Speed, finesse, raw strength: it takes every kind of skill imaginable just to survive the 60 minutes of brutal ballet they call hockey. Whoever said ice skating was for wimps clearly hasn’t been on the wrong end of a laser one-timer or a cross check to the chin. Whoever said big men couldn’t dance clearly hasn’t seen MacKinnon turn an entire special team inside out, or Crosby backhand a goal through his own legs.
There is a sport so intense that even the top players can’t last out there for more than a couple minutes at a time. Everyone at the top tier of professional hockey is basically a machine, so to be on this list – to be better than some of the best athletes of all time – you have to be more than great. You have to be godlike.
Some current players might come close. Ovechkin’s mounting a pretty serious assault on the all-time goal scorer’s list. Only four seasons in, McDavid has already got his eyes on the points prize. And Jumbo Joe just might outlast the entire league.
But even when the records fall, the guys on this list will still be on the top. These are the best NHL players of all time. These are the hockey gods and their incredible feats. Of course the Great One’s in here. But can you guess who else is?