Slowest in their prime. Seventies Bucyk was not in his prime. He generated the numbers and honours strictly from smarts just like sixties Howe and Beliveau post injury.
I read in an interview with Lennart Svedberg that he thought Howe was the fastest player on the Wings when he trialed for them in 1968. He said he was proud that he could skate faster than even the legendary Gordie Howe.
Esposito wasn't slow, he just took 2 strides when others had to take 10.
He was not fast but I think he may have been a bit faster than he looked since if you stay on the ice for 3 straight shifts you've got to be pacing yourself. Players today are faster, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that they're only out there for 40 seconds so they're always skating as fast as they can.
If this would be a poll, Luc Robitaille would likely win this one. It always amazed me how he could score a crapload of goals while it seemed he can't skate at all. Luc was not just a slow, but he was simply a bad skater for a professional hockey player. He did not have speed, stride, agility or anything, yet at one point he was one of the best scorers in the game. Robitaille did not even had a divine shot á la Brett Hull. Just a very quick hands around the net and a typical sniper instinct.
Andreychuk, Kerr, Bossy and Ciccarelli are good calls too. Not sure about pre-80's stars, but obviously there were a lot of bad skaters in the old times.
I remember when Jason Allison was a Maple Leaf. He swears up and down in an article that he won a fastest skaters competition while he was a King. This on a team with Ziggy Palffy at the time.
Another name that jumps out at me is Johnny Bucyk. Could hit like a truck but was slow on the ice
Larry Murphy was slow despite being a HHOFer defenseman. He made up for this with his offensive smarts and his positional play and being able to keep the puck in the offensive zone during a clearing attempt. But he sure wasn't fast
Alexei Kovalev has never been a fast skater for all of his skill
Claude Lemieux is close enough to being a star I suppose, even though he's so far from it in so many ways. But I never thought of him with wheels.
Adam Oates was slow but exceptional with his on-ice vision and playmaking, as if I need to mention that
Okay here's a name out of left field, no he wasn't a lumbering forward, but I wouldn't call him fast either for his success or his level of skill.........................Peter Forsberg. Honestly, does anyone really remember him as a guy with blazing speed? Does anyone have a clip of him skating fast? When I think of Forsberg I think of a player with incredible stickhandling and ability to hang onto the puck. I think of a great passer too. But I never felt he was a fast skater, not lousy, but certainly not fast. Flame away
Oates was pretty quick and shifty...always seemed to have his body in good position.