Canada is one of the eminent provinces that has produced the greatest NHL players of all time. To achieve the best points and make the perfect entry to big leagues, some of the European and U.S players even switched to Canada at the beginning of their careers. More than hundreds of players belonging to the field of Hockey represents Canada in international games. While you go on and read the below-mentioned article, don’t forget to jot down the staggering achievements of these legendary Canadian Ice Hockey players that have gifted the world with a truly inspiring spirit of enjoying and grasping the techniques of the game.
1. Wayne Gretzky
There is a solid reason why the world calls him “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky is the man who has revolutionized Ice Hockey with his impeccable skills both as a player and a manager. Particularly, his talent for approaching the game through superb reading and dodging body checks made him earn respect and admiration from the huge fan base from all around the world. He also achieved to win four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers (1984–85, 1987–88). Moreover, his overwhelming career brought him to win the prestigious NHL’s MVP nine times (1980–87, 1989). His contribution to popularizing the game in the U.S in 1988, turned Gretzky into an iconic global personality. In his captaincy, Team Canada won gold twice in the 2002 & 2010 Olympic Games and accomplished winning the 2004 World Cup.
Mario Lemieux, popularly known as the ‘Super Mario’, had an amazingly superb 17 years of career with his team, Pittsburgh Penguins. His career goals may not be as impressive as other legendary players. Still, his determination to achieve 690 career goals despite being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, unveils the other story of courage and inspiration. The 6 feet 4 inches tall and sharp Mario showcased his agility and greatest speed by winning two Stanley Cups (1991-1992). However, his health didn’t play well to his astonishing career; otherwise, the man could have broken records with such immense talent. One of the best Canadian players takes hold of Penguins climb when the team runs out of bankruptcy after two years of his retirement.
Gordie Howe was one of the dominant players of his era. Renowned as a worldly figure, “Mr. Hockey was and always remains the only player in NHL history who has scored more than 800 goals in his career. He has devoted his career to five major teams, including Detroit Red Wings, Houston Aeron, New England Whalers, Hartford Whalers and Detroit Vipers. While the world witnessed some of the crucial times from World War II to the Cold War, Howe was spinning his career, making a strong presence in 32 seasons of professional Hockey as part of the NHL and World Hockey Association. He retired with six MVP trophies and NHL record of 801 goals, 1049 assists, and 1850 total points, but it was later broken by none other than a follower of Howe’s legacy, Wayne Gretzky.
Known as Game’s Best Defenseman, Bobby Orr created an exemplary aura by perfecting the art of offensive defenseman! He career showed the thrilling journey of winning eight times James Norris Memorial Trophy (1968–75), two Stanley Cups (1970, 1972), Hart Memorial Trophy three times (1970-1972), NHL All-Star Game MVP in 1972, OHA First All-Star Team – 1964, 1965, 1966, Lester B. Pearson Award (1975), and much more. Bobby is considered one of the smartest and brilliant hockey players who could read the game with a different approach, just like Howe and Gretzky. In 2017 Orr was named by the National Hockey League as one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history. Bobby Orr is the man who has taken the defensemen theory in Hockey to the entirely new level.
When it comes to delivering leadership ethics, the first name pops into the brain of Steve Yzerman. A legendary captain for Red Wings has contributed to the greatest 1,300 matches wearing his jersey C. What he brought to Red Wings, is much more than magic! The team became five times President’s Trophy winner and attained Stanley Cups for three times. If we count his personal achievements, then Steve has earned what most of the players can’t even dream of in their career; he put up 1,755 points in 1,514 career NHL games and extra 185 points in 196 playoff games. One of the longest-serving captains in professional sports, Yzerman took team Canada into the position of winning Gold in 1984 Canada Cup, 2002 Olympics.
The home ground of the NHL has bestowed the world with the iconic players. In the given article, we have listed the top Canadian ice hockey players who have earned prestigious awards and titles throughout their careers. They become the inspiration to the generations to come into the sport.