Here is an update to this post that I wanted to get in before 2015 is out. I wrote the below to The Hockey News also and received a reply from their Senior Editor. He agreed with the assessment below and stated that it was an oversight on their part. Somehow Mike Ramsey slipped through the database they used for the project and their fact checker.
Recently, The Hockey News produced a special issue called Dream Teams that chronicles the top 50 producers of NHL stars. It has been a great read, an excellent idea very well executed. While anyone could nitpick here and there I think that overall THN did a good job of fairly slotting talent into the team pages. However, one team has a glaring problem. The Minnesota Golden Gophers rank number 42 and THN ranks 2 All-Star defensemen and 2 Honorable Mentions, but left out the best defenseman produced by the school, Mike Ramsey. Ramsey was a multiple time NHL all star selection and also played in Rendez-Vous ’87 representing the entire NHL versus the Soviets. He finished top 10 in Norris voting twice and another two times top 15. He was equally as good as (better in my view) than Rod Langway, who got two token Norris’ for defensive defensemen in the 1980’s. Both of those seasons Ramsey had far better plus/minus numbers than Langway. These professional accomplishments followed an NCAA title in 1979 and of course the Olympic Gold Medal with the United States “Miracle on Ice” team in 1980. Following his playing career Ramsey was a 2001 inductee to the US Hockey Hall of Fame. I fail to see how any of the four defensemen THN picked (Reed Larson, Paul Martin, Jordan Leopold, Keith Ballard) meet or exceed those accomplishments, much less all of them. If anyone fails to find any of this argument convincing I would ask Scotty Bowman. Field him a list with those top four picks plus Mike Ramsey and see who he thinks is best. I am quite sure he will tell you that Mike Ramsey is the best of that lot. When the best coach of all time grooms you to be the best defenseman on his team, that says a lot. I am a passionate Sabres fan and Mike Ramsey is one of my favorite players, but the facts speak just as loudly as emotion in this case. The other plausible explanation for the oversight is that Ramsey is still being punished for having hit Wayne Gretzky in an All-Star game, since he always played the game the way it was meant to be played. Mike was not built for All-Star games, he was built for hip checks.
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