The Edmonton Journal's David Staples published his list of the top 50 players of all time in Tuesday's paper.
Staples relies upon expert opinion, but only experts from every season of NHL play. The difference is that the experts who vote on MVP awards are not looking far back in time, they are contemporary. Here's how Staples told me he would make his list:
"I am thinking of making a list based on Hart Trophy voting and Conn Smythe wins. I have the NHL's top five voting for the Hart since 1924. In the Hart, the NHL awards points on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis to the top five finishers each season in order to pick a winner. I would do the same for each season of play, then add up the overall totals to see who has the most MVP votes overall, over the year. I would also give 10 points to each Conn Smythe and Conn Smythe reconciled winner, as the playoff MVP is every bit as important a measure of individual greatness as the regular season Hart Trophy, I believe."
I think it's pretty solid reasoning. The results and article, including an interview with yours truly, can be found here.