That seems like as noble a purpose as any, so let’s get started.
Anaheim Ducks The blue line isn’t as easy as you might think, since the two best defencemen in team history – Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger – will both show up on other rosters.
Carolina Hurricanes (and Hartford Whalers) Hold on. Detroit Red Wings It’s a relatively easy call in goal and not an especially tough field on defence, but the crowded forward ranks get tricky.
As always, we need some arbitrary rules before we get started, so let’s go with these: • Every team can protect players from its all-time roster based on the rules from this year’s expansion draft, i.e.Forwards: Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, Rick Middleton, Cam Neely Defencemen: Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Eddie Shore, Brad Park Goalie: Frank Brimsek Toughest omissions: Using four spots on defencemen costs us forwards like Wayne Cashman, Terry O’Reilly, Ken Hodge and Patrice Bergeron.But the toughest omission might be yet another blueliner, as they miss out on keeping Zdeno Chara.Forwards: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Doug Weight, Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall Defencemen: Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, Kris Russell Goalie: Grant Fuhr Toughest omissions: First of all, I was only kidding on Russell; I just wanted to see if I could make every analytics guy’s head explode in one shot. Connor Mc David is exempt, but we might need to find a spot for Leon Draisaitl.Florida Panthers Without many top forwards to choose from, the Panthers become our second team to choose the eight-skater option.Forwards: Jarome Iginla, Theo Fleury, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, Kent Nilsson, Lanny Mc Donald, Johnny Gaudreau Defencemen: Al Mac Innis, Gary Suter, Mark Giordano Goalie: Mike Vernon Toughest omissions: Miikka Kiprusoff is the franchise leader in games and wins, but Vernon’s Cup run trumps him.