It's one thing to rank the best players in the history of the NHL. But that's almost too easy.
Instead, we've decided to go letter by letter through the alphabet, then rank the best players based on the first letter of their last name.
Today, we start with the letter "E."
Oh, wait. Sources tell me the alphabet starts with "A." Let's start there instead.
Here's how it works: I've gone through the history of the NHL and plucked the players I believe to be the best with "A" last names. But this isn't my decision completely. Each of these lists over the next five weeks will have a poll attached to it.
Look at the list and vote on the player you think is the best below, and (kindly) let us know in the comments if you disagree with our top five. The five players are listed in alphabetical order.
Daniel Alfredsson, forward
"Alfie" starred for the Ottawa Senators -- leading the franchise as team captain for more than a decade -- before joining the Detroit Red Wings last season. His year didn't go as well as hoped, both from an individual and team perspective. Alfredsson joined the Wings to win a Stanley Cup, not get knocked out in the first round, and he missed significant time due to injury.
It's still unknown if he'll play in 2014-15. What isn't in dispute is his place in history. Alfredsson has 444 goals and over 1,150 points in the NHL, and he's a decorated international star for Sweden. He belongs here as a candidate for your vote.
Tony Amonte, forward
One of the greatest American-born players ever, Amonte made a name for himself as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks before that franchise was torn down by managerial laziness and incompetence and rebuilt by Dale Tallon and Stan Bowman.
Over a magnificent eight-year run in Chicago, Amonte dazzled with 265 goals, including three 40-goal seasons and four seasons with at least 70 points. He finished up in the NHL with more than 400 goals and 900 career points.
Amonte didn't win a Stanley Cup, but there's always this (11:00 mark if you're in a hurry):
Glenn Anderson, forward
There wasn't much that Glenn Anderson didn't do well, and there wasn't a stage he didn't stand out on.
Anderson was a staple on the Gretzky-led Edmonton teams of the 1980s. He topped 100 points three times, 50 goals twice and 40 goals two other times. Anderson was a playoff stud, ending his career with 93 playoff goals and 214 points in 225 postseason appearances.
The prototype for the "power forward" position, Anderson won six Stanley Cups and ended his NHL career two goals short of 500 and one point short of 1,100.
Anderson won Canada Cup gold twice, played in the 1980 Olympics, and is well known for his unsuccessful bid for a spot on Canada's 1994 Olympic team. Amateurs still littered those Olympic rosters, and the NHL wouldn't allow him to participate, even though he had negotiated with the Maple Leafs for the right to go.
Dave Andreychuk, forward
Andreychuk became a household name in the NHL as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He went on to have notable stints with the Maple Leafs and Devils. After going to Boston and Colorado and back to Buffalo again, Andreychuk chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
An odd move for a guy who had such a distinguished NHL career, but no Stanley Cup to show for it.
Of course, it worked out pretty well. The 22-year veteran hoisted the Cup in 2004 as captain of the Lightning, creating one of those truly fun and authentic and awesome moments that every kid dreams of growing up.
If that wasn't enough to merit his spot on this list, Andreychuk scored 640 goals and ended with 1,338 points in his more than 1,600 NHL games.
Jason Arnott, forward
I firmly believe that Arnott is one of the more criminally underrated players of his generation. Part of the problem is that the seminal moment of his career came at the height of the "dead puck" era.
Devils. Trap. Boring. Evil. Not Hockey.
You know the narrative.
Those pucks weren't so dead when Arnott put them behind goalies 417 times. Or when he scored 33 in one season for the offensively-challenged Nashville Predators.
(He had 30-goal seasons in Edmonton and Dallas, too.)
He added 32 playoff goals, including eight each in the 2000 and 2001 playoffs for New Jersey.