70s pick (though neither is Eddie Shore), but how about a quick shout-out to Hobie Baker? Organized hockey has not had the "rover" position (kind of like a midfielder, neither striker nor defender) in quite sometime, but in reading the few histories available, Baker was the Orr of his era. He would routinely collect the puck in his own end, blaze in and score.
As far as track record goes, I'd put Hod Stuart ahead of Baker. Stuart played more games at a higher level than Baker, and was a defenseman and dominated defensively as well as offensively.

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07-11-2005, 08:50 PM
  #12
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Well, here goes nothing.

1. Bobby Orr- The finest player I have ever seen. Wish someone had told me how special he was, because my generation has been waiting 30 years to see another.

2. Doug Harvey- My Dad raved about him and he won 6 Norris trophies so he must have been something.

3. Ray Bourque- Hockey's version of Hank Aaron, every season a perfect gem and one just like another.

4. Denis Potvin- He was a quality player who could hit, score and play the game.

5. Larry Robinson- I remember his first playoff goal, it was a winner in OT in the spring of 1973. He came down the left side with Big Frank with him on a two on one and ripped a bullet from inside the blueline. It was stunning. After the game they interviewed and asked him why he shot instead of getting in closer or passing off to the Big M. "Frank told me to shoot".

6. Niklas Lidstrom- It's easy to overlook this guy but he's golden. In the great tradition of defenders who are forgotten shortly after they retire because they made it all look easy.

7. Eddie Shore- I nicked him because no one I know ever saw him and believe me I've known some people who were born a long time ago. However, his resume is as impressive as any and even if we say the era he played in wasn't as competitive as later years he belongs on this list imo.

8. Chris Chelios- A tremendous player for a long, long time. The most savage player I've ever seen, which probably means his exit will be ugly. Doesn't matter, his desire to win was enormous.

9. Tim Horton- Another one I've put on the list for my Dad who loved him. Strong as an ox and the backbone of that great Leafs team of the 60s.

10. Serge Savard- It's close, with Scott Stevens, Pierre Pilote, Guy Lapointe, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch, Jacques Laperriere and others being considered but this guy was hockey's answer to midas. You could watch a tape of Serge Savard playing defense for those Habs teams right now and learn everything you need to know about hockey.

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07-12-2005, 07:18 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
Stevens, Robinson, Pronger?
Stevens was missed, I was copying a list of mine from an earlier post that included forwards, and I mistakenly deleted Stevens.

Robinson was the first excluded player from my list, I started with the dynasty Isles teams. While Robinson was still a very effectiv player in the 80's, his best years were with the late 70's Habs dynasty, other wise he's cerainly have been on the list.

Pronger will eventually make the list if he stays healthy and puts up more productive seasons, which I imagine he will.

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07-12-2005, 08:04 AM
  #14
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Why this kind of standings are always us&canada only?
Russians are too weak for you?

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Old
07-12-2005, 08:45 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowetide
Well, here goes nothing.

1. Bobby Orr- The finest player I have ever seen. Wish someone had told me how special he was, because my generation has been waiting 30 years to see another.

2. Doug Harvey- My Dad raved about him and he won 6 Norris trophies so he must have been something.

3. Ray Bourque- Hockey's version of Hank Aaron, every season a perfect gem and one just like another.

4. Denis Potvin- He was a quality player who could hit, score and play the game.

5. Larry Robinson- I remember his first playoff goal, it was a winner in OT in the spring of 1973. He came down the left side with Big Frank with him on a two on one and ripped a bullet from inside the blueline. It was stunning. After the game they interviewed and asked him why he shot instead of getting in closer or passing off to the Big M. "Frank told me to shoot".

6. Niklas Lidstrom- It's easy to overlook this guy but he's golden. In the great tradition of defenders who are forgotten shortly after they retire because they made it all look easy.

7. Eddie Shore- I nicked him because no one I know ever saw him and believe me I've known some people who were born a long time ago. However, his resume is as impressive as any and even if we say the era he played in wasn't as competitive as later years he belongs on this list imo.

8. Chris Chelios- A tremendous player for a long, long time. The most savage player I've ever seen, which probably means his exit will be ugly. Doesn't matter, his desire to win was enormous.

9. Tim Horton- Another one I've put on the list for my Dad who loved him. Strong as an ox and the backbone of that great Leafs team of the 60s.

10. Serge Savard- It's close, with Scott Stevens, Pierre Pilote, Guy Lapointe, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch, Jacques Laperriere and others being considered but this guy was hockey's answer to midas. You could watch a tape of Serge Savard playing defense for those Habs teams right now and learn everything you need to know about hockey.
Great list EXCEPT I'd have Stevens instead of Chelios, even though he knocked our mental midget(88) into next week.....played hard every game with a mean streak - something every D needs back there.

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Old
07-12-2005, 09:02 AM
  #16
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1) Orr
2) Bourque
3) Harvey
4) Robinson
5) Shore
6) Potvin
7) Lidstrom
8) Stevens
9) Berg
10) Salming

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07-12-2005, 10:04 AM
  #17
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I can't imagine Brad Park playing in the nineties. I can't imagine Nick Lidstrom playing in the sixties or seventies. I can envision a scenario where I'd rather have Paul Coffey more than Scott Stevens and vice versa.

I can imagine that I'd rather have Bobby Orr more than any other defenseman that I've seen, but I don't know where to go from there. "Who is better" elicits a rejoinder... "better at what?"

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07-12-2005, 10:46 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidhander
Why this kind of standings are always us&canada only?
Russians are too weak for you?
Haven't you been reading?

Some have put Fetisov, Lidstrom and Salming in their lists.

In general, North Americans only see North Americans play, at least until the late 1980's and 1990's and beyond.

No one put Rod Langway in their list, which is interesting, since he is one of the few defensive defencemen to win the Norris.

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07-12-2005, 11:17 AM
  #19
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Some props for Red Kelly.

Red Kelly vs Doug Harvey: (These numbers are incomplete as we mostly have top 5's for the 50's award voting, and just the votes for the guys that made the all-star teams.)

Kelly and Harvey both made their debut in 47-48. unanimous selection

47-48: Kelly: Calder: 3rd 14
49-50: Kelly: Lady Byng: 2nd 21 (3-5-2); All-star: T3rd 17 (2-2-1)
50-51: Kelly: Hart: 3rd 11 (1-2-4); Lady Byng: 1st 31 (6-5-3); All-star: 1st 90 (18-0-0)
51-52: Kelly: Lady Byng: 27 (3-2-6); All-star: 90 (18-0-0); Harvey: All-star: 2nd 71 (12-3-2)
52-53: Kelly: Hart: 3rd 25 (2-3-6); Lady Byng: 1st 80 (13-5-0); All-star: 90 (18-0-0); Harvey: All-star: 2nd 56 (8-5-1)
53-54: Kelly: Hart: 2nd 74 (40-34); Norris: 1st 162 (76-86); Lady Byng: 1st 112 (50-62); All-star: 1st 177; Harvey: Norris: 2nd 57 (22-35); All-star: 2nd 130
54-55: Kelly: Norris: 2nd 95 (40-55); Lady Byng: 3rd 53 (34-19); All-star: 2nd 151; Harvey: Hart: 5th 18 (7-11); Norris: 1st 147 (72-75); All-star: 1st 174
55-56: Kelly: Hart: 4th 25 (14-11); Norris: 3rd 44 (17-27); All-star: 3rd 114; Harvey: Hart: 5th 11 (6-5); Norris: 1st 156 (78-78); All-star: 1st 177
56-57: Kelly: Norris: 2nd 42 (20-22); All-star: 2nd 98; Harvey: Hart: 5th 17 (15-2); Norris: 1st 159 (83-76); All-star: 1st 172
57-58: Harvey: Hart: 3rd 41 (27-14); Norris: 153 (75-78); All-star: 1st 180
58-59: Harvey: Norris: 4th 48 (30-18); All-star: 4th 92
59-60: Harvey: Norris: 1st 129 (66-63); All-star: 1st 154 (88-66)

Kelly moved to Toronto and switched to center in 60. Harvey won 2 more Norris Trophies, and finished 2nd in Hart voting in 61-62 when he moved to the NYR.

Seeing Harvey high on these lists is nice, but not having Kelly anywhere near as high is not.

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07-12-2005, 11:32 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidhander
Why this kind of standings are always us&canada only?
Russians are too weak for you?
It is NHL only. Until 1989, Russian players did not compete with NHL players that much so, the data on their careers is incomplete.

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07-12-2005, 02:29 PM
  #21
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It does say top 10 ever, not top 10 NHL defencemen ever.

The Soviet Elite League was near the NHL's equal through the 70s and most of the 80s. That's reflected in the Soviet's near-victory in 72, their resounding win in 81 and their classic series with Canada in 87. Fetisov was a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in 2001 (and well deserved, might I add). He was considered by many to be the "Russian Bourque" and thrived in every international competition he played in. He would have been a multi-time all-star if he would have played his prime in North America. A great combination of skill, defensive ability and physical play. Had a dirty side to him.

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07-12-2005, 03:05 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aki Berg
1) Orr
2) Bourque
3) Harvey
4) Robinson
5) Shore
6) Potvin
7) Lidstrom
8) Stevens
9) Berg
10) Salming
You are not seriously trying to tell us that Aki Berg is one of the greatest Dmen of all time, are you? I know you like the guy, but C'mon. Aki Berg isn't even one of the 10 best #5 dmen of all tiem.

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07-12-2005, 03:23 PM
  #23
Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
You are not seriously trying to tell us that Aki Berg is one of the greatest Dmen of all time, are you? I know you like the guy, but C'mon. Aki Berg isn't even one of the 10 best #5 dmen of all tiem.
Sorry, sometimes I'm blinded by my love for Aki.

Does this work?

Best #6 Dman ever.

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07-12-2005, 03:28 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
It does say top 10 ever, not top 10 NHL defencemen ever.

The Soviet Elite League was near the NHL's equal through the 70s and most of the 80s. That's reflected in the Soviet's near-victory in 72, their resounding win in 81 and their classic series with Canada in 87. Fetisov was a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in 2001 (and well deserved, might I add). He was considered by many to be the "Russian Bourque" and thrived in every international competition he played in. He would have been a multi-time all-star if he would have played his prime in North America. A great combination of skill, defensive ability and physical play. Had a dirty side to him.
Yes, this is my beef with lists like this. Don't pretend to be universal when you're clearly not. Put the three friggin letters there: NHL

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07-12-2005, 03:46 PM
  #25
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Rod Langway....money defensemen. Maybe not top 10 ever, but one of the best ever to lace them up in the NHL.

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