Happy 4th of July!
To me, one of the most American things in the world is Mount Rushmore. The fact that someone carved the faces of four Presidents into the side of a mountain in South Dakota is both absurd and amazing at the same time. Can’t get more patriotic than that.
So, let’s honor this great feat of American spirit by creating some Mount Rushmores of our own. The only requirement for each category is that there must be exactly four people chosen.
Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore, Alex Pietrangelo, Deryk Engelland
There’s really only one guaranteed easy selection and that’s Theodore. After that, there’s a group of five or six that could be chosen as the final three. Engelland seemed like the easiest next choice based on his history with the franchise and playing incredibly tough minutes the first season. After that, I opted to go for Schmidt and Pietrangelo over McNabb in a close call. McNabb will probably pass Schmidt this year due to longevity but Nate’s overall impact both on and off the ice still give him the nod for now. Pietrangelo gets the call simply cause he’s the best blue liner the team has ever had.
Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Jack Eichel
The first two are obvious. Marchessault leads the franchise in goals with 122 while Karlsson remains the single-season leader with the insane 43-goal year. Reilly Smith actually has one more goal as a Golden Knight than Pacioretty, but Max has played in nearly 100 fewer games. The final slot was going to go to Mark Stone, but I just couldn’t leave Eichel off of this. He’s going to lead the team in scoring multiple times over the next few years and he has the best chance of anyone to break Karlsson’s record. Mount Rushmore isn’t usually for forward-thinking, but it’s going to look awfully weird in a few years if Eichel isn’t up there, so let’s just do it and save ourselves the future explanations.