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SI writer lists Top Ten Americans ever in the NHL -- Your list?

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02-16-2006, 08:50 PM
  #1
MiamiScreamingEagles
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SI writer lists Top Ten Americans ever in the NHL -- Your list?

How would you list your Top Ten? Here is the SI's writer list:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ars/index.html

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02-16-2006, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles
How would you list your Top Ten? Here is the SI's writer list:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ars/index.html

Mullen over Chelios is a travesty.


1. Chelios
2. Leetch
3. Lafontaine
4. M. Howe
5. Roenick
5. Modano
7. Brimsek
8. Broten
8. Mullen
10. Richter

Honorable mention: Beezer, Barasso, LeClair, Tkachuk, Housley

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02-16-2006, 11:04 PM
  #3
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I'm surprised they didn't mention John Vanbiesbrouck or Rod Langway.

And I also think they overrate Lanfontaine because his career ended early. Brian Leetch and Chris Chelios had much better careers.

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02-16-2006, 11:07 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
I'm surprised they didn't mention John Vanbiesbrouck or Rod Langway.
The writer mentioned "U.S. born" so Langway wouldn't qualify. Bill Guerin perhaps.

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02-16-2006, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Mullen over Chelios is a travesty.
That was the first thing that jumped out at me. Is it just because he was the first American to reach 1000 points that he consistantly gets rated so highly? I mean, he was good...but he only topped 100 points once in the 80's...

Brimsek is way low on his list as well.

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02-16-2006, 11:23 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles
The writer mentioned "U.S. born" so Langway wouldn't qualify. Bill Guerin perhaps.
Kevin Stevens maybe? I think he was better than Guerrin

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02-16-2006, 11:25 PM
  #7
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Great question. First of all, glad they quantified it with the NHL. Hobey Baker definitely merits consideration for any list, his only hinderance is he played before the NHL was formed. The Bobby Jones of hockey.

Chelios is definitely No. 1. Chelios is one of the top 10 defencemen in the history of the game. Regardless of what you think of him (and he can be a jerk at times), there's no denying his ability to dominate all facets of the game, his durability and his ability to carry his team on his back for extended periods of time.

LaFontaine would be my pick at No. 2. Out of the forwards, LaFontaine is definitely the best. In his prime, he was almost peerless. Brilliant offensively, he could beat you in so many ways. Not only was he one of the best offensive players in the league in his prime, but he was fearless, and one of the prototypical small forwards in the game.

Leetch comes in at No. 3. He was a brilliant offensive defenceman who controlled the pace of the game with his sublime skills, smarts and skating ability. So smooth, so skilled. His defensive skills were average, which is why I'd rate Chelios ahead of him. Brilliant for the Rangers in 1994.

Rod Langway was born in Taiwan, but trained in the U.S. He may be the best defensive defenceman of the last 25 years. A bull physically who ate up big minutes and could shut down the opposition's top forward. So good defensively, he was a two-time Norris winner and a Hart Trophy runner-up.

Haven't thought about who would occupy slots 5-10. A lot of worthy candidates: Mullen, Modano, Roenick, Tkachuk and 1925 Hart Trophy winner Billy Burch up front; M. Howe and Housley on the blue-line, Brimsek, Richter, Barasso and Vanbiesbrouck in net.

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Old
02-17-2006, 12:46 AM
  #8
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Personally I think more credit is due to Phil Housley... 1232 regular season points in 1495 games, and a season high of 97 points back in '92-93 with Winnipeg... not bad for a defenceman.

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Old
02-17-2006, 01:42 AM
  #9
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I think you can EASILY make a case that Chris Chelios is the best U.S. born player in NHL history. Him being 4th on this list is pretty laughable.

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02-17-2006, 02:11 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy4
I think you can EASILY make a case that Chris Chelios is the best U.S. born player in NHL history. Him being 4th on this list is pretty laughable.

Yeah, he and Leetch are the cream of the crop. I also feel like Frankie Zero is way too low on there.

I guess I'd go:

1. Chelios
2. Leetch
3. LaFontaine
4. Modano
5. M. Howe
6. Brimsek
7. Mullen
8. Richter
9. Roenick
10. LeClair

HM to Barasso, Beezer, Broten, Housley, Tkachuk, K. Stevens, G Suter, and D. Hatcher (can't believe the last two haven't been mentioned yet).

Speaking of Stevens, I think people tend to forget how awesome he was before he broke his face. Just a flat out force on the ice. It's a shame his career turned out how it did. I think he could've cracked the top 10 in a big way (or maybe I'm just being a homer ).

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02-17-2006, 02:45 AM
  #11
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1.Brimsek Frank
2.Hull Brett
3.Chelios Chris
4.Leetch Brian
5.Barrasso Tom
6.Leclair John
7.Mullen Joe
8.Modano Mike
9.Howe Mark
10.Langway Rod
11.Stevens Kevin
12.Roenick Jeremy


All Time Team

Leclair John -- Modano Mike -- Hull Brett
Stevens Kevin -- Roenick Jeremy -- Mullen Joe
Tkachuk Keith -- Lafontaine Pat -- Dillon Ceece
Romnes Doc -- Burch Billy -- Amonte Tony

Chelios Chris -- Leetch Brian
Howe Mark -- Langway Rod
Housley Phil -- Suter Gary
Morrow Ken -- Langevin Dave

Brimsek Frank
Barrasso Tom
Vanbiesbrouck John

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Old
02-17-2006, 03:02 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnep
1.Brimsek Frank
2.Hull Brett
3.Chelios Chris
4.Leetch Brian
5.Barrasso Tom
6.Leclair John
7.Mullen Joe
8.Modano Mike
9.Howe Mark
10.Langway Rod
11.Stevens Kevin
12.Roenick Jeremy


All Time Team

Leclair John -- Modano Mike -- Hull Brett
Stevens Kevin -- Roenick Jeremy -- Mullen Joe
Tkachuk Keith -- Lafontaine Pat -- Dillon Ceece
Romnes Doc -- Burch Billy -- Amonte Tony

Chelios Chris -- Leetch Brian
Howe Mark -- Langway Rod
Housley Phil -- Suter Gary
Morrow Ken -- Langevin Dave

Brimsek Frank
Barrasso Tom
Vanbiesbrouck John
I like your list and the line combos you came out with (except I'd move Lafontaine up to the first line an bump Modano and Roenick down a line each).

I flirted with the idea of having Brimsek at #1, as I've seen all the accolades he racked up, but I never saw him play and I just feel like it's too hard to compare the different eras (for me, anyway) to be 100% on something like that. Regardless, very nice job.

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02-17-2006, 04:14 AM
  #13
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For me Leetch comes in at number 1. Aside from Orr, I'm not sure if I've seen a defenseman use lateral skating ability and stick handling to dominate play the way Leetch did in his prime. IMO he was also under-rated defensively and was pretty good with the hip check.

I would also put Barrasso at number 10 while trying not to be a homer. IMO he was alot more consistent and technically better than the flashier Richter. I understand that his stats aren't wowing but he played for a poor defensive team for most of his career. When the Pens finally got their act together in their own end, under Constantine, Barrasso's stats emulated his great play. His 97-98 stat were downright awesome.

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Old
02-17-2006, 04:32 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #66
For me Leetch comes in at number 1. Aside from Orr, I'm not sure if I've seen a defenseman use lateral skating ability and stick handling to dominate play the way Leetch did in his prime. IMO he was also under-rated defensively and was pretty good with the hip check.

I would also put Barrasso at number 10 while trying not to be a homer. IMO he was alot more consistent and technically better than the flashier Richter. I understand that his stats aren't wowing but he played for a poor defensive team for most of his career. When the Pens finally got their act together in their own end, under Constantine, Barrasso's stats emulated his great play. His 97-98 stat were downright awesome.
The homer in me wants to agree with you, and as far as NHL careers go, I think Barasso's was superior to Richter. What I feel like seperates Richter from Tommy was his unbelievable ability to just take totaly control of a game, his ability in the clutch (not saying Barasso was a slouch in these areas, just that Richter was better), as well as some of the international accolades Richter recieved. Again, taking nothing away from Barasso, I just think Richter is just a little bit better when you take non-NHL competition into account as well as some of the absolutely larcenous, clutch performances her turned in.

That said, I do feel that Barasso was more consistent, hence my statement that his NHL career was better.

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02-17-2006, 08:23 AM
  #15
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It is tough to take any "Best US Player" list seriously when Chelios isn't even in the top-3. Joe fricken Mullen!?!!?!!!?? Great player sure, but no what is he better than Chelios.

My list (I can't comment on players from the 40's 50's and such, never saw them and don't know enough about them).

1) Chelios. A consistent Norris threat thoughout his prime, multiple Cups, multiple Norris and a tremendous leader (what he did for Team USA after the Nagano embarrassment is a defining moment for me).

2) Leetch. While I don't see him in Chelios' class, he is the next best thing. Dominant player who has his name on both the Cup and the Smyth. Not a lot of people realize that he won the Smyth over Messier when the NYRs won.

3) Richter. In many respects, he reminds me of Fuhr. Forget the numbers, when the chips were down this is the guy you wanted in goal.

4) LaFontaine. Tremendous offensive player and would have won the Art Ross if Mario wasn't a living god. Only reason I don't rank him higher is that his career is defined more by what could have been rather than what he actually did.

5) Joe Mullen. Tenacious self-made player.

6) Mike Modano. Grudgingly, I give it to MM as a premiere two-way player. His attitude towards fans makes me shudder, something that causes me to lose all respect for him.

7) Neal Broten. One of the most under-rated players of his generation. A great two-way player and leader who was a key factor in the Devils upset of the Red Wings.

8) Derrian Hatcher. A lot of people may disagree with this one, but Derrian was a defining player of his era of hockey (the clutch-and-grab). He reminds me of a modern day Clarke who would do anything to win. A Norris-caliber defender at his peak who did it with his defense and physical play.

9) Mark Howe. Another very under-rated player. Great at both ends of the ice.

10) Housley. A fairly 1-dimensional d-man, but great at the dimension he brings. A PP whiz.

Not listed:

Roenick- Good player, but over-rated IMO. Never won anything and was very streaky throughout his career.

LeClair- His career is defined by being Lindros' sidekick.

Hull- Born in Canada.

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Old
02-17-2006, 09:11 AM
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Generally speaking I think people have under estimated Tom Barrasso on various lists.

Remember, this guy stood the NHL on its ear immediately after high school, winning both the Calder and Vezina trophies.

It was an unheard of accomplishment that no American goalie has yet to match.

He won more cups than Richter, won more games overall, and overcame both on ice and off ice problems to have a stellar career.

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02-17-2006, 09:28 AM
  #17
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Quote:
10. Frank Brimsek
Born: Eveleth, Minn.
NHL career: 1938-1950; Bruins, Blackhawks
One of the inaugural members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (which is located in Eveleth), Mr. Zero was a two-time Vezina winner who helped lead the Bruins to a pair of Stanley Cups. Brimsek was either a First- or Second-Team All-Star in each of his eight seasons with Boston.
I'll add that the 8 Post-Season All-Star team appearances are second all-time for all goaltenders. It's hard to rank him because of he played so early but his accomplishments should put him higher on the list.

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02-17-2006, 03:44 PM
  #18
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That's a good list, but Chelios has to be over Joe Mullen, and perhaps even Leetch.

Modano could be one spot higher, as well, but has faded a bit the past few years, so...

Phil Housley should also be higher. Say what you will about his defense (which wasn't bad, by the way), he was better with the puck than 90% of ALL NHLer's he played with/against during his 20-year career. Could have been a forward his whole career and gotten 1,400 points instead of a D-man and ONLY 1,200+!

My list:

1.) Pat LaFontaine
2.) Chris Chelios
3.) Brian Leetch
4.) Mike Modano
5.) Phil Housley
6.) Joe Mullen
7.) Frank Brimsek
8.) Jeremy Roenick
9.) Neal Broten
10.) tie: Mark Howe/Tom Barasso/Mike Richter

P.S. Guerin? Tkachuk? Huh? Not for at least 15 more years, IMHO!

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02-17-2006, 03:54 PM
  #19
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I'd keep Lafontaine at #1 just because I'm partial to players who score more points and they're usually forwards. Chelios drops to #2. Housley deserves to be top 5 as well. Too bad the guy never played for a Cup winner.

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Old
02-17-2006, 06:49 PM
  #20
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Chelios, Leetch, Hull, Lafontaine, Modano (no order)

Hull, like Langway, wasn't born in the US but considered himself American and played for them internationally.

I dont think a case could be made fo anyone else to be in the top 5. Those players are head and shoulders above the rest IMO.

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02-17-2006, 08:04 PM
  #21
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Langway should be on the list. Yeah he was born in Taiwan but it was to American parents and grew up in the US, it's not the same as Hull at all. He sure as hell doesn't look Chinese to me.

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Old
02-17-2006, 08:39 PM
  #22
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Lafontaine #1. If not for the knee injury and concussions he would be by far the leading American scorer.

2) Leetch
3) Chelios
4) Brimsek. Didn't see him, read lots about him.
5) Modano
6) Housley. I think he was soft as cotton, but he could score.
7) Richter
8) Leclair
9) Roenick
10) Mullen

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Old
02-17-2006, 09:09 PM
  #23
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Is this a list of US BORN players, or players with dual citizenship? Brett Hull was born in Canada. I dont even think he should be on these lists. Just my opinion.

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02-17-2006, 10:04 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgy4
Is this a list of US BORN players, or players with dual citizenship? Brett Hull was born in Canada. I dont even think he should be on these lists. Just my opinion.
The difference between Hull and Langway, IMO, is training. Hull was born in Canada, grew up in Canada, played his developmental hockey in Canada. Langway was born in Taiwan but played his developmental hockey in the U.S. That's the difference, and that's why Hull isn't on my list.

I'd have a hard time putting Housley on my list. He was a liability defensively. Gifted puck-moving defenceman in every aspect - great speed, puck-moving ability, on ice vision and hockey sense - but until the last few years of his career, when his offensive skills had diminished, he was not good defensively at all.

Kudos to whoever mentioned Gary Suter. Completely forgot about him. Didn't like everything he did in his career, but a terrific all-round defenceman who could play any style of game you wanted.

I'd take Barasso ahead of Richter. Barasso will never win the NHL's personality of the year award, but he had a string of memorable moments in the regular season and the playoffs.

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02-17-2006, 11:26 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
The difference between Hull and Langway, IMO, is training. Hull was born in Canada, grew up in Canada, played his developmental hockey in Canada. Langway was born in Taiwan but played his developmental hockey in the U.S. That's the difference, and that's why Hull isn't on my list.
Yeah, thats my feeling on it. Hull was, for the most part, a Canadian until he decided he wanted to play for the US in international play.

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