Even though he didn’t win the Norris Trophy this season, it’s still widely believed that Cale Makar is the best defenseman in the NHL.
I don’t even think you can call me a homer for saying that. He’s just built different.
On top of being the best, he might also be the most unique player in the NHL. There isn’t another defenseman like him in the world.
Don’t just take my word for it, either. All you have to do is listen to what NHL players and coaches have to say about Makar.
Speaking on the Cam and Strick podcast, Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Bruce Cassidy told it like it is. When asked who the most difficult player in the league to gameplay against is, his mind immediately went to Cale Makar.
Check out the clip below.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) August 2, 2023
“Well, I think Makar should be in that conversation, because he’s unique,” Cassidy said. “Like, he’s a modern day, when he’s on, Bobby Orr, right? So those guys on defense are a little tougher.”
Yes, he compared him to Bobby Orr, arguably the greatest defenseman to ever play the game. At this point, hearing that comparison isn’t much of a surprise. If anything, it’s becoming standard operating procedure. That’s how good Makar is, and how highly he’s thought of around the league.
Now, he did say Connor McDavid is the most difficult, before mentioning some other names around the league, like Roope Hintz, Mitch Marner, and even William Nylander.
Game planning around Makar is a little different than a forward, because he might be out there for half the game. And given how he moves up and down the ice, he could be anywhere. How do you game plan against that?
So yes, everyone knows Makar is the best defenseman in the NHL, but when you hear other coaches talk about him like this, it feels newsworthy.