The Top 100 Hockey Players of All Time: Nos. 40-31
I consider myself a student of the game of hockey. I learn something new about it every day, whether it be through the hockey history books I read, the Web sites I go to, or the discussions that I have with other people.
I like to think that I am very knowledgeable about the game and I have decided to put my knowledge to the test. Over the course of the next month or two, I am going to rank the top 100 players in hockey history.
It will be very challenging and a lot of research will be done in order to get the best rankings possible. This list will include more than just NHL players, as I will be also focusing on international, pre-NHL, and WHA stars.
I hope this will spark a lot of discussion amongst the hockey experts at this wonderful site. Any opinions are welcome, and don't be afraid to speak up!
40. Bernard Geoffrion
Career Regular Season Stats: 883 GP 393 G 429 A 822 P
Career Playoff Stats: 132 GP 58 G 60 A 118 P
Teams: Montreal Canadiens (1950-64), New York Rangers (1966-68)
Art Ross Trophy (1955, 1961)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1952)
First All-Star Team Right Wing (1961)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1961)
Second All-Star Team Right Wing (1955, 1960)
Nicknamed "Boom-Boom" due to his thunderous shot, Geoffrion was a huge part of the best dynasty in the entire history of the National Hockey League. He, Maurice Richard, and Jean Beliveau would often play on a line together.
Geoffrion was an extremely tough player as evidenced by the fact that he received over 400 stitches in his career and broke his nose nine times. Geoffrion passed away on the same day his number five was to be retired by the Montreal Canadiens.
39. Syl Apps Sr.
Career Regular Season Stats: 423 GP 201 G 231 A 432 P
Career Playoff Stats: 69 GP 25 G 29 A 54 P
Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs (1936-43, 1945-48)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1937)
First All-Star Team Centre (1939, 1942)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1942)
Second All-Star Team Centre (1938, 1941, 1943)
Underrated due to him not having played as many games as a lot of other players on my list, Apps was a remarkably skilled hockey player, he was big and strong and possessed one of the best shots in the league.
Apps left the Leafs in his prime to join the Canadian Army for two years and didn't miss a beat when he came back as the Leafs newest captain. He is one of just six players with their number honored by the Leafs.
38. Cyclone Taylor
Career Regular Season Stats: played in the PCHA and NHA.
Career Playoff Stats: played in the PCHA and NHA.
Teams: Renfrew Hockey Club, Vancouver Millionaires, Vancouver Maroons
His dynamic rushes and memorable scoring feats made him one of hockey's first superstars. He was one of the few players in the history of the game capable of skating backwards as fast as many could forwards.
Cyclone Taylor could play every position well and he was asked to play every position often. The nickname "Cyclone" was first accorded this exciting figure by local reporters after a cartoonist with the Ottawa Journal depicted one of his cyclonic rushes in vivid detail.
37. Chris Chelios
Career Regular Season Stats: 1616 GP 185 G 763 A 948 P
Career Playoff Stats: 260 GP 31 G 113 A 144 P
Teams: Montreal Canadiens (1983-90), Chicago Black Hawks (1990-99), Detroit Red Wings (1999-09)
WCHA Second All-Star Team (1983)
NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1983)
NHL All-Rookie Team (1985)
NHL First All-Star Team (1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)
James Norris Memorial Trophy (1989, 1993, 1996)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1991, 1997)
Bud Light Plus/Minus Award (2002)
Canada Cup All-Star Team (1991)
World Cup All-Star Team (1996) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1985, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002)
Known as a workout "freak", Chelios keeps himself in top shape, enabling him to be able to continue to play at the old age of 48, an amazing feat in today's game.
Chelios was known as a rock solid defensive defensemen who was also one of the most physical players in the league. He could also chip in offensively and won three Norris Trophies.
36. Brad Park
Career Regular Season Stats: 1113 GP 213 G 683 A 896 P
Career Playoff Stats: 161 GP 35 G 90 A 125 P
Teams: New York Rangers (1968-76), Boston Bruins (1976-83), Detroit Red Wings (1983-85)
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1984)
First All-Star Team Defense (1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978)
Second All-Star Team Defense (1971, 1973)
Largely overshadowed by teammate Bobby Orr, Park is the best defensemen to have never won the Norris Trophy and he was a runner up six times. He had size and played aggressively, taking care of business in his own zone.
Offensively, he was a pinpoint passer and a deceptive stickhandler, abilities which made him a natural and potent power-play threat. He had the skating speed and the instincts to join the rush, providing his team with a fourth attacker.
35. Joe Sakic
Career Regular Season Stats: 1363 GP 623 G 1006 A 1629 P
Career Playoff Stats: 172 GP 84 G 104 A 188 P
Teams: Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche (1988-09)
WHL East Second All-Star Team (1987)
WHL East Rookie of the Year (1987)
WHL East Player of the Year (1987)
WHL East First All-Star Team (1988)
WHL Player of the Year (1988)
Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year (1988)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1996)
NHL First All-Star Team (2001, 2002, 2004)
Bud Light Plus/Minus Award (2001) (tied with Patrik Elias)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (2001)
Lester B. Pearson Award (2001)
Hart Memorial Trophy (2001) Olympic Tournament MVP (2002) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007)
One of the best pure snipers the game has seen, Sakic possessed a lethal wrist shot and insanely quick release. His penchant for scoring the big goal is evidenced by his record for most overtime goals.
Sakic was one of the most classiest players in the league and that is why it is even hard for me to see him leave the game despite being a Detroit Red Wings fan.
34. Viacheslav Fetisov
Career Regular Season Stats: 546 GP 36 G 192 A 228 P
Career Playoff Stats: 116 GP 2 G 26 A 28 P
Teams: New Jersey Devils (1989-95), Detroit Red Wings (1995-98)
Canada Cup All-Star Team (1987)
USSR First All-Star Team (1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
USSR Player of The Year (1982, 1986)
Viacheslav Fetisov formed one of the best defence pairings in hockey when he was teamed with Alexei Kasatonov with the Soviet National Team in the 1980s. The duo was part of the "Big Five" for the Soviets along with the KLM line of Vladimir Krutov, Sergei Makarov, and Igor Larionov.
Fetisov possessed exceptional mobility and instinctively knew when to pinch in from the blueline to create a scoring chance in the offensive zone. He was rock solid on defense.
33. Ken Dryden
Career Regular Season Stats: 258-57-74, 46 SO, 2.24 GAA
Career Playoff Stats: 80-32, 10 SO, 2.40 GAA
Teams: Montreal Canadiens (1970-79)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1972)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1971)
First All-Star Team Goalie (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)
Second All-Star Team Goalie (1972)
Vezina Trophy (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)
Surprisingly, Dryden was able to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP before he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He was a surprise call up with six games left in the season and he went on to lead the Canadiens to a Cup win.
Ken Dryden demonstrated brilliant technique as a goalie and an ability to win even in unfavorable situations - qualities acquired with experience.
32. Bryan Trottier
Career Regular Season Stats: 1279 GP 525 G 901 A 1425 P
Career Playoff Stats: 221 GP 71 G 113 A 184 P
Teams: New York Islanders (1975-90), Pittsburgh Penguins (1990-94)
Art Ross Trophy (1979)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1976)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1980)
First All-Star Team Centre (1978, 1979)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1979)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1989)
Second All-Star Team Centre (1982, 1984)
He was a defensively sound centerman with the vision and instincts of a pure scorer. He was the offensive leader of one of the greatest dynasty's in the history of sports.
Trottier, at his retirement, was the league's sixth-highest all-time scorer.
31. Newsy Lalonde
Career Regular Season Stats: 99 GP 124 G 41 A 165 P
Career Playoff Stats: 7 GP 15 G 4 A 19 P
Teams: Montreal Canadiens (1917-22), New York Rangers (1926)
Art Ross Trophy (1919, 1921)
The first true star in the NHL, Lalonde earned his nickname by working in a local newsprint plant as a youth. Lalonde was extremely fast and had great offensive instincts.
He was one of the first players to be inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 1950.