Sniper: A shooter, usually from a hidden position.
A sniper is what makes a hockey team complete. A player who can make plays, score goals, and save games is referred to as a sniper.
The NHL has had many great goal scorers throughout its history. Players like Theo Fleury, Pavel Bure, and Alexander Mogilny have had unbelievable season as snipers—but have failed to do it throughout their whole careers.
Some of the best snipers, in my opinion, are not always the ones who score goals, but the ones who make their teammates better.
Here are my top ten:
10. Mats Sundin
The leader of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise for so many years has had a Hall of Fame career. Sundin has made the Leafs contenders in the past with his size, play-makingm, and poise.
Sundin is the second-longest serving captain in the NHL, behind Colorado's Joe Sakic. The long time veteran has amassed 555 goals, with 766 assists in his illustrious NHL career.
9. Mike Bossy
The backbone of the New York Islanders' run of four consecutive Stanley Cups has thrilled NHL fans in the past with his scoring and leadership.
Bossy truly showed he could score with the best of them, tallying 53 goals in his rookie season. The Hall of Famer finished his career with 573.
8. Jari Kurri
Along with Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, Kurri helped lead the Edmonton Oilers to their domination of the NHL. Kurri impressed many with his speed, shot and accuracy of his passes.
Kurri was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 2001. He has a total of 601 goals in his career. Kurri was a key part in the five Stanley Cups won by the proud Edmonton Oilers franchise.
7. Bobby Hull
Hull had one of the hardest shots ever seen in the NHL. He terrified goalies around the league with the accuracy and power of his slapshot.
"The Golden Jet" used his hockey skills to help mentor his son Brett, who was not a bad hockey player himself. Bobby Hull finished his career with 610 goals.
6. Mario Lemieux
One of the greatest snipers of all time has beaten everything from hockey teams to cancer. Lemieux revitalized a once-laughable Pittsburgh Penguins franchise.
He has been dubbed "Super Mario" for his unbelievable play-making and leadership skills. Many feel he is responsible for mentoring Jaromir Jagr into a superstar.
5. Steve Yzerman
One of the greatest leaders in the NHL's long history brought the Detroit Red Wings to numerous deep playoff runs. Yzerman helped Brendan Shanahan truly become a superstar with his incredible leadership and passing.
Yzerman is the sixth all-time leading scorer in the NHL, with 692 goals.
4. Mark Messier
Messier has had success at everything from scoring goals to predicting results of playoff games.
Messier led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup victory. He also brought four Stanley Cups to the Oilers' franchise.
Messier was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, finishing his career with 694 goals.
3. Marcel Dionne
Dionne was one of the first true snipers of the NHL. He brought a new breed of talent to the league, with his flashy moves and ability to make defenders look silly.
Dionne set a record for most points scored by a rookie with 77, which has since been surpassed. The Quebec native was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the year 1992.
2. Gordie Howe
Howe was one of the first great leaders to grace the Red Wings franchise. He displayed a superb all-around game, filled with unmatched talent and unparalleled leadership.
The NHL Hall of Famer finished his fabulous NHL career with 801 goals. Howe has won six Hart trophies as the NHL's most valuable player.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Possibly the greatest player to ever be seen on ice. Gretzky brought everything from toughness and leadership to scoring and speed.
Gretzky is the all time leader in goals, with 894. The Hall of Famer won numerous Stanley Cups with the Oilers.
Gretzky is credited with popularizing hockey in the southern U.S. He is currently the coach of the up and coming Phoenix Coyotes.
All of these players are indeed incredibly-talented individuals who should never be forgotten. It is up to the younger snipers like Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuck, and Evgeni Malkin to keep the sniper role alive and well in the NHL for years to come.
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