Anytime you try and picture a certain NHL player, you get an image in your head of that player wearing a specific NHL team's jersey. When it comes to Hockey Hall of Fame players, it's exactly the same case. To give a few examples, Mario Lemieux will always be a Penguin, Martin Brodeur will always be Devil, and Steve Yzerman is forever a Red Wing. Although most of the players in the Hockey Hall of Fame had the majority of their success on one or maybe two different teams, there is usually at least one team on their resume that makes you say: "They played for them?" For the most part, these stints on random teams only lasted a single season, which makes it easy to forget that they ever played for that team in the first place. You might think that it would be hard to forget what teams a player played on, especially for a player who was good enough to make the Hall of Fame, but some of the entries on this list might surprise you.
Without further ado, here are 15 Hockey Hall of Fame players and the team's you forgot or maybe didn't even know they played for.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
15 Mike Modano - Detroit Red Wings
Mike Modano is one of the greatest American born players to ever play the game. He was the first overall draft selection of the 1998 NHL Entry by the Minnesota North Stars. He would go on to play an incredible twenty seasons with the franchise, four in Minnesota, and another sixteen when the team moved to Dallas. When he finally left the team, Modano led the Minnesota/Dallas franchise in most of the top statistical categories including games played and points. Perhaps bigger than any individual achievements, was when he helped the Stars capture their first Stanley Cup in 1999.
With his play in decline, Dallas decided not to resign Modano after the 2009-10 season. He mulled over retiring, but in the end he decided he wanted another chance at a Stanley Cup, so he signed with his home state Detroit Red Wings. The season was a very forgettable one for Modano, as he struggled, recording just 15 points in 40 games. Modano would have been better ending his career where it started with the Dallas franchise.
14 Grant Fuhr - Calgary Flames
Grant Fuhr established his place among the best goaltenders of all-time during his ten seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. While with the Oilers he played an integral role in them winning five Stanley Cups from 1984 to 1990. His best year came in 1987-88, when he led the league in minutes played and posted a career high forty wins. Fuhr was eventually traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1991. He would go to play for Buffalo, Los Angeles, and St.Louis. A couple of those stops were fairly forgettable, but nothing would be as forgettable as his final NHL season in Calgary.
Fuhr's numbers were already in decline when he decided to sign with the Flames in 1999. His lone season in Calgary was by far the worst of his career. He posted a dismal 5-13-2 record with a .856 save percentage. Following the season, Fuhr announced his retirement, as he clearly was no longer an NHL calibre goalie. It must of been weird for Edmonton fans to see an Oilers legend in Furh wear their rival Flames jersey. It all could of been avoided had Fuhr retired a year earlier like his beaten down body was probably telling him to.
13 Cam Neely - Vancouver Canucks
When it comes to best power forwards in NHL history, Cam Neely's name is right near the top. Neely is one of the most popular Boston Bruins players ever, having played ten seasons with the team. He was an elite goal scorer during his time with the Bruins. In 1993-94, Neely became the second fastest player in NHL history to score 50 goals, when did so in just 49 games. He went on to score 50-plus goals three different times with the Bruins. He probably would have had more 50 goal seasons had his career not been plagued with injuries. In the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, Neely only managed to play a combined 22 games due to injury. Neely's NHL career would be cut short due injury after the 1995-96 season.
When you think of Cam Neely, you only think of Boston, but he actually started his career as a Vancouver Canuck. He played three seasons with Vancouver, and did show some promise. However, the Canucks weren't too impressed and felt he was expendable. You can guarantee Vancouver quickly regretted that decision.
12 Ed Belfour - San Jose Sharks
Ed Belfour had a long and succesful NHL career as one of the best goalies of his generation. He first made a name for himself as a Chicago Blackhawk. He was the NHL's Rookie of the Year in 1991, and also led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final that same season. After playing parts of nine seasons in Chicago, Belfour would win the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999. He also had three great seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, before ending his NHL career with the Florida Panthers in 2007.
Belfour played an astounding 963 career NHL games, but thirteen of those games were played on a team that wasn't mentioned above. During the 1996-97 season, Belfour was having trouble negotiating a new contract with Chicago. The Blackhawks knew a deal wasn't going to be reached, so they traded Belfour to the San Jose Sharks. It's a good thing everyone forgets he played for San Jose, because he was horrendous during his brief stint with the Sharks. He posted by far the worst numbers of his career, including a terrible 3.41 GAA and a .884 save percentage.
11 Mats Sundin - Vancouver Canucks
Mats Sundin may have played his first four seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques, but he will always be remembered as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Sundin came over to Toronto in a 1994 trade that sent fan favourite Wendel Clark to the Nordiques. Sundin made the fans quickly forget Clark, as he led the Leafs in scoring in his very first season in Toronto. Sundin would go on to lead the Leafs in scoring in all but one of his thirteen seasons as a Leaf. Although Sundin was never able to lead the Leafs to Stanley Cup, he ended his tenor with the historic franchise as their all-time point leader.
Sundin's Maple Leaf career did not end without controversy. In the 2007-08 season, Toronto was nowhere near playoff contention. They wanted to trade Sundin to a contender, who would surely give up some promising prospects in return. However, Sundin refused to join a team in the middle of the season, so no trade ever occurred. Ironically Sundin would join the Vancouver Canucks in the middle of 2008-09 season, which put a sour taste in some Leafs fans mouths. Sundin's production as a Canuck was decent, but he was never able to capture the elusive Stanley Cup either. Strange as it is, Sundin would end up retiring as a Vancouver Canuck.
10 Dominik Hasek - Chicago Blackhawks
When you think of the "Dominator" you probably think of him playing for two teams, the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. This is for good reason as he had the best years of his career with the Sabres and Red Wings. Hasek made his debut with Buffalo in the 1992-93 season. By his second season he had already supplanted another future Hockey Hall of Famer in Grant Fuhr as the number one goalie on the Sabres. Hasek would go on to play nine seasons in Buffalo where he would be the most decorated NHL goalie of the 1990s. In total during his time with the Sabres, Hasek won six Vezina Trophies, two Lester B. Pearson Trophies, and two Hart Memorial Trophies. Hasek moved to Detroit for the 2001-02 season, where he would capture his first Stanley Cup. Hasek would have a one season stint in Ottawa, before finishing his NHL career in Detroit with another Stanley Cup win in 2008.
What most people forget is that Hasek was originally a tenth round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1983. He only played 25 games for the Blackhawks, before he was traded to the Sabres for Stephane Beauregard in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.
9 Guy Lafleur - New York Rangers
Not only was Guy Lafleur one of the greatest Montreal Canadiens of all-time, he was one greatest player in NHL history. Lafleur's first three seasons in Montreal were nothing to write home about, but his fourth in 1974-75, was a truly a breakout year. Lafleur recorded 53 goals and 119 points. He would eventually become the first player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons. He was also the fastest player at the time to reach the 1000 point mark, as he did so in just 720 games. Lafleur spent 14 years with the Canadiens and won the Stanley Cup on five different occasions. During the the 1984-85 season, Lafleur got off to a horrible start, recording just five points in 19 games. It was then, at the age off thirty-three, that he announced his retirement.
Lafleur was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, but he had not given up on a NHL comeback just yet. That same year Lafleur signed with the New York Rangers, where he would play just one season. Lafleur would retire from the NHL a second time in 1991 as a member of the Quebec Nordiques.
8 Ron Francis - Toronto Maple Leafs
Ron Francis is one of the most productive players in NHL history. He currently ranks fifth all-time in NHL career points with a remarkable 1798 points. His 1249 assists ranks second all-time, behind only "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky. Francis played an incredible 24 seasons with just three different franchises. He started his career with the Hartford Whalers in 1981-82 and almost instantly became their top player. In his ten seasons in Hartford, Francis averaged 1.15 points per game. Francis then went to Pittsburgh where he immediately won two Stanley Cups. He had the most productive years of his career as a Penguin, recording a career high 119 points during the 1995-96 season.
Francis would spend the last six seasons of his career with Carolina Hurricanes, making it back to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002. The Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to add a veteran player heading into the 2004 NHL playoffs, so they acquired Ron Francis from the Hurricanes. While Francis scored 10 points in 12 regular season games with the Leafs, he only recorded four points in 12 playoff games. Those would be the last NHL games for Francis, as he called it a career in 2005.
7 Brett Hull - Phoenix Coyotes
Brett Hull played for five different teams in his 19 season NHL career. Even though Brett was the son of the legendary Bobby Hull, he wasn't supposed to be anywhere near as good as his dad. However, by the end of his career he proved all his doubters wrong. Hull was drafted in the sixth round by the Calgary Flames in 1984. He showed promise in Calgary scoring 26 goals in just 52 games during his rookie season, but the Flames still traded him to the St. Louis Blues in 1988. While with the Blues, Hull would go to become one of the best goal scorers in NHL history. He scored 70-plus goals in three seasons with the Blues, including scoring an insane 86 goals during the 1990-91 season. After eleven seasons in St.Louis, Hull signed with the Stanley Cup contending Dallas Stars. He made the right decision by signing with Dallas, as he won the Stanley Cup in his very first season with the Stars. After three seasons in Dallas, Hull joined the Detroit Red Wings, where he won his second Stanley Cup in 2002.
Prior to the NHL heading into a lockout in 2004, Hull signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. While a great deal of NHL players went to Europe during the lockout, Hull did not play anywhere. When the NHL came out of the lockout in 2005, it was clear the "new" NHL was too fast for Hull. He only played five games with the Coyotes, before calling it career. To make it more embarrassing for Hull, the Coyotes actually un-retired his dad's number nine jersey just for Brett. You can say that was a big waste.
6 Jacques Plante - Edmonton Oilers
Jacques Plante is one of the most influential goaltenders in hockey history. He was famously the first goalie to ever wear a mask full-time. He was also the first goalie who played the puck behind the net, and the first goalie to raise his arm on an icing. While all those things are integral to the game today, Plante was more than just a pioneer, as he is considered one of the greatest goalies off all-time based on career stats alone. Plante was one of the many fantastic goalies during the Original Six Era of the NHL. He spent the majority of his career as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. He played a total of eleven seasons with the Canadiens and won an incredible six Stanley Cups. After leaving Montreal, Plante would play for the New York Rangers, St.Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs, before finishing his NHL career with the Boston Bruins in 1972-73.
Plante may have been done with the NHL, but he wasn't ready to give up the game just yet. At the age of 45, Plante came out of retirement to play for the WHA's Edmonton Oilers. Today, it is weird looking back on Plante in the Oilers colours, especially since his career was so tied to the Original Six Era.
5 Chris Chelios - Atlanta Thrashers
Chris Chelios played for four NHL teams during his insanely long 27 season career. Three of those teams were Original Six NHL franchises. Chelios started of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, where he played seven excellent seasons. He won the Norris Trophy as the leagues best defenseman in 1989-90. Not even a year after his trophy win, Chelios was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he arguably had the most success of his career. While with Chicago he would win another two Norris Trophies. In 1999 at the age of 37, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. You would think at his old age, he would have a few seasons left in him at best, but he would play another ten seasons with the Red Wings.
By the time his run with Detroit was over, Chelios was the rype old age of 48-years-old. Most players would have been long retired, but not Chelios. After playing in the minors, Chelios earned a spot with the Atlanta Thrashers. He would play just seven games with the team before finally calling it a career. It was strange seeing Chelios in a Thrashers uniform, especially since he had only played for historical franchises, unlike the barely decade old Atlanta team.
4 Terry Sawchuk - Los Angeles Kings
Terry Sawchuk is considered one of, if not the greatest goalie in NHL history. He made his NHL debut during the 1949-50 season with the Detroit Red Wings. He would go on to play thirteen seasons with the Red Wings over three separate stints. Sawchuk to this day holds many Detroit goaltending records, including games played (734), wins (351), and shutouts (85). Although he was never able to match the same success he had in Detroit, Sawchuk did have a great three season run with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sawchuk played an integral role in the Leafs winning their last Stanley Cup in 1967.
Besides playing for Detroit and Toronto, Sawchuk also had brief stints with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and the Los Angeles Kings. Yes, you heard that right, Sawchuk was actually the first player taken by the Kings in the 1967 Expansion Draft. His numbers weren't horrible in L.A, but the Hollywood lifestyle must of not been for him, as he left after just one forgetful season.
3 Bobby Hull - Hartford Whalers
Bobby Hull was one of the most dangerous goal scorers in NHL history. He was known for having one best slap shots in the game. That shot would net him over a combined 900 goals in the NHL and WHA. He spent 15 of his 16 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. He led the NHL in points on three different occasions with Chicago, and was a two-time Hart Trophy winner. He turned the Blackhawks from a struggling franchise to a perennial Stanley Cup contender.
In 1972, Hull made history by signing the first ever $1 million dollar contract with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets. Hull was an absolute force in the WHA. In the 1974-75 season he scored 77 goals, which was a then professional hockey record. Hull would stay with the Jest as they entered the NHL during 1979-80 season, but at that point injuries had caught up to him. He was eventually traded to the Hartford Whalers to play alongside another hockey legend in Gordie Howe. Hull only managed to play nine games with the Whalers before hanging up his skates for good.
2 2. Bobby Orr - Chicago Blackhawks
Bobby Orr may have only played 657 career NHL games, but he definitely made the most out of an injury shortened career. Orr started his career with the Boston Bruins in 1966-67, and was a very good, but not great player during his first few seasons. It wasn't until his fourth NHL season where he started to establish his legacy as the greatest defenseman to ever play the game. He changed the way defensemen played the game. Not only did he join the rush, he would go end-to-end scoring goals. In that breakout season of Orr's in 1969-70, he put up an incredible 120 points. He would go on to have six straight seasons of 100- plus points, including two seasons where he scored over 130. Unfortunately due to his knee problems, Orr would just play 10 games in final season as a Bruin in 1975-76.
In 1977, Orr believed the Bruins were no longer interested in him, so he signed a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. He only managed to play 26 games for Chicago, before having to call it a career. Orr should of ended his career in Boston, as his time in Chicago only put more ware on his already badly beaten knees.
1 Wayne Gretzky - St.Louis Blues
There isn't really much to say that hasn't already been said about " The Great One." Although he played in a totally different era, where scoring goals was a great deal easier, it's still hard to deny that Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player to ever play the game of hockey. He absolutely dominated during his ten seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and was the main reason the Oilers were able to capture four Stanley Cups during the 1980s. After he was traded to Los Angeles in 1988, it wasn't too long before he established himself as the greatest Kings player in history.
After eight seasons in Los Angeles, Gretzky was traded to the St.Louis Blues. The Blues were hoping he would have great chemistry with Brett Hull. Gretzky produced at over a point per game pace during his 31 games with the Blues, but they were not impressed enough to offer him a contract. Gretzky would eventually sign with the New York Rangers, before calling it a career after three seasons. Gretzky made the Oilers a dynasty, made hockey in California a legit thing, and famously retired in the Big Apple. He did absolutely nothing of note in his short time with the Blues.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!