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Top 20 Brother Combinations in NHL History

When it comes to sets of brothers playing professional sports, the NHL leads the way with dozens of them competing in the league over the years. In fact, there have been all types of other family connections during the history of the league including fathers and sons, cousins, grandfathers and grandsons, great grandfathers and great grandsons, uncles and nephews, grand uncles and grand nephews, as well as in-laws. This list represents the top 25 brother combinations in the history of the NHL and consists of American, Canadian and European brothers. There are numerous defencemen and forwards on the list, but just one goaltender in Tony Esposito.

Oddly enough, some of the NHL’s very best players had brothers in the league, but they weren’t able to live up to the skill level of their more famous siblings. Some of the Hall of Famers who were joined by their less-talented brothers in the league were Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Howe, Mario Lemieux, Larry Robinson, Mark Messier, Eric Lindros, Sergei Fedorov, Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden. Since so many sets of brothers have played in the NHL it means some fine players didn’t make this list. There are numerous Hall of Famers included as well as Stanley Cup winners and these players represent all eras of NHL hockey.

Most of these players have retired, but there are a couple sets of brothers that are still playing, most notably the Staal’s and the Sedin’s. And speaking of the Sedin’s, they’re the only set of twins to make the list and they’re identical twins to boot. The combined point totals of the brothers didn’t come into effect. If combined point totals were the criteria then Wayne and Brent Gretzky would be listed along with Gordie and Vic Howe and Mark and Paul Messier etc. To be included among the top 25 brothers, each sibling must have been a good player in his own right. There are a couple of exceptions though where there are three brothers and one of them may have played for just a short time in the league.

20 The Plagers

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19 The Hatchers

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18 The Maloneys

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17 The Koivus

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16 The Courtnalls

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15 The Bures

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14 The Staals

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13 The Mullens

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12 The Cooks

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11 The Potvins

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10 The Bentleys

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9 The Niedermayers

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8 The Sedins

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7 The Mahovlichs

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6 The Hulls

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5 The Stastnys

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4 The Espositos

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3 The Richards

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2 The Conachers

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1 The Sutters

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The top spot has to go to the Sutter brothers of Viking, Alberta, just for sheer numbers alone as half a dozen of them played in the NHL with varying degrees of success. Ron, Rich, Duane, Darryl, Brian and Brent combined for close to 5,000 regular season games with six Stanley Cup victories to their name. There was at least one Sutter in the league for 24 straight seasons from 1976-77 to 2000-01 and all six of them played between 1982-83 and 1986-87. Another Sutter brother Gary decided not to pursue a career in the NHL, and the rest of his brothers claim he was the best player of them all. In total, the six Sutters played 4,994 regular season contests with 1,320 goals and 1,614 assists between them for 2,934 points. They also served 7,224 minutes in penalties and added 122 goals and 153 assists in the playoffs with another 1,170 penalty minutes. Three of their sons, Brett, Brandon and Brody are currently playing in the NHL and Lukas was drafted last year.

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Top 20 Brother Combinations in NHL History