Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong.

In order to pretend that it is still relevant in the summer off season, NHL.com has been posting as many pointless articles as they can find, showing that the best hockey editors work for an organization other than NHL.com. So far, my least favourite article was the one detailing Canada’s top 10 players. Here’s the list, since you probably don’t want to bother clicking:

1. Sidney Crosby
2. Martin Brodeur
3. Jarome Iginla
4. Marc-Andre Fleury
5. Chris Pronger
6. Ryan Getzlaf
7. Rick Nash
8. Roberto Luongo
9. Joe Thornton
10. Vincent Lecavalier

Allow me to say what the fuck?! There is no way this list is anywhere close to right. Sure, Joe Thornton puts up a pile of points, but that doesn’t make him the 9th best Canadian. And sure, Marty Brodeur is the best goalie in the NHL, but a poor playoffs and an injury-laden season should affect that rating.

But the biggest tragedy? Sidney Crosby is not the best Canadian out there today. Yes, he has a lot of points in a young career. Yes, he is probably the most talented Canadian forward when you look at potential. In five years, maybe even three, he’ll deserve to top these sorts of lists.

But he, right now, cannot hold a candle to Jarome Iginla.

Sidney’s done a lot. Stanley Cup, Art Ross, Pearson, Hart. First All-Star Team, IHWC MVP. It’s a lot.

Jarome, however…2 Richards. Art Ross, Pearson, three time First All-Star Team member. 2 50 goal seasons. Four international gold medals – WJHC, World Cup, IHWC, and Olympic. He’s only 32 and has 409 goals – 9th on the active list (8th once Roenick retires tomorrow). More than that – Jarome is only 32. He still has 2-3 years, maybe more, at peak play. This guy could easily log 500 goals by the end of his career – maybe even 600. That puts him in very unique territory.

You can count on Jarome to bring it in any game. He’s one of the best leaders in the NHL, better than Sidney Crosby by far. As I said previously, he’s my choice to lead Canada in 2010, now that Super Joe is Super Retired. The only other leader in his caliber is Scott Niedermayer (I’ll be discussing the lack of Scott on this list in a minute). And that’s not just Canadians. Let me say this again: the best captain in the NHL is Jarome Iginla.

Jarome scores. He assists. He talks to the press. He’s the classiest act there is. Remember the last game of the season 2 years ago when Trevor Linden was obviously retiring? So did Jarome. On top of that, Jarome fights. And fights. And fights. Tyler and I have a rule: when Iginla fights, he’s at his best. He’s fired up and ready to go.

Let’s share one other story about Jarome. Last year when the Flames were playing the Sharks, Jarome ran into a group of fans that had driven down from Calgary to watch. They didn’t have any money, so they were sleeping in a car. Iginla bought them all a room in the hotel with his own money, as a way to say thanks for supporting the team. Nothing he had to do – he did it because he is the classiest, greatest Canadian playing hockey today.

So, there you have it. Sidney is a good player, yes. He is probably the second best Canadian there is. But he’s no Jarome Iginla. There’s noone else like him.

And the other big travesty is Scott Niedermayer. Scott’s getting old, but that doesn’t stop him from being the best. He’s won everything. Triple Gold Club member. World Cup. Norris, Conn Smythe, hell, even a Memorial Cup in the CHL. Four Stanley Cups. The man is a machine, and he’s still an elite defenseman at 37. Vincent Lecavalier? Bullshit.

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