Canada or Russia?

November 20, 2008

In the NHL and around the world, it’s generally known that the best hockey players come from either Canada or Russia. I had a debate with a friend a while ago about the best players and where they’re from. So I decided to do some research and tried to find the best modern hockey players from each country since 1990 to now. Here are the players I found (in alphabetical order within each country)… I will leave it up to you to decide which country boasts the better talent.


Wayne Gretzky- known as the Great One, no further explanation needed. Scored 894 career goals in 20 seasons.

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky

Mario Lemieux- probably regarded as the best right-handed shooter in NHL history, known for his size and fluid skating skills as well as his puck handling. Scored 690 career goals in 17 seasons.

Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux

Joe Sakic- has one of the most feared wrist-shots, so powerful he can score from above the key, usually scored when goalies were least expecting him to shoot because he was so far out. Scored 625 career goals in 20 seasons.

Joe Sakic

Joe Sakic

Steve Yzerman- one of the toughest and most intense leaders on the ice, always found a way to score especially in crucial moments. Scored 692 career goals in 22 seasons.

Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman


Pavel Bure- known as the Russian Rocket, terrorized opponents with his mach-3 speed and excellent puck-handling skills. Scored 436 career goals in 12 seasons.

Pavel Bure

Pavel Bure

Sergei Fedorov- probably the NHL’s best Russian player in terms of longevity and efficiency. Special knack for scoring. Scored 476 career goals in 18 seasons.

Sergei Fedorov

Sergei Fedorov

Alexander Mogilny- a lesser known star, but a goal scoring machine nonetheless. Scored 473 career goals in 16 seasons.

Alexander Mogilny

Alexander Mogilny

Alexander Ovechkin- probably the league’s most exciting and talented scoring phenom right now. Scored 171 goals in 4 seasons.

Alexander Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin

Only Sakic, Fedorov and Ovechkin are still playing in the NHL this season. Again, this was an attempt to find the best players in the modern era from 1990 and forth. There have been some older players who were as good as the ones listed, but I don’t have enough data or experience watching them, so I don’t feel I would do them justice by listing them here.

Now let’s see what the readers think, which country has produced the better talent?




  1. What kind of blog is this? Is this a joke?

  2. and where the hell is Crosby? Why was he not mentioned?

  3. Tanya- I didn’t include Crosby because I didn’t consider him to be in the top 5. He’s still young. Give him 5-10 years and he’ll probably vault into the top 3. It’s hard to beat Gretzky, Lemieux, Sakic and Yzerman right now.

  4. hello? what about mats sundin and peter forsberg? dont forget swedes, and so lidstrom…etc etc etc..

  5. Tanya – First of all, you got the name wrong. It is Cindy not sidney. 😀

    Johanna – You do have a point there. Sweden do have top tier players playing in NHL with Lidstrom at the top. 😉

    CT – I am glad you did not include Cindy in the list. 😀

  6. I just realized.. you didn’t mention Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe? Explain please.

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