“Who wore it best in the NHL?”: # 45-31

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Although there is no debate about the best player to wear this number, there are 98 other numbers with more than one good candidate. This is where the “Who’s Wore It Best?” ” Between.

The editors of NHL.com voted, each selecting their first three for each issue, the best voter voting receiving three points, second place receiving two points and third place receiving one point.

Contestants will be debated and winners will be announced in a weekly five-part series that airs for the first time on Sportsnet, NHL.com and League platforms each Friday at 5 p.m. ET, and rebroadcast every Tuesday on NBCSN (5 p.m. ET) and NHL Network (6:30 p.m. ET). NHL.com will provide the list of winners each Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET after the premiere of each episode, beginning this week.

Today we’re looking at numbers 45 to 31:

[RELATED:[RELATED:[ENRELATION:[RELATED:Who wore it best? | Nos 99-81 | Nos 80-61 | Our 60-46]

N ° 45 – Sami Vatanen

Seasons worn: Anaheim Ducks 2013-17; New Jersey Devils 2017-20; Carolina Hurricanes 2020

Career statistics: 194 points (45 goals, 149 assists) in 434 games

Voting points: 37 (9-5-0)

The skinny: Vatanen was tied for 11th among NHL defensemen with 12 goals in 67 games in 2014-2015, and during the playoffs this season, he scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 16 games to help Anaheim to qualify for the Western Conference finals. Vatanen, who has racked up 68 points (12 goals, 56 assists) in 154 games with the Devils, has been hampered by injuries in the past two seasons and was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on February 24. He hasn’t played a match with them yet. .

Fun fact: Vatanen wore No. 44 with JYP in Liiga, Finland’s best professional league, and No. 9 with Norfolk of the American Hockey League, but none was available with Anaheim when he was called, so he was ranked n ° 45.

Others receiving votes: Jonathan Bernier, 28 (4-6-4); Arron Asham, 17 (4-2-1); Dmitri Kalinin, 11 (0-3-5); Jody Shelley, 8 (1-1-3); Brenden Morrow, 3 (1-0-0); Donald Audette, 2 (0-1-0); Mark Stuart, 1 (0-0-1); Brad Ference, 1 (0-0-1).

Analysis: “It is impossible not to recognize Sami Vatanen in his number 45 as he skates up and down on the ice or crosses the blue line, helping to execute a power play in his unique and effective way over the past eight seasons in the NHL. ” – Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Editorial Director of NHL.com

N ° 44 – Chris Pronger

Seasons worn: Hartford Whalers 1993-95; St. Louis Blues 1995-2004; Edmonton Oilers 2005-06

Career statistics: 698 points (157 goals, 541 assists) in 1,167 games

Voting points: 54 (18-0-0)

The skinny: Pronger won the Hart Trophy as the most useful player in the NHL and the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in 1999-2000, when he had a career high of 62 points (14 goals, 48 ​​assists ) in 79 games and led the League with a plus- 52 rating. After failing on his first trip to the Stanley Cup final with the Oilers in 2006, his 12th season in the League, Pronger managed to break through and win the Cup the following season with the Ducks (while wearing the No. ° 25). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

Fun fact: Pronger switched to # 25 after the Ducks acquired it in a trade on July 3, 2006, because # 44 was already worn by forward Rob Niedermayer. When he was again traded to the Philadelphia Flyers on June 26, 2009, he chose to wear No. 20 with No. 25 (Matt Carle) and 44 (Kimmo Timonen) taken. The Blues will retire No. 44 in his honor at some point next season.

Others receiving votes: Stéphane Richer, 23 (1-9-2); Kimmo Timonen, 13 (0-5-3); Dave Babych, 7 (0-2-3); Rob Niedermayer, 4 (0-1-2); Marc-Edouard Vlasic, 4 (0-0-4); Roman Hamrlik, 2 (0-0-2); Todd Bertuzzi, 2 (0-0-2); Vincent Lecavalier, 2 (0-1-0); Brooks Orpik, 2 (0-1-0); Morgan Rielly, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “His physique combined with the ability to move an elite puck as a defender made him the best to wear No. 44.” – Rob Reese, fantastic editor of NHL.com

Video: Chris Pronger was the Hart Trophy winning defender

N ° 43 – Martin Biron

Seasons worn: Buffalo Sabers 1998-2007; Philadelphia Flyers 2007-09; New York Islanders 2009-10; New York Rangers 2010-13

Career statistics: 230-191-27 with 25 ties, 2.61 GAA, save percentage of .910 in 508 games

Voting points: 50 (15-2-1)

The skinny: Biron played 72 games with an NHL career record for Buffalo in 2001-2002, which placed second in the League, and among goalkeepers to make at least 30 starts this season, he was tied for ninth with 2.22 GAA and tied for eighth with a savings percentage of .915. He continued to play well after being traded to the Flyers on February 27, 2007, making a 30-20-9 record with 2.59 GAA, a save percentage of .918 and five shutouts in 2007-08, when he helped them progress towards the Eastern Conference. Final as seeded n ° 6.

Fun fact: Biron wore the number 00 when he played three games with Buffalo in 1995-1996. However, the NHL had a number limited to 1-99 (the League’s computer system did not recognize the number 00) when it was called back in 1998-1999, so it went to number 43 and the has worn for the rest of his career.

Others receiving votes: Nazem Kadri, 24 (1-8-5); Patrice Brisebois, 20 (2-5-4); Tom wilson, 8 (1-1-3); Darren Helm, 5 (0-1-3); Philippe Boucher, 5 (0-1-3); Quinn Hughes, 2 (0-1-0)

Analysis: “Biron had success as a starter with the Sabers and Flyers, but he also worked well when he was relegated to a replacement later in his career. ” – David Satriano, Staff Writer at NHL.com

N ° 42 – David Backes

Seasons worn: St. Louis Blues 2006-16; Boston Bruins 2016-20

Career statistics: 557 points (245 goals, 312 assists) in 950 games

Voting points: 48 (13-4-1)

The skinny: Backes has scored at least 20 goals in six seasons with the Blues, including an NHL 31 career high in 2008-09 and 2010-11. He was a finalist in the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive striker in the League, in 2011-12.

Fun fact: Backes played his entire NHL career with the No. 42 until he was acquired by the Anaheim Ducks in a trade with the Bruins on February 21, 2020. His former number is currently being worn by the defender Josh Manson, Backes chose instead to wear number 21.

Others receiving votes: Sergei Makarov, 37 (5-9-4); Tyler Bozak, 12 (0-3-6); Richard Smehlik, 6 (1-1-1); Artem Anisimov, 2 (0-1-0); Robert Esche, 2 (0-0-2); Bob Sweeney, 1 (0-0-1); Bernie Federko, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “I was debating between Makarov and Backes, but I opted for the latter because of its longevity bringing number and productivity with the Blues and the Bruins. ” – Mike G. Morreale, Staff Editor, NHL.com

N ° 41 – Jaroslav Halak

Seasons worn: Montreal Canadiens 2007-10; St. Louis Blues 2010-14; Washington Capitals 2014; New York Islanders 2014-18; Boston Bruins 2018-present

Career statistics: 272-167-58, 2.48 GAA, save percentage of .916 in 520 games

Voting points: 40 (10-4-2)

The skinny: Halak shared the William M. Jennings Trophy, presented “to goalkeeper (s) who played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored”, with his Blues teammate Brian Elliott in 2011-12, when he went 26-12-7 with a GAA of 1.97, a save percentage of .926 and six shutouts. Three seasons later, he set Islanders records for the most consecutive wins (11) and the most wins (38) in a season. However, Halak may be best known for his performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs when he helped Montreal reach the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals by scoring three goals. out of 134 shots to win the Games 5-7 before beating the Pittsburgh Penguins to advance to the conference finals as the No. 8 seed.

Fun fact: Halak wore the numbers 29 and 30 with Hamilton of the American Hockey League. However, when he was called back, goalkeeper David Aebischer was wearing number 30, and number 29 had already been withdrawn by Montreal in honor of goalkeeper Ken Dryden, so Halak switched to number 41.

Others receiving votes: Jason Allison, 26 (3-7-3); Mike Smith, 19 (1-4-8); Craig Anderson, 17 (3-3-2); Jocelyn Thibault, 6 (1-0-3); Stu Barnes, 3 (1-0-0); Brent Gilchrist, 2 (0-1-0); Ray Whitney, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “Halak has proven to be a reliable starter and replacement in the NHL, and he is still going strong for the Bruins in his 14th season at the age of 35. “ – Jon Lane, NHL.com Staff Writer

N ° 40 – Henrik Zetterberg

Seasons worn: Detroit Red Wings 2002-18

Career statistics: 960 points (337 goals, 623 assists) in 1,082 games

Voting points: 57 (The 19 votes for first place)

The skinny: Zetterberg had an NHL career high of 92 points (43 goals, 49 assists) in 75 regular season games in 2007-08, then went on to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most useful player in the playoffs. after scoring 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 22 games to help Detroit win the Stanley Cup. He also led Detroit with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 23 playoff games the following year, but the Red Wings lost in a rematch to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Cup final.

Fun fact: Zetterberg was the fifth Red Wings player to wear No. 40, but the only player to do so for more than one season.

Others receiving votes: Tuukka rask, 36 (2-13-4); Alex Tanguay, 17 (0-4-9); Devan Dubnyk, 4 (0-0-4); Robin lehner, 2 (0-0-2).

Analysis: “I loved watching him play. He was obviously an extremely talented player. He had an exceptional ability to push his level of work as the game progressed. He never seemed tired and if he did, he worked there. ” – Keith Jones, NBCSN analyst

N ° 39 – Dominik Hasek

Seasons worn: Buffalo Sabers 1992-2001; Detroit Red Wings 2001-04, 2006-08; Ottawa Senators 2005-06

Career statistics: 389-223-13 with 82 ties, 2.20 GAA, save percentage of .922 in 735 games

Voting points: 57 (The 19 votes for first place)

The skinny: Hasek has won the Vezina Trophy as the best goalkeeper in the League six times (1993-94, 1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01), tied for second in NHL history with Bill Durnan (Jacques Plante is first with seven). He also won the Hart Trophy as the most useful player in the NHL and the Ted Lindsay Prize, awarded each year to the most remarkable player in the League as voted by the members of the NHL Players’ Association, in consecutive seasons in 1996-1997 and 1997-98. Hasek won the Stanley Cup as a Red Wings starter in 2002, and again as a replacement for Chris Osgood in 2008, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014.

Fun fact: Hasek wore numbers 31 and 34 with the Chicago Blackhawks in his first two NHL seasons. The Sabers withdrew its number 39 on January 13, 2015.

Others receiving votes: Doug Weight, 26 (0-10-6); Logan Couture, 20 (0-6-8); Doug Gilmour, 7 (0-3-1); Travis Green, 3 (0-0-3); Clark Gillies, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “Hasek dominated by doing things his way. This included wearing an unusual number for a goalkeeper. The other top candidates were attackers, all of whom would have had trouble scoring on him. ” – Nicholas J. Cotsonika, NHL.com columnist

Video: Dominik Hasek has won the Vézina trophy six times, Hart twice

N ° 38 – Pavol Demitra

Seasons worn: St. Louis Blues 1997-2004; Los Angeles Kings 2005-06; Minnesota Wild 2006-08; Vancouver Canucks 2008-10

Career statistics: 768 points (304 goals, 464 assists) in 847 games

Voting points: 56 (18-1-0)

The skinny: Demitra scored at least 20 goals in nine consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2007, including three with at least 35. He scored a career high of 37 NHL goals in 1998-1999 with 93 career points (36 goals, 57 helpers). in 2002-03, and won the Lady Byng Trophy as a player voted to best combine sportiness, gentlemanly driving and ability in 1999-2000. Demitra died on September 7, 2011, at the age of 36, when the plane with which he was with his team, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the Kontinental Hockey League, crashed shortly after takeoff.

Fun fact: Demitra began his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators wearing the number 78, becoming the first player in their history to do so. However, he changed positions after being traded to the Blues on November 27, 1996 and wore No. 38 for the rest of his NHL career.

Others receiving votes: Vladimir Malakhov, 18 (0-9-0); Dave Scatchard, 10 (0-4-2); Boone jenner, 6 (0-1-4); Dave Andreychuk, 5 (1-0-2); Jan Hrdina, 5 (0-0-5); Vernon Fiddler, 4 (0-1-2); Jiri Hrdina, 2 (0-1-0); Cristobal Huet, 2 (0-1-0); Ryan Hartman, 1 (0-0-1); Chris Kunitz, 1 (0-0-1); Vladimir Ruzicka, 1 (0-0-1).

Analysis: “The late striker had a great NHL career and was at his best with St. Louis, where he scored at least 35 goals in three seasons. ” – Tracey Myers, editor of the NHL.com team

N ° 37 – Patrice bergeron

Seasons worn: Boston Bruins 2003-present

Career statistics: 869 points (352 goals, 517 assists) in 1,089 games

Voting points: 57 (The 19 votes for first place)

The skinny: Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the best NHL defensive forward four times (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17) and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, while ” he had 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 23 playoff games. Since entering the League in 2003-2004, he has won 57.2% of his faceoff, which places him second in the NHL among players who have made at least 10,000 draws behind Manny Malhotra (58 , 4).

Fun fact: Bergeron wore number 37 with Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and he was able to keep it when he made the Bruins as an 18-year-old center after Lee Goren, who had worn it before, signed up as a free player. agent with the Florida Panthers after the 2002-03 season.

Others receiving votes: Olie Kolzig, 35 (0-17-1); Eric Desjardins, 15 (0-2-11); Connor Hellebuyck, 4 (0-0-4); Trevor Kidd, 1 (0-0-1); Ryan O’Reilly, 1 (0-0-1); Curtis Brown, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “He’s the perfect hockey player. What more do you really want to say? “ – Amalie Benjamin, Staff Writer at NHL.com

N ° 36 – Mats Zuccarello

Seasons worn: New York Rangers 2010-19; Dallas Stars 2019; Minnesota Wild 2019-present

Career statistics: 392 points (129 goals, 263 assists) in 576 games

Voting points: 37 (5-10-2)

The skinny: Zuccarello led New York City with 318 points (102 goals, 216 assists) in 442 games since the start of the 2013-14 season, his first full NHL season, until he was traded to the Stars on February 23 . , 2019.

Fun fact: He went by Mats Zuccarello Aasen and wore the number 48 for Norway at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Others receiving votes: John gibson, 33 (6-6-3); Jussi Jokinen, 21 (4-2-5); Matthew Barnaby, 13 (3-0-4); Glenn Anderson, 3 (1-0-0); Alexei Zhamnov, 2 (0-1-0); Dmitry Yushkevich, 2 (0-0-2); Dave Bolland, 1 (0-0-1); Bobby Clarke, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “I chose Zuccarello because he’s a little guy (5’8″, 178 pounds) who makes big numbers, and he did it on one of the biggest stages in hockey – Madison Square Garden – for most of his career. ” – William Douglas, NHL.com Staff Writer

N ° 35 – Tony Esposito

Seasons worn: Chicago Black Hawks 1969-84

Career statistics: 423-306 with 152 ties, 2.93 GAA, 0.906 save percentage in 886 games

Voting points: 57 (The 19 votes for first place)

The skinny: Esposito is eighth in NHL history in starts (874), ninth in games played, 10th in wins and tied for 10th in shutouts (76). After winning the Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1968-1969, he was selected by the Black Hawks in 1969 in the intraligue draft and won the Calder Trophy as best rookie in the league in 1969-1970, and Vézina Trophy as an NHL player. best goalkeeper on three occasions (1969-70, 1971-72 and 1973-74).

Fun fact: Esposito wore numbers 1 and 29 with the Canadiens. He is the only player in Chicago’s history to wear No. 35, who retired on November 20, 1988.

Others receiving votes: Mike Richter, 28 (0-12-4); Tom Barrasso, 12 (0-3-6); Pekka Rinne9 (0-2-5); Andy Moog, 6 (0-2-2); Nikolai Khabibulin, 1 (0-0-1); Marty Turco, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “Tony Esposito was way ahead of his time, introducing the now popular goalkeeper butterfly style league. He is universally considered one of the greatest of all time in this position. “ – Pete Jensen, fantastic editor of NHL.com

Video: Tony Esposito won Vezina, Calder in 1969-70

N ° 34 – Miikka Kiprusoff

Seasons worn: San Jose Sharks 2000-02; Calgary Flames 2003-13

Career statistics: 319-213-64 with seven ties, 2.49 GAA, save percentage of .912 in 623 games

Voting points: 44 (9-7-3)

The skinny: Among goalkeepers who have played at least 30 games, Kiprusoff is the first in Flame history in almost every statistical category, including games played (576), wins (305), shutouts (41), the percentage savings (0.913) and GAA (2.46). He won the Vézina Trophy as the best NHL goaltender in 2005-2006, while he went 42-20-11 with a GAA of 2.07, a save percentage of, 923 and 10 launderings. Kiprusoff was 15-11 last season with a GAA of 1.85, a save percentage of .928 and five shutouts in 26 Stanley Cup playoff games to help Calgary advance to the final. 2004 Cup before losing in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Fun fact: Kiprusoff began his NHL career with No. 34 with the Sharks in 2000-01 before moving on to No. 37 for the next two seasons. When the Sharks traded him to the Flames on November 16, 2003, however, he returned to No. 34 and wore it for the rest of his NHL career.

Others receiving votes: John Vanbiesbrouck, 36 (6-6-6); Auston Matthews, 27 (4-6-3); Al Iafrate, 5 (0-0-5); Jamie Macoun, 2 (0-0-2)

Analysis: “Kiprusoff was among the best goalkeepers in the League from 2003 to 2012. He won the Vézina Trophy in 2005-2006 and started more than 70 games and has won at least 35 games in seven consecutive seasons during this period. ” – David Satriano, Staff Writer at NHL.com

N ° 33 – Patrick Roy

Seasons worn: Montreal Canadiens 1985-95; Colorado Avalanche 1995-2003

Career statistics: 551-315 with 131 ties, 2.54 GAA, save percentage of .910 in 1029 games

Voting points: 57 (The 19 votes for first place)

The skinny: Considered by some to be the best goalkeeper in NHL history, Roy has won the Stanley Cup four times, twice with Montreal (1986, 1993) and Colorado (1996, 2001), and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most useful player in the playoffs three times. (1986, 1993 and 2001). He also won the Vézina Trophy as the best goalkeeper in the League three times (1988-89, 1989-90 and 1991-92) and finished second in NHL history by winning behind Martin Brodeur (691). Roy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

Fun fact: Roy wore 30 with Granby of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but was awarded the number 33 when he debuted with the Canadiens on February 23, 1985 and kept it for the rest of his career in the NHL. The Avalanche withdrew its issue on October 28, 2003, followed by the Canadiens on November 22, 2008.

Others receiving votes: Zdeno Chara, 29 (0-11-7); Henrik Sedin, 27 (0-8-11); Benoit Hogue, 1 (0-0-1).

Analysis: “Statistics are statistics, but it’s Roy’s reputation as the winner – as well as his confidence and internal fire – that put him at the top of the list for me. ” – Tim Campbell, Staff Writer at NHL.com

Video: Patrick Roy has won the Stanley Cup four times, three Vezinas

N ° 32 – Dale hunter

Seasons worn: Quebec Nordiques 1980-87; Washington Capitals 1987-99; Colorado Avalanche 1999

Career statistics: 1,020 points (323 goals, 697 assists) in 1,407 games

Voting points: 49 (12-5-3)

The skinny: Hunter is one of four players in NHL history to earn at least 1,000 points, 2,000 penalty minutes and have played at least 1,000 games, joining Brendan Shanahan, Pat Verbeek and Keith Tkachuk.

Fun fact: Hunter wore No. 32 with Quebec and was able to keep it when he was traded to the Capitals after his attacking colleague Lou Franceschetti agreed to switch to No. 25. The Capitals removed it on March 11, 2000 .

Others receiving votes: Jonathan Quick, 27 (4-5-5); Claude Lemieux, 27 (3-7-4); Steve Thomas, 8 (0-2-4); Kelly Hrudey, 2 (0-0-2); Murray Craven, 1 (0-0-1)

Analysis: “He’s an absolute winner who hasn’t had the chance to have great teams around him to overtake him. When the game was played with an advantage and the game needed a momentum change, Dale Hunter provided that. – Keith Jones, NBCSN Analyst

N ° 31 – Grant fuhr

Seasons worn: Edmonton Oilers 1982-91; Toronto Maple Leafs 1991-1993; Buffalo Sabers 1993-95; Los Angeles Kings 1995; St. Louis Blues 1995-99; Calgary Flames 1999-2000

Career statistics: 403-295 with 114 tied, 3.38 GAA, 0.887 save percentage in 868 games

Voting points: 46 (10-7-2)

The skinny: Fuhr has won the Stanley Cup with the Oilers five times (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990), including the top four as a starter. He also won the Vézina Trophy in 1987-1988, when he went 40-24 with 9 ties, and had a save percentage of 3.43 GAA and 0.881. Fuhr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003, becoming the first black player in NHL history to do so.

Fun fact: Fuhr wore number 1 during his rookie season with the Oilers in 1981-1982, but went up to number 31 (his junior number with Victoria Western Hockey League) the following season and the has worn for the rest of his career. The Oilers withdrew its issue on October 9, 2003.

Others receiving votes: Billy Smith, 44 (8-10-0); Carey Award, 19 (1-1-14); Curtis Joseph, 5 years old (0-1-3)

Analysis: “The Oilers’ teams were also damn good, and Grant Fuhr had a lot to do with their success. The ability to play whatever the score, to be mentally ready for the next stop – a lot of goalkeepers in today’s game talking about the mental side of things – no one has done it better than Grant Fuhr , and no one has been tested as much as Grant Fuhr. ” – Keith Jones, NBCSN analyst



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