Imagine hockey without Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Richard or Beliveau. What would it look like? Nothing like it does today. All of them, as well as the rest of the game’s greatest players, revolutionized the way hockey has been played.
Yet the game has been changed just as much off the ice where – for better and for worse – many of hockey’s movers and shakers have made their mark on the game…in behind-the-scenes negotiations (Gary Bettman), shady backroom deals (Alan Eagleson), in front of the microphone (Foster Hewitt), on the phone (Bruce McNall), in the front office (Sam Pollock), behind the bench (Scotty Bowman) and on Saturday night television (Don Cherry).
From to the seismic shift of Wayne Gretzky coming to America, to Willie O’Ree breaking the color barrier, to Anatoli Tarasov laying the groundwork for the sublime finesse of Soviet hockey, to Sheldon Kennedy’s courage in opening the eyes of the hockey world to one of its most darkest secrets – the biggest game changers are compiled here in the definitive list of powerbrokers and influencers in hockey history. Together, these 100 on-ice icons and off-ice authorities have shaped the sport into what it is today – the world’s greatest game.