I buy the NHL series from EA Sports every year…and I mean every year, It started in 1991 when they released NHL hockey. That game was the reason I bought a Sega Genesis to be honest. I am a huge hockey fan and I have to say I was very intrigued about the current “NHL Legends” videos we have seen from EA of late. To tease the fans and to get people talking, they released a picture of 9 silhouettes that represented 9 players from the past of the NHL.
The first teaser I saw announced the first 3 legends as Wayne Gretzky, Raymond Bourque and Chris Chelios. The Great One is a no brainer and I am very happy to see him included. Bourque may be the best all around defencemen to ever player the game and should be included as well. Chelios is an odd pick for me. I do understand that he played for a LONG time and put up some decent numbers, but he just doesn’t have that “Legend” feel to me that the other two bring.
The next teaser I saw was the announcement of Steve Yzerman and Borje Salming. Yzerman is a legend without question. He wasa great scorer that became a fantastic leader and then became a very sound 2 way player. Salming is an interesting pick but does have merit as he was one of the first European players to make an impact in the NHL and did put up some decent numbers for a 2 way defenceman.
The third teaser video I watched announced Patrick Roy and Jeremy Roenick. If you had to name a modern goalie as a legend, Roy is at the top of the list. He has the stats, he has the individual awards and he has the Stanley Cups. Roenick on the other hand does not scream Legend to me. He won no major individual awards, never won a Stanley Cup and only put up less than a point per game points per game average in his career.
The last teaser was the one that had me most excited. It announced Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe. Both of these players should have been shoe ins for sure. Lemieux may have been the most talented player to ever play the game. He was the only player that challenged any of Gretzky’s numbers. Howe was the face of the NHL for many years and had held many of the major scoring records until Gretzky broke them.
Now I want to look at the selections I would change. I would remove Chris Chelios and replace him with Bobby Orr. Orr changed the way that the game was played by defencemen and also is the only defenceman to ever win a scoring title. He won individual awards and the Stanley Cup. he should be in the game.
I would also remove Jeremy Roenick. For the player I would insert in his place, I choose Maurice Richard. The Rocket was the best player in the NHL during the prime of his career and is still considered one of the greatest goal scorers in league history. He was also a winner on and off the ice.
I am iffy on Salming, I will admit this. EA could have made a worst choice but I can’t help but feel that they could have placed an older player in his spot. For right now I am content to have him there and would not suggest a replacement but I do think we could add some players. Why not double the number of players from 9 to 18. Maybe have 10 forwards, 6 defencemen and 2 goalies.
For your 2 goalies have Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuk. For your 6 defencemen have Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Scott Stevens, Doug Harvey and Denis Potvin. For the 10 forwards I would have Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Mark Messier, Marcel Dionne and Brett Hull.
I am sure that there are some players here that could be debated but I tried to spread my picks over the different generations and the history of the league. Who are your picks???