The coronavirus has impacted almost every facet of life in recent days. With the NHL season in limbo at this point, hockey-starved fans have to find some creative ways to pass the time while stuck inside.
This idea came from a fun tweet from Sportsnet’s Eric Engels:
Name five hockey players who hooked/hook you to the sport.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) March 18, 2020
I'll go first:
1-Bobby Smith (my first fave)
2-Mario Lemieux (talent)
3-Peter Forsberg (the reverse hit+those passes)
4-Sidney Crosby (the work ethic-talent combo)
5-Elias Pettersson (how does he shoot that hard?)
This list is made up in no particular order; I’m just showing some love to some of the greatest to ever play the game of shooty-puck. And with that, the list begins.
#5: Gordie Howe
Not many people can play hockey and make such an impact to have a variation of a hat trick named after them. Oh, and Howe managed to play the game across five(!) different decades, which is nuts to think about. Howe won four Stanley Cups; made 23 NHL All-Star Game appearances; won six Hart and six Art Ross Trophies; and went 22 consecutive NHL seasons of scoring at least 23 goals. Mr. Hockey’s greatness is immortal.
#4: Bobby Orr
“Orr revolutionized the defenseman position.” That’s said every time his name is brought up in conversation. The thoughts of “what-if” also pop up when analyzing Orr’s career, having to retire prematurely due to injury. A two-time Stanley Cup winner and eight-time Norris Trophy winner, Orr’s contribution to the game is unmatched in regards to the influence he had on future defenders. And let’s not forget to mention the maddening season he had in 1969-70, culminating with “The Goal.”
#3: Sergei Fedorov
Gone were the days of “good ‘ol Canadian boys” running roughshod across the league. The NHL was entering a new era, defined by skill. They were finally embracing the play of European players. Enter Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov would win three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and finished his career by leading all Russian players in assists and points at time of retirement. If you haven’t already, while you’re quarantining, watch The Russian Five.
#2: Teemu Selanne
Full disclosure: I was born in 1998. I really started getting into hockey following the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win in 2009. Call me a bandwagoner or whatever, I don’t care. But in order to learn more about the game, I bought NHL 2K10 for the Xbox 360. And one of the first players I saw on the game was Teemu Selanne. I had no idea who this guy was other than knowing his name sounded cool. He wasn’t a spring chicken anymore, but I loved playing as him. Little did I know at the time that Finnish Flash had already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all-time. By the way, who scores 76 goals in their rookie NHL season?
#1: Alex Ovechkin
As a Penguins fan, I have no problem saying “The Great 8” is the greatest goalscorer I have ever watched, and will probably go down as the greatest goalscorer of all-time. It seems so simple, yet so deadly, just firing from the left circle all the time. But Ovechkin never stops tickling the twine. And after winning his first Stanley Cup in 2018 and partying like an absolute madman, there’s not much left for Ovi to accomplish. Except maybe Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record...
Keep the fun going and comment down below telling us who your top 5 non-Penguins players are!