Top 10 Greatest Hockey Players of All-Time

10. Mark Messier

Second in the NHL for most career games and points. He played under Gretzky's shadow in Edmonton where he won five Stanley Cups and then went to the New York Rangers where he won their first Stanley Cup in 50 years after he personally guaranteed the Rangers would win a game over the New Jersey Devils. What makes Messier truly great is not his toughness or point scoring but his leadership which he is recognized as the greatest leader of all-time.

9. Scott Stevens

Scott Stevens was a big part of the trap defense of the 1990's. His toughness and solid defensive play won the Devils three cups in a 30 team NHL in less than 10 years. Stevens is the league's greatest body checker of all-time who like Richard scared opponents with his eyes alone. He finally won a major award in 2003, when he won the Conn Smythe for winning his third Stanley Cup for the devils.

8. Guy Lafleur

Guy Lafleur was part of the 1970's Canadiens which is considered one of the most dominant dynasties of all-time. In 1976-77 they lost only 8 out of 80 games. Lafleur is the first player to score 50 goals and 100 points in six straight seasons.

7. Doug Harvey

The most consistent defenseman in the NHL ever. Bobby Orr broke most of his records but Harvey played 18 seasons and was an instrumental part of the Canadiens 1950's Stanley Cup wins.

6. Dominik Hasek

No goalie intimidated NHL goal scorers than Hasek. He brought his GAA to under 2 a game, and his unorthodox style changed goaltending in the NHL. Stand-up goalies soon became obsolete as Hasek's butterfly style made it near impossible for teams to score on him. His greatest moment was the 1998 Olympics where he stopped all five Canadian shooters in the shootout.

5. Gordie Howe

No player has played in more games. Gordie Howe played till he was 52 with skill, toughness, and surpassed endurance. Mr. Hockey is third in the league for points and the term the "Gordie Howe" Hat Trick for a goal, an assist, and a fight is still used to recognize the impact he made on the game.

4. Maurice "The Rocket" Richard

The first player to score 50 goals in 50 games is considered the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. Richard will always be known as the greatest Canadiens player of all-time for his 544 goals and Eight Stanley Cup rings.

3. Bobby Orr

The league's first offensive defenseman. Orr brought a new offensive element to the game when as a defenseman he won the Art Ross trophy and made the offensive defenseman a vital part of the game. His career with cut short by a knee injury but in his short career no other defenseman was as dominant.

2. Mario Lemieux

The NHL's most lethal goal and point scorer on a per game basis. He has been called the greatest player of all-time by Scotty Bowman, the NHL coach with the most wins, and has one two Stanley Cups and was the MVP of both wins. He arrived as a superstar play at 1987 Canada Cup where he scored the game winner. Unlike Gretzky he didn't play for a dominant team and most of his career he's been plagued by a bad back and cancer. But kept coming back and he is still playing in the NHL at 39.

1. Wayne Gretzky

Over 61 NHL records, 4 Stanley Cups, and two time Canada Cup MVP. Wayne Gretzky shattered most of the league's offensive records and was part of two of the greatest NHL teams ever assembled. The Edmonton Oilers of the 1980's and the 1987 Team Canada team. The holder of the records most goals, assists, and points for both the regular season and the playoffs made the pass an essential part of the game. There will never be a greater stickhandler and in his prime Gretzky goal make any linemate a consistent goal scorer.

Related Links:


Greatest Hockey Players (11-25)


10 Revolutionaries That Changed the Face of Hockey


Going Outside

External Links:

Top 10 Hockey Songs

canadianwild.ca Feedback:

Comments: So many great players, Orr, Hull,Gretzky,and on and on. I like them all. But if you really no and have played the game you realize how much above Gordie Howe was. He is still alone at the top. Bobby Orr said the greatest who ever played and ever will play about his idol. Howe. I agree.
Chris Nelson sent a message at Oct-04-2007 11:16:37

Comments: Did some one forget Bobby Hull? I can\'t believe Bobby Hull isn\'t in the Top ten of all time. Besides scoring 610 goals, being a great fast skater, he also had the hardest slap shot of all time which put the fear into most goalies when they saw hull come down on a break away. Who did this voting?
Tom sent a message at Sep-06-2007 01:01:05

Comments: anyone who said wayne gretzky should't be #1 is a complete moron who knows nothing about hockey. wayne gretzky is hands down the greatest player to ever pick up a stick and lace up his skates. He's the best to eer play the game. there is a reason hes been dubbed the "great one." mario lemieux is in his rightful place, and so is bobby orr. no one can say that bobby orr is better than lemieux. this list is good but some of the comments are right. where's steve yzerman? what the hell is scott stevens doing on the list? and please explain to me why dominik hasek is on the list and patrick roy isn't? and where is bobby hull?
alexander sent a message at Jun-10-2007 01:15:23

Comments: Actually, I am a fan of your list. I would only reverse Mario with Bobby. Others who criticize either do not know the sport or has a favourite. I have followed each of these players the last 40 years.
Allan sent a message at Apr-18-2007 07:21:11

Comments: Steve,Y...is not on here,he is only the longest serving captain,of any professional sports team "EVER"....and where is Martin Broudor????sorry about the spelling
Dylan sent a message at Apr-17-2007 03:36:55

Comments: this list is complete garbage if only for having scott stevens on it. he wasn't even one of the 10 best players of his era. bourque, chelios, coffey, niedermeyer, pronger, lidstrom... that's 6 D right there who played at the same time as Stevens and are all better than he is!
chris sent a message at Mar-21-2007 04:28:24

Comments: Orr at number 3. Are you guys nuts. He's the best of all time. Howe at number 5; ridiculous! And where's Bobby Hull? Your list is a joke. Thanks for the good laugh.
Sir_Anthony_2000 sent a message at Feb-11-2007 01:59:18

Comments: I think the better title of this list would be the greatest North American players of all time. There are a few Soviet players I'd put ahead of the names on this list
Andrew sent a message at Jan-01-2007 01:34:52

Comments: Gretzky's numbers are over inflated by the goal scoring boom of the 1980's. Those who analyze hockey understand Howe's numbers are more dominate than Gretzky's. Howe even dominated Richard more than Gretzky dominated players of his era. Analyze the numbers and you will see why Howe is the greatest ever.
Mutt sent a message at Dec-13-2006 12:04:49

Comments: the rocket rules the leafs suc and habs rule and guess who has the most cupS? MONTREAL DOES SO HA!!
stuart sent a message at Dec-08-2006 09:10:29

Comments: I don't think Gordie Howe qualifies as the 3rd best player of all time, but rather the 4th. Wayne Gretzky is clearly better and number 1. Lemieux I also believe is better at 2, and the same with Orr at 3. Hasek is the best goalie ever, but I certainly don't think Scott Stevens should be on this list.
anonymous sent a message at Dec-06-2006 05:57:43

Comments: hasek is in there buhhhh bobby orr is the greatest off all time and u know it
Bobby Orr sent a message at Oct-17-2006 10:24:04

Comments: ummm where are the soviet players of the 70s? valery kharlamov anyone?
James sent a message at Sep-28-2006 10:19:48

Comments: I would def. take Hasek off this list and replace it with either Roy or Dryden.. Also I dont get why Scott Stevens is on this list, players like Stevey Y, Phill Espisito, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Brett Hull all would be better choices.
jim sent a message at Sep-17-2006 03:36:08

Comments: No player dominated the game for a decade like wayne did, he didn't just beat records he obliterated them, and yet he always treated the fans with courtesy, and when he was traded to Los Angeles he made sure mentally handicapped Joey was taken care of, he works hands out towels to players in Edmonton to this day. I have heard all the excuses people give as to why he should never have been in the NHL, like there was a rule not to touch him and so on, bunk I tell you! I believe of all the records the one that stands out is 50 goals in 39 games will never be broken. Oh they have tried and yet to this day it stands and in my opinion that will stand the test of time!!!
paul right sent a message at Aug-04-2006 10:38:35

Comments: c'mon hasek in the top ten thats bull what about esposito or bossy or what about mario 2nd bobby orr is the best player ever to play the game and you put mario lemieux before him and talking about hassek roy is nway better. You better fix your list for people to take you suriously.
mason sent a message at Jul-26-2006 11:45:19

Comments: Comments: Jason is absolutely right! Bobby Orr is the greatest hockey player of all time. An argument can be made for number 99, but overall it\'s number 4 with Gordie a definite 3rd. Mario is a solid 4th. Scott Stevens? Really good, but how about Hull, Borque, Esposito.
Bill sent a message at Jul-17-2006

Comments: I think Wayne Gretzky is the best player of all time! Not because he tallied so much points but the fact he did it being a stringbean. When he came into the league every critic said that he wouldn't last, he was to skinny, and that he didn't have the physical element to survive! I think mario lemieux was a great player but he also had the physical attributes, the reach, the size , plus alot of talent. Gretztky did it all on pure vision and a great deal of intellegence! He didn't have the physical attributes of most players. in my mind there is no question who is the greatest of all times!
Ryan sent a message at Jan-25-2006 01:30:35

Comments: When the hell did Mario Lemieux jump infront of Bobby Orr as one of the greatest players of all time, if i had to pick Orr would be infront of both Mario and Wayne, honestly Mario should be fouth behind the trinity (Father-Howe, Son-Gretzky, Holy spirit-Orr). Hands down
Jason sent a message at Nov-27-2005 12:28:58



Updated: October 1, 2011

canadianwild.ca Creations

Copyright 2003-2012