Friday, July 10, 2009

SI Compiles List of Top 10 Most Thrilling Players Ever, in Hockey and Everything Else

Not the top ten "best" or greatest or most complete, but the top ten "all-time bests at quickening the pulse and evoking a visceral response from those fortunate enough to have witnessed their artistry." And Sports Illustrated has performed this great service not just in hockey, but in all major sports. Check out all the lists; the choices are all mightily interesting.

I have to say that exciting players who make you gasp and cling to the edge of your seat with their insane style and finesse are my favorite types of athlete, in any and every sport. In soccer, I love Diego Maradona and Zinédine Zidane.

Pelé is overrated.

My favorite current soccer player, though, is this guy. Best of the best.

In tennis, I was always more of an Andre Agassi guy than a Pete Sampras guy, simply because he was more exciting to watch (though not as complete a player as Pete) and today I'm more a Federer (style) type than a Nadal (force) type. In baseball: even though they played before I was born, my favorite baseball players of all time (based on my experiences with that wonderful invention, film) are Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Basketball? Bliss was it to grow up in Atlanta during the era of 'Nique Wilkins. And yes, Michael Jordan is by far both the most complete basketball player and the most thrilling. He has a legitimate claim to being the most thrilling athlete of all time, if you ask me.

What is this blog about, again? Oh yes, the Hockey. Here's Sports Illustrated's list. If you ask me...

Well, allow me to make Top 5 lists instead of top 10.

Top 5 Most Thrilling Hockey Players Currently Playing
1. Ilya Kovalchuk
Yes I'm a homer, but I really do think that while Ovechkin is the (slightly) better player, Ilya in his best moments is actually more exciting than Ovie. Kovalchuk is my favorite kind of athlete, the hockey equivalent to Maradona or Zidane or Agassi. Lucky that I get to watch him in person all the time.

2. Alex Ovechkin
He's Ovechkin.

3. Marian Hossa
A brain surgeon with the puck.

4. Marian Gaborik
Fast as a spooked jackalope, and his close-range shots are insane.

5. Alexei Kovalev
When he's on, he's on.

Top 5 Most Thrilling Past Hockey Players
1. Bobby Orr
2. Pavel Bure
3. Peter Forsberg
4. Valeri Kharlamov
5. Mario Lemieux

And your thoughts?


Razor Catch Prey said...

I would certainly put the Czar at the top of that list. Every time he touches the puck you can feel the energy in the building spike.

Good news: The Thrashers current line up with the Czar-Pevs-Antro line and Bogo/Toby/Hainsey/Kubina defense is a ton of fun to play with on NHL 09. I put Stapleton in the empty third line slot with Marty the Party and Army.

Bad news: Playing against the Leafs, I got scored on by Exelby. I feel bad, I feel shame.

Laura (aka Hildymac) said...

Me being a total Blues homer bemoans the lack of Brett Hull on the Top 10 list. Currently, I have to give some goalie love to Tim Thomas. He's spastic, you're never sure what he's doing, he tried to kill Sean Avery... I dig.

Jay said...

Mr. Peacock, Wayne Gretzky would like to have a word with you.

As far as current players go, I haven't seen Kovalev play in person, but I have seen Sidney Crosby a few times. He's fast. He seems like the player that sets the pace of the game.

Big Shooter said...


I thought I would wait to see if I was THE ONLY one that noticed Wayne wasn't on this list.

Shamefull, Morty. Just Shameful.

Big Shooter said...

I mean really, WTF...

Big Shooter said...


Mortimer Peacock said...

JFC Shooter, it's just too obvious to say "UHHH WAYNE GRETZKY"

Mortimer Peacock said...

To be clear: Wayne Gretzky IS the best ever, but surely his greatness is so obvious to everyone that he's automatically disqualified from taking up a spot on the list.

Having Gretzky on the list would be like when someone asks you your favorite band and you say The Beatles. I don't think anyone, ever, at any point, has been better than the Beatles but I would never think to put them on a Top Five Most Thrilling Bands list.

Jay said...

All-time Thriller band(and my all-time favorite)- VAN HALEN. I've seen them at least once with each lead singer(Roth, Hagar, Cherone) and they never disappointed. And I had high expectations going into each concert.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Van Halen is a good choice for #1 thriller band, though I have to admit I only like the Diamond Dave era. Not the biggest Van Hagar fan, except for "Right Now," that song rocks.

Jay said...

I like all the singers. I actually thought Cherone was the best live. TONS of energy. I saw Van Hagar in 2004 and Roth twice in 2007, so I didn't see either in their prime.