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Top 50 Players of All-Time

Top 50 Players of All-Time

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.

IN THIS ISSUE

No. 48 Center Max Bentley

Max Bentley always said he felt worse than he looked. Trouble was, he looked like death warmed over. He was just 5-foot-8 and a grey pallor enveloped his sickly 140 pounds. “This is the first time I’ve seen a walking ghost,” Chicago Black Hawks’ general manager Bill Tobin once remarked after seeing Bentley in particularly gaunt form. In 1940, a year before Bentley landed in Chicago, the Montreal Canadiens, sure they had unearthed a star from the Saskatchewan soil, invited him to their training camp. The Canadiens’ doctor soon uncovered what he believed to be evidence of a bum heart. “This young man has a serious heart condition,” the attending physician told the newspapers. “My advice is that he should go home and never again play hockey. If he doesn’t take things easy,…

IN THIS ISSUE

No. 15 Center Howie Morenz

His story is so laden with myth, the man himself has long since been lost. How to appraise Howie Morenz, the man many believe died rather than stop playing for the Montreal Canadiens? Start with the fact that when he crumbled into the south boards of the Forum in late January, 1937, Morenz, 34, was the NHL’s all-time leading point-getter. Next, consider a goals-per-game average (.49) better than that of Gordie Howe, Frank Mahovlich and Jean Beliveau. Consider how journalists strained for new monikers-he was called the ‘Stratford Streak,’ the ‘Mitchell Meteor,’ the ‘Hurtling Habitant’-and weigh the words of those who saw him play and said his greatness would transcend any era. King Clancy, who first broke a sweat in the NHL in 1921, said Morenz was the best player he ever…

IN THIS ISSUE

No. 20 Right Winger Mike Bossy

It was always, with Mike Bossy, about magic. First, the wondrous apparition: time and time again Bossy seemed to materialize, unchecked, in scoring position with the puck on his stick. Then came the sleight of hand. “When he shoots,” said Al Arbour, Bossy’s coach with the New York Islanders for all but one season, “it doesn’t even look like he touches the puck.” Poof. Red light. Like magic. Every magician’s trick, of course, is fuelled by the assumptions. The audience can’t see or even feel the slight taper on a deck of cards or the false panel that frees the damsel long before she is cut in half. Bossy was the first rookie to score 50 goals. Five times he hit the 60 mark and his nine consecutive 50-goal seasons is an NHL standard. Bossy…

IN THIS ISSUE

No. 31 Left Winger Dickie Moore

Dickie Moore was the grit that made the polish gleam, the mortar obscured by the sheer grandeur of the Montreal Canadiens’ colossus. Never pressed to overcome a lack of talent, he struggled instead with the rigors inflicted on his body. As a boy he was hit by a car, nearly had his lip chewed off by a dog and broke both legs. His knee problems were considered so severe, they threatened to end his career in Montreal before it began. As a pro, he would play through a chronology of injuries, he broke his collar bone twice, tore cartilage in both knees and underwent several shoulder operations. Moore played with a broken wrist for the final three months of the season to win the first of two consecutive scoring titles in 1957-58…