The NHL defenseman is not the most glorified player in the the league.
In fact, often the best defenseman is the player who doesn't get noticed when he is on the ice—the thinking being that the most useful defenseman is the one who keeps the opposition away from his goalie.
There are exceptions to that rule, as there have been defensemen who have changed the game with their ability to rush up the ice and score. Another example is the defenseman who every hockey fan would love to see anchoring the power play for the team they support.
What follows is a list of those blueliners who changed the game, as well as the players who simply excelled at the defenseman position.