By: Pat Caputo
1. Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings – Lidstrom is one of the greatest defensemen to ever play in the NHL, and his career lasted two decades before his retirement in 2012. But his last 10 years were arguably his best. He didn’t win the first of his seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman until 2001.
2. Ben Wallace, Pistons – The best off-the-ball defender at the rim I have ever seen. Big Ben was a little undersized for an NBA center, so he would struggle in the post against massive big men such as Chris Webber and Shaquille O’Neal. Yet, in regard to help defense down low, nobody has ever been better than Wallace during his prime.
3. Ndamukong Suh, Lions – Suh’s rookie season (2010) was truly special for an inside defensive tackle in the NFL. He made big play after big play. After a difficult sophomore season, he bounced back with a very solid year in 2012.