1) Mark Messier: At number 1 is a captain that players in today's game aspire to become. In 2006 the NHL even named a leadership award after this man. An award that regonizes an individual as a superior leader within their sport. After Gretzky left for a warmer climate the Oilers named Messier captain and leader of a team that had many questions. Mark Messier would soon answer all of these questions with his leadership on the ice and the character he showed in the lockeroom. He would wear the “C” on his chest until he retired. He is the only player to captain two different teams to the Stanley cup. One of the toughest players to ever lead his team to greatness. Mark Messier didn't back down from any man and backed up everything he belived. When he made a guarantee he delivered. The Devils can tell you first hand how great Messier hockey can be. A true leader.
2) Steve Yzerman: At the age of 21 Steve Yzerman began his journey as one of the greatest leaders of all time. He is the longest serving captain in NHL history and has 3 Stanley Cups to add to his resume. Over 22 years Yzerman has captivated crowds all over the world and has become an important member of the Detroit community. Stevie Y was a quiet leader with the abiltiy to make all others around him better. In Yzerman hockey career he is known as a great Canadian and we all hope his leadership will bring a gold medal in 2010.
3) Joe Sakic: I will now disscuss one of the classiest players the NHL has ever seen. For 16 straight seasons Joe Sakic was the captain and leader of his team. Over these years many fans and writers have him named as one of the greatest players of all time. On the ice his wrist shot was feared by all players on the opposing bench but off the ice he was admired by the hockey world. A humble superstar with class and grace. Can you remember when Colorodo won the Stanley Cup with Ray Bourqe. The moment Joe Sakic received this prestiges trophy his only thoughts were handing it to his teamate who waited his whole career for that moment. This moment captured Joe Sakic hockey career. Super Joe had true class and the character of a great leader.
4) Wayne Gretzky: At number 4 on our list is the greatest player to ever play the game of hockey. It may be hard to imagine Gretzky being number 4 on any hockey list. You will soon understand why after you see who tops this list of the greatest leaders in NHL history. I could explain in detail why Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player and one of the greatest captains. I cannot give this great man justice in one paragraph. Check out my upcoming Sports Legend articles to understand why we call him the great one. As a captain Wayne Gretzky Stanley Cup performances not only lead his Oilers team to 4 Stanley Cups but proved to everyone that he could lead on and off the ice in any city that needed a superstar.
5) Jean Beliveau: I will begin our list of the greatest NHL Captains of all time with a player that has won 10 Stanley Cups as a player. He also won 7 more as an executive. I have only selected him at number 5 because I never had the chance to experience his power as a leader. In Jean Beliveau hockey career he was known as the greatest leader of his time. His confidence could be felt by every player in the lockeroom. For most fans the admiration felt for this Canadian began after his playing days. His work in the community has proven to us all that great leaders in sports are great leaders in life. Don't forget he was offered the position of Governer General of Canada in 1994.
This top 5 list breaks down some of the greatest leaders to lace them up. They prove why leaders are not only important in the world of sports but the world we live in today.