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Your Call: Where does Lidstrom rank on the all-time list?

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TSN.ca Staff
5/30/2012 5:33:16 PM
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With Nicklas Lidstrom expected to announce his retirement on Thursday, the discussion undoubtedly turns to his position amongst the greatest defencemen of all-time.

No one has achieved as much as Lidstrom since the turn of the 21st century, with the Swede winning seven Norris Trophies over his last 11 seasons.

But how do his numbers and achievements stack up against the all-time greats?

Any discussion of the game's top defencemen usually leads to the same trio: Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey and Eddie Shore. These three players have long been thought of as the standard-bearers for blue line play, but a number of elite defencemen from the past 40 years have crept up into consideration near the top of the all-time list.

For your consideration, here are the raw numbers on some of the top modern rearguards:

Nicklas Lidstrom: 1,564 games played, 264 goals, 1,142 points, 10-time First-Team All-Star, two-time Second-Team All-Star, seven Norris Trophies, four Stanley Cups, Conn Smythe Trophy, Olympic gold medal.

Ray Bourque: 1,612 games played, 410 goals, 1,579 points, 13-time First-Team All-Star, six-time Second-Team All-Star, five Norris Trophies, two Canada Cups, Stanley Cup.

Larry Robinson: 1,384 games played, 208 goals, 958 points, three-time First-Team All-Star, three-time Second-Team All-Star, two Norris Trophies, six Stanley Cups, two Canada Cups.

Denis Potvin: 1,060 games played, 310 goals, 1,052 points, five-time First-Team All-Star, two-time Second-Team All-Star, three Norris Trophies, four Stanley Cups, Conn Smythe Trophy, Canada Cup.

Paul Coffey: 1,409 games played, 396 goals, 1,531 points, four-time First-Team All-Star, four-time Second-Team All-Star, three-time Norris Trophy winner, four Stanley Cups, three Canada Cups.

Alongside these five are perennial All-Stars and trophy-winners such as Chris Chelios, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Leetch, gritty leaders like Scott Stevens, Chris Pronger and Rob Blake, high-scorers like Al McInnis and Larry Murphy as well as legends from the 1960s and 70s like Red Kelly, Brad Park and Borje Salming.

All this to say nothing of the likes of Serge Savard, King Clancy, Pierre Pilotte amongst countless other candidates.

So where does Lidstrom rank?

As always, it's Your! Call.

Nicklas Lidstrom (Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
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