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Excerpts from stories of the greatest players

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian readers out there; here’s hoping it’s been a great weekend of eating with family and friends – and being thankful for both.

Please excuse the shameful self promotion, but we’re really excited about our latest special project – The Top 100 Players of All-Time by Position. Senior special sections editor Brian Costello was the driving force behind the magazine and all the details on the process can be found in his Friday blog.

We thought today we’d give you a little taste of what you’ll find in our latest project – think of it as a sample tray at a gourmet restaurant. We’ve selected some of our favorite excerpts from throughout the magazine; this is’s Top 10 excerpts from the stories of the greatest players ever.

10. “The reason I play Shore so much is because the opposition knows how great he is and they concentrate on Shore and leave the rest of you alone.” – Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt recalling Boston coach Art Ross’ reasoning for why he routinely played defenseman Eddie Shore for 60 minutes a game.

9. “There wasn’t any debate. I knew I had plenty left in the tank. It was unfinished business, but I knew it was going to be my last year.” – Ray Bourque explaining his reasoning behind returning for the 2000-01 season at the age of 40; his Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, Bourque’s lone championship.

8. “In a way it got me into some bad habits because I didn’t want to give the puck up. Why should I give it to somebody who couldn’t do as much with it as I could?” – Bobby Hull recalling his early days as a self-described puck hog.

7. “If he had 10 penalty shots, he’d probably miss nine of them, but if he had a breakaway with two guys hanging off him, he’d score every time.” – Mark Napier describing Guy Lafleur’s propensity to over-think things when he had the time.

6. “I remember thinking the next day, ‘They’re going to trade him. This could be bad for us.’ And it was.” – Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman recalling his thoughts after the Red Wings scored nine times on Montreal goalie Patrick Roy; Roy never played another game for the Habs and was traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

5. “I had the idea that I should beat up every player I tangled with, and nothing ever convinced me it wasn’t a good idea.” – ‘Terrible’ Ted Lindsay recalling his on-ice philosophy.

4. “During 2009-10, only 18.3 percent of players were able to garner 41 points. There were 20.1 percent who managed to illuminate the red light 15 times. None of them were eligible for AARP benefits.” – Bob Duff writing about Gordie Howe’s 1979-80 season with the Hartford Whalers; Howe scored 15 goals and 41 points, he was 51 years old.

3. “I went up there once after my car accident and St. Peter looked at me and he said, ‘I’m sorry, we only accept good people.’” – Dickie Moore joking about a near-fatal car accident in 2006; Moore was 75 at the time of the crash.

2. “Even Wayne Gretzky had bad games, everybody has had bad games. To this day I’ve never seen Nick Lidstrom have a bad game. It’s amazing…for him, a bad game would be one bad pass.” – Luc Robitaille describing his former Detroit teammate.

1. “The product of a family relationship lacking in affection, Sawchuk was sometimes violent alcoholic, a womanizer and definitely not a candidate for father of the year.” – Bob Duff writing on goaltender Terry Sawchuk.

The Top 10 appears Mondays only on

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