Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gordie, Sawchuk still No. 1; Lidstrom takes fifth

Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuck are still No. 1, while Nicklas Lidstrom checked in at No. 5.
Thirteen years after its initial ranking of the top 100 NHL players of all time, “The Hockey News” has updated its 100, plus its rankings of players by position.
The Detroit Red Wings are well represented by players who spent all, or most of, their careers in Detroit, and by others who made relatively brief appearances wearing the Winged Wheel.
Detroit’s Lidstrom, a six-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman, and a finalist for the award this year, is ranked by THN the fifth-best defenseman to play in the NHL.
In his first appearance in THN’s listing, Lidstrom takes over the fifth spot from Denis Potvin.
Potvin is sixth, ex-Wing Red Kelly seventh and Larry Robinson eighth. Former Wings Paul Coffey and Chris Chelios are ninth and 10th, respectively.
At right wing, Gordie Howe is No. 1, just like he was in 1997. Following the Wings’ Mr. Hockey are Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur, Jaromir Jagr and Mike Bossy. Former Red Wing Brett Hull is sixth.
At left wing, Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay is still ranked second, behind Bobby Hull.
Frank Mahovlich, another star who played for Detroit, is third, followed by Dickie Moore and Johnny Bucyk, who spent two seasons in Detroit.
Former Red Wings Luc Robitaille  and Brendan Shanahan are seventh and 12th, respectively, and current Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg 20th.
At center, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Jean Beliveau, Mark Messier and Howie Morenz are ranked 1-5.
Long-time Wings captain Steve Yzerman is eighth, and ex-Wing Marcel Dionne is 16th.
Sawchuk continues to rank No. 1 among goalies. The former Red Wings great is followed by Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Jacques Plante and Dominik Hasek, who backstopped the Red Wings’ 2002 Stanley Cup championship.
Here are “The Hockey News” picks for the Red Wings’ all-time First, Second and Third teams:
FIRST:  Center Yzerman, left wing Lindsay, right wing Howe, defense Lidstrom, goalie Sawchuk.
SECOND: Center Alex Delvecchio, left wing Shanahan, right wing Larry Aurie, defense Red Kelly, goalie Harry Lumley.
THIRD: Center Sid Abel, left wing Zetterberg, right wing John Ogrodnick, defense Jack Stewart, goalie Chris Osgood.


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