Reader Drew Curlett said this in an email today:
"How do you define greatness? Career Achievements? Stats? Skill? Revolutionized The Game? Or all of the above?
Defining greatness is a very individual quest. As Wikipedia suggests, "Greatness is a concept that is heavily dependent on a person's perspective and biases."
So very true. Which is why I have yet to see anyone completely agree with anyone else on a list of 36. These lists, these opinions are as individual as snowflakes.
But in order for me to properly define the top 36 players in hockey history, I think I have to come up with a more concrete definition of greatness, at least I see it.
Which is where I need your help. Email me or post in the comments below what should be the factors of hockey greatness. What weight would you give those factors?
Right now I'm leaning towards career achievements as the biggest factor, with what I term legacy as the second largest. Stats and skills, something I think could be combined and termed ability, don't weigh as high for me, but could be a tie breaker. Ability should be taken for granted when were talking about the best 36 players out of a pool of 10,000 or more. I also think there is something to be said for longevity.
I will be doing a little camping this week. I'm packing up several hockey books and will be contemplating the definition of greatness and the top 36 hockey players of all time. I will be online everyday, so feel free to share your thoughts!