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Original Six Today


CC97

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If the NHL only had 6 teams today we would see some amazing hockey with rosters stacked with talent.

Anybody ever take a shot at what the 6 rosters would look like today?

I guess an easy format would be to take the top 72 forwards, 36 defencemen, and 12 goaltenders and distribute them.

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Going by Sportsline's Player Rankings...

Top 24 Centres:

1. Joe Thornton, BOS

2. Joe Sakic, COL

3. Olli Jokinen, FLA

4. Robert Lang, DET

5. Mats Sundin, TOR

6. Brad Richards, TB

7. Sergei Fedorov, ANA

8. Daymond Langkow, PHO

9. Brian Rolston, BOS

10. Brendan Morrison, VAN

11. Pavol Demitra, STL

12. Vincent Lecavalier, TB

13. Doug Weight, STL

14. Michal Handzus, PHI

15. Rod Brind'Amour, CAR

16. Bobby Holik, NYR

17. Slava Kozlov, ATL

18. Todd Marchant, CLB

19. Steve Rucchin, ANA

20. Mike Ribeiro, MON

21. Kris Draper, DET

22. Mike York, EDM

23. Jason Arnott, DAL

24. Daniel Briere, BUF

Top 24 Right Wingers:

1. Martin St. Louis, TB

2. Jarome Iginla, CGY

3. Glen Murray, BOS

4. Todd Bertuzzi, VAN

5. Milan Hejduk, COL

6. Steve Sullivan, NSH

7. Shane Doan, PHO

8. Daniel Alfredsson, OTT

9. Jaromir Jagr, NYR

10. Shawn McEachern, ATL

11. Marian Hossa, OTT

11. Bill Guerin, DAL

13. Scott Walker, NSH

14. Miroslav Satan, BUF

15. David Vyborny, CLB

16. Valeri Bure, DAL

17. Alexei Kovalev, MON

18. Martin Havlat, OTT

19. Petr Sykora, ANA

20. Peter Bondra, OTT

21. Brett Hull, DET

22. Radek Dvorak, EDM

23. Erik Cole, CAR

24. Owen Nolan, TOR

Top 24 Left Wingers:

1. Ilya Kovalchuk, ATL

2. Patrik Elias, NJ

3. Cory Stillman, TB

4. Markus Naslund, VAN

5. Alex Tanguay, COL

6. Keith Tkachuk, STL

7. Ryan Smyth, EDM

8. Brenden Morrow, DAL

9. Mike Knuble, BOS

10. Fredrik Modin, TB

11. Mark Recchi, PHI

12. Brendan Shanahan, DET

13. Martin Rucinsky, VAN

14. Jason Blake, NYI

15. Richard Zednik, MON

16. Ladislav Nagy, PHO

17. Vaclav Prospal, ANA

18. Oleg Kvasha, NYI

19. Alexander Frolov, LA

20. Gary Roberts, TOR

21. Steve Konowalchuk, COL

22. Luc Robitaille, LA

23. Ryan Malone, PIT

24. Kirk Maltby, DET

Top 36 Defecemen

1. Zdeno Chara, OTT

2. Adrian Aucoin, NYI

3. Wade Redden, OTT

4. Scott Niedermayer, NJ

5. Mathieu Schneider, DET

6. Nicklas Lidstrom, DET

7. Bryan McCabe, TOR

8. Kim Johnsson, PHI

9. Kenny Jonsson, NYI

10. Dan Boyle, TB

11. Marek Malik, VAN

12. Steve Staios, EDM

13. Jaroslav Modry, LA

14. Lubomir Visnovsky, LA

15. Brad Lukowich, TB

16. Rob Blake, COL

17. Adam Foote, COL

18. Patrice Brisebois, MON

19. Nick Boynton, BOS

20. Tomas Kaberle, TOR

21. Karlis Skrastins, COL

22. Mattias Ohlund, VAN

23. Janne Niinimaa, NYI

24. Mike Rathje, SJ

25. Robyn Regehr, CGY

26. Glen Wesley, CAR

27. Chris Pronger, STL

28. Chris Phillips, OTT

29. Philippe Boucher, DAL

30. Pavel Kubina, TB

31. Eric Weinrich, STL

32. Jordan Leopold, CGY

33. Jason Smith, EDM

34. Scott Hannan, SJ

35. Sergei Zubov, DAL

36. Willie Mitchell, MIN

Top 12 Goaltenders:

1. Martin Brodeur, NJ

2. Marty Turco, DAL

3. Roberto Luongo, FLA

4. David Aebischer, COL

5. Jose Theodore, MON

6. Evgeni Nabokov, SJ

7. Ed Belfour, TOR

8. Kevin Weekes, CAR

9. Andrew Raycroft, BOS

10. Tomas Vokoun, NSH

11. Chris Osgood, STL

Fun!

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The Canadiens would have like 40 cups by now I think they would have Brodeur and would have another dynsaty with Mario Lemeiux in the 90s.

The Leafs would have had a dynsaty in the 80s with Gretzky.

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A lot of the great french players in the league would play in montreal, as would a lot of the ontario players would be playing for toronto.

I believe they had territorial rights back then, which is why a lot of western canadian players played for american teams.

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Chris, I have to disagree about you defensmen list. I think you skipped a few, probably becuase they are hurt right. Although he has a concussion right now and is out I think you put Scott Stevens up on that list, he may be back for the playoffs this year. Also, I would Put Brian Rafalski on that list too, he was an all-star this year, I think he was an all-star last year. Plus he was an olympian for the US in 2002. Both of them are certaintly in the top 36 defensemen.

Other than that your list look pretty good.

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We're leaving out a huge factor here. If there were still only 6 teams it's unlikely that the talent pool would be so rich because a lot of the players on these lists would have never taken up hockey having not been exposed to it and the Europeans likely would have never made it over here because there would be no market for them. There would be plenty of Canadian and American talent to fill 6 rosters and there would likely be no reason for worldwide scouting.

Alas, I don't mean to be a wet blanket on this otherwise fun discussion. Having been formally trained to think pragmatically these things just eat at me and thus I must share the discomfort.

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I have to agree with YH. You would probably have to eliminate a lot of the European talent from the pool.

Also, if the NHL was still a 6-team league, I think the WHA would still be around, possibly as the dominant league. They'd attract a lot of Western Canadian and US talent that would have the opportunity to play in from of their 'home' fans, and would have a greater geographic reach, contributing to a wider fan base.

The Leafs and Canadians would rule the NHL, but the the Oilers, Jets and Fighting Saints would be WHA dyansties, particularly if the WHA had the same territorial rights that the NHL used to enjoy. We'd also still have the Nordiques and Whalers to enjoy!

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It's just the way things were back then. Montreal got first shots at the Quebecois, mainly because of the ethnic conection. Toronto got most of Ontario, although I do think that Detroit got some of South Ontario(Correct me if I'm wrong). New York, Boston, and Chicago relied on trades, westerners, and the players that fell through the cracks (Jean Ratelle comes to mind). Of course, this all had to change with Expansion.

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That seems real fair...

I still think they're on of the best franshises, maybe the best, i terms of tradition, but the fact that they played vs. only five teams and had free shots at the best talent coming outta that area kinda takes away from some of those cups IMO.

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The Yankees pretty much bought whoever they wanted. Does that tarnish their legacy?

Also, many coaches didn't like having French-Canadian players anyway (Thought it disrupted the locker room). It was kinda an us-against-the-world feeling in Montreal: Nos hommes. Most scouts also looked for home town players to try to bring more fans to the building, which was the major factor in the decision to have it. And since the American cities weren't producing players, it was thought of as unfair by Canadian teams that they should be able to get talent produced near them.

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