While that's good and all, I decided to take it one step further when I developed a lineup consisting of players only from the state of Michigan a little over two years ago.
Today, I revisited that topic, sat down and assembled an NHL lineup with the best that Michigan has to offer. So here you have it: the 2013-14 NHL All-Michigan Team depth chart.
J.Abdelkader - R. Kesler - D. Booth
N. Gerbe - D. Legwand - E. Condra
D. Bowman - J. Slater - D. Moss
C. Conner - K. Porter - A. Hall
A. Greene - M. Greene
T. Gleason - J. Wisniewski
T. Krug - J. Trouba
(A. Martinez, C. Fowler, D. DeKeyser)
I have to say, it would be nice if Michigan could trade away at least one defenseman for a forward or two. In two years, the defensive depth has certainly come a long way thanks to promising youngsters in Torey Krug (Livonia), Jacob Trouba (Rochester) and Danny DeKeyser (Macomb Township). That's something I hadn't expected to find before I started this one.
Mike Modano (Livonia), Mike Grier (Detroit) and Brian Rolston (Flint) are now gone up front, but filling in are Erik Condra (Trenton), Drayson Bowman (Grand Rapids) and Kevin Porter (Northville), so it's evident the depth took a big hit at forward. With that said, Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon) has taken a step up in his game, playing on the top line in Detroit, and Nathan Gerbe (Oxford) looks to be rejuvenated with a fresh start in Carolina.
In goal, not much has changed here as far as personnel goes. But currently, Ryan Miller (East Lansing) is attempting to find his silver-medal form from the 2010 Winter Olympics and Tim Thomas (Flint) – after two seasons off due to personal leave – is trying to find his Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup-winning form again.
Two years ago, New York seemed to be the only other state that could really compete with Michigan (check the comments in my original post from 2011), but after some discussion with friends and colleagues, it was unanimously agreed upon that the Mitten would win that tilt.
Thoughts? Have you put together an All-State team of your own from elsewhere in the U.S. you want to share? Comment below with it or on the MOI Facebook page!