In an NHL where specialists reign supreme (offensive specialists, defensive specialists, power play specialists, penalty kill specialists, fighting specialists), there are only a handful of players who play and excel at all areas of the game.
The criteria I used to determine the completeness of a player was a combination of offensive ability, defensive ability, effectiveness on both the power play and penalty kill, as well as a propensity to play physical and a willingness to enforce when necessary.
Players like Jonathan Toews, Pavel Datsyuk and Patrice Bergeron, although known as some of the best two-way forwards in the league, lack that grit and physical aptitude to be considered eligible for this list.
Likewise, players like Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic and Scott Hartnell, although skilled and physical, are not utilized for their defensive play and rarely, if ever, receive time on the penalty kill. Therefore, these players are also not eligible.
The players on this list are the definition of old-time hockey. The Hanson brothers should be proud.
Here’s the list.