We will soon be celebrating the 29th anniversary since Wayne Gretzky became the NHL all-time scoring leader. On October 15th, 1989 Wayne Gretzky scored the famous goal that saw him pass Gordie Howe and became the world’s NHL all-time scorer and one of the most celebrated top 10 NHL players of all time.
NHL fans still find it challenging to agree who is the most celebrated and successful NHL player. The right answer to the question of who is the NHL all-time player revolves around three legend players; Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and the famous Gordie Howe who are the most celebrated NHL players in the world. The following is a list of top 10 NHL players of all time.
Wayne Gretzky- The Man Without Peer or a Foreseeable Future
Wayne was born in the small town of Brantford, Ontario and started showing interest and love for hockey when he was two years old. He started playing at the age of 5 for what was then a novice-class all-star team that involved players up to six years older than him. He had scored more than 1000 goals by the time he was 13 years and became a shooting star in Brantford.
Wayne Gretzky #99 of the Edmonton Oilers skates on the ice during an NHL game against the New Jersey Devils on November 11, 1982, at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
Between 1981 and 1994, he won more than 10 NHL scoring championships, and by 1986, he was scoring more than 215 points in just a season. He is among the few players in the world to ever record 100 points in a season.
Gordie Howe – Only Player Ever to Top Every Meaningful Offensive Category
He was born on March 31, 1928, in Floral, Saskatchewan. He started to officiate hockey games at the age of 8years among his teens and officially joined Detroit Red at the age of 16 after unsuccessfully tried to join New York Rangers. He would, however, made his debut on Oct. 16, 1946, at the age of 18. He had a straight record of achievements that saw him enjoy undisputable following from his fans.
MARCH 17: Gordie Howe #9 of the Detroit Red Wings skates on the ice during an NHL game against the Minnesota North Stars on March 17, 1968, at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
He was the first player ever to enjoy 22 consecutive scoring seasons each with a minimum of 23goals. He won six Hart Trophies and equally six Art Ross trophies and four Stanley Cups championships.
Martin Brodeur- Only Successful NHL Player without a Great Nickname
He started playing hockey at the age of six years, and by the time he was 7, he was able to play for 60 minutes. His father as wee was a very successful goalie who won several awards as well. He built his career for hockey in New Jersey, and later he would join New Jersey Devils.
Former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur poses next to his statue during his jersey retirement ceremony before the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Edmonton Oilers on 9, 2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
He is the only goalie in the world ever to make over 28,928 saves, and play over 1,266 games. He is among the few young hockey goalies to ever achieve such a distinguished record.
Bobby Orr- Helped the Canadian National Team Make History
Orr is the first NHL player to start his professional career at the age of 14 where he was playing for Oshawa Generals. He was signed by Bruins at the age 18 and completely changed the face of the team with his exemplarily playing skills. Four years after his debut he helped Bruins to win its first-ever Stanley Cup champions. He played a total of 657 games and scored more than 270 goals and 645 assists.
(Original Caption) Bruins’ Bobby Orr, celebrating his 21st birthday 3/20, scored his 21st goal with one second left in the game to become the highest-scoring defenseman in a single NHL season. The score tied the game 5-5.
In his entire career, he was able to raise up to 915 points. He had revolutionized his team’s defensive position. He was forced to retire at the age of 30 following arthroscopic surgery.
Bobby Hull- Took Playing Hockey as a Serious Business
In his 23 years in the National Hockey League (NHL) and World Hockey Association (WHA), Hull played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers. Hull started playing hockey at the age of 6 with an objective of winning games and not shinning as an individual.
Bobby Hull #9 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New York Rangers during an NHL Hockey game mid circa 1960’s at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois. Hull played for the Blackhawks from 1957-72. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
He was a team player, and in a news statement, he said that he was happy to help teammates achieve their goals in life and not scoring goals. He played a total of 1063 goals and scored over 610 goals and 560 assists. He also managed to earn over 1,170 points in his career. He won Art Ross Trophy, and on the same year, he broke a league recording by scoring over 51 goals in one season.
Bill Durnan- A Good and Different Goaltender
Bill was born on January 22, 1916, in Toronto and started playing hockey at the age of 9. He played church league and other amateur competitions before joining Kirkland Lake Blue Devils at the age of 24.
Don Raleigh of the Rangers beats Bill Durnan of the Canadiens, 1-30-49. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
His involvement in the team saw it win Allan cup which is a senior amateur championship for the first time. He had extraordinary goaltending styles which saw him dominate many games than any other goaltender. He was still a great goalie until he developed a severe nervous condition that cut short his career. He led his team in winning several awards such as the 1950 Stanley Cup among other awards.
Mario Lemieux- Enjoyed Fame and Frustrations
Mario was born in 1965 in Lemieux but was raised in Montreal. He started playing hockey at the age of 5 at a local church before he got his first breakthrough at the age of 13.
Canadian hockey player Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins (center) on the ice during a road game against the New Jersey Devils, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 1984. The Devils player at right is Pat Verbeek. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
He scored six goals in a single game to help Lemieux to attain Lafleur’s 130 marks. He is among the very few world players to ever score more than 100 points in 10 different times. He scored a total of 690 goals in the 915 goals he played and gave more than 1030 assists. In total, he garnered 1,723 points in his entire career. He, however, got severe injuries that saw him lose his fitness.
Sid Abel- One of the Most Significant Historical Competitors
Abel started his career in playing hockey a bit late at the age of 24 years but rose quickly to the ranks to become one of the most notable NHL players in the world. His passion for playing hockey was driven by the competitive environment which he was brought up in where many of his friends were hockey players.
(Original Caption) Sid Abel, (R), Detroit Red Wings captain, makes a mighty swing and throws himself off balance in the hockey game against the Boston Bruins. while falling, he pushed the puck past Boston’s goalie, Jack Gelineau, (1). Rushing to help is Ted Lindsay, (7), of the Wings. The Wings won, 5-3, for an NHL tie with Toronto.
In his entire career, he played a total of 612 games and scored 189 goals and 283 assists. He played for Red Wings in his whole career before later becoming the team’s coach after his retirement.
Johnny Bower- Nicknamed ‘The China Wall’
Johnny came to England from British Colombia when he was 15years during the Second World War. He joined the military and continued to play while even in the service before joining Prince Alberts Black Hawks after his release. He played a total of 552 games and scored over 250 goals.
(Original Caption) Toronto, Canada: Puckish Moment. Caught napping, Toronto goalie Johnny Bower watches in bafflement as the elusive puck appears to roll right up his stick during action in a game against the Boston Bruins. To Bower’s dismay, when the puck finally hit the ice, it rolled on into the net for a goal. At right is Toronto player Bob Pulford.
He also won 4 Stanley Cups titles, two Vezina trophies, and consideration for the famous Hart Trophy consideration. He played with the New York Rangers before they peacefully traded him to Cleveland.
Mark Messier- First Player Ever to Captain Two Franchises to the Stanley Cup
The New York-based player started playing at a tender age of 4 before joining amateur teams at 6. He received immense support from his parents and his teenage coach who helped him good leadership skills which would later help him to captain New York Rangers.
Mark Messier #11 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
He was among the first three players in history to win six Stanley Cup Springs. He was also very successful in his career and achieved to become the New York legendary. His contributions in the team saw it several awards such as the 1994 Stanley Cup for the first time. He is also among the players in history to score hat tricks in their last career game.