The Hockey News TOP 75 Players & Teams of all-time

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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16 Issues

in this issue

3 min
legacy voting

A QUARTER-CENTURY HAS PASSED SINCE we unveiled the definitive list of the top 100 players in NHL history. The year was 1997, and The Hockey News was turning 50. We wanted to do something extra special, so 50 of the most astute minds in the game helped us rank the league’s top players ever. (More on those great minds later.) Well, we’ve reached another milestone, and let me tell you, we’ve never felt better as we approach our 75th birthday. To commemorate our diamond anniversary, we’re updating our authoritative list to be as of 2021-22 – this time defining the top 75 NHL players of all-time. Creating this modern list began where you’d expect it to – with the list from 1997. The people who put that ranking together were a cross-section…

3 min
75th season was & is in your hands

I HAVE OFTEN THANKED SUBSCRIBERS of The Hockey News for their support and loyalty to the magazine since its first issue back on Oct. 1, 1947, and here I go again. Since Gary Bettman paused the 2019-20 NHL season back on March 12, 2020 due to COVID-19, there has been so much devastation to families all over the world, which includes the families of employees of The Hockey News and my other businesses. It has been a very difficult time for many of us, and as I see it, if we had a choice at all, we all had essentially two choices to make: be selfish and look for a way to quit, or stand up and try and find a path through this pandemic to come out the other side…

7 min
top 75 nhl players of all-time

THE PROPER FIRST THING to do in kicking off this section is give thanks to the people who did the heavy lifting – the panel of 50 hockey experts who established our top 100 ranking back in 1997. That list was the gold standard for ranking the NHL’s star performers from the creation of the NHL in 1917 to our 50th anniversary in 1997. They did 80 years of homework in one project, and you see the result on the next page. The mandate? “Rank the top players, regardless of position, in order of whom you consider to be the best 50 in NHL history.” It was then the task of The Hockey News editorial team to weave in NHL stars who were still active in 1997 and beyond and place them…

41 min
top 75 nhl players of all-time 1-25

1. WAYNE GRETZKY BORN Jan. 26, 1961, Brantford, Ont. NHL CAREER 1979-99 TEAMS Edm, LA, StL, NYR STATS GP 1,487 G 894 A 1,963 P 2,857 PIM 577 ALL-STAR 15 (First-8, Second-7) TROPHIES 31 (Hart-9, Ross-10, Smythe-2, Pearson-5, Byng-5) STANLEY CUPS 4 HALL OF FAME 1999 SOME SPORTS LEGENDS are superhuman from the moment they start competing as children. That was Wayne Gretzky, the savant who honed his skills for hours on a backyard rink in Brantford, Ont., the six-year-old who played on teams with 10-year-olds, the 10-year-old who scored 378 goals in one season. He arrived in the NHL as a ready-made superstar after the Edmonton Oilers’ 1979 migration from the WHA, tied for the league scoring crown as a “rookie” and, for two decades, produced video-game numbers unrivalled by any…

40 min
top 75 nhl players of all-time 26-50

26. DENIS POTVIN BORN Oct. 29, 1953, Ottawa, Ont. NHL CAREER 1973-88 TEAMS NYI STATS GP 1,060 G 310 A 742 P 1,052 PIM 1,356 ALL-STAR 7 (First-5, Second-2) TROPHIES 4 (Norris-3, Calder-1) STANLEY CUPS 4 HALL OF FAME 1991 ON A DYNASTY ISLANDERS squad full of legends, Denis Potvin may have been the most important piece. Yes, those classic New York teams also featured the likes of sniper Mike Bossy, two-way superstar Bryan Trottier and money goalie Billy Smith, but it was Potvin who held down the blueline for a team that won four Stanley Cups in a row from 1980 to ’83. The first overall pick in 1973, Potvin grew up along with the expansion Islanders but made an impact right away, earning the Calder Trophy in 1974. It wasn’t long…

39 min
top 75 nhl players of all-time 51-75

51. BERNIE GEOFFRION BORN Feb. 16, 1931, Montreal, Que. NHL CAREER 1950-68 TEAMS Mtl, NYR STATS GP 883 G 393 A 429 P 822 PIM 683 ALL-STAR 3 (First-1, Second-2) TROPHIES 4 (Hart-1, Ross-2, Calder-1) STANLEY CUPS 6 HALL OF FAME 1972 OFTEN, LEGENDARY players’ nicknames come as a result of teammate teasing. Not Bernie Geoffrion’s. The ‘Boom Boom’ moniker emblemized his proudest accomplishment. He not only owned his era’s best slapshot, he also popularized it. By some accounts, he may have invented it. But even if the slapper predated Geoffrion, he perfected it. His handle came from the explosive sound of the puck leaving his stick. Opposing goalies feared the thud of vulcanized rubber against their skulls to the point some began experimenting with masks. Geoffrion relished it all. He took…