December 31, 2016

The Top 100 Hockey Players of the 1970s

Goon Hockey. Expansion era. Rival leagues and international battles. The 1970s were some of the most interesting and important times in hockey history.

Let's take a look at the top ten followed by the best of the rest.

1. Bobby Orr - Many will tell you he was the greatest player of all time.

2. Guy Lafleur - Every Lafleur goal was an event.

3. Phil Esposito - Led all players in scoring in the decade with 1087 points in 782 games

4. Vladislav Tretiak - One of hockey's most influential figures and most successful goalies.

5. Borje Salming - Hockey history's most important player?

6. Bobby Hull  - His defection to and excellence achieved in the WHA cemented his status of importance in hockey history.

6. Ken Dryden - 258 wins and and just 57 losses (with 74 ties). And six Stanley Cups, all in a short career of just 8 seasons Unbelievable!

7. Bobby Clarke - One of hockey's most intense competitors of all time

8. Valeri Kharlamov - Russia's all time hockey great

10. Darryl Sittler - Leafs' all time great's 10 point night will go down in hockey history forever

Fantastic Forwards 

Marcel Dionne - King of Kings

Gilbert Perreault - Hockey's greatest dangler

Jean Ratelle - All time great was tough but clean

Garry Unger - Playboy led all 1970s players in games played

Gordie Howe - Came out of retirement to play in WHA with his sons

Mark Howe - Mostly played forward in 1970s in the WHA

Dan Maloney - Power Forward before the term existed

Pete Mahovlich - Fun loving Little M never got the respect he deserved as a hockey great in his own right.

Jacques Lemaire - Montreal's cerebral tactician 

Rick Martin - Buffalo's power winger scored lots of goals

Butch Goring - Key Kings player before trade to the Islanders

Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg - Teamed with Bobby Hull in Winnipeg on one of hockey's all time great lines

Jean Pronovost - Underappreciated scorer outside of Pittsburgh

Bill Barber - Flyers great ruled with speed, skill, not brawn

Paul Henderson - Summit Series Hero

Syl Apps Jr. - Second generation great was a star in his own right

Walt Tkaczuk - Grinding two way center was heart of Rangers

Rick MacLeish - Another Flyers scoring weapon

Steve Shutt - 60 goal season from this top left winger

Andre Lacroix - WHA's all time leading scorer

Marc Tardif - Quebec's super sniper

Reggie Leach - Playoffs scoring hero

Danny Gare  - Another lethal scorer

Rene Robert - The third member of Buffalo's famed French Connection Line

Real Cloutier - Another of the WHA's high scorers

Vic Hadfield - Rangers' 50 goal man

Rod Gilbert - Still considered by many as the greatest Ranger of all time.

Soviet greats Alexander MaltsevBoris Mikhailov  and Alexander Yakushev

Czech defector Vaclav Nedomansky

Fantastic Blueliners

Brad Park - Forever in Bobby Orr's shadow

Larry Robinson - Became the prototypical NHL defender

Denis Potvin - 544 points in 498 games in the 1970s.

Guy Lapointe - One of Montreal's Big Three

Serge Savard - One of Scotty Bowman's all time favorites

J.C. Tremblay - WHA's all time leader from the blueline

Pat Stapleton - Starred in both WHA and NHL and at 1972 Summit Series

Rod Seiling  - Underrated Ranger

Keith Magnuson  - Straw that stirred the drink in Chicago

Jim Schoenfeld - One of the hardest working players of any era

Ian Turnbull - Goal Getter from the back end

Soviet stars Valeri Vasiliev and Alexander Ragulin and Czech legend Frantisek Popisil

Great Goalies

Tony Esposito - Tony O led all goalies with 304 regular season wins, almost 50 more than Ken Dryden

Bernie Parent - As big a reason as any for Philadelphia's back to back Stanley Cup championships in 1970s.

Gerry Cheevers - Should be remembered for more than just that unmistakable mask

Rogie Vachon - California 

Mike Palmateer - Toronto's Popcorn Kid was exciting puck stopper

Gilles Meloche  - He played with nothing but bad teams, but was actually a very good goalie

Dan Bouchard - Underrated goalie played strong hockey in Atlanta.

Suitcase Smith - Well travelled goalie had so many stories to share

Joe Daley - Winningest goalie in WHA history (167 wins)

Ron Grahame - Only two time Goalie of the Year winner in WHA

Jiri Holecek  - International experts will tell you this Czech was better than Tretiak.

Tough Guys of Hockey's Toughest Era

Dave "The Hammer" Schultz - The epitome of hockey's goon era. He was most penalized player of the decade with over 2200 PIMs

Tiger Williams - All heart, and he could play, too

Terry O'Reilly - Tazmanian Devil was truly a presence on the ice.

Jerry Korab - King Kong Korab

Moose Dupont - Don't you just love all the nicknames of the era?

Hound Dog Kelly and Battleship Kelly - Unrelated Bobs

Wayne Cashman - Great in the corners

Don't Forget!

Carol Vadnais - Fifth highest scoring defenseman in the 1970s.

Dick Redmond - Mickey's brother excelled on the blueline.

Lars-Erik Sjoberg - Quarterbacked mighty Winnipeg's blue line in the WHA

Ron Plumb - Won WHA Top Defenseman award in 1977.

Ron Stackhouse - Solid, long time NHL defenseman played more regular season games than any defenseman in 1970s.

Dave Burrows - Clean and efficient defensive dman

Dale Tallon - Teams could never really figure out if he was a forward or a defenseman.

Phil Russell - Another tough customer who could play the game

Dennis Hextall  - Could play it anyway you wanted it

Shakey Walton - Great skill, great stories

Pit Martin - Underrated Chicago centerman

Don Luce  - Defensive specialist

Craig Ramsay - Buffalo's other defensive great

Ivan Boldirev - Yugoslavia's most famous hockey player

Johnny Bucyk - Veteran posted big numbers in the 1970s

Ken Hodge - Had some nice years in Boston

Stan Mikita - 60s great excelled in 70s, too

Robbie Ftorek - Small but clever

Yvan Cournoyer - Road Runner was great influence on Montreal's 1970s dynasties

J.P. Parise - Exuberant and enthusiastic

Cliff Koroll - Underrated Hawks star

Derek Sanderson - Fizzled out, but his place in hockey history cemented early in this decade.

Jimmy Watson  - His brother Joe should be on this list too

Bryan Trottier - Exited decade as best two way center in the game

Lanny McDonald - Young Lanny was Toronto fan favorite

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bob Gainey and Don Marcotte deserve mention. Both were excellent two way forwards. They invented the Selke trophy for Gainey, he won the Conn Smythe and was on Team Canada for the 76 Canada Cup. That team might have been the best team assembled in the 70s.
Gainey was in Montreal and got complimented by the Soviets so everyone remembers him. But Marcotte was runner up for the Selke and almost as good as Gainey. One of the most underrated guys of that era.