As part of the NHL Centennial Celebration, renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris will paint original portraits of each of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian as chosen by a Blue Ribbon panel. NHL.com will reveal two portraits each Monday in 2017.
This week, the portraits of defenseman Scott Stevens and goalie Martin Brodeur, who together won the Stanley Cup three times with the New Jersey Devils, are unveiled in the 25th installment.
Scott Stevens, who was captain of the New Jersey Devils for each of their three Stanley Cup championships (1995, 2000, 2003) and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2000, was a hard hitter who struck fear in some of the top offensive players in the game.
But he was more than that. He also was skilled offensively, topping 50 points in eight of his first 12 NHL seasons. That included an NHL career-high 78 points (18 goals, 60 assists) with the Devils in 1993-94, when he finished second in voting for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the top defenseman in the League, behind Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins.
Stevens had 908 points (196 goals, 712 assists) In 1,635 NHL games.
Stevens was a man of few words, but NHL.com staff writer Tom Gulitti, in his NHL100 profile of Stevens, said the defenseman did his talking on the ice:
Video: Scott Stevens was a feared, big-hitting defenseman
"[Former teammate John] MacLean said Stevens was 'a very quiet, very reserved guy' off the ice.
"'But he'd put the skates on and he was battle-ready whether it was practice or a game,' MacLean said. 'That, to me, was his leadership, how he competed in games, in practices. He knew you can get better practicing against better players. And he was the guy. He set the tone. We knew we had to battle when we were in there with him. There was no letup. Whether that was a 30-minute, 40-minute or an hour practice, that's what you were going to get.'
"If a teammate didn't practice as hard as Stevens, the captain was sure to let him know his effort wasn't good enough.
"'Well, I think I got their attention," Stevens said. 'You can make each other accountable. I really believed that practice was a big part of winning hockey games and we practiced hard. We had our scuffles. We had other guys who practiced hard.
"'That's a big part of having success.'"
Artist Tony Harris said he tried to capture Stevens' intensity in his portrait.
"I always thought that Scott Stevens was a linebacker that happened to be a really good hockey player," Harris said. "He was a player that even though he didn't score a lot of goals you were always aware when he was on the ice. This painting hopes to capture that presence."
In the history of the NHL, other goalies may have been more charismatic, more quotable, more colorful, more physical, more acrobatic or more technically exacting than Martin Brodeur, but none of them won as much as he did.
Brodeur, who played 21 seasons with the Devils and seven games with the St. Louis Blues in 2014-15, is the NHL all-time leader in wins (691), saves (28,928), shutouts (125) and games (1,266). He was the youngest goalie to win 300 NHL games. And 400. And 500.
He won the Vezina Trophy four times and the Jennings Trophy -- awarded to the goaltender(s) on the team allowing the fewest goals -- five times. He made the NHL First All-Star Team four times and the Second All-Star Team three times, and won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the League in 1993-94, when he nearly carried the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final. The next season, he helped the Devils to their first of three Stanley Cup championships.
His 113 Stanley Cup Playoff victories and 205 NHL playoff games rank second all-time to Patrick Roy (151 wins, 247 games). His 24 postseason shutouts are the most in NHL history, one ahead of Roy.
In his NHL100 profile of Brodeur, author Stu Hackel wrote about Brodeur's unflappable nature in goal.
Video: Martin Brodeur owns many key career goalie records
"He seemed to have the perfect temperament for the job, no matter the circumstances. A parade of teammates testified over the years that -- unlike the stereotypical goalie of erratic temperament and eccentric behavior -- Marty was just a 'normal' guy.
"Teammate Sheldon Souray described to Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber a representative Brodeur moment: 'There's Marty after the second period, having his Sprite and half a bagel, working on a shutout, and he's talking and joking with the guys in the room. Then he'll go out and stop 10 shots in the third. There's just this calmness about him. Maybe it's because he still thinks of hockey as a game.'
"'He relishes the big game and big moments and wants it on his shoulders, but he's very relaxed about it. Marty's like, 'Yeah, let's go win a game,' Bill Guerin, a Devils teammate from 1992-98, told Farber.
"As Brodeur himself said, 'I just don't get nervous at a hockey rink.'"
Harris said one particular aspect of Brodeur's game jumped out at him during his research for the painting.
"What stuck with me while researching photographs for Martin Broduer's portrait was how normal his equipment set up was in an era when goalies were using the biggest bulkiest padding they could find," Harris said.