Nothing much has changed in the past few weeks. We're still waiting for the Ducks to trade defenseman Mathieu Schneider (Devils?), the Hawks to deal goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (Kings?) and, of course, we're still waiting on Mats Sundin. The sensitive Swede still can't decide if he wants to play. One source told me Sundin is having a tough time seeing himself out of a Leafs sweater. I think he should try harder. Sundin can still play and should find a good situation (Montreal!).
While I continue to wait for this inevitable preseason player movement, I've decided to put a little list together. Everybody likes little lists, right? I'll offer my thoughts on the best players in the history of each franchise. I've broken it down to best forward, best defenseman and best goalie. It's a little summer exercise to get ready for training camp.
Scott Rovak/US PresswireMike Modano has been with the Stars organization his entire career.
I'll start with the Pacific Division teams:
Best goaltender: Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Although I love saying the name Guy Hebert, this was a no-brainer.
Best defenseman: Sergei Zubov. They got him in a steal of a deal from Pittsburgh for Kevin Hatcher. If the Pens would have waited a week, they might have gotten K-Hatch on the waiver wire.
Best goaltender: Ed Belfour. Although Cesar Maniago's hockey card was a prize possession of my youth, the Eagle is the clear choice.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Best forward: Wayne Gretzky. His stint on the left coast wasn't as long as Marcel Dionne's, but, in my opinion, he had more impact. Plus, Gretzky's Kings made the franchise's only trip to the Cup finals.
Best defenseman: Rob Blake. Even before he returned and left again a second time, he was the club's all-time best defender.
Best goaltender: Rogatien Vachon. I give Rogie a slight edge over Kelly Hrudey in a two-goalie race. No, I didn't consider Roman Cechmanek.
Best forward: Dale Hawerchuk. He had six 100-point seasons in Winnipeg. Enough said.
Best defenseman: Teppo Numminen. The Finnish-born defender spent 15 years between Winnipeg and Phoenix. He was a steady star in both locales.
Best goaltender: Nikolai Khabibulin. The Russian stopper rates an edge over '80s keeper Bob Essensa.
Thursday: the Northwest Division.