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December 31, 2012
All-Time DREAM TEAM, since 1980
By Joey Tomaselli, TheFourthPeriod.com

Hi. My name is Joey Tomaselli, but you can call me "Joey Stats." I'm the new hockey history and stats guy for TFP.

As my introductory project, I give to you my All-Time NHL Dream Team, which includes NHL players playing from 1980-2012 and a little position juggling. I decided to include those players of whom I've actually seen play (but I'd love to have witnesses the likes of Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr).

Obviously, not everybody reading this will agree with my assessments, but last time I checked, I wrote this.

 


 

I put my two best shut-down defensemen together: Bourque and Lidstrom. From 1987 to 2012, these two studs won 11 out of the last 25 Norris Trophies, and Ray left the NHL in 2001. Their combined plus-minus rating is an incredible +959. That's higher than a lot of kids' S.A.T. scores. Ray is the highest point scoring defensive player of all-time and to me, and if you had to clone a perfect blueliner, you would have to use Lidstrom as your choice.


RAYMOND BOURQUE
1983-84 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
31 65 96 1 Stanley Cup
 
5 Norris Trophies

Ray Bourque... What else can I say? He has the most goals for a defenseman with 410, and ranks fourth all-time in assist (1,135) and 11th all-time with 1,579 points. He also has the best plus-minus on this team and second all-time with a +528; that's better than my credit score. Ray played in 19 All-Star games. With five Norris Trophies, second only to Lidstrom, he was truly amazing. Although it took him until his last year in the NHL and last game to win his first Stanley Cup, I bet if you asked him if he cared he would say that it was like this article... well worth the wait.


NICKLAS LIDSTROM
2005-06 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
16 64 80 4 Stanley Cups
      7 Norris Trophies
      1 Conn Smythe Trophy
      1 Olympic Gold

After God asked himself, "How can I make the perfect defenseman", he made Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom ranks sixth all-time in points for defenceman and is fifth all-time in points with 1,142, second in all-time in plus-minus (+450), and has won four Stanley Cups and six Norris Trophies. When Lidstrom didn't win a Norris, I'm pretty sure he just called the NHL and said, "Do you mind if someone else wins it for once?" Like my hair, he never had an off day. He always makes the smartest and best play. Lidstrom has been the best defensemen in the last 30 years.


 

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