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number9

Who was the better Wing/Player? Yzerman or Lidstrom

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Who is the better player/wing?   74 members have voted

  1. 1. Stevie or Nick?

    • Steve Yzerman
      35
    • Nicklas Lidstrom
      30

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52 posts in this topic

Better player. Lidstrom

Better Red Wing. Yzerman.

I think Lidstrom's all time ranking will ultimately be higher around NHL circles, but Yzerman was more important for the franchise and being the face of the team so long.

This.

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To the OP, I'm going to parrot what others have already said. Yzerman was the better Red Wing, Lidstrom the better player. That said...

10 years before 2 way play by Bowman 1040 points, After Bowman, 12 years 715 points.

Now I'm not arguing that this helped us win our first cup in forever, just that Yzerman unselfishly changed his entire game for this team, and he could have gone on to break records had he decided to not put this team first.

I actually came here to refute this point by saying that Stevie's body broke down in later years, and he no longer would've been able to compete with a purely offensive game. I still think this is true, and I don't believe he would've lasted 12 more seasons that way.

However...

I took a quick peek at the all time scoring leaders, and it is not unfeasible (hi, double negative!) that he could've taken the number two all time spot if things had gone differently. Had he even played one more season in the real world, he definitely would've ousted Dionne, and possibly even taken the #4 spot from Francis had he remained healthy (given his numbers from his last two seasons -- 75gp, 55p and 61gp, 34p).

With him only 132 pts behind Messier even with his switch up to two way play, I could honestly have seen him topping every other forward all time save for the Great One.

2 Mark Messier EDM, NYR, VAN, NYR 1756 1887 1.07 3 Gordie Howe DET, HFD 1767 1850 1.05 4 Ron Francis HFD, PIT, CAR, TOR 1731 1798 1.04 5 Marcel Dionne DET, LAK, NYR 1348 1771 1.31 6 Steve Yzerman DET 1514 1755 1.16

...of course then we'd have exactly zero cups, and people would be talking about how he was the best centerman never to win the big one...

Z Winged Dangler likes this

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Yzerman, with no doubt.

Lets say that you had to have one of these two players to bring your team out of an era of failure, which would do the better job?

Without Yzerman the Wings could very well have maintained the gold standard of fail around the league.

I love me some lids, but he could NOT have been the spark this team needed to reach success.

I draft a rookie Yzerman over a rookie Lids each and every time.

Dont forget that Yzerman was a mad mad point producer, scoring 1040 points before Bowman took over and made him a two way player. Had Yzerman remained the pure scorer he was he would have challenged many records.

10 years before 2 way play by Bowman 1040 points, After Bowman, 12 years 715 points.

Now I'm not arguing that this helped us win our first cup in forever, just that Yzerman unselfishly changed his entire game for this team, and he could have gone on to break records had he decided to not put this team first.

Yzerman is the better Wing and the better player.

It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.

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People remember Yzerman's bum knee in 2002 but you have to remember that injury first occurred in 1988 when he slid into a goalpost. It's something that bothered him most of his career.

Had that not happened, or had they had moorings like they do now, Stevie would've been an even better player later into his career.

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He was at best 3rd behind those. Most non-biased non-Wing fans have Sakic + Yzerman ranked equally, then you have to throw guys like Messier into the mix, and like I say, thats not including those who played pre-1980 and post 2000. None of that is to diss Yzerman, who as I also already said, is IMO the greatest wing.

If I really wanted to put the cat amongst the pidgeons, I would ask where Gordie Howe fits into all this :P

The Captain: The Perfect Human: Mr Hockey

Wait, now I'm confused. You started with Yzerman wasn't even 2nd best of his era, now your changing it to all time and asking were would Howe fit in?

I have no idea were Yzerman ranks all time, but there is no doubt for about a 7 or 8 year window if not for Lemieux and Gretzky he would have been top two at the least. Yzerman has the slight edge on Sakic with points production early in there careers,

Yzerman sacrificed his points production to become a beast of a two way forward to become a complete hockey player. Between him and Messier you can debate either way.

My point was if not for the two GREATEST FORWARDS EVER playing during his entire prime there is no question Yzerman is considered top two during his ERA.

Edited by cupcrazy

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I maintain that Lidstrom is the greatest Red Wing of all-time and and at the very least the greatest Red Wing that I got to see play.

Stevie was awesome and certainly played in Gretzky and Lemieux's shadow but if you compare Lidstrom and Yzerman by position the choice is clearly in Lidstrom's favor. Another thing to keep in mind about Lids is that he was unappreciated early in his career and probably should have won a couple more Norris trophies.

Edited by UP2HERE

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I maintain that Lidstrom is the greatest Red Wing of all-time and and at the very least the greatest Red Wing that I got to see play.

Stevie was awesome and certainly played in Gretzky and Lemieux's shadow but if you compare Lidstrom and Yzerman by position the choice is clearly in Lidstrom's favor. Another thing to keep in mind about Lids is that he was unappreciated early in his career and probably should have won a couple more Norris trophies.

No way Lidstrom ranks above Howe on any NHL list of best players.

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It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.

I'm not saying he'd have maintained the same pace. That would indeed be very foolish. If you'd read what I posted, I'm saying that if he'd forgone the defense that became the hallmark of his later years, tallying an additional 133 points over his actual career total would not have been a stretch.

EDIT: WOOPS! Thought you were quoting me there. My apologies. Apparently it's my reading comprehension that needs work.

Edited by Uncle Danny

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No way Lidstrom ranks above Howe on any NHL list of best players.

I admit its difficult to beleive but when I watch games from the 60's and 70's I'm amazed by how slow the game was. I dont mean to take anything away from Gordie he's basically a god but i beleive the current NHL era is FAR superior.

I watched a game between the Wings and Montreal from 1975 and I literally saw defenseman (Mostly on the Wings) who could barely skate backwards and whos transition from skating backward to forward was just awful. What was REALLy noticebale was the size of the goalie equipment.

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It would be extremely foolish to think that Yzerman (or any player for the matter) could have kept a consistent scoring pace in the first half of his career and his second half. I think you are overestimating the impact of him putting his team first. You could probably take any player in history and you will likely see some signficant declines in later years.

If Gretzky maintained the same pace in his last 10 years as he did in his first 10 years, he'd have scored 3,674 points, not 2,857. Injury + age, same for Yzerman, is the main reason for decline.

There are other reasons. People tend to forget (or didn't witness it firsthand if they are under, say, 30 years old) that NHL scoring fell off a cliff after roughly the 1992-93 season.

http://www.quanthockey.com/TS/TS_GoalsPerGame.php

If you only talk with Red Wings fans, you grow up with the impression that the 90's and early 2000's were this golden age of hockey. And they were...for a Red Wings or Avalanche fan. Everyone else refers to it as the "Dead Puck" era - the first time in this history of hockey were goaltenders were absolutely fearless in net, when they wore absurdly large (and since outlawed) jerseys, pads, and chest protectors that took up the whole net, but still benefited from trapping defensive schemes, no two-line passes, and unmitigated obstruction that slowed the game down. There's a reason Teemu Selanne scored 70 goals as a rookie and never got close to that total again. If Gretzky's career started in 1991 instead of 1979, he'd still have been a great player, but I'm almost certain he doesn't break Howe's goal record. It wasn't even the same game in the 1980's, and blocked shots are a huge difference even between the 90's and 2000's.

I want to say Lidstrom in the poll (who won an extra Cup, and did so as the leader of a Salary Cap-limited team), but my heart knows that it's Yzerman. However, I do think that the praise for Yzerman swings a little too far at times, and people forget that that those 80's Wings teams where Yzerman was an offensive beast were still basically the likable losers. It wasn't until Fedorov and Lidstrom came along that this became a perennial playoff team, Bowman got the star players to play defense, and even then, they still couldn't beat the other great teams of the day ('95 Devils, '96 Avs) until they added Shanahan and some other "spare parts". But if you look at Yzerman's first half of his career compared to Lidstrom's, he was a much more important player to his team, even if the team wasn't doing much at the time. Lidstrom may well be among the Top 5 or Top 10 defensemen of all time, yet Yzerman's importance to the Red Wings is somehow much more complex than that.

Z Winged Dangler likes this

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I admit its difficult to beleive but when I watch games from the 60's and 70's I'm amazed by how slow the game was. I dont mean to take anything away from Gordie he's basically a god but i beleive the current NHL era is FAR superior.

I watched a game between the Wings and Montreal from 1975 and I literally saw defenseman (Mostly on the Wings) who could barely skate backwards and whos transition from skating backward to forward was just awful. What was REALLy noticebale was the size of the goalie equipment.

This ties into my post above. Comparing eras is difficult and unfair in a lot of ways, but both Wayne and Gordie were DOMINANT players relative to what everyone else did at their time. True, Gordie played largely before slapshots and with goalies who basically had to give up if you shot at a low corner, but to survive physically in that era and put up decades of star production is a truly amazing feat.

Just because the "skill" level of the players in the 80's was clearly better than the 60's or 70's doesn't necessarily mean it was harder for Wayne to score in that era. The entire game was offense-oriented. Not to sound like Malcolm Gladwell, but Wayne Gretzky came into the league at the exact perfect time to put up a 20-year career with massive point totals. And, by the way, so did Yzerman - he just wasn't as gifted of a player as Gretzky was.

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Wait, now I'm confused. You started with Yzerman wasn't even 2nd best of his era, now your changing it to all time and asking were would Howe fit in?

I'm not changing anything, I was just expanding the point about where he ranks in all time centers. Lidstrom would make an all-time all-NHL team. So would Howe. Yzerman probably wouldn't.

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I'm not changing anything, I was just expanding the point about where he ranks in all time centers. Lidstrom would make an all-time all-NHL team. So would Howe. Yzerman probably wouldn't.

That's actually a pretty fair point. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Lidstrom would be on the first or second pairing all time. Yzerman would likely be among the best players on the practice squad (ouch, that kinda hurt to type).

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First off, I will never vote against Yzerman.

Yzerman and Lidstrom will go down as possibly the 2 best Wings ever. Howe, Dats, Federov....up there, but those 2 are THE best.

It's hard to vote between the 2 cause of the forward/defence difference. So I will say this. Yzerman brought the Wings from the obscurity of the Dead Wings era and made them competitive. When Lids came along with Federov and Konstantinov, the Wings became a powerhouse.

Yzerman got the Wings out of the trash, Lids kept them there. If I could vote for both I would. I call it a tie.

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To the OP, I'm going to parrot what others have already said. Yzerman was the better Red Wing, Lidstrom the better player. That said...

I actually came here to refute this point by saying that Stevie's body broke down in later years, and he no longer would've been able to compete with a purely offensive game. I still think this is true, and I don't believe he would've lasted 12 more seasons that way.

However...

I took a quick peek at the all time scoring leaders, and it is not unfeasible (hi, double negative!) that he could've taken the number two all time spot if things had gone differently. Had he even played one more season in the real world, he definitely would've ousted Dionne, and possibly even taken the #4 spot from Francis had he remained healthy (given his numbers from his last two seasons -- 75gp, 55p and 61gp, 34p).

With him only 132 pts behind Messier even with his switch up to two way play, I could honestly have seen him topping every other forward all time save for the Great One.

2 Mark Messier EDM, NYR, VAN, NYR 1756 1887 1.07 3 Gordie Howe DET, HFD 1767 1850 1.05 4 Ron Francis HFD, PIT, CAR, TOR 1731 1798 1.04 5 Marcel Dionne DET, LAK, NYR 1348 1771 1.31 6 Steve Yzerman DET 1514 1755 1.16

...of course then we'd have exactly zero cups, and people would be talking about how he was the best centerman never to win the big one...

Yzerman's last 2 years kept him from being 2nd overall along with the fact that Howe and Messier as well as Francis played 150-200 more career games than Yzerman.

Another thing, Demers was the one that turned Yzerman into a 2-way centre. Bowman took over and had the 1991 draft done and a team that got stacked with Lids, Federov, Konstantinov and then had the Grind Line and Shanny added along with Larionov and Fetisov. That team was a raging hard-on that just needed the right system. The same thing he did when he had the Penguins back to back championships with the likes of Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Coffey, Barasso, Stevens and so on. They just needed organization to win the cup.

And I'd put Yzerman ahead of Lemieux on the all time list at centre in a heartbeat, as well as Gretzky. Centres need to be responsible on both sides and Yzerman was far superior to Lemieux and Gretzky in every way but point totals. I'd sooner put those 2 on Yzerman's wing and make a super line and have Sakic as my 2nd line centre who was the closest comparison as stated by someone else above for Stevie Y.

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Yzerman's last 2 years kept him from being 2nd overall along with the fact that Howe and Messier as well as Francis played 150-200 more career games than Yzerman.

Another thing, Demers was the one that turned Yzerman into a 2-way centre. Bowman took over and had the 1991 draft done and a team that got stacked with Lids, Federov, Konstantinov and then had the Grind Line and Shanny added along with Larionov and Fetisov. That team was a raging hard-on that just needed the right system. The same thing he did when he had the Penguins back to back championships with the likes of Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Coffey, Barasso, Stevens and so on. They just needed organization to win the cup.

And I'd put Yzerman ahead of Lemieux on the all time list at centre in a heartbeat, as well as Gretzky. Centres need to be responsible on both sides and Yzerman was far superior to Lemieux and Gretzky in every way but point totals. I'd sooner put those 2 on Yzerman's wing and make a super line and have Sakic as my 2nd line centre who was the closest comparison as stated by someone else above for Stevie Y.

Gretzky and Lemieux are way above Yzerman on the all time greatest centers list.

Yzerman was better as a two-way center, but so were Fedorov and Datsyuk. Would you rank them above Gretzky also?

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Gretzky and Lemieux are way above Yzerman on the all time greatest centers list.

Yzerman was better as a two-way center, but so were Fedorov and Datsyuk. Would you rank them above Gretzky also?

There quite simply is no way I could fathom voting for anyone in the history of hockey above Gretzky at the center position. You know why Gretzky isn't known as a great two way player? Because any coach on the planet would have been a moron to ask him to curtail his scoring. He didn't have to play great defense because he'd simply outscore the other team. There is a reason he's known as The Great One.

Just playing out a hypothetical: had he decided that he wanted to play a defense first game, his hockey IQ and vision were such that I have no doubt he'd have been among the very best at it. As they say, though, you can teach defense, you can't teach scoring... which is what he did better than anyone before or since.

EDIT: Clarity

Edited by Uncle Danny
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There quite simply is no way I could fathom voting for anyone in the history of hockey above Gretzky at the center position. You know why Gretzky isn't known as a great two way player? Because any coach on the planet would have been a moron to ask him to curtail his scoring. He didn't have to play great defense because he'd simply outscore the other team. There is a reason he's known as The Great One.

Just playing out a hypothetical: had he decided that he wanted to play a defense first game, his hockey IQ and vision were such that I have no doubt he'd have been among the very best at it. As they say, though, you can teach defense, you can't teach scoring... which is what he did better than anyone before or since.

EDIT: Clarity

Not to mention, his plus/minus numbers were pretty good during the Edmonton heyday. In fact, I think his career plus/minus is around +500! Not because he was great defensively, but because his line was always scoring and dominated the puck. He didn't have to play much defense really.

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There quite simply is no way I could fathom voting for anyone in the history of hockey above Gretzky at the center position. You know why Gretzky isn't known as a great two way player? Because any coach on the planet would have been a moron to ask him to curtail his scoring. He didn't have to play great defense because he'd simply outscore the other team. There is a reason he's known as The Great One.

Just playing out a hypothetical: had he decided that he wanted to play a defense first game, his hockey IQ and vision were such that I have no doubt he'd have been among the very best at it. As they say, though, you can teach defense, you can't teach scoring... which is what he did better than anyone before or since.

EDIT: Clarity

Makes sense. I just like the thought of a super line of Lemieux - Yzerman - Gretzky. As a centrement myself, I always pride myself on a solid 2-way game, so my first logic isn't just to outscore the other team as Gretzky did with relative ease, but to take the puck from the other team and shove it back in their face, and that's what Yzerman did better than anyone, as does Datsyuk. But you raise a good point and I agree with you.

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I think it's a harder decision than a lot of people think. Stevie was all about team and it's well documented how he trained hard and changed his game for the better of the team away from his personal stats.

I think Lids is exactly the same yet far from the public eye. He did make mistakes, all players do, but once he did he made damn sure no one would ever see it again. Man probably thought about every little play so much and worked on it in practice that he couldn't mess it up again.

Tough choice but I saw more of Lids than Stevie. That being said I never noticed Lids as much because I was entirely confident and comfortable with him being out there each night. Was more concerned by players like Lebda lol

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Lids. Hands down. Seven Norris Trophies that should have been 10. Yzerman never won any best forward trophies other than a Selke.

Yzerman won a Lester B. Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) for the leagues outstanding player voted by the players in 88-89

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Here's how you KNOW it's Lidstrom. Not ONCE, in his 20 years of Red Wings awesomeness, was Lidstrom mentioned in a possible trade. Cant say that about Stevie Y.

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The official Detroit Red Wings on facebook had a tourney to determine the greatest Red Wing of all time. Of course the final was Yzerman Vs Lidstrom. Stevie Y won by a landslide, getting more than double the votes Lidstrom received.

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