You know who my favorite athlete of all time is? Vladimir Guerrero. There are of course other players who are on my list of favorites too, but growing up it was all about number 27. Why do I bring up number 27 now? Well, there seems to be a lot of hope in Montreal these days about a rookie wearing number 27 for the Canadiens. Alex Galchenyuk, the new number 27 on the block has been turning heads, and has fans hoping he is the Habs newest NHL superstar. However, this article is not about Vladdy, nor is it about the Habs rookie either. This article is about the top players to wear number 27 in the NHL history while a companion piece on MLB will be published shortly.
Alex Kovalev: Teams: New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers. 1992-2013 Position: Right Wing
Numbers: 1316 Games, 430 Goals, 599 Assists, 1029 Points, and 1304 PIMs
Awards: Stanley Cup in 1994, 3-time All-Star
For anyone who knew Kovy, you know that he had skill, but was streaky at best. He was the kind of player that had a great skill set, but had a knack for picking when he wanted to play it up, which would frustrate many hockey fans. When Kovalev waso on his game he could be the best player on the ice, but he just didn’t seem to do it every night. This made AK27 an exciting, yet frustrating player to watch over his career.
Frank Mahovlich: Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens 1954-1974 Position Left Wing
Numbers: 1181 Games, 533 Goals, 1103 Points, 1056 PIMs
Awards: 15 time All-Star, Calder Memorial Trophy Winner 1958, Stanley Cups 1962, 63, 64, 67, 71 and 73, Inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame in 1981.
A star player on every team he played for, Mahovlich would also represent Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series against Russia. Even near the end of his career he was a dominant player for the Canadiens in the regular season, getting more than 80 points in each of his 3 full seasons with the Habs. Mahovlich was one of the best LWs ever to play the game. He would only get over 80 points once with the leafs, never with the Red Wings and as mentioned 3 times with the Habs and in those 3 seasons he had two 90+ point seasons.
Darryl Sittler: Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings 1970-85 Position Centre
Numbers: 1096 Games, 484 Goals, 637 Assists, 1121 Points, and 948 PIMs, Hockey All of Fame 1989.
Sittler was a popular Leaf in Toronto and still has the record for most points in a game with 10. Unfortunately for this number 27 a Stanley Cup was never won in his playing days, but he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989. Sittler has to be one of the most underrated 27’s in the NHL, he had good stats, but had to compete with a lot of other great players in his era.
Scott Niedermayer: New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks/Mighty Ducks 1991-2010 Position Defensemen
Numbers: 1263 Games, 172 Goals, 568 Assists, 740 Points, and 784 PIM’s
Awards: Memorial Cup 1992, 4 Stanley Cups, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, James Norris Trophey Winner 2003-04 season, Conn Smythe Winner 2006-07 playoff MVP, World Championship Gold, Junior Championship Gold medal.
Niedermayer was a winner, he is the only player to ever win every major North American and international championship in his career. He was a great defensemen with his New Jersey Devils, forming a great 1 -2 punch with Scott Stevens. In the playoffs it seemed like one of the two players was always on the ice. When he joined his brother Rob with the Ducks he was the best defensemen on the team and of course he grew an epic of a playoff beard. He would lead the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup and win the Conn Smythe Trophy. One of the best defensemen to ever wear number 27, Niedermayer is now an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks, and its only a matter of time before the Hockey Hall of Fame calls his name.
Ron Hextall: Philadelphia Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, and New York Islanders 1986-1999 Position Goalie
Numbers: 296 Wins, 214 Losses’, 23 shutouts, 895 SV%, 2,97 GAA, random stats 33 points and 584 penalty minutes.
Awards: Vezina Trophy 1987, Conn Smythe Trophy 1987
Ron Hextall has to be one of the scariest goalies in NHL history. He might not have the greatest goals against average, or save percentage, but he was an aggressive goalie who scared opposing forwards from coming close to his crease. He holds the single season record for goalie penalty minutes with 113 in 1988-89. He also holds Flyers’ team records for games played, wins, playoff wins, points by a goalie and of course most career penalty minutes by a goalie. Imagine if he had been on the Broad Street Bullies teams of the 1970s, how crazy would that have been? If you need more reasons to understand his aggressiveness just check out his fights on youtube.
Jeremy Roenick: Chicago Blackhawks, Pheonix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, LA Kings and San Jose Sharks 1988-2009, Centre
Numbers: 1363 Games, 513 Goals, 703 Assists, 1216 Points and 1463 PIMs
Awards: Played in 9 All-Star games, Inducted in USA Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada Cup Silver Medal, 2002 Olympic Silver Medal
Last but not least due to popular demand there is JR superstar, Jeremy Roenick who wore number 27 as a Chicago Blackhawk and a San Jose Shark (He wore 97 as a Coyote, LA King and Flyer). Roenick was both a controversial player, and also a fan favorite in his playing days. One of his most famous moments that was when he had a war of words with Patrick Roy in the 1996 Western Conference semi-finals, and Roy said his famous line about having his two Stanley Cup rings plugging his ears. Roenick is third all-time in points for American born players. JR really was a superstar and one of the most popular players to wear 27. He is currently working as a broadcast, using his gift as being one of the most quotable players in the game.
These 6 NHLers were great players in their times, and they all wore number 27 proudly. Check back soon for the MLB’s best players who wore number 27.
Honorable Mentions: Reggie Leach, Shayne Corson, Michael Peca, and Teppo Numminen fell just below the cut here.
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