Throughout the century-long history of the sport, professional ice hockey has given birth to many players who are nowadays considered Hockey Gods. Trying to be as objective as possible, we created a list of top 5 most iconic players ever to put on the skates.
When a defenseman scores 139 goals in a season shattering the previous record by double, you know that you are dealing with greatness. Bobby Orr is often considered one of the fastest hockey players ever. He won two Stanley Cups in the ‘70s, as well as numerous other individual awards. A series of knee injuries cut his career short, but he is nevertheless one of the greatest players who ever danced with the puck.
The Pittsburgh legend, Mario Lemieux, was one of the most promising juniors when he got drafted. That said, he managed to exceed his expectations and place himself as a hockey immortal. The six-time scoring champion overcame many injury woes, as well as a cancer diagnosis that didn’t stop him from playing. After his first retirement, he bought the financially struggling Pittsburgh Penguins and came back to play for a few more seasons.
Nicknamed “The Rocket”, Maurice Richard was the most dominant player of the ‘50s. He won the Stanley Cup eight times with the Montreal Canadiens and was a first ever to score 50 goals in a season. Rightfully so, the scoring trophy carries his name.
The best right wing ever and arguably one of the two best hockey players of all time, Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe, had one of the longest careers known to professional sports. In his final season, he played 80 games while being 51 years old. The Detroit Wings legend won 4 Stanley Cups and has record-breaking 23 all-star appearances. Quite deservedly, he holds one of the top spots in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Even if you never watched a game of hockey, you have probably heard of the name Wayne Gretzky. The all-time leader in goals and points won 8 consecutive Hart trophies and lifted a total of four Stanley Cups. He was the youngest ever to score 50 goals, which was only one of his many broken records. In honor to “The Great One”, the number 99 is retired from NHL.