C: Connor McDavid (128 G, 244 A, 1.30 PPG)
LW: Taylor Hall (132 G, 196 A, 0.86 PPG)
RW: Jordan Eberle (165 G, 217 A, 0.75 PPG)
D: Oscar Klefbom (29 G, 93 A, 0.39 PPG)
D: Darnell Nurse (24 G, 64 A, 0.32 PPG)
G: Cam Talbot (104-95-19, .912 SV% 2.74 GAA)
Coach: Todd McLellan (123-119-24)
- Oilers fans might want to avert their eyes from the collection of talent up front for this All-Decade Team, with Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in reserve.
- As for the rest of the team — well, there are many reasons Connor McDavid has seen the playoffs only once.
C: Sean Monahan (172 G, 191 A, 0.77 PPG)
LW: Johnny Gaudreau (133 G, 254 A, 0.98 PPG)
RW: Jarome Iginla (116 G, 128 A, 0.88 PPG)
D: Mark Giordano (120 G, 297 A, 0.58 PPG)
D: T.J. Brodie (44 G, 203 A, 0.43 PPG)
G: Miikka Kiprusoff (115-88-29, .912 SV%, 2.53 GAA)
Coach: Bob Hartley (134-135-25)
- The decade will be remembered as the end of the Jarome Iginla era for the Flames, and then with the rise of Monahan and Gaudreau as the team’s new standard-bearers in the ensuing seasons.
- The constant, throughout: Norris winner Giordano, who played 720 games for the Flames during the decade.
C: Tyler Seguin (206 G, 258 A, 0.99 PPG)
LW: Jamie Benn (281 G, 368 A, 0.87 PPG)
RW: Alexander Radulov (56 G, 88 A, 0.95 PPG)
D: John Klingberg (52 G, 207 A, 0.71 PPG)
D: Alex Goligoski (32 G, 155 A, 0.49 PPG)
G: Kari Lehtonen (216-150-50, .912 SV%, 2.63 GAA)
Coach: Lindy Ruff (165-122-41)
- Two tough calls here.
- The first is on right wing, where Radulov has just 152 games in Dallas. But the alternatives were Brett Ritchie (241), Valeri Nichushkin (223, somehow) and Ales Hemsky (166).
- So out of that group, Radulov had the most impact.
- Then there was the other defenseman besides Klingberg.
- A case could be made for Trevor Daley (417 games) and perhaps Stephane Robidas (310 games), but the nod here goes to Goligoski.
C: Henrik Sedin (131 G, 479 A, 0.89 PPG)
LW: Daniel Sedin (214 G, 365 A, 0.87 PPG)
RW: Alex Burrows (143 G, 138 A, 0.53 PPG)
D: Alexander Edler (75 G, 233 A, 0.48 PPG)
D: Kevin Bieksa (31 G, 107 A, 0.37 PPG)
G: Roberto Luongo (137-73-28, .918 SV%, 2.38 GAA)
Coach: Alain Vigneault (202-108-30)
- What a start to the decade for the Canucks. Henrik won the Hart.
- Daniel was a runner-up the next season, and the Canucks played for the Stanley Cup for the second time in franchise history in an instant classic series (that involved Burrows feasting on Patrice Bergeron, quite literally).
- While Chris Tanev and Dan Hamhuis both played more games with the Canucks than did Bieksa, there’s no question he most personified the Canucks’ aesthetic during his time in Vancouver.
6.Tampa Bay Lightning
C: Steven Stamkos (370 G, 350 A, 1.08 PPG)
LW: Alex Killorn (105 G, 156 A, 0.50 PPG)
RW: Nikita Kucherov (188 G, 274 A, 1.03 PPG)
D: Victor Hedman (94 G, 324 A, 0.60 PPG)
D: Anton Stralman (29 G, 101 A, 0.37 PPG)
G: Ben Bishop (222-131-64, .921 SV%, 2.28 GAA)
Coach: Jon Cooper (305-159-44)
- One of the toughest calls of the decade: Martin St. Louis, the personification of the Lightning entering the decade, vs. Kucherov, who captured the Hart Trophy last season, on right wing.
- We’ll give Kucherov the nod here because of his role in the Jon Cooper era and because his final year of the decade probably puts him over the top.
- But that 1.11 points-per-game average for the Hall of Famer St. Louis can’t be taken lightly.
5. San Jose Sharks
C: Joe Thornton (148 G, 488 A, 0.87 PPG)
LW: Patrick Marleau (232 G, 240 A, 0.76 PPG)
RW: Joe Pavelski (297 G, 337 A, 0.84 PPG)
D: Brent Burns (143 G, 323 A, 0.79 PPG)
D: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (56 G, 179 A, 0.33)
G: Antti Niemi (163-92-35, .917 SV%, 2.40 GAA)
Coach: Peter DeBoer (183-113-32)
- One of the criteria for the All-Decade teams was that we weren’t going to cheat when it came to positions.
- Well, the Sharks make that a little difficult when a half-dozen of their best players are listed as center but also saw copious amounts of time on the wing.
- That established, we’ll treat Marleau as a left wing, Pavelski as a right wing, and slot them with Jumbo.
- Niemi had better numbers than Martin Jones, if not the Stanley Cup Final appearance.
C: Nicklas Backstrom (195 G, 521 A, 0.98 PPG)
LW: Alex Ovechkin (439 G, 352 A, 1.04 PPG)
RW: T.J. Oshie (102 G, 106 A, 0.71 PPG)
D: John Carlson (90 G, 313 A, 0.59 PPG)
D: Karl Alzner (18 G, 112 A, 0.20 PPG)
G: Braden Holtby (257-108-40, .918 SV%, 2.47 GAA)
Coach: Barry Trotz (205-89-34)
- It feels a little odd having Alzner on this list, seeing as how everyone else contributed to the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup win in franchise history in 2018 (and the infamous revelry that followed).
- But his run with the Capitals made him one of the most effective shutdown defenders in the league and an essential partner for Carlson.
- His 561 games played were fourth most for the decade.
- Injuries, and an ill-conceived free-agent contract with Montreal, sullied his rep.
- Maybe there’s a Matt Niskanen argument to be made, but Alzner gets his name here, even if it’s not on the much more important list that’s engraved on the Cup.
C: Patrice Bergeron (241 G, 334 A, 0.81 PPG)
LW: Brad Marchand (262 G, 297 A, 0.82 PPG)
RW: David Pastrnak (132 G, 152 A, 0.89 PPG)
D: Zdeno Chara (96 G, 227 A, 0.45 PPG)
D: Torey Krug (58 G, 230 A, 0.62 PPG)
G: Tuukka Rask (262-149-57, .921 SV%, 2.28 GAA)
Coach: Claude Julien (325-198-72)
- Rask or Tim Thomas?
- That’s really the only debate to be had here.
- Thomas won a Vezina Trophy, the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe in the past decade, but was off the team by 2012.
- Rask was the primary goalie for the decade, won two conference titles while the crease was his, as well as a Vezina.
- The highest high of the decade was provided by Thomas.
- But the decade belonged to Tuukka.
C: Sidney Crosby (314 G, 505 A, 1.25 PPG)
LW: Chris Kunitz (162 G, 208 A, 0.67 PPG)
RW: Phil Kessel (110 G, 303 A, 0.92 PPG)
D: Kris Letang (94 G, 347 A, 1.25 PPG)
D: Brooks Orpik (7 G, 70 A, 0.24 PPG)
G: Marc-Andre Fleury (264-131-42, .915 sv%, 2.44 GAA)
Coach: Mike Sullivan (174-92-34)
- Don’t worry, Evgeni Malkin is used to being snubbed from all-time lists by now.
C: Jonathan Toews (269 G, 363 A, 0.87 PPG)
LW: Patrick Sharp (158 G, 210 A, 0.77 PPG)
RW: Patrick Kane (310 G, 486 A, 1.07 PPG)
D: Duncan Keith (67 G, 338 A, 0.60 PPG)
D: Brent Seabrook (74 G, 272 A, 0.45 PPG)
G: Corey Crawford (243-140-49, .918 SV%, 2.41 GAA)
Coach: Joel Quenneville (407-227-85)
- Whether the Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cups in six years connotes a “dynasty” in a salary-cap world will always be up for debate.
- What’s not up for debate: that these six players are the best of the decade for Chicago for their respective positions.
- Remember, Brent Seabrook was a heck of a defenseman before he became a salary-cap albatross.