A year later the magazine was re-released as a coffee table book, expanded to include The Top 100 NHL Players of All-Time. That list has since served as the definitive list of hockey's all time greats.
Jump to 2010. In the last 13 years we've seen many players add to their resumes to improve their rankings or deserve inclusion. Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedemayer, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom are among many greats in that time frame.
With that in mind, The Hockey News is back with an updated Top 100 list. Sort of.
This time around THN put together a 10 member panel to judge players only since 1997. Those results are then mixed together with original list results to update the famous list.
The only catch is they fail to rank them 1 through 100, which made the original list such a great debate. Instead they decide to rank the players by position. That's right - the Top 100 this time around is a actually five separate top 20 lists - goaltenders, defensemen, left wingers, right wingers and centers.
Now I understand that such a publication needs to distinguish itself from it's famous predecessor. Still, it is a bit of a disappointment that it is essentially a much different list. In reality I think a number of centers would probably knock off a few wingers and goalies in a true 1 through 100 list.
The collector's edition magazine itself is a wonderful presentation, mixing great photography with excellent all new player profiles. They also offer a look at the best players by position for each franchise.
This type of magazine is what The Hockey News does best. It makes wish they would drop their mostly forgettable book series by The Hockey News and always present their special features as collector edition magazines. So look for this collector's edition of The Hockey News All New Top 100 Players of All Time at your favorite newsstand.
Now the question for you Christmas shoppers out there becomes do you spend $8 on the THN special issue, or the $20 on the new Hockey Night In Canada book Best of the Best, which also offers a top 100 list? Don't be afraid to go with the magazine - I would be just as happy with that under my tree.