POLL: Greatest American-Born NHL Player

Even without a big marketing slash, it just may have been Legends Night at Staples Center on Monday.

Two of the greatest players to grace the NHL in the last 30 years played what could be their final games in Los Angeles, center Mike Modano and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

Which leads to the today’s question, is Modano the greatest American-born hockey player of all-time?

Below would be the guys generally considered the seven leading candidates. Ranger fans would probably say Mike Richter should be included, but he’s just a notch below this group. And some will argue for Mike Eruzione (part of the US team that defeated the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics). However, he too is more realistically not part of this elite bunch.

What do you think?

The seven leading candidates in alphabetical order:

Chris Chelios – one of the strongest and most competitive players of the last few decades, maybe ever…won an NCAA championship at Wisconsin…multiple Stanley Cups (1986 Montreal, 2002 and 2008 Detroit)…three-time Norris Trophy winner …played past the age of 45 and was still in better shape than most players in the league…a warrior in every sense of the word…is also a four-time Olympian, captaining Team USA three times…retired last year having played more NHL games than any other American-born player…he missed the playoffs only twice in his long career (and one of those was last year with Atlanta)

Phil Housley – he saw the ice like few others…when you think power play quarterback, think Phil Housley…although he was on the smaller side (5′ 10″, 180 lbs), he played over 1,400 games, spanning 21 seasons and ended his career with 1,232 points. Unfortunately, he retired having played more games than any other player not to have won the Stanley Cup.

Brian Leetch – if Mark Messier was the heart and soul of the 1994 New York Ranger team, Leetch was probably the brain…his 34 points in 23 playoff games earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that year…a two-time Norris Trophy winner and he won the Calder Trophy his rookie season with 23 goals…finished his career with five 20-goal seasons and 1,028 points.

Mike Modano – won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999, but the legend began much earlier…drafted first overall by the Stars as a 17-year old, he was one of the most consistent players of the ’90s…until the last two years, he’s also been one of the most durable players in the game, rarely taking a night off…he’s already the all-time American-born goals and points leader and continues to add to his totals…perhaps what separates him from the other offensive forwards on this list is his strong defensive play…he remains one of the best two-way centers in the game.

Joe Mullen – not being drafted by an NHL team meant nothing to Joe Mullen…he became the first American-born player to score 500 goals and collect 1,000 points…in 17 NHL seasons, with multiple teams, he never missed the playoffs…three Stanley Cups and two Lady Byng Trophies…Mullen got the job done every night.

Jeremy Roenick – While Kings fans will be quick to dismiss him based upon his time in LA, removing that year from the record shows a player just as worthy as anybody else on this list. He’s one of the best power forwards of all-time, showing an amazing blend of grit, speed and skill. There may not have been a tougher player in the league to play against than JR in his prime. He led the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1991 and came close again with Philadelphia in 2004, but never did get to sip from Lord Stanley’s Cup…was the third American-born player to reach the 500-goal mark, finishing his 17-year career with 513 goals and 1,363 points.

Pat LaFontaine – we’ll never know just what LaFontaine could have done…his career was cut short after multiple concussions, retiring at 33…he averaged 48 goals per season from 1987-93, no other American player has ever had as dominant a stretch as that…known for his strength, quickness and playmaking ability, he reached 1,000 career points in 847 games, quicker than Roenick (961) and Modano (965)…he will probably forever hold the record for most points in a single-season by an American (with 148).

Now it’s time to vote…


Poll closes Wednesday 3/2 at noon PST.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Interview with Mike Modano – in-depth conversation covering his whole career

USA vs Canada Preview with Jeremy Roenick

Two Minutes with Modano

High / Low with Ethan Moreau

Luc Robitaille on His Teammates

Recent Articles

Kings Of the Podcast Ep. 7 – The Five Game Report Card

We’re back!
Kings of the Podcast, Episode 7 includes…
– Goals For / Against: Our Three Hot Takes
– Analytics on Doughty, Bjornfot, Toffoli, Quick
– Thoughts after the first five games of the season
– Ontario Reign, notes from the farm
– What’s the plan with Prokhorkin?
– Will Bjornfot stay or go back to Sweden?
– Which AHL defenseman to pay […]

LA Kings Prospect Tracker – Week Ending October 14, 2019

Every hockey league is now
active, officially. Barring injuries, professionals and prospects have started their 2019-20 season. A plethora of prospects in the LA Kings pipeline put up stellar performances over the past week. Take a look…

EUROPE

Alexander Dergachyov:
Forward, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (3rd round pick in 2015)

Regular season: 0 goals, 2
assists, plus-1, 2 PIM in 13 games […]

SPORTSNET RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Early Season Results, Sharks, Oilers, Hawks, Sabres, and Penguins

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on Sportsnet Radio in Toronto, where he joined host Josh Goldberg for a lap around the NHL to talk early season results for the Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, etc.
Today’s radio segment can be heard using the player below […]

Major News Items

Kopitar Out, Can Watch His Son Against Arizona

Per recent tradition, it will be the Kings and Coyotes in a pair of split-squad games to open up preseason on Tuesday night. LA captain Anze Kopitar will not suit up, but he will get a chance to watch his son … [Read More...]

More Prospect News