In 2009-10, the New Jersey Devils were confident that 25-year-old Zach Parise would help define their next decade in the NHL. Ditto the Washington Capitals and their 25-year-old, 40-goal scorer Alex Semin. The Columbus Blue Jackets had a 25-year-old franchise player for the next decade in Rick Nash, having signed him to an eight-year contract the previous summer.
Three years into the next decade, all three were playing for different teams.
A lot can happen in the span of 10 seasons. (Heck, two teams that played last season didn’t even exist in 2009 — three, if you count the Phoenix Coyotes.) The best-laid plans for teams can change in an instant. One season’s franchise pillar is next season’s trade bait.
So as the decade nears its end, which players have thus far defined each team for the 2010s?
Your friends at ESPN have put together All-Decade teams for all 31 franchises. The criteria were simple: Which players had that combination of statistical achievement and historic importance? Which players defined the journey for teams from the 2009-10 season to the present?
Here is where the All-Decade teams currently stand, with the understanding that we have one more season to go before they are etched in stone.
Jump to a team:
ANA | ARI | BOS | BUF | CGY | CAR | CHI
COL | CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM | FLA
LA | MIN | MTL | NSH | NJ | NYI
NYR | OTT | PHI | PIT | SJ | STL
TB | TOR | VAN | VGS | WSH | WPG
C: Eric Staal (158 G, 259 A, 0.83 PPG)
LW: Jeff Skinner (204 G, 175 A, 0.65 PPG)
RW: Justin Williams (39 G, 65 A, 0.63 PPG)
D: Justin Faulk (85 G, 173 A, 0.46 PPG)
D: Jaccob Slavin (23 G, 92 A, 0.37 PPG)
G: Cam Ward (198-167-66, .912 SV%, 2.64 GAA)
Coach: Rod Brind’Amour (46-29-7)
Brind’Amour has been the coach for only 82 games, but as the only one to lead the Hurricanes to the playoffs in the past decade, he wins by default. Otherwise, here are two franchise icons in Staal and Ward, a Calder Trophy winner with somewhat diminishing returns in Skinner, and two defensemen who were the team’s best offensively (Faulk) and defensively (Slavin).
As for Williams, who played 164 games for the Canes in the past decade, his standing as the innovator of the “Storm Surge” would alone merit consideration. But the reality is that the only other right-wing candidate is Alexander Semin. And we do not speak of Alexander Semin in Raleigh.
C: Brandon Dubinsky (72 G, 153 A, 0.52 PPG)
LW: Artemi Panarin (55 G, 114 A, 1.06 PPG)
RW: Cam Atkinson (186 G, 156 A, 0.65 PPG)
D: Seth Jones (39 G, 126 A, 0.61 PPG)
D: David Savard (40 G, 109 A, 0.30 PPG)
G: Sergei Bobrovsky (213-130-27, .921 SV%, 2.40 GAA)
Coach: John Tortorella (176-118-27)
The defensive choices come down to this: Jones over Zach Werenski, even though these two could end up the best duo in franchise history; and Savard over Fedor Tyutin, in which we give the nod to a player who has been a rock in the latter part of the decade as the Blue Jackets achieved some franchise firsts in the playoffs. Savard over Werenski? Look, there’s little question who will end up being the better NHL defenseman at the end of their respective careers. But we’ll take 489 games of steady defense — and a team-best plus-46 for the decade — and pair him with Jones, who is demonstrably the best backliner for the Jackets.
The toughest call here wasn’t Panarin over Rick Nash, because the latter was at his best in the previous decade; no, it was at center, and we’ll give the slight nod to Dubinsky over Ryan Johansen (193 points), Boone Jenner (199), R.J. Umberger (204) and the late case made by Pierre-Luc Dubois (109).
C: Patrik Elias (113 G, 206 A, 0.76 PPG)
LW: Ilya Kovalchuk (89 G, 112 A, 0.91 PPG)
RW: Kyle Palmieri (107 G, 97 A, 0.68 PPG)
D: Andy Greene (42 G, 168 A, 0.28 PPG)
D: Damon Severson (29 G, 103 A, 0.37 PPG)
G: Martin Brodeur (131-95-26, .908 SV% 2.36 GAA)
Coach: Peter DeBoer (141-146-41)
Kovalchuk over Taylor Hall is one of the most difficult (and controversial) calls in this project. The obvious gripe: How does one put a player who abandoned the Devils for Russia in place of a player who won the Hart Trophy for them? How can a player who posted 1.01 points per game in Hall not trump Kovalchuk’s 0.91, with a gap of 41 games between them?
Here’s the rationale: The most important accomplishment for the Devils in the past decade was making the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. They accomplished this thanks to two individuals: Martin Brodeur, who remarkably ends up their goalie of the decade for a third time, and Kovalchuk, who was Conn Smythe-worthy through three rounds until injuries caught up to him, and still finished with 19 points in 23 games. For that performance, he gets the very, very slight nod over Hall.
C: John Tavares (272 G, 349 A, 0.93 PPG)
LW: Anders Lee (152 G, 106 A, 0.61 PPG)
RW: Josh Bailey (133 G, 275 A, 0.56 PPG)
D: Nick Leddy (40 G, 151 A, 0.48 PPG)
D: Johnny Boychuk (33 G, 87 A, 0.35 PPG)
G: Jaroslav Halak (88-65-19, .913 SV% 2.69 GAA)
Coach: Jack Capuano (227-192-64)
It took everything we had to not put Barry Trotz over Jack Cap for coach of the decade, but in the end, the latter’s seven years of service and three playoff appearances won out.
The rest is fairly straightforward, unless you truly believe Thomas Hickey belongs here or that Bailey’s longevity shouldn’t overcome Kyle Okposo’s impact (0.71 points per game). Or if you’re some crazed Nassau zealot who believes Traitor John has erased himself from Islanders history by signing in Toronto.
C: Derek Stepan (128 G, 232 A, 0.70 PPG)
LW: Rick Nash (145 G, 107 A, 0.67 PPG)
RW: Mats Zuccarello (113 G, 239 A, 0.69 PPG)
D: Dan Girardi (32 G, 142 A, 174 PPG)
D: Ryan McDonagh (51 G, 187 A, 0.46 PPG)
G: Henrik Lundqvist (307-215-59, .919 SV%, 2.45 GAA)
Coach: Alain Vigneault (226-147-37)
No skater played more games for the Rangers in the past decade than Marc Staal (678), but the defensive slots here have to go to McDonagh — the team’s best defenseman since Brian Leetch — and Girardi, who spent a good chunk of the decade as a well-respected shutdown guy before he became an analytics pariah.
The only other debate here might have been Chris Kreider vs. Rick Nash, but as far as the definitive best of the decade, Nash gets the nod. Meanwhile, if all the calls on this list were as easy as Lundqvist, it would have taken around 14 minutes to write.
C: Claude Giroux (227 G, 508 A, 0.95 PPG)
LW: Scott Hartnell (103 G, 120 A, 0.63 PPG)
RW: Jakub Voracek (203 G, 175 A, 0.83 PPG)
D: Kimmo Timonen (27 G, 156 A, 0.51 PPG)
D: Chris Pronger (15 G, 77 A, 0.63 PPG)
G: Steve Mason (104-78-36, .918 SV% 2.47 GAA)
Coach: Peter Laviolette (145-98-29)
The easy way out here would have been to move Giroux to left wing and open up the center spot for Sean Couturier, Mike Richards or Jeff Carter, but that’s a cheat: Giroux only moved to the wing in 2017. The real question is whether 145 regular-season games of Pronger are enough to make a Flyers All-Decade Team, and the answer is that they made the Stanley Cup Final on his back (OK, his elbows), so that’s good enough for us.
As for the goalie … picking the Flyers goalie of the decade is like picking the greatest Rob Schneider comedy of all time. Congrats, Steve Mason: You’re “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.”
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: 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: Jack Eichel (101 G, 158 A, 0.91 PPG)
LW: Thomas Vanek (110 G, 127 A, 0.85 PPG)
RW: Jason Pominville (118 G, 159 A, 0.65 PPG)
D: Rasmus Ristolainen (36 G, 158 A, 0.46 PPG)
D: Tyler Myers (45 G, 106 A, 0.41 PPG)
G: Ryan Miller (138-100-31, .920 SV%, 2.54)
Coach: Lindy Ruff (133-98-32)
So it hasn’t been exactly the best decade for the Sabres, what with the eight straight years without a playoff appearance, five different coaches and countless disappointing players. Hence, we rely on the early part of said decade, when Vanek, Miller and Myers were all still plying their trades in Buffalo and Ruff was the head coach. But a shout-out to Zemgus Girgensons for making the All-Star Game that one time.
C: Henrik Zetterberg (154 G, 401 A, 0.85 PPG)
LW: Justin Abdelkader (106 G, 143 A, 0.36 PPG)
RW: Johan Franzen (104 G, 123 A, 0.73 PPG)
D: Nicklas Lidstrom (36 G, 109 A, 0.62 PPG)
D: Niklas Kronwall (67 G, 243 A, 0.45 PPG)
G: Jimmy Howard (243-168-68, .914 SV%, 2.54 GAA)
Coach: Mike Babcock (245-170-67)
The past decade has consisted of two starkly different eras for the Red Wings. It began after a Stanley Cup Final loss to Pittsburgh in 2009, in the midst of a playoff streak that would last 25 seasons. Gaze upon the talent on that roster: Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, Franzen, Brian Rafalski, Tomas Holmstrom, Chris Osgood and so on. That was 10 years ago. It might as well feel like 90, with how the team has fared since.
As for the team selected above — look, Justin Abdelkader isn’t everyone’s bucket of octopi. You could easily make the case for Tomas Tatar here considering he had better numbers and is a better player. But outside of Kronwall’s 693 games, no one played more than Abdelkader’s 686 for the Red Wings in the decade. If you’re looking to define the past decade for the Red Wings, Justin Abdelkader is part of that definition (for better or worse).
C: Aleksander Barkov (135 G, 210 A, 0.84 PPG)
LW: Jonathan Huberdeau (125, 234, 0.77 PPG)
RW: Evgenii Dadonov (66 G, 89 A, 0.73 PPG)
D: Brian Campbell (28 G, 147 A, 0.47 PPG)
D: Aaron Ekblad (66 G, 105 A, 0.44 PPG)
G: Roberto Luongo (122-87-32, .918 SV%, 2.55 GAA)
Coach: Gerard Gallant (96-65-25)
The Panthers managed two playoff appearances during the decade and were defined by two things: managerial chaos behind the scenes (i.e. Gallant getting turfed after making the playoffs), and the methodical collection of young talent that — with the right coach and goaltender — could finally turn this team into a contender.
The toughest call here was Ekblad over Dmitry Kulikov, who was second to Huberdeau in games played for the club in this span. But half the decade and a Calder Trophy mean Ekblad makes the cut.
C: Tomas Plekanec (155 G, 267 A, 0.63 PPG)
LW: Max Pacioretty (223 G, 214 A, 0.74 PPG)
RW: Brendan Gallagher (151 G, 140 A, 0.60 PPG)
D: P.K. Subban (63 G, 215 A, 0.64 PPG)
D: Andrei Markov (45 G, 198 A, 0.58 PPG)
G: Carey Price (274-197-55, .919 SV%, 2.42 GAA)
Coach: Michel Therrien (194-121-37)
The Habs celebrated their centennial during this decade — a celebration that felt like it lasted a century, but we digress. Back in 2010, the Canadiens shocked the world with a first-round 1-vs.-8 upset of the Capitals. That team had Scott Gomez on it and no fewer than two players named “Kostitsyn.” It also had a 20-year-old defenseman named P.K. Subban, whose stats (leading to a Norris Trophy win in 2013) and swagger were a part of the Canadiens for seven years before a trade that reset the course of the franchise.
C: Jason Spezza (103 G, 166 A, 0.95 PPG)
LW: Mike Hoffman (107 G, 123 A, 0.67)
RW: Mark Stone (123 G, 188 A, 0.85 PPG)
D: Erik Karlsson (126 G, 392 A, 0.83 PPG)
D: Chris Phillips (20 G, 64 A, 0.21 PPG)
G: Craig Anderson (191-151-44, .915 SV% 2.80 GAA)
Coach: Paul MacLean (114-90-35)
One goal. One stinkin’ overtime goal against the Penguins in 2017 to win a Game 7, and how much differently would we view the Senators? How much differently would they view themselves, and how does that color their next moves?
It’s the great “what if?” in a decade otherwise defined by gut-wrenching departures (Daniel Alfredsson, Karlsson and Stone), missed opportunities and outright tragedy (RIP, Bryan Murray). But what a collection of talent they once had.
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.
C: Auston Matthews (111 G, 94 A, 0.97 PPG)
LW: James van Riemsdyk (154 G 140 A, 0.71 PPG)
RW: Phil Kessel (181 G, 213 A, 0.88 PPG)
D: Morgan Rielly (51 G, 192 A, 0.52 PPG)
D: Dion Phaneuf (45 G, 151 A, 0.46 PPG)
G: Frederik Andersen (107-53-26, .918 SV%, 2.75 GAA)
Coach: Mike Babcock (164-123-41)
What a ride. From the squandered promise of the Ron Wilson and Brian Burke years through the tumultuous Dave Nonis years to winning the Auston Matthews lottery to adding Lou Lamoriello to stabilize things and Kyle Dubas for the future. The Phil Kessel trade. The Dion Phaneuf trade(s). The John Tavares signing. Let it never be said the Leafs had an unassuming 2010s.
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.
C: Matt Duchene (178 G, 250 A, 0.73 PPG)
LW: Gabriel Landeskog (177 G, 239 A, 0.72 PPG)
RW: Mikko Rantanen (80 G, 129 A, 0.87 PPG)
D: Erik Johnson (57 G, 139 A, 0.38 PPG)
D: Tyson Barrie (75 G, 232 A, 0.63 PPG)
G: Semyon Varlamov (183-156-38, .915 SV%, 2.72 GAA)
Coach: Jared Bednar (103-116-27)
Matt Duchene or Nathan MacKinnon? That’s the question for the Avalanche in the past decade. No one played more games (586), scored more goals (178) or tallied more points (428) than Duchene did for the Avalanche since 2009-10. But no one had a better points-per-game average (0.88) than MacKinnon, who won the Calder and was a Hart finalist. We have to give Duchene the nod here, with the acknowledgement that MacKinnon is a next-level talent who will surpass Duchene’s numbers in short order. In both his longevity, and his eventual departure, Duchene helped define the decade.
As for Bednar and Rantanen, both late arrivals, no one in their respective categories comes close to overtaking them. Maybe if Patrick Roy had made the playoffs twice, and didn’t abruptly take his puck and go home, there could have been an argument.
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: Mikko Koivu (144 G, 360 A, 0.73 PPG)
LW: Zach Parise (167 G, 169 A, 0.76 PPG)
RW: Nino Niederreiter (110 G, 118 A, 0.53 PPG)
D: Ryan Suter (44 G, 258 A, 0.57 PPG)
D: Jared Spurgeon (70 G, 178 A, 0.42 PPG)
G: Devan Dubnyk (165-98-26, .920 SV%, 2.32 GAA)
Coach: Mike Yeo (173-132-44)
Chances are you probably haven’t thought of Mike Yeo since that disastrous “understudy” plan in St. Louis ended with Craig Berube taking over on an interim basis (and, you know, winning the Cup). Bruce Boudreau is a better coach than Yeo, to be sure. But Yeo presided over the Wild longer than Boudreau has, and was there for their two best seasons of the decade.
Full apologies to the Wild fans for having to list Niederreiter on the All-Decade Team since his numbers necessitate it. That trade still has to hurt.
C: Mike Fisher (111 G, 130 A, 0.56 PPG)
LW: Filip Forsberg (145 G, 160 A, 0.77 PPG)
RW: Craig Smith (144 G, 155 A, 0.51 PPG)
D: Roman Josi (93 G, 255 A, 0.62 PPG)
D: Shea Weber (118 G, 202 A, 0.61 PPG)
G: Pekka Rinne (311-171-66, .919 SV%, 2.38 GAA)
Coach: Peter Laviolette (229-128-53)
Colin Wilson actually played more games (502) than any other Predators center. Ryan Johansen (0.75) had the best points per game for any Predators center. But Mike Fisher’s eight-year run with Nashville established him as a fan favorite, with the numbers to (cowboy) boot.
As for Smith, no one played more games with Nashville (592) than he did in the past decade, even as Viktor Arvidsson and Patric Hornqvist have their cases for decade-best right wing.
C: David Backes (152 G, 200 A, 0.67 PPG)
LW: Alexander Steen (182 G, 273 A, 0.70 PPG)
RW: Vladimir Tarasenko (211 G, 207 A, 0.84 PPG)
D: Alex Pietrangelo (93 G, 304 A, 0.58 PPG)
D: Kevin Shattenkirk (59 G, 199 A, 0.61 PPG)
G: Jordan Binnington (24-5-1, .926 SV%, 1.91 GAA)
Coach: Ken Hitchcock (248-124-41)
Can Binnington make an All-Decade Team for what amounts to 33 regular-season games and a playoff run? Let me ask you this: When we look back at this decade for the Blues in, say, 30 years, what will we remember? Jake Allen’s hapless attempts at being a solid starter? Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott’s strong numbers in a defensive system? No, we’re going to remember the kid who backstopped the team to its first Stanley Cup.
And yes, it is attempting to thread the needle by putting Binnington on the team but leaving Craig Berube off for Hitchcock, who ended up second on the career wins list for the Blues behind only Quenneville. But here we are.
C: Mark Scheifele (151 G, 220 A, 0.83 PPG)
LW: Andrew Ladd (110 G, 136 A, 0.71 PPG)
RW: Blake Wheeler (185 G, 384 A, 0.92 PPG)
D: Dustin Byfuglien (102 G, 261 A, 0.69 PPG)
D: Jacob Trouba (42 G, 137 A, 0.44 PPG)
G: Connor Hellebuyck (117-64-17, .915 SV%, 2.65 GAA)
Coach: Paul Maurice (235-162-48)
The Jets began the decade as the Atlanta Thrashers and end it having made the playoffs in two straight seasons. Not much controversy here, unless you’re a big Toby Enstrom fan wondering why Trouba made the All-Decade cut. Or if you’re Ondrej Pavelec.
C: Ryan Getzlaf (173 G, 480 A, 0.95 PPG)
LW: Andrew Cogliano (102 G, 131 A, 0.40 PPG)
RW: Corey Perry (281 G, 300 A, 0.83 PPG)
D: Cam Fowler (58 G, 214 A, 0.44 PPG)
D: Hampus Lindholm (48 G, 123 A, 0.38 PPG)
G: John Gibson (119-77-28, .921 SV%, 2.42 GAA)
Coach: Bruce Boudreau (208-104-40)
Should Bobby Ryan be considered the left wing of the decade? He played 291 games and produced 222 points, skating with Getzlaf and Perry on a memorable line. What about Rickard Rakell (382 games, 241 points)? Perhaps. But ask a Ducks fan, and it’s their Iron Man, Cogliano, who helped define the decade in his 584 games with Anaheim.
It was a tough call in goal between Jonas Hiller (257 games, 129-88-30 record) and Gibson, who played 236 games. We’ll give Gibson the edge based on stats, and getting the Ducks to the conference final.
C: Martin Hanzal (456 61 G, 149 A PPG)
LW: Mikkel Boedker (367, 69 G, 116 A, PPG)
RW: Shane Doan (350, 144 G, 149 A, 0.49 PPG)
D: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (116 G, 218 A, 0.51 PPG)
D: Keith Yandle (52 G, 174 A, 0.60 PPG)
G: Mike Smith (128-132-41, .915 SV%, 2.69 GAA)
Coach: Dave Tippett (324-282-83)
When the decade started, the Phoenix Coyotes were emerging from bankruptcy hell, with the NHL actually running the team as it went through a collection of potential owners. As the decade continued, there were relocation fears and constant battles with the City of Glendale over the arena situation for the financially troubled team. The decade ends with billionaire Alex Meruelo having purchased the Arizona Coyotes, who are spending to the cap. Incredible.
Selecting the Coyotes’ All-Decade Team was a little less chaotic than what occurred off the ice — even if we ultimately couldn’t find a spot for Paul Bissonnette.
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: 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: Anze Kopitar (233 G, 451 A, 0.89 PPG)
LW: Tanner Pearson (69 G, 75 A, 0.44 PPG)
RW: Dustin Brown (193 G, 233 A, 0.55 PPG)
D: Drew Doughty (104 G, 336 A, 0.57 PPG)
D: Jake Muzzin (51 G, 162 A, 0.43 PPG)
G: Jonathan Quick (287-198-61, .914 SV%, 2.35 GAA)
Coach: Darryl Sutter (225-147-53)
The only questions here were on the wings. Could you go Justin Williams (102 goals, Conn Smythe, Mr. Game 7) as the right wing over Dustin Brown? An argument could be made, although Brown’s 768 games of service are hard to ignore.
And picking the definitive left wing for the Kings in the past decade means picking from Pearson, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Ryan Smyth, and Alex Iaffalo. And Milan Lucic and Ilya Kovalchuk, we guess. Pearson gets the edge.
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: 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 third 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.
C: William Karlsson (67 G, 67 A, 0.82 PPG)
LW: Jonathan Marchessault (52 G, 82 A, 0.84 PPG)
RW: Reilly Smith (41 G, 72 A, 0.80 PPG)
D: Nate Schmidt (14 G, 52 A, 0.48 PPG)
D: Shea Theodore (18 G, 48 A, 0.47 PPG)
G: Marc-Andre Fleury (64-34-9, .919 SV%, 2.40 GAA)
Coach: Gerard Gallant (94-56-14)
Granted, the Golden Knights’ “decade” spanned two seasons since their inception, but in that short time they’ve found a few players who have established themselves as the franchise’s best. Thanks, shortsighted teams in the expansion draft!