NHL History: 30 best players in the 21st century (Updated 2023)

NHL logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
12 of 30
Marian Hossa
Marian Hossa (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /

30 best NHL players of the 21st century: 19. Marian Hossa

Marian Hossa was once one of the greats in the game. He actually played in three-straight Stanley Cup Finals with three different teams (Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks). He ended up being on every one of the Blackhawks’ dynasty teams that won three Stanley Cups.

Hossa came out the gate extremely strong for the Ottawa Senators. In just his second full season in 99-00, he had 29 goals and 27 assists. He would then reach the 30-goal plateau the next six seasons in a row, hitting more than 40 goals twice during that time. He was a player that spent time with many franchises, but everyone got one of the best to ever hit the ice every year.

Hossa was traded from the Atlanta Thrashers (RIP) to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the middle of the 2007-08 season. He helped them reach the Final with 12 goals and 26 points in 20 postseason games. The next season, he signed a one-year deal with the team that beat him, the Detroit Red Wings. He put up another 40-goal season, and he looked like he was on his way to being on the right side of the championship parade, but in a bout of irony, he lost the Final again, this time to the team he left in the Penguins.

He signed a long-term deal with the Chicago Blackhawks that offseason, and the rest is history. Now, he’s a three-time champion, a 1,100-point scorer, a 500-goal scorer, and his 149 points in the playoffs are in the top 30 all-time. A rare skin illness ended his career early, but we still got to watch Hossa play until he was 38. It was a glorious career that ended with the proper accolades.