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NHL: All-Time Face of the Franchise


worcat

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  • Anaheim Ducks - Paul Kariya
  • Boston Bruins - Bobby Orr
  • Buffalo Sabres - Pat Lafontaine
  • Calgary Flames - Jerome Iginla
  • Carolina Hurricanes - Ron Francis
  • Chicago Blackhawks - Bobby Hull
  • Colorado Avalanche - Joe Sakic
  • Columbus Blue Jackets - Rick Nash
  • Dallas Stars - Mike Modano
  • Detroit Red Wings - Gordie Howe
  • Edmonton OIlers - Wayne Gretzky
  • Florida Panthers - John Vanbiesbrouck
  • Los Angeles Kings - Luc Robitaille
  • Minnesota Wild - Marian Gaborik
  • Montreal Canadiens - Maurice Richard
  • Nashville Predators - David Legwand
  • New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur
  • New York Islanders - Mike Bossy
  • New York Rangers - Mark Messier
  • Ottawa Senators - Daniel Alfredsson
  • Philadelphia Flyers - Bobby Clarke
  • Phoenix Coyotes - Keith Tkachuk
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - Mario Lemieux
  • St. Louis Blues - Brett Hull
  • San Jose Sharks - Owen Nolan
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin
  • Vancouver Canucks - Pavel Bure
  • Washington Capitals - Peter Bondra
  • Winnepeg Jets - Teemu Selanne*

*Original Jets, current franchise is too new to have an established player.

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I'd argue for Selanne over Kariya with Anaheim. Kariya may have been the first franchise star, but the manner in which he left the team left a lot of fans bitter, a few of which still hate him today - not including me, for the record. Teemu Selanne on the other hand holds a majority of the Ducks' franchise records, leading the Ducks in just about everything except penalty minutes and shorthanded goals. Not to mention he's beaten Paul Kariya out by a long shot in terms of his tenure with the team and his popularity.

Sure, Selanne was popular with the Jets when he was there, and you can't deny he had a fantastic rookie season there. But in the grand scheme of things, he wasn't really around all that long. I'd say Bobby Hull for Winnipeg instead, but you've also got him with Chicago. And I really don't know enough about the Blackhawks history to suggest someone else.

For Anaheim, you could also pick J.S. Giguere. Two Stanley Cup Finals, with a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup to his name, also a holder of most of the Ducks goaltending franchise records.

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I only picked Kariya for this exact situation. If I replaced Kariya with Selanne, i'd have to use Hull for the Jets. Leaving a void for the Blackhawks. Would I pick Dennis Savard to replace Hull?

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I'd actually pick Guy Hebert as the face of the Ducks, not Paul Kariya. Kariya did have a good run with the Mighty Ducks, but his career was marked by injuries and failed expectations (he didn't really leave the team on the best of terms either). Hebert, on the other hand, was the first Mighty Ducks player (first pick in the expansion draft) and spent a large portion of his career with the Ducks. Hebert was on of their first true "star players".

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The beauty of these lists is that we can argue forever without really coming to a conclusion. Everyone has their own opinion, and their own favorite players. For example, by picking Gordie Howe for the Red Wings, you leave out such legends like Terry Sawchuck, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lindstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk.

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I agree. Lists like these are an open forum for debates. Just trying to get a general vote of what people agree with.

For the blues as a fan, I'd say Hull first for sure, then Bernie. The debate for every team is endless. The newer teams like the Wild, Predators, Jackets is where it gets tricky.

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I wouldn't really argue Columbus or Minnesota are tricky; Nash and Gaborik come to mind much faster than anybody else. I mean, who would be #2 for the Jackets? I guess Pascal Leclaire and Nikolay Zherdev come to mind. For Minnesota, maybe their goalie duo of Roloson and Fernandez from 10+ years ago? Certainly nothing approaching 40+ goal scorers like Nash and Gaborik were (if Gabbo even scored 40+ in Minny; wouldn't shock me if Lemaire + DPE = 40< goals).

Nashville would be tricky. My answer would have to be Vokoun, I guess. That's from when Nashville had their best actual teams in their history, in those first two years after the 2004-05 lockout.

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I'd argue Joe Sakic for Avalanche and instead give it to Patrick Roy.

Only reason I gave it to Joe is because he played his entire career with Quebec/Colorado

Roy was def a honorable mention

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  • Anaheim Ducks - Paul Kariya
  • Boston Bruins - Bobby Orr
  • Buffalo Sabres - Pat Lafontaine
  • Calgary Flames - Jerome Iginla
  • Carolina Hurricanes - Ron Francis
  • Chicago Blackhawks - Bobby Hull
  • Colorado Avalanche - Joe Sakic
  • Columbus Blue Jackets - Rick Nash
  • Dallas Stars - Mike Modano
  • Detroit Red Wings - Gordie Howe
  • Edmonton OIlers - Wayne Gretzky
  • Florida Panthers - John Vanbiesbrouck
  • Los Angeles Kings - Luc Robitaille
  • Minnesota Wild - Marian Gaborik
  • Montreal Canadiens - Maurice Richard
  • Nashville Predators - David Legwand
  • New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur
  • New York Islanders - Mike Bossy
  • New York Rangers - Mark Messier
  • Ottawa Senators - Daniel Alfredsson
  • Philadelphia Flyers - Bobby Clarke
  • Phoenix Coyotes - Keith Tkachuk
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - Mario Lemieux
  • St. Louis Blues - Brett Hull
  • San Jose Sharks - Owen Nolan
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin
  • Vancouver Canucks - Pavel Bure
  • Washington Capitals - Peter Bondra
  • Winnepeg Jets - Teemu Selanne*

*Original Jets, current franchise is too new to have an established player.

My differences

Sabres Dominick Hasek

Kings Jonathan Quick

Coyotes Shane Doan

Sharks Patrick Marleau

Maple Leafs Tom Horton

Canucks Sedin Twins

Capitals Alex Ovechkin

Jets Dale Hawerchuk

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I only picked Kariya for this exact situation. If I replaced Kariya with Selanne, i'd have to use Hull for the Jets. Leaving a void for the Blackhawks. Would I pick Dennis Savard to replace Hull?

Whatever gymnastics you have to pull, there is no other answer for the Ducks than Teemu.

It can't be Kariya, for how he left the team. Despite his tenure and my personal love for him, it can't be Guy Hebert. The accomplishments just aren't there.

It's Teemu and only Teemu. (To help you out, I'd also agree with Lee with Hawerchuk for Winnipeg. Leave Hull in Chicago.)

For some others:

  • Carolina Hurricanes - Ron Francis, if we're going to pull the Hartford stuff into it, sure. (But that also means you can't split up the Coyotes/Jets) Otherwise if not, you'd have Brinda'mour or Eric Staal
  • Florida Panthers - John Vanbiesbrouck, I mean, I guess so. It's either him, Luongo, Weiss, or maybe even Jovanovski or Bouwmeester. Honestly, this spot is still open. Outside of the 1996 Cup Final team, the Panthers are a history of suck.
  • Minnesota Wild - Marian Gaborik, I don't know. I guess he's the offensive history leader for them until Koivu or Parise eventually pass him up. Minnesota definitely has an identity but no true single standout star. Kramerica suggested goalies like Fernandez, and you could throw Backstom into the conversation. But I guess Gaborik can do for now.
  • Nashville Predators - David Legwand, probably the one place I'd suggest a non-player. Barry Trotz was the face of the Predators. Legwand is a good enough skater choice. Vokoun or Rinne are in the discussion. But Shea Weber is probably the biggest contender for the Predators "face". Legwand is fine, but... David Legwand? Shea Weber has some more "oomph" here, in more ways than one.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin. I've never understood the Sundin/Toronto dynamic. He's a damn good player, but in the down years of the Maple Leafs. I'd offer Doug Gilmour or Wendel Clark. Curtis Joseph has an outside chance, but if it were my list, I'd say Gilmour or Clark.
  • Vancouver Canucks - Pavel Bure, sure. The Sedins are right there too. Maybe throw Luongo into the discussion, but it's either Bure or the Sedins. And I don't pick just one Sedin, because, well, you just can't.
  • Washington Capitals - Peter Bondra. If we go Cup Final era Caps, it's either Bondra or Kolzig. But honestly despite team success for them, wouldn't you have to say it's Alex Ovechkin? He's the biggest star and most dynamic (outside of Jagr) to ever play for the Caps.
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  • Anaheim Ducks - Teemu Selanne
  • Boston Bruins - Bobby Orr
  • Buffalo Sabres - Gilbert Perreault
  • Calgary Flames - Jarome Iginla
  • Carolina Hurricanes - Ron Francis
  • Chicago Blackhawks - Bobby Hull
  • Colorado Avalanche - Joe Sakic
  • Columbus Blue Jackets - Rick Nash
  • Dallas Stars - Mike Modano
  • Detroit Red Wings - Gordie Howe
  • Edmonton OIlers - Wayne Gretzky
  • Florida Panthers - John Vanbiesbrouck
  • Los Angeles Kings - Luc Robitaille
  • Minnesota Wild - Marian Gaborik
  • Montreal Canadiens - Maurice Richard
  • Nashville Predators - Shea Weber
  • New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur
  • New York Islanders - Mike Bossy
  • New York Rangers - Brian Leetch
  • Ottawa Senators - Daniel Alfredsson
  • Philadelphia Flyers - Bobby Clarke
  • Phoenix Coyotes - Keith Tkachuk
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - Mario Lemieux
  • St. Louis Blues - Brett Hull
  • San Jose Sharks - Patrick Marleau
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin
  • Vancouver Canucks - Pavel Bure
  • Washington Capitals - Alex Ovechkin

You could make a serious case for Jean Beliveau for the Habs; and an even more serious case for Stevie Y for the Wings. But I still think Gordie takes it. Also close calls- NYR- Mark Messier/Brian Leetch; Tampa Bay- Lecavalier/St. Louis, but there's a bitterness with Marty at the moment;

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