The 50 Greatest Offensive Defensemen in NHL History

November 4th, 2010 by Scott Weldon Leave a reply »
The most exciting play in hockey is the end to end rush. A defenseman starts out behind his own net and skates through an entire team to score a goal. This slide show is designed to honour and rank those offensively skilled players who have played defense in the NHL.  

Offensive defensemen were popularized with the coming of Bobby Orr in 1966-67. That combined with the Second Six expansion that doubled the number of NHL teams from six to 12 teams for the 1967-68 season lead to an era of unrivaled offensive production, especially from defensemen.

Most of the players on this list come from 1967 on. The Original Six era featured a conservatism of play that frequently quashed any offensive creativity from defensemen. Players from that era were severely limited in what they were allowed to do offensively and often ostracized or traded if they tried to do more.

Likewise, earlier than that, slowly evolving offside rules and different rules for what constituted an assist severely limited what kind of statistically counted offensive contribution even the most skilled defenders could make. Throw in the fact that the slap shot wasn't popularized until Ber ...

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