Top 5 NHL MVPs Of All Time

Spanning Canada and the United States, the National Hockey League fields top talent in rinks all over the continent. Like any of the other major leagues, they celebrate exceptional players with an MVP award. In the NHL, that’s the Hart Memorial Trophy, named in honor of donor Dr. David Hart and his son Cecil, who was manager and coach of the Montreal Canadiens, the oldest team.

The trophy has been awarded over 90 times and today we’re looking at the five hockey players who won it the most. Those who win embody the league in both individual performance and team sportsmanship. Knowing who wins awards like these can also factor into NHL betting odds, so those interested in some icy gambling action should stick around.

  1. Wayne Gretzky

When your nickname is just “The Great One,” you tend to rack up a few trophies. Wayne Gretzky’s name is synonymous with the NHL and North American sports as a whole. Over the entire league’s history, he is the #1 goal scorer, point scorer, and assist producer. He’s also the only hockey player to tally up 200 points in a single season, which happened four times while other players haven’t achieved it once. As for his Hart Trophy count, he got 9 of them across 20 seasons.

One of the truly remarkable things about Gretzky is that he wasn’t physically imposing, as the ideal hockey player was, and so his performance was due to knowledge of the game and high endurance. After retiring from playing hockey, Gretzky went on to teach it for two decades before retiring fully in 2021.

  1. Gordie Howe

The next player to win the Hart Trophy multiple times is Gordie Howe. Howe deserves a mention here because he was the man who set many of the records that Wayne Gretzky broke. As an earlier NHL legend, he was often called “Mr. Hockey” during his time with the Detroit Red Wings. That said, Howe still holds the record for how many seasons a single player has played – 26, during which he won the Hart Trophy 6 times. Howe is considered a more well-rounded player than Gretzky, contributing to his enduring reputation as an NHL legend.

  1. Eddie Shore

Eddie Shore was an earlier ice hockey player for the Boston Bruins, the oldest American team in the NHL. Shore played defense and is considered the best defenseman of all time. Along with his prowess on the ice, he was also known for establishing a then-record for the most penalty minutes – 165 – due to violence during games. As for his playing ability, he won the Hart Trophy 4 times. That’s more than any defensive player, hence his reputation for repelling the puck.

  1. Alex Ovechkin

Next up is actually a player who is still in the game, Alexander Ovechkin, Russian captain of the Washington Capitals. Having played 20 seasons, he has acquired just 3 Hart Trophies so far. If he can continue for several more seasons, he may win more while also edging closer to Howe’s record for most seasons played. He has also won awards for being the leading scorer and most overall points scored across some of his seasons. He won his first Stanly Cup in 2018, so it seems that Ovechkin’s career isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

  1. Mario Lemieux

Lastly, we have “Super Mario” – Mario Lemieux. Having played 17 seasons, all spent in loyal service to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he draws with Alexander Ovechkin by winning 3 Hart Trophies. Like Gretzky, Lemieux played center and excelled as a fast skater, except he had the physical clout to back up his movements. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy twice, in 1991 and 1992, which is awarded to MVPs for the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. In both of those years, Lemieux took the Penguins all the way to win the Stanley Cup, too.

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