Some humans are just built for athletic competition, which is sort of unfair for the rest of us. But the same way some people win the money lottery, some people happen to win the genetic one. Lebron James runs like a gazelle, jumps like an Olympian, and, y’know…
…he happens to be 6’8″ of chiseled muscle. If he was only allowed to touch the ball with the back of his hands he’d probably still be in the NBA.
The NHL is not without its share of Lebron-esque mutants – the people who were born with all the tools to succeed at the sport of their choice. They almost couldn’t mess it up. Similar to what I said about Lebron, they could use a wrong-handed stick and NHL teams would still consider taking them on board. This isn’t to minimize their accomplishments, but man, they were given some head start in the race to riches.
This isn’t a list of the 10 best players in the league, it’s a list of the 10 current players who started the race farthest ahead of everyone else. Eric Lindros is example 1A. Mario Lemieux might be 1B.
Is size an advantage? Here’s some of that. Skill helps? Here’s a big heaping helping. Speed’s good? Take all you like.