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 …