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Top 20 NHL Players Who Wouldn't Make It In The Old NHL

Of all the professional sports leagues in North America none has had a bigger effect on the game it governs more than the NHL. Hockey in North America has changed dramatically across all leagues. Whether it be recreational, amateur, junior, semi-professional or professional, the game of hockey has changed in recent years, following the footsteps of the NHL.

The NHL did a lot more than just change its logo in the aftermath of the 2004-05 lockout, it changed everything, including the game itself. New rules and new formats created a new game of hockey, a game that would house an environment in which faster and more skilled players could flourish. A game with stricter rules on stick related penalties including slashing and tripping. These changes also began what would become a slow death for another breed of hockey player. One which had been a vital and important part of the game since its early beginnings, the enforcer.

Before the 2004-05 NHL lockout, enforcers thrived in the game of hockey. The pace of the game was slower, referees let more calls go and concussions were not a major concern. The game was grittier. In today's post 2004-05 lockout NHL, enforcers are rarely playing. The only enforcers in today's game are players like Milan Lucic, a player who can add grit, hit, fight and more importantly, put up points. Lucic is a living, breathing example of the new NHL. One which has weeded out the enforcers of the past who could do nothing but hit and fight. The pre lockout NHL was a much grittier, tougher and rugged league.

The players listed below are the top players in the NHL today, who would not thrive in the pre 2004-05 lockout NHL. Some of these players are considered the best in the NHL today, but because of some factors like, attitude, physical strength and playing style, would not able to survive in the old NHL.

Here are the Top 20 NHL Players Who Wouldn't Make It In The Old NHL.

20 Alexander Semin

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

19 Mike Ribeiro

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

18 Jeff Skinner

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

17 Alex Galchenyuk

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

16 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

15 Bobby Ryan

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Labeled as a future superstar, Bobby Ryan had big expectations coming into the NHL. He scored at least 88 points in each of his last three seasons of junior hockey. However, his transition to professional hockey took a little bit more time than most predicted. In his first four NHL seasons, he bounced back and forth between the NHL and the Anaheim Ducks' farm system. Afterwards, he had four straight seasons in which he scored 30 goals, before being traded to Ottawa. Since, he has failed to register a 25 goal season in three years.

14 Nazem Kadri

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

13 Henrik Sedin

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

12 Daniel Sedin

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Along his brother, Daniel also played four seasons in the NHL before the lockout. Again, like his brother, his production in the old NHL is dismal in comparison to his production in the years that followed the lockout. In his four seasons before the lockout, Daniel had one, somewhat productive season, in which he scored 18 goals and 55 points. In each of his other three seasons, he failed to put up more than 35 points. In the first six seasons after the lockout, he put up 70 points in each season. This includes three 80 point seasons and one 100 point season, as well as one 40 goal season.

11 Taylor Hall

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

10 Carl Hagelin

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

9 Jordan Eberle

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

8 Joffrey Lupul

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

7 David Perron

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

6 Alexander Steen

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

5 Nail Yakupov

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

4 James Neal

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

3 Evander Kane

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

2 Evgeni Malkin

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

1 Steven Stamkos

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There have been few better goal scorers in the last 20 years in the NHL than Steven Stamkos. He has four 40 goal seasons including one 60 goal season as well as three 90-point seasons. However, Stamkos has never embraced the physical aspect of hockey. He relies on his speed, his skill and his shot, which are his strengths. The slower pace and the more frequent physicality would have a big effect on his game and his playing style. The past three seasons of his career have been consumed injury, criticism and drama, all of which have effected his on ice production.

In each of his past three seasons he has failed to put up more than 75 points or 30 assists, which affects his credibility of being an NHL superstar.

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Top 20 NHL Players Who Wouldn't Make It In The Old NHL