Question of the Week – December 29th, 2007

Who do you think is the best overall player in the NHL right now? Whether it’s a goalie, defenseman, forward or goon make your voice heard by leaving us a comment right here on and be sure to tune in to the January 5th show to hear who we think it is and to hear what some of the fans told us via e-mail and the Puck Podcast hotline.

About Doug Stolhand 27106 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. I feel Niklaus Lidstrom is the player that is currently the best overall player in the league. Not only does he average over 28 minutes per game, but he also has missed only 22 games over his career, many of those to rest him for the playoffs. To show his dominance as a team MVP for Detroit, I averaged the Red Wings’ annual winning percentage , as well as their annual goals against. The 10 years before Lidstrom appeared in 1991/92 the Wings had a winning percentage (ignoring ties) of .415 and a GA average of 329.5. In the 15 years he has played the winning % is .688 and the GA average is 212.4! If you eliminate his first 3 years and the strike shortened 94/95 season, the GA is 197.7. Also look at the Red Wings’ success with their top two scorers out with injuries. The only constant is Lidstrom and his ability to shut down the opposing team’s top scorers and his pin-point passes out of the defensive zone.

  2. I have to go with Vincent Lecavalier; I don’t think anyone can make much of an argument that he is not the best 2-way player in the league. If he were playing in a major market, he would be getting as much attention as Sid and Ovechkin.

  3. Have to go with Lecavalier… he’s carrying the Lightning and is a vertiable one-man wrecking crew. Iginla would be a close second, the guy is about as close to “clutch” as can be.

  4. I think we may have to go with Iginla. He’s the captain of that team and when you watch the Flames play, he seems to hold that intangible “prescence” when he is out on the ice. He is a fantastic scorer and gets teammates involved as well. Also, he is big and tough, unafraid to join the scrap or even drop the gloves when he “has to” (although I am sure Flames ownership and managment holds their breath whenever he does). He is not the one man crew of Lecavalier or Ovechkin, but he continues to be either the best player on the ice, or part of making someone else the best player, night in and night out… And though I DESPISE the Red Wings, Lidstrom makes a great case as well… dammit…

  5. Offense
    Iginla, Lecavalier, Brind’Amour, Thorton, Sakic

    Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Pronger

    Brodeur, Luongo

  6. The best player in the NHL is Henrik Zetterberg of the Wings. He’s missed 6 games due to back spasms and still is #6 on the points leaders and #5 in goals. In most games he plays he’s the most dominant player on the ice, both ways. If not him, it’s Niklas Lidstrom.

  7. Mark,
    You can’t say Zetterberg is the best player in the league just because he has lots of points and is playing for a good team. The Wings can win easily without him. If you were looking in terms of points per game Jason Spezza would be the best player in the league with 49 points in 33 games, three less points than Zetterberg in three less games.

  8. Ralph, what are you saying?? I’ve been mistaken several times for Sidney Crosby while Doug is a dead ringer for Zedeno Chara!

  9. Lacky – I can say it and I did say it, in my opinion Zetterberg is the best two-way player in the NHL. This has nothing to do with the fact that he plays on the most dominate team in the league and that the Wings can win with or without him. He’s dominant against opposing teams while playing in Detroit and he’d be dominate against opposing teams if he played anywhere. I’m assuming they don’t play hockey in Crocodile-land…

  10. Lacky – Crikey! Thanks for the continuing comments. I’ve noticed all by myself that no one agrees with me (Zetterberg)and it really breaks me up but somehow, someway, I’ll find a way to go on.

  11. Just a *correction* on Doug’s comments re: Ilya Kovalchuk from this week’s podcast. He certainly does play defense… now. In the past, he just kinda skated around, but this season he’s evolved into a much more defensively responsible player. He hits, he mucks, he races back for loose pucks… he’ll block a shot if he has to. He does it all now. If you think he doesn’t, you haven’t watched him play lately on a regular basis. His -7 is more indicative of the team he’s on than his personal play.

    He will also throw down for his teammates. I don’t know if he’s ever gotten in a knock-down/drag-out, but he’s never far away from it. He plays with way too much intensity and courage. He scraps, he gets into scrums, he answers with big hits. He’s not just an offensive machine anymore, he’s really grown as an all-around player. He’s the true captain of the Thrashers, and has saved their season from disaster on multiple occasions this year.

    Ilya Kovalchuk has developed into a legitimate well-rounded superstar in this league right there next to Jarome Iginla and Vincent Lecavalier. Believe it.

    -Matt H.
    Athens, GA

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