The inclusion of Sergei Gonchar in the top-30 ignited quite a debate and plenty of disagreement, and I'm expecting an equal amount at the placement of Washington's Mike Green. A couple of weeks ago, I asked if we would ever see another NHL defenseman hit the century mark in a single season, and came to the conclusion that Green is the only player with a legitimate chance. He not only led all defensemen in scoring this past season, he obliterated the competition, leading Andrei Markov, the No. 2 defenseman, by nine points, despite playing in 10 fewer games.
That all has to be worth something. Right?
If we simply take his 1.07 points-per-game average from 2008-09 and multiply it out over 82 games, that comes to, roughly, 87 points -- which is an unheard of number for a defenseman in the post-1994 NHL. You can't question his value offensively. Defensively? That's another story. As we discussed with Gabriel Desjardins on Thursday, measuring defense is still very subjective. James Mirtle pointed out back in mid-March that Green's defense may not be as bad as its perceived to be at times.
Among his accomplishments in 2008-09: He broke an NHL record for most consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman, became the first rearguard to score 30 goals in a season since 1993, and was also a finalist for the Norris Trophy.
Draft Year: 2004
Not a bad year for the Capitals, as their three first-round picks brought them Green, Jeff Schultz and Alex Ovechkin.
Why He's On My List
I don't think it can be debated that Green is the best offensive-defenseman in the NHL, and by a rather large margin. What it comes down is how do you rate him defensively. Regardless, he's so dominant offensively that he has to be in here, and I think there's plenty of value for a guy that can take over a game like Green can from the blue line.
Obligatory YouTube Video
Mike Green's record-breaking goal-scoring streak.