Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk and the Greatest Red Wings of All Time.

Jordan MatthewsAnalyst IIIDecember 9, 2011

Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk and the Greatest Red Wings of All Time.

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    As one of the greatest teams in the history of the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings have had many great players come and go.

    These players are not just some of the best in Red Wings history, but many of them are the best in NHL history.

    As a note to readers, while players such as Brett Hull and Dominik Hasek were great players, they only spent a short time with the Red Wings. As a requirement, players will have to meet a five-year minimum to make the list.

    With that said, let's look at the greatest Red Wings of all time.

10. Sergei Fedorov

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    Fedorov starts the list off at No. 10, and while he was loved by Wings fans when he was on the ice, he was hated during contract negotiations.

    Fedorov wasn't nearly as successful after departing from the Wings in 2003, but regardless, he has three Stanley Cups and appeared in the All-Star Game six times.

    Also, Fedorov is the only player in the NHL to ever win the Hart Trophy and the Selke trophy in the same season.

    Fedorov finished off his NHL career with 1,179 points in 1,248 games.

9. Red Kelly

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    Red Kelly only managed to win four Stanley Cups in Detroit.

    I say "only" because that's half of eight, which is the number of Cups he won through his entire career.

    Kelly appeared in eight All-Star Games during his career, and if being a good defenseman didn't make Kelly one of the hockey greats, he managed to become a successful center just to prove his point.

    Upon his retirement, Kelly finished his career with 823 points in 1,316 games.

8. Pavel Datsyuk

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    One could easily say that what Datsyuk does in the video is simple enough when you have multiple chances to film the play—if they have never watched Datsyuk play, that is.

    Datsyuk has never won the Hart Trophy, and he's only been an All-Star three times in his career, and yet by many, he's considered to be the best player in the NHL today.

    Watch his flawless stick-handling and incredible defensive ability and you'll understand why. Datsyuk is a three-time Selke winner, with two of his wins coming in near 100-point seasons.

    At the age of 33, Datsyuk has won two Stanley Cups and has 677 points in 689 games, leaving him plenty of time to move up on the list before his career comes to a close.

7. Brendan Shanahan

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    With three Stanley Cups as a Red Wing, Brendan Shanahan ranks seventh All-Time on the team. Brendan was an integral piece of the Red Wings during their 1997, 1998 and 2002 Cup wins.

    Shanahan appeared in the NHL All-Star Game eight times during his career and is the only player in NHL history to have over 2,000 penalty minutes and still score 600 goals in his career.

    Although he was never been an MVP or a Conn Smythe winner, Shanahan was a vital piece to the Detroit Red Wings in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

6. Alex Delvecchio

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    Alex Delvecchio comes in at No. 6 on the list of greatest Red Wings. Alex played for the Red Wings for over 20 years and during his career, he was a three-time Stanley Cup champion and a 13-time NHL All-Star.

    Delvecchio is also known for not having skated until he was 12 years old, which is a remarkably late start for any NHL player, let alone one of Delvecchio's caliber.

    Alex finished his career with 1,281 points in 1,549 games.

5. Ted Lindsay

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    Terrible Ted ranks No. 5 overall in Red Wings history, despite playing 13 years for the Red Wings.

    Lindsay was a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, and a Conn Smythe winner. Also, the Lester B. Pearson award was renamed in his honor in 2010.

    Perhaps Lindsay's biggest contribution to hockey was helping establish the player's association, which directly led to his trade from the Red Wings to the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Lindsay finished out his career in Detroit with 851 points in 1,068 games.

4. Terry Sawchuk

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    Terry Sawchuk is arguably the greatest goaltender of all time. Until Martin Brodeur broke his record in 2009, Sawchuk led the NHL with 103 shutouts (Brodeur has played nearly 200 more games).

    Sawchuk was an 11-time NHL All-Star, a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, and a five-time Vezina winner.

    Unfortunately, Sawchuk struggled with depression throughout his career and passed away at the age of 40 due to accidental causes during a fight with his roommate.

3. Steve Yzerman

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    Steve Yzerman is one of the greatest players in NHL history and is arguably the greatest captain in NHL history.

    If you don't believe that, look at the facts. He's one of three players in NHL history to ever break the 150-point barrier in one season, and if it's worth mentioning the other two guys were named Wayne and Mario.

    As for his leadership, he's also the only NHL player to have the captain's "C" go up to the rafters with their retired jersey.

    In addition, Yzerman was the first 18-year-old to ever be in the NHL's All-Star game, and he performed in nine more after that. He is also a Conn Smythe winner, a Selke winner, and a four-time Stanley Cup winner—including once as a Red Wings executive.

    Yzerman finished his career sixth all-time in the NHL in points. He accumulated 1,755 points in 1,514 games.

2. Gordie Howe

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    Gordie Howe is easily one of the greatest NHL players of all time.

    His accomplishments are endless. He was a 23-time NHL All-Star, he was top five in the NHL in scoring for 20 consecutive years, he won four Stanley Cups and he's a six-time Art Ross winner, which matches his six Hart Trophies.

    That's not all for Howe, though, as he leads the Red Wings all-time in games played, goals and points.

    Over his entire career, Gordie Howe retired with 1,850 points in 1,767 games.

1. Nicklas Lidstrom

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    Yes, that's right. The greatest player in the history of the Detroit Red Wings is Nicklas Lidstrom.

    I'm sure many would expect to see Gordie Howe, but we're really righting 1A vs. 1B here, and the way I see it, Gordie How is a top three forward of all time, while Lidstrom is top two on defense.

    Regardless, both are great hockey players.

    Lidstrom is perhaps known best for his seven Norris trophies as the league's best defender, and as long as his career continues, he'll be in contention to tie Bobby Orr's record of eight.

    Lidstrom currently has an outstanding 1,127 points in 1,520 games, making him sixth all-time amongst NHL defensemen.

    Lidstrom is also a plus 438 in his career, making him ninth all-time and best all-time among non-Canadians.

    Simply put, Lidstrom is the best Red Wing of all time, and he's not even finished yet.

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    Jordan Matthews frequently writes for the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings. You can view more of Jordan's recent articles here:

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