Top NHL Players At Their Position
There have been many greats throughout the years of the NHL. Some start off their careers on the right foot but then fizzle out. Some shine from start to finish, and those are the types of players throughout this list. This is a collection of the greatest NHLers at their respected positions. From goaltenders to left wingers, these are the best of the best retired NHLers.
The greatest D-man to ever live was Bobby Orr. Period. Throughout his short career of only 657 games, the long-time Bruin amassed over 900 points, 915 to be exact. That is good for 1.393 points a game. That is more than 0.300 points more per game than second place Paul Coffey.
But Orr`s success was not only regular season, oh no not at all. He was just as stellar in the post season, earning 92 points in 74 career NHL playoff games, earning the Conn Smythe twice as the playoff MVP.
The points absolutely there to prove that Orr is the greatest blueliner to ever step onto the ice, but that is not the only thing to make him amazing. The fact that he reinvented the way defensemen play should speak volumes. Orr was the first defenseman to show that defense can do more than just defend, and that they should do more than just that. The way that Orr rushed up the ice and scored truly revolutionized the way that his position was played showing that defensemen can have offensive upside too. And who knows where the league would be if he never brought change. Players such as Erik Karlsson or Paul Coffey may never have had their chance to shine without Bobby Orr.
Bobby Hull was one of the speediest players of his time, and combined with his deadly shot, he was a force to reckon with. His 610 goals throughout 1063 games (0.57 goals per game) ranks him 17th all time in goal scoring, while his 1170 points put him in the top 50.
The "Golden Jet" had terrific offensive prowess, once scoring 77 goals in 78 games played. But to be great, you can't just be a master of the regular season, you have got to dominate in the playoffs as well. That isn't something everyone can do, but Hull manged just fine by putting up 62 goals and 67 assists in 119 postseason appearances.
Hull had every skill required to be an absolute monster in the NHL. The man was unstoppable and was simply un-defendable. You could only shadow him in hopes of slowing him down enough so that your goaltender can make a save.
Gretzky's arch-rival and longtime Islander Mike Bossy is most likely one of the best goal scorers in history. He ranks third all time, only behind Gretzky and Lemiuex, in points per game. He is ahead of players such as Bure, Forsberg, Orr and Stasny.
He was one of the most crucial players in the Islanders dynasty from the 1980's, winning 4 Stanley Cups in a row. During that amazing run, he became the only player in history to score 4 game winning goals in one series, leading his team to victory. Bossy was also only one of five players to ever score 50 goals in 50 games. Behind all of this success is definitely his god-like shooting percentage of 21.2%. To put that into perspective, Gretzky only had a shooting percentage of 17.6%, and Ovechkin's is only 12.4%. Bossy had the deadliest shot of all time, in turn making him one of the greatest players of all time.
I hate to disappoint, but the greatest center is not the Great One, but actually the Magnificent One; Mario Lemieux.
Yes, Gretzky has more points than Super Mario, but he also has played 572 more games. Lemieux battled on and off the ice. On the ice he crashed through players with his big 6"4 frame, earning his first career fight in his second career game, and blazed past defensemen, earning his first career goal on his first career shot during his first career shift by speeding past Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. Even Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen ever, had stated that Lemiuex was the greatest player he had ever faced. His skill set was completely unparalleled by any other.
Lemieux is the only player in history to score 5 goals in 5 different ways during the same game; even strength, on the power play, shorthanded, on a penalty shot and on an empty net. He had gifted hands as well as a wicked shot which places him second all time in goals scored per game all time (minimum 500 GP), with only Mike Bossy ahead of him. But Lemieux wasn't a one trick pony, he was also a gifted playmaker. He ranks second all time in assists per game with 1.129.
Mario earned 18 individual awards during his short 17 year career, 3 Hart Memorials, 4 Lester B. Pearsons, 2 Conn Smythes, the Calder, the Masterson, 6 Art Ross Trophies as well as being inducted to the Hockey Hall Of Fame. All of this was accomplished while suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphomia, a type of cancer, and back issues so terrible that some nights he couldn't even lace up his own skates. Lemieux was and still is the greatest hockey player of all time, on and off of the ice he is a marvel and an inspiration.
Move over Patrick Roy, here comes the Dominator, the Czech phenom, the one and only Dominik Hasek. Sure, Roy has more Cups, but that is a team award not an individual award. If we are talking awards however, the most important one for goaltenders is the Vezina Trophy for the most outstanding netminder. And Hasek has 6, double the amount Roy has. Hasek also earned two Hart Memorial trophies as the player voted most valuable to his team throughout the season, meanwhile Roy has a whopping 0.
Stat wise, Hasek is impeccable. He leads all unactive goaltenders with a .922Sv%, which is amazing considering that he played in a time where you could expect at least 7 goals throughout the game, whereas today that number is closer to 5 and netminders still struggle to achieve the type of numbers Hasek enjoyed. He is called the Dominator for a reason folks, because he could take complete control of a game and completely shut the door, despite his comical style of play where he flopped around the ice like a fish out of water. Roy definitely wins in style points, but Hasek wins in nearly every other category.