Fall is settling in quickly in my part of the world. Here in Northern British Columbia the morning air is brisk, the forests are coloured with all sorts of yellows and reds, and the mountain tops once again blanketed with the whitest of snows.
2019 is quickly coming to an end. And so is the decade. Which means it is time to start reflecting on the past 10 amazing years of hockey.
Once such exercise is to name the All Decade Team. From 2010 through the end of 2019, who were the best players in hockey at each position?
Forwards - Sidney Crosby is an easy choice at center, and Alex Ovechkin is an obvious selection on the wing. Ultimately, the debate as to who was the best player of the decade comes down to these two, with no one really coming close to entering into the conversation. Crosby seems to have always have been the quick answer in this debate, because he has won everything. But now that Ovie has his Stanley Cup, too, it really is a tight pick. Ovie's dominance scoring goals is nothing short of amazing.
Oh yeah, we have to name another forward. Patrick Kane gets my nod, if only because technically we have to pick another winger for the All Decade Team. Realistically, there were not nearly as many dominant wingers as there have been centers in the past decade, which is something we have said about every previous era in hockey history. The best players are usually centers.
Defense - There are three choices here for me, but only two blue line spots to fill. I would give the first spot to Duncan Keith with three Stanley Cups, two Norris Trophies and two Olympic gold. I have a tough time choosing the final spot between Zdeno Chara and Erik Karlsson. The traditionalist in me would go with the monstrous Chara who dominated in a fashion that statistics do not easily indicate.
Goaltender - I think Carey Price would probably be the runaway leader in between the pipes, though I'd give Pekka Rinne and Marc Andre-Fleury some consideration.
Coach - There's only a few coaches who manned a NHL bench every year in the decade, and none had more success than Joel Quenneville.