Yes, the NHL is locked out. However, I will still blog about the NHL and, more specifically, the Detroit Red Wings. Since they are not playing any games and I cannot complain about poor performance or how Brendan Smith is the “real deal”, I will discuss other topics relating to the Red Wings of the past. Hopefully the season will start soon with the recent 50/50 proposal.
First on the agenda is my take of the “All-Time Detroit Red Wings” keeping with the trend around Hockeybuzz. I liked Mark Spizzirri’s take on the topic and agree that some very good players were kept off the team. Here is my take:
Ted Lindsay – Alex Delvecchio – Gordie Howe
Enough said. I chose Delvecchio over Sid Abel because of higher career numbers and longer tenure with the Red Wings. Tough choice between two Hall of Famers.
Brendan Shanahan – Sergei Fedorov – Steve Yzerman
A Hall of Famers and two future Hall of Famers. I do not think I need to explain why I chose Yzerman. His career is nothing short of legendary. Sergei Fedorov was arguably the most complete NHL player of his time. It is pretty impressive when you win the Hart and Selke Trophies in the same year. While Brendan Shanahan did not spend his entire career in Detroit, he made a huge impact with the Red Wings. Shanahan was the final piece to the puzzle that helped the Red Wings collect three Stanley Cups in six years.
Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Norm Ullman
This trio sits at number ten, eight, and six all-time on the highest scorers in a Red Wings uniform. Zetterberg and Datsyuk are current superstars in the league. Norm Ullman is the best Red Wing you’ve never heard of. It’s tough to stand out when the likes of Howe, Lindsay, Delvecchio, Red Kelly, and Terry Sawchuk are dominating the headlines. This “third line” is comprised of three of the best two-way players in the history of the NHL.
Kirk Maltby – Kris Draper – Darren McCarty
The Grind Line: the perfect fourth line in their prime. Penalty kill, timely goals, and strong defensive hockey helped the Red Wings win their most recent four Stanley Cups. They may not be Hall of Famers or point producers, but they were the best at their jobs.
Nicklas Lidstrom – Vladimir Konstantinov
For Nicklas Lidstrom, he is a given to make this team. Just his hockey sense and leadership qualities are enough. Never mind the Norris trophies, 1100+ points, all-star teams, and Stanley Cups. Vladdie on the other hand is an interesting choice. Yes, we all know his career was tragically cut short and he could knock the stuffing out of people with his hits. He put together a respectable career in terms of points as well and was very strong defensively. During the Red Wings’ 1995-96 season that resulted in 62 regular season wins, Vladdie finished with a plus-60 rating, was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team, and finished second in the Norris Trophy voting. I believe that if he had not suffered life-altering injuries that terrible June day in 1997, Konstantinov could have played seven more seasons until the 2004-05 lock out before retiring on his own accord.
Red Kelly – Marcel Pronovost
Red Kelly was a top defenseman for the Red Wings and won a Norris Trophy with the Red Wings. Marcel Pronovost has played the second most games as a defenseman in Red Wings history, only behind Nicklas Lidstrom. Both were vital to winning Stanley Cups and are now in the Hall of Fame.
Ebbie Goodfellow – Reed Larson
Not many people have heard of Ebbie Goodfellow because he patrolled the blue line for the Red Wings in their early days. He was a premier defenseman in the NHL and captained the Red Wings on and off between 1929 and 1943. While Reed Larson was a Red Wing during the “Dead Wings” Era, you cannot deny that he had talent. He is only behind Nicklas Lidstrom in total points by a defenseman in Red Wings history.
The most dominate goalie of his time. Holds/held several NHL records and won several Stanley Cups and Vezina Trophies.
Ozzie has Hall of Fame numbers, yet no one seemed to think he was good enough. I consider Chirs Osgood the second best goalie in the Red Wings history. He may have let in a few (a lot) of soft goals, but he got results. Tim Cheveldae would have had my vote purely because he was the first Red Wings goalie I watched and why I wear #32, but Osgood had better results and won Stanley Cups with the Red Wings.
How could I leave out an original member of the Production Line! Abel is a Hall of Famer and was a vital member of successful Red Wings teams. He is the extra forward over Larry Aurie, Tomas Holmstrom, and John Ogrodnick.
I believe Kronwall has the most talent out of the remaining defensemen and will put up some good numbers before his career is over. He beat out guys like Jack Stewart, Gary Bergman, Chris Chelios, and Paul Coffey.