As we get closer to the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL season, the barstool discussions over who is the best player in the game will begin again.
Is it Crosby? Ovechkin? Someone else???
And which team has more talent? Do the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks have the most elite talent? What about the Capitals? Red Wings? Penguins? Devils?
With all of these fun questions in mind, I embarked on the daunting task of ranking the top 100 (one hundred) players in the NHL heading into the coming season.
There were a number of factors that played into how I ranked players for the list. Obviously, points scored (and in how many games) is a factor, as is a player's plus-minus. From there, I looked at the larger impact on the game that a player had: performance on special teams, game-winning goals, and whether or not the player's a winner.
I also used a unique statistic developed by Tom Awad at Puck Prospectus known as the “Goals Versus Threshold” (GVT) stat. Awad developed a formula to factor every aspect of on-ice performance into one stat including offense, defense, goaltending and shootout performance.
For these rankings I only evaluated skaters. To me (and, hopefully, all rational hockey fans), comparing the relative value of a goalie to skaters is nearly impossible to do. Awad's GVT does this, but for the purposes of this slideshow I only considered forwards and defensemen.
I have no doubt that there will be fans angered that I left someone off the list, or that someone is ranked lower than they should be. But that's the point of this slideshow: let's talk about these players and argue about who's better. This list is simply my Top 100, and I have no doubt that there will be disagreements with how I value players.
I look forward to the discussion generated from this piece.
With that as a brief introduction, I give you The Top 100 Players in the NHL Today!