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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.



My fourth line may not be your typical fourth line, but I don't care. Ovechkin, Forsberg and Lindros average 1.2 points per game and can break your jaw in every shift. I would hate to be the defenders that had to cover these three wrecking balls coming at you full tilt. My center is Peter Forsberg. I don't think there was a better all-around player in the NHL during 1996-2002 than Foppa. On his left would be Ovi, who can put you into next week with a big hit and score a hat trick in the same period, and on his right is Lindros, who when healthy and in his prime was the scariest player coming down the ice. This line gives me goose bumps. Watching Eric and Peter every night made me wonder why they did not have a long career, but then I remembered how they played; like every game was their last. That's why Forsberg and Lindros, along with Ovi, make my perfect all-time checking line.

2007-08 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
65 47 112 2 Hart Trophies
3 Ted Lindsay Awards

A lot of people are hard on Ovechkin. Heck, a 38 goal season had people asking "What's wrong with Ovi?" In Leaf Land, they would build a shrine of him for his 38 goal campaign. He is the only player next to Wayne to win three straight Ted Lindsay Trophies. He averaged 42.3 goals in his first eight seasons and has a 58 per cent chance of scoring in every playoff game he plays. A lot of people say Ovi has never won anything and that he does not play well in big games. But in reality, if he scored any more, he might need to get checked by a doctor. People need to remember that it takes a whole team to win a Stanley Cup, and before Ovi's career is over, he will get his. Pound for pound, Ovi is one of the hardest hitters I have ever seen next to my childhood hero Wendel Clark.

1989-90 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
30 86 116 2 Stanley Cups
      1 Hart Trophy
      1 Art Ross Trophy
      1 Olympic Gold

I've talked to a lot of NHL players in my time and I would always ask them who they thought was the hardest player to play against. Unanimously, they said Forsberg. In my view, he is the second-best passer on this team next to Wayne and had a 0.9 assist-to-game ratio. He could hurt you in so many ways: big goal, huge hit, and so hard to take the puck from him down low. The only thing he did wrong was date Lady Gaga after his NHL career ended. Too bad he could not have played a full career; yet still, he is my fourth line center on this dream team. I dare anyone to disagree.

1995-96 (career year)
G A PTS Awards
47 68 115 1 Hart Trophy
      1 Ted Lindsay Award
      1 Olympic Gold

If there is any challenge to any of my picks on my dream team, it would probably be Lindros. They did not call him the Big E for nothing. When I first saw Eric play in the 1991 World Junior Championships, I thought this guy could play for the Dallas Cowboys. He made the 1991 Canada Cup Team without ever playing a game in the NHL. To put that into perspective, that's like Crosby playing in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. Eric was NHL ready when he was freakin' 15 years old. In his prime, nobody playing forward on this dream team could hit harder than Eric, and with a 1.13 points per game average, he could easily light the lamp. He was born for my checking line.


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