With the advent of the salary cap, teams have had a much more challenging time keeping productive lines together. If a line manages to stay together for a year or two now, the GM is doing something right.
Famous line names in the past have had a tough time developing.
But even so, there are a number of creative and sticky line names in the NHL for the 2009-10 season. So when you don't see the "Legion of Doom" or the "Swedish Five" on the list, don't get upset. These are only current line names.
If there are any you feel I missed, please let me know.
Josh Bailey, John Tavares, and Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders
While the name itself is nothing more than putting the first letter of their last names together, the Islanders have gone even farther and added a theme song.
Appropriately enough, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Canadian group BTO (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) puts the Islander kids on the list.
Fans on Long Island have more than a handful of reasons to be optimistic about this line in the future.
Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, and Ryan Smyth, Los Angeles Kings
While the title needs no explanation, the line itself has earned it. Featuring star center Anze Kopitar (the good), Justin Williams (the bad) and Ryan Smyth (the ugly, thanks to his gritty play and willingness to get to the net), the line rose to prominence early in the season.
Although unfortunately, the group has been split up now, due to Williams' broken leg suffered in late December against the Coyotes. If the Kings do make the playoffs, the line should be re-united once again, with the hopeful return of Williams at the end of March.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Nik Antropov, Maxim Afinogenov, Atlanta Thrashers
Atlanta was fully committed to making a splash in the offseason, and there's no question Don Waddell did exactly that.
Adding Afinogenov (16 G, 26 A) and Antropov (12 G, 26 A) has worked out to perfection, as the two found instant chemistry with fellow Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
Although technically, Antropov is from Kazakhstan, but who's counting anyway?
Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
Backstrom, Ovechkin, Semin. BOSS. Sometimes they are together, sometimes Bruce Boudreau choses to split them up. But there's no doubting this is one of the most dominant lines in hockey when they are together.
Naturally, BOSS fits them perfectly. The Bosses of the Defense as they simply can't be stopped.
Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy, and Matt Cooke, Pittsburgh Penguins
This one takes a bit of creativity to figure out. Center Jordan Staal plays Big Bird, due to his blonde hair and towering figure at 6-feet-4. Fiesty winger Matt Cooke stars as the Cookie Monster. Tyler Kennedy plays Elmo.
All popular characters of the Sesame Street TV Show.
There might not be many third lines in the NHL that deserve a line name, but this one has been together for the better part of the last two seasons, building a reputation as the finest third line in hockey.
Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, and Jamie Langenbrunner, New Jersey Devils
A clever title for a painfully effective unit. Z-Z, Zach and Zajac, paired with the 34-year-old Jamie "Pops" Langenbrunner.
Behind the skill and solid defense of the ZZ Pops Line, New Jersey has once again nested themselves at the top of the Atlantic Division, even when nobody else thought it was possible.
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley, San Jose Sharks
Arguably the best line in all of hockey, all three skaters can brag 50 or more points on the season.
But now, an appropriate yet clever line name. HTML, or the Heatley Thornton Marleau Line, is also based in the home of computer technology.
Well, they sure do make it look automatic as if it was a computer-generated combination.
Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Babcock's Flying Circus has everything. The all-round game of Zetterberg, the skill and stickhandling of Datsyuk, and the gritty play of Holmstrom.
It has been hit hard by injuries throughout the season, as Zetterberg missed a few games earlier and now Holmstrom is on the shelf for another 1-2 weeks with a fractured foot.
So for the immediate future, the Circus remains out of town. But it will be back in a city near you before too long.
Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver Canucks
The hottest line in the NHL clearly has the hottest nickname as well.
Henrik is leading the league in points (67), Burrows has 11 goals in the last seven games and Daniel has found his groove once again since returning from an injury.
But the line name is a little more complicated. Take the three jersey numbers of each player - 14, 22, and 33. When added together, they add up to 69.
Hot line + rhyme = win.
Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen, and Andrew Brunette, Minnesota Wild
The best name and one of the most surprising lines of the 2009-10 season so far, Two Blondes and a Brunette takes the prize.
Koivu and Miettinen, the pair of Finnish-born forwards, also happen to be blondes. While brunette has nothing to do with his hair color, Head Coach Todd Richards has had thoughts of splitting the unit up.
But we can't have that now, can we? Not with a line name like this.