This list is a collection of the top ten franchise leading point scorers for their respective teams. Some of these guys spent the entirety of their NHL careers with the same team, giving them ample opportunity to rack up as many points as possible and make the list, whereas others just showed bursts of incredible performance during their stay. Many of the guys on this list also find themselves on the all time list of point scorers for the NHL. Some of the NHL teams that have moved their franchise are included in this collection, for example the Quebec Nordiques continued their play with the same roster when they moved to Colorado just as the Winnipeg Jets kept the previous Atlanta Thrashers roster.
The salaries and earnings information for many of the players on this list is certainly not as high as one would initially think. Many of the players collected here played their best hockey long before the millions were made and long before salaries were publicly available. The big money will certainly be shown in future when the young stars of current hockey begin to press these records and bring them down. In ten years time, the names on this list might just be some of the guys who just took home Olympic glory, or some of the first round draft picks yet to have played their first NHL game.
10. Marcel Dionne, L.A. Kings (1971-1987), 1,307 Points
Marcel Dionne started his long career in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings after being drafted second overall in the 1971 entry draft. His point totals were astonishing throughout his career as he averaged over a point per game for 15 straight seasons in the NHL. When he was initially traded to the L.A Kings in 1971, his deal included a $300,000 per year contract, which at the time, was the most expensive deal in hockey. Having scored just over 1,300 points with the Kings, Dionne ends up at 10th on our list for all time franchise leaders, but his career total of 1,771 points puts him at 5th in the all time NHL point standings. The stats that Dionne posted throughout his career are incredible, and his best season with the Kings came in 1979-80 when he tied with Wayne Gretzky as the league leader for points, with an amazing total of 137 points in 80 games.
9. Gilbert Perreault, Buffalo Sabres (1970-1987), 1,326 Points
Perreault was drafted first overall in the 1970 entry draft and played the entirety of his professional career with the Buffalo Sabres. His incredible point total of 1,326 is even more astonishing knowing that Perreault played in just 1,191 games, thus averaging 1.11 points per game. Although his slightly shorter career takes him out of the running for the all time point totals, his consistency for the Sabres during his time there earned him a spot in eight NHL all star games, and several seasons with over 100 points, his best of which came in ‘75-76 when he managed to tally 113 points in 80 games. His entry season play earned him the Calder trophy for Rookie of the Year, as he scored 72 points in 77 games.
8. Bryan Trottier, New York Islanders (1975-1990), 1,353 points
Bryan Trottier has perhaps the most interesting NHL career on this list. Not only did he win an incredible six Stanley Cups in his playing career (four with the Islanders, two with the Penguins), he also won one as an assistant coach with Colorado, and to top it all off, he played for both the Canadian team internationally, as well as the US team after getting his citizenship in 1984. ‘Trots’ had an incredible run of form from ’77-82 where he managed over 100 points each year, with his best season coming in ‘81-82 when he tallied 129 points in 80 games. After such impressive play for so long with the New York Islanders, his salary in the 1991-1992 season for the Penguins, when he moved there, was $400,000 a year – this was even after his play had started its decline in the previous few seasons. For a 22nd overall draft pick, Trottier showed off his skills throughout his long career in the NHL and still remains 16th overall in the NHL all-time regular season points list.
7. Mike Modano, Dallas Stars (1993-2010), 1,359 Points
As one of the slightly younger guys on our list, Mike Modano’s tally comes alongside his incredible earnings during his time in the NHL. Beating out the last guy on the list by just six points to take the number seven spot, Modano put up season after season with over 80 points throughout his career and still remains the all-time points leader in the NHL for those born in America with 1,374 in his career (he spent the last 2 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings). His other records include: the most games played by an American born forward (1,499), the most goals by an American born player (561) and the most playoff points by an American born player (145). In the 2003-04 season, Modano was able to command a $9 million dollar salary.
6. Stan Mikita – Chicago Blackhawks (1958-1980) – 1,467 Points
Stan Mikita was honored for his services to hockey by being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Perhaps most well known for his use of a curved stick (before NHL rules changed and the curvature of the blade was limited), Stan Mikita remains 14th in the all time regular season points list in the NHL and only three other players have ever appeared in more games for just one team, as he made an astonishing 1.394 appearances with the Blackhawks. His highest scoring seasons saw him edge close to the 100 point mark, making it to 97 points twice, but it was the longevity and consistency in his career that helped him reach nearly 1,500 career points for his team.
His playing style changed throughout his career, as he was originally known for being one of the more scrappier players on the ice, but he eventually won the Lady Byng memorial trophy twice for presenting good sports conduct on the ice. He was, for the majority of his time, a highly plus-rated player for the Hawks and his best season in this regard ended with his rating of +31.
5. Ray Bourque, Boston Bruins (1979-2000), 1,506 Points
The sheer amount of points that Ray Bourque tallied for the Boston Bruins during his long stay with the team is incredible enough in its own right for any player, but as a defenseman, it carries a whole new level of impressiveness. Bourque still remains the all time leader in the NHL for defenders in goals, assists, and points. He nearly cracked the 100 point mark on several occasions during his career, with his best season coming in ’83-84 when he managed 96 points in 78 games. Bourque consistently played with an average of over a point per game in his time for Boston, and even in his rookie season he racked up an incredible 65 points in 80 games. Bourque was also a part of the incredibly consistent stretch for the Bruins that saw them make it to the playoffs for 29 consecutive seasons but unfortunately they lost to the Oilers in both visits to the finals (1988 and 1990). Bourque’s incredible career did however end with a Stanley Cup victory in 2001, but that was with Colorado.
4. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche (1988-2009), 1,641 Points
With a career spanning three decades, Joe Sakic certainly had the time to rack up a decent amount of points in the NHL. Throughout his career, he broke records and pushed for better and better seasons, twice scoring over 50 goals and making it passed 100 points six times in his career. His best year was the ’95-96 season where he managed 120 points in 82 games. Even more remarkable, Sakic was invited to be a part of the NHL All-Star game an incredible thirteen times, and he played on the Canadian Olympic team that won gold in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Sakic also holds the franchise record for Colorado for most games played (1,363).
Sakic is also a member of the elite group of twenty-two players known as “Triple Gold Club” who have won Olympic gold, a World Cup, and a Stanley Cup. It’s fair to say, with a list of records like Joe Sakic has, that he earned just about every penny of the nearly 100 million dollar total of his career earnings.
3. Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins (1984-2006), 1.723 Points
It’s fair to say that by this point in the list, the numbers are getting pretty high for the point totals, and we still haven’t seen some of the names we might have expected. Mario Lemieux however, has clearly earned his place in the number three spot on this list with his incredible career for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After being drafted 1st overall in 1984, he stayed with the Penguins for the entirety of his career and played in 915 games for the club. This means, that with a total of 1,723 points, his average was nearly 2 points per game (1.88). In his best season, ’88-89, Lemieux played just 76 games and managed an incredible feat of 199 points (he also managed 160 points in 60 games several years later). Lemieux led the Penguins to consecutive Stanley cup victories in 1991 and 1992, and then again in 2009, the club won again, but this time under his ownership. His playing career was so limited in games, despite the fact that his point totals do not reflect this, due to a series of ongoing and serious injuries that were often so severe he would need assistance doing simple things like tying his skates. Some of his records include: the only player to score five goals in five different ways in a single game, only player to score three 8 point games, and being a hockey Hall of Fame member as of 1997.
2. Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers (1978-1988), 1,773 Points
This list just simply couldn’t get to the end without a chat about The Great One. What is astonishing about his tally with the Oilers is that, unlike most of the other members of this list, Wayne Gretzky was a player who moved around a considerable amount and only spent 10 years of his career with the Oilers. While the other guys on this list are cheering and clapping their hands after reaching 100 points per season (he managed this 16 times during his career), Gretzky shattered all records by surpassing 200 points in a season three years in a row. His best season with the Oilers was in 1985-86, when he managed 215 points with 52 goals and 163 assists. His best scoring season was in 1981-82 when he fell just short of 100 goals when he scored an incredible 92.
He has, for good reason, been named the greatest hockey player ever by a number of sources, and his statistics certainly live up to this title. He still sits atop the all time regular season points list in the NHL for his career, as he managed 2,857 points in total. While it seemed incredible at the time that any NHL team would be crazy enough to let Gretzky go, he moved around throughout his career and lent his skills to the Kings, the Blues, and the Rangers after his long stretch with the Oilers. The Great One certainly earned his name in hockey, as his incredible stats simply leave the rest on this list in the dust.
1. Gordie Howe, Detroit Red Wings (1946-1971), 1,809 Points
With a career as long as Gordie Howe’s with the same club, the point total should be high and at an amazing tally of 1,809, it certainly is. While his single season numbers do not compare with the brilliance of Wayne Gretzky for the Oilers, the longevity of Howe’s career and his consistent point scoring ability over 25 years in the NHL, places him on top of this list. He also sits at third on the all time NHL point scorers list with 1,850 points behind Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky. Howe also tops the list in the NHL for all time most games played with 1,767, meaning that his average throughout his career remained over a point per game. Howe was also known for his extra-curricular activities on the ice as he was certainly no one to back out of a fight. Since his time in the NHL, the “Gordie Howe” hat trick (a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game) has been an achievement very few players manage. Howe was a four time Stanley Cup winner, an inductee to the Hall of Fame in 1972, the oldest player to retire at 52 years old, and a 23 time NHL all star among plenty of other achievements and accolades. He is certainly a deserving member of the top spot on this list of franchise point leaders.