The NHL in the 1990s was by far one of the best times in the history of the league because not only did it provide some of the greatest players in the history of the game, but scoring was seen much more regularly. During that time period, numerous players scored over 60 goals EACH season, and that clearly is a rarity in today’s game. Because of this, many say that watching hockey in the past decades was far more enjoyable because it was an offence driven league. Today, it is apparent that numbers have dropped and that is in part due to the size of goalie equipment. It would be amazing to see players put up goal scoring numbers like Hall of Famers, Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky.
With all of that said, in this article, we will be looking at the best scorers of the 1990s and what they are currently doing today. Without much surprise, the majority of these players are still very active in the game and rightfully so. One even is still currently playing today. They were all some of the most important players in the game because they are what made the NHL such a popular league back in the past decades. The goal totals that these players put up in a single decade are more than the majority of NHL players today will put up by the time they retire. Expect to see some whacky goal totals!
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at the best goal scorers of the 90s and what they are up to post-retirement.
15 Theo Fleury
Theo Fleury was not only a magnificent goal scorer in the NHL during the 1990s, but he also played with a very tenacious edge. Although Fleury definitely was classified as a player on the smaller side by NHL standards, he consistently was active in the physical side of the game and often reached over 100 penalty minutes each season. He also was a scoring machine.
However, Fleury lost control over his life and was forced to retire prematurely after the 2001-2002 season, even though he was still a good player. Fleury suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction, so he needed to focus on his health. Since cleaning up, Fleury has written an autobiography about how he was abused numerous times during his childhood and now is actively involved in preventing it. He also has dabbled into music.
14 Pavel Bure
Not many NHL players were better at scoring goals than Pavel Bure during the 1990s, and had it not been for injuries he would have even more during his career. During the 90s, Bure played for the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. With those teams, he led both of them to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, but lost both times. Bure would never end up winning.
Bure still had a lot left in the tank during the next decade, but he was forced to retire prematurely because of knee problems. Soon after retiring, Bure quickly came back to the game and became president of the World Legends Hockey League. The league is world wide and players must be 45 years or older. Bure is even trying to get an American team into the league as well.
13 Peter Bondra
During the 1990s, Peter Bondra was one of the best pure snipers in the NHL and because of it was the face of the Washington Capitals’ franchise. Bondra spent the majority of his NHL career with the Capitals, but did briefly play for the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, and Atlanta Thrashers for one season each. In the 1990s, Bondra managed to score 337 goals for the Capitals and that is a huge accomplishment.
Although Peter Bondra never ended up winning a Stanley Cup in the NHL, his individual stats cannot be ignored because he truly was one of the bests in that era. After retiring from hockey in 2006-07, became a main representative for Colleseo USA, which is a Slovakian company that specializes in making custom video scoreboards. I guess Bondra loves scoring so much, he wanted to work on scoreboards.
12 Jaromir Jagr
Yes, Jaromir Jagr spent a huge chunk of his NHL career playing in the 1990s. During that time period, Jagr was one of the most important players, along with Mario Lemieux, on the Pittsburgh Penguins and led them to two Stanley Cups. Although Jagr has yet to win since then, the 90s truly were the best part of his career. Jagr was a scoring machine playing on Lemieux’s wing and it is easy to understand why.
This past offseason, Jagr became a free agent at the age of 45 and was desperately looking for a contract. After months of waiting, the Calgary Flames offered him a deal and the veteran accepted it instantly. Jagr is the only player that will be on this list that still is an active player today and for that, he should receive an abundance of praise for his skill and durability.
11 Teemu Selanne
Teemu Selanne is another player on this list that had a very long career and finally called it quits back in 2014. However, during the 1990s, Selanne was one of the best scorers in the NHL and his rookie season displayed that the best. In Selanne’s first year in the NHL, he set a rookie goal scoring record by tallying 76 goals. No one has come even close to matching that number and it is doubtful anyone ever will.
It was wonderful to see Selanne be part of the first Stanley Cup in the history of the Anaheim Ducks because besides short stints with the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, he was there for it all. With this and his spectacular career stats, Selanne was recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame with former teammate Paul Kariya. What a perfect storybook ending.
10 Alex Mogilny
Alex Mogilny is a very interesting case on this list because his goal totals per season in the 1990s varied immensely. His best season in the NHL came in 1992-93 when he scored 76 goals in 77 games for the Buffalo Sabres. Yet, injuries came into his career very quickly and he only scored 14 goals in 1998-1999 in just over 50 games. Yet when he was healthy, he was one of the best scorers.
Mogilny managed to string out his injury plagued career until the end of the 2005-2006 season when he spent time with the New Jersey Devils and their former AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats. After calling it quits, Mogilny decided to move back to Russia and today, he is currently the President of Amur Khabarovsk, a hockey team that is part of the KHL.
9 Steve Yzerman
Steve Yzerman was the main reason why the Detroit Red Wings won so many Stanley Cups over the 1990s-2000s era, and for that he will forever be loved in the city. During the 1990s, Yzerman was one of the best goal scorers in the league and was basically unstoppable when he was healthy. Even as a playmaker, he consistently scored a lot of goals.
Yzerman would play in the NHL until the 2004-2005 lockout and his loss took a big toll on the Red Wings because of his leadership. After retiring, Yzerman looked toward getting into management and in the process became general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now the Lightning are one of the league’s best teams and that is because of the way Yzerman has rebuilt them.
8 Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky is the best player to have ever played in the NHL, as previously stated, but people sometimes forget that he was an excellent goal scorer. Everyone mainly remembers Gretzky as the perfect playmaker, but for awhile Gretzky was a scoring machine. Gretzky is the all time leader in assists and points, but he also is for goals as well. I mean, he did score over 90 in one season.
Gretzky managed to play in the NHL for 20 years and finally retired after the 1998-1999 season. By the time his career finished, he was not necessarily a goal scorer, but he did manage to still put up decent numbers. Today, Gretzky is still involved with the Edmonton Oilers and is partner and vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group. He also operates a winery.
7 Cam Neely
Cam Neely is an interesting name on this list because even though he scored a lot of goal during the 90s, he had to retire after the 1995-1996 season due to a bad hip. When he did play, Neely was an absolute scoring machine. This was best shown when he scored 50 goals in less than 50 games during the 1993-1994 seasons. Neely was one of the best players in the NHL when he was able to stay healthy.
After trying to make a comeback during the 1998 preseason, it became clear that Neely could no longer play through the pain and officially decided to call it quits. Since then, Neely has been an active member of the Boston Bruins’ community and today, is the president of the club. Since becoming president, he helped lead the Bruins to their 2011 Stanley Cup championship.
6 Jeremy Roenick
During the 1990s, Jeremy Roenick was easily one of the best players in the NHL and the main reason why the Chicago Blackhawks had moderate success during that time period. Roenick was a hard nosed centre who had the ability to score clutch goals and that definitely is displayed by the fact that he managed to score 369 of them during that time period.
Jeremy Roenick still had decent success during the 2000s as well and managed to play in the league until 2009. After finally feeling the impact of the way he played the game, Roenick retired and quickly became a member of the NBC analyst team. Since then, Roenick has been actively involved in sports media and overall, has done a very successful job in the field.
5 Mario Lemieux
Mario Lemieux is the best player to have ever played in the NHL that is not named Wayne Gretzky. Lemieux was primarily a playmaker, but he also had the ability to score a lot of clutch goals. Due to his passing ability and intense shot, Lemieux flirted with 200 points in a season and he would have been only the second player to have ever reached that milestone. He also led the Penguins to two Stanley Cups.
Lemieux is a player that deserves a lot of respect because of his cancer battle and ability to return. Lemieux played until 2006 and finally retired because his body simply could not handle it anymore. Today, Lemieux is the president of the Pittsburgh Penguins and since becoming that, the team has won three Stanley Cups. Lemieux is a huge figure in the city of Pittsburgh.
4 Joe Sakic
Joe Sakic will forever be known as the primary captain of the Colorado Avalanche and that is because he is the main reason why they had the immense success they did. Sakic was one of the top players in the league because he was not only a very talented playmaker, but he surprisingly did score a lot of goals down the middle during the 90s. In fact, he managed to score 380 of them.
Sakic had the ability to carry his immense success in the 90s to the 2000s and led the Avalanche to a second Stanley Cup during the 2001 playoffs. Sakic retired after the 2008-2009 season and quickly moved into their management. Today, he is their Executive Vice President and it truly is a wonderful thing to see if you are a fan of Colorado.
3 Brendan Shanahan
Brendan Shanahan had such a storied NHL career, but the bulk of his success came in the 1990s. During that time period, Shanahan was one of the best snipers in the league, but he also made himself known as a power forward. Shanahan’s physical play is what truly helped him become the Hockey Hall of Famer he is today. He also managed to score 406 goals during the 90s alone.
Brendan Shanahan also was extremely talented during the 2000s and showed that he was a consistent player. Although he did not crack the same amount goals during that era, he was still very reliable and a top-6 player. After finally retiring, Shanahan became Director of Player Safety. Today, he is currently the president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
2 Luc Robitaille
Luc Robitaille is the all team leader in goals of all left wingers and the majority of his success as an NHL player was during the 1990s. Robitaille became the Los Angeles’ Kings number one superstar, which is why he is beloved by the city today. Robitaille would put up a total of 409 goals during this decade.
Robitaille would end his career with 557 goals and that is a huge accomplishment by the superstar. Robitaille played in the NHL until 2006 and ended his career right where it started in Los Angeles. Now that he is retired, Robitaille is currently the President of the Kings. Since becoming president there, he finally had the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup with his team twice.
1 Brett Hull
Out of all the players in the NHL during the 1990s, the best pure goal scorer was Brett Hull for a number of reasons. First, with the St. Louis Blues, Hull scored over 70 goals in three different seasons, including an 86 goal campaign. These are the most goals by a player in numerous seasons since Wayne Gretzky during the 1980s. Most importantly though, he scored an astonishing 536 goals in that decade.
Although he did not put up the same numbers during the 2000s, he was still an all star player up until the NHL lockout. He would end his career playing in six games for the Phoenix Coyotes, before calling it quits due to his old age. Today, Hull is still active in the hockey community. He was the Dallas Stars general manager for a handful of seasons. However, now he the executive vice president of the St. Louis Blues.