Top 10 Best NHL Players of All Time

10. Sidney Crosby

Sidney Patrick Crosby is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL. Made his debut during the 2005-06 season in NHL by scoring over 102 points. By the second season, won the Art Ross Trophy with 120 points, who is the youngest player to win a title in any North American Sports League. Also, the youngest captain to win the Stanley Cup in NHL history. In 2016, he was elected as the Most Valuable Player by unanimous voting. Also, named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in NHL history.

9. Guy Lafleur

Guy Damien Lafleur’s NHL career of nearly 20 years, was the first player to score 100 points and 50 goals in 6 seasons consecutively. Over the span of 17 seasons, played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques. Leading scorer with the habs by earning 1246 points and also the fastest player to reach 1000 points in 720 games only. He won 6 Prince of Wales trophies, 5 Stanley Cups and 4 rings, 3 Art Ross trophies, and the 1977 Conn Smythe Trophy. Inducted into the “Hockey Hall of Fame” in the year 1988 and in 1996, into the “Canadian Sports Hall of Fame”.

8. Mark Messier

Mark John Douglas Messier is listed as the second in the All-time players list by playing 1756 games and earning 295 playoff points. His career spanned over 25 years for the NHL, played for Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks. Also played with the World Hockey Association (WHA) who is known for his aggression and strength in the game. In the Stanley Cup, he is the only player to captain two teams to win the Championship 6 times. In his eligibility for the first year, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. After retirement, he served as the General Manager for the Rangers.

7. Bobby Hull

Robert Marvin Hull’s speed, end to end rushes, shoot the puck at high speed named him as the “Golden Jet ”. He played for Chicago Black Hawks in NHL and Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers in the World Hockey Association for over 23 years. As the NHL’s player, won the Hart Memorial Trophy twice and the Art Ross Trophy thrice. Helped to win the Stanley cup for Black Hawks in the year 1961 and led the Winnipeg Jets to win Avco Cup Championships in 1976 and 1978.  Named in the Hockey hall of fame, Ontario Sports hall of fame, and also received the Wayne Gretzky International Award.

6. Jean Beliveau

Joseph Jean Arthur Beliveau played parts of the 20 seasons with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) between 1950 and 1971 for the Montreal Canadiens. By his second season, he was the top three scorers in NHL history. The second player to score 1000 points and 4th player to grab 500 goals. Has the record of winning 17 Stanley Cup championships, which is the most by any individual. He was named into Canada’s walk of fame and also the Hockey hall of fame. After his retirement to the game of hockey, he was named as a vice president and director of public relations.

5. Maurice Richard

Joseph Henri Maurice “Rocket” Richard had played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Montreal Canadiens in 18 seasons. The first player to score 50 goals in a season and to reach 500 career goals in the history of NHL. He was named to the 14 post-season NHL All-Star Teams which is 8 on the First-Team. Won the Hart Trophy in 1947 as the most valuable player who also played in 13 All-Star Games. Played in the NHL as the oldest player at the age of 37. The Canadiens made his sweater number 9 retired in 1960 and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

4. Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux scored 690 goals and 1033 assists which was the 7th highest career point in NHL at the time of announcing his retirement. He played for 17 NHL Seasons from 1984 to 2006 for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the ownership in 1999. Ranked second with 0.754 career goals per game on an average in NHL history. The only player to score a goal in every one of the five possible situations in a single game. Voted as the most outstanding player 4 times by the players to win the Lester B. Pearson Award. 

3. Bobby Orr

Robert Gordon Orr known for his scoring, abilities to play, speed, to change the defenceman’s position. Played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 12 seasons, starting with the Boston Bruins for 10 seasons and other two with the Chicago Black Hawks. His professional contract was one of the first to be negotiated by an agent which made him the highest-paid player as a rookie and his second contract in the NHL was the first million dollar contract. He entered into the player agent business and represents around 20 active NHL players by his agency.

2. Gordie Howe

Gordon Howe played from the year 1946 to 1980, of twenty-six seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). Holds the record of playing the most games and seasons in the NHL. By winning the Stanley Cup 4 times and Hart trophies 6 times, and also led in scoring the goal 4 times. By a goal, fight, and an assist in the same game, he became the namesake of the “Gordie Howe hat trick”. The only player to compete over 5 different decades and named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players”. The inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2008.

1. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Douglas Gretzky is a former head coach who played around 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) between 1979 and 1999 for four teams. Leading scorer in the history of NHL by scoring more goals and assists than any other player. He is the only player to score over 200 points in a season and tallied 100 points in 16 seasons. At the time of retirement, he held 61 NHL records. After his retirement, the NHL has retired his jersey number 99, which is the only player to receive the honour. He was inducted into the “Hockey Hall of Fame” in 1999.

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