We could debate this for hours, but there are certain names that always seem to come up. Sidney Crosby, Bobby Hull, Paul Coffey, and Gordie Howe are some of the most well-known players in NHL history. But who are the most deserving? We’ll look at each of their records to see who deserves to be crowned as the greatest. And if you want a fun way to remember hockey, here are some fun facts about these great players. So here is our list of the greatest hockey players of all time.
The Greatest Hockey Players of All Time
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The Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is one of their most recognizable players. He first became a star with the team in 2005, after being chosen first overall in the NHL draft. In only his second NHL season, he already had eight goals and thirty-eight assists, making him the youngest player to ever reach that milestone. Crosby became the youngest player to ever win a Stanley Cup and went on to become a league MVP and an eight-time All-Star.
Known as “Mr. Hockey”, Gordie Howe is one of the most enduring and well-known players in NHL history. His stellar career spanned five decades and won him four Stanley Cups. In addition to his stellar on-ice performances, Howe also made enormous contributions off the ice. We have listed the accomplishments of this legendary player to give you an idea of how important he was to the game.
The father of Brett Hull, a player who is currently the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bobby Hull is a legend. Hull’s son Brett finished his career with the third-most NHL goals. Both father and son are among the only father-and-son duos to reach 50 goals in a season. In addition to Bobby’s great accomplishments, Hull is also the only father-son combination to win the Hart Trophy, and have their numbers retired.
Coffey, a defenseman who specialized in offensive play, was one of the most dynamic and talented players in the NHL. A dynamic offensive player, Coffey was a valuable member of the Oilers’ dynasty, playing alongside superstars like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, and Steve Yzerman. He was a three-time Norris Trophy winner and an eight-time All-Star, and he won four Stanley Cups. His No. 7 is now retired by the Edmonton Oilers.
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A Montreal Canadiens executive, Jean Beliveau was born in Quebec City, Canada, on August 8, 1926. The team purchased the entire Quebec Senior Hockey League and turned it into a professional league. Beliveau signed a five-year contract for $105,000 with the club and was immediately embraced by the city’s hockey enthusiasts. In addition to his talent, Beliveau was also an exceptional stickhandler, possessing an excellent wrist shot. He played centre for the Canadiens for 18 seasons, earning the honor of being named team captain in 1961.
Many consider Mario Lemieux as one of the greatest players of all time, but he would disagree. He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Conn Smythe Trophy twice as the playoff MVP. Also, he won six Art Ross Trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer, and the Hart Trophy three times as the League MVP. He also had ten 100-point seasons in his career. While most of his career was spent playing hockey, Lemieux also fought off illness and serious injury, missing large chunks of the sport, including a couple of seasons.