When they talk about the greatest player in hockey history, there’s usually only four names mentioned, chronologically:
Gordie Howe (Red Wings)
Bobby Orr (Bruins)
Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)
Mario Lemieux (Penguins)
For shits ‘n giggles you could throw in a 5th, it might be Jean Beliveau (Habs), but it’s those four. Seems to depend on generational consensus, but those who’ve seen ‘em all swear Orr is still the best, no other player single-handedly changed the sport the way he did. He could do it all — best offense, best defense, best skater, and could drop his gloves and destroy anybody in a fight. That settles it for me.