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The Greatest Ice Hockey Athlete?

There is a discussion about the greatest ice hockey player ever, which considers skill as well as athletic ability. In a poll of the Greatest Ice Hockey Athlete of All Time conducted on the ESPN Sport Science website in 2013, the voting was based on the best athlete (not overall player) who has a combination of strength, speed, endurance, quickness, durability and the other attributes that make an athlete elite. See more about the ESPN Sport Science poll to determine the Greatest Athlete of All Time.

Nominees

Who is the greatest ice hockey athlete of all time?

  1. Wayne Gretzky — Gretzky was NHL's leading scorer a record 10 times, and NHL's Most Valuable Player a record nine times. He is the only player in NHL history to score 200 points in a season, which he did four times.
  2. Mario Lemieux — Lemieux is a three-time Hart Trophy winner, and six-time Art Ross Trophy winner. He scored 199 points in a season, beaten only by Gretzky. He was a 10-time All-Star and scored a total 1,723 points in his career, the seventh most in NHL history.
  3. Bobby Orr — the first and only defenseman in history to score nine hat tricks. He is also the only defenseman to be the league's leading scorer, which he did twice.
  4. Sidney Crosby — After only 4 full seasons, Crosby has the fourth highest points per game average (1.40) in NHL history. He is the youngest player to finish the league as top goal scorer at age 19.
  5. Gordie Howe — Howe won NHL's leading scorer and Most Valuable Player six times each. He is second in NHL history in goals scored. He retired at age 52 after playing 32 seasons in major league pro hockey.

And the winner was ...

Wayne Gretzky

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