Cover image for Hockey's greatest stars : legends and young lions
Hockey's greatest stars : legends and young lions
McDonell, Chris.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Firefly Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
190 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV848.5.A1 M27 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV848.5.A1 M27 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
GV848.5.A1 M27 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A fan's guide to the game's hottest players.

Hockey historian Chris McDonell celebrates the current and past professional hockey superstars.

The star players are arranged by the main hockey positions: centers, wingers, defensemen and goaltenders. For each position, he chooses the 15 greatest NHL players of all time plus the five best current players, from Jean Beliveau to Mats Sundin, Bobby Hull to Keith Tkachuk, Tim Horton to Scott Niedermayer and Jacques Plante to Martin Brodeur.

Fans will enjoy McDonell's lively commentary infused with insider tales of trades and off-ice antics. Each player's profile is illustrated with action-packed photographs from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Author Notes

Chris McDonell is also the author of For the Love of Hockey and Hockey All Stars , both published by Firefly Books.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

One of the better hockey books published in the last few years, this is divided into well-organized sections describing the great players at each of the great game's positions and a postscript with five young players who could join the greats. As with any "greatest" book, it will be the starting point for arguments about who was left out and who should have been omitted. Players are listed alphabetically, with no attempt to rank them within each position. The life and career of each player is summarized in several pages, and the color and black-and-white archival photographs are excellent. There are also career statistics for each player. This book should appeal to hockey fans of all ages, especially teenagers. Recommended for school and public libraries.--William O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-It is interesting to peruse this book as it takes a backward and forward look at the sport. It is split into four sections for the positions played. The first category looks at 15 centers who have distinguished themselves in that field, each highlighted on a double-page spread of photos, biographical sketches, career analyses, and statistics. McDonell includes stars such as Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito, Mario Lemieux, and Wayne Gretzky as well as young centers with enormous potential such as Peter Forsberg, Mike Modano, and Mats Sundin. The book goes on to feature wingers, defensemen, and goaltenders. An introduction explains the criteria for such selections. Each grouping includes a description of the specific demands of the position. An end section gives the statistics on the players. The full-color and archival black-and-white photos convey the excitement and speed of the sport.-Frances Reiher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction "I respected 'Rocket' Richard," Gordie Howe once said, "but I didn't like him. He was the man who led the way for the rest of us. He was my pacemaker -- first for career points, then for career goals." And so it follows that stars beget stars: from Richard to Howe to Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky to Mario Lemieux to Alex Ovechkin to Sidney Crosby -- the list is ever growing, and on it are the finest players to ever play the game. Hockey's Greatest Stars profiles the best of these players: the "legends" (the greatest players of all time) and the "young lions" (players who are prowling the NHL arenas -- all were born in 1984 or later). There were many worthy candidates, and it was an arduous task to establish the final selections. When it came down to it, looking at statistics and accumulated awards was instructive, but it was not enough. Statistics from different eras cannot be compared in a completely straightforward manner. A second assist was rarely given on goals during Charlie Conacher's career in the 1930s; Georges Vezina, who died in 1926 and for whom the NHL's best goaltender award is named, never played a game in which the rules permitted a netminder to hold or smother the puck. It is an oft-repeated maxim that the best players would star in any era; yet as Nels Stewart commented, even the renowned Howie Morenz would have had a difficult time in the NHL of the 1950s. Another important ingredient in the makeup of a great hockey player is his contribution to team success. "Steve Yzerman is the best example," said winger Brendan Shanahan about Yzerman's ability to transform himself from a prolific scorer to a shut-down centerman. "He's a guy whose image has gone back and forth so many times in the [Detroit] organization, and now he's considered one of the greatest captains to ever play. That's what winning does for all of us." Strong performance under playoff pressure lifted many into Hockey's Greatest Stars , although the lack of a Stanley Cup ring was never a reason for exclusion. "I have been able to maintain my scoring pace while guys like Guy Lafleur have tailed off," Marcel Dionne once remarked with a wistful smile. "I always get an extra two months of rest because we never make the playoffs." Among the legends in these pages are some who never hoisted the Cup. And goaltender Vladislav Tretiak didn't even compete in the NHL. Beyond choosing the players, I made no attempt to rank them. In the end, it came down to singular decisions -- this star or that? -- and the answers were never easy. Consistency and durability were given more weight than meteoric exploits for the legends' roster, less so for the young lions. Thus, a player such as 700-goalscorer Mike Gartner is included, while 1972 Team Canada hero Paul Henderson did not make the cut. Several other players might have joined Gartner in this book had they put in more years as consistently as he did -- winger Pavel Bure springs immediately to mind. Likewise, it was hard to exclude players such as left winger Luc Robitaille, the 171st overall in pick in the 1984 draft. Robitaille proved NHL scouts wrong for having left him waiting so long, as he won the Calder Trophy in 1987 and went on to score 668 career goals, the most by any left winger in NHL history. The results of these difficult decisions are now before you. After perusing the table of contents, try to put aside your own arguments for a while. The portraits offered here, in words and pictures, sketch talented, gritty and inspiring men who represent all that is wonderful and exciting about the fabulous sport of hockey. The game itself has its own charm, but the players bring it to life. As Gretzky observed at the 1999 All-Star Game, "One of the greatest parts of our game is the history. . . . There are some guys who don't get as much recognition as they deserve for getting hockey to the level it is today." From Morenz to Richard to Howe to Gretzky to the young lions of today, these vignettes, although arranged by position rather than in chronological order, collectively serve as a snapshot of all that is hockey -- past, present and future. Excerpted from Hockey's Greatest Stars: Legends and Young Lions by Chris McDonell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
The Centersp. 12
Top 15 Centers
Syl Appsp. 14
Jean Beliveaup. 16
Bobby Clarkep. 18
Marcel Dionnep. 20
Phil Espositop. 22
Wayne Gretzkyp. 24
Mario Lemieuxp. 26
Mark Messierp. 28
Stan Mikitap. 30
Howie Morenzp. 32
Henri Richardp. 34
Milt Schmidtp. 36
Nels Stewartp. 38
Bryan Trottierp. 40
Steve Yzermanp. 42
5 Young Centers
Peter Forsbergp. 44
Eric Lindrosp. 46
Mike Modanop. 48
Mats Sundinp. 50
Alexei Yashinp. 52
The Wingersp. 54
Top 15 Wingers
Mike Bossyp. 56
Johnny Bucykp. 58
Charlie Conacherp. 60
Mike Gartnerp. 62
Bernie Geoffrionp. 64
Gordie Howep. 66
Bobby Hullp. 68
Brett Hullp. 70
Jaromir Jagrp. 72
Jari Kurrip. 74
Guy Lafleurp. 76
Ted Lindsayp. 78
Frank Mahovlichp. 80
Dickie Moorep. 82
Maurice Richardp. 84
5 Young Wingers
Pavel Burep. 86
Paul Kariyap. 88
Zigmund Palffyp. 90
Teemu Selannep. 92
Keith Tkachukp. 94
The Defensemenp. 96
Top 15 Defensemen
Raymond Bourquep. 98
Chris Cheliosp. 100
King Clancyp. 102
Dit Clapperp. 104
Paul Coffeyp. 106
Doug Harveyp. 108
Tim Hortonp. 110
Red Kellyp. 112
Bobby Orrp. 114
Brad Parkp. 116
Pierre Pilotep. 118
Denis Potvinp. 120
Larry Robinsonp. 122
Serge Savardp. 124
Eddie Shorep. 126
5 Young Defensemen
Bryan Berardp. 128
Nicklas Lidstromp. 130
Scott Niedermayerp. 132
Sandis Ozolinshp. 134
Chris Prongerp. 136
The Goaltendersp. 138
Top 15 Goaltenders
Johnny Bowerp. 140
Frank Brimsekp. 142
Turk Brodap. 144
Ken Drydenp. 146
Bill Durnanp. 148
Grant Fuhrp. 150
Glenn Hallp. 152
Dominik Hasekp. 154
Bernie Parentp. 156
Jacques Plantep. 158
Patrick Royp. 160
Terry Sawchukp. 162
Billy Smithp. 164
Vladislav Tretiakp. 166
Gump Worsleyp. 168
5 Young Goaltenders
Martin Brodeurp. 170
Byron Dafoep. 172
Nikolai Khabibulinp. 174
Chris Osgoodp. 176
Felix Potvinp. 178
Statisticsp. 180
Bibliographyp. 186
Acknowledgmentsp. 187
Indexp. 188
Photo Creditsp. 190