Ice hockey is a game which is played at a furious pace, and the puck is hit at very high speeds. Many Ice Hockey Leagues look for players who can run the puck at high speed and pay huge bucks to play for them. The game is thrilling as it is performed with a high competitive spirit which can sometimes lead to high drama. The fast pace, the thrills, and the excitement is what makes it very popular among spectators. Below is a list of top players who are among the best in the world and who spectators want to see them play.
Jacques Plante: Plante is a pioneer who ensured that goalies wear a face mask. All that started after he had to get 21 stitches on his face after being hit by a shot. As a lone goalie for the team, Plante had to resume playing after getting stretched as his team had nobody to police. But he later refused to take up the field unless he was allowed to wear a face mask. Apart from his rebellion, he was a goalkeeper par excellence and helped his team win the Stanley Cup 5 times in a row. Plante was awarded as the best goalie and the league’s MVP in 1962.
Terry Sawchuk: Another goalie in the list of top ice hockey players and perhaps considered as the best goalie in the game. He has helped his team win four Stanley and Vezina cups. Terry held the world record for the most number of stops in the game, till 2009 and also has 447 wins to his credit.
He played the game for 21 years, died at the age of 40 after a fight with one of the teammates in the drunken state turned deadly for him. He was reportedly suffering from depression, and while playing, he received close to 400 stitches on his face during his playing days.
Steve Yzerman: He is a leader who can transform an ordinary unit to an extraordinary team. The leadership qualities that he possessed help change the Dead wings team an excellent team. Yzerman is a captain who became the longest-serving in the history of NHL, and he also helped his team win three Stanley Cups and the last was won in the year 2002. He was a leader who was not as flamboyant as others but was respected for his leadership skills; he was also a player who could strike as well as defend. He was considered as the best allrounder for his team.
Bobby Orr: He was huge at 6’4” but was fast and powerful. He could carry the puck from one end to another. Even Scotty Bowman who is in the hall of fame coach states that Orr was the fastest he had ever seen. He could change an entire game on its head through his defense and carry the puck from his end to the opponents. As a defenseman, he won the scoring championship and changed the thinking of coaches. Later coaches thought of strategies that could use defensemen as attackers. He won the top defenseman Norris award for eight times continuously. He ended his career very early at the age of 30 due to knee injuries.
Wayne Gretzky: He is considered as the all-time best hands down. His deft touches and speed changed the way the game is played and is called as The Great one. Apart from that, he had an affinity towards breaking long-lasting records and scored 894 goals which spanned his entire career. He was awarded the most valuable player nine times and also helped the team win four Stanley Cups. He is deemed as a player who made ice hockey famous in the United States.