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.
Bobby Orr played 657 regular-season games with the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks across 12 NHL seasons from 1966 to 1978. He scored 270 goals, 645 assists and 915 points. In 10 seasons with the Bruins, he had six consecutive 100-point seasons. In 1969-70, he was the first player to win four individual awards in one season: Conn Smythe, Norris, Art Ross, and Hart. He’s the only NHL defenceman to have nine hat tricks in his career and, in 1970-71, he set the single-season record for assists (102) and points (139) by a defenceman while recording an NHL-record plus-124 rating. He won two Stanley Cup Championships and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy on both occasions. His eight Norris Trophy wins as the League’s top defenceman remains a record. Orr was also awarded the Hart Trophy three times, and the Art Ross Trophy twice. He was inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. The Bruins retired his No. 4 in 1979.
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