I don't know about that. He scored 90+ points twice. Exactly what Datsyuk did. Neither ever topped 100 pts. in a season. He won a Conn Smythe AND a Selke, so it's not like he was a non playoff performer or a one dimensional scorer. Datyuk was definitely flashier, but in terms of his on ice contributions I'm not sure he ever did anything substantially greater than Richards did.
Datsyuk was regarded as the best two-way center in the game for several seasons. I don't remember Richards ever being looked at similarly. I think you could build a team around a prime Datsyuk as your number one center. I wouldn't build a team around a prime Richards.
As was Fedorov. Lest we mention again, a Hart AND Selke in the same year. Which, btw, was a year that featured all of Gretzky, Lemieux and Messier. If he played D for an entire year, no doubt in hell he'd win a Norris. The ONLY reason his number may not get retired is a personal vendetta.
BTW, Gretzky Lemieux and Messier were not ever considered a Hart AND Selke winner, let alone the same year they were winning Hart trophies.
Not sure what your point is. Bergeron is also better defensively than Gretzky or Lemieux. When you're scoring 200 points in a season, nobody cares about Selke awards. Not to mention, being a two-way center wasn't as important in the 80's.
What Fedorov did in 1994 was impressive and has only been approached by Datsyuk when he scored 95+ points in back to back seasons while winning the Selke. But that point alone doesn't mean Ilitch should drop what he's doing and put him in the rafters.
Like I and others mentioned, Fedorov leaving the way he did screwed him over. Nobody is arguing about his skills or awards.
Fedorov - The best player among the 3 - and only 48 other players in NHL history have outscored him, statistically speaking it should be a lock. Unfortunately, stats aren't everything and don't tell the entire story... The only reason it hasn't happened is because ownership hasn't let it. Not sure how I feel here.
Datsyuk - May have handled his departure worse than anyone in the history our team. For that reason, no. Absolutley, no.
Zetterberg - He doesn't really deserve it but sure, who cares about the # 40?