The Greatest All Star Team of All Time(?)
The switch to a 3-on-3 tournament received a thumbs up from the One Puck Short office, with the NHL ‘radically’ re-shuffling it’s deckchairs in order to try and revitalise the often maligned All Star Game.
With the old 5-on-5 games becoming increasingly stagnant, moving to a tournament format, with a $1 million prize for the winning Division, was bold from the traditionally buttoned down NHL top brass.
As Tyler Seguin, John Tavares et al gear up for Sunday’s showdown in Nashville, we try to assemble the ultimate All Star team for a 3-on-3 tournament.
Using the same roster composition as the NHL applied to this year’s All Star Game – six forwards, three defencemen and two netminders – here’s who we picked:
The highest points scorer in NHL history is a virtual lock to make any all time fantasy team.
With the additional space 3-on-3 play allows on the ice, The Great One’s playmaking skills would be a huge asset while his 894 career goals are proof enough #99 knew where the net was, even as goaltending standards improved across the league.
Like Gretzky, the Pittsburgh Penguins icon is a virtual lock to make such a team.
An almost perfect blend of size and skill, Lemieux’s speed was often underrated as he worked to move that big body, and had injuries not curtailed his career the Montreal native might have even broken some of Gretzky’s records.
The Russian Rocket was one of the most effective goal scorers in NHL history, scoring sixty goals twice and coming mighty close to that same milestone in two further seasons – including the 2000/2001 season when he scored 59 goals and 92 points despite being a virtual one man team for the Florida Panthers.
Tied for 40th on the list of the NHL’s greatest goal scorers, 30-year old Ovechkin is certain to build on his 503 goals and move past some of the games best over the coming years.
Few throughout history can match Ovechkin’s sheer enthusiasm, with his blend of speed, skill and sheer tenacity when it comes to putting the puck in the net earn him a place on our fantasy roster.
The Swiss Army knife of the team, Fedorov can play at forward or on defence depending on the situation and is perhaps the finest skater in NHL history.
Fedorov was inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this season, after a pro career than spanned 25 years, 1,248 NHL games, three Stanley Cups and a Hart Trophy.
The 46-year old remains the highest scoring Russian in NHL history with 1,179 points, with his 483 goals only recently surpassed by Ovechkin.
“Le Démon Blond” won three straight Art Ross Trophies, back-to-back hart Trophies and five Stanley Cup during his time with the Montreal Canadiens, with older fans still recalling the sight of the Thurso, Quebec native streaking down the wing.
Selected 1st overall in 1971, Lafleur is exactly the type of winger who would have flourised in a 3-on-3 format – especially with Messrs Gretzky and Lemieux feeding him the puck.
Honorable Mentions: Marcel Dionne, Jaromir Jagr and Jean Beliveau
The only defenceman to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s highest scorer, Orr, like Gretzky and Lemieux, is almost a given when it comes to selecting an all time All Star roster built for 3-on-3 hockey.
Winner of four Stanley Cups and three Norris Trophies, Coffey’s smooth skating and keen offensive instincts saw him collect 396 goals and 1,531 points in 1,409 NHL games during a career that spanned 20 years.
A model of prolonged excellence, Bouque played 1,612 games during a 21 year career in which he recorded the fourth highest number of assists and eleventh highest number of points in league history, breaking the 90 point marker four times.
The image of Bourque finally raising Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2001 has gone down as one of the most famous in NHL history.
Honourable Mentions: Larry Robinson and Nicklas Lidstrom
Huge expanses of open ice you say? Then what better goaltender to enter a 3-on-3 tournament with than perhaps the best puck handler of them all.
Brodeur was not only a great puck stopper, helping New Jersey win three Stanley Cups, but his ability to move the puck and patrol the zone like a pseudo third defenceman make him a obvious choice for our All Star team.
With a million dollars on the line, the Czech legend would be many armchair General Managers choice to start between the pipes during such a frenetic tournament.
Honourable Mention: Billy Smith
Who’d make your all time All Star roster? Leave a comment below and let us know