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Greatest Player in the History of Each NHL Franchise

There isn’t much argument over who the greatest player is in the history of the NHL is. All-time points leader Wayne Gretzky earned the nickname, ‘The Great One,’ by dominating his era greater than any skater has done before or since. But, while nearly every educated hockey fan would concur that Gretzky is the greatest hockey player ever, Gordie Howe devotees with a disposition grumpier than the Detroit great aside, there are debates over who would be considered the best player in the history of each NHL organization.

This list will end those debates as our research has determined the best player from each organization. Each NHL team was painstakingly analyzed to determine which player had the greatest all-time influence on the organization. Regular season statistics played a big role in the decision, but like the typical thirst of NHL fans, more weight was given to playoff success and hoisting Stanley Cups than regular season numbers.

The following are the greatest singular players from every NHL organization:

30 Anaheim Ducks - Teemu Selanne 

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

29 Arizona Coyotes - Dale Hawerchuk

via gamewornauctions.net

28 Boston Bruins - Bobby Orr 

via dailydsports.com

27 Buffalo Sabres - Dominik Hasek 

via sports.yahoo.com

26 Calgary Flames = Al MacInnis 

via yardbarker.com

25 Carolina Hurricanes - Cam Ward 

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

24 Chicago Blackhawks - Bobby Hull 

via chicagotribune.com

23 Colorado Avalanche - Joe Sakic 

via de.wikipedia.org

22 Columbus Blue Jackets - Rick Nash 

via bluejacketsxtra.dispatch.com

21 Dallas Stars - Mike Modano 

via iconscup.com

20 Detroit Red Wings - Gordie Howe 

via dglsports.ca

19 Edmonton Oilers - Wayne Gretzky 

via espn.go.com

18 Florida Panthers - Roberto Luongo 

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

17 Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick 

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

16 Minnesota Wild - Mikko Koivu 

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

15 Montreal Canadiens - Maurice Richard 

via montrealgazette.com

14 Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne 

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

13 New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur 

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

12 New York Islanders - Mike Bossy 

via thescore.com

11 New York Rangers - Brian Leetch 

via firstenercastfinancial.com

10 Ottawa Senators - Daniel Alfredsson 

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

9 Philadelphia Flyers - Bobby Clarke 

via en.r8lst.com

8 Pittsburgh Penguins - Mario Lemieux 

via gamewornauctions.net

7 San Jose Sharks - Patrick Marleau 

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

6 St Louis Blues - Brett Hull 

via quotesgram.com

5 Tampa Bay Lightning - Vincent Lecavalier 

via en.wikipedia.org

4 Toronto Maple Leafs - Dave Keon 

via mapleleafshotstove.com

3 Vancouver Canucks - Pavel Bure 

via forum.canucks.com

2 Washington Capitals - Alex Ovechkin 

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1 Winnipeg Jets - Ilya Kovalchuk 

via en.wikipedia.org

The greatest player in the history of the Jets never played for them while they were in Winnipeg. Before the team moved North, the face of Atlanta hockey was Ilya Kovalchuk. Ilya Kovalchuk is the Jets' all-time leader in points (615), goals (328) and assists (287). Considering that the franchise has never won a playoff game, we can only really look at their regular season success, meaning Kovalchuk is an obvious choice.

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Greatest Player in the History of Each NHL Franchise