Best All Time NHL Hockey Player

The hottest debate of all time has been over the question of who is the best all time NHL hockey player. Really gifted athletes, the ones grandfathers or fathers talk about, are those who change the sport that they play. Arguments have been going on for a century about who should be called the Greatest National Hockey League (NHL) Player -- Ever.

One of the best players in NHL history was defenseman Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins. He ruled the hockey defenseman scene from 1966 to 1979. Born on March 20, 1948, he is considered to be one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He played his entire career with the Boston Bruins, with the exception of two seasons on the Chicago Black Hawks. By 1978, after having had over a dozen knee surgeries, Orr was having trouble even walking, not to mention skating. He reluctantly informed the Blackhawks of his plan to retire. He played his last game in 1979. Orr won two Stanley Cup championships with the Bruins by beating the St. Louis Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals in four games and the New York Rangers in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals in six games, respectively, by scoring the clinching goals in both series. Orr was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP both years. Winning a record eight Norris Trophies as the league's best defenseman, Orr is often credited for revolutionizing his position. He remains the only defenseman to have won the league scoring title with two Art Ross Trophies and holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenseman.

Bobby Orr.
Bobby Orr hockey game. Thanks to for the picture. Source: MelvinSchlubman

But, we've got to go with Wayne Gretzky as the top hockey player in NHL history. He led his team to 4 Stanley Cup Championships and various other honors. Gretsky learned the sport of hockey from his dad Walter and by the age 6 was skating on the same team as 10 year-olds. At the young age of 10, he scored 378 goals in 85 games, and received his first press in an article in the Toronto Telegram (now the Toronto Sun). At 14, he was playing with 20 year-olds and signed with his first agent. Gretzky’s career spanned 20 years of which he played on four different teams that include the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. He won nine Hart Trophies as the NHL's most valuable player award. Gretsky is the record holder for most MVP awards of any player in American professional sports.

Wayne Gretzky New York Rangers action.
Wayne Gretzky New York Rangers action. Thanks to for the picture. Source: aoyan

These two players from different eras in hockey both share the same key characteristics. Their love of the game, their determination and drive and their spirit has created two of the greatest sportsmen in history. Either one of them could be argued as the best all time NHL hockey player. Both will always be heroes to future generations of young hockey players. We'll pick Gretzky as the best hockey player in history.

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