The Best NHL Defencemen of All Time

In our latest episode we try to figure out who are the best defencemen in NHL history.

As usual, Riley went too deep into the stats. Bill decided to do it on instinct. The result is two remarkably similar lists, somehow:

Bill and Riley reveal their Top 10 NHL Defencemen of All Time

Top 10 NHL Defencemen of All Time

So these aren’t definitive lists, but the overlap is kind of remarkable:

BillRiley
Bobby OrrBobby Orr
Denis PotvinRay Bourque
Doug HarveyEddie Shore
Nicklas LidstromNicklas Lidstrom
Ray BourqueDenis Potvin
Chris ProngerAl MacInnis
Scott NiedermayerLarry Robinson
Eddie ShoreDoug Harvey
Larry RobinsonChris Pronger
Al MacInnisRed Kelly
Bill and Riley’s Top 10 D All Time lists

We swear we didn’t plan this. No collusion!

1. Bobby Orr

  • 3 Hart
  • 1 Lindsay (nee Pearson)
  • 2 Conn Smythe
  • 8 Norris
  • Calder
  • 2 Art Ross
  • 8 x 1st Team All Star
  • 2nd Team all Star
  • 9 All Star Games
  • 2 Stanley Cups

2. Ray Bourque vs. Denis Potvin

Ray BourqueDenis Potvin
Hart
Lindsay
Conn Smythe
Norris53
CalderYesYes
1st Team All Star135
2nd Team All Star62
All Star Games197
Stanley Cups14

3. Doug Harvey vs. Eddie Shore

Doug HarveyEddie Shore
Hart4
LindsayN/A
Conn SmytheN/A
Norris7N/A
CalderNoN/A
1st Team All Star107
2nd Team All Star11
All Star Games11N/A
Stanley Cups62

4. Nicklas Lidstrom

  • 0 Hart
  • 0 Lindsay
  • Conn Smythe
  • 7 Norris
  • 10 x 1st Team All Star
  • 2 x 2nd Team All Star
  • 11 All Star Games
  • 4 Stanley Cups

5. Ray Bourque vs. Denis Potvin Take 2

See above.

6. Al MacInnis vs. Chris Pronger

Al MacInnisChris Pronger
Hart1
Lindsay
Conn Smythe1
Norris11
CalderNoNo
1st Team All Star41
2nd Team All Star33
All Star Games125
Stanley Cups11

7. Scott Niedermayer vs. Larry Robinson

Scott NiedermayerLarry Robinson
Hart
Lindsay
Conn Smythe11
Norris12
CalderNoNo
1st Team All Star33
2nd Team All Star13
All Star Games510
Stanley Cups46

8. Doug Harvey vs. Eddie Shore Take 2

See above.

9. Chris Pronger vs. Larry Robinson

Chris ProngerLarry Robinson
Hart1
Lindsay
Conn Smythe1
Norris12
CalderNoNo
1st All Star Team13
2nd All Star Team33
All Star Games510
Stanley Cups16

10. Red Kelly vs. Al Macinnis

Red KellyAl MacInnis
Hart
LindsayN/A
Conn Smythe1
Norris11
CalderNoNo
1st Team All Star64
2nd Team All Star23
All Star Games12 (9? as D)12
Stanley Cups8 (4 as D)1

Honourable Mentions:

Honourable mentions include

  • Georges Boucher,
  • Zdeno Chara,
  • Chris Chelios,
  • King Clancy,
  • Paul Coffey (we guess),
  • Drew Doughty,
  • Erik Karlsson,
  • Duncan Keith,
  • Guy Lapointe,
  • Brian Leetch,
  • Brad Park,
  • Pierre Pilote,
  • Serge Savard

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