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

Puck Daddy

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 …

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