The NHL 100 classic is almost here. The showpiece outdoor even in Canada’s capital is just weeks away. We wanted to get in on the build-up with a fantasy alumni roster of our own.
We’re only days from the NHL 100 Classic at Ottawa’s TD Place. The nation’s capital will finally host an outdoor even as Canadians continue the celebration of the nations’ 150th anniversary.
The game comes as both teams make diverging runs in the league. After most of the season is at the top of the Atlantic, the Ottawa Senators have fallen on hard times. The Sens are 1-8-1 over their last ten and worse, Erik Karlsson might not be entirely happy with the Sens and them with his (totally fair) contract demands.
And the Canadiens are two points out of a playoff position in the Atlantic. Something was off with Carey Price at the start of the season and he’s seemed to have worked that out.
So what we wanted to do was put together who we’d like to see at the NHL 100 Classic’s alumni game. We all know that the alumni game is the best part of the weekend. We all remember Teemu Selane flying down the ice in Winnipeg during last year’s game.
But we wanted to do something a bit different. We didn’t want to just name a team of all-stars or hall of fame players. We wanted to pick players who we didn’t think would get a nod from their former franchises, for whatever reason, and give them a shot.
Yanic Perreault 2001-2004
All Perrault was ever good at was the faceoff. Like ridiculously good at it. Perreault only had two seasons, since the FOW% were calculated where he hit less than 60%. And in those two seasons, he was above 55%. With that kind of power Montréal almost never lost a faceoff.
Perreault would go on the ice simply to win the draw in the defensive zone and bolt back to the bench for the next stop in play. If there was ever a specialist he was one. Give him a run out there on the ice to appreciate all those five-second shifts he took just to win the puck of the draw.
Maxim Lapierre 2005-2010
Remember Lapierre? I sure do. He was Brad Marchand before Brad Marchand knew he could get away with almost anything on the ice. Max Lapierre wasn’t just straddling the edge of dirty, he was also one of the cockiest players you’ll ever see.
He wasn’t any good. His best season he scored 28 points. But he knew how to get under a players skin. Not generally something you need or even want in a showpiece event like an alumni game, but darn it, was Lapierre entertaining. And it’s that what the alumni game is all about?
Alex Kovalev 2003-2009
I know Habs fans will never forget that time a Bruins player broke Kovalev’s hand during overtime in the playoffs, then ran into Sheldon Souray taking him out of the play, and only for the Bruins to score on the play and win the game? Kovie needs his vindication.
…He didn’t break his hand? It was as all a ruse? Kovalev was trying to get a call? Well…get him out there so he can maybe apologize? Or just wow us again with his pre-game dangles?
Sheldon Souray 1999-2007
The man with the cannon. Sheldon Souray couldn’t do much well but shoot the puck really really really hard. And for a few years that worked. Souray made a career out of the slapshot. Even making it to 8th in Norris voting back in 2006-07 with a 64 point season.
Does it matter that 134 of his 300 NHL points occurred on the power play and that 66% of those 134 points occurred in a four year period? No. Well, kinda, but a points-a-point right?
Chris Chelios 1983-1990
He’s got to be well over 75 at this point (that’s an exaggeration…or is it). But if there’s a senior citizen that could still lace up his skates and put on a show it’s Chris Chelios.
The three-time Norris, three-time cup winner played until he was 48 years old. You just couldn’t keep the guy on the ice. We just want to see old-timer Chelios get out there and throw his weight around like a battering ram even at 90. Seriously, the guy is old. (I think)
Patrick Roy 1984-1996
Four cups, five Jennings trophies, three Vezinas, three Smythes and a Hall of Fame nod. Patrick Roy was the greatest goalies of his generation. But thanks to one game versus the Detroit Red Wings in 1996 the relationship with les Blues, Blanc, et Rouge hasn’t been the same. Yeah they retired his jersey a while back. But Roy isn’t going around wearing the CH during games or publicity tours. The relationship hasn’t quite healed to that level.