Saw a similar thread on an NFL site, so I thought we’d have one too.
After some back and forth, I decided if there ever was a Mount Rushmore for a team, the team itself would decide the players. So that’s what I went with. Basically, who the franchise would likely pick.
I also decided to include GM’s or coaches where I thought appropriate.
BTW, for those posters who are from overseas and may not know what Mount Rushmore is, it’s a mountain in the United States that has the faces of four US presidents carved into it, in the form of a sculpture. Hence, we’re looking for a hypothetical mountain for each NHL team, with only 4 spots available for their biggest legends.
Anaheim – Selanne, Kariya, Niedermayer, Getzlaf
Yeah, I omitted the guy with the giant pads. Two great playoffs, but I don’t remember him doing much else. Niedermayer, on the other hand, did a lot for them during his stint and captained them to their only Cup. Getzlaf has been the face of the Ducks for some time now. Selanne and Kariya are locks.
Boston – Orr, Shore, Bourque, Esposito
I think they’re the four best players in Boston history, and arguably all four are top 10 all time NHL players. The easiest original six team I had to deal with.
Buffalo – Perreault, Hasek, Martin, Andreychuk
Perreault and Hasek are no brainers. Andreychuk is second only to Perreault in most major offensive categories for Buffalo. Martin was a very good winger on that French Connection line. I had a hard time leaving Housley off the list. I guess he’s underrated after all. As for recent memory, I quickly dismissed Ryan Miller and Lindy Ruff, despite their longevity. Not good enough to make the mountain.
Calgary – Iginla, MacInnis, Fleury, Vernon.
I put Vernon ahead of McDonald or Kiprusoff. Like Kipper, he was a mainstay, but I think Vernon is more memorable, partly because he was there for their only Cup and partly because the Flames have been terrible for many years under Kipper (not all his fault). Lanny McDonald and his stache would look great on a Mount Rushmore. He captained them to their only Cup and remains immensely popular. However, his last few years in Calgary were too underwhelming, as he played a smaller role on the team. I don’t know how you can keep Iginla, Fleury or MacInnis off the mountain.
Carolina – Francis, Brind’Amour, Staal, Wesley
Any arguments here? Maybe Cam Ward or Kevin Dineen? I’m content with these selections.
Chicago – Mikita, Hull, Esposito, Hall
Probably the four biggest names in Hawks history. Denis Savard and Pierre Pilote both have deserving arguments as well, but I had a hard time thinking any of the above wouldn’t make it.
Colorado/Quebec – Sakic, Forsberg, Roy, Stastny
Foote’s face is too ugly to be on any monument. Besides, Stastny was a much better player than him. Other three I don’t expect anyone to argue.
Columbus – Nash, Vyborny, Mason, Umberger,
What do you expect? Their history has been a joke so far.
Dallas/Minnesota – Modano, Broten, Ciccarelli, Goldsworthy
Goldsworthy was the face of the franchise in the early days. Zubov and Hatcher I came close to including, but maybe they cancelled each other out, because I didn’t choose either. Broten and Cicarelli carried the team in the 80’s and were long mainstays. Modano is the best player in franchise history.
Detroit – Howe, Yzerman, Lindsay, Lidstrom
Yzerman and Howe are locks. I think Lidstrom would get in, but I can see the team omitting him over older legends. I changed Sawchuk and Lindsay three times, before finally choosing Lindsay. Sawchuk died young, while Lindsay continues to be an ambassador for the franchise. He’d likely get the nod for that reason. Delvecchio I had to snub as well, because there’s just not enough spots.
Edmonton – Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr
Ultimately took Fuhr over Kurri. Kurri was a much better player comparatively, but he was another great forward on a team loaded with them. Fuhr would probably get the nod popularity wise. Coffey is the best offensive defenseman behind Orr. As for Gretzky and Messier, they probably already have a Mount Rushmore somewhere in north Alberta.
Florida –Jokinen, Vanbiesbrouck, Mellanby, Bure
I came close to leaving Bure off, but he did take them to the playoffs “once” (which in their history is no small achievement). He had some fantastic years in Florida individually. Mellanby and Jokinen were there forever. Vanbiesbrouck carried them to their only Finals appearance and was their first real star. Luongo is the guy I can envision possibly getting there ahead of Bure or Mellanby. Unfortunately, Luongo was there for some very unmemorable years.
Los Angeles – Gretzky, Dionne, Robitaille, Taylor
I doubt anyone can argue the first three choices. I took Taylor over Rogie Vachon. He was there over 15 years, scored 1,000 points and was their GM for about a decade. He’s a Kings legend.
Minnesota – Gaborik, Lemaire, Backstrom, Koivu
I still forget that Lemaire is no longer their coach. He shaped the style that team played for so many years and what they became known for around the NHL. The other choices are all better than any alternatives I could think of.
Montreal – Richard, Beliveau, Lafleur, Plante
This one wasn’t as tough as you’d think. I think Howe Morenz is probably a top 10 all time NHL player, but he’s not as remembered as say a Rocket Richard. Richard and Believeau are worshipped in Montreal. So is Lafleur. I picked Plante ahead of Dryden. In this case, the four most legendary and beloved players in franchise history are also the best, and deserve to be there.
Nashville – Trotz, Legwand, Weber, Timonen
Trotz is their only coach, so he has to get in. Legwand is nothing special but he’s been there basically since they began. Timonen and Weber carried them during their stints. I guess you could argue either Rinne or Vokoun should be there. In a few years, Rinne will be there for sure.
New Jersey – Lamoriello, Brodeur, Stevens, MacLean
I picked Elias ahead of John MacLean (not that guy from Die Hard). It was close as one of those two is the franchise’s all time best forward. Lamoriello is a no-brainer. He built their franchise. Don’t think anyone will argue Brodeur or Stevens. Daneyko and Niedermayer were great, but I can’t remove anyone for them.
New York Islanders – Yashin, Snow, Milbury, Kvasha……...........JK…………….Real list is Trottier, Bossy, Potvin, Arbour
Trottier, Bossy and Potvin are locks. Arbour coached the team for like 20 years. BTW, if anyone wants to start their own joke Mount Rushmore thread, go for it.
New York Rangers – Leetch, Messier, Richter, Gilbert
Realistically, guys like Cook, Howell and Bathgate should be on this monument. However, Rangers fans are so obsessed with the 1994 team (because they didn’t win squat for so long before that), that I see their Mount Rushmore being driven by recent history. Gilbert has to get in because he holds the team records for goals and points and was a great forward.
Ottawa – Alfredsson, Phillips, Redden, Spezza
Pretty easy selections. Phillips is nothing special but has played 1,000 games for the franchise. Redden seems like last decade’s news, but he was a very good defenseman for them for years. Spezza has been a star for a while now. Alfie is obvious. Heatley and Hossa didn’t play there long enough to get in.
Phoenix/Winnipeg – Hawerchuk, Doan, Numminen, Tkachuk
Thomas Steen is the only guy I feel bad for not including. It was between him and Tkachuk, but I decided Tkachuk was too good a player to leave off. Before anyone mentions Selanne, he didn’t play enough games there.
Philadelphia – Clarke, Parent, Barber, Lindros
First three were easy. Lindros, despite the way he left the franchise, I think would make it. There seems to be more reconciliation between him and the club in recent years. Many of us younger fans will remember him more than any other Flyer, and I suspect it’ll be that way for some time. If eva still posted on LGW, he’d put Mark Howe ahead of Lindros.
Pittsburgh – Lemieux, Jagr, Crosby, Malkin
Certainly the four best players in franchise history. Don’t think I could rank anyone above them.
San Jose – Marleau, Thornton, Nabokov, Nolan
Another slam dunk for me.
St Louis - Hull, Federko, Sutter, MacInnis,
Confident about this one too. Hull and Federko are the best offensive players they ever had. Sutter was the heart and soul of the Blues and was a really good player. MacInnis over Pronger was an easy choice in the end. MacInnis was there longer and is more respected by Blues fans.
Tampa Bay – Lecavalier, St. Louis, Richards, Stamkos
Stamkos was the bubble choice, but I think he’s already earned the right to be there. He’s the current face of the Lightning. Richards has been gone a few years, but I still think he’d get in. Kubina is too ordinary a player to be ahead of any of these guys.
Toronto –Armstrong, Broda, Sittler, Sundin
Along with the Rangers, this was the toughest. Lot of older legends left off, like Apps and Conacher. Armstrong captained them to all those Cups in their glory days, and played more games than any Leaf. He has to be there. Broda was their goalie for about 15 years! Sittler was an offensive tour de force for them over 10 years, before Sundin broke many of his team records. Dave Keon wouldn’t likely get a spot, because there’s been a rift between him and the Leafs for several decades now. He’d refuse it.
Vancouver –Naslund, Smyl, Linden, Sedin twins
Naslund, Linden and Smyl I was confident about. I couldn’t decide which Sedin should get the 4th spot, until I realized………..……it’s the same freaking face on Mount Rushmore. So included them both under one spot. Also, Pavel Bure is the best player in Canucks history, but the way he left the franchise and them not retiring his number, makes me think he wouldn’t get on the mountain.
Washington – Ovechkin, Hunter, Bondra, Kolzig
Ovechkin and Bondra were the Caps’ star players during their eras. Hunter was the leader of the team for a long time. I admit that I snubbed Mike Gartner big time. He was a much better player than the overrated Kolzig, but Kolzig was a Capital so long that he’s “The” Capitals goalie in franchise history. I think he’ll be more remembered as a Cap, ultimately.
Winnnipeg/Atlanta – Kovalchuk, Kozlov, Enstrom, Pavelec
LOL. I know. I even thought of putting Eric Boulton on here.