As a six-time Norris Trophy winner and a four-time Stanley Cup champion, there is zero doubt that he goes into the Hall of Fame the moment he is eligible. But where does he stand all-time?
The other 1,000-plus point defensemen in history are, in order, Raymond Bourque, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, Phil Housley, Larry Murphy, Denis Potvin and Brian Leetch.
My thought has always been that Lidstrom is pretty much the same player as Brian Leetch, just a little bigger. Same with Bourque. If you put Leetch on the Red Wings all those years, instead of on the dreadful teams on which his skills were wasted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we’d be talking about Leetch as a five- or six-time Norris winner and one of short list of very best all-time.
I don’t think I’ll ever be convinced anybody was ever better than Bobby Orr on defense — and Bobby Orr is the only player I would even consider to have been as good as Gretzky.
Who else is among the best ever? Or, if you had to build an all-time team, which six defensemen would you pick, and in what order?
Where would a guy like Larry Robinson fit? Or Scott Stevens? Or Wade Redden? … OK, I’m just kidding. Thoughts?