The old adage “defense wins championships” has become a cliche in modern sports. When the duality of an offensive defenseman evolves, the lines tend to blur while the points rack up.
So many of the NHL’s greatest defensemen over the course of history have had the offensive skill to back their ability to protect the blue line and stifle the opponent.
Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey rank among some of the NHL’s elite at both ends of the rink, and they provided the offensive punch to make their jobs easier on the back end. Their offensive instincts along with their defensive responsibilities put them in a class of their own.
For the Detroit Red Wings, although they don’t have many of the most prolific scoring defensemen, they still have some very productive blueliners of their own.
The players on this list have been measured by their production, the threat level they posed and where they fall in team history.
Let’s face it, points matter, and it is an accurate depiction of a player’s production level. Defensemen may not necessarily be “threatening” in their own zone, but the stretch pass and the ability to fly end-to-end creates offense in a flash.
How they rank among the best to wear the winged wheel is, of course, monumental. Even if they aren’t the most offensively productive safety nets in hockey, they still hold a special place in Hockeytown history.
Here are the five best scoring defensemen in Detroit Red Wings history.