The Best Defensemen in NHL History Hockey Players
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The Best Defensemen in NHL History

List Criteria: Only defensemen, not goalies, centers or wingers

The best NHL defensemen of all time include Norris Trophy winners, Stanley Cup winners and some of the most talented players to ever put on a pair of skates. These professional hockey defensemen aren't just the best to ever man the blue line in the National Hockey League but also some of the best hockey players to ever play the game.

With the retirement of Detroit Red Wings captain Nick Lidstrom in May 2012, the argument over which defensive player is the best ever with two names dominating the discussion. Younger fans will swear that Lidstrom, who won the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL seven times, is the best NHL defenseman ever. As perhaps the most successful hockey player from Sweden, he played 20 years in the NHL, won four championships, became the first European-born player to captain a Stanley Cup-champion team and won the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, all while acting like a true professional and highly respected gentleman while doing so.

Others will argue that the best NHL defenseman of all time is hands down Bobby Orr. The long-time member of the Boston Bruins won the Norris Trophy eight times plus won the league's MVP award, the Hart Trophy, three times during his 12 seasons in the NHL. The Hockey Hall of Fame member not only still holds several league records but also changed how the game was played with his innovative style.

Lidstrom and Orr were one-of-a-kind players who will always be remembered as the top blue-liners to ever take the ice but they are far from the only highly talented defensemen in NHL history. The likes of Doug Harvey, Paul Coffee, Raymond Bourque, Eddie Shore and even Chris Chelios all had amazing careers as NHL defensemen and deserve lots of credit for that. But which NHL defenseman is the absolute best of all time? Vote for Team Lidstrom or Team Orr, or another player you think is deserving of the title below!
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed 1948

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    1970

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    1953

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    1924

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1951

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    1963

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    1948

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    1948

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    1927

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    1930

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1931

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    1946

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    ranked low on reranks 1951

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1969

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    added by mainpleine 1958

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    1983

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1917

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    ranked low on reranks & added by BlakeMangone 1985

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    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66 1959

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    often listed & added by mainpleine 1968

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    added by gaug66 1960

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    often listed & added by mainpleine 1965

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    added by mainpleine 1968

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    added by mainpleine 1967

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    added by gaug66 1916

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    added by mainpleine 1964

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    added by mainpleine 1969

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    added by mainpleine 1966

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    added by mainpleine 1989

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    added by gaug66 1956

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    added by mainpleine 1967

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    added by mainpleine 1966

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    added by mainpleine Jeff Brown 1966

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    added by mainpleine 1970

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    new! & added by adam.kane.lairt 1959

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