NHL.com’s John Kreiser breaks down how seven of the speediest skaters changed the game, spotlighting greats such as Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey and Pavel Bure.
Some of the best stuff revolves around No. 4:
No one, not even the forwards of his day, could skate like Orr. Not only was he incredibly fast, but he was able to make quick moves at high speeds, leaving checkers grasping at air. If Orr got a half-stride on a defender, he was gone — no one was going to catch him.
It’s no secret that a crackdown on obstruction put a greater emphasis on speed and skating, so Kreiser was wise to include an active player: Ottawa Senators prodigy Erik Karlsson.
Kreiser uses “game speed” as his greatest measure rather than who wins the fastest skater competitions.
But there’s speed in a race, and then there’s speed in a game. Few players are as fast at game speed as Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman last season with the Ottawa Senators while running away with the scoring race among blueliners — and impressing Orr in the process.
Which other active players deserve consideration?