They don't really have long lasting line combinations like they used to. There is just too much player movement nowadays. That's a shame, because there used to be some real dandies and hockey fans are missing out.
Let's reminisce about the top lines of the 1970s. Feel free to click on the various player names to learn more about each player.
#10 Craig Ramsay - Don Luce - Danny Gare, Buffalo Sabres - This line was the best second line in all of the NHL in the 1970s. They are the only second line in hockey to make this list.
#9 Vladimir Martinec - Jiri Novak - Bohuslav Stastny, Czechoslovakia national team/HC Pardubice - I never said the top ten 1970s lines of the NHL, now did I! Czechoslovakia had a good showing in the 1970s, despite Soviet dominance. They took the 1972 and 1976 World Championships, the 1976 Olympic silver medal and impressed with a second place finish in the inaugural Canada Cup. The Martinec, Novak, Stastny line was a big part of this success.
# 8 The Nitro Line Wayne Cashman - Phil Esposito - Ken Hodge, Boston Bruins - They would have placed much higher but they were broken up mid-decade. Esposito moved to New York where he played with Don Maloney and Don Murdoch - The Godfather and Two Dons Line.
#7 The GAG Line or Goal A Game Line Vic Hadfield - Jean Ratelle - Rod Gilbert, New York Rangers - Another great line that was broken up mid-decade, oddly enough because Jean Ratelle was traded for Phil Esposito.
#6 The Hanson Brothers - Dave Hanson - Jeff Carlson - Steve Carlson, Johnstown Chiefs - So what if they are fictional movie characters? They're more famous than most hockey players.
#5 The LCB Line - Bill Barber - Bobby Clarke - Reggie Leach, Philadelphia Flyers - Two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, had injuries not hit so hard they could have won again 1976.
#4 The Hot Line - Bobby Hull - Ulf Nilsson - Anders Hedberg, Winnipeg Jets (WHA) - The top line in WHA history. The Golden Jet teamed up with two of the earliest Swedish imports. Together all three put up incredible numbers.
#3 The Army Line Boris Mikhailov - Vladimir Petrov - Valeri Kharlamov, Soviet national team - They wowed us at the 1972 Summit Series and dominated the 1970s. They never had a chance to play in the NHL, but they were the top line of the 1970s.
#2 The French Connection - Rick Martin - Gilbert Perreault - Rene Robert, Buffalo Sabres - Led by crazy-legged Perreault, this was one of the most exciting lines ever.
#1 The Dynasty Line - Steve Shutt - Jacques Lemaire - Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens - Montreal was the top team in hockey in the 1970s and this was their top line. Pete Mahovlich also spent some time centering this line.
Please note - I purposefully left the NY Islanders' Trio Grande Line (Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy) and Los Angeles Kings' Triple Crown Line (Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne, and Dave Taylor) were not overlooked. Both lines played together in the late 1970s, but found most of their success in the 1980s.
Maybe I should do a top ten on lines from the 1980s. Well, there's always next Tuesday....