Dennis Abgrall never scored a goal in the NHL, but his patented celebration was one of a kind. (THN Archives)
All of the hoopla this past week surrounding Alex Ovechkin’s ‘Too Hot To Handle’ celebration of his 50th goal of the season got us thinking about the greatest goal celebrations of all time. We came up with a few and tossed them around the office.
So with that, we present – with as much video evidence as possible – THN’s Top 10 goal celebrations of all time.
10. Travis Green and Ziggy Palffy get intimate
While the two were members of the Islanders in the late 1990s, Palffy and Green made their significant others a little jealous with a kiss.
9. Mike Foligno can jump high
Foligno’s trademark celebration lived on last season when his son, Nick, scored his first NHL goal and saluted his father with the same move.
8. Mike Bossy does the running man
In 1980-81, Bossy became just the second player to score 50 goals in 50 games – matching Maurice Richard’s feat in 1944-45 – and celebrated by running on the spot.
7. Milan Hejduk dives right in
After potting the overtime winner against Dallas a few years back, Hejduk jumped into the deep end for a few strokes.
6. Alex Kovalev goes walking on the moon
Kovalev enjoyed his best offensive run while playing in Pittsburgh. After a particularly nice third period goal, Kovalev joined the realm of Michael Jackson devotees. And while he hasn’t done it on the ice lately, he still busts it out every once in a while.
5. Bernie Nicholls’ ‘Pumper-Nicholl’
Nicholls scored a lot of goals during his NHL career – 475 to be exact, including 70 in 1988-89 – and after many he Pumper-Nicholled. Windmilling his arm to start, Nicholls would then drop to one knee and pump his arm while sliding along the ice. The Pumper-Nicholl spawned a generation of goal celebrants who otherwise might have been resigned to simply raising their sticks.
4. Tiger Williams goes for a ride
In his return to Toronto as a Vancouver Canuck in 1980, Williams scored a go-ahead goal in the third period. He then made his move; the only time he did so during his career (contrary to popular belief).
3. Theo Fleury goes for a slide
If this was a list of sheer jubilation, Fleury’s celebration after scoring in overtime to force Game 7 against Edmonton in 1991 would be No. 1.
2. Teemu Selanne goes duck hunting
After scoring his 54th goal of the season in 1992-93, breaking Mike Bossy’s rookie goal-scoring mark, Selanne got a little trigger-happy.
1. Dennis Abgrall’s shooting range
Abgrall was no star, far from it in fact, but he had an A-1 goal celebration. The Mooseomin, Sask., native played 13 NHL games – recording two assists – and 145 World Association games for the Cincinnati Stingers between 1976 and ’78, scoring 36 times. And when Abgrall scored, you knew it. He would instantly spin, point his stick ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly-style and let “fire” at the goalie, the puck, the net, whichever was in range. Classic stuff from a classic era.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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