8 NHL Players That Have Won The Art Ross Trophy In Consecutive Seasons
The Art Ross Trophy has been awarded to the leading point-getter in the National Hockey League each year since the 1947-48 season. Over the 61 years of the trophy’s existence, eight players have won the award in consecutive years.
Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings was the first NHL player to accomplish this feat. Howe won the Art Ross four times in a row from 1950-51 to 1953-54. Over his illustrious career, Gordie would win the award two more times, both while playing with the Red Wings.
A few years later, Dickie Moore of the Montreal Canadiens won the Art Ross twice in a row. Moore won the award with 84 points in 1957-58. The following season, he set an NHL record with 96 points while winning his second Art Ross Trophy. The record would stand until 1965-66 when Bobby Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks beat the mark by a single point. Hull won three Art Ross trophies over his career but never consecutively.
However, Bobby Hull’s teammate in Chicago, Stan Mikita, was the next NHL player to lead the league in scoring over consecutive seasons. Mikita did it twice. The first two were during the 1963-64 and 1964-65 seasons. The second pair was immediately following Hull’s record performance, 1966-67 and 1967-68. In 1966-67, Mikita would match Hull’s 97 points.
The late 1960’s and early 1970’s brought expansion to the NHL. The original six teams were stingy with the Art Ross and didn’t give it up until 1978-79. What expansion did bring was more scoring. Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins won the Art Ross in four consecutive seasons from 1970-71 to 1973-74. His point totals of 152, 133, 130 and 145 over those four years shattered the offensive performances of Mikita and Hull.
Guy Lafleur of the Montreal Canadiens took over as the NHL’s premier point-getter in 1975-76 and won the Art Ross three years in a row, playing for what is considered the best hockey team to ever play the game.
Everything changed for the game of hockey in 1979-80 when Wayne Gretzky entered the league. In his second season, Gretzky took the Art Ross and broke Phil Esposito’s record with 164. Gretzky went on to win seven in a row with the Edmonton Oilers, setting the NHL record for points in a single season during the 1985-86 season with 215. Gretzky would also win consecutive Art Ross trophies with the Los Angeles Kings in 1989-90 and 1990-91. He would win one more in his career for a total of 10.
Mario Lemieux could not beat Gretzky’s record of 215 points, but he did win the Art Ross consecutively on three different occasions. He came close to the record with 199 points in 1988-89, the second of his first two in a row. He would win the trophy in 1991-92 and 1992-93 and then again in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
Lemieux’s teammate with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jaromir Jagr won the Art Ross four times in a row from 1997-98 to 2000-01. Jagr won the trophy five times during his NHL career. Jagr, to date, is the last to win the award in consecutive seasons.
In all, the history of the Art Ross Trophy has been quirky and not one of parody and sharing. Only 25 different players have won the award over the 61 years. From 1970 until 2000, only nine different players won the award. For 20 years from 1980 to 2000, the Art Ross was horded between Gretzky, Lemieux and Jagr. Even among the original six teams, only four have had winners on the team. A Toronto Maple Leaf or New York Ranger has never won the trophy. In fact, only 14 of the current 30 teams have one of their player’s names engraved on the Art Ross.