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The Best NHL Players To Have Their Numbers Retired

Updated March 5, 2019 7.8k votes 467 voters 6.9k views144 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1
    Wayne Gretzky

    Number: 99 (retired league-wide)

    Years With Franchise: 1978–1999

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 2
    Gordie Howe

    Number: 9

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

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 3
    Bobby Orr

    Number: 4

    Years With Franchise: 1966–1978

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 4
    Mario Lemieux

    Number: 66

    Years With Franchise: 1984–1997, 2000–2006

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 5
    Maurice Richard

    Number: 9

    Years With Franchise: 1942–1960

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 6
    Jean Béliveau

    Number: 4

    Years With Franchise: 1950–1971

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 7
    Jacques Plante

    Number: 1

    Years With Franchise: 1952–1975

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 8
    Bobby Hull

    Number: 9

    Years With Franchise: 1957–1980

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

  • 9
    Guy Lafleur

    Number: 10

    Years With Franchise: 1971–1985, 1988–1991

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 10
    Steve Yzerman

    Number: 19

    Years With Franchise: 1983–2006

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 11
    Tim Horton

    Number: 2, 7

    Years With Franchise: 1949–1974

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 12
    Patrick Roy

    Number: 33

    Years With Franchise: 1984–2003

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 13
    Nicklas Lidström

    Number: 5

    Years With Franchise: 1987–2012

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 14
    Phil Esposito

    Number: 7

    Years With Franchise: 1963–1981

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 15
    Martin Brodeur

    Number: 30

    Years With Franchise: 1991–2015

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 16
    Mike Bossy

    Number: 22

    Years With Franchise: 1977–1987

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 17
    Peter Forsberg

    Number: 21

    Years With Franchise: 1989–2011

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 18
    Larry Robinson

    Number: 19

    Years With Franchise: 1973–1992

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 19
    Joe Sakic

    Number: 19

    Years With Franchise: 1988–2009

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 20
    Ray Bourque

    Number: 77

    Years With Franchise: 1979–2001

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

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  • 21
    Ken Dryden

    Number: 29

    Years With Franchise: 1970–1979

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 22
    Stan Mikita

    Number: 21

    Years With Franchise: 1958–1980

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 23
    Ted Lindsay

    Number: 7

    Years With Franchise: 1944–1960, 1964–1965

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 24
    Terry Sawchuk

    Number: 1

    Years With Franchise: 1949–1970

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
     

  • 25
    Paul Coffey

    Number: 7

    Years With Franchise: 1980–2001

    Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.