Blog Entry

Lidstrom The Hockey News player of decade

Posted on: January 3, 2010 11:46 am

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom plays the starring role in The Hockey News All-Decade issue as he edges New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur as the magazine's Player of the Decade.

Editor-in-Chief Jason Kay narrowed the potential field to just Lidstrom and Brodeur and gave Brodeur the edge statistically and in the intangibles, and Lidstrom the edge in trophies and awards, playoffs and Olympics and durability, before giving Lidstrom the overall edge.

The fans agreed on the magazine's website poll, with Lidstrom garnering 31% of the votes while Brodeur was a close second at 30%. Other players receiving fan votes include: Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (13%), Joe Sakic, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche (11%), Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (5%), Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames (4%), Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks (3%), and Ilya Kovalchuk of the Altanta Thrashers, Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Red Wings'  Pavel Dastyuk receiving 1% each.

Lidstrom was an "easy choice" as defenseman on the magazine's All Decade first line and was the only player to rate five out of five in all five player evaluation categories (offense, defense, leadership, playoffs, and durability). Joining Lidstrom on the first line were forwards Sakic, Ovechkin and Iginla, defenseman Pronger and goalie Brodeur. Mike Babcock was selected as coach and Ken Holland was chosen as general manager.

The magazine selected Datsyuk to center its second line between Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators and Kovalchuk, along with Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski and Robyn Regehr of the Calgary Flames on the blueline.

Red Wings' Kris Draper was selected as the fourth line center between Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil, both of the Senators, and former Red Wings backup goalie Ty Conklin of the St. Louis Blues was the publication's choice as the All-Decade backup.

Red Wings All-Decade Team

The All-Decade team as selected by The Hockey News is as follows:

<caption></caption>Forward LinesLeft WingCenterRight WingHenrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukTomas HolmstromBrendan ShanahanSteve YzermanJohan FranzenKris DraperSergei FedorovBrett HullDan ClearyIgor LarionovKirk Maltby<caption></caption>Defense PairingsLeft DefenseRight DefenseNicklas LidstromChris CheliosNiklas KronwallBrian RafalskiJiri FischerMathieu Schneider<caption></caption>GoaliesChris OsgoodDominik Hasek


Double Duty

Osgood is also listed as the #2 goalie on the New York Islanders All-Decade Team. Hasek is also the #2 goalie on the Buffalo Sabres All-Decade Team. Rafalski is also on the second defense pair on the New Jersey Devils All-Decade Team. Schneider is also on the second defense pair on the Los Angeles Kings All-Decade team. Shanahan is also on the second line of the New York Rangers All-Decade Team. Fedorov is also on the second line of the Columbus Blue Jackets All-Decade Team.  Current Red Wing Brad May is the fourth line left winger for the Phoenix Coyotes All-Decade Team, and Todd Bertuzzi was selected as the second line right winger on the Vancouver Canucks All-Decade Team.

Statistical highlights

The Red Wings top the list of most wins by a franchise in the decade with 452 victories, four 50-win seasons, nine Central Division titles and two Stanley Cups.
Nicklas Lidstrom topped several lists including top scoring defenseman in the decade with 563 points, easily edging Sergei Gonchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins who scored 515 points in the decade. Lidstrom led all blueliners in games played with 720, just ahead of Sean O'Donnell of the Los Angeles Kings with 715 games played. He also led the entire league in plus/minus with a +229 rating, +62 ahead of teammate Datsyuk who finished second at +167.
Rafalski finished tied for seventh in games played by a defenseman in the decade with Darryl Sydor of the St. Louis Blues with 692 games played. He was third in points by defensemen with 427. Rafalski was also sixth in plus/minus in the decade at +144.
Lidstrom's 563 points was tops amongst Red Wings and 23rd overall in the decade. Datsyuk finished second on Detroit with 552 points which places him 27th, and Todd Bertuzzi's 523 points placed him 33rd overall in the decade. Former Red Wings' Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks, Robert Lang of the Phoenix Coyotes and Brendan Shanahan also placed in the top 40 in scoring in the decade. Hossa was fourth overall with 679 points, Lang was 30th with 538 points, and Shanahan was 38th with 516 points.
Henrik Zetterberg was 14th in plus/minus in the decade at +124.

More Red Wings Decade in Review: Red Wings Decade in Review: Top Point Scorers
Category: NHL
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