2016 World Cup Of Hockey North America Vs Hockey Greats: Three Players to Know

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Hockey Greats: Three Players to Know

Ice hockey is a North American sport that originated from a similar European sport. Like American football and baseball, it took root in the new world and became more popular than its predecessor. The official birth of the game dates back to Montreal, Canada in 1875, where it was played on an ice rink the same size as the one used today. Over more than a century of competition, many titans of the game have risen and dominated to take their place in the pantheon of greats. These three titans stand out among all the other luminaries as the best to ever lace up a pair of skates.

Wayne Gretzky

You don’t get the nickname “the great one” for nothing. Wayne Gretzky is not the Michael Jordan of hockey, Michael Jordan is the Wayne Gretzky of basketball. He dominated his sport like few other athletes. Gretzky scored over 200 points (goals plus assists) in a single season in four separate years; no other player has done it even once. He won the Stanley Cup four times and was named MVP nine times. When he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, he instantly turned Southern California into a rabid fandom that sparked interest in the game in the early 1990s. He left with 61 National Hockey League records and still holds 60 nearly two decades later.

Gordie Howe

While Wayne Gretzky was a vocal supporter of fighting in hockey; Gordie Howe talked with his fists. When a player scores a goal, assists, and goes into battle, NHL fans call it a “Gordie Howe hat trick.” However, he and Gretzky were more alike than different. Howe is the only other player to break the 800 career goal mark. Howe’s toughness, grit and muscle epitomizes what Canadians love about their national winter sport. Gretzky broke most of the records he set, but Howe’s 26 seasons in the league still puts him ahead of all others.

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr may be the odd man out on this list as the only defenseman, but his style of play was just as valuable as the prolific scorers. He won three consecutive league MVP trophies and was no slouch as a scorer either. He changed the way defensemen attack on the power play and still holds the record for goals and points by a defenseman in a single season. He is also the only defenseman to ever lead the league in scoring during a season. Orr is best known for the “goal”, a give-and-go shot Orr hit home to give the Boston Bruins their first Stanley Cup. Even casual hockey fans are familiar with the photo of a horizontal and exuberant Orr flying through the air after scoring the biggest goal in Bruins history.

Future generations may take their place, but these legends will live on.

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