Top 4 Players on the Mount Rushmore of Every NHL Team

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Mount Rushmore: A national monument where the image of four of America’s greatest presidents—Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt—are carved into the rocks of a mountainside near Keystone, South Dakota.

But what if each NHL team had their own Mount Rushmore: A monument recognizing the four players who have meant the most to the franchise?

For some teams, it’s fairly easy. For Original Six clubs, however, with 80-plus years of history, choosing just four will be very difficult.

Here are the four players that would represent each team in the NHL on their own Mount Rushmore. A few ground rules: teams that moved include their former incarnations; so the Hurricanes include members of the Whalers; the Avalanche include the Nordiques; the Coyotes include the original Winnipeg Jets, and the present-day Jets include the Atlanta Thrashers (hope that’s not too confusing).

I’m sure people will have disagreements, especially in regards to the older, more established franchises.

Feel free to chime in with your opinions and say why your choice belongs more than the ones that were made. Keep in mind we are discussing the entire history of a franchise, not just the last 20 years.

Let’s have fun with this.

Anaheim Ducks

Teemu Selanne

Ryan Getzlaf

J.S. Giguere

Paul Kariya

Selanne has been the franchise’s best player through both of his tours of duty in Anaheim and is the team’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points.

For the first part of the team’s history, Kariya was Selanne’s set-up man and offensive partner-in-crime. He is second all-time in points in franchise history.

Giguere was an essential part of the Ducks’ two trips to the Stanley Cup finals (including their only victory in 2007).

Ryan Getzlaf is the best of the Ducks’ present-day performers and has been consistently excellent since joining the club in 2006.

Boston Bruins

Bobby Orr

Eddie Shore

Ray Bourque

Phil Esposito

The Bruins have a tradition of great defensemen and three of them would be immortalized on Boston’s Mount Rushmore.

Orr was the best player of his generation and arguably of all time.

Shore has come to personify “old-time hockey” thanks in part to the references to him in “Slapshot,” but the it’s all well deserved and Shore is an all-time great.

Ray Bourque was the face of the franchise in the 1980s and 90s and is also an all-time great, let alone an all-time Bruin.

The final spot was tough.

Guys like Milt Schmidt and Johnny Bucyk have long been part of the Bruins’ organization after their retirement and received serious consideration.

But in the end, the dominance of Phil Esposito in the late 1960s and 70s earned him the fourth and final spot on the list. He helped the Bruins win a pair of Stanley Cups and was one of the greatest goal scorers in league history.

Buffalo Sabres

Gilbert Perreault

Dominik Hasek

Phil Housley

Dave Andreychuk

Perreault was the first draft choice in Sabres’ history and remains the franchise’s best player.

Hasek edged out Ryan Miller for a spot, having played more games and led the Sabres to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 1999.

Phil Housley was the best defenseman in club history and averaged nearly a point-per-game over eight seasons in Buffalo.

Andreychuk spent 12 seasons in Western New York and is second all-time in franchise history in scoring and just edged out Craig Ramsey for the final spot.

Calgary Flames

Theo Fleury

Jarome Iginla

Mike Vernon

Al MacInnis

Theo Fleury and Jarome Iginla have served as the face of the Flames during their respective careers and have a unique place in the hearts of Flames fans for their efforts on behalf of the franchise. They are also the top two all-time scorers in Flames’ history.

Al MacInnis remains the best defenseman in team history and an integral part of the team’s lone Stanley Cup title in 1989.

Vernon edged out Miikka Kiprusoff for the final spot on the mountainside despite Kipper having played a few more games. Kiprusoff led the Flames to one Stanley Cup final series but Vernon backstopped them to two and actually won one of the them.

Carolina Hurricanes

Ron Francis

Eric Staal

Rod Brind’Amour

Glen Wesley

Ron Francis was a star in both Hartford and Carolina and is the all-time franchise scoring leader when you combine both locations that the team has called home.

Eric Staal is the face of the present-day franchise and edged out goalie Cam Ward for a spot on the mountainside. He was a key part of the club’s 2006 Stanley Cup win.

Brind’Amour provided leadership and steady offensive production during his tenure and was an important part of both Hurricanes teams that reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Glen Wesley played a long time for Hartford/Carolina and produced steady defensive play and leadership in more than a decade with the franchise.

Chicago Blackhawks

Bobby Hull

Stan Mikita

Glenn Hall

Tony Esposito

Naming the top four players of any Original Six team is very difficult, and the Blackhawks are no exception.

Bobby Hull is the greatest scorer in Hawks history and is arguably the most dangerous left wing of all time.

Mikita and Hull helped lead the Blackhawks to a Cup win in 1961. Mikita then went on to spend 22 seasons in Chicago, many as team captain.

Glenn Hall spent more than a decade in Chicago and set a consecutive games streak of 502 that helped land him in the Hall of Fame.

Tony Esposito played more games in net for the Blackhawks than anybody and twice took the Hawks to the Cup final. He edged out Steve Larmer, Denis Savard and Eric Nesterenko for the final spot on the mountainside.

Colorado Avalanche

Joe Sakic

Peter Forsberg

Peter Stastny

Patrick Roy

The Avs/Nords franchise has many elite players to choose from and limiting it to four was difficult.

Sakic and Forsberg are both elite offensive talents who served the team in both Quebec and Denver. Sakic is now in the Hockey Hall Of Fame and Forsberg will almost surely join him once he is eligible.

Stastny was the franchise’s first bona fide star during the team’s days in Quebec.

Roy’s arrival was the final piece of the puzzle when the team won their first Stanley Cup in 1996. He again led the Avs to the Cup in 2001.

Roy edged out Michel Goulet, Adam Foote and Milan Hejduk for the final spot on the Avalanche’s Mount Rushmore.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rick Nash

R.J. Umberger

Steve Mason

David Vyborny

The Blue Jackets haven’t had a lot of success since joining the NHL in 2000, but there are some players who have stood out in their history.

The recently traded Rick Nash is the team’s all-time leading scorer and only true star player.

R.J Umberger and David Vyborny are second and third in club history in scoring and have played steady if not spectacular roles for the Jackets.

Mason has been the team’s best goalie, leading them to their lone playoff appearance in 2009. However, he has been very inconsistent since.

Dallas Stars

Brett Hull

Mike Modano

Neal Broton

Bill Goldsworthy

The Stars have had a solid history since entering the NHL in 1967 as the Minnesota North Stars.

Brett Hull was the team’s top sniper ever and scored the Stanley Cup winning goal for Dallas in 1999.

Mike Modano starred for the franchise in both Minnesota and Dallas and was both part of the team that reached the Cup final in 1991 the Cup winning team of 1999. He holds almost each of franchise’s offensive records.

Broton was the team’s all-time leading point producer in Minnesota and also briefly appeared for the franchise in Dallas.

Goldsworthy was one of the first stars in franchise history and their top goal scorer in the first decade of their existence. He did his famous “Goldy Shuffle” dance after scoring a goal.

Detroit Red Wings

Gordie Howe

Terry Sawchuk

Steve Yzerman

Nicklas Lidstrom

The Red Wings are a very difficult franchise to name top four players for because of the franchise’s long and rich history.

Gordie Howe is a must-have for this team and is arguably the best player of all-time. He played for Detroit from 1946 through 1971 and still holds the franchise record for games played, goals and points.

Terry Sawchuk is a Hall of Fame goalie who spent his prime years wearing the winged wheel.

Yzerman and Lidstrom both served as captains of the Red Wings and as the face of the franchise for the bulk of their careers.

Just missing the list are Alex Delvecchio and Ted Lindsay. They are both very deserving, but we only have room for four players.

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