Patrick Roy. He revolutionized the way the game is played. Sure he may have helped turn it into what everyone calls "a boring game" but without him, goalies would not be held in as high a regard as they are.
One cannot deny the impact Steve Yzerman has had on the game...a class act in all ways, shapes and forms. For me, I have to go back to the days of guys like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Terry Sawchuck, and the like...without guys like them, the game would not be the way it is.
Currently, I have to go with Pavel...he has certainly made it an absolute joy to watch hockey again! He's such a blast to watch!
For me when I was still a kid but especially for my dad it has got to be Guy Lafleur. The Flower was simply amazing with the hair and the flair and the speed, the booming slap shots, the constant deke moves, the awesome plays he made not to mention his end to end rushes.. the most exciting player to ever play the game!
Mario Lemieux is another one who I truly idolised. Right now I would say hockey for me wouldnt be the same without Kovalev being with MTL Canadiens. The guy is a thrill to watch and he reminds me of Lafleur as after Guy the habs have not had too many players that fun to watch.. only Mats Naslund and Stephane Richer but Kovalev is the best since Lafleur. So yeah for me hockey wouldn't have been the same without Lafleur, Lemieux and right now Kovalev.
Vincent Lecavalier! Football was always my fav sport growing up and I played it for years never playing hockey. I knew how to skate a played street ball but never organized. If I never started watching Lecavalier in 97 I would have no interest in hockey today.