Canada is known for a lot of great things: Tim Horton’s, poutines, Celine Dion, maple syrup, Terry Fox and flawless bacon. But nothing else is quite as synonymous with Canada as its national pastime – hockey. A significant factor to Canada’s claim of being the powerhouse of hockey is the number of homegrown talent sent to the NHL. According to quanthockey.com, Canada boasts a staggering 69% of player nationalities in the NHL’s existence. Canada also has an extensive roster of homemade legendary players who just so happen to be among the greatest to ever play the game.
But what does it take to be the greatest? Surely it needs to be compared to something. As debates spark over whether Wayne or Gordie was better – we need to look at the other side of the puck too, you have to struggle through some rainstorms to appreciate the rainbow. Sprinkled in with the 20 best Canadian hockey players of all-time, will be the 20 worst Canadian hockey players of all-time.
Let’s preface something first; it’s not exactly fair to say that these players are bad. These athletes have all cracked an NHL roster which means they’re better hockey players than we ever will be (unless you’re reading this Wayne or Gordie). But in terms of NHL talent, we’re focusing on Canadian players who are/were consistently bad. We’re not including players who came up for a game, stank and then never returned. This list is highlighting players who had lengthy careers as bad players, which is still pretty impressive if you think about it. These guys were obviously fun in the locker room or always picked up the restaurant tab.
We’ve already published The 15 Worst Players In The NHL Today but for this list, we’re going bigger. Amidst the greatest Canadian born hockey players of all time, we’re tossing in those clunky moving, cement-filled skates of the worst Canadian born hockey players of all time.
40 Best - Scott Niedermayer
Scott Niedermayer was a smooth-skating, shutdown defenseman who boasts a hefty trophy shelf. He won three Stanley Cups with the Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003 before adding another championship with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He also won Olympic gold twice with Canada – in Salt Lake City in 2002 and in Vancouver in 2010. He won the Norris Trophy in 2004 awarded to the NHL’s best defenseman, the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007 as the MVP of the playoffs and appeared in five All-Star Games. The Alberta native appeared in 1,263 games; he netted 172 goals and tallied 740 points during an illustrious eighteen-year career. Niedermayer was the definition of consistency, a proven leader and excelled and both aspects of the game –he could do it all.
39 Worst – Jason Doig
Jason Doig was drafted 34th overall in 1995 to the Winnipeg Jets. A native of Montreal Quebec, Doig was a big, bulky blue-liner. He spent three years with the Jets/Coyotes franchise during which he scored 1 goal and amassed three assists. He was traded to the New York Rangers and spent two goalless years in the Big Apple before being dished off to Washington where he enjoyed a career high in goals (3) through 55 games. His breakout season was also his last when he popped two goals and tallied nine assists through 65 games with the 2003-04 Washington Capitals. Though he was never known for his offense, his defensive stats weren’t much more impressive sitting at a career -27. Poor Jason never really knew what he was Doig.
38 Best - Joe Sakic
Joe Sakic was the leader everyone aspired to be – on the ice and off. Amidst his two championships, his Olympic gold medal and remarkable career numbers, he’s most remembered for a handoff. In 2001, after winning his second Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, he gallantly handed the Cup to Ray Bourque who had never won one in a 22-year career. It could have been Sakic’s moment but instead he made it Bourque’s and that’s the type of leader Joe Sakic was. Sakic was no slouch either, the British Colombia boy sported one of the greatest wrist shots of all-time and his 625 goals in 1,378 games can attest to that. Sakic finished with 1,641 points in his 20-year career, all with the same Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche franchise.
37 37. Worst - Rick Jodzio
Rick Jodzio was a left-winger from Edmonton, Alberta who played in the NHL with the Colorado Rockies in 1977 and the Cleveland Barons in 1978. If the teams he played for were any indication for how his career would end up it would go as follows – it won’t last. The Rockies and Barons folded and Jodzio only found the back of the net twice in his career while chipping in with eight assists. He was never really a physical threat in his short career, only totaling 71 penalty minutes and was a -14 in total. Rick Jodzio is a name that is often often (and rightfully so) in the Canadian hockey conversation.
36 Best - Jacques Plante
Every time a hockey goalie in any fashion takes a puck off the mask, they should say a quick “”thank you” to Jacques Plante as he made wearing a goalie mask common. Plantes was more than just a protection innovator, he was also one of the first goaltenders to support defensemen by playing the puck. The Quebec native was the driving force behind the Canadiens’ domination throughout the 1950s and 1960s winning six Stanley Cups and seven Vezina Trophies. In 837 career games, Plantes won 437 of them. Jacques Plante is a legend of the ice in Canada and will always be remembered as a true originator.
35 Worst - Steve Kelly
With the 6th overall pick in the 1995 draft, the Edmonton Oilers took centreman Steve Kelly out of British Columbia. The Oilers passed on Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla and Jean-Sebastian Giguere for the likes of Kelly who only appeared in 27 games for the Oilers tallying a goal and a couple of assists. Kelly was traded to Tampa Bay where he netted three goals and totaled seven points in 58 games while skating at -24. He journeyed to New Jersey, Los Angeles and Minnesota where he summed up an 11 year-career with 149 games played and only 21 points to show for it. In the year 2000, Kelly played one game for the New Jersey Devils and was part of that roster that went on to win the Stanley Cup so, those 21 career points have translated into a championship ring. Not bad at all there Kelly.
34 Best - Steve Yzerman
Steve Yzerman is the epitome of what it means to wear the captain “C.” Winning was always his first priority and his “team first” mentality helped him become one of the most respected captains and hockey figures in the history of the game. Simply known as “The Captain” in Detroit, the British Columbia boy led the Red Wings to Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2002. "Stevie Y" spent his entire 22-year-career with the Red Wings while totaling 692 goals and 1,063 assists in 1,514 games. Yzerman was selected to 10 All-Star Games and won the Selke Trophy in 2000, awarded to a forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. In 2003, Yzerman took home the Bill Masterston Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. With his playing days behind him, he is still the leader – now as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
33 Worst - Brett Lindros
Brett Lindros was drafted by the New York Islanders 9th overall in 1994 and was immediately paralleled to his big brother, Eric. Brett sported a massive frame and a mammoth slapshot. He was fresh off a 24-goal campaign in 26 games with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs and was instantly hyped as being a star. He only appeared in two seasons in the NHL, totaling two goals and five assists while amassing 147 penalty minutes and a -14 rating. Eerily similar to what would eventually happen to his superstar brother, Brett dealt with a series of concussions and was forced into retirement at only twenty years of age.
32 Best - Maurice Richard
Maurice Richard was tough as nails. He had the ability to strike fear in his opponents and opposing goaltenders that made him the most exciting player of his era. During a time when 30 goals was an excellent season, “Rocket” Richard became the first player to score 50, scoring 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 campaign, a model of consistency and talent. Richard played his entire 17-year career with his hometown Montreal Canadiens, won eight Stanley Cups and finished with 544 goals and 421 assists in 978 games. Since 1999, the NHL awards the Maurice Richard Trophy to the league’s leading goal scorer – a tribute to the “Rocket’s” fierce competitiveness and talents.
31 Worst - Adam Pardy
If you’re best known in your career for being the player a drunken fan poured beer all over, you’re probably not excelling at your respective sport. And our next example fits this description pretty well.. The big Newfoundlander defenseman isn’t remembered for scoring four goals in 342 games, but for having his helmet removed by a fan during a game in Chicago and then doused in beer. Easily one of the best fan interaction moments in the history of the NHL, so at least he’s got that going for him. During an eight-year career. Pardy totaled 52 points and fumbled his way to 174 career giveaways. Last call Adam, Pardy’s over.
30 Best - Paul Coffey
Paul Coffey is regarded as the greatest-skating defenseman to ever hit the ice. He was also pretty good at nabbing points: he ranks second all-time among defenseman in goals with 396 and assists with 1,135. During the 1985-86 season, Coffey scored 48 goals (and added 90 helpers) which still stands as the most goals by a defenseman in a single season. As much as Paul excelled in the regular season, his playoff stats demonstrate his big-game attitude, a major factor in Coffey’s four championships. Coffey’s career 196 playoff points – 59 goals and 137 assists in 194 games – stand as the best of all-time amongst defensemen.
29 Worst - Jason Ward
Rewind to the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. The Montreal Canadiens hold the 11th overall pick and they leap over Brenden Morrow and Marian Hossa and draft a 6’2’’ right-winger out of Ontario in the likes of Jason Ward. During his four year, 105 game career with the Habs, Ward scored only 10 goals and tallied 20 points. Ward reached his career high with the New York Rangers in 2005-06, with 10 goals and 18 assists and then he never looked back. No wait, he did look back. He only found the net 16 more times in the next 3 years with the L.A. Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightning. His final slash line: 336 games, 36 goals, 81 points and a -29.
28 Best- Ray Bourque
Ray Bourque is arguable the best offensive defenseman the game has ever seen. Bourque is the NHL’s all-time leader with shots on goal having peppered 6,206 pucks on net. He won the Norris Trophy five time and played in a league leading 19 consecutive All-Star games, a legendary sample of consistency that won’t likely ever be broken. The Montreal native was a solid puck moving defenseman who spent 21 seasons with the Boston Bruins before asking to be traded in the hopes of winning a Stanley Cup. His hope became a reality when he won the Stanley Cup in his final season with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. In a 23-year career, number 77 appeared in 1,612 games, scored 410 goals, tallied 1,579 points and was a +528 rating.
27 Worst - Matt Higgins
Matt Higgins was a big forward from Alberta who scored plenty of times in the Canadian Hockey League and the Montreal Canadiens were excited to draft him 18th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft before Zdeno Chara and Daniel Briere. His first game in the NHL came in 1997 and nobody was worried when he came up empty in his only appearance of the year. The following year however, caused for concern when Higgins only potted one goal in 25 games. He was eased back into the 1999-2000 season and in another 25 games only recorded two helpers. In what would end up being his last season in the NHL, Higgins appeared in six games for the Habs in 2001 and failed to garner a single point. His professional hockey career ended on a high note when he scored 21 goals in 2010-11 for the Slovenian hockey club Hokejsko Drsalno Društvo Olimpija Ljubljana. That's a real team, look it up.
26 Best - Mike Bossy
If chronic back pain hadn’t ended Mike Bossy’s career prematurely, he could have given Wayne Gretzky some stiff company atop the NHL leaderboards. Bossy only played in 10 seasons in the bigs, all with the New York Islanders but his numbers were undeniably impressive and he cemented himself as the purest goal scorer of his decade. He scored 50+ goals in every season except his last and posted seven 100+ point seasons, six in succession. His playoffs numbers were equally striking as he netted 85 goals and added 75 helpers in 129 lifetime playoff games. Bossy was an eight time All-Star and won the Stanley Cup four times in his short career. Had he stayed healthy, the Montreal native would have added even more to his impressive short career. He finished with 573 goals and 553 assists in 752 career games.
25 Worst - Zac Rinaldo
You can be a scrappy, thuggish and yet talented hockey player. Or you can be Zac Rinaldo who’s only scrappy and thuggish. Rinaldo garnered a reputation of being one the dirtiest players in the NHL without the goal scoring ability to justify his reason for being in the league. The centreman was known for running his mouth and spent most of his career sitting in the penalty box, often leaving his team shorthanded with a total of 655 PIMs. He never scored more than three goals in a season and was never better than a -1. The native of Mississauga Ontario appeared in 275 career games with Philadelphia and Boston and finished with nine goals, 18 assists and was a -35.
24 Best - Larry Robinson
During the Montreal Canadiens’ reign of dominance in the 1970s, Larry “Big Bird” Robinson was a staple on the Habs’ blueline. At 6’4’’ and 225 pounds, Robinson was huge for his era, a physicality that he used to his advantage - he was a swift skater, a smart passer, a good shooter and a compact hitter. He currently boasts the best career plus/minus rating with an astounding +730. Robinson played 20 seasons in the NHL and the Ontarian won two Norris Trophies, appeared in six All-Star games and earned a Conn Smythe Tophy in 1977-78. The durable defenseman won six Stanley Cups and ended his career with 958 points in 1,384 games. Here’s to you Mr. Robinson.
23 Worst -Eric Boulton
Eric Boulton was an enforcer during a time the NHL didn’t need enforcers. Boulton, a native of Nova Scotia was a football player on skates – but not in a good way. Boulton was a 30 goal scorer. It just took him 15 years to total it. Throughout 654 lifetime games, Boulton only scored 31 goals and finished with 79 points and a hefty -38. He totaled 1,421 penalty minutes throughout his career and never averaged more than 9:29 on the ice (which is not the kind of time a superstar player is given). Seems like a waste of a roster spot for the Sabres, Thrashers, Devils and Islanders respectively.
22 Best - Henri Richard
Henri Richard was a magician; his stick might as well have been a wand for all the tricks he could do with it and he was the definition of a playmaker. Henri Richard didn’t have the astonishing goal scoring abilities as his big brother Maurice, but “Pocket Rocket” was one of the most determined captains to ever skate on the ice. Henri also played his entire career with his hometown Montreal Canadiens, finishing with 1,046 points in 1,256 games. Henri Richard holds an unfathomable record of winning 11 Stanley Cups. No player in North American professional sports has won more championships than Henri.
21 Worst - Carter Ashton
Though Carter Ashton sounds like the name of a boyband member, he was actually a first round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009. Ashton was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and that was the only team he played for during his 3-year NHL career. The 6’3’’, 215 pound Manitoban winger played in 54 games for the Leafs and recorded three assists in the 2013-14 season and they were his only points in his entire career. Carter was suspended for 20 games by the NHL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Perhaps Mr.Ashton was using illegal substances the wrong way because it had no effect on his game.
20 Best - Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy could be the most competitive goaltender to ever play the game; he was fierce and dominant and had an undeniable gift to shine at his best when it mattered the most and win at all costs. Patrick Roy took two offensively challenged Montreal Canadiens teams to the promise land and won them two championships almost singlehandedly. During the 1993 playoffs, Roy was unbelievable in guiding the Canadiens to ten consecutive sudden-death overtime wins. The Quebecker shaped the modern goaltending style by popularizing the butterfly style and even shaped the equipment goaltenders currently wear. He won four Stanley Cups, three Vezina Trophies, made six All-Star games and owns a 2.54 career goals against average and a .910 save percentage to go along with his 551 wins.
19 Worst - Ryan Reaves
Ryan Reaves is part of a dying breed in the current NHL. Grinders in today’s NHL aren’t just on the ice to bruise but to score as well. But when Ryan Reaves is on the ice, if he isn't there to bruise, he's there to… well, cruise. His career high came in the 2016-17 season where he netted seven goals and added six assists and endured 104 minutes in the penalty box. Throughout 419 games in his NHL lifetime, all with the St. Louis Blues, Reaves has 27 goals and 24 assists, he’s a -4 and averages eight minutes of ice time a game. Not too impactful from the big boy from Manitoba. But his style of play was bound to derail his career as it has been slowly phased out of the NHL.
18 Best - Sidney Crosby
In an era where scoring goals is so challenging, Sidney Crosby makes it look easy, and that’s while everyone on the ice is out to get him. He’s won everything in hockey; three Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, three Lester B. Pearson Awards, two Maurice Richard awards, two Conn Smyth trophies and two Olympic Gold medals, During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Crosby scored one of Canada’s most important goals, cementing the Gold Medal in overtime versus the United States. “Sid the Kid” is currently sixth on the all-time points per game leaderboard and as of this writing is still only 29 years old. Through 782 games, Sid has 382 goals, 645 assists and he’s still climbing, keep watching.
17 Worst - Steve Passmore
Had someone heard that Steve Passmore was a professional hockey player, they would expect him to lead the league in assists with a name like that. Unfortunately for Mr. Passmore, his surname better reflected the amounts of puck that crossed the goal line. And plenty did pass more; in a five-year career Steve never had a winning season. The Thunder Bay native split his time between the Oilers, Kings and Blackhawks and though he never established himself as a starting goaltender, he never really did as a backup either. He finished his 93 game career with 23 wins and 44 losses with a .895 save percentage to boot.
16 Best - Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur had ice in veins and owns just about every goaltending record there is in the NHL. Brodeur was such a good puck-handling goalie, he inspired the NHL to tweak a rule, limiting where a goalie could play the puck. He leads all NHL goalies in win (656), shutouts (119) playoff shutouts (24), most 40-win seasons (8), has the most saves in NHL history (27,312), most games played by a goalie (1,191) and even scored three goals to prove he could actually do it all. The Montreal native played for the New Jersey Devils for 21 years, winning them championships in 1995, 2000 and 2003. Brodeur made seven All-Star games and won the Vezina Trophy four times. He sports a 2.24 lifetime goals against average and a .912 save percentage.
15 Worst – Gary Laskoski
Gary Laskoski was handed the starting goalie job with the Los Angeles Kings in 1982 and it was a short-lived spectacle. Laskoski appeared in 46 games during his first year and somehow won 15 games despite posting a 4.56 goals against average and an .857 save percentage. His lackluster season demoted him to only 13 games the following season in which he only won 4. The Ottawa native’s production somehow got worse during his second year as he posted an .829 save percentage and a 4.96 GAA. He was sent to the minors in 1985 and never again saw time in the NHL. Gary Laskoski is now a forgotten part of Canadian hockey history.
14 Best – Mark Messier
When you have a leadership award named after you, it’s tough to argue the fact that you’re one of the best leaders the NHL has ever seen. Mark Messier is the only player in the NHL’s illustrious history to captain two different teams to a Stanley Cup championship. He currently sits third atop the all-time point leaders for a career with 1,887 and second all-time in playoff points with 295. Messier brought home two Hart Memorial Trophies, a Conn Smythe, two Lester B. Pearson Awards, appeared in fifteen All-Star Games and hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup six times. But amidst all that, the Alberta native’s best career achievement is his publicly guaranteed victory in Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference final. Messier scored a hat trick and propelled his New York Rangers to the finals, where they won the cup.
13 Worst - Brian McGrattan
Brian McGrattan was drafted relatively high for an enforcer when he went 104th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. The Ontario right-winger couldn’t hold on to the puck if it was glued to his stick. McGrattan was a clunky and slow skater who didn’t enforce as much as he did in the AHL. With his penalty minutes down and his offense non-existent it was unclear what McGrattan was trying to accomplish. He was an enforcer who didn’t enforce as much as he was supposed to and a right-winger who rarely appeared on the scoresheet. In 317 games, McGrattan scored only 10 times and was punished for 609 penalty minutes.
12 Best - Jean Beliveau
Jean Beliveau was the hockey player’s hockey player. He was talented, charming, elegant and universally loved. Born in Quebec, Beliveau played his entire twenty-year career with the Montreal Canadiens and is the greatest all-around player in the franchise’s deep and decorated history. Beliveau won the Stanley Cup ten times as a player and another seven as a member of the Canadiens’ front office; the name Jean Beliveau appears on the Stanley Cup an unprecedented seventeen times. He retired as the most respected and idolized player in the game’s history and consistently put up outstanding numbers - in 1,125 games for his career, Beliveau posted 507 goals and 712 assists.
11 Worst - Chris McAllister
It’s rare that a player who is 6’8’’ and 250 pounds will get overlooked. And whereas Chris McAllister didn’t get overlooked for his behemoth size, he may have for his talent. But come on, look how huge he is! The Saskatchewanian defenseman dressed up for five different teams in a six-year career and never recorded more than five points in a season. He gobbled up some penalty minutes, totaling 634 minutes in the box. He summed up his career in 2004, amassing four goals and 17 assists for his career with a -27 rating. McAllister enjoyed a post-NHL career in the United Kingdom where he challenged the Big Ben Tower as the tallest thing in the U.K.
10 Best - Bobby Hull
Nobody in Bobby Hull’s era skated faster or shot harder than “The Golden Jet.” Everything he did was electric; he had booming slap, was a prolific goal scorer, skated with precision and burst of speed and would play 40 minutes a game. He became the first player to score 50 goals more than once. The Ontarian split his time between the NHL and the World Hockey Association, playing professional hockey for 22 years. He won a Stanley Cup in 1961 with the Chicago Blackhawks and was an All-Star twelve times. In 1,063 games in the NHL, Bobby scored 610 goals and had 1,170 points.
9 Worst - Andre Racicot
It should first be noted that Andre Racicot has his name etched onto Lord Stanley’s Cup for eternity, so he’s got that going for him. He also has a fantastic nickname; dubbed “Red Light Racicot,” Andre was known for spending most of his career looking behind him. The goal light was so frequent while he was in nets, it’s a surprise he didn’t get a neck sunburn. In 68 career starts spanning five years, “Red Light” only won 26 games while posting a career .880 save percentage to go along with a 3.50 goals against average. Rather inflated numbers considering he was playing for a perennial championship contender in the Montreal Canadiens. The Quebec native left the NHL in 1994 and bounced around Europe and minor hockey before officially calling it quits as a player in 2004. Come on, you don’t have to put on the red light.
8 Best- Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux is the NHL’s most extreme example of the combination of size and talent. His graceful strides and exceptional hands made him the best one-on-one player the NHL has ever seen. Riddled by back pain, irregular heartbeats and cancer, “The Magnificent One” is still in the top 10 in NHL in every offensive category despite limited playing time. The Montrealer led his Pittsburgh Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships and was a nine time All-Star. Lemieux owns an extensive trophy shelf but his points per game are God-like: in 915 career games, Lemieux scored 690 goals, had 1,033 assists and finished with 1,723 points.
7 Worst - John Scott
John Scott may be the worst player to ever make an All-Star game. During the 2015-2016 season, the Internet decided to make John Scott an ironic All-Star and he collected enough votes to make the team. Though John Scott and his 6’8” frame was known mostly as being a goon, it’s somehow impressive that in 286 career games he only scored five goals and totaled 11 points, three goals coming in the same year in 2014-15. He finished his career with a -19 and spent 544 minutes in the penalty box. The Alberta native made the All-Star game as an online prank while tallying 1 point in 12 games. Can we stop giving the Internet so much control? Boaty McBoatface should have been enough, no?
6 Best - Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr could do everything. And then some. He was a pioneer for the sport and changed the way the game was played. Orr was a combination of speed, power, intelligence, grit and contained offensive brilliance we may never see again. Orr’s scoring touch was unrivaled in the sport and revolutionized the way the game is played for defensemen. Number Four won two Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins, made nine All-Star games and won the Norris Trophy an unbelievable nine times. In 657 career games, Bobby Orr put up 915 points. Truly magical. As brilliant as he was, his career was limited by injuries and it’s astronomical to think the numbers the Ontarian would put up had he stayed healthy.
5 Worst - Frazer McLaren
When you’re 6’5” and weigh 230 pounds people are going to notice you. Toss a pair of skates on you and you’re Frazer McLaren. Emerging from Winnipeg, McLaren enjoyed a successful junior career as an enforcer who could also find the back of the net. When he was upgraded to the NHL however, his occasional goal scoring touch had disappeared. Without his goal scoring ability, McLaren was just a clunky, slow skater. His ill-fated career started with the San Jose Sharks where he scored one lone goal in 40 games and dished off only five helpers. He was traded to the Maple Leafs and only found the net thrice to go along with a couple assists. His five-year-career is summed up with 102 games played and 11 points.
4 Best - Gordie Howe
When you’re this legendary, you are granted the nickname of “Mr.Hockey.” Gordie Howe scored at least 20 goals for 23 straight seasons, an unmatched sample of durability and consistency. During his last year in professional hockey, he scored 15 goals as a 51 year-old. Unreal. Howe hoisted the Stanley Cup four times and was an All-Star twenty-one times. You read that right – he made twenty-one All-Star games. Gordie is one of only two players in the history of the sport to score 800 or more goals. Howe is the all-time leader in games played having appeared in 1,767 games totaling 801 goals and 1,049 assists for a total of 1,850 points – 4th all-time.
3 Worst - Ken McAuley
During the war complicated 1943-44 season, the New York Rangers employed a man from Edmonton named Ken McAuley to guard their crease. McAuley played in 50 games during the season and lost 39 games while winning a grand total of 6. He also posted an unfortunate record that still stands today – a 6.24 goals against average. That wasn’t the only ink McAuley left in the NHL Record Book: On January 23rd 1944, McAuley was in goal during the most lopsided shutout in NHL history and allowed 15 straight goals in a 15-0 thumping. McAuley ended his two-year, 96 game career with a record of 17 wins and 64 losses and a 5.61 lifetime goals against average. Yikes.
2 Best - Wayne Gretzky
Fittingly known as “The Great One,” nobody will ever match his impossible, outrageous scoring numbers. Look at any scoring category whether it be single season or career, and Gretzky is there. Gretzky had an uncanny knowledge for the game while it was unfolding, he had slick hands and bursts of speed that were supreme. He scored at least 40 goals in his first 12 seasons in the NHL and among that streak he scored 91 goals, a single season record. When looking at the leaderboard for the most points recorded in a single season, Wayne Gretzky appears eight times out of the top ten. During a 19-year career, the Ontario native won four Stanley Cups, played in 1,487 games, scored 894 goals, had 1,963 assists and registered 2,857 points. He is the all-time leader in all three respective categories. Had Gretzky never scored a goal in his entire career, he’d still be the all-time leader in points. Nobody will ever be better than The Great One.
1 1.Worst – Bill Mikkelson
With the passing of each NHL season, you can bet that Bill Mikkelson hopes that someone has a truly dreadful season. The Manitoban defenseman currently holds an NHL record for a stat that nobody wants – the lowest plus/minus in a season and in a career. Mikkelson posted the infamous record in the 1972-73 season with the New York Islanders with an alarming -54. The record didn’t last long as a year later Mikkelson outdid himself by finishing his first season in Washington with a -82. Bill only played one game the following season and unfortunately wasn’t on the ice for enough goals in that one game to pull him out of his career minus -147. When your plus/minus starts looking like the temperature on Neptune, it’s not good.