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All-Time Top 10 European Players

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Which got me to thinking, which of the two is better, and where would Jagr and Selanne rank on the all-time list of European players? For what it’s worth, here’s my top 10. Let the debate begin:

1. Dominik Hasek

If the six Vezina Trophies don’t clinch it, the two Hart Trophies put him over the top. There are some who would argue that ‘The Dominator’ is the best goaltender in the history of the game and they’d have a pretty solid case.

2. Nicklas Lidstrom

The greatest defenseman of his era and one of the finest of all-time, Lidstrom was the epitome of poise and consistency. The only thing that puts him a slight notch below Hasek is the absence of Hart Trophy credentials.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

SYF's avatar

Hopefully, this is only Campbell’s list because I do recall the same rag he writes for declaring Lidstrom as THE best Euro hockey player ever.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/13/12 at 01:44 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

The only thing that puts him a slight notch below Hasek is the absence of Hart Trophy credentials.

Just because the MSM shrivs never voted him a Hart doesn’t mean he didn’t have the credentials.  No GM in hockey, ever, would take Hasek over Lidstrom.  Ridiculous.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/13/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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I’m not a Forsberg fan, but I think he probably belongs on that list.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 07/13/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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Just because the MSM shrivs never voted him a Hart doesn’t mean he didn’t have the credentials.  No GM in hockey, ever, would take Hasek over Lidstrom.  Ridiculous.

Career-wise or peak-wise? Because Hasek’s 94-99 stretch is just ridiculous.

Posted by Herm from the office on 07/13/12 at 01:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Yep.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/13/12 at 02:25 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Career-wise or peak-wise? Because Hasek’s 94-99 stretch is just ridiculous.

Career. But peak too…since Lidstrom’s was like 20 years long.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/13/12 at 02:26 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Best of lists are great for reactionary fodder, but to leave the greatest goalie of the modern era off the list is absurd.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/13/12 at 02:33 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Thanks Leo.  It’s an insult to leave the professor off the list, but to forget Vlad is just a crime.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/13/12 at 02:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Yep. Dominator won the Hart two times. Great achievement, great goalie.

But Dominik Hasek didn’t win a cup until he got to play behind Nicklas Lidstrom.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/13/12 at 02:55 PM ET

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But Dominik Hasek didn’t win a cup until he got to play behind Nicklas Lidstrom.

I won’t argue who’s the best, but Lidstrom certainly has better arguments than this one. Gretzky never won without Messier, but Messier did. Lidstrom never won a Cup without the Grind Line. Too many variables.

Posted by Herm from the office on 07/13/12 at 03:06 PM ET

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Yep. Dominator won the Hart two times. Great achievement, great goalie.

But Dominik Hasek didn’t win a cup until he got to play behind Nicklas Lidstrom.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/13/12 at 12:55 PM ET


And Lidstrom never got a team whose second-best player was Mike Peca anywhere near the finals. Incidentally, you’ll remember that while Buffalo didn’t win that series, they lost it on a blatantly illegal, automatic-review play, whose automatic-review was waived to avoid a riot in the arena .

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/13/12 at 03:15 PM ET

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Also, this list needs Mikaelev (sp), Forsberg and, above all, Tretiak. Tretiak could arguably dethrone Hasek from #1, really.

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/13/12 at 03:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sure, and the last time in 35 years a D-man won the Hart, he didn’t even deserve to have won the Norris.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/13/12 at 03:18 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Great, great call, Leo.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/13/12 at 03:36 PM ET

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I actually think the list is pretty fair. I’ve often thought about who the best Euro of all time is (at least of those who had long NHL careers), and the reality is it that 1-2-3 has to be some combination of Hasek, Lidstrom and Jagr in some order. Lidstrom is my favorite player ever and no worse than the second-best defensemen of all time (Orr was in a league of his own, but the played in probably the lowest-quality era in NHL history), but I also think Hasek was the best goalie ever to play.

BTW, Campbell explicitly says “history of the NHL” in his first paragraph, which is probably why he left out the likes of Larionov, Makarov and Tretiak. Otherwise those would be pretty bad snubs.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/13/12 at 03:47 PM ET

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EDIT: But he includes Kharlamov. So I guess he’s out to lunch by not picking Tretiak. My bad.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/13/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Best of lists are great for reactionary fodder, but to leave the greatest goalie of the modern era off the list is absurd.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/13/12 at 12:33 PM ET

This ^^^^ Hasek was great but Vladislav Tretiak was absolutely amazing!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/13/12 at 03:51 PM ET

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Also, Bure instead of Forsberg is not such a hot idea.

I guess what I meant was, his top three should not be terribly controversial (even if others would change the order somewhat).

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/13/12 at 03:52 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’d put Lidstrom at the top because I’m biased. Dom certainly has an argument. But his rationale that Lidstrom doesn’t have a Hart ignores the fact that Dmen rarely, if ever, win the Hart. It’s like he just needed a reason so he found one.

But really, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to compare a goalie with anyone else as far as “greatest NHL player” because the positions are just too far apart. Goalies of Hasek’s caliber are truly freaks of nature.

Lidstrom’s #1!

Posted by awould on 07/13/12 at 04:30 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

??? Börje Salming and Peter Forsberg should be on that list…

Let’s go Redwings.!!!!

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 07/13/12 at 06:23 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Hey, where’s Stan the man Mikita?  Just because he grew in Canada shouldn’t disqualify him.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 07/13/12 at 08:13 PM ET

LiteWork's avatar

Uh how is Jagr not number 1?

Posted by LiteWork on 07/13/12 at 10:31 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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