TSN’s top 50 NHL players list: Your annual source of mental anguish

Greg Wyshynski

Each year before the season, TSN puts out its list of the top 50 players in the National Hockey League, also known as “Sid and 49 other dudes.”

There are some annual traditions with the list. Rick Nash is always overrated. Defensemen are always underrated. Goalies are usually limited to whoever made the Vezina top three – witness Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick and Pekka Rinne as the only netminders in the Top 50 this season. Alex Ovechkin is always the second best player in the oh right he’s now No. 14.

And there are always snubs, which is natural when the list is limited to 50 players and one simply must find room for Mike Richards on it.

Coming up, the TSN top 50 for 2013, and a few critiques …

Please keep in mind that the list was “determined by a cumulative point system based on individual rankings and selected by a panel of experts.” Which doesn’t necessarily mean “James Duthie, a bottle of whiskey and a dry erase board” but it doesn’t rule it out either …

1. Sidney Crosby 26. Ryan Suter
2. Evgeni Malkin 27. Pekka Rinne
3. Claude Giroux 28. Alex Pietrangelo
4. Steven Stamkos 29. Kris Letang
5. Pavel Datsyuk 30. Martin St. Louis
6. Jonathan Toews 31. Tyler Seguin
7. Shea Weber 32. Marian Hossa
8. Daniel Sedin 33. Nicklas Backstrom
9. Henrik Sedin 34. Ryan Getzlaf
10. Anze Kopitar 35. Patrice Bergeron
11. Erik Karlsson 36. James Neal
12. Zdeno Chara 37. Jarome Iginla
13. Zach Parise 38. Patrick Kane
14. Alex Ovechkin 39. Jamie Benn
15. Henrik Lundqvist 40. Joe Thornton
16. Jonathan Quick 41. Logan Couture
17. Drew Doughty 42. Brad Richards
18. Ilya Kovalchuk 43. Dustin Brown
19. Corey Perry 44. Mike Richards
20. John Tavares 45. Marian Gaborik
21. Eric Staal 46. Jordan Staal
22. Henrik Zetterberg 47. Phil Kessel
23. Jason Spezza 48. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
24. Rick Nash 49. Duncan Keith
25. Jordan Eberle 50. Taylor Hall

A few things …

• Bobby Ryan isn't better than any of these players?

• Can we go back to the days when Henrik Sedin was clearly seen as the better Sedin? In 2010-11, he was ranked sixth while Daniel was No. 18. Last year, the two were ranked sequentially, and it happened again this year. We all know Henrik’s the Romy and Daniel’s the Michelle. Oh, crap, that was way too Milburyian a comparison, wasn’t it ...

• There’s probably an alternate universe in which Erik Karlsson is a more complete, accomplished and consistent player than Zdeno Chara. We imagine it’s always raining Skittles and cars drive people there, too.

• The Phoenix Coyotes do not exist, and if they do, then Shane Doan and Keith Yandle Mike Smith and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are all products of Dave Tippett’s system and not part of the top 50.

• All due respect to the run Dustin Brown had on the Kings’ most productive offensive line, but where the [expletive] is David Backes on this list?

• Sorry Dan Girardi, but being the best defensive defenseman in hockey isn’t good enough. NEEDZ MOAR POINTZ.

• So we can reward Jordan Staal’s potential as a player who emerged from the Sid/Geno shadow and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' potential as a sophomore player, but Gabe Landeskog has, what, hit his ceiling?

• Finally, please put Loui Eriksson on these lists. Every time you don’t, the Underrated Monster grows stronger and more ravenous …