Quotes on Hockey’s Greats

  • To play so well and for so long is simply incredible. No player will ever do the things in hockey that Gordie [Howe] did. – Wayne Gretzky
  • The finest athlete of them all, that’s what Gordie [Howe] is. And when I say athlete I’m talking about any sport. Take everything into consideration: his age, his record, his condition. There are some pretty good athletes around, great boxers, great football players, everything, but Gordie is in a league by himself. I’d be proud to be half the man on or off the ice that Gordie is. – Bobby Orr
  • On sheer ability, Mario [Lemieux] is good enough to win scoring titles with a broken stick. On pure talent, he’s the best there is. But Wayne [Gretzky] almost never disappoints you. He comes to work every night. – Bobby Orr
  • Gretzky would dominate in any era. It doesn’t make any difference. He may well be the smartest hockey player who ever played the game. – Phil Esposito
  • Gretzky is something else again… he strikes me as the first nondescript hockey star. Sometimes you don’t even realize he’s out there, watching as he whirls, until he emerges out of nowhere, finding open ice, and accelerating to a score… Gretzky is arguably the best player hockey has ever know. – Mordecai Richler
  • By far Gretzky is the most talented player ever. Every time he gets the puck something exciting happens. – Mike Milbury
  • He is hockey now. Although virtually every age of the game has had its pre-eminent players – Morenz, Richard, Howe, Hull, Orr – no one has ever transcended it as he has. – Peter Gzowski
  • I’m not sure Mario [Lemieux] is going to get the accolades he deserves, especially from outside the game. But from within, the players, the people who follow closely, realize exactly what he’s brought to the table, exactly what he has done… – Wayne Gretzky
  • He had talent for everything. How big he is, how he protects the puck, his hands, how smart he is on the ice, all the plays he made. He was always the smartest player on the ice…. With him, it’s easy. It’s just natural ability. – Vincent Lecavalier
  • No disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault…. But Mario [Lemieux] did things nobody else could ever do. – Bryan Trottier
  • The greatest hockey player who ever lived: Bobby Orr, and I love him. – Don Cherry
  • If I can be half the hockey player that Bobby Orr was, I’ll be happy. – Ray Bourque
  • There ought to be two leagues, one for the pros and one for Beliveau. – Dollard St. Laurent
  • I may not be the hockey player Jean Beliveau was, but some day I hope to be the man he is – Guy Lafleur
  • From the blue line in, I never saw a player as exciting as [Maurice] Richard. When he had the goalie beat, he finished it off, and you had no chance to recover. – Emile Francis
  • Rocket [Maurice Richard] had that mean look in every game we played. He was 100 percent hockey. He could hate with the best of them. – Gordie Howe
  • He could shoot harder than anybody I see nowadays. When he’d wind up behind the net he wasn’t number 7, he was number 777, just a blur. – Roy Worters


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