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Son of a Wing

The Hockey News Top 50 current players

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I suppose Malkin, Staal, Fleury, Gonchar, Whitney, etc. had nothing to do with the Pens' turnaround.

Lidstrom is the reason the Wings are still an elite team. The HOF talent is gone and the Wings are still contenders year in and year out.

You can play that both ways, saying Malkin, Staal, Fleury, Gonchar, Whitney played big roles with the Pens but you can't play it off like Lidstrom doesn't have Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hasek, Schneider, Chelios, etc.

IMO it goes

1. Sidney Crosby

2. Joe Thornton

3. Nicklas Lidstrom

after that can be debated forever

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I would make the argument that Thornton is better than Sid, what was Cheecho before Joe Thornton.

Sid is great and will be the best in the league shortly and will hold that title for a long time, but Joe is great leader and a tremendous talent. Crosby will one day be a great captain/leader as well as a statistical machine.

For my money

Thornton

Crosby

Lids

And like many have said before me, it is all debatable. You have criteria that makes so and so better and I have mine. This list is all about preferences and if it was compiled by Defenseman it would look different than if compiled by forwards or Goalies and even more different if done by owners or coaches or reporters.

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I would make the argument that Thornton is better than Sid, what was Cheecho before Joe Thornton.

Sid is great and will be the best in the league shortly and will hold that title for a long time, but Joe is great leader and a tremendous talent. Crosby will one day be a great captain/leader as well as a statistical machine.

For my money

Thornton

Crosby

Lids

And like many have said before me, it is all debatable. You have criteria that makes so and so better and I have mine. This list is all about preferences and if it was compiled by Defenseman it would look different than if compiled by forwards or Goalies and even more different if done by owners or coaches or reporters.

Very true. Its hard to say the best overall when guys play different positions. An argument could be made that the most important position is goaltender and therefore wouldn't the best goalie in the league also be its best player or most valuable player? I don't know.

Having to be pinned down my list would be:

1. Crosby

2. Thornton

3. Brodeur

4. Lidstrom

5. Lecavalier

6. Heatley

7. Luongo

8. Sakic

9. Pronger

10. Jagr

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Very true. Its hard to say the best overall when guys play different positions. An argument could be made that the most important position is goaltender and therefore wouldn't the best goalie in the league also be its best player or most valuable player? I don't know.

Having to be pinned down my list would be:

1. Crosby

2. Thornton

3. Brodeur

4. Lidstrom

5. Lecavalier

6. Heatley

7. Luongo

8. Sakic

9. Pronger

10. Jagr

Your right, I mean really IMO the best way to decide a list like this should be divided by position. I mean what makes a great forward is different from what makes a great dman. Some decide a great dman by points produced which is the wrong way to go about it. For example I think both in their primes Vladdy was a better defenseman that Lids. Didn't have the offensive skills obviously but if it came down to one or the other in a one goal game I'd pick Vladdy. And goaltending is even tougher to figure. I guess the way I'd do it is act like you had the first overall pick in a fantasy draft. Me personally would go goalie, then dman. Cause a great defenseman is way harder to find than a great forward, and a great goalie is the hardest of all to find. I guess my point is it's damn near impossible to do a list like this. To much personal prefernce invoulved thorugh homerism, to what style of game and position you like the best.

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Yeah, his name is Sidney Crosby.

Even with Malkin the Pens are nothing without Sid. The lists put forth by THN or anybody else are typically bad, but every one of them has Sid at #1 and none of them have Lidstrom higher than what, 3 or 4? Everyone will debate #2-50 until they're blue in the face but there's a reason why all the lists have Sid at #1 and Lids NOT at #1.

In 2 years Crosby has carried the Pens from 22-46-14 to 47-24-11. That's absurd. No player has had an impact like that in years on his teams' success.

Not too mention he already own 9 NHL records.

Not too mention he contributed to over 42% of the Pens goals. Lids was 24.7%

Not too mention he just won the Hart Trophy AND The Pearson. So basically, the hockey writers and the PLAYERS THEMSEVLES, think he's the best player today.

So you're going against both recently published lists, the majority of professional hockey writers and the majority of NHL players playing today.

Show me one person who isn't a Wings fan that would put Lidstrom at #1?

You can't. Taking your team from 22 wins to 47 wins, leading the league in scoring, and winning all of the MVP awards isn't having a positive impact every single night?

I don't want to be painted as a Lidstrom hater so I'll just state for the record that I think he's in the top 5 best players in the league today. But he isn't #1. And putting him #1 is a bit homeristic of you IMO because as great as he is his impact is not on the level of Crosby's.

i agree with you (I even have a Lids jersey...) but he aint the no. 1 player, never will be and never was....but he has been a top 5 player most of his career and a top three or no. 1 d-man all of his career.

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I love the name dropping argument. Okay, so you run off a bunch of names. Now my turn:

Major difference, though:

The Wings have been shedding big name talent every offseason in recent memory. The Pens have been adding and developing skilled young players. Ryan Whitney was one of the top scoring defensemen this season, a huge departure from previous seasons. Fleury finally put together a mostly solid season after a couple years of being wildly inconsistent with mostly poor performances. Malkin and Staal were rookies that had huge impacts for the Pens going both ways.

A quick question: Crosby scored 102 points in his rookie year, when the Pens won 22 games, and 120 in his sophomore season, when the Pens won 47. The Pens' offense increased by 33 goals, but they also ALLOWED 70 FEWER goals. That suggests that the turnaround had more to do with players like Fleury, Whitney, and Staal than it did with Crosby. While Crosby may not be Lecavalier-bad defensively, he plays less on the PK than Malkin and Recchi, which highlights that he is no Selke contender either. The Penguins' sudden improvement had more to do with the guys surrounding Crosby improving (or in the case of rookies, showing up) than Crosby himself. The Wings would be in a far worse predicament without Lidstrom than the Pens without Crosby because Lidstrom is the rare kind of player who plays big minutes in every key situation. Important PP? Lidstrom is out there. Key PK? Lidstrom is on the ice for it. Most of the time at even strength? Lidstrom is there. Crosby's influence is pretty one-dimensional.

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Pasha deserves better than #36 on THN's list. But then again, if they want to let him fly under the radar, fine...that way when he does better than what everyone expects of him, we can say, "I told you so!" :)

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Too lazy to put a list together right now, but I'll add to the Crosby vs. Lidstrom argument. Lidstrom is the best all-around player in the league, while Crosby is the best all-around offensive palyer in the league. I won't take career accomplishmnets or consistency into account, because this is a present list, and also Crosby is still young.

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Now ask yourself this, do you think the Pens are a better team than the Redwings? I sure don't. Now given that the Wings are so obviously a better team and have been a better team, Lidstrom's impact by nature cannot be as great to the Wings as Crosby's is to the Pens. The Wings lost alot of HOFers but remained a strong team because of a deep core of talent, including time tested veterans and good coaching. Not too mention raw talent. The Pens were awful in the years leading up to Sid's arrival. The Pens fortunes have turned on a dime. And the addition of guys like Malkin and Staal got them to the next level. Subtracting Lidstrom from the Wings wouldn't destroy us. Subtracting Crosby from the Pens would leave them with a bunch of young, but talented kids with no direction and no clear and definitive leader to anchor that team.

Oh, really?

I guess you'll have to wait until Lidstrom retires to see the impact he has. He covers up so many flaws and makes everyone around him better. I'll take a star defenseman over a star center.

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The fact that Lids logs nearly 30 minutes a game and has for a long time is another feature that I think people forget when doing a comparison like this.

27:29 last year of ATOI for lids and 20:46 for Sid the Kid.

Again they play different positions so it is not a natural comparison like rw to rw.

I guess it is like the MVP trophy the V is what gets you every time, what makes Sid more valuable to his team is offense and what makes Lids more valuable is his all around game and having him be able to skate in the waining minutes of a game instead of a #6 d-man.

Apples meet Oranges.

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Oh, really?

I guess you'll have to wait until Lidstrom retires to see the impact he has. He covers up so many flaws and makes everyone around him better. I'll take a star defenseman over a star center.

And if I could build a team around either play right now, today, i'd start with Sid.

Eva, I guess the hockey writers association and the players picked the wrong guy, huh? How could so many be so wrong? :)

Edited by GordieSid&Ted

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And if I could build a team around either play right now, today, i'd start with Sid.

...and the sky is blue. Crosby is 17 years younger than Lidstrom.

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...and the sky is blue. Crosby is 17 years younger than Lidstrom.

What is your point exactly? The list is about who the top 50 are TODAY. Not the top 50 all-time. So again, what is your point?

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What is your point exactly? The list is about who the top 50 are TODAY. Not the top 50 all-time. So again, what is your point?

When people build teams it is usually wise to pick cornerstones that will be around a while longer. Nick probably has 5 great years left in him (if he should choose to stay). Sid probably has close to 15-20 great years left (barring career altering injury).

Would your choice change at all if Nick were ckoser to 20 than 40?

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Bleh I just realized I should wake up completely before posting indignant statements.

Edited by Mickeyisms Rule!

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You guys are kinda getting off topic. Isn't the list just considering their current talent level? Not how many years left or how much they are going to improve/degrade over the next couple years. Regardless there should be a different list for forwards, defence and goalies. Comparing apples and oranges.

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Well, Brodeur is likely going down as the best goaltender ever when he's done. Maybe they're giving Luongo props because Marty is 35 and Luongo is only 28.

I remember when Luongo was a free agent and some people were bashing him as unproven and hadn't ever played in the playoffs and whatnot. Which was funny because they didn't seem to take into account how terrible of a team he played behind in FL. Hell, you put the guy on a playoff caliber team and he nearly wins 50 games last year. Add in a .921 save percentage and I think he proved what he could do. Although Brodeur's numbers were still ridiculous last year proving he's still the best. At least I agree with the list that he's the best but given their age differences, I think Luongo obviously has more game left in him. And as for the playoffs, he did get them to the 2nd round in his first playoffs ever so I think he showed he's got the mental toughness to only get better. Marty is still #1 in my book though.

When did Brodeur play for "bad" teams? He took over the starting job in 1993 I believe. Since then the Devils have played 13 seasons in which they made the playoffs 12 times and won 3 Stanley Cups? Where exactly did he play on a bad team?

Kipper has only been the started for about 2 1/2 seasons in Calgary in which they've made the playoffs all 3 years including the Cup finals in 04 when he took over the starting job. When did he play on a bad team? Was it in San Jose where he was the backup for 2 years? The Sharks were a playoff team during his time there but had an abysmal 03 campaign, afterwhich they've never missed the playoffs.

As for Giggy, he's been the started for about 5 years now. I wouldn't call the Ducks teams he has been on bad. The 02 team wasn't great. But they went to the Cup finals the year after that. They then missed the playoffs inexplicably the next season, following that up with a trip to the Conference Finals and then winning the Cup last year.

None of these guys has played on teams as piss poor as Florida has been. How bad has Florida been? They Panthers have been to the playoffs only 2 times in the past 10 years and both of those were before Luongo's time. Oh yeah, and before that he played a year for the Islanders who were also terrible.

slam and dunk!

Ok Maybe I didn't clarify my response.

Brodeur should be ahead of Luongo because he has three cups. Oh and the Luongo getting 47 wins last year at 28yo, will Brodeur got 48 at 35yo. Advantage Broduer

Giggy's bad temas 01/02 Ducks 29-42-8 (JSG 20-25-6) & 03/04 Ducks 29-35-10 (JSG 17-31-6). But Giggy has two Finals apperances and one Cup. Advantage Giguere

Kipper I may agree with the bad teams thing, but he has a Stanley Finals Appearence and Luongo has a second round apperance. Advantage Even.

I am not saying Loungo may not be good one day, or even great, just let the earn it before throwing him a crown.

Edited by HuntsVegas Baby

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Ok Maybe I didn't clarify my response.

Brodeur should be ahead of Luongo because he has three cups. Oh and the Luongo getting 47 wins last year at 28yo, will Brodeur got 48 at 35yo. Advantage Broduer

Giggy's bad temas 01/02 Ducks 29-42-8 (JSG 20-25-6) & 03/04 Ducks 29-35-10 (JSG 17-31-6). But Giggy has two Finals apperances and one Cup. Advantage Giguere

Kipper I may agree with the bad teams thing, but he has a Stanley Finals Appearence and Luongo has a second round apperance. Advantage Even.

I am not saying Loungo may not be good one day, or even great, just let the earn it before throwing him a crown.

Thats great and all but it has nothing to do with the topic. Sakic WAS better than alot of thos forwards but not anymore. He's still elite but is past his peak. Luongo is just entering his prime which is why it is a solid arguement that he COULD be the best goaltender in the league. This is all speculation and opinion so don't act like there is one easy answer. In my opinion Luongo and Brodeur will continue to be at the top while Kipper and Giguere will be a step below. But who knows someone like Backstrom could blow them all out of the water. It's the current talent we're comparing not the accomplishments of the past. Yes they do play a factor in considering experience but everyone rises and falls.

Edited by Son of a Wing

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I think both lists have some pretty noticeable flaws, such as Cheechoo in the top 30 on THN, or Nash, Parise, Gonchar, or Sedin anywhere near the list.

My top twenty would probably be something like:

1. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit

2. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh

3. Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey

4. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver

5. Henrik Zetterberg, C, Detroit

6. Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington

7. Joe Thornton, C, San Jose

8. Chris Pronger, D, Anaheim

9. Vincent Lecavalier, C, Tampa Bay

10. Marian Hossa, RW, Atlanta

11. Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Ottawa

12. Joe Sakic, C, Colorado

13. Dany Heatley, LW, Ottawa

14. Jaromir Jagr, RW, NY Rangers

15. Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay

16. Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Calgary

17. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Atlanta

18. Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary

19. Sergei Zubov, D, Dallas

20. Marian Gaborik, LW, Minnesota

Dude where is Pavel Datsyuk??? :scared:

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I think both lists have some pretty noticeable flaws, such as Cheechoo in the top 30 on THN, or Nash, Parise, Gonchar, or Sedin anywhere near the list.

My top twenty would probably be something like:

1. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit

2. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh

3. Martin Brodeur, G, New Jersey

4. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver

5. Henrik Zetterberg, C, Detroit

6. Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington

7. Joe Thornton, C, San Jose

8. Chris Pronger, D, Anaheim

9. Vincent Lecavalier, C, Tampa Bay

10. Marian Hossa, RW, Atlanta

11. Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Ottawa

12. Joe Sakic, C, Colorado

13. Dany Heatley, LW, Ottawa

14. Jaromir Jagr, RW, NY Rangers

15. Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay

16. Miikka Kiprusoff, G, Calgary

17. Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Atlanta

18. Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary

19. Sergei Zubov, D, Dallas

20. Marian Gaborik, LW, Minnesota

I love Hank, but how can you say without being a homer that he's one of the top 5 players in the league.

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I love Hank, but how can you say without being a homer that he's one of the top 5 players in the league.

Agreed,...that one had my totally baffled when i saw it. Theres just no justification eva can make for that. Especially when you look at his ranking for Heatley, who not only beat Hank handily again in offensive numbers (even if you project Hank's games to 82) but also beat him in plus/minus. What possible argument can be made, outside from playing for the Wings, for putting Zetterberg 8 spots higher.

And i wont even get into some of the other names he shouldnt be higher than...Heatley's enough.

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Agreed,...that one had my totally baffled when i saw it. Theres just no justification eva can make for that. Especially when you look at his ranking for Heatley, who not only beat Hank handily again in offensive numbers (even if you project Hank's games to 82) but also beat him in plus/minus. What possible argument can be made, outside from playing for the Wings, for putting Zetterberg 8 spots higher.

And i wont even get into some of the other names he shouldnt be higher than...Heatley's enough.

And? I hope you aren't suggesting Heatley is anywhere near Z in terms of defensive play?

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Nothing homeristic about saying Nick Lidstrom is the best player in the league. Name me a player in the NHL right now that has a bigger positive impact on the game every night than Lidstrom. You can't; he doesn't exist.

Now don't get me wrong I love lidstrom but Crosby is arguably the Best player in the league. He is a one man army! LOL

Edited by Hockeyguru

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And? I hope you aren't suggesting Heatley is anywhere near Z in terms of defensive play?

Z is better defensively than Heatley, but Heatley is a solid defensive forward in his own right. The hardest thing with guys like Hank and Pavel is that Wings players never come close to leading the league in scoring, so it's hard to compare them with the other top players purely based on stats.

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