Ice Hockey, the runt of the litter of American big four sports, is still incredibly spectacular to the viewers with its lightning fast breaks and bone-crunching collisions. It is only obvious to those who watch NHL that every game put an amazing fiery competition, no matter their standing in the league. Realized in 1917, the NHL doesn’t shy away from exhibiting its share of highly celebrated athletes. So lets explore top 10 Best NHL players of all time!
Top 10 Best NHL Players:
1) Wayne Gretzky
“The Great One” as he is dubbed for the ridiculous numbers he put in his time in the rink, is widely and overwhelmingly considered in the list of Best NHL Players, even according to the Top 100 NHL Player of All- Time by NHL itself.
He spent his career in Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings, St. Louis Blues, and New York Rangers, winning four Stanley cups and nine Hart memorial Trophies. He also won 10 NHL scoring championships between 1981 and 1994. And set the record of 215 points in a single season in 1985-86, accumulating 200 points in four seasons.
He has the highest points scored and goals, which is even insurmountable in imagination. It was his IQ that separated from the rest, and still considered the best playmaker ever.
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2) Gordie Howe
The Detroit Red Wings legend spent 25 of his 32 years in professional hockey in the Detroit side, winning six league MVP awards and four Stanley Cups.
His 32 years in hockey is even more impressive when you consider that he played 1767 games. Also, it is really incredible that he had 22 consecutive 20 goals season, which remain unmatched still.
Called “Mr. Hockey” by his admirers, he is considered to be the most complete player in all of history. As a result of his outstanding performance, he is in thelist of top 10 Best NHL Players.
3) Bobby Orr
Most say that Bobby orr attacking abilities from the back was his biggest asset. But Bobby Orr is still considered the greatest defenseman in the history of the NHL and considered as one of the best NHL Players.
He ended Bruins’ drought of Stanley Cup in 1970, also adding to the tally again in 1972. For his position, he also has the record point and assists, being inducted to the Hall of Fame at the age of just 31.
He won the Norris Trophies for being the NHL’s best defenseman for a record eight consecutive times, his playing career having started from 1966.
In a lot of sense he revolutionized and modernized his position by capitalizing on his skating speed and play-making and scoring skills. He later became a scout for various professional teams and became a mentor to the young skaters.
4) Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux, apart from being heralded as an incredible scorer, also is renowned for starting his Pittsburg Penguins career with six consecutive 100 point campaigns.
Totaling 1723 points, winning three Hart Trophies and two Stanley Cups, he led the Penguins to two consecutive Stanley cups in 1991 and 1992.
“Le Magnifique”, although riddled by deep health issues in his career, managed to end his career as the sventh highest point. Though still ranks just second for the goals per game ratio.
5) Maurice Richard
A part of the “punch Line”, a high scoring forward line in the 1940s, along with Elmer Lach and Toe Blake, won eight Stanley cups, including five straight between 1956 and 1960. The Canadian known for his speed and physicality was an out-and-out goal scorer.
He retired as the all-time leading scorer with 544, bagging the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1947. Along with the NHL accolades, he also was bestowed with the Canadian Press male athlete three times in ’52,’57 and 58.
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6) Jean Beliveau
Recording a whopping 17 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, the highest for an NHL individual ever, 10 of them coming as a player and 7 as an executive, “Le Gros Bill” also secured two Hart Memorial Trophies.
The savvy stick-handler had a huge fan base for not just his ability, but also his demeanor. The 1972 Hall of Fame inductee twice led the goals list in the league and was twice awarded the Hart Trophy. He was only the fourth to reach 500 goals and the second to register 1000 points.
7) Mark Messier
A gritty but gifted center, Messier won five of his six Stanley Cup with Edmonton Oilers. But he is more renowned for leading New York Rangers to 1994 Stanley Cup, as it was the Rangers’ first title in 54 years.
Sitting pretty at the third position for career points with 1887, Messier made the 100 point mark six times in his career.
Perhaps he is most remembered for his game 6 victory against the Devils, in his time with the Rangers.
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8) Bobby Hull
“The Golden Jet” as he was hailed as for his remarkable speed and skating, the left winger produced five 50 goals season in the NHL. He won the Hart Trophy twice between ’64 and ’66, and was part of the All Stars 12 times.
Terrorizing the defence with his fearsome speed on the ice, Hull led the goal scoring 7 times. He won the Stanley Cup in 1961, and ended his career with 610 goals and560 assists.
9) Guy Lafleur
Guy Lafleur put up at least in seasons from 1974-75 to 1979-80. The Montreal Canadien star won five Stanley Cups with the franchise. He was placed at seventh position of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players by The Hockey News in 1998. His place is well earned courtesy to two Hart Memorial Trophies, one Conn Smythe Trophy , and one Lou Marsh Trophy.
A dazzling presence on the rink, the Canadian became the first player in the NHL history to score 50 or more goals and register 100 points for six consecutive seasons, which is even more commemorated by the fact that Canadiens ensured four consecutive Stanley Cup titles in that particular period.
10) Sidney Crossby
The first draft pick of 2005 NHL, Sid Kid earned three Ted Lindsay Awards and two of the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy. The three times Canadian Center also captained Canada to gold in the World Cup of Hockey. With the rest of his career still ahead of him, he can only move up this list.
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