Monday

International Hockey's Greatest Players

Canada

Roger Bourbonnais - A Memorial Cup champion and a devoted Canadian National team member in the 1960s, Bourbonnais passed up a NHL career to become a successful Vancouver based lawyer.

Connie Broden - Canada's Connie Broden is the only player to win a World Championship and a Stanley Cup in the same season.

Sean Burke - No goalie in the modern era embraced Team Canada like Sean Burke did.

Frank Frederickson - Winnipeg Falcons Frank Frederickson led one of the most interesting lives of all hockey players.

Chris Fridfinnson - Chris Fridfinnson scored the gold medal winning goal in the first ever Olympic tournament back in 1920.

Wayne Gretzky - The Canada Cup was Wayne Gretzky's grandest show case. Is it possible that Wayne Gretzky is Canada's greatest player in international history, too?

Paul Henderson - A solid though ordinary player, Paul Henderson became forever a hockey immortal thanks to his 1972 Summit Series heroics

Mario Lemieux - One of the greatest figures in hockey history features two of Canada's greatest moments as his career bookends.

Eric Lindros - An Olympic gold and silver medalist, 2 time WJC gold medalist, and a Canada Cup champion before he played in the NHL, Eric Lindros embraced Team Canada like few others.

Barry MacKenzie - A Father Bauer devotee, Barry MacKenzie has spent his whole life in hockey.

Seth Martin - Trail Smoke Eater Seth Martin is a goaltending legend over in Russia and Europe, but he is practically unknown in his native Canada.

Mark Messier - While the Canada Cup was Wayne Gretzky's greatest show case, Mark Messier also dominated in 1984, 1987 and especially in 1991.

Harry Watson - "Moose" Watson is Canada's greatest Olympic scorer..

Czech Republic

Jiri Bubla - The father of Jiri Slegr, this legend from the 1970s Czechoslovakian powerhouse national teams joined the Canucks in 1981.

Jaroslav Drobny - Jaroslav Drobny was the top hockey player in Czechoslovakia in the 1940s. He was an even better tennis player, winning Wimbledon in 1954. By then, he had defected and was a citizen of Egypt.

Jiri Dudacek - Scotty Bowman was so high on this youngster that he used the 17th overall pick in the 1981 NHL Entry draft to select him. Dudacek never was released to play in North America

Miroslav Dvorak - One of the first Eastern European players allowed to leave for the NHL, Miroslav Dvorak fit in nicely on the Philadelphia Flyers blue line.

Vladimir Dzurilla - One of Slovakia's greatest hockey players, "Dzurilla the Gorilla" became a legend in Canada too, thanks to the 1976 Canada Cup

Dominik Hasek - Unconventional Dominik Hasek may be the greatest goalie of all time. His greatest achievement was backstopping his country to Olympic gold in 1998.

Milos Holan - Milos Holan's promising NHL career was cut short due to leukemia.

Jiri Holecek - Many in the know will tell you that it was Czech Jiri Holecek who was the best international goalie never to play in the NHL, not Russian Vladislav Tretiak.

Jaroslav Jirik - In 1970 Jaroslav Jirik became the first player trained behind the Iron Curtain to play in the National Hockey League..

Milan Novy - Perhaps the greatest hockey player in Czech hockey history, Novy's most famous goal came in the 1976 Canada Cup.

Robert Reichel - Robert Reichel may have been an average NHLer, but in the Czech Republic he is a hockey god.

Jan Suchy - During the 1960s Jan Suchy may have been the best defenseman in all of international hockey..

Vladimir Zabrodsky - Once the greatest Czech hockey player and a former Davis Cup tennis star, Vladimir Zabrodsky's hockey genius was shadowed by controversy..

Finland

Matti Hagman - In Finland the name Matti Hagman ranks amongst the greatest hockey players of all time.

Aarne Honkavaara - Aarne Honkavaara was the first lion of Finnish hockey.

Pekka Rautakallio - The man they called Rocky is one of the early great players from Finland. A smooth passing defenseman, Rautakallio was on his way to NHL stardom before taking his children home.

Germany

Karl Friesen - Winnipeg born goaltender became one of the top goaltenders in German hockey history.

Udo Kiessling - Udo Kiessling is the greatest German defenseman of all time.

Great Britain

Tony Hand - Scottish born Tony Hand set records that will never be broken. He briefly proved his worth in the Canadian junior leagues and at training camp with the Edmonton Oilers.

Hungary

Attila Ambrus - One of the worst goalies of all time, Attila Ambrus turned to robbing banks. "The Whiskey Robber" was a huge celebrity in Hungary at the height of his crime wave.

Italy

Mike Rosati - This Canadian born goalie only got a cup of coffee in the NHL, but he was a regular on Italy's national team in the 1990s.

Norway

Bjorne Skaare - Bjorn Skaare was the first Norwegian born and trained player in the National Hockey League.

Petter Thoresen - One of only four hockey players to play in 5 or more Olympic games, Petter Thoresen is a legend in Norway. His son is now embarking on an NHL career.

Poland

Wieslaw Jobczyk - During a game at the 1976 World Championships in Katowice, Poland, local hero Wieslaw Jobczyk scored a hat trick to lead Poland to one of the greatest upsets of all time!

Russia

Vyacheslav Anisin - Vyacheslav Anisin's big moment came in game 3 of the 1972 Summit Series..

Evgeny Belosheikin - He was Vladislav Tretiak's heir apparent in the Soviet goal crease. But alcohol and a strange drugging incident claimed not only his career, but his life.

Yuri Blinov - A talented but enigmatic player, Blinov almost stole Kharlamov's spot on the top line before 1972.

Vsevolod Bobrov - The original Russian Rocket was the first Soviet hockey superstar. He was often compared to Canada's Maurice "Rocket" Richard.

Nikolai Drozdetsky - Nikolai Drozdetsky was the next great Soviet star. He was named player of the year 1984, and was instrumental in the 1984 Olympics. But coach Viktor Tikhonov buried him.

Viacheslav Fetisov - Viacheslav Fetisov will always be remembered as a warrior - on the ice and off of it.

Anatoli Firsov - A star of Soviet hockey in the 1960s, Anatoli Firsov was Anatoli Tarasov's greatest disciple.

Edward Ivanov - Alexander Ragulin's versatile defensive partner in the 1960s, Ivanov was the only defenseman to be named the top forward in Olympic hockey history.

Viktor Khatulev - Viktor Khatulev was the first Soviet trained player drafted by the National Hockey League.

Vladimir Krutov - Forget about his failed NHL attempt. Vladimir Krutov was one of the best players of his generation anywhere in the world.

Viktor Kuzkin - Though he did not get the attention of Vitaly Davydov or Alexander Ragulin, there are those who will tell you Viktor Kuzkin was better than them.

Igor Larionov - "The Professor," the "Chessmaster of the ice," the "Russian Wayne Gretzky." However you describe Igor Larionov, he is most undoubtedly a hockey legend.

Sergei Makarov - Sergei Makarov may have been the best winger in all of hockey in the 1980s.

Boris Mikhailov - Centering Valeri Kharlamov and Vladimir Petrov, this Soviet national team captain was the heart and soul of arguably the greatest team ever assembled.

Victor Nechaev - Though it was only for 3 games, Victor Nechaev became the first Soviet trained player in NHL history in 1982.

Vladimir Petrov - Vladimir Petrov was the Soviet's #1 center in the 1970s, playing with wingers Boris Mikhailov and Valeri Kharlamov.

Sergei Priakhin - Sergei Priakhin was the first Soviet player given permission to play in the National Hockey League.

Alexander Ragulin - Big and strong, Alexander Ragulin personified the Russian bear..

Anatoli Semenov - Big and graceful, North Americans dubbed Anatoli Semenov as "the Russian Jean Beliveau.".

Nikolai Sologubov - With the possible exception of Viacheslav Fetisov, Russia's first great defensemen, Nikolai Sologubov, ranks as the greatest in the minds of many.

Vladislav Tretiak - Vladislav Tretiak is one of the greatest hockey heroes, not just in Russia but also in Canada and all around the world.

Slovakia

Ladislav Trojak - The first Slovak to represent the former Czechoslovakian National Team, Trojak remains a legend in Kosice. His mysterious death only adds to his legend.

Sweden

Anders Eldebrink - His NHL tenure may have been brief, but he still ranks as one of the top defensemen in the history of Swedish hockey.

Tumba Johansson - Even considering the likes of Borje Salming and Peter Forsberg, there is no more respected Swede than the man simply known as Tumba.

Mats Naslund - "Le Petit Viking" was a very popular member of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1980s.

Borje Salming - Borje Salming smoothed the way for all Europeans to be welcomed in the NHL.

Ulf Sterner - Ulf Sterner was the first European trained player to play in the National Hockey League.

Lennart "Lill-Strimma" Svedberg - Lennart Svedberg, universally known as "Lill-Strimma," was one of the top defensemen in the world in the 1960s. A car crash claimed his life at the age of 28.

Einar Svensson - This multi-sport star was the very first Swedish hockey goal scoring hero.

Switzerland

Paul Dipietro - This former Stanley Cup champ took up citizenship in Switzerland. He scored his 2 biggest goals against his native Canada at the Turin Olympics.

Pauli Jaks - The Swiss goaltending sensation of the 1991 World Junior Hockey Championships became a cult hero thanks to his amazing performance.

USA

Tony Amonte - Tony Amonte scored the dramatic winning goal in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Did America even notice?

Dave Christian - His father and two uncles competed in a total of 3 Olympics ahead of him. No wonder why long time NHL star Dave Christian considers his Olympic experience as his best memory.

Steve Janaszak - Jim Craig's backup for the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal USA team, Janaszak was the only competitor in any sport not participate in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Mark Johnson - Though Mike Eruzione and Jim Craig get most of the acclaim for the 1980 Miracle On Ice, the American's top player that year was Mark Johnson.

Ray Leblanc - For two weeks in 1992, Ray Leblanc became the talk of the hockey world. He caught fire as he unexpectedly led Team USA to their best Olympic showing since the Miracle on Ice in 1980.

Winthrop "Ding" Palmer - A 1932 Olympian and 1933 World Champion, Winthrop "Ding" Palmer remains the highest scoring player in Yale University hockey history.

David Quinn - A promising Olympic and NHL hopeful, David Quinn's career was derailed by the rare blood disorder "Christmas Disease."

Mike Richter - This saving grace may be the single most important player in USA Hockey history. He was the brick wall Team USA leaned on time and time again.

1 comment:

Jana Rejtharov√° said...

Interesting list of players, nice work but I have to point out - how could you leave out Jaromir Jagr? He is definitely a legend! Even now at the age of 40 he still remains a great player and the Czechs are very proud of him.

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