Today, I want to look at some of the notable omissions from our NHL Dream Team. At the beginning, I said that I wanted to put together the best TEAM and therefore some fantastic players were going to have to be left off, simply because they did not fit in my team’s scheme. I’ll do it by position, highlighting a few notables at each position as well as mentioning why they did not make my team. First, here’s a quick recap of the team I selected:
Starting Goalie: 2001-2002 Patrick Roy
Backup Goalie: 1993-1994 Dominik Hasek
Defensive Pairing 3: 1932-1933 Eddie Shore – 1956-1957 Doug Harvey
Defensive Pairing 2: 1986-1987 Ray Bourque – 1998-1999 Al MacInnis
Defensive Pairing 1: 1970-1971 Bobby Orr – 2007-2008 Nicklas Lidstrom
Line 4: 1978-1979 Bob Gainey – 1999-2000 Steve Yzerman – 1989-1990 Cam Neely
Line 3: 1958-1959 Dickie Moore – 1978-1979 Bryan Trottier – 1977-1978 Lanny McDonald
Line 2: 1992-1993 Luc Robitaille – 1987-1988 Mario Lemieux – 1980-1981 Mike Bossy
Line 1: 1971-1972 Bobby Hull – 1985-1986 Wayne Gretzky – 1990-1991 Brett Hull
Powerplay 1: 1990-1991 Brett Hull – 1985-1986 Wayne Gretzky – 1989-1990 Cam Neely – 2007-2008 Nicklas Lidstrom – 1998-1999 Al MacInnis
Powerplay 2: 1971-1972 Bobby Hull – 1987-1988 Mario Lemieux – 1980-1981 Mike Bossy – 1970-1971 Bobby Orr – 1956-1957 Doug Harvey
Penalty Kill 1: 1978-1979 Bob Gainey – 1999-2000 Steve Yzerman – 2007-2008 Nicklas Lidstrom – 1932-1933 Eddie Shore
Penalty Kill 2: 1978-1979 Bryan Trottier – 1989-1990 Cam Neely – 1986-1987 Ray Bourque – 1998-1999 Al MacInnis
Head Coach – 2001-2002 Scotty Bowman
Let’s start with the goaltending position
- Glenn Hall – The inventor of the butterfly, I wanted to find some way to get this guy on to my team. His longevity, consistency, and forward-thinking are some of the greatest attributes we’ve ever seen in hockey history. His record of 502 consecutive games started in goal will never be broken. However, I did not choose Hall simply because of his size. In today’s NHL, we’re all about the big goalies and it’s rare to find a great goalie under 6 feet in today’s day. Hall stood 5’11″ 180 lbs, which by no means is small. However, I know my defense is going to keep most shots to the outside and that most shots would easily be stopped by a bigger butterfly goalie. That’s why I opted for Patrick Roy (6’2″ 210 lbs) over Glenn Hall
- Jacques Plante – Plante is another great goaltender that was a great innovator. Plante introduced the mask for goalies and nowadays we can’t even imagine that they used to play without them. Plante was also one of the first goaltenders to begin to handle the puck outside of the crease, something that again we can’t imagine our goalies not doing today. He was one of the smartest goaltenders too, often calling out the play and signaling his teammates with defensive instructions. However, Plante got the boot simply because of his stand-up style. I can’t afford to have a goaltender playing standup when so many of the shots will be hard and low and with the technology today, the shots are so accurate. I needed a big butterfly goalie and Plante simply wasn’t it.
- Martin Brodeur – Brodeur was the hardest goalie for me to cut. I love his puck-handling ability, I love his butterfly style, I love his two-pad stack. I loved his puckhandling abilities. However, when it came down to it, I felt that Brodeur benefited too much from the neutral zone trap employed by the Devils during most of his career and the quality of shots he faced was lower than the average goaltender. I wanted a goaltender that had to face a slightly higher degree of difficulty and was used to it. That was Patrick Roy. Otherwise, these guys were exceptionally similar. The reason Brodeur didn’t get the nod as backup was that I couldn’t find a good season where Brodeur would have been ok coming off the bench compared to the 1993-1994 Dominik Hasek.
- Terry Sawchuk – Sawchuk was a personal favorite of mine, but sadly, the guy was simply not big enough to earn a spot on this team. Sawchuk was 5’11″ 195 lbs compared to Roy at 6’2″. Sawchuk also was not a true butterfly style goalie and that’s just the style that will be best suited for my system. Despite Sawchuk’s brilliant numbers, his playing style and lack of size are the two major reasons why I left him off of the Dream Team roster.