The NHL has become more of a global game over the last 25 years. During the 1995-96 season, 80.3% of NHL players were North American born, per Quanthockey.com. Fast forward to today, and that number has dropped to 68.7%.
Canada, the USA, Sweden, Russia, Finland, and the Czech Republic are the countries that are most well-represented in the league.
The Athletic’s Sean McIndoe put together an interesting piece looking at which NHL team can put together the best lineup by picking one player from each country. He had three forwards, two defenseman and a goalie.
For the Anaheim Ducks, here is how McIndoe’s lineup looks:
Forwards: Paul Kariya (CAN), Teemu Selanne (FIN), Petr Sykora (CZE)
Defense: Hampus Lindholm (SWE), Oleg Tverdovsky (RUS)
Goalie: John Gibson (USA)
No disrespect to Paul Kariya, who I loved to watch, but my Canadian on the team would be Ryan Getzlaf. He has appeared in 447 more games than Kariya, and produced 319 points points in a Ducks uniform. Not to mention, he helped bring a Stanley Cup championship to the O.C.
Selanne is the no-brainer on the list. Sykora had 131 points in 197 games with Anaheim, and helped lead the Ducks to the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. On defense, Scot Niedermayer and Cam Fowler both have better numbers than Lindholm and Tverdovsky, but due to where they born, they didn’t made McIndoe’s squad.
Which got me thinking about which players would make up the second-best Anaheim lineup under the same rules?
This is how mine looks:
Forwards: Getzlaf (CAN), Bobby Ryan (USA), Jakob Silfverberg (SWE)
Defenseman: Sami Vatanen (FIN), Lubomir Visnovsky (SLO)
Goalie: Jonas Hiller (SUI)
I Fowler off due to the drop off from Ryan for American born forwards. Visnovsky makes my lineup by default, while Hiller is pretty solid option in net.
What do you think of McIndoe’s lineup? How would your second-line look? Let us know in the comments below!