The eternal debate continues… Who is the greatest hockey player of all-time? With so many generational talents out there, it is almost impossible to find a TOP 10 list that will appease everyone.
Thant being said, we gathered an infinite number of monkeys and polled their infinite opinions in order to create the definitive TOP 10 list of the Greatest Hockey Players of all Time.
Let us know if the Monkeys got it right, or if you think you can come up with a better TOP 10 list!
For now we invite you to enjoy our selections, here in the first part of our Inaugural Top 10 List. Positions 10 through 1, they may not be unanimous, but really… how can an infinite number of monkeys be wrong?!
Born on October 5th, 1965, Patrick Roy stands out as the greatest “Money Goalie” of all time. If you had one game, one chance, one opportunity to win it all… there is no other goalie you would want between the pipes.
18 years in the NHL, 10 with the Montreal Canadiens and 8 with the Colorado Avalanche. 4 Stanley Cups (2 with Montreal 2 with Colorado), 3 Conn Smythe Trophy’s (Playoff MVP). Saint Patrick as they dubbed him in his playing days was simply unbeatable when it mattered most and for Roy… It always mattered.
Born September 20th, 1951, “Le Demon Blond” or “The Flower” as Guy Lafleur was dubbed was and is perhaps the most electrifying players ever to lace up hockey skates. His speed, finesse and scoring prowess were simply unrivaled. Ever time he would touch the puck, something would happen and the crowds would be kept at the edge of their seats.
17 years in the NHL, 14 with the Montreal Canadiens, 2 with the Quebec Nordiques and 1 with the New York Rangers. Lafleur was the 1st player in NHL history to score 50 goals and 100 points… in 6 consecutive seasons.
Born April 28th, 1970, Nicklas Lidstrom is the only player on this list that is still active. Playing in his 21st NHL season, this sweet Swede was the first European Captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. Seemingly timeless, Lidstrom Has played his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings.
In his 21 year career, Lidstrom became the first European born player to, Captain a Stanley Cup winning team, the 1st European born defenseman to score 1000 points, the first to win the Norris Trophy (best defenseman) and the First European born Conn Smythe winner. Need More proof?
How about 7 Norris trophies, Most games played by a European born player, Most games played with a single team (all-time). Simply Put Lidstrom is the epitome of class, skill, leadership and perseverance.
Born April 25th, 1952, Vladislav Tretiak is the the only player on this list to have never played a single game in the NHL, but if you have ever seen Tretiak play, be it live or in some long forgotten video, there can be no denying that this man was a hockey god.
If you are looking for personal achievements, try these on for size; 3 Olympic Gold medals (1972,1976,1984) 1 Olympic Siver Medal (1980) 10 World Championship Gold Medals (1970,1971,1973,1974,1975,1978,1979,1980,1981,1982,1983) 2 World Championship Silver Medals (1972,1976) 1 World Championship Bronze Medal(1977)
More? How about a Gold Medal in the NHL Challenge Cup in 1979 and just to round it out, a Gold Medal in the 1981 Canada Cup.
Born August 8th, 1947, Ken Dryden only played 8 NHL seasons but is nonetheless the highest ranked goaltender on this TOP 10 All-Time Greatest Hockey Players List. How can a player who only played 8 seasons be considered for such a lofty list? Simple, Ken Dryden never lost.
In 8 NHL Seasons, Dryden won 6 Stanley Cup. In 8 NHL Seasons, Dryden won 5 Vezina Tophies.
His lifetime record is 258 Wins and 57 Losses (74 Ties). Dryden won the Stnaley Cup and the Conn Smythe THEN went on to win the Calder trophy the folllowing year (wrap that around your minds around that one)
Bar none, greatest goalie in the history of the game.
Born August 4th, 1921 and died May 27th, 2000 at the age of 78 years old. THE ROCKET as Maurice Richard was known, was the most prolific Goal scorer of his era and was the first ever player to score 50 goals in a season, in fact setting the standard that still echos through the NHL today, of the elusive 50 Goals in 50 Games (1944-45).
Maurice Richard was also the first ever player to score 500 goals in a career, and he retired as the NHL’s all time leading goal scorer and point getter with 544 Goals and 421 Assists for a total of 965 Points in 978 games played.
An 8 time Stanley Cup champion, 4 times as the Captain. n today’s NHL he is immortalized in the from of an annual award given to the player who scores the most goals in that season. The award is aptly named “The Maurice Richard Trophy”.
Born March 31st, 1928, Mr Hockey played professional hockey “At the highest level” in a career that spanned 5 Decades… 5 Decades! From the 1940 to the 1980′s, oh yes, the term “Mr. Hockey” is a perfect moniker.
A 4 Time Stanley Cup Champion, 6 Time Art Ross Trophy Winner (Points Leader) and a 6 Time Hart Trophy winner (MVP). Howe was a 23 time All-Star and was consistently in the Top 5 point leaders for 20 consecutive years. Howe’s consistency was simply otherworldly, his strength and his skill were in a league of their own and his elbows, well lets just say they were as feared as his goal scoring was.
Howe Retired as he All Time NHL Leader in Points and Goals with 801 Goals and 1850 Points, Totals that have only ever been better by one man (we will get to him shortly). Howe still holds the record for most games played with 1767.
Born October 5th, 1965, Mario Lemieux was exactly what his nickname leads us to believe he was… Magnificent. So, big, so powerful and so effortlessly fluid, Mario Lemieux was simply put the perfect hockey player in every sense of the word. If not for chronic back pains and a successful battle with cancer, who knows what gaudy numbers Lemieux would have put up. Of course the numbers he did put up border the super human…
Only one player has ever scored more than 200 points in a single season (we will get to him shortly) but no player has ever come close to 200 except Lemieux. In the 1988-89 season Mario Lemieux scored 199 Points, 85 Goals and 114 assists! Those numbers alone would put him on this list. His 1723 career points in only 915 games are mind blowing, but the numbers notwithstanding, it was the WAY in which Mario Lemieux took over a hockey game. He was a god on the ice, he could skate around an entire team… twice, then decide to score. His strength on the ice was almost unmatched, paralleled only by his endless wealth of natural talent and ability.
On many Top 10 Lists, Mario Lemieux is #1 and it is hard to place him 3rd, for he truly was perhaps the most Perfect Example of Hockey Excellence and what the Perfect Hockey player should be.
Before Orr a defenseman was a defenseman, the term Offensive Defenseman was a foreign notion. Of course Orr changed all that because he could. He became the 1st Defenseman to score 30 goals in a season and then proceeded to become the 1st defenseman to score 40 in a season.
He was the 1st player to ever record a 100 assist season. Orr is the ONLY defenseman to lead the NHL in Scoring, doing so twice! In 1969-70 (139 points) and 1974-75. (135 points).
But those are just numbers right? How about this… Bobby Orr, in the 1969 – 70 season, Won the Norris Trophy for Best Defenseman, Won the Art Ross Trophy for Most Points in a Season, Won the Hart Trophy for League MVP & WON the Conn Smythe Trophy for Playoff MVP.
No player… EVER has done anything even close to that.
And just for good measure, let me throw this one out at you. Bobby Orr owns the record for Best +/- in NHL History with a surreal +124
Born January 26th, 1961, Wayne Douglas Gretzky tops this Top 10 List of the greatest hockey players of all-time. And really, no disrespect to any of the incredible athletes and players on this list that precede him, but the truth is… There is only one, GREAT ONE.
Gretzky numbers alone simply defy any conventional logic, his records are UNBREAKEABLE, there are no words in the English language to convey he sheer, meta human, exploits Gretzky performed within a hockey rink. His records and achievements are too many to list, I will however indulge you with a few of them that will NEVER be broken.
Scoring 50 goals in an 82 NHL Season is a rare feat, a truly exceptional feat. To be able to score 50 goals in 50 games is the mark of true greatness and is almost unheard of. Gretzky scored 50 Goals in 39 GAMES (Culminating with a 5 goal game in that 39th match)
In the 1985-86 NHL season Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy(the scoring title) on his ASSIST ALONE. Did you catch that? Did you understand what meant? Gretzky had more assists then anyone else, in the entire league, had points.
Only one player in the storied history of the NHL has ever topped 200 points in a single season. WAYNE GRETZKY DID IT FOUR TIMES! Culminating in a 215 point season.
Gretzky has nearly 1000 more career points (970 to be exact) than Mark Messier who is second in all time point earners. 2857 points for Gretzky, to 1887 for Messier… having played 269 Less games.
Gretzky was never the biggest player on the ice, never the strongest player, nor the fastest, nor the meanest… Gretzky was simply the best player on the ice, ever… of All-Time