Hockey is perhaps the most exciting and intense sport in the world, but it has a relatively small group of fans when compared to the other major professional sports. Hockey’s niche market usually prevents its stars from becoming household names, but that is not always the case. These are four of the most famous ice hockey players that every sports fan will know.


Wayne Gretzky


Wayne Gretzky is a name virtually everyone in the country knows. All of Gretzky’s fame is directly contributed to his amazing skills on the ice. He simply the best player to ever put on a pair of ice skates. There was a time when he was one of the highest paid celebrity endorsers in the country. In addition to being the face for several household brands, Wayne Gretzky extended his fame by publishing books, acting and appearing on the cover of video games.


Sidney Crosby


The only hockey player that has come close to matching Wayne Gretzky’s fame is Sidney Crosby. The young Canadian still has several years left in his career, but he has already become one of the best players of all-time. Crosby’s excellent skills on the ice earned him lucrative endorsements with Adidas, Gatorade and Tim Hortons. If he can add another Stanley Cup or Olympic gold medal to his mantle, then Sidney Crosby’s fame will only grow in the future.


Barry Melrose


Barry Melrose was never a star player during his short NHL career, but he is still one of the biggest names in the sport. Melrose is known by every casual sports fan because of his long career on television. He has been the top hockey analyst on ESPN since he joined the network in 1996. He can be seen breaking down the top plays and any important news every night on “SportsCenter.”


Jeremy Roenick


Jeremy Roenick is one of only three players born in the United States to score more than 500 goals in the NHL. Roenick’s outgoing personality made him a huge fan favorite during his playing career. It also helped him get a successful career in television after retiring in 2009. Jeremy Roenick currently works as an analyst for NBC. He has called the Winter Olympics and Stanley Cup finals for the channel.