The "Gretzky was protected" myth.
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06-25-2008, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Originally Posted by
Well said. I was going to bring this same point up. Gretz didnt get hit because he saw the game 4-5 moves before the other guy did. Trying to line him up would only end as an embarrasment. To think that guys like Tim Hunter and other goons of the 80s were 'afraid' to hit Gretz because he had tough guys on his team is the completely idiotic. Anyone who believes this is an absolute shill for arguing that goons 'police' the sport......another myth that has never been close to true.
Right from the horse's mouth.
"I didn't fight a lot," Semenko said. "I don't know how much trouble I actually stopped by being there. A lot of times it was just talking to a guy. You'd say, 'I don't know what you're doing, but if you plan on continuing it ...,' and that usually would stop it. We had a lot of tough players on our team, so it wasn't just my sole role, but I got the most attention for it.
"There weren't a lot of games, but there might have been some, where if our game was going south, I might try and go out and try and start something, but that really didn't happen a lot. And as far as Wayne was concerned, I could only remember a couple of instances where I actually had to react to somebody doing something to him. That was very rare.
"Tim Hunter took a slash at him once when I was on the ice in Edmonton and I went after Tim. Paul Baxter was threatening [Gretzky] once, and he went by our bench and threatened Gretz, and I dropped him with a punch right from the bench, so I didn't even have to get on the ice. But there were very few instances where someone was threatening him or went after him. He was a tough guy to hit, and he had a lot of respect [from players]. But they knew someone was going to come after you, and that sort of backed guys off, too. But that was in that era, and that's something that isn't effective now, for some reason."
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