On the day the NHL honoured its 100th anniversary by scheduling an afternoon contest between Toronto and Carolina, there had been 503 Saskatchewan-born players who laced up skates in the world’s best hockey league.
Other, bigger provinces have had more players in The Show, but no jurisdiction produces more NHLers per capita than Saskatchewan. The names are catalogued in quanthockey.com, an online database, and this time they’re listed by total points.
This season, 27 Saskatchewan-born players have played in the NHL, led by Patrick Marleau, Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Hartnell and Chris Kunitz. And it’s fun watching Jordan Eberle, Tyler Bozak and Jaden Schwartz climb the scoring ladder.
The list ranges from three Hall of Famers — Gordie Howe, Bryan Trottier and Bernie Federko, who have totalled 4,046 regular-season games and 4,416 points— to 23 Saskatchewanians credited with playing just one NHL game without recording a point.
Among the one-game guys are some names we might know: Cam Brown, Robbie Laird, Kim MacDougall, Gene Sobchuk and Garrett Mitchell, whose nine years in the minors were rewarded late last season with a call-up by the Washington Capitals.
It may seem minor, only one game, but they all accomplished their goal, lived the dream of every hockey player in Saskatchewan and made it to the NHL.