Bruce Bennett is celebrating his 5000th hockey game by looking back at his career and picking his Top 10 images. Here's the story behind them as told by Bruce...
Mark Messier was a leader throughout his career. His stare alone would send shivers down competitors’ spines. As a photographic subject, he was always one of the best. Captured here in 2002, he appears as a throwback to another time in hockey’s history; a gladiator whose win at all costs attitude made him an asset to all teams he was a part of.
‘Thirtieth try a winner.’ One cliché that finally worked out is the shot of players knocking the pucks off the boards to start their pregame practice. Here, future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne hits the pucks with the same precision that he has used to score over 700 goals in the National Hockey League, thereby creating the perfect symmetry.
Funny what a little cotton and kerosene can do for an image. One of the NHL’s most prolific scorers, Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders, posed for a few frames that I shot for a newspaper cover that was commissioned by The Hockey News in 1980.
When stars collide! Capturing big hits on the ice is great, but capturing two of the league’s biggest stars is even better. Known for his patented hip check amongst other things, Denis Potvin nails Montreal’s star forward Guy Lafleur in an open ice hit – something we don’t see often enough in the NHL these days.
Technically this isn’t a great shot, and it is kind of tough selling images of a guy with his eyes closed. But in 1989 when superstar forward Lanny McDonald finally realized his dreams of winning the Stanley Cup, this image told it all. His ‘Field of Dreams’ was a frozen one, and his lifetime goal of capturing hockey’s Holy Grail had finally been achieved.
Editor's Note: See some more of Bruce's pictures that almost made his Top 10 here.