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Best NHL Defenseman All-Time

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IBatch
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Top 25 Defenseman All-time   

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It’s the boringest part of the year in hockey.  Thought it might be fun to do a poll on the greatest NHL defenseman ever.   Anyone who hasn’t been around to see Potvin, Robinson, Coffey, Langway etc hope that you consider them.   Orr is the obvious choice for number one.  But I hope both Harvey and especially Shore get their due.   Hockey historians figure he would lead all NHL defenseman in Norris trophies had they existed back then.   He did manage several Harts though ... and had the Norris existed back then historians figure he’s Orr’s only competitor when it came to that (around 10 Norris if it existed back then).   And Harvey revolutionized the game as well.  The same way Roy did with the butterfly....  

 

I’m still figuring out how to navigate this - but for those that are interested I will keep each round open for a day or two - I’ve started with 15 amazing D’s to start with - I know I’ve missed quite a few that deserve consideration - vote for whom you think deserves the number two spot - and nominate who you think should be on the list.   I will add whomever has the most nominations from the next poll.   Will do my best to honour AJs top 50 Canucks all-time.   Maybe one day QHs would make the top 25 D’s list ... figure at this point in a top 50 list Reinhart would make it for sure.   Same with Babych.   Maybe Jovo and maybe Brown. 
 

As a final note.   I’m going to weight first and second all-star team, Norris trophies and personal accolades- but also going to consider which guys played against each other and how good they compared to each other at different parts of their peak/career.   A few top guys couldn’t win a Norris until the olds guard was well past their primes...makes you wonder if they’d ever win one if they played at the same age doesn’t it?  To me that absolutely shows who’s the better defenseman.    Enjoy!  And also let me know if you want to expand it to the top 50 all-time... then at least we can maybe get a couple Canucks in there too. 

Edited by IBatch
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This is a great topic and I am sure we will see some amazing debates. I went with Coffey as my selection and then thought about it for a few minutes and and changed my vote to Bourque. Purely from a stats perspective of course. I think it would make more sense to pick the best of each decade or even Era as there have been some amazing players over the history of the league and I don't think it's a clear cut as the debate over who is the best player ever.

 

 

Looking forward to all the responses :)

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57 minutes ago, MikeBossy said:

This is a great topic and I am sure we will see some amazing debates. I went with Coffey as my selection and then thought about it for a few minutes and and changed my vote to Bourque. Purely from a stats perspective of course. I think it would make more sense to pick the best of each decade or even Era as there have been some amazing players over the history of the league and I don't think it's a clear cut as the debate over who is the best player ever.

 

 

Looking forward to all the responses :)

Borque has to be up there.   For all the Lidstrom votes he couldn’t beat out Borque, Coffey,  Chelios, Blake, Mcinniss in their primes and even late primes ... didn’t win until he was 30 and the old guard had aged out.   I’d have both Borque and Coffey ahead of Lidstrom, same with Potvin who’s my next up vote.   Nothing against Lidstrom he was amazing, but not at the same level as peak Borque or Coffey or Potvin...Robinson maybe too. 

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1 hour ago, Ms.Glitter said:

Could we correct the spelling  'MacInnis' in the poll

 

Al MacInnis is my favorite defenceman behind Bobby Orr.  

 

He was awesome.  Blasting pucks accurately at over 100 mph with a wooden stick... Pronger and him might be the best defensive pairing all-time..

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Just now, IBatch said:

Borque has to be up there.   For all the Lidstrom votes he couldn’t beat out Borque, Coffey,  Chelios, Blake, Mcinniss in their primes and even late primes ... didn’t win until he was 30 and the old guard had aged out.   I’d have both Borque and Coffey ahead of Lidstrom, same with Potvin who’s my next up vote.   Nothing against Lidstrom he was amazing, but not at the same level as peak Borque or Coffey or Potvin...Robinson maybe too. 

Lidstrom wasn't even the best defenseman on his own team prior to the tragic limo accident.  He's definitely one of the greats but Bourque and him are very comparable, with Borque playing on far worse teams.  My next pick is going to Potvin; along with Robinson, the physical game gives him the edge.

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33 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

Voted Robinson, nominating Konstantinov, who was better than Lidstrom on the same team prior to the accident.

Yes your right.  The younger generation needs to educate themselves a little on this fact.   Extremely unfortunate - he could Scott Stevens anyone at any moment and often did, and was one heck of an all-round D.  Shanny has a great quote that goes something like this

 

“The 2002 team might be the most talented team but in a game seven series if they didn’t win in four they’d be out by 6...the 97-98 teams were mean ... used to target a star on each team per series and either injure them or get them off their game .. Konstantinov...well we’d be playing a nothing game in the regular season and he’d knock out the star at center up 7-2 and instead of drinking the beer after the game be icing out knuckle’s - that was one mean team we had in 97-98”...

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13 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

Lidstrom wasn't even the best defenseman on his own team prior to the tragic limo accident.  He's definitely one of the greats but Bourque and him are very comparable, with Borque playing on far worse teams.  My next pick is going to Potvin; along with Robinson, the physical game gives him the edge.

Man we think alike.   Potvin is probably my favourite all-round D ever.   One of a few guys to post 100 points, and always in the top every year - plus he’s the guy Gretzky feared more then anyone (his own words in his book)... because he’d kill you if he had the chance and then take the puck and go down and score ... 

 

Lidstrom’s legacy is exaggerated by the simple fact the quality of competition went way down in his 30’s...if he can’t beat Borque, Al Mac, Chelios, Coffey, Blake, Pronger etc in his prime? ... most of them were on the bottom nine of their careers...that’s kind of what I meant in my OP.    Back to back era’s are definitely comparable when both players play against each other...

 

Edit:  On Robinson.  His highlights still hold up...one of the best skaters/puck handlers for a big D...and his defensive game is beyond reproach, think he leads the list in all-time plus minus and he played well beyond the Habs golden years ... plus he completely removed the PHI flu from their locker room, starting with Shultz and beating up every one of their guys in the process...

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