The awkward moment when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Smyth let Jordan Eberle know that he can't be on the All-Ryan Team and he doesn't understand why.

When people use the phrase “all-name team” it usually refers to players who have goofy, interesting, or awesome-sounding names. Since the NHL boasts some of the best names in professional sports, the NHL all-name team is an impressive one. My starting lineup would be Nikita Nikitin and Roman Hamrlik on defence with Nino Niederreiter, Jordin Tootoo, and Cal Clutterbuck up front, and Nikolai Khabibulin in between the pipes.

But that’s not the type of all-name team I’m talking about right now. I’m curious to see how good an NHL team could be if they had a General Manager with the odd compulsion of only signing players with the same name. How good would an all-Daniel team be or an all-Adam team?

With Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins currently on a tear in his rookie season, I realized how many other talented Ryans there were in the NHL, such as the other Ryan on his team, Ryan Smyth. So how far would an all-Ryan team go?

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First line: Bobby Ryan – Ryan Kesler - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Because it’s my own damn game, I’m allowing last names, so Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan lines up alongside Ryan Kesler of the Canucks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. With two power forwards like Ryan and Kesler making room for him, Nugent-Hopkins should have plenty of time and space with the puck.

Second line: Ryan Smyth – Ryan Getzlaf – Ryane Clowe

Smyth has 27 points in 33 games in his second go-around in Edmonton while playing 20 minutes a game. Anaheim’s Getzlaf is a bonafide all-star and the second line is rounded out by the similarly well-rounded Clowe from San Jose.

Third line: Ryan Malone – Ryan O’Reilly – Ryan Callahan

The all-Ryan third line has plenty of scoring punch from Tampa Bay’s Malone and Rangers captain Callahan, while the young O’Reilly is developing as a legitimate playmaker in Colorado and is leading the team in points.

Fourth line: Ryan Jones – Ryan Johansen – Ryan Shannon

While lacking a bit in grit, the fourth line has plenty of speed from Tampa Bay’s Shannon, a touch of scoring from Edmonton’s Jones, and a ton of youth and potential in Johansen of the Blue Jackets.

First D-pairing: Ryan Suter – Ryan McDonagh

While people generally focus on Suter’s partner in Nashville, Shea Weber, Suter himself has the goods to be a number one defenceman and is currently second in the NHL in icetime per game. Meanwhile McDonagh is quietly logging big minutes for the Rangers while notching 14 points and a plus-7 in 30 games.

Second D-pairing: Ryan Wilson - Ryan Whitney

Wilson is the only defenceman on the Avalanche with a positive plus/minus at plus-5 and has 14 points to go with it. His all-Ryan team partner, Whitney, is a credible top-four defenceman with offensive ability who scored 27 points in 35 games with the Oilers last season, though he’s frequently derailed by injuries.

Third pairing: Ryan Ellis – Ryan O’Byrne

The all-Ryan team is lacking a bit in defensive depth, as we need to dip into the Predators’ prospect pool to find the diminutive Ellis, who is currently leading all Milwaukee Admirals defencemen in scoring. The Avalanche’s O’Byrne is a solid, if unspectacular, defender.

Starting Goaltender: Ryan Miller

Despite his issues this season with collisions and being surprisingly average, the Sabres’ Miller makes a fine starting goaltender for the all-Ryan team.

Oddly enough, Rondeau had a tryout with the Sabres and was one incredible preseason away from actually being Ryan Miller's backup.

Backup Goaltender: Ryan Rondeau

Unfortunately, the goaltending depth falls apart after all-star and Olympian Ryan Miller. Apparently, there are no other Ryans in the goaltending ranks, at least in the NHL, AHL, or ECHL. In order to complete the all-Ryan team, our hypothetical obsessive GM has to dig down into the Central Hockey League to find former Yale University goaltender Ryan Rondeau, currently tending goal for the Laredo Bucks in Texas.

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Altogether, the All-Ryan Team looks pretty decent: they have great offensive depth, a fantastic number one defenceman, and an Olympian in net. Still, the defensive depth is a little suspect and if Miller goes down to injury, look out.

Would any other names make a good team? Could you make a decent team of Mikes and Michaels? Would Mikaels count? There are a decent number of Jons, Johns, and Jonathans. Would they compare to the All-Ryan team? Or, how about Nic, Nick, Nicolas, Niklas, Nicklas, and Niclas? There are also a frightening amount of Mats, Matts, Mathieus and Matthews, with the possible addition of the Mattiases.

A team of Steves, Stevens, Stefans, Stephanes, and Stephens sounds promising, but the best goaltenders are Steve Mason and Stephen Valiquette, which is just depressing.

What about all time? Heck, there are enough players named Bobby in NHL history to make a pretty impressive team, only lacking a starting goaltender. They do, at least, have a great backup in Bobby Taylor, who was behind Bernie Parent in Philadelphia. Perhaps they could snag friend-of-the-blog and goalie fighter extraordinaire Bobby Goepfert (currently playing for the DEG Metro Stars in Germany) to man the pipes for the All-Time All-Bobby Team.

Forwards

Bobby Hull – Bobby Clarke – Bobby Bauer

Bobby Burns – Bobby Smith – Bobby Rousseau

Bobby Connors – Bobby Holik – Bobby Ryan

Bobby Gould – Bobby Carpenter – Bobby Schmautz

Defence

Bobby Allen – Bobby Orr

Bobby Benson – Bobby Dollas

Bobby Trapp – Bobby Rowe

Goaltenders

Bobby Goepfert

Bobby Taylor

 

What do you think? What would be your pick for the best current and all-time All-Name Team?

Comments (13)

  1. I’ve been looking for bodies to fill out my all-substance team since ’96. I only have Bob Beers and Clayton Stoner so far.

  2. As Bobby is a shortened form of Robert, I think you could go with Roberto Luongo for your Bobby goalie.

  3. ha, yeah, bobby luo…

  4. No Bobby Baun? For shame. Who the fuck is Bobby Trapp – or is that Booby Trap?

    • Damn. Yeah, that’s a misstep. Definitely should have had Bobby Baun in there. Bobby Trapp barely had a cup of coffee in the NHL, but I had issues filling out the defence. Bobby Baun was an obvious one, don’t know how I missed him.

  5. You’ve inspired me. I made the all-Nick team. Had to dig into the junior ranks a bit though.

    Nikita Filatov – Nicklas Backstrom – Niclas Bergfors
    Nick Foligno – Nik Antropov – Nikolai Kulemin
    Niklas Hagman – Nick Bonino – Nicklas Jensen
    Nick Spaling – Nick Bjugstad – Nicolas Kerdiles

    Nicklas Lidstrom – Niklas Kronwall
    Nicklas Grossman – Niklas Hjalmarsson
    Nikita Nikitin – Nick Leddy
    Nick Schultz

    Niklas Backstrom
    Nikolai Khabibulin

  6. The Oilers are certainly working on the Ryan team. In addition to the 4 you mentioned, they also have:

    Ryan Keller
    Ryan o’Marra both in OKC
    (Ryan Lowry also on the team but not NHL contract)

    And prospect Ryan Martindale in OHL

  7. I’d trade Hamrlik for Grant Clitsome any day for that funny name all-star team….

    As for an All-Star team with a common name, I’m pretty sure that in 40 years, we can have an All-Time All-Star team with players named Sutter, all of them related….

  8. Mason
    Holt

    Pronger – Ehrhoff
    Russell – Campoli
    Butler – Phillips

    Kunitz – Higgins – Versteeg
    Kelly – Huselius – Stewart
    Porter – Thorburn – Neil
    Bourque – Kringle – Bourque

    My all Chris team. I imagine they’d play a bit like the Panthers. Except much, much worse.

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