When Lidstrom is done with his career, where is he ending up?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by SChan*, Nov 15, 2006.

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  1. SChan*

    SChan* Guest

    Top 10 or Top 5 Defensemen of all time?

    Lidstrom has a tough season to live up to Yzerman's C legacy, but doing a great job so far leading the team in points and +/- and 9 straight wins.

    If he continues like 2-3 more seasons like this I could see him reach Top 5 D of all time.
     
  2. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    We had a series of polls about hockey's greatest defensemen a few months ago. Lidstrom finished #8 all-time (http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=253940). Most of the regulars here voted in that thread.

    My personal opinion is that Lidstrom will probably end up around 9th all-time.

    Lidstrom won't crack the top three (Orr, Shore and Harvey). Quite simply, he's never been able to dominate a game, in every aspect, as effectively as that trio. In terms of awards/accolades, Lidstrom would probably need at least 3 more Norris trophies and a couple of Hart trophies to even be considered for the top three, and I doubt that will happen. He almost certainly won't kick Bourque out of fourth place, unless he's a Norris finalist for another decade. (Bourque finished in the top four in Norris voting 19 times). Lidstrom is a slightly better playoff performer (though let's not forget that Bourque was an elite in the postseason despite being on weak teams most of his career and running into the Oilers dynasty). However, Bourque has several more Hart-calibre seasons, has more longevity and was more physical.

    Red Kelly and Denis Potvin are 5th and 6th in my mind. Lidstrom lacked Kelly's versatility and Potvin's physical game, but has a fairly similar level of offensive, defensive and postseason performance. Lidstrom might unseat them with several more Norrises, Harts or Smythes, but there's no guarantee of that.

    In 7th spot, you can make an argument for Larry Robinson, Chris Chelios, Brad Park, Pierre Pilotte and Paul Coffey. I think Lidstrom is around that level on the all-time list. Robinson and Park were more complete and played at a somewhat higher level during their primes but Lidstrom compares favorably to the others I mentioned. So #9 all-time is where I think Lidstrom will end up.

    (I am considering NHL play only for this post; that's why Fetisov is not on my top 10).
     
  3. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    I'd put him 5th, behind Orr, Shore, Harvey and Bourque.
     
  4. trevchar1971

    trevchar1971 Registered User

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    1. Orr
    2. Harvey
    3. Shore
    4. Bourque
    5. Potvin
    6. Robinson
    7. Lidtrom
    ....and so on...
     
  5. XploD

    XploD Registered User

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    In the NHL he might be a top 5 with an additional couple of Norrises and maybe leading the Red Wings to another Cup but if we're not limited to NHL only he's not gonna be top 5. Orr, Shore, Harvey, Bourque and Fetisov are top 5 all time.
     
  6. canucksfan

    canucksfan Registered User

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    Right now I would rate Lidstrom 11th all time. I can't see him cracking the top five. Lidstrom will have to do a lot in order to enter the top 5. He won't come close to Harvey, Shore or Orr. In addition to those three players, Potvin, Bourque, Fetisov, Robinson, Kelly, Coffey and Chelios I would rate ahead of Lidstrom. When his career is finished I can see him being around 8th or 9th.

    Granted, Lidstrom has won four Norris' but he was won them against weak competition. Chelios at over 40 almost beat him for it. Even though he has won a Conn Smythe some of the other defencemen have played better than he has in the playoffs.
     
  7. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Somewhere between 6th and 10th.

    I view defence in tiers.

    Tier 1:
    Bobby Orr

    Tier 2:
    Eddie Shore
    Doug Harvey

    Tier 3:
    Ray Bourque
    Denis Potvin
    Niklas Lidstrom
    Slava Fetisov
    Red Kelly
    Larry Robinson

    Tier 4:
    Chris Chelios
    Tim Horton
    Dit Clapper
    Pierre Pilotte
    Brad Park
     
  8. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Not in the top 5 ... somewhere in the 8-12 range.
     
  9. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Depends on how long he continues to play at an elite level. Right now he is top 15. He will most likely end up top 10.
     
  10. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I think the better question would be: 10-20 years after his career is finished, how will he be remembered. I think Lidstrom's a sure-fire future HHOFer who rates among the best we'll ever see.

    But his competition for the Norris, among his peers, wasn't strong. He first three Norris Trophies had Bourque, Chelios and MacInnis as the runner-ups. Last year was the first time that he beat contemporaries - players drafted within five years of his birth year - for the Norris.

    Pierre Pilote is viewed by many as a transitional Norris winner - the guy who bridged the gap between Doug Harvey and Bobby Orr. I think it's an unfairly-earned reputation. I think Pilote is one of the top 15 defencemen ever, and one of the most underrated players to ever play the game. Good enough to be on five straight first all-star teams. While he didn't beat a Kelly, Harvey, Orr or Park for those Norris Trophies, he did beat Tim Horton - maybe the best defensive defenceman ever.

    I don't think Lidstrom will be dragged down as much as Pilote - Lidstrom has a Conn Smythe and three Cups to Pilote's one - it will keep him out of a lot of top 10 lists.

    Lidstrom might be able to pass Coffey for No. 10 on my rankings with a couple more elite seasons, but he'd have to do something I haven't seen from him to move up any further. Orr, Shore, Harvey, Bourque, Potvin, Robinson, Kelly, Chelios and Fetisov are firmly entrenched as my top 9.
     
  11. Bluesfan1981

    Bluesfan1981 Registered User

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    Nice job with that. But I would add Paul Coffey, Earl Seibert, and King Clancy.
     
  12. SChan*

    SChan* Guest

    But the compeition was weaker back in the 50s, 60s and 70s where most of the best defensemen came from. Lidstrom has battled in the 90s and 00s where it's been a lot more demanding than in the past.
     
  13. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    No. Doug Harvey had Red Kelly, Bill Gadsby and his own teammate, Tom Johnson, as his competition. Kelly's a consensus top-10 defenceman ever. Gadsby's in the top 25.

    Orr had Tim Horton early in his career, but his top competition was Brad Park. HO has Brad Park in his top 10. I don't agree with him, but HO's as good as they come around here. When HO has Park in his top 10, I pay attention. Other Orr contemporaries include Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard.

    I don't know if the competition for the Norris has ever been this thin. The crop of defencemen wasn't overly strong in the late 1940s (after Shore, Clapper and Siebert and before Kelly, Harvey and Gadsby), but keep in mind, the Norris didn't exist back then. The Norris competition definitely hasn't been this week since the mid 60s, between the Harvey and Orr eras.
     
  14. SChan*

    SChan* Guest

    well it is hard to say but Lidstrom might be the best european ever in NHL.
     
  15. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    I knew I'd forget some of the older ones. Clancy and Seibert are in either tier 3 or 4.

    Coffey is deliberatly omitted. Like Rod Langway, greatness in one end of the rink, plus weakness in the other end, simply doesn't make a top defenceman.
     
  16. espo*

    espo* Guest

    I think you can be a great defenseman when you're super at one end of the rink yet not all world at the other.It can only happen though when you've got a guy like Coffey who was so damn good at his strengths however.Coffey was also not nearly as bad defensively in his Edmonton years as people make him out to be iMO.

    He used to get the Oilers out of a whole mess of trouble with his skating the puck out of the zone in those days,he'd get you into trouble with his high risk play at times no question and he sure as hell was'nt backing you off at the blueline with his Scott Stevens type hitting and brute play but he was o.k on the d side of things when he was at his top game and could turn a lot of trouble in their own end into trouble for the other team in a jiff with what he could do with his wheels and skill,especially im those high scoring wide open halcyon days of the 80's.

    Coffey was a real big pain in the *** in his prime,easily one of the best if not the best offensive d-men i've ever seen.I don't know how short peoples memories are but the guy could hurt you and hurt you all night back then.A lot of games other guys got the bigger press but it was him that stung you more then anybody when all was said and done. He was a big time impact player,how soon we forget.

    I'd be giddy as hell if Paul Coffey in his prime was dropped onto my team.

    Coffey was so great taking the attack up ice,pinching in on the play and just basically dismantling you all evening long.I think he's an alltime great, i see what is being pointed out but Paul Coffey at his best was not Sergei Gonchar.He was so strong in what he did do good that for me he's definately an all timer at some level.A guy like Brian Leetch is for me too.
     
  17. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Agreed.

    Here'e a question for you ... if Nik Lidstrom joined the NHL when Mark Howe did how many Norris trophies does he win ??? .. and if Mark Howe started his career in 1990, how many does he win ???
     
  18. canucksfan

    canucksfan Registered User

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    I would say Mikita is better than Lidstrom. That is if you count Mikita as European.
     
  19. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Thing about it is, saying Coffey is not as good as Pilote, Clapper, Horton, Chelios or Park is not an insult by any stretch of the imagination. Yes he is an amazing talent. And I'd put him with guys like Stevens, Leetch, MacInnis and others, amazing talent there.


    If you replace Lidstrom with Howe, Neidermeyer and Pronger have an extra Norris or two, but, Howe does win at least two Norris' anyway. Then again, he should have beat Coffey at least one of those years. Lidstrom doesn't win as many, but he still wins some, he gets seriously underrated by alot of people because he isn't a big hitter.
     
  20. SChan*

    SChan* Guest

    I have a question for you stats freaks. How many defensemen have won conn smythe?
     
  21. alanschu

    alanschu Registered User

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    I believe MacInnis and Leetch did, off the top of my head.
     
  22. hockeyfan125

    hockeyfan125 Registered User

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    Savard, Orr (2), Robinson, Macinnis, Leetch, Stevens, Lidstrom.
     
  23. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    It's got nothing to do with stats freaks. It has everything to do with competition. Stats are for losers. My qualm with those who rate Lidstrom ahead of Potvin, Kelly, Robinson or Chelios has nothing to do with stats. (And if you rate Lidstrom as top five, you're saying he's better than one of those guys).

    The only defencemen that HFF mentioned with a Conn Smythe who I rate in the top 10 are Orr and Robinson. Of course, the Conn Smythe has only been around for a little over 40 years. The Conn Smythe is the most important award in hockey.

    BTW, a retroactive awarding of the Conn Smythe a few years ago said Pierre Pilote would have won it in 1961. The parallel continues.
     
  24. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    If you replace Lidstrom with Howe, Neidermeyer and Pronger have an extra Norris or two, but, Howe does win at least two Norris' anyway. Then again, he should have beat Coffey at least one of those years. Lidstrom doesn't win as many, but he still wins some, he gets seriously underrated by alot of people because he isn't a big hitter.[/QUOTE]

    Interesting to note, Pronger's only first-team all-star team selection was in 2000, the year he (deservedly) won the Hart Trophy. Pronger's problem is he's battled a lot of injuries. He was rarely healthy from 2001-2003, even though he played 78 games in 2001-02. Niedermayer would have won it last season if not for Lidstrom. If you take Lidstrom out of the picture, Bourque, Chelios and MacInnis each have one more Norris.

    As for John's question, it's hard to say. He definitely doesn't win it in 1999 (when MacInnis was a unanimous all-star team selection) or 2000 (when Pronger dominated). Chelios was terrific in 2002. Ditto MacInnis in 2003. (I still think 2003 was the best year of Lidstrom's career, because he won the Norris in fairly convincing fashion, despite an MVP-worthy performance year by MacInnis). But the Howe we saw in 1986 and 1987 would have been good enough to win at least a couple Norris Trophies in the last decade.
     
  25. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Probably should've checked on Pronger. 2000 was one of the best performances by a d-man ever, at least since Orr, shame Pronger's never been able to capture that magic again. Neidermeyer was a very close second and really the 2nd time Lidstrom has faced and beaten truely strong competition. Neids would have won. Chelios was great in '02, but his lack of offence would have made him vunerable for alot of voters, if Howe outscores Blake, then he has a very good chance that year. Lidstrom killed the competition in 00-01, he may have had over the hill competition, but he was head and shoulders above the rest, Howe would likely win.

    So, of Lidstroms 4 Norris wins, we can guestimate that Neidermeyer takes one, MacInnis takes one and Howe would have a shot at two, one almost certain win and one with tough competition from Chelios.
     

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