|HouseOfWax Ultimate All-Star Hockey Team|
|Trying to pick just 5 top hockey stars is as impossible as trying to pick just 5 CDs to have with you if you were stranded on a deserted island so, with the aid of the Hockey Hall Of Fame website, I chose 20 players for an ultimate team.|
|Red Wing or not, some of
Sawchuk's records still stand today which is amazing considering the
improved player conditioning, much improved equipment, and the expanded schedule.
Not picking him as the #1 goalie is just an impossibility.|
His backup is an obvious choice as well. Mr. Brodeur is the only goalie that has a chance at breaking a few of Sawchuk's records ... and that won't happen until at least mid season next year. Once you get past Brodeur there isn't much left for the next decade or more.
Honorable mention goes out to Ken Dryden ... Dishonorable mention goes out to Patrick Roy.
|If Bobby Orr's knees had
access to today's surgeons and surgical techniques he'd probably still be
playing and the records he'd be owner of would be astounding. As it is, its
next to impossible to find another defenceman who's offensive skills match
Paul Coffey was close, and considering the talent filled teams he played for, its no wonder Coffey has some impressive career numbers. His skating speed, stick handling, and pass choices made him the premier defenceman while playing for Edmonton, Pittsburgh, L.A., and Detroit.
While Chris Chelios has yet to retire, I dare you to find anyone who wouldn't pick him for any kind of all-star team. The portion of his career that stands out most is his time in Chicago, playing 30+ minutes a game, carrying an otherwise sub-par team to respectability. Chelios is best known as the guy you want playing on your team because you hate to play against him.
Brad Park was New York's Bobby Orr. He played in every situation, spent half the game on the ice, and is second in career scoring behind Orr.
Anyone that saw Al MacInnis play with either Calgary or St. Louis remembers him most for his painful slapshot. Anyone that tried to block his shot from the point needed to have his head examined. Possibly THE powerplay quarterback, Al ranks 3rd in career points for a defenceman behind Orr and Park.
The only non-North American on the team is a Swedish legend and one of the first European born players to excel in the NHL, and is responsible for opening the eyes of NHL scouts to the untapped talent pool that existed in Europe. Known more for his defensive skills, he played his ass off for 16 mediocre Maple Leaf teams, never won a Stanley Cup, and is idolized worldwide for his talent and sportsmanship.
Honorable mention goes out to Ray Bourque, Larry Robinson, Scott Stevens, and Nick Lidstrom.
|The Golden Jet is most known for his scoring ability, and true hockey
fans also remember him (and Stan Mikita) as the originator of the
over-exaggerated curved stick blade. In 1966 he became the first player to
score more than 50 goals in a season (54 total), and in 1961 was the
principle reason why Chicago won a Stanley Cup. They have yet to win
Third in career games played and 4th in career points, Johnny Bucyk was traded from Detroit to Boston for the much needed Terry Sawchuk before the 1957 season and blossomed into the player we all remember him as. Anyone wanting to learn the lost art of the hip check needs to watch films of this player, as his technique was textbook.
His participation in the most famous "Production Line" alone puts him on this ultimate team. Ted will admit it was his fists that kept him on that line, playing with Howe and Abel didn't hurt his point production. At the ripe old age of 83, he still goes down to Joe Lewis Arena 3 days a week and works out with "the guys". There are some in the Red Wing organization that think he'll live forever.
After 11+ rocky but productive and successful seasons in Toronto ( 4 Stanley Cups) Frank was traded to Detroit with Gary Unger and Pete Stemkowski for Norm Ullman and Paul Henderson. His success continued being a part of the 2nd coming of the "Production Line" playing with Howe and Alex Delvecchio. Frank's size and smooth skating attributed most to his success and would have stayed longer but was a victim of the "Darkness with Harkness" era in Detroit and, after 3 seasons in Detroit, was traded to Montreal for Mickey Redmond.
Honorable mentions go out to Bob Gainey, and Michel Goulet.
|There is absolutely no need
to explain why these 4 gentlemen have been picked as the 4 ultimate NHL
centers. Wayne's point totals and Stanley Cups speak for themselves ...
Delvecchio's 23 seasons with one team, consistent point production, and his
ability to score a goal directly off the faceoff are amazing. Espo scoring
453 goals over an 8 year span with the Boston Bruins (57 per season average)
is just the beginning ... and what can't be said about Mario ? It's
just a shame cancer and back problems forced him into retirement on more
than one occasion. He managed to play 17 seasons (100 points or more in 10
of those), played in 10 All-Star games, and holds just about every
Pittsburgh Penguin team record imaginable. His size and leadership skills
alone put him on anyones ultimate team.|
Honorable mentions go out to Sid Abel, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Clarke, Mark Messier, Stan Mikita. Henri Richard, and Peter Stasney.
|All 4 are legends ... all 4 are goal scorers ... all 4 have their names
on the Stanley Cup multiple times ... etc. etc. etc.|
Honorable mentions go out to Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Rod Gilbert, Cam Neely, and Mickey Redmond.
|Adding up the points these players have scored is just obnoxious and, without checking the official stats, Borje Salming is the only team member to NOT win at least one Stanley Cup. Older folk will go further back than the early 50's to pick players for their ultimate team, sighting players like Dickey Duff or Dick Irvin Sr. as worthy members, but I used Gordie Howe as a reference point, and personally seeing all these guys play the game helped in my decision making as well. If EA Sports could code a version of their NHL game with these players on one team I'd actually go to the store and buy it just to see them kick everyones ass. Head Coaching job goes to Scotty Bowman ... naturally ... and finally, my 50th birthday is coming up this December and someone gathering all 20 of these cards together would make a nice gift (hint hint hint) .. LMAO !!!|