Sports

The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired  

Ranker Sports
2.7k votes 151 voters 1.4k views 144 items

List Rules Vote up the best NHL players to have their legendary number retired for all time.

These are the best NHL players to have their numbers retired by the team where they made the biggest impact. Not every player in the NHL gets their number retired, it is an honor bestowed upon the best players of a franchise. Both the Maples Leafs and Canadiens have the most retired jerseys, with 18 numbers never to be worn again by players on those teams. Wayne Gretzky’s number 99 is retired league-wide. Does that mean he will be voted to the top of this list? While all of these hockey players are great at the game, having your number retired does not automatically get you into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Players on this list that have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame are noted.

Look below to see all the numbers retired in the NHL and if your favorite player has had their number retired. Then vote up the players that you think played the game the best. This list does not have current players because they are still using their numbers and it does not have numbers that were retired for coaches, managers, or owners. This list is for players only and will determine the best NHL players to have had their number retired.

list ordered by
1
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 99 (retired league-wide)

Years With Franchise: 1978–1999

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

2
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 4

Years With Franchise: 1966–1978

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

3
Gordie Howe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 9

Years With Franchise: 1946–1971, 1973–1980, 1997

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

4
Mario Lemieux is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 66

Years With Franchise: 1984–1997, 2000–2006

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

5
Maurice Richard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 9

Years With Franchise: 1942–1960

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

6
Guy Lafleur is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 10

Years With Franchise: 1971–1985, 1988–1991

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

7
Jean Béliveau is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 4

Years With Franchise: 1950–1971

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

8
Steve Yzerman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 19

Years With Franchise: 1983–2006

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

9
Nicklas Lidström is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 5

Years With Franchise: 1987–2012

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

10
Joe Sakic is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 19

Years With Franchise: 1988–2009

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

11
Barclay Plager is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired
Barclay Plager

Number: 8

Years With Franchise: 1961–1978
 

12
Tim Horton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 2, 7

Years With Franchise: 1949–1974

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

13
Johnny Bower is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 4

Years With Franchise: 1945–1969

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

14
Patrick Roy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 33

Years With Franchise: 1984–2003

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

15
Bobby Hull is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 9

Years With Franchise: 1957–1980

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

16
Jacques Plante is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 1

Years With Franchise: 1952–1975

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

17
Ray Bourque is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 77

Years With Franchise: 1979–2001

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

18
Dominik Hašek is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 39

Years With Franchise: 1980–2011

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

19
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 7

Years With Franchise: 1963–1981

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

20
Martin Brodeur is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 30

Years With Franchise: 1991–2015

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

21
Bill Masterton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 19

Years With Franchise: 1961–1968
 

22
Dit Clapper is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 5

Years With Franchise: 1927–1947

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

23
Harry Howell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 3

Years With Franchise: 1973–1995

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

24
Larry Robinson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 19

Years With Franchise: 1973–1992

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
 

25
Terry Sawchuk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Number: 1

Years With Franchise: 1949–1970

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.