100 Greatest NHL Players

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In 2017, the National Hockey League commemorated its 100th anniversary with a list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.[1] The list was made through voting compiled by a panel of 58 people, including media members, NHL alumni and NHL executives.[2][3] The list is in alphabetical order rather than ranked.

The first 33, representing players who started NHL play anytime from 1917 to 1966, were unveiled during a pre-game ceremony at the NHL Centennial Classic outdoor game on January 1, 2017.[2] The remaining players, who started their NHL careers during the second 50 years, were announced on January 27, 2017, at a special NHL 100 Gala ceremony held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, two days before the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.[4]


The inclusions of Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews[3][5][6] and Patrick Kane,[3][5][6] all of them then-active players and three-time Stanley Cup champions, were considered controversial. Evgeni Malkin,[5][6][7] Ed Belfour,[5][7][8] Dale Hawerchuk,[5][7][8] Joe Thornton,[6][7] Jarome Iginla,[6][7] Zdeno Chara,[6][7] Pierre Pilote[6][7] and Michel Goulet[5][8] were considered to be notable players omitted from the list. Malkin responded to his omission by joking that he could be the 101st best player, and remarked that all who were featured on the list earned the honour.[9]


Of the players on the list, 39 are centremen, 21 are defencemen, 15 are goaltenders, 15 are right wingers and 10 are left wingers.[3] There are 21 players who started their NHL career in the decade of the 1980s, and 22 who last played in the NHL during the decade of the 2000s, the most by decade for each category. The player on the list with the shortest NHL career is goaltender Bill Durnan, who played for seven seasons – winning the Vezina Trophy and selected to the NHL First All-Star team in six of his seasons. The two players on the list with the longest NHL career, at 26 seasons each, are: right winger Gordie Howe, over a 33-year period, who retired for two seasons before returning to the World Hockey Association (WHA) for six seasons, closing with a final year in the NHL; and defenceman Chris Chelios, over a 27-year period, playing in the United Hockey League (UHL) during the cancelled 2004–05 NHL lockout season. At the time of the publication of the list, six players on it were still active in the NHL (Jaromir Jagr, Duncan Keith, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "100 Greatest NHL Players of All Time". NHL.com. January 27, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "League starts reveal of 100 Greatest NHL Players". NHL.com. January 1, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017. Every member of the panel voted for 100 players, with each vote worth one point. Voting was conducted last July and August and the results were tabulated by the accounting firm of EY ... The 58 members of the Blue Ribbon Panel represent a wide cross-section of the NHL family – including owners, executives, general managers and coaches, players, and broadcasters and media members
  3. ^ a b c d Greg Wyshynski, NHL reveals top 100 players of all-time, with some surprises, Yahoo! Sports
  4. ^ "Jon Hamm to Host NHL Gala Honoring Top 100 Players in League History (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Colin Fleming, Five In, Five Out: Who should have made the NHL's top-100 list?, Sports Illustrated
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Dave Lozo, EVGENI MALKIN'S TOP 100 SNUB IS A DAMN TRAVESTY Archived 2017-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, Vice Sports
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Greg Wyshynski, Who were biggest snubs of 100 Greatest NHL Players list?, Yahoo! Sports
  8. ^ a b c Helene Elliott and Curtis Zupke, NHL honors 100 greatest players ahead of All-Star game, Los Angeles Times
  9. ^ Crosby, Wes (February 6, 2017). "Evgeni Malkin returns to practice with Penguins". NHL.com. Retrieved September 18, 2021.