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            Super 16

            Super 16: Crosby, Malkin among top centers of NHL expansion era

            Penguins teammates surrounded by position's best since 1967; Gretzky No. 1

            by Dan Rosen / Senior Writer

            Super 16 Classic Edition: Centers

            Check out the Super 16 centers of all-time

            Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux top the list of the best all-time centers in Super 16 Classic Edition, presented by New Amsterdam Vodka

            • 02:10 •

            The NHL season has been paused since March 12 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus, but the weekly Super 16 rolls on in a revamped form, looking at the history of the game. This week, it's the top 16 centers from 1967 to present day, the NHL expansion era.

            No. 1 is obvious and, not surprisingly, unanimous: Wayne Gretzky tops this Super 16.

            No. 2 is also obvious, and almost unanimous. It's Mario Lemieux, who was ranked second by all but one of the 14 voters. Mark Messier received the other No. 2 vote.

            But who else makes the cut?

            The challenge to the voters was obvious when you recognize that 35 centers received at least one voting point.

            Where does Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins rank? Is his teammate Evgeni Malkin in the top 16? Does Connor McDavid make the cut? What about Joe Thornton?

            To create the Super 16, each of the 14 participating staff members put together his or her version of what it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total was assigned to each.

            The center picked first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on down to No. 16, who got one point.

            Here is the Super 16, best centers from 1967 to present day:

             

            1. Wayne Gretzky

            Total points: 224

            Hall of Fame induction: 1999

            The Great One holds or shares 64 NHL records, including most goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857). He won the Stanley Cup four times with the Edmonton Oilers. He was voted winner of the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP nine times and won the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion 10 times, each a record. One of the great facts in hockey is that Gretzky would still have the most points in NHL history even if he never scored a goal. He has 42 more assists than Jaromir Jagr, No. 2 on the scoring list, has points (1,921). Gretzky, who played for the Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers, also has the most points in Stanley Cup Playoff history with 382 (122 goals, 260 assists) in 208 games.

            Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points

             

            2. Mario Lemieux

            Total points: 209

            Hall of Fame induction: 1997

            Lemieux, who played his entire career with the Penguins, is second in NHL history in points per game (1.88) behind Gretzky (1.92). He is 11th in goals (690), 12th in assists (1,033) and eighth in points (1,723) despite being limited to 915 games because of a cancer diagnosis and back problems. Lemieux won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP each of those years. He is a three-time Hart Trophy winner and six-time Art Ross Trophy winner.

             

            3. Mark Messier

            Total points: 177

            Hall of Fame induction: 2007

            Messier is a six-time Stanley Cup champion (five with the Oilers, one with the Rangers). He is third in NHL history in points with 1,887 (694 goals, 1,193 assists) in 1,756 games with the Oilers, Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. Messier is second in NHL playoff points behind Gretzky with 295 (109 goals, 186 assists) in 236 games. He won the Hart Trophy twice and the Conn Smythe Trophy once.

             

            4. Sidney Crosby

            Total points: 174

            Hall of Fame induction: Not eligible, still playing

            Crosby is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner, two-time Hart Trophy winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist. The Penguins center has 1,263 points (462 goals, 801 assists) in 984 games. His average of 1.28 points per game is sixth among players with at least 650 NHL games played. He's 10th all time in NHL playoff points with 186 (66 goals, 120 assists) in 164 games.

            Video: PIT@BUF: Crosby races in and backhands puck 中国体彩官方app

             

            5. Steve Yzerman

            Total points: 144

            Hall of Fame induction: 2009

            Yzerman is seventh in NHL history with 1,755 points (692 goals, 1,063 assists) in 1,514 games, all with the Detroit Red Wings, and his 692 goals are 10th. Yzerman won the Stanley Cup three times, including back-to-back in 1997 and 1998, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy. He's 11th in NHL playoff points with 185 (70 goals, 115 assists) in 196 games.

             

            6. Phil Esposito

            Total points: 141

            Hall of Fame induction: 1984

            Esposito is sixth in NHL history in goals (717) and 10th in points (1,590) in 1,282 games with the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and Rangers. He won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 1970 and 1972. He was awarded the Hart Trophy twice and the Art Ross Trophy five times. He was second in goals and points at the time of his retirement following the 1980-81 season.

            Video: Phil Esposito was record-setting goal scorer

             

            7. Joe Sakic

            Total points: 130

            Hall of Fame induction: 2012

            Sakic's 1,641 points (625 goals, 1,016 assists) in 1,378 games, all with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, are ninth in NHL history. He won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1996 and the Hart Trophy for the 2000-01 season.

             

            8. Bryan Trottier

            Total points: 123

            Hall of Fame induction: 1997

            Trottier helped the New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup four straight seasons from 1980-83, when he had 107 points (37 goals, 70 assists) in 75 playoff games. He then won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. He is 17th in NHL history in points with 1,425 (524 goals, 901 assists) in 1,279 games. He won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year (1976), Hart Trophy (1979), Art Ross Trophy (1979) and Conn Smythe Trophy (1980).

             

            9. Marcel Dionne

            Total points: 98

            Hall of Fame induction: 1992

            Dionne, who played with the Red Wings, Kings and Rangers, is fifth in goals (731) and sixth in points (1,771) in NHL history. He's the Kings' all-time leader with 1,307 points (550 goals, 757 assists) in 921 games. He never won the Stanley Cup.

            Video: Marcel Dionne was "offensive genius"

             

            10. Ron Francis

            Total points: 78

            Hall of Fame induction: 2007

            Francis is second in assists (1,249) and fifth in points (1,798) in NHL history. He played for the Hartford Whalers, Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992, and was voted winner of the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward in the NHL in 1994-95.

             

            11. Peter Forsberg

            Total points: 63

            Hall of Fame induction: 2014

            Forsberg is eighth in points per game (1.25) among players who have played at least 650 NHL games. He finished his career with 885 points (249 goals, 636 assists) in 708 games for the Nordiques/Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators. He won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001. Forsberg was first among NHL centers from 1994-99 with 440 points (128 goals, 312 assists) in 344 games.

             

            12. Bobby Clarke

            Total points: 47

            Hall of Fame induction: 1987

            Clarke overcame having Type 1 diabetes to become a two-time Stanley Cup champion who had 1,210 points (358 goals, 852 assists) in 1,144 NHL games, all with the Flyers from 1969-84. He's a three-time Hart Trophy winner.

            Video: Bobby Clarke led Flyers to back-to-back Stanley Cups

             

            13. Pat LaFontaine

            Total points: 30

            Hall of Fame induction: 2003

            LaFontaine had 1,013 points (468 goals, 545 assists) in 865 games with the Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and Rangers from 1984-98. He averaged 1.17 points per game in a career that was cut short because of concussions. He never won the Stanley Cup.

             

            14. Evgeni Malkin

            Total points: 23

            Hall of Fame induction: Not eligible, still playing

            Malkin has 1,076 points (416 goals, 660 assists) in 907 games with the Penguins, averaging 1.19 points per game. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion (2009, 2016, 2017). He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2009, when he also won the Art Ross Trophy. He won the Hart Trophy, and the Art Ross Trophy again, in 2011-12.

             

            15. Gilbert Perreault

            Total points: 22

            Hall of Fame induction: 1990

            Perreault, who made up one-third of the Sabres' famed "The French Connection" line in the 1970s, finished his career that spanned from 1970-86 with 1,326 points (512 goals, 814 assists) in 1,191 games, all with Buffalo. He never won the Stanley Cup.

             

            16. Eric Lindros

            Total points: 21

            Hall of Fame induction: 2016

            Lindros had 865 points (372 goals, 493 assists) in 760 games with the Flyers, Rangers, Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars. He was tied for fifth in the NHL from 1992-99 with 600 points (263 goals, 337 assists) in 431 games. He never won the Stanley Cup.

            Video: Eric Lindros had unique skill for power forward

             

            Others receiving points: Connor McDavid 20, Peter Stastny 20, Joe Thornton 17, Stan Mikita 15, Mats Sundin 14, Dale Hawerchuk 13, Mike Modano 13, Patrice Bergeron 13, Jacques Lemaire 12, Jean Ratelle 12, Adam Oates 11, Sergei Fedorov 9, Pavel Datsyuk 8, Jonathan Toews 7, Jean Beliveau 7, Denis Savard 5, Doug Gilmour 2, Darryl Sittler 1, Nicklas Backstrom 1

             

            HERE'S HOW WE RANKED 'EM

            AMALIE BENJAMIN

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Sidney Crosby; 5. Phil Esposito; 6. Bryan Trottier; 7. Steve Yzerman; 8. Joe Sakic; 9. Stan Mikita; 10. Jean Beliveau; 11. Marcel Dionne; 12. Peter Stastny; 13. Peter Forsberg; 14. Ron Francis; 15. Bobby Clarke; 16. Pat LaFontaine

            TIM CAMPBELL

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Phil Esposito; 5. Steve Yzerman; 6. Bryan Trottier; 7. Jacques Lemaire; 8. Jean Ratelle; 9. Mark Messier; 10. Dale Hawerchuk; 11. Gilbert Perreault; 12. Connor McDavid; 13. Marcel Dionne; 14. Joe Sakic; 15. Peter Stastny; 16. Peter Forsberg

            BRIAN COMPTON

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Bryan Trottier; 4. Phil Esposito; 5. Mark Messier; 6. Steve Yzerman; 7. Sidney Crosby; 8. Joe Sakic; 9. Pat LaFontaine; 10. Bobby Clarke; 11. Peter Stastny; 12. Eric Lindros; 13. Ron Francis; 14. Peter Forsberg; 15. Sergei Fedorov; 16. Dale Hawerchuk

            WILLIAM DOUGLAS

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mark Messier; 3. Mario Lemieux; 4. Sidney Crosby; 5. Bryan Trottier; 6. Phil Esposito; 7. Steve Yzerman; 8. Bobby Clarke; 9. Peter Forsberg; 10. Joe Sakic; 11. Ron Francis; 12. Adam Oates; 13. Marcel Dionne; 14. Joe Thornton; 15. Stan Mikita; 16. Darryl Sittler

            TOM GULITTI

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Mark Messier; 5. Marcel Dionne; 6. Joe Sakic; 7. Ron Francis; 8. Phil Esposito; 9. Connor McDavid; 10. Sergei Fedorov; 11. Steve Yzerman; 12. Evgeni Malkin; 13. Peter Forsberg; 14. Gilbert Perreault; 15. Jonathan Toews; 16. Bryan Trottier

            ADAM KIMELMAN

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Steve Yzerman; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Bryan Trottier; 7. Peter Forsberg; 8. Joe Sakic; 9. Ron Francis; 10. Connor McDavid; 11. Marcel Dionne; 12. Phil Esposito; 13. Eric Lindros; 14. Bobby Clarke; 15. Pavel Datsyuk; 16. Nicklas Backstrom

            ROBERT LAFLAMME

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Sidney Crosby; 5. Marcel Dionne; 6. Bryan Trottier; 7. Phil Esposito; 8. Steve Yzerman; 9. Joe Sakic; 10. Ron Francis; 11. Peter Stastny; 12. Denis Savard; 13. Patrice Bergeron; 14. Jonathan Toews; 15. Gilbert Perreault; 16. Adam Oates

            MIKE G. MORREALE

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Steve Yzerman; 5. Bryan Trottier; 6. Phil Esposito; 7. Joe Sakic; 8. Sidney Crosby; 9. Bobby Clarke; 10. Pat LaFontaine; 11. Marcel Dionne; 12. Ron Francis; 13. Mike Modano; 14. Peter Forsberg; 15. Mats Sundin; 16. Dale Hawerchuk

            TRACEY MYERS

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Joe Sakic; 5. Steve Yzerman; 6. Sidney Crosby; 7. Ron Francis; 8. Joe Thornton; 9. Marcel Dionne; 10. Mike Modano; 11. Bryan Trottier; 12. Adam Oates; 13. Mats Sundin; 14. Phil Esposito; 15. Doug Gilmour; 16. Dale Hawerchuk

            BILL PRICE

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Marcel Dionne; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Bryan Trottier; 7. Phil Esposito; 8. Ron Francis; 9. Steve Yzerman; 10. Joe Sakic; 11. Bobby Clarke; 12. Pat LaFontaine; 13. Mats Sundin; 14. Peter Forsberg; 15. Dale Hawerchuk; 16. Peter Stastny

            SHAWN P. ROARKE

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Peter Forsberg; 5. Joe Sakic; 6. Evgeni Malkin; 7. Phil Esposito; 8. Pat LaFontaine; 9. Steve Yzerman; 10. Eric Lindros; 11. Pavel Datsyuk; 12. Marcel Dionne; 13. Mark Messier; 14. Jean Ratelle; 15. Jacques Lemaire; 16. Patrice Bergeron

            DAN ROSEN

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Mark Messier; 5. Phil Esposito; 6. Steve Yzerman; 7. Joe Sakic; 8. Bryan Trottier; 9. Peter Forsberg; 10. Marcel Dionne; 11. Evgeni Malkin; 12. Bobby Clarke; 13. Ron Francis; 14. Eric Lindros; 15. Jonathan Toews; 16. Patrice Bergeron

            DAVE STUBBS

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Joe Sakic; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Steve Yzerman; 7. Phil Esposito; 8. Ron Francis; 9. Marcel Dionne; 10. Patrice Bergeron; 11. Bryan Trottier; 12. Joe Thornton; 13. Mats Sundin; 14. Bobby Clarke; 15. Mike Modano; 16. Dale Hawerchuk

            MIKE ZEISBERGER

            1. Wayne Gretzky; 2. Mario Lemieux; 3. Mark Messier; 4. Sidney Crosby. 5. Phil Esposito; 6. Gilbert Perreault; 7. Steve Yzerman; 8. Joe Sakic; 9. Bryan Trottier; 10. Marcel Dionne; 11. Peter Forsberg; 12. Stan Mikita; 13. Bobby Clarke; 14. Ron Francis; 15. Eric Lindros; 16. Evgeni Malkin

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