In the previous two instalments of this series, I named both the First and Second Team All-Stars from the past decade of pro hockey. The First Team All-Stars comprised Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chára, Duncan Keith, and Carey Price, while the Second Team All-Stars included Connor McDavid, Jonathan Toews, Evgeni Malkin, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, and Marc-André Fleury. You can read the full justifications for these selections by clicking on the links above.
With that said, today I name the remainder of a full team roster consisting of 13 forwards, 7 defencemen, and 3 goalies. The full roster of All-Stars from the 2010s decade—in no particular order, includes forwards Claude Giroux, Brad Marchand, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Anže Kopitar, Nathan MacKinnon, and Nikita Kucherov, defencemen Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Burns, and Marc-Édouard Vlasic, and goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Remaining Roster of 2010s All-Stars
Claude Giroux – Claude Giroux’s career has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs, yet he’s still one of the only players to make this list without so much as a second thought given to his lack of a Stanley Cup championship. He’s just that good! On the international front Giroux has both World Championships gold and silver medals to his credit, as well as a World Cup championship in 2016. In the NHL, the longtime captain of the Philadelphia Flyers is a proven leader and solid two-way player, as well as one of the league’s top face-off men year after year. Though Giroux’s Flyers have not been as formidable in recent years as they were earlier in his career (particularly in 2010 when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals), they are on the rise once again and may well make some noise in this year’s playoffs. After all, Giroux is reputed as being one of the most difficult players in the league to play against. If the Flyers can just stay healthy down the stretch and into the postseason, they may finally have all the pieces in place (particularly goaltending) to make another deep run and bestow upon Giroux another level of greatness.
Brad Marchand – Over the past few seasons, Brad Marchand has become one of the best players in the NHL. Last year he had his first 100 point season, and he’s scored over 30 goals in each of the past four seasons. Before that he was a perennial 20+ goal scorer in each full season he played in the league, with the lockout shortened season of 2012-13 being the only exception. Even then he had 18 goals in 45 games played (the season itself was 48 games), which at the time had him on a career year pace. With three trips to the Stanley Cup Finals in the decade as well, and one Cup victory, Marchand has won pretty much everything there is to win, including a World Hockey Championships gold medal and a World Cup of Hockey title (where he led the tournament in goals, including scoring the Cup winning goal in dramatic fashion). At his current pace (and barring injury), Marchand could once again set a new career high in points, with well over 100 (along with his standard 35+ goals). Of course, none of this even takes into account his penalty killing, where he is always a serious threat to score a shorthanded goal, and his strong playoff performances over the years—Marchand has 30 goals and 83 points in 108 career playoff games. Not bad for a guy who was once seen as little more than a fourth line agitator with a reputation for questionable behaviour.
Patrick Kane – Patrick Kane has the kind of resume that may well have landed him among the First or Second Team All-Stars were it not for his off-ice issues and personality problems. After all, beating up cabbies over a few cents does not endear you to anyone. Even so, with three Stanley Cups, one Conn Smythe Trophy, one Hart Trophy, one Art Ross Trophy, one Ted Lindsay Award, and a pre-decade Calder Trophy to his name, he’s certainly done enough to make the decade’s All-Star team. He’s also closing in on 400 goals and has just reached 1000 points in his NHL career, and he has an Olympic silver medal (2010) and World Championships bronze medal (2018) that he won while representing the USA internationally. While Kane’s Chicago Blackhawks are no longer the dominant force that they once were, they have been looking much better lately and have a real shot at making it back to the playoffs this season. And even if they fall short, they’ve got not shortage of great achievements to look back on with pride as one of the past decade’s most successful teams.
Steven Stamkos – Had it not been for the broken leg in 2013 that derailed his Olympic dream and forever relegated Steven Stamkos to a second tier NHL goal scorer, he would likely now be on an equal footing with Alexander Ovechkin as the dominant goal scorer of our time. As it is, Stamkos is still pretty solid and deserving of a spot on the decade’s All-Star team. In the season prior to the injury, Stamkos scored 60 goals to win the second Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy of his career. Since that time, Stamkos has struggled to regain his goal-scoring prowess, finally topping out at 45 goals last season. He also achieved a career high (by a single point) with 98 points last season and is a six time all-star in the decade. His career totals currently sit at over 400 goals and 800 points in just under 800 games, so he’s a point per game player even in spite of his injury related adversity. Internationally, Stamkos has won a World Cup of Hockey with Canada (2016) and represented his country on various other occasions with less success, though in the previous decade he had both World Junior Championships gold and World Championships silver medals. As the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stamkos still awaits a Stanley Cup title, but his team is a perennial contender and the current holder of the Presidents’ Trophy for finishing first overall in the 2018-19 regular season. There is little doubt that if Stamkos can stay healthy for a few more seasons, he will finish his career among the top goal scorers in National Hockey League history.
Anže Kopitar – Any player with two Stanley Cups and two Selke Trophies over the course of the past decade has got to make the decade’s All-Star Team, and that is exactly the case for Los Angeles Kings veteran centre and captain Anže Kopitar. But that’s not all he’s done: with three All-Star appearances in the decade (four overall), one Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and strong international performances for his native Slovenia and Team Europe (48 points in 48 games at the senior level and a second place finish at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016), Kopitar is one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL today and one of the best all-around players from the past decade. As a key member of the Los Angeles Kings, Kopitar has distinguished himself with 327 goals, 925 points, and a rating of plus-71 in 1,045 career games played. His postseason numbers are equally impressive: 21 goals and 66 points in 79 games played with a plus-24 rating. Were Kopitar 10 years younger, there would be no better player in the league to begin building a team around. As it is, he may still have a number of solid years remaining with which to build on his Hall of Fame legacy.
Nathan MacKinnon – Over the last handful of seasons, no hockey player in the world—aside, perhaps, from Connor McDavid, has been more dangerous than Nathan MacKinnon. In fact, his play has been so dominant over the past three seasons that MacKinnon is the only other player under 25 years of age to make this team. From his Calder Trophy rookie season (2014) to his current status as a perennial Hart Trophy candidate (he was robbed of the award in 2018), MacKinnon has been one of the most exciting players in the game to watch over the past decade. He’s also had some considerable successes, including a 2013 Memorial Cup victory and MVP performance with the Halifax Mooseheads (just before being drafted first overall by the Colorado Avalanche) and a World Championships gold medal playing as a teammates with his friend and hero Sidney Crosby in 2015. I’ll also say that to this point in the current NHL season, MacKinnon is 100% the MVP of the campaign. If he continues doing what he’s done so far, hopefully some Johnny-come-lately won’t steal the Hart Trophy away from him due to a late season push and the benefit of recency bias (as happened in 2018 when MacKinnon’s season was considerably better than Taylor Hall’s, though Hall was given the award based purely on his hot finish). And to think, with MacKinnon, the best is yet to come!
Nikita Kucherov – After the season he had in 2018-19, Nikita Kucherov is an easy addition to this list—particularly since that wasn’t his only success this decade. Even so, what he did last season (scoring 41 goals, adding 87 assists, and winning the Art Ross Trophy with 128 points in 82 games played) was on par with some of the best individual performances ever in a single season. He also won the Ted Lindsay Award, the Hart Trophy as league MVP, and finished the season with a plus-24 rating. His total scoring on the decade landed at just over 200 goals and 500 points in just under 500 games, making him a more than a point per game player thus far in his career. On the international front, Kucherov won one silver and one bronze medal in the World Junior Hockey Championships for Russia early in the decade and two bronze medals in the World Championships late in the decade. He also represented Russia in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, scoring two goals and three points in four games. As Kucherov is currently just 26 years of age, there’s no telling how much higher he can go. Although I’m sure he would have liked for his Tampa Bay Lightning to make a deep run in last year’s playoffs, there’s still plenty of time for him to win a Stanley Cup. He and teammate Steven Stamkos might just do it this season!
Alex Pietrangelo – As the captain and one of the core leaders of the most recent Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, Alex Pietrangelo is at the top of his game right now. Often overlooked for major awards (like the Norris Trophy), Pietrangelo is one of those unsung hero types who just quietly goes about his business. And that business is winning! He’s won Olympic gold with Canada (2014), a World Cup of Hockey championship (2016), and a pair of pre-decade medals (one gold and one silver) at the World Junior Hockey Championships. A model of consistency throughout his career, Pietrangelo has averaged over 24 minutes of ice time per game in the NHL and is one of the most prolific shot blockers in the game today. While he may not be the most flashy player or the league’s biggest threat to score from the back end, Pietrangelo manages to more than pull his weight offensively without sacrificing anything defensively. He’s intelligent, hard-working, and always responsible no matter where he is on the ice. He’s the type of player that any team would love to have on their side when going to war in the playoffs. As such, I fully expect Pietrangelo to win a Mark Messier Leadership Award any time now. It’s long overdue.
Brent Burns – I have to admit—my final defensive selections for this team were particularly difficult, but Brent Burns just had to make the cut. While the most valuable d-men in the game tend to be those whose strong offensive skills come secondary to their defensive abilities, Burns largely makes this team on the strength of his goal scoring prowess over the last decade. As the preeminent goal-scoring defenceman in the NHL over that time (he led the decade in goal scoring among defensemen both in the regular season and playoffs), Burns makes the list even in light of his career minus rating (regular season). Of course, he did spend a couple of seasons in a forward role for the San Joes Sharks, though this versatility only serves to strengthen the argument in favour of Burns’ ultimate addition to the team. Other points in his favour include the fact that he holds one Norris Trophy, one NHL Foundation Player Award, six All-Star selections, and a strong international record representing Canada with one World Cup championship, one World Championships gold medal, and one World Championships silver medal. While I don’t quite have Burns as the very top defenceman of the 2010s decade, he’s certainly one of its All-Stars!
Marc-Édouard Vlasic – One of the best shutdown defencemen of this past decade, Marc-Édouard Vlasic is always ready to make a big play in his own end of the ice, like blocking a wicked shot or clearing an opposing player from in front of his team’s net. As a member of the San Jose Sharks since first being drafted 35th overall in 2005, Vlasic has been one of the most steady and consistent defenders in the league for the better part of two decades now. Far from being a flashy player that puts up big offensive numbers, what Vlasic does contribute is reliability on the blue line and over 20 minutes of ice time consumed each night. He is easily one of the NHL’s most overlooked defenders, having never won a Norris Trophy (or even finishing particularly high in the voting). However, that is only due to the voting members of the hockey media so often (and wrongfully) valuing flash over substance. Vlasic is there to win, and that’s exactly what he does. As a member of the Sharks he went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016, eventually losing to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburg Penguins. Internationally he has won gold at both the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. He also has two silver medals from the World Hockey Championships (one pre-decade and one in 2017). Vlasic may not be the most noticeable player on the ice, but that is precisely what makes him so effective—he rarely takes a bad penalty, and he just quietly goes about shutting down opposing teams’ top lines.
Jonathan Quick – Two Stanley Cup championships are the biggest point in favour of Jonathan Quick’s addition to the 2010s All-Star team as its third-string goaltender. He can also boast two William M. Jennings Trophies (awarded to the team allowing the fewest goals against in the regular season), one Conn Smythe Trophy, a handful of All-Star selections, and an Olympic silver medal (2010) representing the United States (there, too, he was the third-string goaltender and didn’t get to play in any games). In the future he will also be able to add the words Hall of Fame inductee to his resume. Taking stock of his career statistics to date, Quick has 320 regular season wins—and another 46 in the playoffs, as well as a 2.39 goals against average (2.23 playoffs) and .913 save percentage (.922 playoffs). Quick’s Los Angeles Kings have had a rough tail end to their decade, but what they did in the first half of that time brought them to the brink of being labeled a dynasty along with the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. Quick’s brilliant goaltending was a massive part of that success. Even now Quick still shows flashes of greatness from time to time. If the Kings can make a handful of intelligent adjustments to the team playing in front of Quick relatively soon, he may yet add some additional hardware to his trophy case.
And that is the end of the list. I do want to mention a couple of near-misses: Nicklas Bäckström and David Pastrňák. If Bäckström was more of a goal scorer and Pastrňák had exploded onto the scene as a major star just a season or two earlier, both players would likely have made the team. On the not-even-close side of the ledger is the vastly overrated San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson, whose name is the inevitable answer to the question—every time it is asked: “Who was on the ice when the other team scored?”
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section below!