Every sport has seen its fair share of players that seem to be out of this world when they play. Hockey makes no exception from this, and in the following we’ll be ranking the best 5 players in hockey history. They are the players that made everyone cheer, cry and yell out loud from joy and they are the reason this sport is so loved by many.
5. Maurice Richard
Maurice “Rocket” Richard played for 18 years in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, having a total of 544 goals and 421 assists in the 978 regular season games he played. He was one of the fiercest and most prolific goal scorers to ever play in the NHL. His younger brother, Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard is one of the best hockey players of all time as well; but not good enough for the top 5 list.
4. Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux was born on the 5th of October in 1965. This Canadian ice hockey wonder played 17 seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL as a forward, from 1984-2006. He was inducted in 1997 into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and in 2004 he was inducted in Canada’s Walk of Fame as well. He loved the team he played for so much that he is now co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and co-owner to their farm team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
3. Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe was active for 33 years and played for the Hartford Whalers team and the Detroit Red Wings team of the NHL, and for the Houston Aeros team and the New England Whalers team of the WHA. During these 33 years, he played in 2421 games, scoring 1071 goals and having 1518 assists. His life was beautiful on and off the ice court, Gordie falling in love with his wife and marrying her only four years after they met at a bowling alley. They lived a beautiful love story together until she passed at the age of 76 in 2009.
2. Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr signed his first pro contract in 1966 with the Boston Bruins. He played in defense, but that didn’t stop him from winning the Art Ross Trophy for having 120 points in the 1969-1970 season. He is to this day the only hockey player to play in defense that won this trophy. In his career that lasted between 1966-1978, he scored 270 goals and had 645 assists in the NHL. Orr is without a doubt the best defense player in hockey history.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky earned his nickname as “The Great One” by being the best player hockey has ever seen. He started his career in 1978 when he was only 17 years old for the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA. After only a few games for this team he was sold to the Edmonton Oilers, and when the WHA folded in 1979, his team joined the NHL. Even though he was only 19 years old, he won his first Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player of the season. Overall, he won this trophy 9 times. When Gretzky retired he had 2857 career points, being 1000 points ahead of the next ranked player. He has scored 894 goals and had 1963 assists, being a record holder for both of these categories. When he retired in 1999, he had 61 official NHL records, and the number he wore when playing, #99, was retired to honor him by the entire league. Without a doubt, there will never be a player to match his greatness ever.