Who is the best player in the nhl?

As long as there’s been hockey, there’s been the question of whose the best. In the 80s and 90s it was Lemieux vs Gretzky. Before that you had Plante vs Sawchuk, LaFluer vs Rocket Richard, the list goes on. Now in the modern era there is another battle for the title of best, the only difference is this could be the first 5 way battle for the best as far as pure talent and ability go. Three of them reside in Pennsylvania, causing one of the most heated rivalries hockey has seen in years. This would of course be Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, and Evgeni Malkin. Alex Ovechkin is playing in our nations capital, and did have a fierce rivalry with Crosby that hasn’t been the same since Crosbys injuries and Ovechkins new found struggles to score. The last is someone you might not expect, he’s not in a hockey market, and last year, he wasn’t even on a winning team. It is lethal goal scorer Steven Stamkos.

There are some big differences between these players, Crosby is one of the most interesting in the league, from a fans standpoint, you either love him or hate him. He is often criticized for diving and being cheap. He has the best hockey sense we’ve seen in decades. Probably most comparable to Gretzky for his ability to make players around him better and to make something happen out of nothing.

Crosby’s teammate Evgeni Malkin is an interesting player. He has had knee issues, and only seems to play up to his potential when Crosby is injured. Malkin wants to be the go to guy. He is also criticized for being cheap, and in the past people have questioned his effort.

Claude Giroux is one of the newest stars in the league. A member of the Flyers, he is a tough player, with tremendous offensive ability and is a game changer. He is right in the middle of the Pittsburgh Philadelphia rivalry. He can be borderline dirty/cheap, something the fans in Philly love. Some in Philly consider him the modern eras Bobby Clarke.

Alex Ovechkin has oodles of pure goal scoring ability, and absolutely loves scoring goals. In the last 2 years his production has rapidly declined, and he is now heavily criticized for a lack of effort and leadership. Possibly the most physical of the 5 players, he is also the most explosive, dynamic player when on top of his game.

Steven Stamkos isn’t often thought of as one of the best players in the world, mostly due to playing in Tampa Bay, where he doesn’t get a lot of exposure to the hockey world, another interesting thing about Stamkos is he and his team don’t seem to have a big rivalry with any teams. Nonetheless he is an amazing player who can score from anywhere on the ice, is already a leader on the team, and is one of the hardest workers, and fittest players in the league. After a disappointing rookie season he exploded onto the scene and hasn’t looked back. You can try as hard as you can but you wont find anybody that can say something negative about him.

The debate is still wide open, and we won’t know for another 15-20 years who is the best of this decade, But my money is on Stamkos. He has shown amazing consistancy, and his fitness level will allow him to play for a long, long time. It should also reduce his injuries, something that Crosby, and Malkin have already had problems with. Claude Giroux will probably end up with quite a few injuries too, as he plays a physical game and isn’t scared to get in there and throw his weight around. Ovechkin would be at the top of the list but has shown difficulty adapting to new systems and coaches, leadership and work ethic issues, and has been inconsistent.

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Rick DiPietro Jokes

Rick DiPietro finally got off the injured reserve, and, being the injury prone player that he is, there’s bound to be jokes. Since 2008 hes played 47 games, and has a long contract to go with it. So, in honor of him getting off the IR, here are a few Rick DiPietro jokes

Rick DiPietro walked into a bar and got injured

Hearing the news that he got off the IR injured him again

The Islanders wanted DiPietro to play 82 games with them. So they signed him to a 15 year contract

While looking over the paperwork on his contract DiPietro got a papercut and suffered a torn tendon

IR stands for Injured Rick

The Law of DiPietro: What can break will break

Tomorrows headline: DiPietro Injured again

This Guys seen more injuries than a hospital

He has his own personal room at the hospital

On a serious note, this guy had the potential to become an amazing goalie. Here’s hoping he can get his career back on track

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Rick DiPietro is taken off the injured reserve list

Go ahead, make your jokes, but don’t expect too much from DiPietro. For one, he is about as fragile as they come, and he also will have to compete with Evgeni Nabokov for starts. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, this could just be a move to get over the cap. His 4.5 million cap hit should help them get over the floor, which is expected to be around 50 million. The Islanders currently sit at 47 million, and it would get them over or close to over the cap. As always, don’t expect a lot from DiPietro, he could very well lose the starting job to a aging Russian goaltender.

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Pk Subban and his new contract offer

According to TSN, Montreal Canadians defenseman PK Subban has been offered a 2 year, 5.5 Million dollar deal. It is believed that Subbans camp wants a longer term than two years. Seems pretty standard right? Well now Montreal journalist L.A. Lariviere reports that according to Subbans agent, those reports are false. So now it appears as though were back to square one regarding Subban signing with the Canadians. There have been rumors circulating online saying that the Flyers could make a play for Subban.  20 million over 5 years is assumed to be in the ballpark for what Subban is looking for.

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A Look Ahead To Hockey In The 2014 Winter Olympics

Watching the summer Olympics, i cant help but think about the next winter Olympics, which to me is all that matters. The arguably biggest event in the Winter Olympics is always hockey, and the biggest question in hockey is always “who will put the team on their back and carry them all the way?”

You always are going to have your favorites to win, The Canadians, The Swedes, The Americans, The Russians, and The Finns. The Canadians and Americans finished first and second in 2010. The Americans rode on the back of the incredible goaltending of Ryan Miller, and the surprise 8 point performance of defenseman Brian Rafalski. The Canadians had a powerhouse team with balanced scoring, they had five players in the top ten for tournament scoring. Slovakia was somewhat of a surprise as they finished fourth, and were led by Marion Hossa and Pavel Demitra who led the tournament in scoring.

This time around there will be just as many surprises, and players will become household names as they lead their team to victory. Here are my top five teams, who will carry their team, and where they will finish.

Finish: 1st

Team USA – The Americans have started to show just how good they can be in international events at all age groups. The player who will carry the team is going to be Jonathan Quick, and if he plays as well as he can Team USA will make a push for first. The emergence of Zack Parise and Ryan Suter, along with the improvement of the returning core from 2010 give them a great chance for a medal.

Finish: 2nd

Team Canada – The powerhouse that is Canada will no doubt challenge for first. They have top flight talent in Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, and Drew Doughty. They will lose some of their old leadership group, as Scott Neidermayer, Chris Pronger, and Brendan Morrow will not compete in 2014. Dan Boyle, Jerome Iginla, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau could end up retired and not playing by then. Due to the possibility of losing up to 7 players from the last team, The Canadians will have a different, younger look. Steven Stamkos will carry the team with his blistering shot and incredible offensive instinct.

Finnish: 3rd

Team Sweden – The Swedes will still have King Henrik in net and if this team medals he will be a big reason. They will still have The Sedins, Zetterberg and the addition of Erik Karlsson will make this a dangerous offensive team. Defense wont be as strong as other teams in tourney. As with any team he plays for, The King Henrik Lundqvist will carry this team.

Finish: 4th

Team Slovakia – The Slovaks will compete for a medal, although they wont have enough to push them over the top. They will still have team anchor Zdeno Chara, along with pressure player Jaroslav Halak, brothers Marion and Marcel Hossa, and sniper Marion Gaborik. Despite this they wont have the scoring help they got from Pavel Demitra (R.I.P) and not much help beyond those players named. The guy who will carry his team will be Marion Hossa, he finished second in tournament scoring in 2010, and will once again be a big help to his team.

Finish: 5th

Team Russia – The Russians will once again have firepower, but on that team there will be too many offensive players and nothing else. When you build a team you need more than just a team of shooters. They will lack role players and toughness. As of now Bryzgalov is a question mark in goal, and the young Semyon Varlamov is promising but we don’t know if he’ll be ready in 2014. Perennial Hart contender Evgeni Malkin will carry the team, but he wont be enough.

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Tobias Enstrom Signs 5 year deal with the Winnipeg Jets

Undersized Swedish defenseman Tobias Enstrom signs a 5 year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. Terms of the deal have not yet been announced, but it will be a raise from his previous contract which was 3.75million. He is expected to make around 4.25-5million in this new contract. Last year Enstrom had 33 points in 62 games, his 33 points were second most for defenseman on the team. Next year the Jets are poised to make a playoff push, and Enstrom will be an important piece of that push, he will be a major part of the powerplay and a leader in the lockerroom.

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Blackhawks need goalie and 2nd line center, could canucks help?

I was reading some stories online today about how the Blackhawks need a second line center, and they need a goaltender. To me if the hawks are going to swing a trade for a goalie, why not try picking up a center as well? So i started playing around on capgeek and came up with a crazy trade that would work for both teams, more so for the Blackhawks maybe, where the hawks offer up Nicklas Hjalmarsson, David Bolland, Ray Emery, and a 1st for Bobby Lou and Ryan Kesler. Now i realize there is no way this ever happens, but speculation can be fun. And who knows? Kesler had a down year, and the addition of Hjalmarsson would give the Canucks one of the best defenses in the league. It sure would make for another exciting playoff series should they meet.

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