The Perfect Player

Rather than bore people to death with a biography on Darcy Tucker, or stating obvious facts that can’t be argued, I wanted to post an article that could involve everyone’s opinion in a fun way. This article will simply revolve around building the “perfect player”. Everyone has their own opinion on this and can state so without ridiculous argument, so to start it off, here is my version of the perfect player.Leadership: It’s hard for me to put any Wings on my list, but being open-minded, I have to say that Stevie Y gets the nod in this area. He should be called Stevie “C”.

Passing: This is a tough one, but I’ll go with Forsberg. If there is any guy that can do it all, he has to be the one. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a bad pass from this guy.

Size/Speed: It would be easy to break this down into 2 categories, but most speedsters are small and most big guys aren’t fast. Most…not all. So, I’m going to take the guy with the best combination of the two. That would be Mike Modano. There are a handful of faster guys in the leage, but how many of them are 6’3″, 200 lbs.?

Toughness: I could go alot of ways with this one. Guerin, Tkachuk, etc., but I’ll take Todd Bertuzzi. To me, he’s a big, tough guy would could surpass the others in this area.

Defense: Since I’m basically building a forward, I’ll limit my list to those at that position. Therefore my pick in this category goes to Jere Lehtinen. He plays every second of every shift like it’s his last and never says a negative word. On top of his great defensive play, his penalty minutes are always pretty low.

Front Of The Net: I have to take a healthy John LeClair here. The man sacrifices life and limb to create screens and deflections and is always getting pummelled. Yet people still criticize him for his injury problems. Wonder how he gets them?

Wrist Shot: Lots of good ones out there, but I’ll go with the old man on this one. Super Mario. He still snaps them off with the quickness and accuracy he did 15 years ago.

Slap Shot: There may be harder ones, but none more effective than Brett Hull. Just watching him set up on the left circle on the power play strikes fear into many opponents and Wings haters.

Faceoffs: Another tough category, but I’m going with Joe Nieuwendyk on this. He gets craftier as he gets older and he still wins ALOT of them.

Okay, there are a few areas of play that I highlighted on and I’m sure there will be a ton of differences, but these are what I like. Have fun finding yours!

37 Responses to The Perfect Player

  1. Leaf_Expert says:

    Which Equals=

    Mats Sundin

    Go Leafs GO!

  2. wingerxx says:

    I guess we’re talking about a forward here….a guy with the leadership of Messier, speed of Kariya, the toughness of Neely, the checking of a healthy Lindros, the wrister of Sakic, slap shot of Hull, passing of Gretzky, deflection ability of LeClair, defensive awareness of Lehtinen, and faceoff ability of Perreault would be the perfect forward. Too bad this player doesn’t exist. Every player has his drawbacks, thats what makes hockey so interesting.

  3. edmontonrules says:

    Leadership: Of course you have to go with Steve Y.

    Passing: Paul Karyia and Adam Oates. The combination of them both would be unbelievable.

    Size/Speed: Jaromir Jagr. Even though I hate to put the Czech on my list I have used Todd Bertuzzi and Peter Forsberg.

    Toughness: Todd Bertuzzi. He can fight with the toughest of fighters. He can fight through the toughest defence. He is one tough Canadian.

    Defence: Martin Havlat. I know i’m gonna draw some heat from this one but he has a +19 and I like the way he plays.

    Front of the net: Ryan Smyth. He hasn’t really done it as much since Doug Weight left. But he still has that effectiveness.

    Wrist shot: Joe Sakic. Have you seen this guy shoot? Mario has the accuracy though.

    Slap shot: Teemu Selanne. When people can make a pass to this guy he can sure wire it. Trust me. I saw him score his 76 goals in Winnipeg.

    Face offs: Yanic Perrault. He has always been at the top of charts of winning his faceoffs.

  4. Islesfreak says:

    We’re all entitled to our own opinions but Francis is (or was) the best in the business at faceoffs. Also, during his prime, Messier was the ultimate leader. Yzerman is a close second. As for toughness, and without bias, I feel Clark Gillies is the perfect guy for toughness. He had a presence that Bertuzzi lacks. When Gillies was on the ice he owned it. Todd is a tremendous player but is not Gillies. Lastly, Lehtinen is not Peca. Peca is the best defensive player in hockey. Fedorov might be the best two-way but Peca’s defense is tops. By the way, Hull over Macinnis for Slapshot? No Way!

    P.S. Somebody please respond. I appreciate your feedback.

  5. nskerr says:

    I’m picking mainly forward attributes.

    Pure Speed: Sergei Federov (Detroit) Very fast and dangerous.

    Leadership: Michael Peca (Islanders) Look at the Islanders over the last 2 years with him in lineup vs. without.

    Slap Shot: Al Macinnis (St. Louis) Still great after all of these years.

    Passing: Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh) Every player on the ice with him gets the puck in a great scoring position.

    Wrist Shot: Pavel Bure (Rangers) He can rip them with the best

    Toughness: Tie Domi (Toronto) I can’t stand him but he can dish it out and take it while scoring.

    Front of net: Todd Bertuzzi (Vancouver) Scores all of his goals in front of net while getting pounded.

    Defense: Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) He is big, can skate and makes good decisons.

    Hands: Either Steve Yzerman or Mike Modano The both accept tough passes and still manage to score.

    Faceoffs: Keith Tkachuk (STL) I’ll admit, I had to look this one up, but he is second in the league in faceoff percentage at 63% and is a great player in general.

  6. lrdstanley says:

    The perfect player is Mark Messier. He could do it all.

  7. rrudd says:

    hull easily over macinnis for the slapshot.

    don’t kid yourself about peca being better than lehtinen.

    tippett, hitchdingus, modano, and guerin have all called lehtinen some variation of “flawless,” “perfect,” or “the best player i’ve ever played with.”

    hitch said he wanted a full team of lehtinens. tippett said he couldn’t believe how perfect a player lehtinen was when he got here.

    i’ve literally never seen lehtinen make a mistake on the ice.

  8. rrudd says:

    it’s hard for me to call a winger who takes the occasional faceoff a great faceoff guy. even if his percentage is great. it’s like some fourth string goalie playing one game and leading the league in save percentage.

  9. rrudd says:

    give me jere lehtinen for the best all-around package. he skates, he scores, he checks, he never ever screws up.

  10. chaz13 says:

    I’m with you on that one, brother. There is no more complete player in the league right now.

  11. Tradedude says:

    Yzerman, Lemieux, Thornton (i don’t know about his leadership, but he is captain)

  12. burky says:

    Leadership: Trevor Linden

    Passing: Ed Jovanovski

    Size/Speed: Brendan Morrison

    Tougness: Matt Cooke

    Defense: Trevor Linden

    Front Of The Net: Todd Bertuzzi

    Wrist Shot: Markus Naslund

    Slap Shot: Sami Salo

    Faceoffs: Mats Lindgren

  13. pantherboy says:

    Toughness? So I guess you this person just has to be tough, because thats the only skill you are taking from that player. Peter Worrell or Lance Ward. Tough guys they are.

    But if you could take a defenseman, it would be either Yushcavich/Svhela/D.Markov. All these guys are VERY tough. They block shot with their faces, and don’t miss a shift. INSANE!!!

  14. wendel_17 says:

    Leadership: Doug Gilmour

    Passing: Doug Weight

    Speed/Craftiness: Paul Kariya

    Checking: Wendel Clark

    Intensity: Toughness: Theo Fleury

    Defense: Simon Gagne

    Deflections: Gary Roberts

    Wrist Shot: Alex Mogilny

    Slap Shot: Al MacInnis

    Face Offs: Mats Sundin

  15. MossRocks says:

    MacInnis has a much harder shot than Hull and almost as accurate. I’d take MacInnis personally.

    Peca wins faceoffs (critical to good defense), hits like a truck and plays center, which is the most demanding forward position defensively. Peca is an excellent defensive player on par with Lehtinen.

  16. MossRocks says:

    You guys suck. You two and Rushing generate so much Stars propaganda it is ridiculous. Lehtinen is a solid player but there are a dozen more valuable players in the NHL.

  17. NYIchooch75 says:

    Was the perfect player…

  18. chaz13 says:

    Brendan Morrison is the Steve Rucchin of this decade. He benefitted from centering a line with Kariya and Selanne, just like Morrison benefits from Bertuzzi and Naslund. Much like Rucchin, as soon as one of them leave or a better center is acquired…Morisson will be average once again.

  19. -Swizz- says:

    Joe Thornton!!

  20. MossRocks says:

    The view is interesting from up on your high, high horse in the Big D, isn’t it?

    Morrison has now proven himself as a top notch centre in this league, just as Rucchin has done. Didn’t Morrison play the first 20-25 games this year on a separate line with different wingers?

    Rucchin is still an elite faceoff man in the NHL and his production this year matches Turgeon’s despite having poorer linemates. (Rucchin doesn’t play with Kariya anymore either) He has had a lot of injury troubles and that has hurt his career as much as losing Selanne and Kariya as linemates.

    Rag on the Canucks all you want, Dallas will still have to bring the house in the playoffs if they want to beat Vancouver. All I see from Stars fans is a lot of cheap talk from a team that didn’t even make the playoffs last year. Heart counts for something and they didn’t have it last year.

  21. MossRocks says:

    Normally I’d tell you to screw off, ,but you might be right here. Thornton is Eric Lindros with his head screwed on straight. The guy is for real and has all of the tools – just like Eric did ten years ago.

  22. Rushing says:

    No….it’s evident that you’re just ANTI-star. Give it a rest dude.

  23. Rushing says:

    They’ve beat them twice this year! 4-0 and 4-1

  24. MossRocks says:

    That doesn’t change the fact that the Canucks are a good team with good players. The playoffs are a whole new game.

  25. MossRocks says:

    Actually I’m just a strong proponent of reality. If you check my remarks I have little to say that is overly negative about the Stars. This is a good team having an excellent season. Great goaltending, solid defence and a top-notch first two lines with one of the top three or four centres in the game. However, Turco is NOT the best goalie in the NHL, Lehtinen is NOT the perfect player, the Stars are NOT the Broad Street Bullies and Hatcher still sucks. That is reality. They did not make the playoffs last year and they hung their coach out to dry. That is also reality and that is the image they have to overcome this year.

  26. rrudd says:

    “Turco is NOT the best goalie in the NHL”

    the stats would suggest otherwise, my friend.

    “Lehtinen is NOT the perfect player”

    maybe not, but he is error free, every night.

    “Stars are NOT the Broad Street Bullies”

    i don’t think any of us ever made that assertion.

    “Hatcher still sucks”

    watch a game. he’s top five in the league, absolutely. check the stats. ask around.

    “They did not make the playoffs last year and they hung their coach out to dry”

    true. that was then, this is now. ask carolina if what happened last year matters right now.

    “That is also reality and that is the image they have to overcome this year”

    you clearly have issue differentiating between “reality” and “image”. they are two very different things. who cares about image. hasek had the image of a guy who couldn’t win the big game. does detroit win with cloutier instead of the poor-image hasek?

    sorry you don’t like dallas and that dallas propaganda upsets you so. would you prefer that everyone who doesn’t like your team just left this site? ease up a little, chief.

  27. MossRocks says:

    Goalie stats are the least reliable statistics in the game. I won’t bother getting into it. Brodeur is the best goalie in the league right now. Until Turco wins something or even finishes a single NHL season as a starter he’s not the best.

    Actually one of you did say that the Stars were now the Broad Street bullies of this decade or some such nonsense. The worst part was that it was after the acquisition of Lemieux.

    Sorry, Hatcher is still a bad defenseman. If I ask around, people will tell me that he has the foot speed of an oak tree. Terribly over-rated, while Matvichuk and Sydor are very under-rated and superior defensemen on the same team.

    They were a gutless team last year and they have yet to prove that last year was an aberration. Again, I have no problem with Dallas, just the b.s that you guys churn out.

  28. Rushing says:

    Well, you are right about one thing. Hatcher is as slow as an oak tree. The only reason his +/- is up so much is just because of the lines that are out on the ice when he is. He isn’t known for scoring. Wow, 4 goals so far.

    Now, the reason why Dallas didn’t make the playoffs last year is because Belfour had his “WORST” year ever. Check his GAA and SA% out. He even had a losing win/loss record. You can also look at Turco’s record last year and see that he had an outstanding record with 15-6-2 even though Belfour sucked. That just proves it wasn’t the team. He(Belfour) just sucked. At the same time, Tippett has turned the style of play around. He has added “OFFENSE” to the team. That is something that Hitchcock isn’t known for.

    And about your comment on Goalie stats. Turco has faced “MORE” shots than Brodeur has and Brodeur has played two more games than Turco. Turco’s GAA is better and SA% is better. Turco’s allowed 10 fewer goals with also 40 more saves. And you were saying??????

  29. MossRocks says:

    All fair comments.

    The reason I said I didn’t want to get into goalie stats is because I think they are misleading. (You could ask Big Booty or Manta – I argue with them about this probably once a month) There is no truly arbitrary goalie stat. I think we can both agree that GAA is mostly useless, because it is absolutely directly dependent on the defensive approach of the team. Likewise I question the value of save % because in hockey, not all shots are created equal. (i.e. Modano’s breakaway= 1shot; Erskine’s unscreened wrist shot from the blueline= 1shot) Typically, good defensive teams (especially those with dominant d-men and shot-blockers))do not give up quality scoring chances and thus the goalie is only expected to make saves from the perimeter.

    Looking at Turco’s stats objectively, it is significant to note that he has stopped a ton of rubber. (like you mentioned) Usually, with this much rubber, it means he had to come up big on some good chances. Not always, but usually. I’m not saying he isn’t having a great year, I’m just saying I don’t trust goalie stats in general, especially only 38 games worth, so if you base your argument purely on statistics I won’t buy it. Brodeur is the best for my money because he has proven himself time and again. Stanley Cups, Olympics, highlight reel saves and good stats – he’s done it all.

  30. brodeur-hymn_tribute says:

    im copying off the dude who posted the perfect canuck, w/ my team, the devils

    Leadership: Scott Stevens… no question

    Passing: Scott Gomez… tape to tape 24/7

    Size/Speed: John Madden… fast and hard-nosed

    Toughness: “Big Jim” McKenzie… he’s… big

    Defense: Scott Niedermayer… smart D

    Front Of The Net: uhhh, nobody this year. last year, arnott

    Wrist Shot: Patrik Elias… wicked

    Slap Shot: Brian Rafalski… nasty one-timer from the point (would be sykora last year though)

    Faceoffs: Joe Nieuwendyk

    some other important categories…

    SKATING: Scott Niedermayer

    STICK HANDLING: Patrik Elias

  31. Rushing says:

    So if a goalie never makes it to the Olympics or Stanley Cup he can’t be considered great in your opinion?!?!?!?!?! WOW

  32. amok says:

    Yup, earlier this year Morrison was double shifted, played the point on the PP and killed penalties. Until Naslund caught fire Morrison was by far the most valuable Canucks’ forward. Naslund and Bertuzzi are the best offensively, but they aren’t exactly Peca and Lehtinen out there when it comes to defence. Morrison’s the responsible one on that line and should consistently be a top 40 point scorer in the league.

  33. MossRocks says:

    Man you missed the point. Turco isn’t great YET. He might be, but you need credentials as a starter and he doesn’t have them YET. Until he has them he isn’t the BEST. That is what we were arguing – “who is the BEST?” not even “is Turco great?” It’s not Turco, it’s Brodeur.

  34. rrudd says:

    well, roy is clearly the annual, no-questions-asked vezina winner then.

    if the quality of a goaltender is not determined at all by current play and statistics, but only by skins on the wall, just change it to the “roy trophy” and default it to him.

  35. rrudd says:

    if not for the injuries, his stats might be through the roof.

    he’s looking like the league’s future premier player.

  36. rrudd says:

    yeah, the playoffs are a whole different game. everyone agrees on that.


    do we need to enumerate the playoff and stanley cup experience on the canucks versus on the stars?

    i believe trevor linden went to the finals once…

    rings in dallas: ah, i don’t want to spend the time adding them up right now.

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