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NHL on TSN Quiz: Who is the NHL's best defenceman?

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TSN.ca Staff
2/1/2012 9:52:08 PM
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Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

Is it time the NHL Situation Room was empowered to have the final word on all goal/non-goal calls related to goalie interference?

Darren Dreger: Yes. Above all else it protects the integrity of the on-ice officials. All good goals should count. There is too much at stake in the playoff races for a good goal to turn bad.

Marc Crawford: No. I coached and lived through the toe-in-the-crease era, all the fans remember that. The referees by and large get most of the calls right. Otherwise, if we did this we'd have four-hour games. I am maybe in favour of one coach's review.

Aaron Ward: Yes. The momentum of the game to the big picture of a team making the playoffs, every point counts. We have the technology right now, somebody just has to take the initiative to do so. I'm pretty sure you'd have a lineup of Phoenix and Toronto supporting this initiative right now.

Which will be the busiest Canadian team over the next 27 days?

Ward: Edmonton. They have a lot of complementary pieces that may entice some teams around the NHL. But more importantly, Ales Hemsky, put in a situation where he can excel, he's motivated and sees the light, I think he could be a game-changer for some team around the league.

Dreger: Toronto because of the needs and assets and the balance in there. Toronto needs, or at least Brian Burke says Toronto needs, another top-six forward and they have the assets like Nazem Kadri, Keith Aulie, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson, go down the list.

Crawford: Edmonton. I do think they have all those pieces that teams will want. They are a young team and anybody who is not in that young core group should be available. I think even names like Nikolai Khabibulin and potentially even Ryan Smyth if he waives his no-trade clause.

Question: Who is the NHL's best defenceman?

Crawford: Chara. He leads the league with a plus-25. He plays over 25 minutes a game. He may be the toughest guy to play against, and he's certainly the toughest defenceman in the league. He does it all.

Dreger: Letang. It's because of his impact and we've seen it dating back to November on the winning stretch of the Penguins. If you look back at their nine-game point streak, Letang is a big factor in all of that. He feeds the superstars and because of how well he plays the game both ways, he's my pick.

Ward: Chara. Stats aside, awards aside, Stanley Cup aside. This is the most dominant player, let alone being a defenceman. He effects change just simply by imposing his will on a game. He has a shot that makes you cringe, unparralelled physicality and he has great game sense.

Question: Rank the following four blossoming stars in order of how good you project them to become: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Seguin, John Tavares.

Dreger: 1. Nugent-Hopkins 2. Seguin 3. Tavares 4. Hall.

Ward: 1. Seguin 2. Nugent-Hopkins 3. Tavares 4. Hall

Crawford: 1. Nugent-Hopkins 2. Seguin 3. Hall 4. Tavares

Zdeno Chara (Photo: Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
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