What Factors Separate Stars from Superstars in the NHL?

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What Factors Separate Stars from Superstars in the NHL?
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In virtually every major professional sport, the term superstar is reserved for the most outstanding talents in each respective league, and the National Hockey League is no different. 

For players to earn the distinction of being included in the exclusive group of players commonly referred to as superstars, they need to have demonstrated an ability to play the game at an elite level, and have the credentials to show for it. 

It's not an easy status to achieve, as many of the league's most gifted players still find themselves short of being true superstar-caliber talents. For example, on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup champion squad in 1992, there were no less than six either present or future Hall of Famers on the team, but the only true superstar was Mario Lemieux, though Jaromir Jagr would join him soon after.

That's not to say that Larry Murphy, Joe Mullen, Bryan Trottier and of course, Ron Francis weren't all great players, it's just that Lemieux was that much better at the time, and it was his team. 

Some of it is personality. Brett Hull's quick wit off the ice made him likable, and though becoming the best goal scorer of his generation cemented his place among the game's brightest stars, his demeanor made him an even bigger draw. 

With that in mind, here's a look at what really separates NHL superstars from stars. 

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