Nw that Nicklas Lidstrom has decided to call it a career—he officially retired this past Friday—it’s time to once again attempt the absurd: ranking the greatest NHL defensemen of all time.
Why is it absurd? Because there are a hell of a lot of good defensemen who’ve played the game and, more importantly, there are so many different ways to play the position effectively. Canadiens legend Doug Harvey, for example, may be the best “stay at home” defensemen of all time. But no player ever revolutionized any position the way Bobby Orr revolutionized defense.
So how do you compare two different type of players like this? Here’s my method: I simply ask myself, if I were starting a team and I could choose any defensemen who ever played the game, who would I pick? Asking yourself that question helps you get past the stats and Norris Trophies and Stanley Cup Championship rings, helping you see the bigger picture.
So anyway, here it goes. Be sure to tell us what you think—did I get it mostly right? Or did I totally blow it? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended.