Evgeni Malkin: Not a good ol' Canadian boy
If you've been paying attention to the best of lists that the NHL Network has been putting out in recent months then you really can't be surprised that the NHL made some really poor choices with their 100 best players list last night.
This is how you end up with one of the best players of all-time being off such a list. Apparently this group of people got together and saw it fit to leave Evgeni Malkin off
Malkin wasn't the only glaring omission (Thornton, Lundqvist, Chara, Hossa), but this is a Penguins blog after all so we will focus there.
Evgeni Malkin is one of four players to win the Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe, Art Ross Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and the Calder Trophy. The others are Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Patrick Kane.
Evgeni Malkin is the 14th ranked player of all-time in points per game at 1.18. He is the second best points per game player among active players. Only Sidney Crosby is better at 1.33.
Ten years ago Evgeni Malkin wanted to play in the NHL so badly that he had to pull off a James Bondesque escape from Russia to join the league. If he was a good ol' Canadian boy he would be a folk hero and on a top 50 list let alone a top 100 list.
Real Canadian folk hero and human being extraordinaire Jonathan Toews was on the list. How could he not be? He with all of one season above 70 points and no scoring titles or MVP's. His inclusion on the list is idiotic.
This I will say and it does need to be said. It isn't his fault. He is a great player. He should be praised as a great player. The problem is people who are bad at analyzing hockey hijacked him for their own personal narratives and have beat it to death. This has in turn caused educated hockey fans to slightly turn on the idea of Toews being a great player. People are just sick of hearing about the falsehoods that Toews is one of the best ever. He is a great player who played on even better teams which led to an impressive run of Stanley Cups. We can leave it at that, but some can't and it has created an undeserved toxic environment surrounding Toews discussions.
Somebody had fun with Photoshop, but I wish it had actually happened.
Parts of the list from last night were stupid, but the overall event was great given that it brought all of these legends together
The two best pure goal scorers of all time got together for a photo
Mario spoke about Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and yes Jaromir Jagr.
As far as I know here is the first time somebody from the Penguins organization has referenced Jaromir Jagr and his number being retired
It belongs up there. It will eventually be up there.
Jagr praised SId
It was awesome to see those former Penguins greats get together. It was even better to see the entire collection of hockey talent in one room.
Tonight will be the skills competition. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading!