Since the formation of the National Hockey League® in 1917, generations of Canadians have trained, practised and played their hearts out for a chance to skate in the NHL®. Our deep connection with the game explains why Canada has created so many legendary players. Maurice Richard claimed three famous firsts and captured the imagination of fans across the country. A national icon, Jean Béliveau retired with the most points in the history of the Montreal Canadiens®. Gordie Howe, who embodied the game so completely that he was nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” played longer as a professional than anyone before or since. Bobby Orr was the greatest defenceman the League had ever seen, while “The Magnificent One” – Mario Lemieux – thrilled fans in Pittsburgh with 17 seasons of effortless scoring. And of course, Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky claimed over 60 NHL records and left an enduring mark on the game.
Issued to coincide with the NHL’s 100th anniversary, these stamps commemorate six players whose names, numbers and achievements recall legendary moments in the history of the game that are sure to inspire Canada’s next generation players.
Gordie Howe played more than 30 seasons of professional hockey, including 26 in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers. In 1,767 regular-season NHL games, he scored 801 goals, 1,049 assists and 1,850 points. At the time of his retirement, Howe was the NHL’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points. He won four Stanley Cup Championships, the Art Ross Trophy six times, the Hart Trophy six times, the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contribution to hockey in the United States and was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. The Detroit Red Wings retired his No. 9 in 1972.
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