In professional sports, winning a championship is considered a validation of one's talents, despite the fact there are hundreds of great players to never accomplish the feat. Yet, not only is it incredibly difficult to do so, the math just doesn't add up for all great players to win championship trophies. In the NHL, there is 30 - soon to be 31 - teams and at least one championship-worthy player on each of those teams, yet only one team can win. If an All-Star plays 20-plus years in the league, which is a rarity in itself, he still only has a 66 percent chance of winning a Stanley Cup, and that's assuming that every team in the league will have their turn at glory. In the NBA, All-Stars might be able to form super teams and take advantage of the system en route to a championship, but the NHL is different.
Ray Bourque, for example, just might be one of the five best defensemen to ever play the game, but it took him 21 seasons to win the Stanley Cup. You could argue the 2000-01 Colorado Avalanche team with which he won the Cup was an NHL version of a super team, but that team lost Peter Forsberg in the second round of the playoffs and got significant contributions from Ville Nieminen, Dan Hinote, and Chris Drury. That's what makes this quiz so interesting; most of these players are more than deserving of a championship, but can you correctly remember who actually has one?
Swedish center Peter Forsberg was drafted sixth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1991 NHL Draft, but was sent to the Quebec Nordiques as part of the package for first overall pick Eric Lindros, who wanted no part of playing in a French-speaking province. Lindros was great in Philadelphia, but the deal worked out tremendously for the Nordiques franchise. Forsberg, like Lindros, battled injuries late in his career, but he was an all-world player, playing 708 career games and recording 885 points. He's a three-time All-Star.
Auston Matthews might be loved in Toronto, but he has a ways to go before reaching Mats Sundin levels of fame in the Canadian city. The 6-foot-5 Swede played the first four seasons of his career with the Quebec Nordiques, but was dealt to the Maple Leafs in 1994 and went on to play 13 seasons with the team and became one of its greatest captains in team history. He retired in 2009 after playing 1,346 career games and recording 1,349 points.
You can easily make the argument that Patrick Roy is the greatest goaltender of all-time. At the very least, he's a top-five goaltender in a group that might include Jacques Plante, Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur, and Ken Dryden. Roy, a third round pick in the 1984 NHL Draft, won three Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender throughout his career as well as five William M. Jennings Trophies for having the best save percentage. He played 1,029 regular season games throughout his career and accumulated a record of 551-315-131 to go along with a goals against average of 2.54, which is especially impressive considering he played the first half of his career in a high-scoring era.
Fifty in '07 is a phrase that has become synonymous with Dany Heatley. Although his career went off track rather rapidly after leaving the San Jose Sharks in 2011, the German-born winger had an incredibly impressive start to his career in the league, particularly with the Ottawa Senators, where he scored 50 goals in back-to-back seasons and had at least 72 points in all four seasons with the team. He left Ottawa on rather unceremonious terms and went on to play for three more teams before playing in Germany in 2015-16.
Ottawa native Mike Gartner played for five teams throughout his 23-year NHL career and was recently ranked as one of the league's top 100 players of all-time. He was the fourth overall pick in the 1979 NHL Draft and spent much of the first half of his career with the Washington Capitals. Despite his longevity and overall success - he recorded at least 80 points in seven seasons - he failed to win any individual awards in the regular season. Gartner retired in 1998 after playing 1,432 career games and recording 1,335 points.
"The Russian Rocket" Pavel Bure was one of the most electrifying players in NHL history. Blessed with breakaway speed and an ability to dangle in a phone booth, Bure was simply a treat to watch. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, he spent much of his career with the Western Canadian team but also played for two others before his career was cut short due to knee injuries. It's a shame because he obviously still had a lot left in the tank; in fact, he scored 59 goals in his third-last season in the league and, in his final 51 games found the back of the net 31 times. To put that in perspective, only 26 players scored 30 goals in a full season last year.
The third overall pick in the 2000 NHL Draft, Marian Gaborik is another player who had breakaway speed and used it extensively while a member of the Minnesota Wild, helping the team gain relevance as an expansion franchise in the early 2000s. Gaborik was the team's first superstar and, despite being injured quite often, he recorded five 30-goal seasons for the defensive-minded team. He was first named to the NHL All-Star Game in 2003, his third season in the league, and showcased his impressive speed by winning the fastest skater event in the skills competition.
Dallas Stars winger Patrick Sharp was a third round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2001 NHL Draft and has since developed into a solid secondary scorer. He's never been a superstar player on a contending team, but he has been a complementary piece on a variety of championship-worthy teams. Because of that, he has only participated in one NHL All-Star Game (2011), but was named MVP of that game by scoring once and adding a pair of assists.
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Eric Staal is a big-bodied center in the mould of Joe Thornton, but with better goal-scoring ability and not quite the same playmaking talent. That said, the former second overall pick of the Carolina Hurricanes took the league by storm following the NHL lockout in 2004. As a rookie in 2003-04, he had just 31 points in 81 games, but due to the lockout was able to develop in the AHL the following season, where he had 77 points in 77 games. The next season, in Carolina, Staal reached the 100-point plateau for the first and only time in his career. Now with the Minnesota Wild, he has played 1,011 career games and registered 846 points.
Alexei Kovalev was a polarizing player during his career. Although he was supremely talented, he was often perceived as lazy and unwilling to get involved physically. One ugly incident in particular saw him try to sell a slash in a playoff game against Boston by falling to the ice and clutching his wrist, only to cough up the puck and have Boston's Glenn Murray score what was the game-winning goal. Still, you can't question Kovalev's love for the sport; he played 1,316 career games in the league and, at 44-years-old, played this past season in Switzerland.
Like most undersized players, it was a constant battle for Daniel Briere throughout the early stages of his career. Despite recording 92 points in 68 games in his first professional season with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, he was never really given much of a shot to thrive with the Phoenix Coyotes, even after recording a 60-point season. Briere went on to have an incredible career with the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and Colorado Avalanche. He was the All-Star Game MVP in 2007 after recording a five-point night.
Patrick Kane has a strong chance to become the best American forward to ever play the sport of hockey. The former first overall pick developed his game with the United States National Team Development Program and the OHL's London Knights, before rising to stardom with the Chicago Blackhawks and earning the "Showtime" moniker for his propensity to make big-time plays in big games. He's been near or above a point-per-game production level in almost all of his 10 seasons in the league and has accumulated 752 points in 740 games.
Drew Doughty has been an All-Star at every level he has played and with good reason. The Canadian defenseman is one of the three best blueliners in the game today, combining effortless skating ability with offensive instincts and a physical edge. The 27-year-old played in the NHL All-Star Game in each of the past three seasons and won his first James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's top defenseman last season. Through 688 career games, Doughty has 92 goals and 270 assists for 362 points.
Believe it or not, Mike Komisarek was once named to the starting lineup in the NHL All-Star Game. That's especially hard to believe if you watched Komisarek during his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but earlier in his career he was actually a solid defensemen, albeit not one deserving of All-Star status. However, Komisarek was voted in to the game by fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the team for which he was currently playing. The former seventh overall pick retired in 2014 after playing 551 career games and recording 81 points.
Speaking of players who should have never played in the All-Star Game. You could probably make the case that John Scott should never have even played in the NHL, but that's part of the reason why he was voted into the All-Star Game as fans turned the league's voting system into a mockery. Scott became sort of a folk hero when it was determined that the league was attempting to make sure he didn't play in the game, and he boosted his status even more by being named MVP of the game in somewhat of a redemption story. The goon played 286 career games in the league and scored just five goals.
Wayne Simmonds isn't the type of player you think of when you think All-Star, but the gritty forward has developed into a fine goal scorer in recent years and was named a first-time All-Star in 2017. Not only did he prove he belonged there, the Philadelphia Flyers forward took home MVP honors after a five-point performance for the Metropolitan Division. It was a well-deserved reward for the former Los Angeles King who has scored at least 28 goals in each of the past four seasons.
"The Finnish Flash" might just be one of the best nicknames in hockey and it's a fitting one for Teemu Selanne, who took the hockey world by storm in the 1992-93 season, when he scored 76 goals as a rookie for the Winnipeg Jets, breaking a rookie goal-scoring record that will only be broken again if they double the size of the nets. Selanne played 1,451 career games in the league for the Jets, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche. In addition to the Calder Trophy he received as the league's top rookie in 1993, he won the Rocket Richard Trophy in 1999 for leading the league in goals with 47.
Drafted by the Quebec Nordiques with the 15th overall pick in the 1987 NHL Draft, Joe Sakic is one of the game's all-time great talents and leaders. The British Columbia native is a former Colorado Avalanche captain who spent his entire career with the franchise and won multiple gold medals with the Canadian Olympic team. He played in 13 All-Star Games throughout his 20-year career in the league and recorded 1,641 points in 1,378 games. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2001 as the league's MVP.
Before the new age of American goaltenders which included prolific netminders like Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick, Mike Richter was the dominant American between the pipes. The former New York Rangers goaltender even had the Statue of Liberty painted on his red, white, and blue mask. He didn't just look good in the nets for the Rangers; in fact, he is one of only five goaltenders to have won the All-Star Game MVP, having done so in 1994 when he stopped 19 of 21 shots.
American defenseman Seth Jones was a first-time All-Star in 2017 and it was a deserving honor for the 22-year-old native of Arlington, Texas. Though he isn't the most flashy defenseman in the league, Jones plays a steady two-way game. However, he recorded a career-high 12 goals and 42 points during the 2016-17 season and was a major reason why the Columbus Blue Jackets had its best ever regular season. Expect Jones to play in many more All-Star Games before he hangs up the skates.
Named to 10 NHL All-Star Games, Steve Yzerman is one of the game's all-time great players and leaders, having recorded 1,755 points in 1,514 regular season games and 185 points in 196 playoff games. The native of Cranbrook, British Columbia was drafted third overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1983 and made his first All-Star appearance the following year as a rookie. He posted 87 points in 80 games that season, but was robbed of the Calder Trophy, which was awarded to goaltender Tom Barrasso.
Corpus Christi, Texas isn't exactly known for its ability to produce quality hockey players, but it happens to be the city which Hall of Famer Brian Leetch calls home. The ninth overall pick of the New York Rangers in 1986, Leetch spent the majority of his career in New York and played briefly for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. He's a two time recipient of the James Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman and played in 10 All-Star Games throughout his career.
Surely, the Dallas Stars weren't expecting Jarome Iginla to be as good as he was when the team dealt him to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk. The deal worked out well for the Stars as the team won a Stanley Cup, but Iginla soon became one of the league's premier goal-scoring power forwards; in fact, he led the league in goals twice and won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top point producer in 2001-02. "Iggy" has played for the Flames, Penguins, Bruins, Avalanche, and Kings throughout his 20-year career.
Vincent Lecavalier was one of the most hyped QMJHL draft prospects until Sidney Crosby when the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted him first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft. Touted as the sport's next greatest big-bodied center, Lecavalier took some time to develop into a star in the NHL, but for a short period of a few years, he was one of the best players in the league. His play tailed off rather quickly after leaving Tampa Bay for Philadelphia, but he still managed to record 949 points in 1,212 career games.
A former seventh overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets, Shane Doan is the prototypical good-but-not-great NHL star. He's a great leader and someone you would love to have on your team, but he's never been in the discussion as one of the best players in the league, or even in the top 20 for that matter. Nonetheless, Doan is a 40-year-old veteran of 1,540 career games and has recorded 972 points. The native of Alberta is a recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award and has played in two NHL All-Star Games throughout his career.
Martin Brodeur is the NHL's all-time leader in wins, having backstopped his teams to 691 victories throughout his 20-year career. Many question his status as one of the league's all-time best goaltenders as he often played behind an incredible defense in New Jersey, but you have to give the man credit for his consistency. Brodeur played in nine All-Star Games and won four Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender. He was also nominated for the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2003, 2004, and 2007.
Ray Bourque played 1,612 games throughout his career and amazingly recorded 1,579 points. Those are impressive numbers for a forward, but astonishing numbers for a defenseman, even one who played throughout the high-scoring 1980s. Bourque played the majority of his career with the Boston Bruins, where he was a captain and beloved leader, but was traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the 2000 trade deadline. A five-time winner of the James Norris Trophy, Bourque is best known for winning multiple shot accuracy titles at the All-Star Weekend skills competition.
Claude Giroux has come a long way in his career since the Philadelphia Flyers selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. Bobby Clarke, who as general manager of the team at the time, had to pause at the podium and ask for help in remembering who the Flyers were going to draft. Today, nobody would have trouble remembering his name as the nine-year veteran has recorded 575 points in 656 games and played in four All-Star Games.
"Jumbo" Joe Thornton might not be one of the best skaters in the league - in fact, he may be one of the slowest at 37-years-old - but for most of his career he has been lauded as the most talented set-up man. The numbers prove as much as Thornton has 1,007 assists in 1,446 games, but the greatest evidence of the claim is the fact that he helped Jonathan Cheechoo become a 50-goal scorer. Thornton played in six All-Star Games, including the 2009 Game, in which he was captain of the Western Conference team.
Slovakian native Marian Hossa is a great all-around player, but it's his goal-scoring ability that is his greatest asset. The former first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators became the 44th player in NHL history to score 500 career goals when he did so in an early-season game last year. He now has 525 goals in 1,309 games and appears to have enough left in the tank to play a few more seasons, perhaps allowing him to reach the 600 mark. Surprisingly, he has never won any major individual awards in the league, but he has played in five All-Star Games.
A 26-year-old center for the New York Islanders, John Tavares might be one of the most underrated players in the league simply based on the dysfunctional team for which he plays. The former first overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft was criticized about his skating ability early in his career, but he worked toward improving his stride and has since become one of the league's more explosive players. Tavares has 537 points in 587 career games and has played in multiple All-Star Games.
Steven Stamkos has suffered through unfortunate injuries in recent years, but the Markham, Ontario native, when healthy, is one of the best goal-scorers in this generation. The first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft led the league in goals in 2010 and 2012, the latter of which he scored a career-high 60 goals. He played in the Young Stars Game in 2009 and has since played in four All-Star Games. Stamkos has 321 goals and 261 assists in 586 career games.
Daniel Alfredsson was an absolute steal of a draft pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 1994 NHL Draft. The sixth-round selection won the Calder Memorial Trophy in the 1995-96 season after leading rookies in scoring with 61 points and he continued to improve, eventually becoming the captain of the Senators. The Swede retired following the 2013-14 season with 1,157 points in 1,246 games, putting himself into potential Hall of Fame discussions in the future. At the very least, he's the best player in Senators franchise history.
Many people remember Scott Stevens as the punishing blueliner with the New Jersey Devils whose hits would leave opponents dazed and confused - he famously knocked Eric Lindros out of a playoff game as The Big E was cutting through the center of the ice with his head down. However, Stevens was once a high-scoring blueliner with the Washington Capitals. In 1987-88, he recorded a career-high 72 points. The Hall of Fame defenseman finished his career with 908 points in 1,635 games.
An eighth overall pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1988 NHL Draft, Jeremy Roenick played 20 seasons in the NHL with the Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flyers, Kings, and Sharks. The often-controversial American forward was known for being a bit of a pest on the ice, but he was actually quite the offensive talent, having recorded three consecutive 100-point seasons with Chicago in the early 1990s. Now an analyst on NBC, Roenick retired following the 2008-09 season with 1,216 points in 1,363 games.
The current president of the Toronto Maple Leafs is in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player. Brendan Shanahan was drafted second overall by the New Jersey Devils in 1987 and went on to play 1,524 games in the league, recording 1,354 points. A goal-scoring left winger, Shanahan was a consistent producer who, despite his impressive point totals, never won a major individual award save for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for humanitarian contributions off the ice. He did, however, play in eight All-Star Games.
Geoff Sanderson doesn't fall into the John Scott category of players you wouldn't expect to have played in an All-Star Game, but the former Hartford Whaler was never quite among the league's top tier of skilled players. He had a very solid career, but, aside from one 89-point season, he failed to reach the 70-point mark in all 20 seasons he played. He did, however, manage to play in both the 1994 and 1997 All-Star Game. He retired following the 2007-08 season, which she spent with the Edmonton Oilers. He finished his career with 700 points in 1,104 games.
If it feels like Mark Recchi played in the NHL forever it's because it's almost true. The 67th overall pick in the 1988 draft made his NHL debut the following season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and didn't retire until the end of the 2010-11 season. A seven-time All-Star, Recchi played for the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lightning, and Bruins. The native of Kamloops, British Columbia is fifth all-time in games played with 1,652 and, in those games, he recorded a combined 1,533 points.
One of the most hyped draft prospects of all-time, Eric Lindros, otherwise known as "The Big E," was a revolutionary player in that he was a big, dominant, physical player who had an incredible goal-scoring touch. Drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques, Lindros never played a game for the team as he wanted no part of playing in a French-speaking city; instead, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers, where he spent most of his career. Unfortunately, concussion issues limited his career, but he still managed 865 points in 760 games and was recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
You know you're a good leader when there's an award for leadership named after you. That's the case with Mark Messier, who played on some very good teams throughout his career and stuck around in the league long enough to retire with the second most games played of all-time, just 11 shy of Gordie Howe's 1,767. "The Moose," as he was affectionately referred to, finished his career with 1,887 points in 1,756 games and played in 15 All-Star Games. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP in 1990 and 1992 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
A native of Czech Republic, Dominik Hasek is arguably the best goaltender in NHL history. During the height of his career with the Buffalo Sabres, "The Dominator" was was just that - a dominant goaltender whose strange flopping style seemed to confuse the opposition. Hasek's playing style was like nothing we had ever seen in the NHL and likely will never see again. Quite simply, he didn't really have a style, he just did whatever he had to do to get in front of the puck. Hasek played in five All-Star Games and won six Vezina Trophies as the league's top goaltender.
Ranked second behind Sergei Gonchar in all-time scoring for Russian-born defensemen, Sergei Zubov played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Dallas Stars throughout his 16-year NHL career and retired with 771 points in 1,068 games. He recorded a career-high 89 points as a member of the Rangers and went on to have eight 50-plus point seasons. Zubov played in four All-Star Games (1998, 1999, 2000, and 2008) and also won a gold medal with Russia at the 1992 Olympic Games.
Before Daniel and Henrik Sedin took over as the Swedish stars in Vancouver, that title belonged to Markus Naslund, who played with the team from 1995 to 2008 and served a lengthy stint as captain. The 16th overall pick in the 1991 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Naslund played parts of three seasons with the Penguins before being dealt to the Canucks. Upon leaving Vancouver, he spent one season with the New York Rangers. He played in five All-Star Games throughout his career and recorded a combined nine points.
Like a couple names on this quiz, Marco Sturm's isn't exactly one that rings out as an NHL All-Star. However, the German winger and former first round pick of the San Jose Sharks benefited from the World vs. North America format used at the 1999 All-Star Game. Sturm represented the World team in his only All-Star Game appearance. A consistent 20-goal scorer, he played for the Sharks, Bruins, Kings, Capitals, Canucks, and Panthers throughout his career and retired with 487 points in 938 games.
Arturs Irbe was a rarity in the NHL for a number of reasons. Primarily, the diminutive netminder had a distinct look with a full mask and neck protector. Secondly, Irbe was one of the only players in the league from Latvia. Despite his stature, he was a relatively decent goalie during his time in the league, playing 568 games between the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, and Carolina Hurricanes. He finished his career with a record of 218-236-79 and a goals against average of 2.83.
An undrafted defenseman, Brian Rafalski was one of the first new-age blueliners in the sense that, despite his size, he became valued for his skating and puck-moving ability. The former collegiate rearguard was an NHL All-Star in 2004 and 2007 and was likely worthy earlier in his career, but was passed over despite consistently recording 40-plus point seasons. Rafalski played 833 games in the league and recorded 515 points. A late-bloomer, he didn't make his NHL debut until he was 27-years-old after playing four seasons in Europe.
Goaltender Marty Turco starred for the University of Michigan - he holds the all-time NCAA wins record with 127 - in the early 1990s and was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL Draft. After two years of playing in the IHL, Turco worked his way to becoming a top goaltender in the league with the Stars and later had stints with the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. He's the Stars' franchise record holder in wins, shutouts, and games played, and has played in multiple All-Star Games.
A first overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft, Rick Nash is a one-time winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer - he shared the award with Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla in 2004 - and has played in six All-Star Games. The 32-year-old's production has greatly diminished in the past two seasons, but his overall career numbers are still fairly impressive as he has 416 goals and 355 assists in 989 games. He has some work to do if he hopes to score 500 goals.
Zdeno Chara might not be in the category of the game's greatest defensemen, but he's a unique player who has certainly been of tremendous value to the teams for which he has played. And, at 40-years-old, it's amazing that he continues to play and still be an effective blueliner. The 6-foot-9 blueliner, in his prime, was a beast in his own zone, but could also put up good numbers on the power-play - through 1,350 games, he has 604 points. He played in six All-Star Games and was a captain in 2012.
A former first round pick, Simon Gagne retired following the 2014-15 season after a brief stint with the Boston Bruins. The winger spent most of his 14-year career with the Philadelphia Flyers, but also had stints with Tampa Bay and Los Angeles. Though never really a dominant player, he did have a good goal-scoring touch and finished his career with 601 points in 822 games. Gagne played in the 2001 and 2007 All-Star Games and recorded a career-high 79 points during the 2005-06 regular season.