The National Hockey League (NHL) is home to some of the greatest athletes in the world. Throughout the league’s history, there have been many players who have left their mark on the game and become legends in the sport. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best NHL players of all time and discuss their achievements and contributions to the league.
The NHL has been around for over a century and has seen some truly outstanding players grace the ice. From Wayne Gretzky to Bobby Orr, these players became household names, cemented their place in hockey history, and shifted NHL odds in their favor when they played. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best NHL players of all time, including their statistics, accolades, and impact on the game.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Most people agree that Wayne Gretzky, who was known as “The Great One,” was the best NHL player ever. He started playing for the Edmonton Oilers in 1979, where he quickly made a name for himself as one of the league’s top players. During his time with the Oilers, Gretzky led the team to four Stanley Cup titles and won many individual awards, including the Hart Trophy a record nine times. He is the NHL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,857 career points and holds many other records, including the most goals, assists, and hat tricks.
2. Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr is another player who is considered to be one of the best in NHL history. He began his career with the Boston Bruins in 1966 and quickly became one of the best defensemen in the league. Orr won the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) eight consecutive times and is the only player in NHL history to win the award in his first eight seasons. He also won the Hart Trophy twice and led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup championships. Orr revolutionised the way defenseman played the game with his offensive skills, and his influence can still be seen in today’s game.
3. Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe, also known as “Mr. Hockey,” is another player who is considered to be one of the best in NHL history. He began his career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1946 and played for them until 1971. He then returned to play for the Houston Aeros of the WHA in 1973, and then returned to the NHL in 1979 to play one final season with the Hartford Whalers. Howe is the only player in NHL history to play in five different decades and is the league’s second-leading scorer with 1,850 career points. He won six Hart Trophies and led the Red Wings to four Stanley Cup championships.
4. Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux is another player who is considered to be one of the best in NHL history. In 1984, he joined the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins and immediately became one of the league’s top players. Lemieux won the Hart Trophy twice and the Art Ross Trophy (as the NHL’s leading scorer) six times, and he led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships. Despite dealing with health issues throughout his career, Lemieux was able to maintain a high level of play and finish with 1,723 career points, the fifth most in NHL history. Additionally, he was a great leader, as he played a critical role in the Penguins’ success and was a co-owner and chairman of the team.
The NHL has been home to some truly outstanding players throughout its history. Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, and Mario Lemieux are just a few of the many players who have left their mark on the game and become legends in the sport.