Hockey's Most Valuable Player: Who Has Won the Most MVP Awards in NHL History?

These 7 hockey legends have the most Hart Memorial Trophies in NHL history

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The Hart Memorial Trophy is handed out annually to the NHL's "Most Valuable Player", but whose claimed more of them than anyone else by winning the most NHL MVP awards?

The prestigious title is typically announced following the regular season, and is selected through a vote by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. The criteria for winning an NHL MVP award is typical for any award of its kind. Outstanding performance, leadership, contributions to their team's success -- all of the things that would make a player the most valuable to their team in the given season. Whether the player selected led their team to winning a Stanley Cup that season or not, many of hockey's most legendary players have received the honor, with the cream of the crop displaying multiple Hart Memorial Trophies on their mantle. What players have received the most NHL MVP Awards in the NHL? Let's Discuss.

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1. Wayne Gretzky (9 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989
  • Stanley Cups: 4
  • Teams Played For: Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers

Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky is certainly deserving of a nickname with such high regard. Gretzky revolutionized the game of hockey with his can't-be-beaten skill and ability to lead his team year after year. Gretzky shattered numerous records, is the NHL all-time leading scorer, and earned four Stanley Cup championships with the Edmonton Oilers. Beyond statistics, the legend inspired generations of players and is easily one of the greatest athletes in the sport's history.

2. Gordie Howe (6 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963
  • Stanley Cups: 4
  • Teams Played For: Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers

Gordie Howe played in the NHL technically over five decades, beginning in the 1940s and concluding in the 1980s. The late "Mr. Hockey" earned himself plenty of accolades, including four Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings and is a six-time NHL MVP.

3. Eddie Shore (4 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1933, 1935, 1936, 1938
  • Stanley Cups: 2
  • Teams Played For: Boston Bruins

Legendary defenseman Eddie Shore was force to be reckoned with that was an unbelievably valuable asset to his team, as reflected in the fact that he is a 4-time NHL MVP.

T-4. Howie Morenz (3 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1928, 1931, 1932
  • Stanley Cups: 3
  • Teams Played For: Montreal Canadiens

Speedy Howie Morenz was an electrifying player in the '20s and '30s, who had an unmatched playmaking ability that was a huge asset to his team. His three Hart Memorial Trophies came during seasons that he led the Montreal Canadiens to Stanley Cup championships. Tragically, Morenz's life and career was cut short at the age of 34 due to complications from a broken leg, but not before he left behind a lasting legacy as one of hockey's superstars.

T-4. Bobby Orr (3 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1970, 1971, 1972
  • Stanley Cups: 2
  • Teams Played For: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks

Bobby Orr was one of the greatest defensemen to ever play in the NHL. Orr had remarkable skating ability, the ability to transition to from defense to offense with remarkable speed, and was a defenseman that any player would want on their side. Despite a career shortened by knee injuries, Orr's impact on the sport and particularly on defense in the league remains unparalleled.

T-4. Mario Lemieux (3 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1988, 1993, 1996
  • NHL Championships: 3
  • Teams Played For: Montreal Canadiens

"Super Mario", Mario Lemieux, is a legend in the NHL for many reasons. He battled through various health issues, including Hodgkin's lymphoma and back problems, but did not let any of these obstacles stop him from amassing a plethora of accolades, including two Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins and three Hart Memorial Trophies.

T-4. Bobby Clarke (3 MVP Awards)

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  • Years Won: 1973, 1975, 1976
  • Stanley Cups: 2
  • Teams Played For: Philadelphia Flyers

Bobby Clarke was a skilled center and captain of the Philadelphia Flyers when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups the mid-1970s. Clarke will forever be remembered for his leadership on and off the ice, and his no-quit attitude that helped earn him three MVP trophies.

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