Mount Puckmore: Four players who define each NHL team

ESPN Illustration

When you look at Mount Rushmore, the four American presidents staring back were selected by sculptor Gutzon Borglum to define the first 130 years of American history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson shared an era, Abraham Lincoln defined his, and Theodore Roosevelt was a symbol of expansion and development of the nation that the others had built.

Lingering in the shadows of that mountain is context. The battle scars, the sins, the regretful parts of our history. That is represented in those craggy faces, too, although not observably. But look hard enough, and you see it: the good, the bad, the entirety of the story that defines that portion of American history.

In constructing a "Mount Puckmore" for all 31 NHL franchises, creating the full view of the teams' histories was paramount. It's not enough to just pick the four top statistical leaders and slap them on a mountainside. It's about selecting four players who define the team's history, through different eras and ebbs and flows of success. Celebrating what went right in some cases, and recalling what went wrong in others.

A few parameters we established:

  • This is just for players. Coaches and general managers are listed separately for each team.

  • Players' contributions during their time with the team are what we've taken into account, rather than their career as a whole. Just because Wayne Gretzky and Martin Brodeur played for the Blues for a minute doesn't mean they make Mount Puckmore for St. Louis. However, some players made the cut for multiple teams.

  • There are no positional requirements. In some cases, teams won't have a goalie on the mountain. In other cases, they'll have more than one.

  • Many of these picks were made by the editorial staff, but in over a dozen cases, we've reached out to fans on background to pick their brains about specific teams.

  • Again, we're looking for players synonymous with their teams, ones who define specific eras for the franchises and without whom the total picture of that organization's story can't be properly framed.

With that in mind, please collect your ropes, grappling hooks and climbing shoes, as we're about to scale 31 different versions of Mount Puckmore in the NHL. Read through by division, or skip ahead using these links:

Atlantic | Metro | Central | Pacific

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins

Patrice Bergeron, C (2003-present)
Ray Bourque, D (1979-2000)
Bobby Orr, D (1966-76)
Milt Schmidt, C/D (1936-55)

Potential replacements: John Bucyk, LW (1957-78); Zdeno Chara, D (2006-present); Phil Esposito, C (1967-75); Rick Middleton, RW (1976-88); Cam Neely, RW (1986-96); Terry O'Reilly, RW (1972-85); Tiny Thompson, G (1928-39); Eddie Shore, D (1926-1940)

Puckmore coach: Art Ross (1925-45).

Puckmore GM: Harry Sinden (1972-2000)

When your franchise has produced two of the greatest defensemen to ever lace up the skates, the focus quickly shifts to the players on the other side of the mountain. Few players have meant more to their franchises than Schmidt has for the Bruins, as a player and later an executive, so he makes the cut.

It's that last spot that's vexing: There's Bucyk, the franchise leader in goals (545) and Espo, whose brief tenure with the team produced an astounding 1.62 points per game. But as a representative of the modern era's championship teams, and as a player who will go down as one of the greatest defensemen centermen of all time, we're comfortable with Bergeron here. (Also, Brad Marchand threatened to lick us on the forehead if we didn't select his linemate.)

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Buffalo Sabres

Dominik Hasek, G (1992-2001)
Ryan Miller, G (2002-14)
Gilbert Perreault, C (1970-87)
Rob Ray, RW (1989-03)

Potential replacements: Dave Andreychuk LW, (1982-92); Phil Housley, D (1982-90); Pat LaFontaine, C (1991-97); Rick Martin, LW (1971-80); Craig Ramsay, LW (1971-85)

Puckmore coach: Lindy Ruff (1998-2013)

Puckmore GM: Darcy Regier (1997-2013)

Perreault leads the franchise in games, goals, assists and points, while also repping The French Connection line. Hasek is ... well, Hasek, a goalie who carried middling Buffalo teams on his back to an unprecedented two Hart Trophies as a goalie. Rare is the Mount Puckmore that has two goaltenders, but there's no denying that Miller was the (masked) face of the franchise in the 2000s, as well as its career leader in wins.

Why does Rob Ray deserve the final spot over, say, the 1.44 points-per-game-producing LaFontaine? Because sometimes being a cult icon, as Ray is in Buffalo, makes a stronger case for local immortality than does overall virtue as an NHL player. He's fourth in games played (889) and first in penalty minutes by a country mile (3,189). For a generation of Sabres fans, he was as beloved as anyone on the ice (or, in his case, in the penalty box).

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Detroit Red Wings

Gordie Howe, RW (1946-1971)
Nicklas Lidstrom, D (1991-2012)
Ted Lindsay, LW (1944-57)
Steve Yzerman, C (1983-2006)

Potential replacements: Pavel Datsyuk, C (2001-16); Alex Delvecchio, C (1950-74); Sergei Fedorov, C (1990-2003); Chris Osgood, G (1993-2001, 2005-11); Terry Sawchuk, G (1949-64); Henrik Zetterberg, C (2002-18)

Puckmore coach: Scotty Bowman (1993-2002)

Puckmore GM: Jack Adams (1927-62)

When you have 800 goals to your name, your face is going to be up on a dang mountain. Joining Howe is his linemate "Terrible" Ted, a player so tough that the NHL developed the elbowing penalty to limit his particular talents. Yzerman and Lidstrom were the faces for two decades of Detroit dominance, both having played over 1,500 games with the Red Wings. It's hard to make a case for anyone else over these immortals.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov, C (2013-present)
Pavel Bure, RW (1998-2001)
Roberto Luongo, G (2000-06; 2013-present)
John Vanbiesbrouck, G (1993-98)

Potential replacements: Nathan Horton, RW (2003-10); Jonathan Huberdeau, C (2012-present); Olli Jokinen, C (2000-08); Scott Mellanby, RW (1993-2001); Stephen Weiss, C (2001-13)

Puckmore coach: Doug MacLean (1996-98)

Puckmore GM: Dale Tallon (2010-16; 2017-present)

There was a trifecta of challenges in building the Panthers' Mount Puckmore. They're a relatively new franchise with a startling lack of either success or homegrown superstar players. Which is how one ends up with two goaltenders on the mountain.

Vanbiesbrouck was nominated for the Vezina and Hart in the Panthers' first season; and other than thousands of rubber rats hitting the ice, he was the best thing about their 1996 run to the Stanley Cup Final. Luongo has the franchise lead in every goaltending category. Bure posted a 1.13 points-per-game average in his brief time with the Panthers, during which he became their biggest offensive star. Too soon for Barkov? Perhaps, but in the burgeoning contender that the Panthers could become, he'll be the Jonathan Toews-esque lynchpin.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Montreal Canadiens

Jean Beliveau, C (1950-71)
Guy Lafleur, RW (1971-85)
Maurice Richard, (1942-60)
Patrick Roy, G (1984-96)

Potential replacements: Yvan Cournoyer, RW (1963-79); Ken Dryden, G (1970-79); Bob Gainey, LW (1973-89); Bernie Geoffrion, RW (1950-68); Newsy Lalonde, C (1917-22; 1926-27); Jacques Lemaire, C (1967-79); Howie Morenz, C (1923-34; 1936-37); Jacques Plante, G (1952-63); Carey Price, G (2007-present); Henri Richard, C (1955-75); Larry Robinson, D (1972-89)

Puckmore Coach: Toe Blake (1956-68)

Puckmore GM: Sam Pollock (1964-78)

Trying to determine the four immortal players in the history of the Montreal Canadiens is like trying to determine the four best morsels of roe in a jar of beluga caviar. The other problem is that the team has been winning championships since 1917. Our Mount Puckmore begins in 1942 with Rocket Richard, who is second in Habs history in era-adjusted points. It continues with Beliveau, who represents the late 1960s run of Stanley Cups, but excludes the class that was synonymous with the organization. It was a very tough call between Lafleur and Dryden as the representative for the 1970s dynasty, but the Flower gets the nod for his franchise-leading scoring numbers and rock star status. As for Roy, he back-stopped the team to two Stanley Cups before becoming the best example of how quickly things can go off the rails for a star player in the modern incarnation of the Canadiens.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Ottawa Senators

Daniel Alfredsson, RW (1995-2013)
Erik Karlsson, D (2009-present)
Chris Phillips, D (1997-2015)
Alexei Yashin, C (1993-2001)

Potential replacements: Craig Anderson, G (2010-18); Dany Heatley, LW (2005-09); Chris Neil, RW (2001-17); Wade Redden, D (1996-08); Jason Spezza, C (2002-14)

Puckmore coach: Jacques Martin (1996-2004)

Puckmore GM: Bryan Murray (2007-16)

The Senators provided a unique challenge. Yes, Alfredsson and Karlsson are as locked-in as an Ottawa fan's ire toward their current owner. But after that, several interesting cases can be made. We settled on Phillips, the all-time games leader who was a low-key defensive constant, and his spiritual opposite in Yashin, the erratic offensive dynamo that's still third in franchise goals. If nothing else, Yashin best represents the cloud of "what if" that surrounds so many former Senators stars.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Victor Hedman, D (2009-present)
Vincent Lecavalier, C (1998-13)
Steven Stamkos, C (2008-present)
Martin St. Louis, RW (2000-2014)

Potential replacements: Dave Andreychuk, LW (2001-06); Dan Boyle, D (2001-08); Brad Richards, C (2000-07); Nikolai Khabibulin, G (2000-04); Daren Puppa, G (1993-2000)

Puckmore coach: John Tortorella (2001-08)

Puckmore GM: Steve Yzerman (2010-present)

Oh, if only there were a way to honor the pioneering spirit of Roman Hamrlik, Chris Gratton and their combined minus-246 during their time in Tampa! Alas, the Lightning's Mount Puckmore begins with Vinny and Marty from the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, and then continues with Steven and Victor from what they hope will be a second Cup in short order. Tough to leave Richards and Boyle off this mountain, but Stamkos and Hedman have earned the space.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Teeder Kennedy, C (1942-57)
Dave Keon, C (1960-75)
Borje Salming, D (1973-89)
Mats Sundin, C (1994-08)

Potential replacements: George Armstrong, RW (1949-71); Johnny Bower, G (1958-69); Turk Broda, G (1936-52); Wendel Clark, LW, (1985-94; 1995-98); Tim Horton, D (1949-70); Frank Mahovlich, LW (1956-68); Darryl Sittler, C (1970-81)

Puckmore coach: Punch Imlach (1959-69; 1980)

Puckmore GM: Punch Imlach (1958-69, 1979)

Kennedy was an all-timer in the NHL, as the first skater two win five Stanley Cups and the last Leaf to win the Hart Trophy until John Tavares wins it next season. Keon is considered the greatest Leaf in franchise history and represents the Leafs' last Stanley Cup win until Tavares wins his in Toronto. Salming was the franchise standard-bearer for the next two decades after Keon, and remains the best defenseman in team history, since Tavares isn't technically a defenseman. Sundin is the franchise leader in goals (420) and points (987) until Tavares inevitably surpasses him.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers

Rod Brind'Amour, C (1999-2010)
Ron Francis, C (1981-2004)
Eric Staal, C (2003-16)
Glen Wesley, D (1994-2003, 2003-2008)

Potential replacements: Kevin Dineen, RW (1984-92; 1995-99); Jeff O'Neill, RW (1995-2004); Cam Ward, G (2005-18)

Puckmore coach: Peter Laviolette (2003-09)

Puckmore GM: Jim Rutherford (1994-2014)

While our first inclination was to spell out "BRASS BONANZA" across this Mount Puckmore like the Hollywood sign, there are four very worthy representatives for the Hurricanes franchise, two of whom track back to the Hartford Whalers days in Francis and Wesley. Staal and Brind'Amour were both members of the Canes' Stanley Cup winner and are obvious choices from the Raleigh years.

The only argument you could make here would be for Ward, but it's not a strong enough one to put him above anyone in this quartet.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Sergei Bobrovsky, G (2012-present)
Rick Nash, LW (2002-12)
Jody Shelley, LW (2000-08)
David Vyborny, RW (2000-08)

Potential replacements: Cam Atkinson, RW (2011-present); Jared Boll, RW (2007-16); Fedor Tyutin, D (2008-16)

Puckmore coach: Ken Hitchcock (2007-10)

Puckmore GM: Jarmo Kekalainen (2013-present)

Contentious split aside, Nash remains the franchise leader in every offensive category and was the Jackets' first star player. Bobrovsky, obviously, is the face of the team post-Nash and a two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie.

The other two spots are a little less solidified. Vyborny is third in games played for the Jackets while Shelley is by far one of the most popular players in franchise history. We suggested some alternatives, but the Jackets fans we spoke to liked Shelley here. Hit us back in a few years when Seth Jones or Zach Werenski (or both) are added to the precipice.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

New Jersey Devils/Colorado Rockies/Kansas City Scouts

Martin Brodeur, G (1992-2014)
Ken Daneyko, D (1983-2003)
Scott Niedermayer, D (1992-2004)
Scott Stevens, D (1991-2004)

Potential replacements: Scott Gomez, C (1999-2007); Patrik Elias, LW (1995-2016); Taylor Hall, LW (2016-18); John MacLean, RW (1983-98)

Puckmore coach: Jacques Lemaire (1994-98, 2009-11)

Puckmore GM: Lou Lamoriello (1987-2015)

In lieu of either a giant trap or the image of a fan yawning, the Devils' Mount Puckmore features the holy defensive trinity of the team's three Stanley Cup championships: the Scotts and Marty.

The only point of contention? Leaving all-time points leader Elias off the mountain. But when you have a guy literally nicknamed "Mr. Devil," as Daneyko is, how does one leave him off? Especially when he's the through line from the "Mickey Mouse" days in those Christmas tree jerseys to the Devils' Stanley Cup runs?

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

New York Islanders

Mike Bossy, RW (1977-87)
Denis Potvin, D (1973-88)
Billy Smith, G (1972-89)
Bryan Trottier, C (1975-90)

Potential replacements: Clark Gillies, LW (1974-86); Pat LaFontaine, C (1983-91); Bob Nystrom, RW (1972-86); John Tavares (2009-18)

Puckmore coach: Al Arbour (1973-94)

Puckmore GM: Bill Torrey (1972-92)

We could have added Tavares to this Mount Puckmore, but we'd hate to see bitter legions of jackhammer-wielding Islanders fans forcefully remove it. So instead, we'll go with the builders of the early 1980s dynasty in Bossy (573 goals), Trottier (500 goals), Potvin (1,060 games) and Smith (304 wins).

Frankly, we're surprised such a structure doesn't already exist somewhere in Nassau County.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

New York Rangers

Rod Gilbert, RW (1960-78)
Brian Leetch, D (1987-2003)
Henrik Lundqvist, G (2005-present)
Mark Messier, C (1991-97)

Potential replacements: Andy Bathgate, RW (1952-64); Frank Boucher, C (1926-38; 1943-44); Bill Cook, RW (1926-37); Ed Giacomin, G (1965-76); Ron Greschner, D (1974-90); Harry Howell, D (1952-69); Jean Ratelle, C (1960-76); Mike Richter, G (1989-03)

Puckmore coach: Emile Francis (1966-75)

Puckmore GM: Lester Patrick (1926-46)

There are a slew of Rangers worthy of immortality from the first 20 years of the franchise's existence, but we're going with straight star magnitude here: Gilbert, still the franchise leader in goals (406); Leetch, their Hall of Fame defenseman; Lundqvist, the best goalie in franchise history; and of course Messier, whose "guarantee" delivered the Rangers' first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

Many worthy candidates, but these four effectively tell the Rangers' story. Although we're counting down the seconds until Stan Fischler sends an angry email extolling the virtues of Bun Cook.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Philadelphia Flyers

Bobby Clarke, C (1969-84)
Ron Hextall, G (1986-92; 1994-99)
Eric Lindros, C (1992-2000)
Bernie Parent, G (1967-71; 1973-79)

Potential replacements: Bill Barber, LW (1972-84); Claude Giroux, LW (2007-present); Tim Kerr, RW (1980-91); Rick MacLeish, C (1970-81; 1981-84); Brian Propp, LW (1979-90)

Puckmore coach: Fred Shero (1972-78)

Puckmore GM: Bobby Clarke (1984-90, 1994-2006)

Clarke and Parent were the driving forces behind the Flyers' only two Stanley Cup championships. Hextall is the franchise leader with 240 wins, won the Conn Smythe in a losing effort and (like Clarke) personified the "Broad Street Bullies" aesthetic.

The final spot came down to a question of era: Lindros, a once-in-a-lifetime Hall of Fame talent whose time in Philly was as infamous as it was famous; and Giroux, who is second overall in points, adjusted for era. In the end, Lindros' star power and legacy earned the spot -- if only because great expectations that are summarily dashed have defined the team since 1976.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby, C (2005-present)
Mario Lemieux, C (1984-2006)
Evgeni Malkin, C (2006-present)
Jaromir Jagr, RW (1990-2001)

Potential replacements: Tom Barrasso, G (1988-2000); Marc-Andre Fleury, G (2003-17); Ron Francis, C (1990-98); Rick Kehoe, RW (1974-85)

Puckmore coach: Bob Johnson (1990-91)

Puckmore GM: Craig Patrick (1989-2006).

Outside of plus/minus and game-winning goals, Mario basically leads every offensive category in Penguins history, to go along with, you know, literally saving the franchise from relocation as an owner. The leader in those other two categories? Jagr, who makes the cut if only to see how his resplendent mullet is carved into the mountainside.

Crosby and Malkin have won three Cups together so far, and one of them even made the list of the NHL's top 100 players of all time! (The other one is Russian.)

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Washington Capitals

Dale Hunter, C (1987-98)
Olaf Kolzig, G (1989-2008)
Rod Langway, D (1982-93)
Alex Ovechkin, LW (2005-present)

Potential replacements: Nicklas Backstrom, C (2007-present); Peter Bondra, RW (1990-2004); John Carlson, D (2010-present); Mike Gartner, RW (1979-1989); Braden Holtby, G (2010-present)

Puckmore coach: Barry Trotz (2015-18)

Puckmore GM: George McPhee (1997-2014)

It used to be that the Capitals' eras could be separated into three time periods: the red, white and blue 1970s through early 1990s; the blue eagle late 1990s, when they made the Cup Final for the first time (and then made the Jaromir Jagr trade); and the Ovechkin Years. After June 2018, the Ovechkin Years carry significantly more weight for the franchise.

We still think this Mount Puckmore is the best monument to the history of the Capitals, and representing those eras (with Olie The Goalie spanning them). But Backstrom or Holtby could make the mountain by the end of their careers, perhaps in lieu of Hunter. (Oh, and Trotz does get the Cup bump over Bryan Murray as coach. Give him credit, don't give him credit ... there's no denying he did what no one else in franchise history was able to do.)

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Bobby Hull, LW (1957-72)
Stan Mikita, C/RW (1958-1980)
Tony Esposito, G (1969-84)
Jonathan Toews, (2007-present)

Potential replacements: Chris Chelios, D (1990-99); Glenn Hall, G (1957-67); Steve Larmer, RW (1981-93); Patrick Kane, RW (2007-present); Pierre Pilote, D (1955-68); Jeremy Roenick, C (1989-96); Denis Savard, C (1980-90); Doug Wilson, D (1978-91).

Puckmore coach: Joel Quenneville (2009-present)

Puckmore GM: Tommy Ivan (1954-77)

For a franchise that dates to 1927, the Blackhawks' Mount Puckmore legacy begins around 1957 with Hull and Mikita, who are still first and second in games played, goals and points in franchise history. Esposito is first in wins (418) and games played (873) for a goalie, and was a hugely popular player.

But the mountain also needs someone to personify the quasi-dynasty of the last decade for the Blackhawks. Kane has the points and the star power. Toews has the intangibles, the league-wide respect and (for better or worse) that nebulous virtue of "leadership." We'll go with Toews.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques

Adam Foote, D (1991-2004)
Peter Forsberg, C (1994-2004)
Patrick Roy, G (1995-2003)
Joe Sakic, C (1988-2009)

Potential replacements: Matt Duchene, C (2009-18); Michel Goulet, LW (1979-90); Milan Hejduk, RW (1998-2013); Peter Stastny, C (1980-90)

Puckmore coach: Bob Hartley (1999-2003)

Puckmore GM: Pierre Lacroix (1994-2006)

Everyone save for Roy wore the baby blue of the Nords, so that satisfies that connection. (Although we'd have no qualms with Stastny, a Hall of Famer, being added to the mountain.) Sakic and Forsberg are Hall of Fame royalty. Roy changed the trajectory of the franchise (and owns all of its goaltending records). Foote is third in career games (967) and was a defensive rock on which the team built two championships (and not just because he moved at a glacial pace).

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars

Jamie Benn, LW (2010-present)
Neal Broten, C (1980-1995)
Mike Modano, C (1989-2010)
Sergei Zubov, D (1996-2009)

Potential replacements: Ed Belfour, G (1997-2002); Brian Bellows, LW (1982-92); Dino Ciccarelli, RW (1980-89); Jere Lehtinen, RW (1995-2010); Brenden Morrow, LW (1999-2013); Marty Turco, G (2000-10)

Puckmore coach: Ken Hitchcock (1996-2002; 2017-18)

Puckmore GM: Bob Gainey (1992-2002)

Broten and Modano are the connective tissue between the Dallas and Minnesota years, along with being franchise leaders in games and points. Stars fans have been crusading to get Zubov into the Hall of Fame for his epic run on the Dallas blue line.

The last spot came down to Benn and Lehtinen. Benn is third in franchise history in points when adjusted for era, so he gets the nod, even if the Stars haven't had nearly the success they had when Lehtinen was shutting folks down defensively.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Minnesota Wild

Andrew Brunette, LW (2001-04; 2008-11)
Marian Gaborik, RW (2000-09)
Mikko Koivu, C (2005-present)
Zach Parise, LW (2012-present)

Potential replacements: Niklas Backstrom, G (2006-15); Devan Dubnyk, G (2014-present); Pierre-Marc Bouchard, C, (2002-13); Nick Schultz, D (2001-11); Ryan Suter, D (2012-present)

Puckmore coach: Jacques Lemaire (2001-09)

Puckmore GM: Doug Risebrough (1999-2009)

Gaborik was the franchise's first star player and still leads the team in goals (219), which speaks to the lack of other great offensive players in the franchise's history. Parise was one when they acquired him, and he's third in goals in Wild history despite some injury issues during his tenure. His place on Mount Puckmore also covers the franchise-shifting free agent splurge that brought him to Minny, so no need to double up with Suter. That allows us to use a spot on Brunette, the super-popular forward who also speaks to the team's long-cherished blue-collar aesthetic.

Finally, Koivu is a no-brainer with the most games (925) and points (695) in team history. He'd also have a Selke Trophy right now, but apparently some voters just discovered he's in the league about two years ago.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Nashville Predators

Mike Fisher, C (2010-18)
Roman Josi, D (2011-present)
Pekka Rinne, G (2005-present)
Shea Weber, D (2005-16)

Potential replacements: Kimmo Timonen, D (1998-2007); David Legwand, C (1998-2014); Steve Sullivan, RW (2003-11); Ryan Suter, D (2005-12); Tomas Vokoun, G (1998-2007); Paul Kariya, (2005-07)

Puckmore coach: Barry Trotz (1999-2014)

Puckmore GM: David Poile (1999-present)

This was a fun one, if only because it's entertaining to figure out where the dividing lines are for a particular franchise's eras. For the Predators, we'd argue that it's all tied to Weber. The pre-Weber era was a wasteland, with one playoff appearance and few players worthy of consideration on Mount Puckmore. (Legwand never reached his expectations, Timonen started to really receive renown only near the end of his run.)

Then Weber arrived along with Rinne, and after Weber was traded for P.K. Subban, it was Josi who inherited the mantle of top defenseman. Why Fisher? The Predators fans we polled felt his enormous popularity and general dedication to the team warranted inclusion. Which is fine, for now -- his face can easily be re-chiseled into that of Filip Forsberg in a couple of years.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

St. Louis Blues

Bernie Federko, C (1976-89)
Brett Hull, RW (1987-98)
Al MacInnis, D (1994-2003)
Bob Plager, D (1967-78)

Potential replacements: Barret Jackman, D (2001-15); Curtis Joseph, G (1989-95); Brian Sutter, LW (1976-88); Vladimir Tarasenko, RW (2012-present); Keith Tkachuk, LW (2000-07; 2007-10); Garry Unger, C (1970-79)

Puckmore coach: Joel Quenneville (1997-2004)

Puckmore GM: Ron Caron (1983-94)

Hall of Famer Federko is the franchise leader in games played (927) and points (1,073), and Hull had 527 goals and the status as the team's biggest star. Plager might not be Mount Puckmore material for most other teams in the league, but he's a tie to their expansion years. (There's also the fact that the Blues haven't made the Stanley Cup Final since 1970, so "faces of the franchise" are in short order.)

The final spot came down to MacInnis vs. Sutter. The Blues fans we spoke to all pointed to MacInnis, who won the Norris Trophy and was a finalist a second time (at age 39!), and Sutter had longevity and a stint as head coach on his side.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers

Dustin Byfuglien, D (2010-present)
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW (2001-10)
Bryan Little, RW (2007-18)
Blake Wheeler, RW (2010-present)

Potential replacements: Toby Enstrom, D (2007-present); Patrik Laine, LW (2016-present); Ondrej Pavelec, G (2007-17); Mark Scheifele, C (2011-present); Chris Thorburn, RW (2007-17), Andrew Ladd, LW (2010-16); Dany Heatley (2001-04)

Puckmore coach: Paul Maurice (2013-present)

Puckmore GM: Don Waddell (1998-2010).

Kovalchuk remains the franchise leader in goals (328), and perhaps the most prominent relic of the late great Thrashers besides weird jerseys. The other three skated for Atlanta and then made the move to Winnipeg, and have flourished there: Byfuglien as a pushing defenseman and popular star; Little as the leader in games played (754) and captain Wheeler as the franchise leader in assists (323). Arguments could be made for Scheifele and even Laine as the next face of the franchise, but we're going with Kovy and the ThrasherJets.

Click here to vote on the biggest snub.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf, C (2005-present)
Paul Kariya, LW (1994-2002)
Scott Niedermayer, D (2005-10)
Teemu Selanne, RW (1996-2001; 2005-14)

Potential replacements: Francois Beauchemin, D (2005-09; 2011-15; 2017-18); Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G (2000-09); Guy Hebert, G ( 1993-2001); Corey Perry, RW (2005-present); Steve Rucchin, C (1994-2004); Ruslan Salei, D (1996-2006)

Puckmore coach: Randy Carlyle (2005-12, 2016-present)

Puckmore GM: Brian Burke (2005-08)

Selanne is the absolute lock, as a Hall of Famer who spanned the Mighty Ducks-to-Ducks eras and who leads the franchise in games (966), goals (457) and points (988). Kariya, his partner is crime, was the Ducks' first homegrown superstar and arguably still the most popular player in franchise history. Niedermayer was there for only 371 games, but was the Conn Smythe-winning last piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle for Anaheim. Getzlaf is the current franchise standard-bearer, and its all-time leader in assists (628) and plus-minus (165).

It's difficult to leave Giguere off this list, given the run he had in 2003 that helped define the franchise before it actually won the chalice. But honestly, who would you have chiseled off the mountain to put him there?

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Arizona Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets 1.0

Shane Doan, RW (1995-2017)
Dale Hawerchuk, C (1981-90)
Teppo Numminen, D (1988-2003)
Keith Tkachuk, LW (1991-2001)

Potential replacements: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D (2010-present); Nikolai Khabibulin, G (1994-99); Jeremy Roenick, C (1996-2001); Mike Smith, G (2011-17); Thomas Steen, C (1981-1995); Teemu Selanne, RW (1992-96)

Puckmore coach: Dave Tippett (2009-17)

Puckmore GM: John Ferguson Sr. (1978-88)

This was a tough balancing act, as this Mount Puckmore needed to honor the O.G. Jets (11 playoff appearances in 17 years) and the Coyotes (three playoff appearances since 2002). While the easy answer would have been "just link the old Jets with the new Jets, dummy" that obviously doesn't work when the Coyotes have honored former Winnipeg players as part of their past. It's also, like, really super mean to the Atlanta Thrashers.

Anyhow, Doan is the career franchise leader in basically everything. Though he never played in Arizona, Hawerchuk was the Jets' biggest star for a decade and a Hall of Famer. Numminen spanned the two cities and is second to Doan in games played (1,098). Tkachuk also played for the Jets and Coyotes, amassing 323 goals and looked rather incredible in that peyote-inspired Coyotes jersey back in the 1990s. Finally, there's Selanne, whose time with the franchise was brief, but whose 76 goals as a rookie is a record unlikely to be broken; overall, he scored 0.64 goals per game and 1.33 points per game as a Jet.

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Calgary Flames

Theo Fleury, RW (1988-99)
Jarome Iginla, RW (1996-2013)
Al MacInnis, D (1981-94)
Mike Vernon, G (1982-94)

Potential replacements: Mark Giordano, D (2005-present); Miikka Kiprusoff, G (2003-13); Lanny McDonald, RW (1981-89); Joe Nieuwendyk, C (1986-95); Kent Nilsson, C (1980-85); Gary Roberts, LW (1986-96); Gary Suter, D (1985-94)

Puckmore coach: Terry Crisp (1987-90)

Puckmore GM: Cliff Fletcher (1972-91)

The recently retired Iginla, the immensely popular Fleury and the all-around greatness (and monster shot) of MacInnis were the locks here.

It's that fourth spot that was a bit of a conundrum, if only because Vernon, Kiprusoff and McDonald's mustache could all lay claim to it. In the end, we'll take Vernon's Cup victory over Kipper's Vezina, with McDonald missing by a considerable whisker.

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Edmonton Oilers

Wayne Gretzky, C (1979-88)
Jari Kurri, RW (1980-90)
Mark Messier, C (1979-1991)
Connor McDavid, C (2015-present)

Potential replacements: Glenn Anderson, RW (1980-91; 1995-96); Paul Coffey, D (1980-87); Grant Fuhr, G (1981-91); Kevin Lowe, D (1979-92); Ryan Smyth (1994-2006; 2011-14)

Puckmore coach: Glen Sather (1980-94)

Puckmore GM: Glen Sather (1980-2000)

Messier's legacy in the sport was cemented when he brought the Stanley Cup back to Madison Square Garden for the first time in 54 years, but we've honestly always been just as in awe of his achievement in 1990. That's when the Oilers, in their second season following the Gretzky trade, won their first Stanley Cup without The Great One on the roster, one year after losing to Gretzky's Kings in the first round of the playoffs. Messier had 129 points in the regular season and 31 more in the postseason. Just astounding.

Gretzky, of course, leads the franchise in goals, assists, points and with a points per game average of 2.40(!) in his Oilers career. The next honored member of the dynasty years could have been any number of players -- Lowe came closest -- but Kurri's numbers and unique ability to hang with Gretzky earned him the nod.

As for McDavid, you might gaze upon his stone visage on Mount Puckmore and cry out "too soon!" But then ask yourself how a player who instantly gave the franchise gravitas and direction just by putting on their jersey doesn't then define it in some way -- especially when that player already has two scoring titles and two player-of-the-year awards to his credit.

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Los Angeles Kings

Marcel Dionne, C (1975-87)
Drew Doughty, D (2008-present)
Wayne Gretzky, C (1988-96)
Luc Robitaille, LW (1986-94)

Potential replacements: Rob Blake, D (1989-2001); Dustin Brown, RW (2003-present); Anze Kopitar, C (2006-present); Bernie Nicholls, C (1981-90); Jonathan Quick, G (2007-present); Dave Taylor, RW (1977-94); Rogie Vachon, G (1971-78)

Puckmore coach: Darryl Sutter (2012-17)

Puckmore GM: Dean Lombardi (2006-17)

This Gretzky fellow made an impact in his 539 games in Hollywood, leading the Kings in points per game (1.70), finishing fourth in overall points (918) and convincing Sean Penn and Sylvester Stallone to attend Kings games. Also, as the ultimate cliché goes, there wouldn't be Mount Puckmores for any teams in nontraditional U.S. cities were it not for Gretzky -- because they wouldn't exist.

The Kings, however, predated Gretzky, with Dionne having amassed 1,307 points in just 921 games and Lucky Luc leading the franchise with 557 goals before literally leading the franchise as team president years later. Doughty gets the nod as the modern era representative for the Kings' Stanley Cup wins over the past decade.

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San Jose Sharks

Patrick Marleau, C (1997-2017)
Evgeni Nabokov, G (1999-2010)
Owen Nolan, RW (1995-02)
Joe Thornton, C (2005-present)

Potential replacements: Brent Burns, D (2011-present); Logan Couture, C (2009-present); Arturs Irbe, G (1991-96); Joe Pavelski, C (2006-present) Marc-Edouard Vlasic, D (2006-present)

Puckmore coach: Todd McLellan (2008-15)

Puckmore GM: Doug Wilson (2003-present)

This Mount Puckmore was built around Marleau and Thornton, the two pillars of the Sharks for over a decade. But while a few members of the team's current incarnation warrant consideration, we'll dedicate the final two spots to Nolan, the team's first true star, and Nabokov, who is statistically the best goalie in franchise history even if he could never scale the peaks of the playoffs.

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Vancouver Canucks

Pavel Bure, RW (1991-98)
Trevor Linden, RW (1988-1997, 2001-08)
Henrik Sedin, C (2000-2018)
Stan Smyl, RW (1978-1991)

Potential replacements: Roberto Luongo, G (2006-14); Kirk McLean, G (1987-1998); Markus Naslund, LW (1995-2008); Daniel Sedin, RW (2000-2018); Harold Snepsts, D (1974-1984)

Puckmore coach: Pat Quinn (1991-1996)

Puckmore GM: Pat Quinn (1987-97)

Linden and Bure are stone-cold locks for the mountain. Smyl represents the "Flying V" years (and remains the fifth-leading scorer in franchise history). Those three belong on any monument to the Canucks, which left us one spot ... for two twins.

Now, we could just put Henrik and Daniel on the mountain as some sort of two-headed mutant, as including them as one entity makes total sense. (cc: Hockey Hall of Fame.) Or, we could all just admit that Henrik was a slightly better player, the best center in franchise history and therefore the proxy for both twins on this mountain.

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Vegas Golden Knights

Deryk Engelland, D (2017-present)
Marc-Andre Fleury, G (2017-present)
William Karlsson, C (2017-present)
Jonathan Marchessault, C (2017-present)

Potential replacements: David Perron, LW (2017-18); James Neal, RW (2017-18); Nate Schmidt, D (2017-present)

Puckmore coach: Gerard Gallant (2017-present)

Puckmore GM: George McPhee (2017-present)

Look, when we said "for all 31 teams" we meant "for all 31 teams." Honestly, there's a little debate to be had here after Fleury and Karlsson. Is Marchessault redundant? Should Neal have made the list as the biggest name veteran forward? What about a fourth-line folk hero like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare?

In the end, we like these four as the faces of the franchise after Year 1. Just make sure Flower's got a smile chiseled on his face.

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