Today was an important day for hockey fans, more specifically Arizona Coyotes’ fans. Despite a relatively messy exit this offseason when Arizona decided not to re-sign him, Shane Doan announced his retirement from the NHL after 21 seasons with the Coyotes’ organization. He did test free agency before he decided that if it wasn’t Arizona, it wasn’t worth it. In honor of Doan’s tremendous career and loyalty, here are the top ten NHL players to only play for one franchise.
Honorable Mention: Ken Dryden, Montreal Canadiens (1971-1979)
Accolades: 6 Stanley Cups, 5 Vezina Trophies (Top Goaltender), 1972 Rookie of the Year, 1971 Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP), 5x First Team All-Star, 1983 Hall of Fame Inductee
Dryden is the only goaltender to appear on this list, but he only makes honorable mention, simply because he only played eight seasons in the league. Think about that. Six Stanley Cups in eight seasons. He remains the only player to win a Conn Smythe Trophy before winning Rookie of the Year, as well as the only played to win a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe before losing a regular season game.
Honorable Mention: Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens (1955-1975)
Accolades: 11 Stanley Cups, 1 Bill Masterton Trophy (Perseverance), 1x First Team All-Star, 3x Second Team All-Star
The younger of the Richard brothers, Henri has won more Stanley Cups than any other player in NHL history. He may not be on the same level as some of the players on this list, but he certainly made an impact on the Montreal dynasty teams. He finished in the top 10 in assists and points in seven of his 20 seasons with the Canadiens.
No. 10: Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks (1958-1980)
Accolades: 1 Stanley Cup, 4 Art Ross Trophies (Top Point Scorer), 2 Hart Trophies (NHL MVP), 2 Lady Byng Trophies (Sportsmanship), 6x First Team All-Star, 2x Second Team All-Star, 1983 Hall of Fame Inductee
Stan Mikita played 22 seasons with the Blackhawks organization, led the NHL in points four times, and was named MVP twice. His number 21 jersey was the first number to be retired by the franchise, and he and teammate Bobby Hull currently have statues standing outside the United Centre, the Hawks’ arena.
No. 9: Denis Potvin, New York Islanders (1973-1988)
Accolades: 4 Stanley Cups, 3 Norris Trophies (Top Defensemen), 1974 Rookie of the Year, 5x First Team All-Star, 2x Second Team All-Star, 1991 Hall of Fame Inductee
Considered the savior of the Islanders, Potvin was widely regarded as the NHL’s top defenseman once Bobby Orr retired in the late ‘70s. In the eight seasons that Potvin was captain, the Islanders never failed to make the postseason, made the Finals five times, and won four consecutive Stanley Cups. Upon retirement, he was the NHL’s all-time leader in points by a defenseman.
No. 8: Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche (1992-2008)
Accolades: 2 Stanley Cups, 1 Hart Trophy (NHL MVP), 1996 Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP), 1 Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship), 1 Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player), 3x First Team All-Star
The greatest player in Avalanche history led the team to two Stanley Cups in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Joe Sakic’s numbers stand for themselves. He currently ranks in the top 15 in NHL history in career goals, assists, power play goals, points per game, assists per game, and shots. He also ranks ninth all-time in career points with 1,641.
No. 7: Alex Delvecchio, Detroit Red Wings (1950-1974)
Accolades: 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Lady Byng Trophies (Sportsmanship), 2x Second Team All-Star, 1977 Hall of Fame Inductee
Until 2012, Delvecchio held the record for most regular season games played for one franchise in NHL history with 1,549. He finished first in games played eight times and second four times. Although he took a back seat to star teammates Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, Delvecchio was the captain of the Red Wings.
No. 6: Mike Bossy, New York Islanders (1977-1987)
Accolades: 4 Stanley Cups, 1978 Rookie of the Year, 1982 Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP), 3 Lady Byng Trophies (Sportsmanship), 5x First Team All-Star, 3x Second Team All-Star, 1991 Hall of Fame Inductee
Simply put, Mike Bossy was a scoring machine. Sadly, he was forced to retire at the age of 30 due to back problems, but when he was on the ice, he was dominant. He finished in the top 10 in scoring eight of his ten career seasons, including seven 100-point seasons. He became the first player to reach 50 goals in 50 games and still holds the highest goals per game average in NHL history. He is the third fastest player to reach 500 career goals and ranks third all-time in career hat tricks with 39.