Published By: Alfaraz Laique

Hockey legends that deserve more recognition

Hockey is a loveable game which has evolved over the years. While we all have seen Chak De and other hockey based movies, it is intriguing to see that it still need more recognition. There are legends who have done great in their respective teams. Let’s talk about them.

Here are a few players that deserve more recognition.

Dhanraj Pillai - Dhanraj Pillai, a name that resonates with the hearts of Indian hockey enthusiasts. Born on July 16, 1968, in Khadki, Maharashtra, Pillai's journey to becoming an icon was not without its fair share of challenges.

From a young age, Pillai displayed exceptional talent and passion for the game. He represented India in four Olympic Games and played over 300 international matches for the national team. His ability to control the ball with finesse and his lightning-fast dribbling skills made him a force to be reckoned with on the field.

One of his most memorable moments came during the 1998 Asian Games when he scored a hat-trick against South Korea in the final match. It was this stellar performance that led India to clinch gold after a long gap of 32 years.

Jean Ratelle - This talented centerman had an impressive career in the NHL, yet his contributions are not always recognized as they should be. Born on October 3, 1940, in Lac St-Jean, Quebec, Ratelle began his professional hockey journey with the Boston Bruins in 1960. He quickly established himself as a reliable and skilled player on both ends of the ice.

Ratelle's true breakout came when he joined the New York Rangers in 1961. During his time with the Rangers, he formed a formidable line alongside Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert. Together they became known as "The GAG Line" (Goal-A-Game) due to their incredible offensive prowess. Throughout his career, Ratelle consistently put up impressive numbers. In fact, he recorded six consecutive seasons of scoring at least 30 goals from 1971 to 1977 - a remarkable feat by any standard.

Jean Ratelle's name may not come up in discussions about hockey greats as often as it should. Perhaps it's because he played during an era dominated by other notable players like Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe. Ratelle deserves more recognition for his contributions to the sport of hockey. His skillful playmaking abilities and consistent scoring made him an invaluable asset to whichever team he played for.

Marcel Dionne - Marcel Dionne is a name that may not be as familiar to casual hockey fans, but his impact on the game cannot be understated. Born in Canada in 1951, Dionne was a force to be reckoned with on the ice. As a centerman, he showcased exceptional skill and an innate ability to score goals.

Dionne began his professional career with the Detroit Red Wings in 1971 before moving on to play for the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Despite playing during an era dominated by legends like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, Dionne managed to make his mark.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dionne consistently put-up impressive numbers. In fact, he ranks fifth all-time in NHL scoring with over 1,700 points. He was a prolific goal scorer, tallying over 700 goals throughout his career.

Paul Kariya - Now, let's turn our attention to another remarkable talent that deserves more recognition: Paul Kariya. Throughout his career, Paul Kariya showcased a level of skill and grace that few players could match. He was known for his lightning-fast speed, impeccable stickhandling abilities, and an uncanny ability to see plays develop before anyone else on the ice. Watching him skate effortlessly across the rink was like witnessing poetry in motion.

Kariya began making waves early in his career when he played college hockey at the University of Maine. His exceptional play earned him numerous accolades including being named a Hobey Baker Award finalist twice.

These are some of the legends of the game who deserve more recognition. It’s high-time we start knowing the iconic players.