NHL99: A draft that ranks the greatest players in modern NHL history

Who’s the best NHL participant of all time?

Straightforward learn? Wayne Gretzky.

Who else however the participant who, over the course of a 20-year NHL profession, has scored probably the most targets, assists and factors in league historical past? On the time Gretzky retired, he held 61 NHL data and most of them nonetheless stand right now.

Gretzky’s place on the prime of the charts does not appear debatable, so we cannot be discussing it. As an alternative, one other 99 websites observe the 99 we have to remedy.

Welcome to NHL99, a undertaking that goals to place a brand new spin on a well-known theme: Who’re the 100 finest gamers in post-1967 enlargement NHL historical past? Let’s face it, there have been a number of earlier makes an attempt to call one of the best gamers of all time, so that is the place to begin and primary tweak.

We did not wish to undergo the identical outdated floor once more. As an alternative, we needed to attempt one thing new, and the post-1967 NHL appeared like a very good start line. why? As a result of when the sport and work of hockey modified radically. As an alternative of six groups, there have been all of a sudden 12. As an alternative of a league dominated nearly completely by Canadians, a handful of gamers arrived and ultimately gamers poured in from each nook of the world.

At present begins the countdown. We name it the NHL99 as a result of there are 99 debatable spots on our Prime 100 checklist and the quantity 99 resonates with hockey followers in all places.

So, spoiler alert, Wayne Gretzky is #1 on our checklist. One might argue that Gretzky really belongs within the Corridor of Fame in two classes – as a participant and as a captain. Arguably, no particular person has completed extra to develop the NHL recreation, on and off the ice, than Gretzky.

Nevertheless it grew to become fascinating and controversial after Gretzky. 9 books the athlete They’d voices on this undertaking: Eric Duhatschek, Dom Luszczyszyn, Shayna Goldman, Ian Mendes, Scott Wheeler, Sean Gentille, Michael Russo, Sean McIndoe, and James Myrtle. Every of the voters submitted a listing of 100 gamers within the spring of 2022, earlier than the playoffs started, and factors had been awarded primarily based on place: 100 factors for first place on the checklist, 1 level for quantity 100, and so forth. . Gretzky will get an ideal 900 factors. On the finish of the undertaking, we’ll unveil everybody’s ballots and level totals. If this sounds acquainted, it’s as a result of the athlete He has completed comparable initiatives with NBAAnd NFL And MLB.

With our checklist of the 100 finest teams, the countdown begins now. However that is greater than only a countdown. From now by way of February, we’ll be unveiling one participant a day, six days every week, together with an in-depth function that we hope is stuffed with tales, angles, and anecdotes about these gamers you’ve got by no means learn earlier than. Greater than 40 writers from around the globe the athlete Newsroom contributed to this undertaking.

Now, some necessary caveats concerning the course of, beginning with the acknowledgment that any checklist that discusses the all-time biggest might be subjective and might harbor some modernity bias. And once more, our focus is strictly on the NHL from 1967 to current.

This needs to be made fairly clear since you will not discover Gordie Howe on our checklist. Is it sacrilege for a listing of all-time biggest gamers with out Mr. Hockey to exist? Maybe, however Howe solely performed 369 NHL video games from 1967-68 onwards and spent six seasons within the WHA. So he obtained out. You additionally will not discover Bobby Hull, Maurice Richard, or Howie Morenz.

Our thorniest and most advanced selections concerned gamers who straddled each ends of the spectrum. Some slipped by way of the cracks as a result of their greatest impacts got here earlier than 1967. Some, who would ultimately qualify, did not make the checklist as a result of they had been nonetheless within the early levels of their careers.

Our cap was 400 video games for the skaters (300 for the goaltender) on the finish of the 2021-22 common season, which is the usual for video games to qualify for an NHL pension. So Auston Matthews (407 profession video games) has made it, simply barely. Cal Makar has not. He has solely performed 173 common season NHL video games. It is a laborious line to attract, however it’s important to draw the road someplace.

The general aim was easy: to inform 100 compelling tales about 100 most influential NHL gamers, and in the end, maybe, create a dialog about who may need made the checklist and been neglected.

Nonetheless, there’s one caveat: if you wish to add your favourite participant or contest one in every of our picks, you will additionally must subtract somebody from the checklist.

What you will uncover, because the checklist counts down, could also be simpler mentioned than completed.

A fast phrase on cup factors: In every story, you will see a graph with every participant’s stats, achievements, and vote totals. Within the Trophy Standing part, you will notice ‘Award Factors’.

(Photograph: Bruce Bennett, Gregory Shamus, Mike Powell, Justin Okay. Aller/Getty Photos)

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