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

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.



Looking at this 2nd line I put together will replace that little blue pill they call Viagra. I had to put Crosby on this line because he perfectly complements Lemieux and Jagr's skills. Crosby gives this line the spark they don't even need by being hands down the hardest worker. Having Lemieux coming over the boards after Gretzky is like having God and Jesus as my first and second centers. To me, Lemieux is the purest raw talent of all-time and Jagr was his "mini me." Adding Crosby to the mix is like adding a cookie to your morning milk.

2006-07 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
36 84 120 1 Stanley Cup
  1 Hart Trophy
1 Art Ross Trophy
1 Ted Lindsay Award
1 Olympic Gold

Is Crosby too young and unproven to be on this team? How about the youngest captain of all-time to win a Stanley Cup and the youngest winner of the Ted Lindsay Award winner at 19 years old for the most Outstanding Player as selected by the NHLPA. He is the youngest player who, at 19, was the only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American sports league. He scored that little important overtime goal in the Olympics that made me do a triple axel in the air and land on the chair doing splits like Van Damme in Blood Sport. He is 4th on my dream team with an average of 1.4 points per game and is the 7th fastest player to reach 500 points of all-time. In today's NHL, I think he is the only player who can win a scoring title playing half the season. The only person I know who has a better back hand than Crosby is my Italian father.

1988-89 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
85 114 199 2 Stanley Cups
  3 Hart Trophies
6 Art Ross Trophies
4 Ted Lindsay Awards
2 Conn Smythe Trophies
1 Olympic Gold

My 2nd line center is the best player on my team (sorry Wayne, I still love you). He is second in points with an average of 1.88 points per game, second in goals with a 75 per cent chance of scoring per game, his assists averaged 1.22 points per game, and he averaged 71 per cent in playoff goals per game (which means that for every 10 playoff games Lemieux played, he scored 7.1 goals).

Nobody played better than Lemieux. Having battled so many injuries, cancer, and Rob Brown as his winger, nothing slowed down Super Mario. He didn't have to skate when he was on the ice; he could score more goals sitting on a park bench than most players skating their asses off on the ice. He had the softest hands ever and had a reach so far that he could hi-five a fan in the crowd and still wrist one upstairs. Was there anybody better on a breakaway than Lemieux? No. We all know how much of a living legend Messier and Steve Yzerman are, so let me put into perspective how Godlike Mario was: Messier played 841 more games scoring only four goals more than him and Yzerman, who played 599 more games only, had two more.

That said, Mario still finished 9th all-time in goals with 690 goals aaannnddd he is the only player in the Top 30 of all-time NHL scoring leaders who did not play over (1,000 games); finished 7th all-time in points with 1,723 points in only 915 games. To quote Kanye: THAT SHIT CRAY! Lemieux had more moves than Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. It's fitting that one of his many nicknames was "Le Magnifique;" he was quite simply that.

1995-96 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
62 87 149 2 Stanley Cups
      1 Hart Trophy
      5 Art Ross Trophies
      3 Ted Lindsay Awards
      1 Olympic Gold

There is a reason why Jagr can spell "Mario Jr." -- he is first in this era in scoring regular-season game-winning goals with 114 and is tied for first with 15 overtime goals. He ranks 11th all-time in goals with 668, 12th all-time in assist with 998, and is the only non-Canadian player in the Top 10 of all-time leaders in points, sitting in 8th place with 1,656. All three stats would have been way higher in the rankings if Jagr didn't spend three years in the KHL.

They say he took many nights off, but even if he did, he was still the best player on the ice. The knock on Jagr was his hair, but he is the best right winger in this era. And if Lemieux was Patrick Swayze, than Jagr would be Baby... and nobody puts Baby in the corner.


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