Hockey nicknames are big in the game's history. Maurice Richard was "The Rocket," Wayne Gretzky "The Great One," Charlie Conacher "The Big Bomber," Yvan Cournoyer "The Roadrunner," Gordie Howe "Mr. Hockey," Bobby Hull "The Golden Jet," Glenn Hall "Mr. Goalie," Mario Lemieux "Super Mario," Marcel Dionne "Little Beaver" and Guy Lefleur "The Blond Demon."
Colorful hockey player nicknames are an integral part of the game’s history. Here are ten famous hockey player monikers that are sure to excite and entertain the sport’s legion of fans.
Maurice Richard (1921-2000)/“The Rocket”
One of the most famous players in hockey history, Maurice Richard played his entire 1942-60 NHL career with the fabled Montreal Canadiens. Along with Elmer Lache and Hector “Toe” Blake, Richard constituted Montreal’s famous “Punch Line,” the bane of opposing NHL teams. Richard, who scored 544 regular season goals in his career, collected eight Stanley Cup championships. The high-flying Richard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, with the customary three-year waiting period from retirement waived by the Hall’s officials. Richard was known as “The Rocket,” an apt moniker which best described his blazing play on the ice.
1959-60 Parkhurst hockey card: Maurice "The Rocket" Richard
Wayne Gretzky (1961-)/“The Great One,” “The Great Gretzky”
The name Wayne Gretzky is synonymous with great hockey. Considered by many to be the finest player in National Hockey League history, Gretzky played from 1978-99, both for the World Hockey Association and the NHL. Gretzky won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player an incredible nine times and collected four Stanley Cup championships while a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999 following his retirement that same year. A virtual scoring machine on the ice, Gretzky was simply known as “The Great One.”
Autographed photo: Wayne Gretzky "The Great One"
Charlie Conacher (1909-1967)/“The Big Bomber”
Charlie Conacher began his 1929-41 NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was a member of the 1932 Stanley Cup champions. He later played for the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Americans. At 6’1” and 195 pounds, Conacher was a real presence on the ice, leading the NHL in goals five times. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, Conacher was known as “The Big Bomber,” no explanation needed.
Promotional photo: Charlie Conacher "The Big Bomber"
Yvan Cournoyer (1943-)/“The Roadrunner”
Yvan Cournoyer began his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, where he was named captain in 1975. Cournoyer had one of his best seasons in 1971-72, scoring a career high 49 goals. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982, the 5’7” Cournoyer was billed as “The Roadrunner” in deference to his small stature and blazing speed on the ice.
Promotional photo: Yvan Cournoyer "The Roadrunner"
Gordie Howe (1928-)/“Mr. Hockey,” “Power,” “The King of Hockey,” “Mr. All-Star”
Gordie Howe played most of his professional hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings, where he holds the team record for most points, most goals and most games played. One of the game’s greatest legends, Howe was ranked #3 in 1998 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, Gordie Howe owned a number of colorful monikers during his playing days: “Power,” “Mr. All-Star,” “The Great Gordie,” “The Legend,” “The King of Hockey,” “No. 9” and of course “Mr. Hockey,” the latter of which is a registered trademark.
1954-55 Topps hockey card: Gordie Howe "Mr. Hockey"
Bobby Hull (1939-)/“The Golden Jet”
Bobby Hull’s professional hockey career stretched from 1957-80, where he played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers. Considered to be the greatest left winger in hockey history, Hull cut a dashing figure on the ice, possessed of flying blond hair, great speed and one of the fastest slapshots in the game. Hull scored 610 goals during his NHL career and added another 303 goals while playing for the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, Bobby Hull was known as “The Golden Jet.”
1958-59 Topps hockey card: Bobby Hull "The Golden Jet"
Glenn Hall (1931-)/“Mr. Goalie”
One of the greatest goalies in hockey history, Glenn Hall played his 1951-71 professional career with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. A seven-time All-Star and three-time winner of the Vezina Trophy honoring the NHL’s top goaltender, the steady Hall finished his career with a won/loss/tie record of 407-326-162, with 84 shutouts. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975, Glenn Hall was called “Mr. Goalie.”
1957-58 Topps hockey card: Glenn Hall "Mr. Goalie"
Mario Lemieux (1965-)/“Super Mario,” “The Magnificent,” “Ace”
Mario Lemieux played his entire NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, leading them to two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. Although beset by health problems during his playing days, not the least of which was a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Lemieux owns a number of NHL records, including most shorthanded goals in a season (13), the only player with 3 eight point games and the only player to record 1,000 career assists in less than 1,000 games played. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997 with Hall officials waiving the three-year retirement rule, Mario Lemieux, who now serves as the principal owner and chairman of the board of the Pittsburgh Penguins, was known as “Super Mario,” “The Magnificent” and “Ace.”
Autographed photo: Mario Lemieux "Super Mario"
Marcel Dionne (1951-)/“Little Beaver”
Marcel Dionne played his 1971-89 NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Dionne put up some big numbers during his NHL career, scoring 731 goals and recording eight 100+ point seasons, second only to Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Listed at #38 on The Hockey News’ 1998 list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. At 5’8” and 185 pounds, Dionne was known as “Little Beaver.”
Guy Lafleur (1951-)/“The Flower,” “Le Demon Blond”
One of the game’s most popular players, Guy Lafleur played his 17-year NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, Quebec Nordiques and New York Rangers, winning five Stanley Cup championships. Lafleur holds the all-time scoring record for the Canadiens with 1,246 points – 518 goals and 728 assists. The winner of three Art Ross Trophies and two Hart Memorial Trophies, Lafleur was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. Lafleur was called “The Flower” and “Le Demon Blond” – or “The Blond Demon.”
Autographed photo: Guy Lefleur "Le Demon Blond" ("The Blond Demon")
Fifteen More Hockey Nickname Favorites
- Sidney Crosby (1987-)/“Sid the Kid,” “Bing,” “The Next One,” “Sid Vicious”
- Ken Dryden (1947-)/“Octopus,” “Thieving Giraffe,” “The Thinker”
- Brett Hull (1964-)/“The Golden Brett”
- Howie Morenz (1902-1937)/”The Stratford Streak,” “The Meteor Mitchell”
- Brendan Shanahan (1969-)/“Shanny,” “The Big Smooth”
- Pat Verbeek (1964-)/“The Little Ball of Hate”
- Joe Sakic (1969-)/“Super Joe,” “Mr. Clutch,” “Burnaby Joe”
- Fred Shero (1925-1990)/“The Fog”
- Dave Schultz (1949-)/“The Hammer”
- Eddie Shore (1902-1985)/“Old Blood and Guts,” “The Edmonton Express”
- Eric Lindros (1973-)/“The Big E”
- Ted Lindsay (1925-)/“Terrible Ted”
- Alexei Kovalev (1973-)/“AK-27,” “Kovy,” “L’Artiste”
- Al Arbour (1932-)/“Radar”
- Pavel Bure (1971-)/“The Russian Rocket,” “Pasha”
Autographed magazine ad: Sidney Crosby "Sid the Kid"
- All images courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
- Top image: Signed photo in limited edition plaque: Wayne Gretzky "The Great One"