The Cliff’s Notes version of why No. 66 is No. 1:
1. Despite myriad health problems, Hodgkin's lymphoma among them, Super Mario ranks first in goals per game in the playoffs and second in the regular season, the best evidence of his utter dominance. Let’s also not forget that the guy was clutched and grabbed more than any player we can remember. Seriously, not even Bodacious the rodeo bull was treated this badly.
2. Other than Bobby Orr perhaps, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound centerman was the most physically gifted hockey player ever. Orr was four inches shorter and 30-something pounds lighter and a defenseman.
3. Le Magnifique could score any which way — equal strength, power play, shorthanded, penalty shot, empty net. Would you believe all in the same game?! (See Dec. 31, 1988.)
4. It was said that a dead person could score 20 goals on his line. Well, Robbie Brown was alive in the 1988-89 season, and Super Mario scored 85 goals with him.
Related: Greatest NHL Players of All Time