In honor of the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the century, we’re counting down the best players who wore No. 12.
Now, to qualify, 12 had to be the number the player wore for the majority of his career, so Jean Beliveau, who famously wore No. 4, is not included, even though he was No. 12 for the Canadiens as a rookie in 1953.
So, without further ado, here are the all-time best dozen-donners.
10. Tom Lysiak
Lysiak hit the 30-goal plateau twice for the Atlanta Flames and once more for the Chicago Black Hawks five years later. The second overall pick in the 1973 amateur draft, Lysiak was a consistent scorer throughout his career and topped out at 82 points, a total he reached twice.
9. Jimmy Carson
The main piece going back to Edmonton in the Wayne Gretzky trade, Carson was the youngest player in the NHL in 1986-87 and he reached the 50-goal plateau in his second year. His third year was spent in Edmonton, where he scored 49 goals and reached 100 points for the second time, but he could never live up to the legacy of Gretzky. Carson was moved to his hometown Detroit, where he played for four respectable seasons, but he never again reached the lofty totals from early in his career, topping out at 34 goals and 69 points with the Red Wings.
8. Patrick Marleau
The second overall pick in 1997, Marleau stepped right into the NHL. A five-time 30-goal scorer and one-time 40-goal scorer, Marleau was a member of Canada’s 2010 gold medal-winning team and was captain of the Sharks from 2004-2009.
7. Eric Staal
After spending his sophomore professional season in the American League due to the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Staal returned to the NHL with a 45-goal, 100-point season and helped advance the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship with 28 points in 25 post-season games. Staal was named captain of the Hurricanes in 2010 and has hit the 40-goal plateau twice and the 30-goal plateau an additional three times. At 28 years old, Staal is hitting his prime.
6. Tim Kerr
A true power forward, Kerr was never drafted, but became a force in front of NHL nets and four-time 50-goal scorer. Kerr’s 6-foot-3, 225-poind frame was an immovable object and a perfect body to have on the power play. In 1985-86, Kerr scored 34 power play goals, setting a league record that stands to this day. Winner of the 1989 Bill Masterton Trophy.
5. Peter Bondra
No. 40 on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list, Bondra was one of the league’s top sharpshooters and finished with a better goals per game total than superstars such as Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Joe Sakic and Brendan Shanahan. In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, Bondra led the league with 34 goals in only 47 games. He scored 52 goals in just 67 games in 1995-96 and in 1997-98, Bondra again led the league with 52 goals in 76 games.
4. Jarome Iginla
The face of Calgary’s franchise for more than a decade, Iginla’s best season so far was a 52-goal, 96-point 2001-02, when he won the Art Ross, Rocket Richard and Ted Lindsay Awards. Iginla won his second Richard Trophy in 2004 with 41 goals and led his Flames to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, which they ultimately lost. Member of Olympic gold medal teams in 2002 and 2010, the 35-year-old is coming off a 32-goal season and still has plenty left in the tank.
3. Adam Oates
Sadly, the 2012 Hall of Famer never won a Stanley Cup in his 18-year career, but he is known as one of the best passers the game has ever known. Finishing sixth on the all-time helpers list with 1,079, Oates teamed up with sniper Brett Hull in St. Louis to form one of the most intimidating offensive duos. The fact he was never drafted makes his story all the more incredible.
2. Yvan Cournoyer
‘The Roadrunner’ won eight Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1973 after scoring 15 goals and 25 points in 17 post-season games. Cournoyer reached the 40-goal plateau four times and the 30-goal plateau an extra two times and was named captain of the Canadiens after Henri Richard retired in 1975.
1. Dickie Moore
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, Moore was part of a potent line with Maurice and Henri Richard. A member of six Stanley Cup championship teams, Moore scored an astounding 96 points in 1958-59, breaking Gordie Howe’s single-season record and setting a mark that would end up standing as the second-highest single-season point total of the pre-expansion era. Moore won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in 1958 (84 points) and 1959 and finished with 261 goals and 608 points in 719 games.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.