10 best puck-moving defensemen 

April, 5, 2010

Over the past few weeks, I've used this Monday space to give you a couple of top 10 lists. I gave you my top 10 centers. I know there were some Philadelphia Flyers fans who didn't like that one. I followed that with my top 10 goaltenders. That list caused less of a stir. There were some New York Rangers fans that thought Henrik Lundqvist should have been a bit higher, though.

I've come to realize that my bosses love lists. And, from what I can make of things, you seem to like lists, too.

So I figured I'd give you my top-10 list of puck-moving defensemen. These are guys who can skate and pass the puck out of their end to ignite the attack. I thought I'd separate them from the more stay-at-home, shut-down types. With the playoffs less than 10 days away, I'll define my list by saying I put these guys in order of who I think could lead a team to a Stanley Cup this spring, all things being equal.

1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings (9 goals, 39 assists, 48 points, plus-23): Watching the six-time Norris Trophy winner, you'd never know he'll be turning 40 later this month. He remains a silky smooth performer. The lanky Swede has etched his name on the Stanley Cup four times. If I'm picking a skilled puck-mover for my Cup run, I'm still starting with Lidstrom.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.