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Ranking the NHL's 100 Greatest Players: Nos. 60-41


Throughout the month of September, James Bisson and a cast of editors from theScore will share their rankings of the greatest players, teams, and moments in the 100-year history of the National Hockey League. Our final list focuses on the greatest players (Note: "All-Star" refers to end-of-season All-Star team voting and not to appearances in the All-Star Game):

100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 20-1

Voter List

  • James Bisson, National Sports Editor
  • Joe Ross, Vice-President, Content
  • Josh Wegman, NHL News Editor
  • Sean O'Leary, NHL News Editor
  • Esten McLaren, NHL News Editor
  • Craig Hagerman, NHL News Editor
  • Lanny Foster, Senior Social Media Editor
  • Michael Amato, Senior News Editor
  • Lucas Casaletto, News Editor
  • Arun Srinivasan, News Editor
  • Adam Sarson, Operations Lead

60. Scott Niedermayer

GP G A P +/- PIM
1263 172 568 740 167 784

Niedermayer, drafted by New Jersey with the pick acquired from Toronto for Tom Kurvers, was one of the catalysts for the Devils evolving into one of the top franchises of the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s. His 18 points during the 2003 run to the Cup led the league, and he finished with four Stanley Cup rings - three with the Devils and one with Anaheim.

59. Al MacInnis

GP G A P +/- PIM
1416 340 934 1274 373 1511

Known for having one of the scariest slapshots in NHL history, MacInnis was a consistently elite defenseman for the majority of his 23 seasons. He remains top-3 in Flames history in games played (803) and points (822), but didn't win his first Norris Trophy until he was a 35-year-old with the St. Louis Blues. MacInnis ranks third all-time in points among blueliners.

58. Sergei Fedorov

GP G A P +/- PIM
1248 483 696 1179 261 839

Fedorov burst onto the scene in the early 1990s, averaging better than a point per game in each of his first three seasons before erupting for 120 points en route to the Hart and Pearson awards. One of the top two-way players of his generation, Fedorov focused more on his defensive play later in his career, but still retired as one of the top-50 point scorers in NHL history.

57. Pat LaFontaine

GP G A P +/- PIM
865 468 545 1013 -4 552

Concussions robbed LaFontaine of a chance to finish among the top 20 scorers in league history. He was certainly headed in that direction, as he averaged 1.17 points per game for his career before being forced to retire at age 33. On his resume: an All-Star nod, a Masterton trophy, a 148-point season, and two top-five finishes in Hart Trophy voting.

56. Mats Sundin

GP G A P +/- PIM
1346 564 785 1349 73 1093

In addition to being the heart and soul of the Maple Leafs through some turbulent seasons in the 1990s and 2000s, Sundin was the most consistent scorer of his generation. The towering Swedish forward recorded between 72 and 83 points in 10 straight seasons, at least half of which came during the NHL's "dead-puck" era of the early 2000s.

55. Denis Savard

GP G A P +/- PIM
1196 377 719 1096 98 1005

The former No. 3 overall pick was an offensive superstar from the moment his skates hit NHL ice. Savard had five 100-point seasons - all in his first eight campaigns - while earning an All-Star nod and finishing in the top-5 in Hart Trophy voting twice. Savard's lone Stanley Cup came with Montreal in 1993.

54. Mike Modano

GP G A P +/- PIM
1499 561 813 1374 114 930

Modano, taken first overall by Minnesota in 1988, was a driving force in helping grow the sport in the state of Texas after the franchise moved to Dallas. He posted two 90-point seasons and recorded 80 or more points six other times, finishing second in the Calder Trophy race and making one All-Star team. He led the playoffs in assists en route to a Stanley Cup in 1999.

53. Jarome Iginla

GP G A P +/- PIM
1554 625 675 1300 30 1040

With Iginla settling into a bottom-six role in the twilight of his career, newer fans to the sport might not realize just how dominant he was in his prime. The Edmonton native is a two-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner, and he took home a scoring title in 2002 with 96 points. He's the top scorer in Flames history, and has been named to four All-Star teams.

52. Bernie Parent

608 271 198 121 2.55 54

While the 1970s belonged to Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens, Parent staked his claim as one of the best netminders of the decade with two amazing seasons. The Montreal native went 91-27-22 with a 1.96 GAA and 24 shutouts in the '73-'74 and '74-'75 campaigns, winning the Vezina Trophy both years while leading the Flyers to back-to-back Cups.

51. Joe Thornton

GP G A P +/- PIM
1446 384 1007 1391 206 1156

Thornton had just seven points as a rookie in 1997-98, but things got a lot better from there, as the bearded legend won a Hart Trophy in 2006 with 125 points and has led the league in assists on three different occasions. Thornton has four All-Star nominations under his belt, and his 160 postseason games played rank fifth among active skaters.

50. Brendan Shanahan

GP G A P +/- PIM
1524 656 698 1354 151 2489

The halfway point of our list features one of the best power forwards the league has ever seen. Shanahan is the only player in NHL history with more than 1,300 career points and 2,000 penalty minutes - and with scoring and fighting both down from his heyday, it'll be a party of one for a while. Shanahan was also a six-time 40-goal scorer and three-time All-Star.

49. Peter Stastny

GP G A P +/- PIM
977 450 789 1239 -12 824

Stastny is the epitome of an underappreciated forward, finishing a distant second to Wayne Gretzky in scoring in the 1980s. A Calder Trophy is the only major award Stastny won during his 15-year NHL career, despite breaking the 100-point barrier in each of his first six seasons and doing it again in 1987-88. Had he come to the NHL three years earlier, he might be a top-25 player.

48. Doug Gilmour

GP G A P +/- PIM
1474 450 964 1414 132 1301

It's stunning to think that Gilmour never made an end-of-season All-Star roster; after all, he had three 100-point seasons and finished his career ranked 14th on the all-time assists list. He won a Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989, came oh-so-close on two occasions with Toronto, and finished with 188 career postseason points, tied for the eighth-most all-time.

47. Brian Leetch

GP G A P +/- PIM
1205 247 781 1028 25 571

Leetch was one of the best defensemen in the league in his 20s, winning a pair of Norris Trophies while making five All-Star rosters and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Rangers ended a 54-year Cup drought in 1994. And while he didn't continue that success into his 30s, that nine-year span to open his career measures favorably against any defensemen of his generation.

46. Bobby Clarke

GP G A P +/- PIM
1144 358 852 1210 506 1453

Longevity is the only thing keeping Clarke from rocketing up this list. That said, winning three Hart Trophies in a four-year span is an incredible achievement for a player who wasn't taken until the second round of the 1969 draft. Clarke led the league in assists in back-to-back seasons in the 1970s, and was the key offensive piece of the Flyers' title teams in 1974 and '75.

45. Tony Esposito

886 423 306 151 2.92 76

It might not have been quite as prolific as George Hainsworth's debut, but what Esposito did in his first five NHL seasons is astonishing. The acrobatic netminder went 170-72-48 with a 2.16 GAA and 44 shutouts over that stretch, winning three Vezina Trophies and a Calder award, while finishing in the top-10 in Hart Trophy voting all five seasons. He made five All-Star teams in total.

44. Pavel Bure

GP G A P +/- PIM
702 437 342 779 42 484

Bure flashed brightly and then flickered out, leaving the league at 31 despite playing only 702 NHL games. His impact was immeasurable; the electrifying skater won three goal-scoring titles - including back-to-back crowns at the turn of the century - and was named to three All-Star rosters. His 31 playoff points nearly lifted Vancouver to its first Stanley Cup title in 1994.

43. Howie Morenz

GP G A P +/- PIM
550 271 201 472 -- 546

Morenz is one of the most respected players to ever suit up for the Canadiens, winning three Hart Trophies and leading the league in scoring twice. He didn't have the same impact in brief stints with Chicago and the Rangers, but his contributions for the Habs - including a 40-goal season in 1929-30 - were more than enough to land him in the Hall of Fame.

42. Gilbert Perreault

GP G A P +/- PIM
1191 512 814 1326 42 500

Perreault remains one of the biggest stars in Buffalo sports history, three decades after playing his final NHL game. The No. 1 overall pick in 1970 won the Calder Trophy with a 72-point showing in 1970-71, and he would go on to make a pair of All-Star teams while posting a career-best 113 points in 1975-76. He added 103 points in 90 career playoff games.

41. Luc Robitaille

GP G A P +/- PIM
1431 668 726 1394 +72 1177

Robitaille went from being a ninth-round pick in 1984 - major-league pitcher Tom Glavine was taken by the Kings five rounds earlier - to becoming the most prolific left-winger in NHL history. Robitaille was an All-Star in each of his first seven seasons, reaching the 50-goal plateau three times - including a career-best 63 in 1992-93. He won his only Cup with Detroit in 2002.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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