The weekly magazine polled six hockey experts to rank the NHL defenseman in 11 categories and Lidstrom was the winner in four and received votes in two others.
Lidstrom was selected as the best shutdown defenseman, as having the best point shot, making the best first pass, and as the top mentor. He also received votes as the best skater and best corner man.
Lidstrom beat Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals for the best point shot. He beat Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks and Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers for the best first pass. Pronger was runner-up to Lidstrom as the best shut down defenseman and Robyn Regehr of the Calgary Flames was third. Niedermayer was again runner-up to Lidstrom in the best mentor category followed by Rob Blake of the San Jose Sharks.
Brian Rafalski of the Red Wings was selected as the NHL's best small defenseman. Small is defined as under six-feet tall and under 200 pounds. Rafalski edged Kimmo Timmonen of the Flyers and Dan Boyle of the Sharks.
Pronger won a couple of categories including best corner man and nastiest and most intimidating player. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators was second to Pronger as best corner man and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins ranked third. Chara was runner-up to Pronger as the nastiest defenseman and Dion Phaneuf of the Flames was third. Niedermayer was selected as the best skater ahead of Jay Bouwmeester of the Calgary Flames and Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Phaneuf was selected as the best open ice hitter ahead of Niklas Kronwall of the Red Wings and Anton Volchenkov of the Ottawa Senators. Volchenkov was selected as the best shot blocker followed by Regehr, and Zbynek Michalek of the Phoenix Coyotes.
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