FanPost

Original Six?

Ever hear the argument that today’s stars only put up the numbers they do because they’re playing in a watered-down, terrible league with 30 teams? That the guys in the Original Six era are more deserving of respect and somehow better players because they played against ‘better’ competition night in and night out? Sounds like a troll and it’s ultimately irrelevant – we have what we have and the era has changed. However, it got me thinking. If we were going to compile an Original Six out of today’s rosters? What would it look like? You'll get my take after the jump.

Because it’s as easy a way to do it as any and I really don’t feel like conducting a 6 team fantasy mock draft, I’ve decided that I’ll just assign each division a team and go from there. I’m trying to match up differing skills to balance lines and account for chemistry somewhat, but this is a subjective and holistic process, so if you disagree or have deeper analysis, it’s all good and I’d love to hear it. I’m also disregarding any salary cap. Here are my thoughts:

Southeast – the division I’m most familiar with. This will be both easiest and hardest to assemble, since everyone else is quite familiar with them too.

Lines:

Ovechkin – Backstrom – Malone

Kovalchuck – Lecavalier – St. Louis

Semin – Staal – Booth

Tanguay - Weiss - Knuble

Pairings:

Green – Bogosian

Ohlund – Ballard

Gleason – Enstrom

Goalies: Vokoun starts, Ward sports the ballcap.

 

Atlantic – Our hated Patrick Division rivals. Very good center corps, very good D, top heavy wings and outstanding goalies.

Lines:

Parise – Crosby – Gaborik

Moulson - Malkin – Fedotenko

Langenbrunner – Carter – Briere

Okposo - Richards - Callahan

Pairings:

Pronger – Streit

Gonchar - Coburn

Gologoski – Timonen

Goalies: Lundqvist starts, Broduer wears the ballcap. Fleury would likely at least be on the bench for any other division, but not this one.

 

Northeast: This division isn’t nearly as strong as it’s been in years past. Most of the teams have significant retooling to do if they want to become elite.

Lines:

Vanek – Spezza – Alfredsson

Kessel – Savard – Michaelek

Cammalleri – Connolly – Lucic

Kovalev – Roy – Sturm

Pairings:

Markov – Chara

Wideman – Volchenkov

White – Phillips

Goalies: Miller gets the start, Thomas on the bench.

Central: Perhaps the toughest division in hockey, the central is deep at just about all positions, but especially on the blueline. I left some extremely good players off this team that would have been locks in other divisions, like Suter.

Lines:

Nash – Datsyuk – Kane

Hossa – Zetterberg – Holmstrom

Oshie – Toews – Boyes

Voracek – Franzen – Sharp

Pairings:

Lidstrom – Hejda

Keith – Seabrook

Rafalski – Weber

Goalies: Surprisingly, the goalie selection here is somewhat weak. I’m starting Pekka Rinne and putting Steve Mason on the bench. This answer changes when the playoffs roll around; You want Ozzie when the guy decides it’s time to wake up.

 

Northwest: This is where the western Canadian teams hang out. Vancouver and Calgary lend the division a distinct physical edge, but there’s a lack of high-end talent down the middle.

Lines:

Havlat – Stastny – Iginla

Hejduk – Jokinen – Hemsky

D Sedin – H Sedin – Penner

Bieksa – O’Sullivan – Burrows

Pairings:

Regehr – Souray

Ehrhoff – Edler

Bouwmeester – Quincey

Goalies: Sweet Bobby Lou gets the start, Backstrom backs him up.

 

Pacific: The Left Coast – there’s a good mix of physicality and skill here, but questions in goal. Very, very deep down the middle.

Lines:

Perry – Getzlaf – Frolov

Heatley – Thornton – Morrow

Smyth – Kopitar – Setoguchi

Selanne – Marleau – Ryan

Pairings:

Niedermayer – Vlasic

Boyle – Doughty

Johnson – Whitney

Goalie: Bryzgalov has been a lone bright spot for the ‘Yotes over the last few years. Nabokov gets the ballcap.

 

Got replacements? Would you balance the lines in a different way? Who wins the Stanley Cup out of these six teams? I’m going with Central over the Atlantic in 6 – that blueline is too good to ignore.

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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