Hello from downtown Los Angeles, where Lindsay and I are preparing for the ceremony honoring the top 100 players in NHL history. The first 33 players to be named to “NHL 100,” who played during the original 50 years of the National Hockey League, were announced earlier this month and are listed at the bottom of the page.
In advance of the remaining 67 players to be revealed, members of the Los Angeles Kings broadcasting crew met to come up with our own list, which we’re interested to match against the NHL’s.
We used a judging process that was likely different from the league’s. (The NHL’s panel also probably did not meet at a Newark Airport hotel bar over pints and wings to come up with their list.) Sitting around in a circle, members of the Kings traveling party were allowed to nominate any player that hadn’t been named to the original list of 33. Moving clockwise around the table, the next member of the broadcast crew, in sequence, voted either “Yea” or “Nay” to the name announced. If any one person voted Nay – even if there was otherwise unanimous support – the name was placed on a list for secondary evaluation. Those who received unanimous support are listed as such below.
For the players who made it to the secondary evaluation, a simple majority of Yea votes placed them on the top 100 list until 38 forwards, 21 defensemen and eight goaltenders filled out the 67 available slots. In retrospect, there were some omissions that were mistakes. (See: List filled out over pints of beer.) Roberto Luongo in place of Billy Smith was one that, later on the road trip, was referenced as a selection that would likely have warranted a chin-scratching emoji.
Enough talking. The list as compiled by members of the Kings broadcast crew is below. The event will be broadcast live from Microsoft Theater inside L.A. Live on Friday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet and TVAS in Canada.
Unanimous: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Marcel Dionne, Steve Yzerman, Mike Bossy, Mark Messier, Brett Hull, Jari Kurri, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Teemu Selanne, Bryan Trottier, Phil Esposito, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Guy Lafleur
Second Wave: Luc Robitaille, Peter Forsberg, Ron Francis, Joe Sakic, Mike Modano, Sergei Fedorov, Bobby Clarke, Gilbert Perreault, Pavel Bure, Dale Hawerchuk, Peter Stastny, Joe Thornton, Doug Gilmour, Darryl Sittler, Mats Sundin, Patrick Kane, Jean Ratelle, Pavel Datsyuk, Adam Oates, Jonathan Toews, Evgeni Malkin
Unanimous: Bobby Orr, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson, Brian Leetch, Denis Potvin
Second Wave: Borje Salming, Serge Savard, Brad Park, Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Al MacInnis, Chris Chelios, Chris Pronger, Zdeno Chara, Drew Doughty, Rob Blake, Pierre Pilote, Mark Howe, Duncan Keith
Unanimous: Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek
Second Wave: Tony Esposito, Grant Fuhr, Ken Dryden, Roberto Luongo, Bernie Parent
First 33, in alphabetical order: Sid Abel, Syl Apps, Andy Bathgate, Jean Beliveau, Max Bentley, Toe Blake, Johnny Bower, Turk Broda, Johnny Bucyk, King Clancy, Charlie Conacher, Alex Delvecchio, Bill Durnan, Bernie Geoffrion, Glenn Hall, Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Gordie Howe, Red Kelly, Ted Kennedy, Dave Keon, Elmer Lach, Ted Lindsay, Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore, Howie Morenz, Jacques Plante, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Terry Sawchuk, Milt Schmidt, Eddie Shore, Georges Vezina