Who the 100 greatest hockey players of all time?
That is the question I will ponder all summer long. I have been for some time, actually. I hope to make my process and my findings a major feature here at GreatestHockeyLegends.com in the 2013-14 hockey season.
There are a lot of aspects to this diverse question, and I will seek your input.
But the very first question I need to determine is this: How do you define greatness?
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 100 greatest hockey players or anything else. These lists, these opinions are as individual as snowflakes.
But in order for me to properly define the top 100 players in hockey history, I think I have to come up with a more concrete definition of greatness, in hockey terms.
Which is where I need your help. Email me, tweet me or post in the comments below what should be the factors of hockey greatness.
Career achievements? Era dominance? Ability? Longevity? Legacy?
What weight would you give those factors? How do we compare players from different eras? How do we compare players from different positions? How can we mitigate the personal perspective and biases to fairly compare players? Almost all of the attributes are open to individual "perspectives and biases."
These are just a few of the questions I will have to ask and ultimately answer in the process.
One thing I will enter this defining process with is a clear belief that there is a distinct difference between the best player and the greatest player. The best player we can debate more in terms of ability - skating, shooting, physical play, offensive and defensive play, etc. The greatest player takes ability in to account, but, for me, is more defined by his career and legacy. There is no guarantee that the same player tops both distinct lists.
Be sure to watch this process develop and feel free to contribute as we go along. It promises to be a fascinating undertaking.