100 Greatest NHL Players

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In 2017, the NHL commemorated its 100th anniversary with a list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.[1] The list was created by 58 people, including media members, NHL alumni and NHL executives.[2][3]

The first 33, representing players who played prior to 1966, were unveiled during a pre-game ceremony at the NHL Centennial Classic outdoor game on January 1, 2017.[2] The remaining players were announced on January 27, 2017, at a special NHL 100 Gala ceremony held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, two days before the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.[4] The Detroit Red Wings are the most featured team on the list with 28 alumni, while the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs follow with 25 represented players.

The List of 100 Greatest NHL Players[edit]

Name Position Played for NHL Career Inclusion Description[1]
Sid Abel Center DET, CHI 1938–1954 Centered Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay on famed 'Production Line'
Syl Apps Center TOR 1936–1948 Legendary Maple Leafs center idolized for character, athleticism
Andy Bathgate Right Wing NYR, TOR, DET, PIT 1952–1971 Tough, clean player was matinee idol for Rangers in 1950s, '60s
Jean Beliveau Center MTL 1950–1971 One of game's greatest ambassadors won Stanley Cup 17 times as player, executive with Canadiens
Max Bentley Center CHI, TOR, NYR 1940–1954 Electric performer won back-to-back scoring titles for Black Hawks, Stanley Cup three times for Maple Leafs
Toe Blake Left Wing MMR, MTL 1934–1948 Left wing on Canadiens' famed 'Punch Line' was embodiment of 'old-time hockey'
Mike Bossy Right Wing NYI 1977–1987 Prolific scorer for Islanders dynasty, only man with nine straight 50-goal seasons
Ray Bourque Defence BOS, COL 1979–2001 Hall of Fame defenseman won Norris Trophy five times with Bruins, Stanley Cup with Avalanche in 2001
Johnny Bower Goaltender NYR, TOR 1953–1969 Playing into his 40s, goalie won four Stanley Cup championships with Maple Leafs
Turk Broda Goaltender TOR 1935–1951 Goalie thrived in playoffs, led Maple Leafs to five Stanley Cup titles, including three in row
Martin Brodeur Goaltender NJD, STL 1991–2015 All-time leader in wins, saves, shutouts, games played led Devils to Stanley Cup three times
Johnny Bucyk Left Wing DET, BOS 1955–1978 Led Big Bad Bruins to two Stanley Cup championships; played 21 seasons in Boston
Pavel Bure Right Wing VAN, FLA, NYR 1991–2003 'Russian Rocket' led Canucks to Stanley Cup Final, won back-to-back goal-scoring titles with Panthers
Chris Chelios Defence MTL, CHI, DET, ATL 1984–2010 Played most games among League defensemen, won two Stanley Cup titles with Red Wings, one with Canadiens
King Clancy Defence SEN, TOR 1921–1937 Was highest-scoring defenseman in NHL history when he retired in 1936
Bobby Clarke Center PHI 1969–1984 Talented, feisty center with incredible work ethic was face of Flyers championship teams
Paul Coffey Defence EDM, PIT, LAK, DET, HFD, PHI, CHI, CAR, BOS 1980–2001 Set single-season NHL record for goals by defenseman, helped Oilers to first three Stanley Cup titles
Charlie Conacher Right Wing TOR, DET, NYA 1929–1941 Nicknamed 'The Big Bomber' for powerful shot, was second captain of Maple Leafs
Yvan Cournoyer Right Wing MTL 1963–1979 'Roadrunner' used blazing speed to help Canadiens win 10 Stanley Cup titles
Sidney Crosby Center PIT 2005– 'Sid the Kid' has won Stanley Cup three times with Penguins, two Olympic gold medals, World Cup with Canada
Pavel Datsyuk Center DET 2001–2016 Two-way player with highlight-reel moves won Stanley Cup twice, Selke Trophy three times with Red Wings
Alex Delvecchio Center, Left Wing DET 1950–1973 Captained Red Wings for 12 seasons, centered two versions of 'Production Line' with Gordie Howe
Marcel Dionne Center DET, LAK, NYR 1971–1989 Undersized 'offensive genius' fifth-leading goal-scorer in League history
Ken Dryden Goaltender MTL 1970–1979 Canadiens goalie won Stanley Cup six times, Vezina Trophy five times, captured Conn Smythe Trophy year before being named top rookie
Bill Durnan Goaltender MTL 1943–1950 Canadiens goalie began career at age 27, won Vezina Trophy six times in seven seasons
Phil Esposito Center CHI, BOS, NYR 1963–1981 Premier goal-scorer in early '70s helped Bruins win Stanley Cup twice
Tony Esposito Goaltender MTL, CHI 1968–1984 Three-time Vezina Trophy winner holds Blackhawks records for shutouts, victories
Sergei Fedorov Center, Defence DET, ANA, CBJ, WSH 1990–2009 Two-way forward won three Stanley Cup titles with Red Wings, leads all Russians in assists, points
Peter Forsberg Center QUE, COL, PHI, NSH 1994–2011 Skilled, physical center was two-time Stanley Cup winner with Avalanche
Ron Francis Center HFD, PIT, CAR, TOR 1981–2004 'Captain Class' won Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh, has second-most assists in League history
Grant Fuhr Goaltender EDM, TOR, BUF, LAK, STL, CGY 1981–2000 Goalie helped Oilers win five Stanley Cup championships, was first black player inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
Bob Gainey Left Wing MTL 1973–1989 Defensive forward big part of Canadiens dynasty in late 1970s, only man to win Selke Trophy four times
Mike Gartner Right Wing WSH, MNS, NYR, TOR, PHX 1978–1998 Dazzling shooter, blazing skater had 17 30-goal seasons
Bernie Geoffrion Right Wing MTL, NYR 1950–1968 Legendary forward popularized slap shot, won Stanley Cup six times with Canadiens
Wayne Gretzky Center EDM, LAK, STL, NYR 1979–1999 'The Great One' all-time leader in goals, assists, points, holds 61 League records, won four Stanley Cup titles with Oilers
Glenn Hall Goaltender DET, CHI, STL 1952–1971 Goalie helped Chicago end Stanley Cup drought in 1961, had NHL-record streak of 502 straight starts
Doug Harvey Defence MTL, NYR, DET, STL 1945–1969 Six-time Stanley Cup champion keyed Canadiens' unstoppable power play
Dominik Hasek Goaltender CHI, BUF, DET, OTT 1990–2008 'The Dominator' won Vezina Trophy six times, only goalie to capture Hart Trophy twice
Tim Horton Defence TOR, NYR, PIT, BUF 1949–1974 Anchored Maple Leafs defense, was 'strongest player in hockey'
Gordie Howe Right Wing DET, HFD 1946–1980 Mr. Hockey dominated foes on ice, inspired fans off it during historic five-decade career
Bobby Hull Left Wing CHI, WIN, HFD 1957–1980 Blessed with blistering slap shot, won Stanley Cup, three Art Ross trophies with Black Hawks
Brett Hull Right Wing CGY, STL, DAL, DET, PHX 1986–2005 Fourth-leading goal scorer in League history won Stanley Cup title with Stars, Red Wings
Jaromir Jagr Right Wing PIT, WSH, NYR, PHI, DAL, BOS, NJD, FLA, CGY 1990–2018 Workhorse wing won two Stanley Cup titles in Pittsburgh, second on NHL points list
Patrick Kane Right Wing CHI 2007– Prolific scorer won Stanley Cup three times with Blackhawks, was first United States-born player to win Art Ross Trophy
Duncan Keith Defence CHI 2003– Workhorse defenseman has won Stanley Cup three times, Norris Trophy twice, Conn Smythe Trophy with Blackhawks
Red Kelly Defence, Center DET, TOR 1947–1967 Won Stanley Cup eight times, four as defenseman with Red Wings, four as center with Maple Leafs
Ted Kennedy Center TOR 1942–1957 Youngest to ever suit up for Maple Leafs, first to win Stanley Cup five times
Dave Keon Center TOR, HFD 1960–1982 Led Maple Leafs to three straight Stanley Cup championships, four overall in 15 seasons with Toronto
Jari Kurri Right Wing EDM, LAK, NYR, ANA, COL 1980–1998 Understated end-to-end player was Wayne Gretzky's wingman during Oilers dynasty
Elmer Lach Center MTL 1940–1954 Was rugged center on Canadiens' famed 'Punch Line' with Maurice Richard, Toe Blake
Guy Lafleur Right Wing MTL, NYR, QUE 1971–1991 'The Flower' won Stanley Cup five times with Canadiens, was first to score at least 50 goals, 100 points in six straight seasons
Pat LaFontaine Center NYI, BUF, NYR 1983–1998 Classy, hard-working forward ranks fifth in goals among United States-born players
Brian Leetch Defence NYR, TOR, BOS 1987–2006 Understated Rangers defenseman first American to win Conn Smythe Trophy, last at his position to score 100 points in a season
Jacques Lemaire Center MTL 1967–1979 Two-way center won Stanley Cup eight times with Canadiens, scored two championship-winning goals
Mario Lemieux Center PIT 1984–2006 Super scorer won Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy twice with Penguins, had 10 seasons of 100 points or more
Nicklas Lidström Defence DET 1991–2012 Stellar Swedish defenseman won four Stanley Cup championships, Norris Trophy seven times with Red Wings
Eric Lindros Center PHI, NYR, TOR, DAL 1992–2007 Dominant center formed Flyers' 'Legion of Doom' line with John LeClair, Mikael Renberg
Ted Lindsay Left Wing DET, CHI 1944–1965 Left wing on Red Wings' famed 'Production Line' was fierce competitor for 17 seasons
Al MacInnis Defence CGY, STL 1981–2003 Rode devastating slap shot to Hall of Fame; won Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy with Flames
Frank Mahovlich Left Wing TOR, DET, MTL 1957–1974 Won Stanley Cup four times with Maple Leafs, twice with Canadiens, played on 'Production Line II' in Detroit
Mark Messier Center EDM, NYR, VAN 1979–2004 Intense, emotional leader captained Oilers, Rangers to Stanley Cup
Stan Mikita Center CHI 1958–1980 Black Hawks center, one of greatest in League history, only man to win Hart, Art Ross, Lady Byng trophies in same season
Mike Modano Center MNS, DAL, DET 1989–2011 Superman on ice won Stanley Cup with Stars, became highest-scoring United States-born player in League history
Dickie Moore Left Wing MTL, TOR, STL 1951–1968 Six-time Stanley Cup winner with Canadiens was intense on ice, gentleman off it
Howie Morenz Center MTL, CHI, NYR 1923–1937 Thrilled Canadiens fans with one-man rushes; won Stanley Cup three times with Montreal
Scott Niedermayer Defence NJD, ANA 1991–2010 Smooth-skating defenseman won Stanley Cup three times with Devils, once with Ducks
Joe Nieuwendyk Center CGY, DAL, NJD, TOR, FLA 1987–2007 Hall of Fame center won Stanley Cup with three franchises
Adam Oates Center DET, STL, BOS, WSH, PHI, ANA, EDM 1985–2004 Consummate playmaker has fourth-most assists among centers, made magic with Brett Hull on Blues
Bobby Orr Defence BOS, CHI 1966–1978 Bruins legend revolutionized defenseman position, won Stanley Cup twice, Norris Trophy eight times
Alexander Ovechkin Left Wing WSH 2005– Big, strong, fast Capitals wing is 1,000-point scorer, three-time Hart Trophy winner
Bernie Parent Goaltender BOS, PHI, TOR 1965–1979 In back-to-back seasons, Flyers goalie won Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies
Brad Park Defence NYR, BOS. DET 1968–1985 Puck-moving, physical defenseman retired as all-time assist leader at his position, went to Cup Final with Rangers, twice with Bruins
Gilbert Perreault Center BUF 1970–1986 Elusive skater centered Sabres' famed 'French Connection' line
Jacques Plante Goaltender MTL, NYR, STL, TOR, BOS 1952–1973 First NHL goalie to regularly wear mask won Stanley Cup six times with Canadiens
Denis Potvin Defence NYI 1973–1988 Prolific defenseman anchored Islanders dynasty in 1980s
Chris Pronger Defence HFD, STL, EDM, ANA, PHI 1993–2011 Physically dominant defenseman won Stanley Cup with Ducks, two Olympic gold medals for Canada
Jean Ratelle Center NYR, BOS 1960–1981 Graceful skater centered Vic Hadfield, Rod Gilbert on Rangers' famed 'GAG Line'
Henri Richard Center MTL 1955–1975 Magician on ice, 'Pocket Rocket' member of record 11 Stanley Cup championship teams
Maurice Richard Right Wing MTL 1942–1960 Cultural icon in Montreal, 'Rocket' won Stanley Cup eight times, including five in a row with Canadiens
Larry Robinson Defence MTL, LAK 1973–1992 Bruising defenseman won six Stanley Cup titles, Norris Trophy twice with Canadiens
Luc Robitaille Left Wing LAK, PIT, NYR, DET 1986–2006 Ninth-round draft pick became highest-scoring left wing in League history
Patrick Roy Goaltender MTL, COL 1984–2003 Clutch goaltender won two Stanley Cup titles with Canadiens, two with Avalanche, Vezina Trophy three times
Joe Sakic Center QUE, COL 1988–2009 Captained Avalanche to two Stanley Cup titles, had decorated career with Canada
Börje Salming Defence TOR, DET 1973–1990 Pioneering Maple Leafs defenseman first European star in League
Denis Savard Center CHI, MTL, TBL 1980–1997 Gifted center sparked Blackhawks revival in 1980s
Serge Savard Defence MTL, WIN 1966–1983 Stay-at-home defenseman formed Canadiens' 'Big Three' with Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, won Stanley Cup eight times with Montreal
Terry Sawchuk Goaltender DET, TOR, BOS, LAK, NYR 1949–1970 Four-time Vezina Trophy winner helped Red Wings win Stanley Cup three times in four seasons
Milt Schmidt Center BOS 1936–1955 Bruins legend centered 'Kraut line,' won Stanley Cup twice as player, two more times as executive
Teemu Selänne Right Wing WIN, ANA, SJS, COL 1992–2014 'Finnish Flash' scored 76 goals as rookie, won Stanley Cup with Ducks in 2007
Brendan Shanahan Left Wing NJD, STL, HFD, DET, NYR 1987–2009 Gritty wing won Stanley Cup three times with Red Wings
Eddie Shore Defence BOS, NYA 1926–1940 First great Bruins defenseman was 'Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb of hockey'
Darryl Sittler Center TOR, PHI, DET 1970–1985 Popular, hard-working Maple Leafs captain scored record 10 points in game
Billy Smith Goaltender LAK, NYI 1971–1989 'Battlin goalie racked up Stanley Cup titles, penalty minutes during Islanders dynasty
Peter Stastny Center QUE, NJD, STL 1980–1995 Defected with brother from Czechoslovakia to Nordiques, first rookie to score 100 points
Scott Stevens Defence WSH, STL, NJD 1982–2004 Hard-hitting defenseman captained Devils to three Stanley Cup titles
Mats Sundin Center QUE, TOR, VAN 1990–2009 Longtime Maple Leafs captain only Swedish-born player with 500 NHL goals
Jonathan Toews Center CHI 2007– Captained Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles, won Conn Smythe Trophy in 2010
Bryan Trottier Center NYI, PIT 1975–1994 'Natural-born center' won four Stanley Cup championships with Islanders, two with Penguins
Georges Vezina Goaltender MTL 1917–1925 Ironman for Canadiens had goaltending trophy named after him
Steve Yzerman Center DET 1983–2006 'Ultimate captain' helped lead Red Wings to three Stanley Cup titles

Reaction[edit]

The inclusion of Jonathan Toews[3][5][6]was considered controversial. Evgeni Malkin,[5][6][7] Ed Belfour,[5][7][8] Dale Hawerchuk,[5][7][8] Joe Thornton,[6][7] Jarome Iginla,[6][7] Zdeno Chara,[6][7] Pierre Pilote[6][7] and Michel Goulet[5][8] were considered to be notable players omitted from the list.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "100 Greatest NHL Players". NHL.com. January 27, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "League starts reveal of 100 Greatest NHL Players". NHL.com. January 1, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Greg Wyshynski, NHL reveals top 100 players of all-time, with some surprises, Yahoo! Sports
  4. ^ "Jon Hamm to Host NHL Gala Honoring Top 100 Players in League History (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Colin Fleming, Five In, Five Out: Who should have made the NHL's top-100 list?, Sports Illustrated
  6. ^ a b c d e f Dave Lozo, EVGENI MALKIN'S TOP 100 SNUB IS A DAMN TRAVESTY, Vice Sports[dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Greg Wyshynski, Who were biggest snubs of 100 Greatest NHL Players list?, Yahoo! Sports
  8. ^ a b c Helene Elliott and Curtis Zupke, NHL honors 100 greatest players ahead of All-Star game, Los Angeles Times