Monday, May 19, 2008

Top 100 Hockey Players of All-Time

Two years ago, I put together the 50 best players in history for each of the four major sports. That was a daunting and time consuming task but I was fairly happy with the results. As time moved along, it started to bother me more and more that I didn’t have a “top 100” so I’ve spent the last six months or so working on that. For the most part, the players rated in my original "top 50" stayed in the same spots with a few exceptions. There was limited player movement that mostly involved active players. Also, there were a few instances where a player moved into the top 50 who was previously left out two years ago.

Please read the following before moving on to the list…

1). It is important to know why and how I chose to rate active players. A list like this isn’t nearly as fun or accurate if we just pretend active players don’t exist. The way I rated active players is simple. I considered their accomplishments up to this point and then assumed a healthy, reasonable, finish to their careers.

2). None of the rankings are arbitrary or without multiple rationalizations. If you would like a clarification, feel free to ask. I’d be happy to rationalize a ranking. If I agree with an objection, then I'll be happy to make a change.

3). It is not uncommon for sports fans to discount current players with respect to history because a). present-day players don’t have the luxury of accumulating gaudy statistics and award-counts against weak competition and b). their most cherished memories are from childhood so there is an inherent preference towards players from earlier generations. I can understand why the overrating occurs but, at the same time, I’m not going to do it here.

4). These lists are based on the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL. I would love to have the insight to include players from international leagues. The same goes for the Negro Leagues. Instead of pretending to know more than I do, I only chose to rate players who did their work in the four major leagues.

5). The list is based on statistics through December '07.

6). First and last names for each player have different links. First names link to Wikipedia-entries and last names link to career-stats.

7). For more information, click here. It’s my criterion from the original "Top 50." It’s basically the same with more boring detail.


Top 100 Hockey Players of All-Time

1) Wayne Gretzky

At the risk of angering the five percent of the population who think Bobby Orr should be number one, Gretzky is by far the most accomplished hockey player in NHL history. It's really not even close. Even if it were somehow proven that Orr was as good of a hockey player as Gretzky, the fact that Gretzky maintained excellence for 13 seasons longer than Orr makes this an open and shut case. Click on Gretzky's name to see the ridiculousness that is his resume.

2) Bobby Orr

Picking Orr over Gordie Howe requires a concession. Howe's incredibly long career can't be viewed as a deal-breaker for Orr. Gretzky's long career was a deal-breaker but that's only because "The Great One" was better already before considering career length. Orr dominated the NHL from a position (defenseman) that had never seen such offensive prowess. His brilliance was relatively brief, but revolutionary nonetheless. He was, by most accounts, the second most talented hockey player to play the sport. His collection of individual awards compared to the amount of time he played is second to none. In just nine seasons, Orr picked up eight Norris Trophies, two Art Ross Trophies, three Hart Trophies, and two Conn Smythe Trophies. Orr led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cup Championships--the only two that the team has won in the last 64 years.

3) Gordie Howe

Howe was no slouch himself. He played three times as long as Orr. As a result, I certainly would not argue if someone wanted to put Howe second. Playing two or three seasons more isn't much to talk about but when a guy plays three times as long as another guy, that has to carry some weight. And it's not as if Howe had a Ron Francis-type career either. Howe accumulated awards by the dozen. He won six Hart Trophies and six Art Ross Trophies. He helped lead the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cup Championships. He also owned most of the offensive records before Gretzky arrived.

4) Mario Lemieux

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that four of the five players in NHL history to win multiple Conn Smythe Trophies are in my top five. Many people compare Lemieux’s talent level to that of Gretzky. I have no problem with that sentiment. Had Lemieux had the luxury of playing with a team as talented as Gretzky’s Oilers or had Gretzky's health, he would have undoubtedly put up Gretzky’s ridiculous point totals. As it is, Lemieux scored 199 points in 1988 which is the highest total by anyone other than Gretzky. Lemieux is the second best offensive player I have seen in my lifetime. Injuries hampered his career but his points per game total is barely behind Gretzky for first all-time. Lemieux led the Pittsburgh Penguins to two Stanley Cup Trophies. He also won three Hart Trophies, six Art Ross Trophies and two Conn Smythe Trophies. Those accomplishments are even more impressive considering he did it while playing at the same time as Gretzky.

5) Patrick Roy

This is going to shock a lot of people. In fact, it shocked me. I assure you that I have good reason to rank Roy the fourth best player in NHL history. There is no questioning Roy's place as one of the top goaltenders of all-time. He has more regular season wins than any other goaltender in league history (although Martin Brodeur will pass him in 2008). He also won three Vezina Trophies as the best goaltender in the NHL. That alone puts him among the top players of all-time. The thing that puts Roy among the top four players of all-time has nothing to do with the regular season. Every professional athlete plays the game to win championships. That is the goal to start every season. Players who perform well in the playoffs are often viewed on a different level than other "good" players. Well, Roy has outperformed every player in NHL history when it comes to playoff performances. He has 59 more postseason wins than any other goalie. He also has the most postseason shutouts of any goalie. Those numbers are not just a case of Roy playing for great teams. He almost single handedly led the Montreal Canadiens to two Stanley Cup Championships. Those Canadien-teams were nowhere near as talented as some of the other Stanley Cup winners of the 80's and 90's. He went on to win two more Cups with the Colorado Avalanche where he was again the best player in the playoffs. All told, Roy won three Conn Smythe Trophies as the most outstanding player in the playoffs. That is the most in NHL history. In fact, only four other players have even won the Conn Smythe more than once (Gretzky, Orr, Mario Lemieux, and Bernie Parent).

6) Bobby Hull

Bobby Hull’s career point total is shocking. In 23 seasons in the NHL and WHA, Hull recorded 1808 points and 913 goals. He led the Chicago Blackhawks to their most recent Stanley Cup Trophy 45 years ago. He won three Art Ross Trophies and two Hart Trophies. Hull was the first player to record multiple 50-goal seasons. He also led the league in goals a record seven times. When Hull left the NHL in 1972, there had only been six occurrences of 50+ goals in the history of the league (not counting Hull). Hull did it five times. He played an amazing 23 seasons which is the third longest career of anyone in my top 50. He was selected First Team NHL All-Star 10 times which is the second most in NHL history behind Ray Bourque and Gordie Howe. There were other great players of Hull’s era who won more championships but those players had the luxury of playing for stacked teams like the Montreal Canadiens. Hull played the majority of his career for average Blackhawk teams.

7) Phil Esposito

Esposito is probably the second greatest Chicago Blackhawk of all-time. He was the first player in NHL history to score more than 100 points in a season. He accomplished that feat six times in his career. He set the single season record for most goals scored in 1971. He also led the NHL in scoring five times and goals six times. He won two Hart Trophies as the league’s best player. He helped lead the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cup Trophies which happen to be the last two the franchise has won. It sure seems to me like Esposito had a better career than Rocket Richard. While Richard was the first 50-goal scorer, Esposito was the first 100 point scorer and shattered Richard’s 50 goal mark numerous times.

8) Maurice Richard

The reason why I’ve rated Richard 8th is simply because I think there have been seven better players in NHL history. It's tempting to rate him higher but I just can't do it based on his accomplishments with respect to the players above him. Richard’s big claim to fame (other than being a great hockey player) is that he was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals. That was truly a revolutionary feat. Aside from that 50-goal season, Richard never won an Art Ross Trophy (league scoring leader) and only won one Hart Trophy as the league’s best player in his 18 year career. He is the only offensive player in my top 16 to win fewer than two Hart Trophies. As for Richard’s 50-goal feat...Bobby Hull did it five times. Richard is also the only offensive player in my top 15 not to have won an Art Ross Trophy. Despite a lasting legacy and hero status as a Quebecois, I can't place Richard any higher than #8.

9) Dominik Hasek

I really had a tough time putting Patrick Roy ahead of Hasek. In Roy’s stellar 18-year career, he only won three Vezina Trophies. Hasek is largely responsible for that. Hasek won six Vezinas which is by far the most all-time by a player who played under the current Vezina Trophy standards. Hasek is also the only goalie in NHL history to win two Hart Trophies as the league’s best player. The reason I decided to go with Roy as the better goaltender is because of Roy’s considerable success in the playoffs. Roy was largely responsible for three Stanley Cup Trophies winning the Conn Smythe all three times. Hasek only won one Stanley Cup and that was with one of the greatest hockey teams ever assembled. Hasek might get the nod for regular season success, but Roy’s superiority in the playoffs makes him better in my opinion.

10) Terry Sawchuk

Considering Sawchuk is a Detroit Red Wings icon and the cousin of one of my former neighbors, I kind of feel guilty not putting Sawchuk ahead of Roy. But, I’m not doing this list to play favorites—or at least I’m not trying to. When Sawchuk died in 1970, he was the all-time leader in wins and shutouts. His shutout record still stands. He helped lead the Detroit Red Wings to two Stanly Cups while winning four Vezina Trophies. Although, it is important to note that the Vezina Trophy was handed out to the goalie with the fewest goals against (rather than the best goalie) before 1982.

11) Guy Lafleur

LaFleur and Hull are a pretty good comparison. Both won three Art Ross Trophies and both won two Hart Trophies. Hull was the first with multiple 50-goal seasons. LaFleur was the first with six consecutive 50-goal seasons. LaFleur had the benefit of playing for an All-Star team disguised as the Montreal Canadiens which allowed LaFleur’s a 6-1 advantage in Stanley Cups. Hull played six more years and recorded over 450 more points and over 250 more goals. Both were fantastic hockey players. Hull gets the edge because he has a 10-6 advantage in First Team NHL All-Star selections and a 7-1 advantage in leading the league in goals.

12) Doug Harvey

Harvey is probably a close second to Jean Beliveau in anonymity among great hockey players. He helped lead the Canadiens to six Stanley Cup Trophies while winning seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s best defenseman. Only Orr has more.

13) Jean Beliveau

Beliveau is the fifth greatest Montreal Canadien of all-time in my opinion. When he retired in 1970, he had the most playoff points in NHL history. He helped lead the Canadiens to ten Stanley Cup Trophies. He won one Conn Smythe Trophy but that total probably would have been higher had the award been handed out the first fourteen years of his career. He also won two Hart Trophies as the NHL’s best player. He was the premier scorer for the Canadiens in the 50’s and 60’s. As far as I can tell, he is probably the least known great hockey player of all-time.

14) Nicklas Lidstrom

There aren’t too many hockey fans who would list Lidstrom as a “superstar” outside of Detroit. The fact of the matter is that he is a superstar. He is still in the prime of his career with three Stanley Cups, six Norris Trophies, nine First Team NHL All-Star selections and a Conn Smythe Trophy. By the time Lidstrom’s career is over, he will probably be the second greatest defenseman of all-time behind Orr.

15) Martin Brodeur

Give me a choice out of Roy, Hasek and Martin Brodeur to win one game, I can’t say I know who I would pick. There is no question that Brodeur has benefited from playing for a New Jersey-franchise that is known for playing stellar defense. But, the numbers he has compiled over his career are nothing short of phenomenal. He will most likely pass Patrick Roy for first place in career wins. He will also likely pass Roy for the most playoff shutouts and Terry Sawchuk for most regular season shutouts. He has seven 40+ win-seasons. No other goalie has more than three. Brodeur was the catalyst for three Stanley Cup titles in New Jersey. His individual accomplishments (Vezinas and Conn Smythes) don’t match that of Hasek and Roy but he may by the time his career is over. I can’t say that Roy and Hasek were better goaltenders. All I can say is that their career-accomplishments are slightly more impressive.

16) Eddie Shore

Shore is often considered the best pre-WWII hockey player. That is high praise considering the other greats of that era. Shore led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cups. He is also the only defenseman in NHL history to win four Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player. Even the great Bobby Orr only won three Hart Trophies.

17) Jacques Plante

It is difficult to differentiate between the great goalies who played prior to 1982. Back then, the Vezina Trophy was not handed out to the “best” goalie but rather to the goalie who gave up the fewest goals. That makes it difficult to see who the league viewed as the best goalies of that era. For instance, Martin Brodeur would have four Vezinas based on the old rules. Instead, Hasek was honored six times showing just how highly the league thought of "The Dominator". Without the “best” goalie award, separating Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden is a difficult feat. Even though Dryden managed to win six Stanley Cups in his seven NHL seasons, Plante played eleven more seasons than Dryden which gives him the slight edge.

18) Mark Messier

I had trouble rating Messier. There’s no doubt in my mind that Messier was a great player. The doubts that I do have revolve around just how great he was. There are a handful of players who could’ve put up the same numbers as a teammate of Wayne Gretzky. To be fair to Messier, he won a Stanley Cup in Edmonton after Gretzky left which proves that it wasn’t all Gretzky in Edmonton. He also led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup giving him a 6-4 Cup-edge over Gretzky. Messier is also the only other play besides Gretzky to score 30+ points in the playoffs three times. Two of those occasions were without Gretzky as a teammate. Combine that with a 25-year career and two Hart Trophies and Messier’s resume is hardly short on accomplishments. I just don’t think I can rate him any higher.

19) Mike Bossy

Looking at Bossy’s career stats never ceases to amaze me. He averaged 57 goals and 113 points per season over his career. He helped lead the New York Islanders to four Stanley Cup Championships. Bossy’s .762 career-goals per game average is the highest in NHL history. He was the first player to record eight consecutive 50+ goal seasons. He is the only player in NHL history to lead the playoffs in goals for three consecutive seasons. He scored 17 goals in the playoffs three different times. No other player has done it more than once. The only thing standing in the way of Bossy being among the top five players in NHL history is his relatively short 10-year career.

20) Jaromir Jagr

Nobody will ever confuse Jagr with Lemieux. They are totally different players. Jagr isn’t fast nor is he particularly flashy. I’m not sure how he does it but it works. He has won five Art Ross Trophies and two Stanley Cups. He also won a Hart Trophy as the league’s best player. Jagr has been selected as a First Team NHL All-Star seven times which is the most by a RW since Gordie Howe. He has a pretty good shot at finishing fourth on the all-time points-list behind only Gretzky, Messier, and Howe. He has received a lot of criticism and few fans actually like him but his accomplishments can’t be ignored.

21) Ray Bourque

If only Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and Dominique Wilkins could have been as lucky as Ray Bourque. After 22 seasons and five Norris Trophies with the Boston Bruins, the only thing missing from Bourque’s resume was a Stanley Cup ring. The Bruins, understanding of the fact that he wasn’t going to win one with them, traded him to the Colorado Avalanche. He promptly won his ring and retired. Bourque's Norris-total is behind only Orr, Lidstrom, and Harvey. Bourque also has the most First-Team NHL All-Star selections of anyone in history at 13.

22) Stan Mikita

Mikita is likely the third greatest Blackhawk of all-time. In 1967, he equaled the single-season scoring record by scoring 97 points. He won two Hart Trophies and four Art Ross Trophies. He teamed with Bobby Hull to lead Chicago to its last Stanley Cup.

23) Howie Morenz

To understand how good Morenz was, one only needs to know that he was considered “the Babe Ruth of hockey” in the 1920’s. Morenz had the “Red Grange effect” for hockey prompting increased interest by fans. He also increased the interest of rich investors who immediately became interested in owning a hockey franchise. Morenz won three Hart Trophies and led the regular season and playoffs in scoring twice. It is hard to compare Morenz to Ruth in terms of historical significance. Ruth is, in my opinion, the greatest baseball player of all-time (or at least had the greatest career). Morenz played in an era when there were few teams and short careers. He could be the best hockey player of all-time for all I know but I have to put the era in which he played in perspective so he comes in at #23.

24) Newsy Lalonde

If Morenz was the Babe Ruth of hockey, then Lalonde might have been the Ty Cobb of hockey. Lalonde, like Cobb to Ruth, started his career about 15 years earlier. He is also, like Cobb to Ruth, considered to be just a step below Morenz in greatness. Lalonde held the all-time record for goals scored by a professional hockey player for 44 years. An interesting note to Lalonde’s career is that he scored the first ever goal in NHL history as he was present when the NHA became the NHL. He also scored a goal in his first six NHL games which is a record. That record was actually tied by Pittsburgh’s rookie phenom Evgeni Malkin. Lalonde led the regular season and playoffs in scoring twice.

25) Steve Yzerman

If one of the top 25 players in NHL history happens to have his career coincide with two of the top five players in NHL history, does anybody notice him? If you’re in Detroit, the answer is yes. If you’re anywhere else, the answer is probably closer to no. There’s no doubt that hockey fans across North America respect Yzerman for his career accomplishments but I don’t think people give him his proper do in terms of his place in NHL history. Yzerman was a prolific scorer in his younger years. As his career progressed, he changed his game to become a more complete player. He won the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the best player in the playoffs. He also led the Detroit Red Wings to three Stanley Cups. Yzerman doesn’t have the individual accomplishments simply because he had the unfortunate luck of playing during the prime years of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. As a result, he never led the league in scoring, goals, or assists. In 22 seasons, he was named to a First or Second NHL All-Star team just once. Still, Yzerman is 6th all-time in career points, 8th all-time in career playoff points, 8th all-time in career goals, and 7th all-time in career assists.

26) Denis Potvin

Potvin and Larry Robinson were both superior defensemen but Potvin gets the edge for three reasons...1). He won one more Norris Trophy in five fewer seasons. 2). He was considerably better offensively 3) He holds a 5-3 First Team NHL All-Star advantage.

27) Bobby Clarke

I initially had Clarke a little bit higher on the list. In fact, I’m still a little uncomfortable having him rated so low but I just think there have been 27 better players. I had a tough time comparing Steve Yzerman to Bobby Clarke. Clarke’s big advantage is that he won three Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player. If Clarke would have played when Yzerman played, he would have won zero Hart Trophies. It was either Gretzky or Lemieux. Yzerman never had a chance and Clarke wouldn’t have either. So, comparing Hart Trophies is quite misleading at least in this instance. The rest of the comparison is pretty similar but I give the edge to Yzerman. He played seven more seasons which is a significant amount. He was a very good hockey player every year of his career so the seven seasons weren't just for padding stats. Yzerman was the main cog in three Stanley Cup winning teams. Clarke won two. Both won a Selke Trophy. Yzerman won a Conn Smythe and Clarke did not. Yzerman’s point totals are all better than Clarke’s including points per game. Yzerman also scored significantly more points in the playoffs. The only advantage Clarke has in the comparison is his Hart Trophies. I don’t want to discount the Hart Trophy but in this instance, his 3-0 advantage tells me nothing other than he didn’t play when Gretzky and Lemieux played.

28) Ken Dryden

Dryden won five Vezina Trophies and six Stanley Cups in just seven seasons. Remember, when Dryden played, the Vezina Trophy went to the goalie with the fewest amount of goals allowed. Under that definition, Martin Brodeur would have four Vezina Trophies and Dominik Hasek would only have three. So, playing for the best defensive team in the NHL certainly didn't hurt. Dryden led the NHL in wins four times and was selected First Team NHL All-Star five times. On a side note, Dryden won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1971. He won the Calder (Rookie of the Year) in 1972.

29) Ted Lindsay

Thanks to Gordie Howe, Lindsay will never get first billing as Detroit’s all-time great. But, there’s no question that Lindsay’s place among the all-time greats is secure. He made the NHL All-Star First Team eight times in his career. He finished in the top three in scoring six times. He won the Art Ross Trophy in 1950 and helped lead the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cups.

30)Henri Richard

At first glance, I was sure that Henri Richard was significantly overrated. I thought that he would barely make my top 50, if at all. But, I considered the “Bill Russell effect”. Russell’s statistics were not the best in NBA history but he was the most valuable piece in producing 11 Championships. Richard also helped his teams to 11 Stanley Cups (tied with Russell for the most in professional sports history). Sure, he had the benefit of playing for ridiculously talented teams. He was probably never even one of the two best players on any of his teams. Richard never won an individual award but his consistently-excellent production over 20 seasons was instrumental in producing 11 Stanley Cups for the Montreal Canadiens. He led the league in assists twice. He led the playoffs in scoring once. He finished in the top-ten in scoring seven times in both the regular season and the playoffs. He also finished in the top five in scoring three times in the playoffs. He was selected to the First NHL All-Star team once and the Second Team three times.

31) Milt Schmidt

Schmidt is the only player in the top 50 who missed time to serve in WWII. He missed three full seasons right in the prime of his career. The year after he returned he finished fourth in the league in scoring. He went on to win a Hart Trophy as the league’s best player in 1951. He also led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cups while leading the playoffs in scoring once. He was selected to the First NHL All-Star team before and after his service in the war.

32) Brett Hull

I don’t know how most people view Brett Hull in NHL history but I think of him in terms of a Dominique Wilkins-type player. He was a great player. He put up huge goal-totals. He had three straight seasons of 70+ goals including an 86-goal season in 1991. Gretzky is the only other player in NHL history to post three 70+ goal seasons. He is third on the all-time goals list and fourth on the all-time playoff goals list. Hull also led his teams to two Stanley Cups and led the playoffs in goals twice. Despite those superb seasons, Hull only had five total seasons of 45+ goals. He reached 100 points only four times in his 20-year career which is on the light side for great players from his era. He is often viewed as a one-dimensional player. There is nothing wrong with that, either. I just can’t rationalize placing him higher because of it.

33) Joe Malone

Malone played on the same line as Newsy Lalonde in Montreal. Complete statistics for players from that era aren’t readily available. Lalonde is treated as the superior player in print which is evidenced by Malone’s position change to accommodate Lalonde. Malone set a number of NHL records including a goal in 14-straight games. He also led the NHL in points twice. He was one of the three best players of the early 1900’s.

34) Red Kelly

Kelly was a “Jack of all trades”. He won the first Norris Trophy ever given out in the NHL as a defenseman. Early in his career he played sparingly on offense when injuries created depth issues. That gave way to a full-time switch to forward with Toronto. He was a part of eight Stanley Cups (four each with Detroit and Toronto). He has the most Cups of any player who never played for Montreal. Kelly was also selected to six First NHL All-Star Teams.

35) Bryan Trottier

Trottier teamed with Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin to lead the New York Islanders to four Stanley Cups in the late 70’s/early 80’s. His best season was a superb campaign in 1977-78 in which he led the league in scoring and won the Hart Trophy. He also won a Conn Smythe Trophy in 1979-80. He led the playoffs in scoring twice and was a member of six Stanley Cup winning teams in 18 seasons. He is the only player in NHL history to record three-consecutive seasons of 29+ points in the playoffs.

36) Paul Coffey

There are a lot of players who owe much of their legacy to Wayne Gretzky and/or Mario Lemieux. If Steve Yzerman played for the Oilers instead of Mark Messier, Stevie Y may be considered a unanimous top-ten player in league history. The same can be said of Paul Coffey. Had Coffey played for an average team, I highly doubt he would have even come close to putting up the numbers he attained with Gretzky. Even when Coffey left Edmonton, he caught on with a Mario Lemieux-led team that won a Cup. That’s not to say Coffey wasn’t good. He has the second highest single-season point total for a defenseman. He has the highest single-season point total for a defenseman in the playoffs. You don’t win three Norris Trophies by being average. But, I don’t think Coffey was as good as his offensive statistics might indicate. His career went downhill fast once he experimented with life after Gretzky and Lemieux.

37) Joe Sakic

Joe Sakic is an old-style center stuck in the 21st century. He’s not flashy. He doesn’t get a ton of press. In fact, he was probably not the best player on his team for most of his career. He led the Colorado Avalanche to two Stanley Cups while picking up a Hart Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy along the way. He led the playoffs in scoring twice. He finished in the top-ten in scoring 10 times. The most impressive aspect of Sakic’s career is that after 18 seasons, he’s still a superstar. Sakic is 8th on the all-time scoring list and 14th on the all-time goal-list.

38) Chris Chelios

Chelios is one of only seven defensemen in NHL history to win three Norris Trophies. His career has lasted 25 seasons and counting. Despite being the oldest player in the NHL, “Cheli” is still regarded as one of the better defensemen in the league. He led the NHL in +/- once and led the playoffs in +/- twice. He was a five-time selection to the NHL All-Star First Team. He helped both the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cups. He has also played in more playoff games than any other player in NHL history.

39) Larry Robinson

Robinson won six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens. He also won two Norris Trophies. The most impressive aspect of his career, though, might be his +/- prowess. Robinson holds the second best single-season +/- total in NHL history at 120. Only Orr was better at 124. Even more impressive is that Robinson is the all-time leader in +/- at an amazing 730. Robinson is +202 ahead of Raymond Bourque who is in third place. The moral here is that it was a good thing to play for the Canadiens in the 70s.

40) Glenn Hall

Glenn Hall’s contributions to hockey go much deeper than his statistics. He was one of the first goalies to use the butterfly style of goalkeeping. He only won one Stanley Cup in 17 seasons which is the lowest total of any goalie of the top 50. However, Hall led the league in wins four times and led the playoffs in wins three times. He won the Vezina three times and was one of only five players in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe on the losing team (Roger Crozier, Reggie Leach, Ron Hextall, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere are the others). He was a seven-time selection to the NHL First All-Star Team. Hall is 8th on both the all-time wins and losses lists.

41) Bill Durnan

Bill Durnan and Ken Dryden had remarkably similar careers. Both played only seven seasons. Durnan won six Vezinas while Dryden won five. The big difference between the two is Dryden’s 6-2 advantage in Stanley Cups.

42) Marcel Dionne

In 19 seasons, Dionne only won a single individual or team award. He never played for a Stanley Cup winning team. He never won a Hart Trophy. Despite his noticeable lack of individual or team hardware, Dionne’s point totals were absurd. Dionne is fourth on the all-time goals-list and fifth on the all-time points-list. He is also fifth all-time in points per game.

43) Jari Kurri

How good was Jari Kurri, really? It's tough to say. I know how many points he scored. I know where he stands on the all-time lists for goals and assists. What I don’t know is how much of that can be attributed to "The Great One" and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers. The debate here isn’t whether Kurri was good. It’s just, how good? There are a number of players from the 1980’s who could’ve achieved instant-stardom had they had Kurri’s good fortune. To be fair, though, Kurri was a big-game performer. In fact, it was Kurri--and not Gretzky--who was the leading goal-scorer in the playoffs for the Oilers during their dynasty. Kurri led the playoffs in goals four times. Rocket Richard is the only other player to lead the playoffs in goals that many times. Kurri is 3rd on the all-time list for playoff points. Gretzky and Mark Messier are the only other players with at least six playoff-seasons of 20+ points. Kurri is one of four players to have multiple seasons of 30+ points in the playoffs (Gretzky, Messier, and Mario Lemieux are the others). Kurri is one of only six players to post two seasons of at least 68 goals (Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Esposito, and Hull are the others).

44). Peter Forsberg

Forsberg's career stats won't ever blow anyone away. At 35, Forsberg only has 250 career goals and fewer than 900 points. Injuries--perhaps more injuries per season than any player in NHL history--are the major culprit in Forsberg’s relatively underwhelming career totals. In 12 seasons, he only managed to play more than 70 games in a season five times. However, those who watched hockey from 1994-2008 know that Forsberg was the best player in the NHL for the majority of those years. In three of the five seasons in which he played more than 70 games, he was selected First Team NHL All-Star (like the NBA First Team; only one player per position makes the team). Forsberg is 8th on the all-time list in points per game. He led the playoffs in scoring twice. In '03, he won the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy. He led the Colorado Avalanche to two Stanley Cup Titles. He is in the top 15 all-time in playoff points. He has 14 career game-winning goals in the playoffs which is 8th in NHL history. In 24 regular and playoff seasons, Forsberg has never achieved a negative plus/minus. He led the playoffs in +/- in '00 and the regular season in +/- in '03.

45) Al Macinnis

MacInnis never received the same fanfare as Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Chris Chelios but he was a feared defenseman. He carried around the hardest shot in the NHL which he used to pelt helpless goalies. He won a Conn Smythe Trophy on his way to leading the Calgary Flames to a Stanley Cup. He also picked up a Norris Trophy. He was selected as a First Team NHL All-Star four times. He is the third leading scorer among defensemen all-time behind only Coffey and Bourque. There is no question that Al McInnis was one of the premier two-way defensemen in NHL history.

46) Frank Mahovlich

Mahovlich won four Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs and two more with the Montreal Canadiens. His point totals weren’t as impressive as some of the other greats of his era but his all-around game made him one of the best players of his generation. He was selected as a First Team NHL All-Star three times. He was a Second Team All-Star selection six times. Mahovlich had the misfortune of playing at the same time as Bobby Hull who was the First Team Left Wing in all six seasons that Mahovlich was on the Second Team. Mahovlich never led the league in goals but he finished second four times and in the top-five six times. He led the playoffs in scoring for the '71 Canadiens. He also set the record in '71 for most goals in a playoff-season (14). He easily could have won the Conn Smythe that year but the honor went to Ken Dryden who was equally as brilliant.

47) Luc Robitaille

No left wing has scored more goals in NHL history than Robitaille who netted 668 career goals. That mark is 10th on the all-time list. Robitaille's 247 power play goals are 3rd on the all-time list behind Brett Hull and Dave Andreychuk. Robitaille is also 14th all-time in game-winning goals and 19th all-time in points. His most impressive accomplishments are probably his selections to the NHL All-Star First Team. Only Jagr, Lidstrom, Bourque, Gretzky, and Hasek have had more First Team selections in the last 30 years than Robitaille's five. He also had three Second Team selections. Robitaille went to the Stanley Cup Finals twice with Los Angeles and Detroit respectively. He came up short with Wayne Gretzky and the Kings against the Canadiens in '93 but finally won a cup with a Red Wings team that featured one of the great rosters ever assembled (Yzerman, Hasek, Lidstrom, Chelios, Hull, Robitaille, Shanahan, and Fedorov).

48) Ed Belfour

I can honestly say that I had no idea that Eddie “The Eagle” was going to end up on this list until I was knee-deep in my research. Belfour is one of the elite goalies in history and his accomplishments show it. He won two Vezina Trophies as the best goaltender in the NHL. He also led the Dallas Stars to their only Stanley Cup. Belfour has won four Williams M. Jennings Trophies as the goaltender who allowed the fewest goals in a season. That total is second all-time to Patrick Roy’s five. Belfour’s place among the NHL elite is cemented by his place on the all-time goalie statistical lists. He is second all-time (behind Roy) in career wins. He is fifth all-time in playoff wins and shutouts. He is one of only three goalies to lead the NHL in shutouts for four consecutive seasons (Clint Benedict and Glenn Hall are the others). I actually think there is a decent chance that I’ve underrated Belfour.

49) Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens never scored enough points to win the Norris Trophy. Like Gold Gloves in baseball, offensive statistics often dictate who wins the Norris Trophy even though the award is supposed to be predicated on defense. A defenseman should be measured, in large part, by his plus/minus rating. A defenseman’s job is to keep other teams from scoring. Nobody did that better than Stevens. He never had a negative plus/minus rating in his 22 seasons. As far as I can tell, no player in NHL history has ever managed to play that long without a minus-season. As a result, he is 12th all-time in +/- with a + 393. He is also 9th on the all-time list for +/- in the playoffs. Stevens was so brutal that he was responsible for dishing out a number of concussions. Stevens and Martin Brodeur were the catalysts for three Stanley Cup-winners in New Jersey. He won a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 2000. He is fourth on the all-time list for playoff games played. He also played more games than any other defenseman in NHL history. The Devils were overwhelmingly a defensive-minded team. It is possible that no defenseman ever had a bigger impact on the success of his team than Stevens did.

50). Bernie Geoffrion

During his playing days, "Boom Boom" Geoffrion was one of the most underappreciated players not only in Montreal but across the league. Geoffrion was a member of six Stanley Cup winning teams with the Canadiens. He was the leading scorer in the playoffs for two of the six Cups. He was the second leading scorer in the playoffs three times. He led the NHL in goals twice. He won two Art Ross Trophies and a Hart Trophy. He was also the second player in NHL history behind Rocket Richard to score 50 goals in a season.

51). Bill Cowley

Cowley is one of the all-time Boston greats. He was named First Team NHL All-Star four times throughout his career. He won two Hart Trophies. He led the NHL in scoring in '41 and he was the leading scorer in the '39 playoffs. He led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cup Championships. When he retired in '47, he was the NHL's all-time leading scorer.

52). Dit Clapper

Clapper had the skill to excel at both offense and defense much like Detroit's Red Kelly. Clapper was selected as an All-Star as a defenseman and a forward at different times in his career. He was the first player in NHL history to play 20 seasons. Clapper teamed with Bill Cowley to lead the Bruins to two Stanley Cups. He made three First Team NHL All-Star selections and three Second Team selections.

53). Dickie Moore

Moore had a very similar career to Bernie Geoffrion's. Moore started in Montreal in 1951. Geoffrion started in 1950. Both retired in 1968. Both won two Art Ross Trophies. Both led the playoffs in scoring twice. Both won six Stanley Cups with Montreal. Moore's career was outstanding but Geoffrion gets the slight edge for winning a Hart Trophy.

54). Max Bentley

Bentley's career can be broken down into two distinct halves. The first half featured individual success with the Chicago Blackhawks. During his time with the 'Hawks, he led the NHL in scoring twice. He also won the Hart Trophy in '46. He was also a First Team All-Star selection. For all his individual success, the Blackhawks only played in seven playoff games in five seasons. Bentley was traded to the Maple Leafs where team success came in bunches. Bentley helped lead the Leafs to three Stanley Cups in four years. He was the leading scorer in the '51 playoffs and the second leading scorer in the '48 playoffs.

55). Nels Stewart

Stewart's career was very similar to Bill Cowley's. Stewart won two Hart Trophies and was the NHL's all-time leading goal-scorer when he retired in 1940. He led the Montreal Maroons to the Stanley Cup in 1926. He was also the NHL's leading scorer that year with a ludicrous 34 goals to only eight assists. Stewart finished among the top four goal-scorers in the league eight times and led the league twice.

56). Pierre Pilote

Pilote is one of eight defensemen to win the Norris Trophy at least three times. The other seven are in the top 50 (Orr, Harvey, Bourque, Coffey, Lidstrom, Chelios, and Potvin). He is one of four defensemen to win the Norris in three consecutive seasons (Orr, Harvey, and Lidstrom). Pilote also finished second in the Norris voting three times. Pilote won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in '61 with Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. He led the playoffs in scoring that year which is incredibly rare for a defenseman. Only Scott Niedermayer, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis and Larry Robinson have led the playoffs in scoring as defenseman since 1961. Pilote was a First Team NHL All-Star for five consecutive seasons.

57). Turk Broda

Broda led the Toronto Maple Leafs to five Stanley Cups and missed three years in the prime of his career serving in the military. There is a pretty good chance that Broda could've tied or passed Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante's record of six Cups for a goalie. He was a First Team NHL All-Star selection twice and won the Vezina for fewest goals allowed twice. Broda led the NHL in wins twice and was in the top three 10 times.

58) Sergei Fedorov

Chances are you’ve already made up your mind about Fedorov’s place among the NHL’s all-time greats. Most people remember how he often seemed to play beneath his potential. What most people don’t remember is just how good he was. He was the fastest skater in the NHL. He was the best defensive center in the NHL. He even played occasionally as a defenseman which is unheard of in this day and age. He is 11th all-time in game-winning goals and 8th all-time in shorthanded goals. Fedorov was an excellent player in the regular season but it was the playoffs in which he brought his game to a dominant-level. Mike Bossy and Fedorov are the only two players to have four consecutive 20+ point-playoffs. He led the playoffs in points in '95 and goals in '98. Fedorov is 16th on the all-time playoff point-list. He helped the Detroit Red Wings win three Stanley Cups. He won two Selke Trophies as the league’s best defensive forward. He won the Hart Trophy in 1994. Fedorov will likely reach 500 career goals and 1100 points. Not bad for a defensive-minded forward often criticized for not reaching his potential. Of all of the Russian players who bombarded the NHL in the 1990’s, Fedorov had the best career both team-wise and individually.

59). Elmer Lach

Lach won the first Art Ross Trophy in 1948 but also led the league in scoring in 1945 when he won the Hart Trophy. Lach led the Canadiens to three Stanley Cups including '46 in which he was the leading scorer in the playoffs. He was a First Team NHL All-Star selection three times and a Second Team selection twice.

60). Bernie Parent

Parent has two of the top five single-season win totals for goalies. He won 47 games in '74 and 44 games in '75. He won the Vezina for fewest goals allowed and was named First Team NHL All-Star in those seasons as well. He also led the playoffs in wins in both '74 and '75. More importantly, Parent led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP in both seasons as well. Mario Lemieux is the only other player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe in back-to-back seasons. Parent had a Hall-of-Fame career's worth of accomplishments in just two seasons. The rest of his career featured mild success but the 74-75 seasons cemented his status as an all-time great.

61). Brian Leetch

Paul Coffey is the only defenseman to score more points in a single playoff than Leetch's 34 in 1994. Leetch led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup that season on his way to winning the Conn Smythe. He is 7th on the all-time scoring list for defensemen. He scored 102 points in 1992 which is the last season a defenseman has scored 100 points. He won the Norris Trophy twice and was selected First Team NHL All-Star three times and Second Team three times.

62). Billy Smith

Smith has one of the great goalie-resumes in NHL history. He doesn't get the same respect as some of the more famous goalies like Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden, and Terry Sawchuk but his accomplishments are not far off. Smith won the first Vezina that was awarded to the "most outstanding goaltender" in 1982. He led the Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups and a fifth straight appearance in the finals in '84 before losing to Wayne Gretzky and Co. Only the Montreal teams of the late 50s and 70s have equaled the Islander's four consecutive Cups. Smith won the Conn Smythe as the playoff-MVP in '83. When he retired in 1989, he was the all-time leader in playoff wins.

63). Brad Park

Thanks to Bobby Orr, Park has no hardware. Park finished runner-up in the Norris voting an amazing six times. Four of those trophies went to Orr. The other two went to Denis Potvin. Park was a five-time selection to the NHL All-Star First Team. No other defenseman in league history has had as many selections without winning a Norris Trophy. Park truly had the misfortune of playing with some of the all-time great defensemen the league had ever seen. He made the playoffs in all 17 of his seasons. He never won a cup but played in three Stanley Cup Finals.

64). Teemu Selanne

Like Sergei Fedorov, Selanne's resume won't jump off the page. Both Selanne and Fedorov played in an era dominated by Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Jaromir Jagr. In fact, from 1981-2001, only those three players won the Art Ross Trophy (10 for Gretzky, 6 for Lemieux, and 5 for Jagr). Like Peter Forsberg, Selanne is probably even more regarded for his international play than his career in the NHL. Selanne's career started with a bang as he notched 76 goals and 132 points in his rookie season. Both are NHL rookie records. His 76-goals are also the fifth highest season-total in NHL history. No player in the last 20 years has led the NHL in goals more times than Selanne who has done it on three different occasions. Selanne has played in 10 All-Star games and was a First All-Star team selection twice and a Second All-Star team selection twice. Selanne has been brilliant throughout his career. Not only does he hold the rookie-record for goals but he is also the only player in NHL history to have back-to-back seasons of 40+ goals over the age of 35. Selanne led the Anaheim Ducks to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 2007.

65). Charlie Conacher

Conacher was one of the greats of the Original Six-era. He played in five Stanley Cup Finals and led the Maple Leafs to the Championship in 1932. He also led the playoffs in goals that year. Conacher led the NHL in goals five times in just 12 seasons. Only Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito have led the league in goals more often. Conacher also led the NHL in scoring twice. He was a First Team NHL All-Star selection three times and a second team selection twice.

66). George Hainsworth

Amazingly, Hainsworth didn't even play in the NHL until he was 31. The 11-year career that followed was a prolific one. He led the NHL in wins four times and finished second four times. Hainsworth won the first three Vezina Trophies ever awarded as given to the goalies on the team that allowed the fewest goals in the regular season. He led Montreal to back-to-back Stanley Cups. He is second on the all-time list for goals against average and third on the all-time list for shutouts.

67). Bill Cook

Cook's career was very similar to Charlie Conacher's. Both starred in the NHL in the 30s. Both led the league in scoring twice. Both were selected First Team NHL All-Stars three times. And, both won one Stanley Cup. Conacher gets the edge for two reasons: 1) a 5-3 advantage in Stanley Cup Finals appearances, and 2) a 5-3 advantage in leading the NHL in goals.

68).Tim Horton

I'm not sure whether Horton's greatest legacy is in hockey or the food industry. I suppose it depends on whether you like doughnuts or hockey. If you like both, then there's a good chance he's your hero. Horton had a 24-year career as one of the most physical defensemen in the league. Horton was a First and Second team NHL All-Star three times each. He led the Leafs to six Stanley Cup Finals and four Stanley Cups Trophies.

69). Busher Jackson

Jackson excelled both as a defenseman and a forward. He led the NHL in scoring in '32 as Toronto went on to win the Stanley Cup. Jackson would play in a total of seven Stanley Cup Finals but his only victory was in '32. He was a First Team NHL All-Star four times throughout his career and finished in the top five in goals and points four times each.

70). Aurel Joliat

Joliat was one of the premier left-wings in the NHL during the 20s and 30s. He led the Montreal Canadiens to four Stanley Cups over his 16-year career. He won the Hart Trophy in 1934 and garnered a First Team NHL All-Star selection in 1932. He finished in the top 10 in points nine times and goals seven times.

71). Chris Pronger

At times, Pronger has played as well as any non-Orr defenseman the NHL has ever seen. He won the Hart and Norris Trophies in 2000. He was the first defenseman to win the Hart Trophy since Bobby Orr won it in '72. Pronger was at the peak of his game in 2006 and 2007. He led the Oilers to the brink of the Stanley Cup (losing in game seven) in '06. He forced a trade to Anaheim and promptly led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup. Pronger has led the NHL in +/- twice. The last player to do that was Wayne Gretzky 20+ years ago.

72). Toe Blake

Blake is another stalwart in the long line of Montreal icons. He was the heir apparent to Aurel Joliat at LW. He led the Canadiens to two Stanley Cups. He won the Hart Trophy and led the NHL in scoring in 1939. He was a First Team NHL All-Star selection three times. He led the playoffs in scoring in 1944 and finished in the top three in goals and points three times each.

73). Ron Francis

Every sport has a player whose career statistics make that player out to be better than he actually was. In baseball it is probably Eddie Murray. In football, it's gotta be Curtis Martin or Warren Moon. In hockey, it's Ron Francis. Francis was a very good player. You don't accidentally become the fourth leading scorer in NHL history. It takes skill but it helps to play the third most games in NHL history. Francis was never one of the more dominating players in the game. Think Adam Oates-plus. In 23 seasons, Francis was never selected to the First or Second NHL All-Star team. He led the NHL in assists twice. He also led the league in +/- once. He won the Selke Trophy in 1995 as the league's best defensive forward. He also helped Pittsburgh to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories.

74). Peter Stastny

If it weren't for Wayne Gretzky, Stastny probably would've been the most highly regarded offensive player in the NHL for most of the 80s. Instead, Stastny just goes down as a pretty good scorer who finished in the top six in points six times. He scored 100+ points in his first six NHL seasons and seven times overall. He was the first rookie in NHL history to score at least 100 points. Stastny holds the NHL record for most points in a road game (8). Stastny was overshadowed by the Wayne Gretzky's and Mario Lemieux's of the NHL which is why he never garnered a selection on the First or Second NHL All-Star team.

75). Denis Savard

Savard and Stastny had very similar careers. Neither won a Hart or Art Ross Trophy. Neither managed a First Team NHL All-Star selection. Stastny had 450 goals. Savard had 473. Stastny had seven 100+ point seasons. Savard had five. Stastny gets the slight edge for two reasons: 1). His 7-5 100+ point season advantage and 2). His points per game advantage. Stastny is 6th all-time in points per game behind only Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Bossy, and Dionne.

76). Earl Seibert

Seibert was a monster of a defenseman for his era standing 6'2 and weighing 198 lbs. He helped lead the Rangers and the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup victories. He also played in the Stanley Cup Finals three other times for the Rangers, Blackhawks and Red Wings. Seibert was a First or Second Team NHL All-Star ten times in his career.

77). Dale Hawerchuk

Hawerchuk had a similar career to Stastny and Savard. It was difficult to separate the three. I wouldn't put up much of an argument if someone wanted to put the three in a different order. Like the other two, Hawerchuk never managed a Hart or Art Ross Trophy nor did he ever receive a First Team NHL All-Star selection. He had six 100+ point seasons and 13 consecutive seasons of at least 80 points.

78). Georges Vezina

Vezina was the first great goaltender. He played his entire career for Montreal. His first six years were spent in the NHA. Montreal then moved to the NHL where Vezina played another nine years for the Canadiens. He led the Canadiens to five Championships (two in the NHA and three in the NHL).

79) Gilbert Perrault

Gilbert Perreault was Marcel Dionne-light. He played his entire career for a Buffalo Sabres-franchise that was new to the league. Perreault didn’t have the luxury of playing for stacked hockey teams so he never achieved team-success. He was the spark behind the great “French Connection” line that put up so many points in the 1970’s.

80). Mats Sundin

Sundin has been one of the best centers in hockey for 15 years. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a whole lot to show for it. He has not won a Hart or an Art Ross Trophy. He has never been a First Team NHL All-Star selection. He has also never played in a Stanley Cup Final. He has been a prolific scorer ranking 22nd on the all-time goals list. He has scored at least 20 goals in all 17 seasons of his career. He is also the only player in NHL history to score at least 70 points in 15 consecutive full seasons (he scored 47 points in 47 games in the lockout-shortened '95 season). His 1.01 career points per game average is 6th best among active players. His 94 career game-winning goals are 6th on the all-time list.

81) Brendan Shanahan

Shanahan has been one of the more consistent players in the NHL over the last 20 years. Maybe only Jaromir Jagr has been as consistent. Shanahan has never led the league in points, goals, or assists. He has never won any of the significant awards. He was also only an average performer in the playoffs. Still, Shanahan was a physical, goal-scoring forward who will finish in the top 10 all-time in goals.

82). Grant Fuhr

Wayne Gretzky has said that he believes Fuhr is the greatest goalie of all-time. Considering they won four Cups together, I would say there is a decent amount of bias in that statement. However, someone as good as Gretzky doesn't make a statement like that unless said goaltender is really, really good. Fuhr had the good fortune of backstopping the greatest dynasty of the modern era. All told, Fuhr won five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers putting him just one behind Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante for most Cups by a goaltender. Fuhr won the Vezina Trophy in '88 and also finished second to Mario Lemieux in the Hart Trophy voting.

83). Mike Gartner

Gartner is one of a number of players among the top 20 goal-scorers of all-time who do not crack the top 80. Gartner tallied 708 career goals placing him 6th on the all-time list. Despite nine 40+ goal seasons, Gartner never managed a First or Second Team NHL All-Star selection. He never played in a Stanley Cup Final and never won an award. He only netted one 100+ point season and never finished better than 10th in scoring.

84). Tony Esposito

Esposito earned the nickname Tony "O" in his rookie season when he set a league record for shutouts with 15. He won the Vezina Trophy for fewest goals allowed in '70, '72, and 74. He took the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals twice losing to Montreal in seven and six games respectively. Esposito was selected as a First Team NHL All-Star three times and garnered two selections on the Second Team. Esposito is 7th all-time in wins and 9th in shutouts.

85). Ted Kennedy

Kennedy spent all of his 15 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He led the Leafs to five Stanley Cups in seven years. Kennedy was one of the more underrated players in the league which prompted, Leaf's Owner, Conn Smythe to create an award to honor the most valuable Maple Leaf. Ironically, it was only after the award was created that Kennedy won the Hart Trophy for the NHL's MVP. Kennedy led the playoffs in scoring in '48 and received three selections to the NHL All-Star Second Team. Amazingly, Kennedy was finished by the age of 31 due to injuries.

86). Syl Apps

Coincidentally, Apps was the predecessor to Kennedy on the Leafs. Kennedy took over the captaincy from Apps when he retired in '48. Their careers are somewhat similar. Both played their entire careers in Toronto. Neither ever led the NHL in goal or points but both led the league in assists. Both led the playoffs in points once with exactly 14 points. Apps won three cups and Kennedy won five. Although, Apps missed two seasons in his prime serving in the military. The Leafs won the Cup in one of those seasons. Kennedy gets the slight edge because his career was five years longer and he won a Hart Trophy.

87). Clint Benedict

It is possible that I have underrated Benedict. He was one of the great early goaltenders in NHL history. He was a chief rival of Georges Vezina. Benedict led the Ottawa Senators to three Stanley Cups and five Finals appearances. Benedict then left the Senators for the Montreal Maroons where he would win another Cup against his former team. He led the NHL in wins for six consecutive seasons and shutouts for seven consecutive seasons.

88). King Clancy

At 5'7, 155lbs, Clancy was the anti-Tim Horton. Despite being undersized, Clancy used his quickness to become one of the best defensemen in the league. Clancy was a teammate of Benedict in Ottawa and both won cups with the Senators in '23. In fact, Clancy played goalie for two minutes in place of Benedict while he served a penalty. Goalies serve their own penalties at the time. Clancy played in six Cup Finals as a member of the Senators and Maple Leafs but managed only the win in '23. He was both a two-time First and Second Team NHL All-Star selection.

89). David Keon

Keon was yet another Toronto Maple Leafs-great. He was one of the top two-way centers in the NHL. He led the Leafs to four Stanley Cups and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in '67. Keon finished his career with 986 points but that number surely would've been higher if he hadn't fled to the WHA for six years in the middle of his career.

90). Frank Brimsek

Brimsek had one of the great goalie-careers in the NHL. He led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cups and four Finals appearances in nine seasons with the team. He finished in the top three in wins eight times including leading the league twice in '39 and '40. Brimsek won two Vezina Trophies for fewest goals allowed and also garnered two First Team NHL All-Star selections and six Second Team selections. Brimsek's trophy-case may have been even more impressive if it weren't for the two years he missed in his prime serving in the military.

91). Doug Gilmour

Like Dave Keon, Gilmour was one of the best two-way centers in the NHL. He won the Selke Trophy in '93 as the league's top defensive forward. He also finished runner-up to Mario Lemieux in the Hart Trophy voting that season. Gilmour helped the Calgary Flames to the Stanley Cup in '89 when he notched 22 points in the post-season. Gilmour had four seasons in which he amassed 20+ points in the playoffs. He led the playoffs in points in 1986 with the Blues (Gilmour is one of only three players to lead the playoffs in points without being on a team in the finals) and put up a whopping 35 points in just 21 games in the '93 playoffs. Gilmour put up 28 more points in the '94 playoffs make him one of only three players in NHL history (Gretzky and Lemieux are the others) to amass 63 points over two consecutive playoffs. Ironically, Gilmour didn't lead the playoffs in either year. Gretzky and Lemieux did. Gilmour is 16th on the all-time points list with 1,414 points and 7th on the all-time playoff points list with 188.

92). Tiny Thompson

Thompson won four Vezina Trophies for allowing the fewest goals. That stood as the NHL record until Bill Durnan won his fifth Vezina in 1949. He led the NHL in wins five times, shutouts four times, and was a two-time First Team NHL All-Star selection. He led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in his rookie season in 1929. Thompson's career in Boston ended when the Bruins decided to hand the reigns over to a young goaltender named Frank Brimsek.

93). Rod Langway

Langway doesn't get a lot of love in the annals of NHL history but he deserves to be recognized. Langway was the best defenseman in the NHL for two consecutive years when he won the Norris Trophy in '83 and '84. He was selected twice as a First Team NHL All-Star and once as a Second Team selection. He finished runner-up to Wayne Gretzky in the Hart Trophy voting in '84. He helped the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in 1979. He is 32nd on the career +/- list at +277.

94). Mike Modano

Modano has been a great center for his entire 18-year career with the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars. Amazingly, Modano has never scored 100+ points in a season and he has only finished in the top 10 in points three times in his career (never in the top seven). He led the North Stars to the Stanley Cup Finals in '91 before losing to Pittsburgh in six games. He led the Stars to the Stanley Cup in '99 when he totaled 23 points in 23 games. He also led the Stars to the Finals in '00 before losing to the Devils. Modano is 29th on the all-time list for goals at 528 and 31st in points at 1283.

95). Pat LaFontaine

LaFontaine had 324 points in 79 games for Detroit Compuware at the age of 16. At 18, he was playing center for the New York Islanders. LaFontaine's rookie season was in '84 when the Islanders dynasty came to the end in the Stanley Cup Finals at the hands of the upstart Edmonton Oilers. His career was cut short by injuries that put him out of the league at 32. Still, LaFontaine was one of the most prolific per-game scorers in NHL history. His 1.17 ppg average is 14th on the all-time list. His best season was in '93 when he put up 148 points. Only six players have scored more points in a single season. He finished second behind only Mario Lemieux in points that year and also was a finalist for the Hart Trophy.

96). Yvan Cournoyer

Cournoyer won 10 cups in his prestigious career. He won a Conn Smythe with Montreal in '73 when he led the playoffs in goals and points. His 15-goals that playoff-season broke Frank Mahovlich's playoff record. He was selected to the Second Team NHL All-Star squad four times and finished in the top ten in goal six times.

97). Alex Delvecchio

Delvecchio's career can look a little underwhelming at times but all I have to do is remind myself that he played in 13 All-Star games. He finished in the top ten in points 11 times. He helped lead the Red Wings to eight Stanley Cup Finals and three Cups. Delvecchio never led the league in any significant category nor did he win any individual hardware.

98). Charlie Gardiner

Amazingly, Gardiner was 6-32 and 7-29 respectively in his first two NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. Gardiner bounced back big-time by being selected to three First Team NHL All-Star teams and a Second Team selection over a four-year period. He led the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup in '34. Sadly, Gardiner's greatness was short-lived due to a brain hemorrhage that claimed his life at 29.

99). Pavel Bure

Bure had as much natural talent as any player in the game. He was one of the fastest players in the game and had one of the most devastating shots in the league. Unfortunately, Bure did not have the luxury of playing a lengthy career due to injuries. In 12 seasons, Bure only played 70+ games five times. Still, he led the NHL in goals three times and topped 50 goals five times. He is one of only eight player with multiple 60-goal seasons (Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Hull, Yzerman, Esposito, and Kurri are the others). He is one of only five players with four seasons of at least 58 goals (Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, and Esposito are the others). Bure is 5th on the all-time list for goals per game and 22nd in points per game. Despite his goal prowess, Bure never won a Hart or Art Ross Trophy and only received one First Team NHL All-Star selection. Bure only played in five playoffs and never won a cup. Although, he was stellar in '94 while leading Vancouver to the Finals before losing to the Rangers.

100). Dino Ciccarelli

If there is such thing as a one-dimensional hockey player, Ciccarelli is it. He excelled at anything with "goals" in the name. He is 16th on the all-time list for goals with 608. He is 12th on the all-time list for playoff goals. He is 8th on the all-time list for power play goals. He is 3rd on the all-time list for playoff power play goals. He is 30th on the all-time list for game-winning goals. He is 12th on the all-time list for game-winning playoff goals. And, of course, he is 23rd on the all-time list for shots on goal. Despite his goal-scoring prowess, Ciccarelli only managed 100+ points in two of his 19 seasons. He didn't win any hardware and never won a cup although he did reach the finals with both Minnesota and Detroit.

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Jeremy Roenick, Joe Thornton, Eric Lindros, Andy Bathgate, Norm Ullman, Darryl Sittler, Jean Ratelle, Adam Oates, Bernie Federko, Bernie Nichols, Joe Nieuwendyk, Michel Goulet, Alexander Mogilny, Johnny Bucyk, Dave Andreychuk, Sid Abel, Cy Denneny, Bob Gainey, Sweeney Schriner, Doug Bentley, Jack Stewart, Babe Dye, Frank Nighbor, Joe Mullen, Cam Neely, Steve Shutt, Rod Gilbert, Joe Primeau, Cooney Weiland, Bun Cook, Dick Duff, Frank Boucher, Bobby Bauer, Clark Gillies, Harry Watson, Hobey Baker, Glenn Anderson, Mark Recchi, Jacques Laperriere, Babe Pratt, Harry Howell, Phil Housley, Larry Murphy, Guy Lapointe, Borje Salming, Bill Quackenbush, Bill Gadsby, Sprague Cleghorn, Lourne Chabot, Johnny Bower, Eddie Giacomin, Gerry Cheevers, Curtis Joseph, Tom Barrasso, Mike Vernon, Harry Lumley, Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley, Illya Kovalchuk, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and Rob Blake.


Top 100 Hockey Players of All-Time (list only)

1) Wayne Gretzky
2) Bobby Orr
3) Gordie Howe
4) Mario Lemieux
5) Patrick Roy
6) Bobby Hull
7) Phil Esposito
8) Maurice Richard
9) Dominik Hasek
10) Terry Sawchuk
11) Guy Lafleur
12) Doug Harvey
13) Jean Beliveau
14) Nicklas Lidstrom
15) Martin Brodeur
16) Eddie Shore
17) Jacques Plante
18) Mark Messier
19) Mike Bossy
20) Jaromir Jagr
21) Ray Bourque
22) Stan Mikita
23) Howie Morenz
24) Newsy Lalonde
25) Steve Yzerman
26) Denis Potvin
27) Bobby Clarke
28) Ken Dryden
29) Ted Lindsay
30)Henri Richard
31) Milt Schmidt
32) Brett Hull
33) Joe Malone
34) Red Kelly
35) Bryan Trottier
36) Paul Coffey
37) Joe Sakic
38) Chris Chelios
39) Larry Robinson
40) Glenn Hall
41) Bill Durnan
42) Marcel Dionne
43) Jari Kurri
44). Peter Forsberg
45) Al Macinnis
46) Frank Mahovlich
47) Luc Robitaille
48) Ed Belfour
49) Scott Stevens
50). Bernie Geoffrion
51). Bill Cowley
52). Dit Clapper
53). Dickie Moore
54). Max Bentley
55). Nels Stewart
56). Pierre Pilote
57). Turk Broda
58) Sergei Fedorov
59). Elmer Lach
60). Bernie Parent
61). Brian Leetch
62). Billy Smith
63). Brad Park
64). Teemu Selanne
65). Charlie Conacher
66). George Hainsworth
67). Bill Cook
68).Tim Horton
69). Busher Jackson
70). Aurel Joliat
71). Chris Pronger
72). Toe Blake
73). Ron Francis
74). Peter Stastny
75). Denis Savard
76). Earl Seibert
77). Dale Hawerchuk
78). Georges Vezina
79) Gilbert Perrault
80). Mats Sundin
81) Brendan Shanahan
82). Grant Fuhr
83). Mike Gartner
84). Tony Esposito
85). Ted Kennedy
86). Syl Apps
87). Clint Benedict
88). King Clancy
89). David Keon
90). Frank Brimsek
91). Doug Gilmour
92). Tiny Thompson
93). Rod Langway
94). Mike Modano
95). Pat LaFontaine
96). Yvan Cournoyer
97). Alex Delvecchio
98). Charlie Gardiner
99). Pavel Bure
100). Dino Ciccarelli

36 comments:

Steve Krueger said...

Well i like how you started your argument. I do believe that Bobby Orr is a better player than Wayne Gretzky but the numbers and accomplishments definately puts him ahead and will probably leave him there forever. Good call there. I like Patrick Roy being at number five as well, however you are missing the BEST goalie hands down being ahead of him. If this list was top 100 NHL players i would agree with it, but you forgot to mention the best of all time Vladislav Tretiak. I hope you can put him up on the list. Its a shame Russia never let him come play in the states.

Jake said...

Steve,

Thanks for the comments. Refer to point #4 in my introduction with regards to Tretiak. There is no question that he was a great goalie.

Take care!

Jake

Anonymous said...

Hi, as a fan from the old continent let me review this list:

Overall its a solid list, magnificent job. Its gutsy for a North American to put Hasek on #9and Lidstrom ahead of Messier. But its very correct.
Considering Jagr, I dont know what to make of these parts: "Jagr isn’t fast nor is he particularly flashy. I’m not sure how he does it but it works." and "few fans actually like him". Other from objective facts the description is full of subjective negativity. I think from all the players on your list he`s the only one getting such a thrashing.
Nevertheless you ranked him #20 and refer to him as a consistent player in the Shanahan description, so thanks anyway ;)
If you ever make a list of best international players in the NHL, LET ME KNOW!!!!!!!! Cheers.

Jake said...

Thanks for the comments. Per Jagr, I wouldn’t put much into my comment about him not being fast or flashy. I am amazed by how dominating he was in the NHL and never could understand how he did it. That was just me wondering out loud. I understand your point about my last sentence about “nobody liking Jagr” but that was meant to hopefully discourage the barrage of comments that I knew were coming about how Jagr sucks or that he was overrated. A good portion of hockey fans don’t like Jagr. I am not one of them. However, I received quite a few emails when I released my first top 50 list. I was hopeful that by admitting that most hockey fans don’t like him that I could avoid receiving comments saying just that. I think it worked. I had to deal with the same thing with Shaquille O’Neal and Karl Malone when I released my basketball list.

Take care!


P.S. You can read me vigorously defending Jagr with more words than you'll ever care to read by scrolling down to the comments section of the following link:

http://motownsportsrevival.blogspot.com/2006/12/top-50-hockey-players-of-all-time.html

The thread I'm referring to starts with the sixth comment on that link and continues for many, many back and forth comments.

Bill said...

Looks pretty good however the three biggest arguments that I would make are that bobby orr should be placed in first, reversed with wayne gretzky. Secondly I think that maurice richard deserves to be moved up and then finally that alexander ovechkin might be on this list seeing as the amount of points he gets per season

Anonymous said...

i think that rob blake should have made the top one hurdred or phil hously. oh well!

Jim said...

I think you're way off on Ron Francis. He wasn't lucky to play as many games as he did. He outworked his peers and trained harder than anyone. Longevity is not just something that fortunate players have.

It isn't hard to argue that what Francis did was more impressive than even Orr. To remain an outstanding player for as long as Francis did is a credit to his ability and his conditioning.

Francis is, at worst, an all time top 20 player.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think Scott Niedermayer deserves to be on this list - he helped take an Anaheim team that had been gutted by the departure of Paul Kariya straight from missing the playoffs to the Western Conference finals and then to the Cup finals, and he was a key part of the NJ Devils of the 90's / early 21st century. He's also, to my knowledge, been selected to more All-Star teams than Pronger.

Jake said...

I'll definitely have to give Scott Niedermayer a closer look. He does stack up pretty well with Pronger. According to Hockey Reference, they've both been selected to five All-Star games. I gave Pronger the edge initially because of his Hart Trophy. Niedermayer has a Conn Smythe and four Cups. If Pronger is good enough to be rated 70th, then I agree that Niedermayer should be on the list. I'll keep that in mind for the next update. Take care!

Anonymous said...

mark recchi..hes soon to be 15th all time in points hes won the stanley cup and when he did it in pittsburgh he out schore mario and jagr that year..most underrated player of all time

Anonymous said...

Your list seems quite well-thought out, for the most part. I'd disagree with some of your choices (Brodeur above Plante, Bourque being so low, Pronger being on there at all), but you've definitely done a good job of justifying your choices.

There is one omission, though, that I think you should correct. I know that you said it's based on the NHL, but I believe Fred "Cyclone" Taylor deserves to be on the list. I understand the omission of someone like Kharlamov, for example, who cannot easily be compared to North American players (but would otherwise easily deserve to be in the top fifty), but Taylor is directly comparable to players like Lalonde, despite never actually playing in the NHL. And it's not as if any of us know PCHA players from that long ago that much better than NHL players of that era.

If you're interested in learning more about how non-NHL players stacked up against NHL players historically, by the way, the "History of Hockey" forum at hfboards.com is a good place. They even have their own attempts at making these sorts of lists, and there are quite a few very knowledgeable fans there.

Ryan said...

Hey i do agree that Gretzky is the greatest stat wise of all time, but im sorry i cant place a cry baby at number 1.

Anonymous said...

how Lemieux is not #1,2 I don't understand. or at least 3.

Jake said...

I have no problem with someone wanting to put Mario at #2 or #3. #1 is out of the question, in my opinion. Gretzky played at the same time and did so much more even taking into consideration Lemieux’s cancer absence. Orr and Lemieux is a good battle but Orr was revolutionary. The league had never seen anyone like him and hasn’t since. His resume is more impressive than Mario’s, in my opinion. Howe and Mario is totally up to interpretation. Howe’s longevity is tough to beat. Plus, he won twice and as many Stanley Cups and Hart Trophies. It would take quite an argument to prove that Mario should be ahead of Howe. I’ve rationalized my rankings. Care to rationalize why Mario should be ahead of Orr and Howe? “Because he was better” doesn’t count as an argument.

Anonymous said...

Overall, a pretty good list with one exception. Messier should be a LOT higher than 18. He is the # 2 scorer in NHL history, has six Stanley Cups, was the first player ever to Captain two different teams to the Cup, could skate, shoot, hit, fight, pass, play the PP, kill penalties, and win faceoffs. He didn't have a weakness to his game. On top of all that, he was probably the best leader in all of sports during his time. Finally, you use the argument of him playing with Gretzky. Gretzky is clearly the greatest of all time & # 1 in my mind, over Orr. However, it should be noted that Gretzky won all of his Cups with Messier, that Mario won his only two Cups with Jagr, and that Orr and Espo each won their only two Cups with each other. Messier won four Cups with Gretzky and then TWO more (Mario's Orr's and Espo's career totals) without the Great One. The 1990 Oilers were a highly watered down version of the Oilers in the 80's that wouldn't have come close to winning without Messier. The 1994 Rangers had one of the greatest defensemen ever to play in Brian Leetch, but did not have another true superstar at forward, not to mention the infamous 54 year curse. Messier should be in the top 5 of all-time.

Anonymous said...

if crosby is an honorable mention perhaps malkin should be as well, at least by the time the list is revised malkin will have asserted himself as a top player despite the short length thus far in his career

Anonymous said...

Given your criteria I would basically agree with you but really Howe should be #1 or #2. He cannot stack up to Gretzky's numbers or Orr's originality but the fact is that Howe was excellent at every position. He dominated in all aspects of the game. There has never been another player who was as well rounded. He is like a big Zetterberg who can kick some butt!

Gretzky had to have an enforcer protecting him. Howe was both an enforcer, a scorer, a guy who would clear the net, go to the corner, and set up plays. I understand your logic but I think the guy who was truly the best all around hockey player was "Mr. Hockey".

Also, it is nonsense to even be mentioning Crosby or Malkin in this discussion... perhaps in 20 years, but not now.

Easywolf said...

Nice list! I like it and agree with it. You make pretty good sense in your rankings explanations with cold hard facts.

My Top 5 was always:

Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe, Richard, but I can why you dropped Richard to 8th. Makes sense. Good stuff.

Noah's Art said...

stumbled upon this entry thru google, realize this is an old post so i dont know if anyone will see this, but it's important to keep in mind that when Richard was playing, there was a lot of quebecois players were discriminated against by the anglophone-run league. if the league had not been biased towards him because of that, it's likely he would have won more awards.

Anonymous said...

Uhmmm pretty good list but just so every one knows bobby hull didn't have 2808 points in the NHL and WHA i checked if you add his WHA totals and his NHL totals its 1808 so get your facts right

Jake said...

Thanks for humbly pointing out a typo. If Bobby H. had 2808 career points, he'd be the 2nd greatest player of all-time.

Anonymous said...

Good list and well thought out. The Orr/Gretzky debate will rage forever, but Orr's knee problems really hurt him. It is amazing he could do what he did in a way tougher NHL and the medical care of 40 years ago. I agree, Wayne 1, Orr 2. Personally, I'd maybe bump Bossy a few notches. The guy was lights out if he had the puck from the top of the circle in. Short career with back problems, but look at those numbers...wow!

Anonymous said...

Good job and fun to read. I must say however that I don't agree with You regarding Peter Forsberg. In my humble opinion he is the best european ever to play in the NHL. Take a look at "the Peter Forsberg show" at youtube (7.34 long).

Cheers/Michael

Anonymous said...

Wheres Sergei Makarov?
I'm only 10 1/2 and i'm outraged. Doug Gilmour? Borje Salming? JOE MALONE? All of these people have bad listings. Oh, and i got more.Marcel Dionne? Mark Messier? JOE SAKIC?

Jake said...

Since you’re only 10 and a half, I’ll let everything slide. Dionne is #42. Sakic is #37. Malone is #33. Messier is #18. Gilmour is #91. As for Makarov, I’ll refer to point #4 all the way back at the beginning of this post. Read it and you should understand. Borje Salming is on the “Honorable Mention” list and that’s where he belongs. Take care!

Anonymous said...

A few comments:

Roger Crozier shouldn't be overlooked. Invented the modern butterfly. Calder and Smythe trophy winner. Reached cup finals twice with teams that shouldn't have made it that far. And he was the ultimate "play through anything" player (broken cheekbone, broken jaw, sprained knee, ulcers, pancreatitis and more.)

Vladiclav Tretiak was mentioned by someone who wrote a comment. He gets my vote as most overrated. He was a fine goaltender, but was neither an innovator like Sawchuk, Hall & Plante, nor a clutch player like Gerry Cheevers, Patrick Roy or Billy Smith. Tretiak let his team down in '72 when they needed him most -- in the last 3 games. I can't see any reason to include Tretiak as an all-time great.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Orr should be #1...
Maurice Richard should be higher.
Otherwise, great job! (I am also a fan of Jagr)

p.s.You should also give Sidney Crosby a look... He is a very talented player. (sorry if he's already on there, I might have missed him...)

Anonymous said...

Im a big Yzerman fan, I realize him and Messier are often compared and that Messiers stats are a bit more impressive. Gotta love Stevie though, for stickin with the Wings and bringing them there first cup in years. He also sacrificed points by becoming a 2 way player (hence the Selke). Great leader and he was my hero growing up. Id have to agree with you on #25 although when I first saw it I was a bit dissapointed...

DDB said...

You said about Lalonde "He also scored a goal in his first six NHL games which is a record." If you go by first NHL games I believe Joe Malone holds this record with a goal in his first 14 NHL games, two short of Broadbent's all-time record of 16.

Just a little thing but thought I'd point it out. Otherwise, great list, even though I'm part of that 5% who puts Orr at the top I won't argue with someone who puts Gretzky up there.

Chris said...

I think Henrik Sedin would be on the list at this point, even without any stanley cups. Probably somewhere around 80th, he's not as good when his brother is out. If they manage to win cups then H would go higher and Daniel might get on the list. Crosby should be up there around 30-40. He was on pace to have the best season in 30 years before being derailed by injury. Plus a cup now and some individual hardware. You put lebron (high up) on your NBA list despite no trophies, Crosby easily is one of the most talented players to ever play the sport. Stamkos will probably retire deserving some place in the top 100 but not right now. Malkin might warrant a spot. Pavel Datsyuk definetely deserves a spot, I think at this point in his career he's the best Russian player ever in the NHL. Vinny Lecavalier was the best player on a stanley cup winning team and has put up respectable numbers, that should warrant some attention. Danny Briere is an incredible scorer that nobody ever seems to pay attention to (out of philly), and while he's never won a cup he's had impressive scoring runs in the playoffs on the Sabres and Flyers.

Brodeur should be bumped down. He never accomplished anything without Stevens and Niedermayer playing D and Jacques Lemaire coaching trap hockey for them. It's the paul coffey/terry bradshaw type situation where teammates make you look better than you are. Niedermayer should be on the list for his cup wins and just being a top teir Dman over an exceptional and storied career. Anaheim never wins the 07 cup without niedermayer and jersey might not win any at all.

Anonymous said...

Good job but your missing some key players.Tim Thomas,Sidney Crosby,Alex Ovechkin and Evgenei Malkin.Also Mario Lemieux is better than Gordie Howe.In the end good list.

Phil said...

Jake,

I like how your list shaped up for the most part. However if you were judging best hockey players, not best hockey players with the most hardware, Gilbert Perrault should have at least cracked the top 50, and Pavel Bure should have never slipped down to 99 and no way in the world should have been behind Selanne. Selanne had an amazing rookie season putting up 76, and deserves a place on this list, but perhaps at the very bottom of it.

Anonymous said...

What about Bobby Clarke finishing 5th all-time in plus/minus category?

Anonymous said...

I think leaving out Pierre Turgeon and John LeClair off even honorable mention was a mistake. I would have put Lemiuex at 2. Otherwise strong list.

Anonymous said...

OK, You have Orr @ #2, did you notice no one else ever came close to what he accomplished with 2 good knees? Not too shaby that he not only played in the Canada Cup with no cartlige in his knees....but was still the best player on the ice. If only they had the medical technology available then that we have now, the years he played would have even been so much further off the scale and he would have had anothe 10 years tacked on and there would have been no doubt to your 95% doubters. Orr was like Howe, he played hard and if you gave him $^^$# he dropped his gloves unlike the guy you put at #1. I loved #99 but Orr was the best..and yeah, I'm from Boston, what about it? While I'm here, Bourque and Park should have been higher too. As Johnny Person use to say ' that Brad Park, he could stick handle in a phone booth' ( for you young guys a phone booth was a 3' x 3' structure that had a thing called pay phones in them people used before cell phones )

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is Mats Sundin not in there?

 

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