No matter if you’re a basketball follower or not, you probably realize the Lebron vs. Jordan debate is something that’s raged on for a few years, perhaps being taken to its apex this past season as James carried a bunch of corpses to the NBA Finals. Hockey’s version of this argument is probably Lemieux vs. Gretzky, but I’m not sure how close it is.
One thing I’ve come to learn about the King vs. Air battle, however, is there are so many ways to frame it to give your side the edge. Jordan is a better scorer, Lebron is more well-rounded, 1-on-1 James would easily back down MJ because he’s a lot bigger; There’s lots of stuff to play with there. Another way to frame it, which I think is really fun, is who wins if you take five Lebrons and send them out against five Jordans. What happens? It’s an interesting way to try and compare players across eras.
With that in mind, and considering we’re in a pretty slow part of summer, I decided to start a bracket to bring this little thought experiment to hockey.
But let’s cover a few things first. For one, I didn’t go too heavy with early-days players, for obvious reasons. Only if a guy really stood out and had a high level of physicality, like Gordie Howe or Phil Esposito, would they get in against new era players. So you’ll see that from the 90s-to-present is well-represented. But don’t worry, all the true top guys are in there – it’s just going to be fun to see who folks vote for in some of these cross-era matchups. Also, we’ll assume these teams are all playing with the same level of goalie and the players are at their peaks in their careers.
Up first we have Joe Sakics against Evgeni Malkins. That means our gameday lineups look like this:
The question we pose to readers is quite simple: Who wins a hockey game between these two teams?
You can head over vote at our Facebook page or through TLNdc on Twitter. If that’s not doable, just drop a comment with your vote here. We’ll tab them up after twenty-four hours.
It's a slow time in the offseason, so we're going to start a little thought experiment this week. All you have to do is answer this poll:
Who would win a hockey game between these two teams?
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) July 15, 2018