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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.



I call this line the "Conn Smythe line." It is the only line in my dream team where each player has won Playoff MVP. I started it with the best captain and leader of all-time (Messier) and put two players who played with flare, passion and guts on his wings: Yzerman and Sakic. It's almost an insult to have the Moose as my 3rd line center, but I don't think he would mind playing on my all captain line. This line would hurt you with Messier's madness up the middle and with Sakic on his right. I always said that if Sakic was a piece of a car, he would be the clutch because that's exactly what he was. And if Lemieux and Gretzky didn't play in the NHL, Stevie Wonder would be the best player and most talented of his era.

1988-89 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
65 90 155 3 Stanley Cups
  1 Conn Smythe Trophy
1 Frank J. Selke Award
1 Ted Lindsay Award
1 Olympic Gold

Stevie Wonder was the Johnny Depp of hockey; he would beat you with his play and, if he wanted to, take your girl after the game. He is eighth all-time in goals with 692, seventh all-time in assist with 1,063 and sixth all-time in points with 1,755. Yzerman could do it all. It took him a while to win a Cup, but when he learned how to play a two-way game, there was no looking back. He is the only forward with a Frank J. Selke Trophy on this team for best defensive forward. There was talk for years of people saying he could not win the big one, but he went on to win three. He also played in one leg at the 2002 Olympics. This all goes to show the type of player Yzerman was. He was the only sports man crush I had growing up, and I bet he was yours, too.

1989-90 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
45 84 129 6 Stanley Cups
  2 Hart Trophies
1 Conn Smythe Trophy

Messier is the General on this team: he's won the most Stanley Cups in the last 32 years with six and is the best two-way player of his era. He won two Stanley Cups without Wayne to show the world he was the real deal. They didn't call him The Moose because he skated around the rink like a butterfly. He was rough like my beard after six days of not shaving it. Messier ranks second for most games played (1,756), seventh in goals (694), third in assists (1,193), second in points (1,887), first in playoff short-handed goals (12), and second in points, goals and assists in the playoffs, only behind Wayne in all three categories. He also has the best smile on this team. He was the best captain of all time, and his "We will win tonight" quote in the playoffs still haunts the New Jersey Devils and still gives me chills to this day.

1995-96 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
51 69 120 2 Stanley Cups
      1 Conn Smythe Trophy
      1 Hart Trophy
      1 Ted Lindsay Award
      1 Olympic Gold

Joe Sakic was an easy choice for this line. He ranks 15th all-time in goals with 625, 11th all-time in assist (1,033) and ninth in all-time points with 1,641, but it was the big games where Sakic showed his true colors. He ranks first all-time in playoff overtime goals with eight, second in playoff winning goals with 19, and he ranks second all-time with 18 goals in a playoff season in 1996. Joe was Canada's MVP and best player in the gold medal game during the Salt Lake City Olympics in the 2002 with four points in a 5-2 win over the U.S.A. Sakic's wrist shot was like my dad's back hand, it was tremendously accurate.


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