Best Hockey Players of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Wayne Gretzky Wayne Gretzky

Simplest choice ever THE GREAT ONE is easily number 1.
Anyone who does respect it should walk off the face of the world

grezkey is the best hockey player cause he scored 521 goals in a row

I visited Gretzky's restaurant in Toronto last year. There is a very special room with jusy a few tables and each of the four walls has a single portrait which seems to suggest that Wayne holds these players in high reverence. Gordie Howe; Bobby Hull; Maurice "Rocket" Richard; Bobby Orr. Thanks Wayne - great room!

So god

V 285 Comments
2 Bobby Orr

Orr was the only player in the history of the NHL to win the Art Ross Trophy ( Scoring title ) and the Norris Trophy ( most valuable Defenseman ), in the same year! He did it TWICE!
Also the only player to make the nhl as a 18 year old rookie during the original six teams ( 1966/67 ). Plus he would fight his own battles, block shots, made the other superstars look like ordinary players. The only way that he was stopped was they chopped his knees out from under him. Played nine seasons on 1/2 a leg and rest guts.

Orr was harder to shadow than a forward like Hull but he still ranks with Hull & Howe as the most complete player in the era of original six team play. Gretzky was the best specialist in history in the style of a Magic Johnson in NBA as a play-maker & in his ability to be in the flow of play. I would like to have seen an Orr or Hull surrounded by a team like the 80's Oilers to see what they could have done to the record books! We did get a glimpse of that in 1976 with the Canada Cup.

Orr was the greatest hockey player he changed the game he was 14 trying out for the boston bruins just 14 he was the greatest player in the game.

Obviously the best no questions asked I mean think people

V 217 Comments
3 Mario Lemieux Mario Lemieux

his shortened career was the only thing that kept him from beating all of Gretzky's records. He's at least just as good. - BKAllmighty

Simply the most skilled all around player who ever lived.

For many reasons, Mario is better than Gretzky, but I think Orr is first, Mario second. I am not even sure I would put Gretzky third and the simple reason is that I think the greatest hockey player should be not just who has the best stats but should be based more on talent along with stats of course. So here are my reasons: Gretzky had far better talent around him for more years than Mario did. Of course the injuries to Mario, prevented him from breaking the records, Gretzky admits to this. Mario was more skilled and more physical, Gretzky admits this too. Many point out how many assists Gretzky had which is certainly amazing, but obviously he would not have had all of those assists if the people he passed too can't score. That is the case with lots of great passers... Not enough skilled scorers on their teams, so the passes don't amount to anything. Gretzky was lucky to have many great players around him. Also, Gretzky played in a much less physical environment, as history shows... ...more

Best player ever

V 126 Comments
4 Gordie Howe Gordie Howe

Greatest athlete in hockey. Played into his fifties! He was given room to set records because he manhandled players - not because he was protected. When Howe had the puck it was special like when Mantle came to the plate.

Howe had the unique ability to define how a game was to be played on any given night. Any style /speed his skill set allowed him to play any way the opponents wanted to play. Probably the one thing about Howe was that while he was the most dominant player he was not dynamic in the sense of the other great players. You had to watch him play over a period of time to witness how much bettor he was than his contemporaries. Their would be even a higher appreciation of his extraordinary skill set if there was video and or tape of him during his prime.

Scotty Bowman. You know him? At a luncheon he was asked who the best was and without hesitation said Howe. In an era of 5 decades, he defined the all around player. He could score, he could defend, he could pass, he could skate. The Russians when just starting to take ice hockey seriously, used Howe as their model. As far as Gretsky goals, look at the number of goals scored when Howe played and the overall number per game was far lower than in Gretsky's time. So, based on the lower totals, Howe scored more goals based on overall production.

He was and IS Mr Hockey

V 66 Comments
5 Maurice Richard

Most people voting now never seen him play, so please go see some archives and just watch how he played and then you will see that he was the greatest

Most folks who are voting have never heard of, much less actually watched the Rocket play but believe me, there was no one more dominating or intimidating on the ice than Richard!

The most under rated player ever to have hit a Puck

When the Habs were losing,1 look at the Rocket between periods,and the team could not wait to get back on the ice to play.

V 44 Comments
6 Sidney Crosby Sidney Crosby Sidney Patrick Crosby, ONS is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who serves as captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.

Best player in the history of the game. He routinely draws 2-3, even 4 players on him at a time and still manages puck protection, goal-scoring wizardry, while engineering goals for his team. His ingenuity, athleticism and skill is mind-boggling. Check out this guy's highlight reels on YouTube and find someone better. You can't. Crosby is a once-ever talent. I followed him from youth hockey when he was an 11-14 year old kid dismantling 16-19 year old players. It was self-evident that he was going to become one of the greatest players of all time.

He beats my team every time but as I'm not a pathetic loser who claims the W/Ls of my team as my own personal achievement and bemoans the Ls as affronts to my ego, so I stomach the embarrassment and disappointment, because he puts on such a great show. There is something electrifying and viscerally inspiring about Crosby's play. He does things that no other player can do. He does things with guys hanging on his back, attacking his legs ...more

He is a awesome player he can score goals he is awesome at hockey

In todays game, the best and for anyone calling him a baby if you knew anything about hockey, you would know how strong this man really is. Crosby is the hardest working hockey player on the ice and that is what seperates him from the rest. He's a superstar and a champion!

A hockey robot. Never says or does anything other than what you would want to see out of your team captain and the face of the nhl. Inhuman drive to win. Selfless scorer who either finds the back of the net or a teammate with a better look. Unrivaled passer, puck protector, and winner. Has proven himself in every arena and every level, from his two Olympic golds to his three Stanley Cups, to his innumerable personal awards.

V 223 Comments
7 Steve Yzerman

He belongs at 3 or 4... Not 8... He's the 2nd best player ever on the best team ever The Detroit Red Wings

Steve Yzerman had something that Crosby will never have... Class! I will never say that Crosby isn't talented or doesn't deserve to be ranked high on this list but he can never be compared to Stevie, Wayne, Bobby or Gordie. I think a lot of people have voted based primarily on who currently on top and whos name they hear the most.

Yzerman is much better than Crosby and Ovechkin. Neither of them belong on this list.

Steve yzerman is my life he is literally my hero!

V 31 Comments
8 Bobby Hull

Hockey's "Golden Age" according to the "Legends of Hockey" series was the 1960's. The "Original Six" era when Gordie Howe was still in his late prime and Bobby Orr was a spectacular rookie. Bobby Hull was named the "Player of the Decade" by the sporting press! I wish he had not jumped to the WHA in 1972 (his absolute prime) because he was on track to shatter all of Howe's records. His career even overlapped Gretzky's early career in the WHA and in the first game involving their respective teams, I read that Wayne's Mom said to Hull "don't you hurt my son! " During the 1972 Canada /Soviet series when Hull was not allowed to play for Canada I remember the billboards "To Russia with Hull" and how the NHL had almost lost the series due to their vendetta against Hull. The most dissapointment was expressed by the Russians themselves as Hull was the most idolized western player ever. During the 1976 Canada Cup the long awaited dream team was assembled and both Hull and Orr dominated the ...more

"The perfect mesomorph"--Time magazine, March 1, 1968. Had the fastest shot ever, his slap shot was clocked at 118.3 mph. His wrist shot was timed at 105.7 mph. And his backhand shot sailed along at only 96 mph. Fastest timed NHL skater ever at 29.7 mph with full hockey equipment on. The skates in those days were as heavy as lead weights. None of the modern players can touch those marks. Just think what Bobby Hull would do in todays game with the graphite sticks and lightweight skates that are now used. Not to mention the state of the art workout gyms that every NHL team has. Even though Hull had muscles growing out of muscles he never took steroids to get that way. And he was one of the most complete players ever. He didn't need a body guard to protect him.

Should be in the top five players on any list Hull played 23 years at a high level an scored 1,018 total goals. Three times in the old six team league he scored 50 or more goals.
Rocket Richard by contrast played 18 years, scored 626 total goals and only scored 50 goals once--in in 1944-45 when the competition was weaker because of World War II.
Bobby Hull scored 77 goals and had 65 assists at age 36 in the World Hockey Association competition that was at least as good as the Rockets. Richard was 23 when he scored his 50 goals.
As for Sidney and Alex being rated ahead of Hull it shows that modern fans really don't know very much about the Legends of Hockey. Alex couldn't cut it as a left wing anymore--that's why he was moved to right wing. Bobby Hull was the best left wing ever.
And Sidney isn't near the goal scorer that that the Golden Jet was. Nor is he better in other areas of the game than Bobby Hull.
These two present day players don't deserve to be rated above one ...more

Why the hell is Sidney Crosby above Bobby Hull?

V 41 Comments
9 Patrick Roy

I find it funny that on this same site, Roy isn't even ranked greatest goaltender of all time in the top 10 goaltenders (he's 2nd behind Brodeur), yet he's on this list and Brodeur isn't. Roy MAY have been slightly better than Brodeur at stopping the puck but Brodeur blew him out of the water in puck handling and passing. Also, if there's one stat that scared me about Roy, it was that he was below.500 in career games 7s.

He is the best goalie ever to walk on this earth - Bigtime11

He should be higher no one played goalie has well has him

He should be at the bottom of the list!

V 24 Comments
10 Alexander Ovechkin Alexander Ovechkin Alexander Mikhailovich "Alex" Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.

I wouldn't say he's the best of all time, but definitely the best player right now. There's no one you can compare with him... He's just amazing
I think he's the LeBron James of the ice hockey - Flomania69

Will people ever top comparing Crosby and Ovechkin? They are both very talented players but hey aren't the same in how they are talented. Ove Is not the Lebron James of ice hockey. Sid isn't the greatest to ever live. They're very, very, skilled. Amazing players. Out of the two I would just have to go with Sid. Only because of how much hate he gets for bing such a talented player, he shocks me of what he can do with te puck, every time.. Don't hate Ove at all though, he amazes me every time he hits the ice. But they aren't the same in how they amaze me, they shouldn't be compared in how they play, they both play very differently.

My opinion may be a lil' biased (ROCK THE RED! ) But I've chain will always be a better player. In the winter classic Crosby left the ice without even shaking hands with the Capitals who were out there waiting, which lost all respect I had for the player

Simply the GOAT - sam11919

V 118 Comments

The Contenders

11 Mark Messier

This list is idiotic, nobody still playing in the NHL should be in the top 30 except for maybe Martin Brodeur certainly not Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, How could any of these guys be rated above Mark messier2nd all time in scoring and perhaps the best 2 way player of all time...

8 and 87 are not better. He should be 5th. 2nd all time in points. He has a award named after him and is the best captain to put on a Jersey in any sport. Gave the Rangers a cup with some help but come on the Mouse is better then sid and the great 8. And the great 8 still has not won a cup.

The Moose, The Messiah or whatever you want to call him, was the best leader of all time. During the Oilers era, Gretz admits he wore the C but Mark lead the team to victory. Messier has to be in the top 3 or at least 5.

Greatest of all time

V 16 Comments
12 Jaromir Jagr

SImply the best, putting him behind OVY is just a poor joke. I would put him into same level as Lemiuoux

What makes Jagr a top-5 player of all-time is his ability to succeed in the many changing eras of the game. It's nearly impossible to compare Crosby and Gretzky, given the evolution in rules, conditioning, goalies, etc.. But, here's a guy that managed to be successful across all of these eras. His lack of success without Mario wasn't a function of riding coattails as much as it was a team running dry on money and talent. It takes a team to win, not an individual. The prime of Jagr's career was spent with lackluster teams expecting him to carry most of the load. The greatest of greats had supporting casts, including Gretzky, Howe, Orr, and even Crosby. Let's face it, today's NHL is a young man's game and Jagr has found a way to stay relevant and successful in spite of it.

What?! The best European player all times in 15th place behind Ovechkin (yes, he is amazing, but he is still too young to compete Jagr), Sundin and Forsberg (okay, maybe it's equal with that guy)

Jagr is the second best player after Gretzky in stats,flair and longevity.
Hockey is points game and he has the second most. If it wasn't for his seasons in the Khl
He would be even closer to Wayne.
Get real hockey fans all the old relics you mentioned were when goalies were nowhere near as good or as fit as today's goalies,
Today's superstars like Crosby Ovy and Mcdavid are really good but they haven't achieved Jags stats. When and if they do come on back and we'll review the situation!
Phil H
(London, England )

V 68 Comments
13 Phil Esposito

He was the heart and soul of Team Canada in the 1972 series with USSR. He was an outstanding center for the Bruins for 12 years and carried the team emotionally as well as with his on ice talent.

There are a definite top five iconic players in hockey who will always be considered the best: Gretzky, Howe, Hull, Orr, and Richard (with an honourable mention to Lemieux). But Phil was a cool cucumber, so I'm giving him my vote. - PetSounds

How is he good

One of only 4 players to top 150 points in a season, which he did in the 70's, a far less offensive era than the 80-90's when Gretzky, Lemuix, Yzerman all did it (also more than Jagr has ever got)
When he scored 76 goal in 70-71 it had never been done before. Second place that year scored 51, third place scored 44, Just to give some perspective he had as many goal as 6th +7th
place combined, that would be like scoring 73 goals in a season today.
He was the most dominant forward of his era. Period.

V 2 Comments
14 Jean Belliveau

Jean Beliveau is too good of a player to be this far down. He should higher than Crosby and Ovechkin at the least. I don't think Crosby and Ovechkin deserve to be on this list, but Rocket Richard does.

No list of greats would be complete without Le Gros Bill.

He was a real gentleman and a great player. He is somebody all hockey players should strive to be like.

He should be higher than Crosby. Crosby is to of wimp.

V 6 Comments
15 Guy Lafleur

He is my choice. A dedicated player with great skills! He was a leader of the game, a comet-loke on skates and a sharp shooter. Every team mate he had became a best player with him

Definitely should be in top ten. He was a game changer and dominated the league for four years as the best player in the world - check your history. It seems everyone forgets that Lafleur was a playmaker not just a goal scorer. He consistently got many more assists than goals and made everyone around him better.

pppppppfff guy lafler was a fifehudered goal scorer and got at leest then a point every game you dont even need to say to ten

pz

the boss

V 5 Comments
16 Peter Forsberg

Peter Forsberg at his best was the best player the world has ever seen, the most dominate in perhaps the most physical era of hockey.

A complete player with humongous stick control, skating speed that beats the most, great pass and checking capabilities

What could you say, one of the best, probably the best technique of all time. Huge scorer of the game. Great leader and role model

Skill level unparalleled, compete level unrivaled. The most complete, dominant player I've ever seen.

V 42 Comments
17 Ray Bourque

Bourque didn't make the people around him better? Please note that Adam Oates played 3 seasons with Brett Hull assisting on most of his 70+ goals during each of those 3 seasons, yet Oates still got his highest career point total (142) as a Bruin, playing in front of Bourque (keep in mind, this was 92-93 and Neely missed much of that season due to injury).

Ray Bourque is the leading defencemen of all time, and 11th overall for all skaters points of all time (and that's as a defencemen)! Definitely one of the best.

He got a rent a cup in Colorado, did he make people around him better, no he did not. Nick lidstrom was a far better all around player.

He is a great player who never gave up

V 1 Comment
18 Martin Brodeur

How many rules did the NHL change for Patrick Roy? Did Marty ever pout like a baby and quit the team - wrecking an organization and their ability to win for decades? People keep talking about how Marty won because of the team around him. Look at Roy's teams... they weren't slouches. Patrick was a true pioneer and gifted as a player, so he should be on this list. But, not higher than Marty. Stats don't lie.

He was the best goalie of all time. Who has the most wins as a goalie? Marty. Who has the most shutouts? Marty. Games played? Marty. He even had a rule made because of his style of play. He is simply the best goalie to ever play the game. Yes, Roy is good, but not as good as Marty!

Good goaltender, but he also had great defencemen in front of him, and played in a clutch and grab system that was accepted back then. Patrick Roy was a much better goalie. Just look at what he did in Montreal. Singlehandedly won cups for montreal.

The best

V 9 Comments
19 Teemu Selanne

Last year one of his best seasons! And he will continue to play at least one more year.

Even if he is very old player, he can still keep playing at the same level. GREAT! ONE MORE YEAR!

He has the Rockie record and he's 40 year old and still one of the best! that says it all!

Teemu is cool

V 17 Comments
20 Mike Bossy

Bossy it at least top 10. He had over 500 goals in less than 1,000 games in his career. If he continued his insane pace, he would be been the highest goal scorer in NHL history. It wouldn't have been that high, but it would have been much higher. He was always one of the best players in the league and I still stand by him being underrated.

I can see people rating their fair share of people above Mike Bossy. But not this many. He's AT LEAST top 10 material. Holds the record for most goals per game all time, and even the Great One's goals per game doesn't threaten his record. So ranking Ovechkin 7th and Bossy 33rd makes absolutely no sense.

Mike Bossy had "the touch". No matter where he was near the net, he could turn and spin, and know exactly in his mind where the open corners were. He feel around the net was second to none.

I love your name

V 14 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 19 Aug 2017

12,000 votes
206 listings
11 years, 249 days old

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1. Wayne Gretzky
2. Gordie Howe
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1. Mario Lemieux
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1. Wayne Gretzky
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