NBC Butchers List of Top 10 Players of The 2010's




Players of the Decade or Snub of the Century?

The 2010’s have been an eventful decade for the NHL. This decade has featured the 2012 half season lockout, the unlikely emergence of the Vegas Golden Knights, and the league’s decision to not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.


In addition to these watershed junctures, many great players engraved their name on the Stanley Cup and cemented themselves as legends in the history books. Adam Gretz (@AGretz) of NBC Sports listed the top 10 NHL players of the 2010’s, but this list is missing elite names that have been completely disregarded.

Gretz’s list of Top 10 Players of the 2010’s

1. Sidney Crosby; Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Alexander Ovechkin; Washington Capitals
3. Erik Karlsson; Ottawa Senators / San Jose Sharks
4. Patrice Bergeron; Boston Bruins
5. Connor McDavid; Edmonton Oilers
6. Evgeni Malkin; Pittsburgh Penguins
7. Henrik Lundqvist; New York Rangers
8. Anze Kopitar; Los Angeles Kings
9. Steven Stamkos; Tampa Bay Lightening
10. Zdeno Chara; Boston Bruins

The Chicago Blackhawks were Stanley Cup Champions in 2010, 2013, and 2015. This list fails to mention any of the members of these rosters. Moreover, Gretz lists goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the sensational Connor McDavid, both of whom are incredible talents and ‘would be’ honourable mentions, but some elites have been snubbed from the list who have dominated for the entire decade.

Snubbed

1. Patrick Kane
Ever heard of him? During the 2010’s, Patrick Kane won 3 Stanley Cups, one of which he scored the clinching goal in overtime, and was also named an NHL All-Star on 7 occasions. Other personal accolades include the Conn Smythe Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Hart Memorial Trophy, and the Art Ross Trophy. He scored 310 goals and 486 assists for a combined 796 Points between the 2009-10 and 2018-19 seasons. Its hard to believe Kane was snubbed from this list considering his statistics and individual achievements could arguably have him listed in the top 3 players of the decade. Gretz lists off ice issues as his reason for excluding Kane, but he has grown as a professional since his 2009 incident. Moreover, other off ice accusations never came to fruition and were deemed to be untrue and a ploy to injure his reputation as a person and a professional. This list is meaningless without Kane; plain and simple.

2. Marc-Andre Fleury

The 1st overall pick in the 2003 draft, Marc-Andre Fleury remains to be a dominate force in the league. Fleury added to his ring collection when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, after being selected in the 2018 expansion draft, The Flower quarterbacked the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. Some may argue that it was the effort of Matt Murray that aided the Penguins in their 2016 cup run, but Fleury was sidelined by post-concussion syndrome until game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. During the regular season, he won 35 of 58 games and finished with a 0.921 save percentage. Gretz failed to even list Fleury as an honourable mention? It’s hard to imagine a list where any goalie, including King Henrik Lundqvist, earns a spot before Marc-Andre Fleury.

3. Nicklas Backstrom

Its forgivable to overlook Backstrom’s elite defensive play as these statistics are not as popularized as offensive production. However, it is not forgivable to overlook his current streak of 50+ assists during the last 6 seasons, each of which he recorded a minimum of 70 points. It is noteworthy that Backstrom has not yet won any awards or trophies for his individual efforts, but he played an essential role in the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup win. This play-maker is often overlooked because he lives within the shadow of Alexander Ovechkin, but his consistent production demands he be named as a Top 10 player of the decade.

4. Johnathon Toews

Captain Serious has ignited the City of Chicago and has played a steadfast role in their generational dynasty. Along with Patrick Kane, Toews is arguably the biggest snub from the Top 10 Players of the Decade list. Toews’ personal hardware includes the Frank Selke Trophy, which he won in 2013. He also lead the Blackhawks to 3 Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015, and joined exclusive company when he won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal in the same year. These aforementioned achievements are also accompanied by 5 All-Star appearances throughout this decade. If Johnathon Toews isn’t on your list, crumple it up and start again.

5. Duncan Keith

Yes, another Blackhawk. Duncan Keith’s production has dropped in the last two regular season contests, but his decades’ accomplishments can be paralleled with the NHL’s greatest of all time. He’s named as an NHL All-Star 3 times, which seems mediocre in comparison to the company on this list. However, he won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2010 and 2014, the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015, 3 Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015, as well as two Gold Medals with Team Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. Which elite talent should be on this list; Keith or Karlsson?

Unpopular Discussion

Arguably the best player in the NHL at the present time is Connor McDavid. From his rookie debut in 2015 to the end of the 2019 regular season, he has scored 128 goals and 244 assists, for a total of 372 points in just 287 games played. These statistics are also accompanied by 3 All-Star appearances, and winning the Art Ross Trophy in 2017 and 2018, Hart Memorial Trophy in 2017, and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2017 and 2018. McDavid presently holds the league lead with 62 points in just 40 games. He is an incredible talent and will be a franchise player for another decade at least. But, the question remains; should McDavid be excluded from this list because he has only played in 4 NHL seasons in this decade, or should his incredible and unprecedented achievements in such a short period of time cement his name at the top of this list?

1. Who do you think is the biggest snub on this list? Did we miss any?

2. Should McDavid be exempt from the list or should he be at the top?

3. Should Anze Kopitar make room for some of these snubs, or is he deserving?

Tell us what you think in the comment section!


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