Top 6 Results: Stanley Cup Winning Captains

February 28, 2018

Lee Elias

There were a lot of legends to choose from when selecting the Top-6 Stanley Cup winning captains since 1980. Needless to say, the results from our vote went all over the place with all but one name on the list receiving multiple votes (Derian Hatcher received zero – #CryForDallas). Take a look at your Top-6 Cup Winning Captains since 1980:

TOP-6 (Community Results)

  • Wayne Gretzky

    Mario Lemieux

    Steve Yzerman

    Mark Messier

    Sidney Crosby

    Jonathan Toews

Depending on how you prioritized the factors for choosing this top-6 most likely played into the overall results.

I have to say, I personally do not agree with this list at all as it seems to based more on overall skill and star power than leadership style (feel free to disagree). Noticeably missing from the list are Denis Potvin who won 4-Cups in a row with the Islanders (during the last “in-a-row” dynasty the league has seen). Also notably missing are Scott Stevens, who led a “Mickey Mouse Organization” (actual quote from Gretzky) to three cups without any major superstars (outside Martin Brodeur & possibly Scott Neidermeyer) during one of the most defensive eras of the game. Not to mention that Stevens, much like Messier, was tasked with turning that franchise around.

One must also wonder whether Messier’s accomplishments as a Captain are overlooked on this list. As the only player since the expansion of 1967 to Captain two different teams to a Stanley Cup (Edmonton in 1990 and the New York Rangers in 1994), both in dramatic fashion, I think he should have been a bit higher on this list.

The bubble players at the end of the list made sense as Captains like Toews, Yzerman and Sakic have won multiple cups while also bringing teams that started from the bottom of the standings to the top.

Here’s a look at how the full voting panned out*:

Number 1

* Wayne Gretzky (44.8%)

Sidney Crosby (10.3%)

Mark Messier (9.5%)

Steve Yzerman (7.8%)

Number 2

Wayne Gretzky (23.3%)

* Mario Lemieux (19.8%)

Mark Messier (17.2%)

Sidney Crosby (17.2%)

Number 3

Mario Lemieux (26.7%)

Wayne Gretzky (17.2%)

* Steve Yzerman (13.8%)

Number 4

* Mark Messier (19%)

Nik Lidstrom (12.1%)

Mario Lemieux (12.1%)

Steve Yzerman (10.3%)

Number 5

Steve Yzerman (18.1%)

Mark Messier (12.9%)

* Sidney Crosby (12.9%)

Nik Lidstrom (9.5%)

Joe Sakic (8.6%)

Jonathan Toews (8.6%)

Number 6

* Jonathan Toews (16.4%)

Sidney Crosby (10.3%)

Joe Sakic (9.5%)

Steve Yzerman (8.6%)

Scott Niedermayer (8.6%)

* Selected player is first name available after players already chosen

Needless to say, this is a VERY debatable topic – let’s have the conversation! Comment below or across our social networks and be heard!

Check out our new challenge – Top 6: Conn Smythe Winners