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The Great One voted Greatest NHL Player of All Time

The votes are in — and Canadians have spoken: forward Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky is the greatest NHL star in history.

Gretzky was the top vote-getter in an online poll conducted by Canada’s History Magazine to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NHL. The poll ran in conjunction with a special December-January issue of Canada’s History that featured top sportswriters recalling the best NHL games they ever covered.

The winners of the poll at each position were:

Top Forward
Wayne Gretzky — a four-time Stanley Cup champion — holds or shares 61 NHL records, including most career goals, assists and total points.

Top Defenseman
Bobby Orr — a two-time Stanley Cup champion — transformed his position with his offensive prowess. Sadly, his career was cut short in 1978 due to chronic knee injuries.

Top Goalie
Patrick Roy — a four-time Stanley Cup champion — won two cups with the Montreal Canadiens and two with the Colorado Avalanche.

Rounding out the rest of Canada's “dream team” were Gordie Howe, Sidney Crosby and Ray Bourque.

Wayne Gretzky trading cardGordie Howe trading cardSidney Crosby trading card
Bobby Orr trading cardRay Bourque trading card


Participants in the vote were entered in a sweepstakes for a hand-made replica of Jacque Plante’s 1974 goalie mask. The winner was Peter Cobill, of Richmond, ON.

The NHL will reveal its own list of the 100 greatest players in history on January 27, during the 2017 All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.


Read more stories about the early NHL

Montreal Maroons: Hockey's High Rollers Ryan Kessler explores the early days of the NHL with a series of online articles and podcast interviews.

Historic Hockey Highlights Here are five of Canada's historic hockey highlights, from the inaugural season of the NHL, to the Spanish Flu cancelling the Stanley Cup, to a baffling loss that Canadians didn't see coming.

Jean Béliveau: Hockey Legend Remembering a Montreal Canadiens icon.

Official Rules for “Greatest Players in NHL History” Sweepstakes

Prize Description:

The prize is one hand-made replica of Jacques Plante’s 1974 white fibreglass goalie mask (pictured above). Approximate value is $600.00 (Canadian).

Entry Information:

Submit your vote for the “Greatest Players in NHL History” and provide your name and email address at the end. Answers provided in this survey are strictly confidential. We ask for your name and email solely for the purpose of administrating this sweepstakes. If you do not wish to participate in the sweepstakes, you may vote and leave the contact information fields blank. You may also exit the vote at any time or opt out of questions.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. January 4, 2017.
  • The “Greatest Players in NHL History” sweepstakes is free to enter and open to all Canadian residents over 18 years of age, except those who are employees and immediate families of Canada’s National History Society, Kayak Magazine or Canada’s History Magazine. No purchase necessary. Winner will be required to answer a mathematical skill testing question. Noncompliance with any entry procedure will result in disqualification. Subject to all applicable laws. Void where prohibited.
  • Limit of one entry per person during the sweepstakes period. The prize is non-transferable and must be accepted as awarded. Some prize restrictions may apply.
  • The odds of winning depend on the number of entries received by the sweepstakes deadline. The winner will be selected on January 5, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (Central) in the offices of Canada’s History Society, by a random draw of all eligible entries received. The selected winner will be notified by email and must claim their prize within two days of being notified or a new winner will be drawn from all eligible entries.
  • Canada’s History and participating sponsors bear no liability arising or pursuant to, or as a result of the carrying out of the sweepstakes, including liability and from the acceptance of and participation in the prize as awarded and confirming compliance with sweepstakes rules.
  • Although Canada’s History may choose to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to promote its sweepstakes activities, this sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with the National Hockey League.
  • Entrants must consent to the use of their names, city of residence, for publicity purposes in all media carried out by Canada’s History, without payment or compensation. All online entries shall become the property of Canada’s History.
  • Should you wish to be removed from consideration for the “Greatest Players in NHL History” sweepstakes after submitting your survey, email Canada’s History or submit your request in writing to: “Greatest Players in NHL History”, Main Floor, Bryce Hall, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9.
  • The decision of Canada’s History is final on all matters of fact, interpretations, eligibility, procedure and fulfillment.
  • By entering this sweepstakes you acknowledge having read and accepted these rules.
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