Picking the most skilled Red Wings in history is a tricky task. And at times likes these—trying to pull an article like this together that covers so much time that I wasn't around for—I find myself a bit overwhelmed by dusty stories and second-hand accounts of some of the players who obviously must be on this list.
What a wonderful thing to be overwhelmed by, though.
If you are going to have hours of your day consumed by the history of one NHL franchise, it'd be hard to pick one littered with a better crop of players. Arguments could be made for any of the Original Six franchises, but I didn't grow up rooting for those teams. I grew up pulling for the Red Wings.
That being said, I was born in 1987. I just turned 24 this month, so some of these slides are going to be based totally on that aforementioned second-hand information.
But I'd love to start a conversation about some of these older players.
Maybe you go to catch one of these guys towards the end of their careers, or have an interesting anecdote to share. No matter what it is, I'd love to hear it. I don't like having my knowledge of Ted Lindsay limited to a few Google searches.
And, of course, I am sure I overlooked someone or that there is a player you believe should be on the list. So let me hear it.
Worth noting is that these slides are in no particular order. It'd be a ruse for me to rank players I have never seen play. I could base their skills only on stats, but there is so much more to a player than that.
Think about it: When you get older and a young pup fan asks you about Pavel Datsyuk, is the first thing that comes out of your mouth going to be his career point totals? Absolutely not. As such, I refuse to do the equivalent in this space.
As far as I am concerned, however, these twelve are the most highly skilled individuals that have ever worn the Winged Wheel.