Over time there have been many different amazing hockey players, but only a few have made it to legend status. Each ice hockey player on this list has had an outstanding career filled with remarkable sporting achievements.
Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Although this name might come as a surprise to some when they see it on this top five list, a quick look at this player’s repertoire should quickly quell any surprise. With five scoring titles, one Hart and three Lester Pearson’s, Jagr boasts all of the individual accolades of a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Jaromir Jagr could have easily been recognized as the greatest ‘big man’ in the history of ice hockey – if it wasn’t for Mario Lemieux. A player who combined force, brute strength, size and awesome skills to tackle the opponent, Jagr is dedicated to his sport and fitness making him a productive and sought-after NHL player even today aged in his forties.
Gordie Howe (Detroit Red Wings)
Prior to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe was the only player in NHL history to record goals of 800+. Nicknamed ‘Mr. Hockey’, Howe took over the NHL record books, putting up some incredible numbers until the 1980’s brought about an offensive explosion and during a time where defenders were far rougher with their attackers. With a career spanning from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Cold War, Howe played 32 seasons of professional hockey and won six MVP trophies in the space of a decade amongst many others.
Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Scoring an impressive 282 points in only 70 games during his last season of junior for the Laval Voisins, Lemieux was the first of his kind to arrive at the NHL standing at 6’4’’ and weighing 200lbs. Throughout his career, Lemieux recorded some truly impressive stat lines, coming significantly close to scoring 200 points during the 1988-98 season with eighty-five goals and one hundred and fourteen assists.
Sadly, Lemieux’s career was cut short by bouts of bad health which forced him into retirement for three seasons during his prime. Today he is remembered as not only one of the best but also the most charitable of hockey players thanks to the Mario Lemieux Foundation for cancer research.
Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins)
Limited to only ten seasons in his league, Orr is a classic example of ‘what could have been’ when it comes to NHL history stories. Thanks to a swift, powerful stride, Orr was able to perfect the art of the offensive defenseman, skating circle around entire times and often going coast to coast in order to make plays. He sets the gold standard for defensemen, holding the record for the most points and assists in one season.
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)
The only player in NHL history to achieve 200 points during one season, Gretzky may as well have written the NHL records book by himself. Gretzky achieved the whopping 200 points per season not only once but four times during his career, and also holds the record for the most goals in one season at an impressive 92.
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