Subway Top 6 NHL Combos
Wayne Gretzky – Jari Kurri
Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri dominated the NHL in the 1980's. Alongside the great one, Kurri would set the league record for goals scored by a right winger in one season with 71. The duo combined for 429 goals during their time in Edmonton. Like the best often do, Gretzky and Kurri elevated their play in the playoffs. Kurri’s 19 goals in the 1985 post-season tied Reggie Leach for the NHL record. Paired with Kurri, Gretzky would break his own assist record three times. The pair would be reunited in Los Angeles and help the Kings reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1993.
Mario Lemieux – Jaromir Jagr
Between 1981 and 2001, only three different players won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Two of those players, Lemieux and Jagr, played together for six of those seasons. While fans will always be left wondering how good the duo could have been had Lemieux stayed healthy and the pair could have played together longer, the time they did spend together on the ice can only be described in one word: magical. In their first two years together, Lemieux and Jagr won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. Over parts of six seasons together between 1990-91 and 1996-97, they combined for 1182 points, with Mario setting the table for the younger Jaromir to take the torch and run with it once Lemieux retired for the first time in 1997. Had Lemieux remained healthy and the two remained together long term, we might have been saying Mario and Jaromir were the greatest combo in NHL history.
Sidney Crosby – Evgeni Malkin
Few teams benefited more from the NHL lockout than the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins won the Sidney Crosby lottery in 2005 and altered the NHL landscape for the foreseeable future. Crosby was joined by Evgeni Malkin in the 2006-07 season. Malkin would score a goal in each of his first six NHL games – a record – on his way to winning the Calder Trophy. At age 19, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history in 2007. Incidentally, an injury to Crosby the following season would lead to the emergence of Malkin as an all-world talent. The Russian would finish second in the scoring race behind countryman Alex Ovechkin. After losing to the Red Wings in the 2008 Cup Final, the Penguins would get their revenge the next season. On the backs of Crosby and Malkin in 2009, Pittsburgh won their first Cup since Lemieux and Jagr led the Penguins in 1992. The duo combined for 67 points during the playoffs and Malkin took home the Conn Smythe award.
Brett Hull – Adam Oates
Every great scorer needs a great wingman, and The Golden Brett, Brett Hull, enjoyed his most prolific seasons in the NHL when paired with one of the great passers of his generation, Adam Oates, with the Blues in St. Louis. Hull finished his career as one of hockey’s all time snipers, with 741 career goals in 1269 games, or an average of 0.58 goals-per-game. But in 193 regular season games with Oates as his centreman, Hull scored an unbelievable 194 goals, including his 86-goal 1990-91 season, with Oates breaking the 100-point barrier in both full seasons the pair played together. The Blues failed to advance past the Norris Division Final in either of those two seasons, but Brett Hull and Adam Oates came together to put up numbers for the ages.
Jean Beliveau – Maurice Richard
It’s fitting that two of the most iconic players in NHL history played for one of the most storied franchises in professional sports. Beliveau would join Richard in Montreal after the Canadiens purchased the former's club team in 1953. Together, they would lead the Canadiens to five Stanley Cups. The duo combined for 152 points in the 1955-56 season – one that would end in a Championship for Les Glorieux. Beliveau won both the Art Ross and Hart trophies that year after recording 88 points. In 18 seasons in Montreal, Beliveau would win a remarkable 10 Stanley Cups. In the 1956-57 season, Richard and Beliveau scored 33 goals each, tying for the team lead. Injuries began to slow the Rocket down but those early years with Beliveau showed how dominant they could’ve been had their careers started at the same time.
Mike Bossy – Bryan Trottier
The word “dynasty” is thrown around too often and loosely in modern sports culture. The New York Islanders of the early 1980’s, however, were a team more than worthy of the term. With four straight Stanley Cup victories from 1980-1983, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many teams as dominant in the history of North American pro sports. And for 10 seasons between 1977-78 and 1986-87, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more prolific tandem than the Islanders boasted between Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy. During their 10 years together, Trottier scored 378 goals and added 657 assists in 758 games played. Bossy scored a ridiculous 573 goals in 752 games during that time. Both saved their best performances for the biggest moments, combining for 218 points over the four post-seasons that resulted in Islanders championships.