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Scott Pianowski

Shuffle Up and Deal: Browsing the blueline

Scott Pianowski
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Okay, hockey peeps, it's time to do that ranking thing that we're so found of in the other roto sports. Here's how I'd value every NHL defenseman of consequence if I were headed into a new draft tonight; assume the stats are set to zero, who's the most valuable for the rest of the season? For stat categories, consider a basic Yahoo! league: goals, assists, plus-minus, power play points, penalty minutes, shots. And as always, your respectful and intelligent disagreement is most welcome in the comments, we'll get through this list together and make it as airtight as possible.

1. Mike Green(notes)
2. Dan Boyle(notes)
3. Duncan Keith(notes)
4. Andrei Markov(notes)
5. Chris Pronger(notes)
6. Nicklas Lidstrom(notes)
7. Mark Streit(notes)
8. Brian Campbell(notes)
9. Zdeno Chara(notes)
10. Drew Doughty(notes)
11. Shea Weber(notes)
12. Dion Phaneuf(notes)
13. Tobias Enstrom(notes)
14. Ed Jovanovski(notes)
15. Marc-Andre Bergeron(notes)
16. Sergei Gonchar(notes)
17. Tomas Kaberle(notes)
18. Christian Ehrhoff(notes)
19. Ryan Suter(notes)
20. Kurtis Foster(notes)
21. Scott Niedermayer(notes)

Comments: Green's basically a Top 10 fantasy player right now, regardless of position. I'll consider him as a possible first-rounder next year, depending on where my draft slot falls. … The way Phaneuf has played this year, you can't blame Team Canada for leaving him off the Olympic team. … It's never been a matter of offensive ability for Foster, he just needs to show he can stay healthy. … I'd love to see where the Kings will be in 2-3 years if they can lock up their young nucleus of talent. … Lidstrom has quietly rigthed the ship with a 2-12-14 run over his last 15 games.

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22. Brian Rafalski(notes)
23. Marek Zidlicky(notes)
24. Brent Seabrook(notes)
25. Keith Yandle(notes)
26. Bryan McCabe(notes)
27. Tyler Myers(notes)
28. Mark Giordano(notes)
29. Ian White(notes)
30. Joni Pitkanen(notes)
31. Sami Salo(notes)
32. Keith Ballard(notes)
33. Matt Carle(notes)
34. Erik Johnson(notes)
35. Jay Bouwmeester(notes)
36. Alexander Edler(notes)
37. Lubomir Visnovsky(notes)
38. Rob Blake(notes)
39. Kim Johnsson(notes)
40. James Wisniewski(notes)
41. Ryan Whitney(notes)

Comments: Carle doesn't seem all that interesting after you look past his plus-minus rating, and Johnson's scoring has fallen off after a quick start. Of course Johnson down the road projects to be a Norris Trophy winner; no one feels that way about Carle. … Yandle would have a larger rep if he weren't toiling in semi-obscurity with the Coyotes. … Say this for the Canucks, they sure have a lot of defensemen who can move the puck. I might be ranking Salo a spec too high; we know he's never far away from his next injury. … Visnovsky is about as consistent as a paper cup in a hurricane.

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42. Jack Johnson(notes)
43. Dennis Wideman(notes)
44. Kimmo Timonen(notes)
45. Fedor Tyutin(notes)
46. Niklas Kronwall(notes)
47. Dennis Seidenberg(notes)
48. Anton Volchenkov(notes)
49. Tom Poti(notes)
50. Michael Del Zotto(notes)
51. Derek Morris(notes)
52. Zach Bogosian(notes)
53. Zbynek Michalek(notes)
54. Barret Jackman(notes)
55. Adrian Aucoin(notes)
56. Alex Goligoski(notes)
57. John-Michael Liles(notes)
58. Matt Carkner(notes)
59. Sheldon Souray(notes)
60. Stephane Robidas(notes)
61. Jeff Schultz(notes)
62. Kris Letang(notes)
63. Pavel Kubina(notes)
64. Andy Greene(notes)
65. Jack Hillen(notes)
66. Anton Stralman(notes)

Comments: Del Zotto looked a lot more appealing in November than he does now. … Bogosian's rating has dropped 19 points from last year, and he's not looking any more confident on offense, either. You can't deny the star potential here, but it's going to take a while. … Stralman is still handy on offense but he's got problems in his own end, minus-8 in January to this point. … The story is much the same with Goligoski, regular scoring but too many minuses next to his record.

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67. Michal Rozsival(notes)
68. Chris Butler(notes)
69. Filip Kuba(notes)
70. Francois Beauchemin(notes)
71. Mattias Ohlund(notes)
72. Ron Hainsey(notes)
73. Denis Grebeshkov(notes)
74. Kyle Quincey(notes)
75. Johnny Oduya(notes)
76. Cam Barker(notes)
77. Johnny Boychuk(notes)
78. Steve Montador(notes)
79. Roman Hamrlik(notes)
80. Robyn Regehr(notes)
81. Tim Gleason(notes)
82. Jaroslav Spacek(notes)
83. Victor Hedman(notes)
84. Braydon Coburn(notes)
85. Bryan Allen(notes)
86. Matt Gilroy(notes)
87. Chris Phillips(notes)
88. *Jason Demers(notes)
89. Carlo Colaiacovo(notes)

That's all I got for now; let's see your ranks and observations in the comments.

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