Best 25 NHL Players over the Last 25 Years

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Best 25 NHL Players over the Last 25 Years
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Wayne Gretzky of the LA Kings

This is a look at the NHL players who were the best over the last 25 years. It covers seasons played from 1986/87 to last year: 2010/11. Best is a subjective term. To choose these players I looked at a combination of their talent and length and quality of their career in those last 25 years.   

During this time you find two diametrically opposed eras of hockey. You see the last of the high flying, point prolific, post WHA adsorption, eighties, contrasted with the trap happy, defense first, Pillsbury Doughboy/Michelin Man goalie equipment of the late 90's and early 2000's.

Modern day hockey in a hard cap, interference light era has become almost an alloy of the two previous era's. Defensive play is still much more important than it was in the 80's, though the offensive play has bounced back from the dead-puck late nineties. It is tricky to compare players from two such different era's without including too many of the earlier players just because it was easier to score back then.

This is my attempt to compare and rank the players who I felt had the best careers and were the best players from the 1986/87 season until today.         

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