Throughout the history of the NHL, there have been players who just have a special something about them. When you head to the rink, that guy's number is on everybody's back. He hits the ice and the entire crowd goes nuts and can't take its eyes off of him. Everything he does is the right thing to do in the eyes of his fans.
He is the fan favorite.
Every team has one and some have become favorites of the entire league. Whether it be through gentlemanly conduct, outstanding play, charismatic interviews or the ability to drop the mitts, fans gravitate towards certain players.
Wayne Gretzky swept fans off their feet with his dazzling play and even temper. Mario Lemieux's resilience during his career had fans gushing over him. P.J. Stock could rock the old Fleet Center with a drop of the gloves and wave to the crowd.
Each guy on this list simply had what it takes to drive the crowd crazy in their own way.
I would like to especially encourage feedback on this piece. I was not around way back in the day to see some of the old greats play and get a feel for how they were perceived throughout the league. I did my best to include as many of them as I felt knowledgeable enough on to justify, but feel free to let me know who I left out or shouldn't have included. Enjoy!