Gretzky-Messier, Kane-Toews among NHL's greatest all-time duos.
July 10, 2014
1 of 20Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita
During their 13 full seasons together with the Blackhawks, the two forwards produced a combined four Hart Trophies, seven scoring titles, and the Stanley Cup in 1961. Statues of the Golden Jet and his slick playmaking sidekick Stosh can be found outside the United Center.
2 of 20Richard Meek/SI
Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe
Terrible Ted and Mr. Hockey were bruising mainstays on Detroit's famed Production Line and a lethal combo for 11 seasons, leading the Red Wings to four Stanley Cups (1950, '52, '54, '55). Lindsay, a pugnacious, 5-foot-8, 160-pounder, won the scoring title in 1949-50. The legendary Howe, famous for his ''hat trick'' (a goal, assist and fight in one game) bagged six scoring titles and six Hart Trophies while playing with Lindsay, after whom the NHLPA's MVP Award, formerly the Lester Pearson, is now named.
3 of 20Hy Peskin/SI
Henri and Maurice Richard
Arguably the greatest pair of siblings to lace 'em up in the NHL, the Richards gave the Canadiens dual Hall of Fame ''Rockets'' that launched a record-setting dynasty. Center Henri, the ''Pocket Rocket'', joined his bigger, older brother—the fiery, legendary ''Rocket'', the first player to record 500 goals and score 50 in a season— as a rookie in 1955. The Habs went on to win the first of five straight Stanley Cups, a streak that has never been equaled. The run concluded Maurice's career, but the slick skating, playmaking Pocket Rocket went on collecting silverware, retiring with a record 11.
4 of 20Tony Triolo/SI
Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante
Though in the twilight of their careers by the time they manned the Blues' net together for two seasons, these legendary Hall of Famers backstopped an expansion team to consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Final. (St. Louis made three in a row, starting in 1968, with Hall winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.) The duo shared the Vezina in 1969 after combining for a 2.07 goals-against average, the lowest the league had seen in 13 years, and 13 shutouts.
5 of 20Neil Leifer/SI
Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr
The Big Bad Bruins, Stanley Cup champs in 1970 and '72, were powered by this devastating offensive duo that lit up the NHL during their eight seasons together. Esposito, a charismatic center, won two Harts and five scoring titles while setting a then-record of 76 goals in 1970-71. Orr, quite simply, changed the game with his dynamic speed, playmaking and scoring from the backline. He owned the Norris Trophy, winning it a record eight times.
6 of 20Manny Milan/SI
Serge Savard and Larry Robinson
Savard was a wily veteran of two Cup teams when Robinson arrived in Montreal as a rookie in 1972-73. Paired for seven seasons, they gave the Canadiens a Hall of Fame backline duo that became a dynasty's pillar. After winning the Cup in '73, they helped the Habs rattle off four straight from 1976 to 1979, with Robinson winning the Smythe in '78. ''He was the guy who always covered up for my mistakes,'' Robinson told the Hall of Fame's website. ''He told me just to go and he'd stay back. That's how it went for all those years we won the Cup.''
7 of 20Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy
Trottier and Bossy had a special chemistry that helped create a dynasty that won four straight Stanley Cups and a record 19 consecutive playoff series. A hard-nosed two-way center, Trottier won the Hart trophy and led the NHL in scoring in 1978-79, his second season skating with Bossy, who many regard as the best pure goal scorer in league history. During their decade together, Bossy rattled off a record nine consecutive 50-plus goal seasons.
8 of 20Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky
The smolderingly intense Messier and the otherworldly, cerebral Gretzky were the cornerstones of the Oilers teams that won four Stanley Cups in five years (1984-88). With Gretzky routinely shattering scoring records, Messier's edgy ''win-or-else'' leadership gave Edmonton the grit and fire it needed to become a dynasty. Though the Great One was famously traded to Los Angeles in 1988, the duo was later reunited for a season with the New York Rangers in 1996-97.
9 of 20Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr
Super Mario was a serious challenger to Wayne Gretzky as the NHL's best player when the supremely talented Jagr arrived for the 1990-91 season. The speedy rookie helped Pittsburgh win the first of two straight Stanley Cups (Lemieux won the Conn Smythe each time) while learning from the superstar and earning the nickname ''Mario Jr.'' Lemieux's health issues (back, Hodgkin's disease) eventually cost the sometimes linemates four full seasons together, during which Jagr took over as league's premiere scorer until 2001 when he was traded to Washington.
10 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
Brett Hull and Adam Oates
From 1989 to 1992, Hall of Famers Hull and Oates were a smash in St. Louis as the NHL's most prolific top line pair. With Oates feeding him uncanny passes, Hull produced league-leading seasons of 72, 86, and 70 goals, the best totals of his career. Their amazing chemistry was the result of friendship as well as talent. "To be able to play with a guy that you were just as close with off the ice as you were on the ice, I think that had a lot to do with how successful we were," Hull told NHL.com.
11 of 20Rusty Kennedy/AP
John LeClair and Eric Lindros,
The most prominent members of Philadelphia's feared Legion of Doom Line (which included winger Mikael Renberg), Leclair and Lindros were quintessential power forwards. Created in February 1995, the unit sparked the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals as Lindros won the Hart Trophy. The next season, the duo combined for 98 goals and 212 points. A trip the Stanley Cup Final followed in '97 after LeClair posted his second straight 50-goal campaign as Lindros' left wing. The duo remained together until the end of the 2000 season.
12 of 20Elsa/Getty Images
Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis
Pronger and MacInnis gave the Blues one of the NHL's most dominating backline tandems for eight full seasons. Both were 30-minute-per-game workhorses, with Pronger dishing out devastating hits while MacInnis terrorized goalies with the league's most ferocious slap shot. The pair put up successive Norris Trophy campaigns with MacInnis winning the award in 1999 and Pronger taking it in 2000.
13 of 20Bill Kostroun/AP
Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer
The great Scotts, both Hall of Famers, were bulwarks on the backline of Devils teams that made airtight defense a hallmark of three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, '03). Stevens, the 2000 Smythe winner, had some scoring ability, but was mainly notorious for his punishing hits. The fleet Niedermayer was offensively gifted, but later became more defense-minded (Norris Trophy, 2004). A consummate winner at every level of hockey, he later won a fourth Cup with Anaheim while paired with Chris Pronger.
14 of 20Bill Frakes/SI
Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic
The fierce, rugged Swede known as ''Foppa'' and the quiet, reserved captain nicknamed ''Burnaby Joe'' first teamed up on the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-95 with Forsberg winning the Calder Trophy. The two went to give the team a pair of championship-caliber centers for the next eight seasons. After the franchise moved to Colorado in '95, they led the new Avalanche to the first of two Stanley Cups with Sakic winning the Smythe in '96 and the Hart during the second title run, in 2001. Forsberg battled constant injuries but pulled off feats like leading the '02 playoffs in scoring despite missing the entire regular season, then winning the Hart and Ross trophies in '03.
15 of 20Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis
Linemates and the Tampa Bay's biggest stars for 13 seasons, they led Tampa Bay to its first and only Stanley Cup in 2004, with the diminutive (5-8, 180) winger St. Louis winning the Ross and Hart Trophies. Lecavalier, a sizeable (6-4, 208) scoring center, as the No. 1 draft pick in 1998 and later led the league in goals during the 2006-07 season with his pal setting him up.
16 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk
Arguably the NHL's finest pair of two-way forwards, they are now the heart of the Red Wings after 11 seasons and a Stanley Cup together (2008). Zetterberg, the 2008 playoff MVP, inherited the captaincy after the retirement of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom in 2012. Datsyuk, a three-time Selke Trophy winner, remains a wizardly stickhandler, playmaker and scorer. Together on a line or separately, they make good things happen and have been integral to keeping Detroit's playoff run of 23 consecutive seasons alive.
17 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry
The first round of the 2003 draft yielded one of the league's finest offensive duos, with Anaheim taking center Ryan Getzlaf at No. 19 and winger Corey Perry at No. 28. They made their NHL debuts two years later and by 2007 were skating the Stanley Cup for the first team from California to win the chalice. Each beings size (Getzlaf is 6-4, 221; Perry 6-3, 212), scoring and sandpaper to the ice. Perry won the Hart and Richard Trophies by scoring 50 goals in 2010-11. Getzlaf, the Ducks' captain, was a Hart finalist for 2013-14.
18 of 20Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby
Geno and Sid have been the backbone of the Penguins since the 2006-07 season. Arguably the NHL's best one-two punch at center as well as a formidable offensive threat when paired on the same line, each has won the Hart (Crosby twice) and two scoring titles. Malkin was MVP of Pittsburgh's march to the Stanley Cup in 2009.
19 of 20David E. Klutho/SI
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
A superb stickhandler and playmaker, Kane was drafted No. 1 by the Blackhawks in 2007 and went on to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. That season, Toews, a Bryan Trottier clone, took over as the youngest captain in the team's history, and with Kane as his sidekick they went on to lead the Hawks to two Stanley Cups. Toews was MVP of the first title run (2010), which snapped a 49-year drought. Kane won the Smythe in 2013. Chicago's dynamic duo was rewarded with identical eight-year, $84 million deals in July 2014.
20 of 20Robert Beck/SI
Henrik and Daniel Sedin
The Swedish twins have been inseparable since the Canucks grabbed them with the second and third picks in the 1999 NHL Draft. As Vancouver's core stars and top liners for 13 seasons, they've each won scoring titles (center Henrik in 2010, when he also won the Hart Trophy; winger Daniel in 2011) and led the Canucks to 10 playoff appearances including the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. They now rank 1-2 respectively on the franchise's all-time points list.
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