This past Wednesday, Mike Fisher announced that he will return to the National Hockey League to rejoin the Nashville Predators. After Fisher came out with this announcement, it became fair to wonder, “what other players would make for a good NHL comeback story”? With that in mind, here are the top 5 players that we’d love to see playing in the NHL again.
5. Jaromir Jagr
It’s only been three days since Jagr cleared waivers and announced he would be joining HC Kladno, but NHL fans are already mourning the loss of the NHL legend. Let’s face it, the NHL is a much better place when the mullet is roaming around the rink. Keep in mind that it was only just last year when he scored 16 goals and recorded 46 points. H’s also the best chance there is at topping Wayne Gretzky’s all-time points record, sitting a cool 943 points back of the Great One, and he can’t top that record playing overseas. Jagr has returned to the NHL before, and a proper salute to end his NHL career would only be fitting for a true legend.
4. Teemu Selanne
Recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Finnish Flash had an unbelievable NHL career. Selanne was an instant star in the NHL, scoring a record 76 goals in his rookie season with the Winnipeg Jets. What would be better than Selanne returning to where it all began with the Jets poised to make a deep postseason push? A top line of Laine, Scheifele and Selanne, anyone? Plus, Selanne never topped the 76 goals he scored in his rookie season, so it would be great to see him give it another shot. Would it be possible? Very unlikely, but it would still be cool to see Teemu skate in an NHL rink once more.
3. Martin Brodeur
The best goalie in NHL history, statistically speaking, Martin Brodeur was a true treat to watch for hockey fans. The pad-stacking phenom is one of the few players in the game’s history that actually changed the way hockey is played with the addition of the Brodeur Rule, which limits where goalies are allowed to handle the puck on the ice. He’s the all-time leader in wins, shutouts, and goals scored by a goalie, so why not quit the rental car commercials and come back and make those records even harder to beat? Especially the goals scored by a goalie record.
2. Martin St. Louis
St. Louis spent 13 seasons in Tampa Bay and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 953 points in 972 games. The prolific forward was a trail blazer in the NHL with his diminutive stature and his lightning quick speed (pun fully intended). St. Louis paved the way for players such as Johnny Gaudreau, Mats Zuccarello and Mitch Marner to become strong NHL players. St. Louis demonstrated that there is a place in the game for smaller players, while also bringing to the table one of the most entertaining brands of hockey during his time in the league. While St. Louis retired in 2014-15 with the New York Rangers, he did finish that campaign with 52 points. Considering that St. Louis recorded at least 50 points in his 12 previous NHL seasons, it would be fair to wonder if St. Louis could still lace up the skates and contribute in today’s league.
1. Pavel Datsyuk
Something a lot of people forget about Pavel Datsyuk is that he didn’t actually leave the NHL as a member of the Detroit Red Wings, but actually as a member of the Arizona Coyotes when he was traded to the team in a salary dump trade. Now, does that sound like a proper ending to a career of a guy nicknamed “The Magic Man?” Definitely not. Datsyuk was far and away the most creative and skilled player in the NHL during his prime, and he’s still averaging almost a point a game (35 points in 37 games) with St. Petersburg SKA in the KHL. Factoring in that Datsyuk only played one season with 3-on-3 overtime, totalling just a little more than 22 minutes of 3-on-3 hockey, NHL fans certainly deserve more Datsyuk. Just think about the magic man and all of that open space.
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