The "Gretzky was protected" myth.
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06-26-2008, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hockeytown, ND
As the prevailing (and correct) view in this thread shows, Wayne Gretzky was NOT protected by the league any more than any other superstar face of the NHL has ever been. Dave Semenko was gone from the Oilers by 1987, yet Gretzky still did not get hit much. Nor was he "smashed" in L.A., St. Louis, or NY. Hummm.....
As has been mentioned several times, he was just so smart and saw the ice too well to really get laid out much. And he had the knack for spinning away at the time of the hit, so it did not do as much damage as it would to other players.
I, too, seriously doubt Dale Hunter ever worried about Dave Semenko, Kevin McClelland, or anyone else coming after him for hitting someone. You just know he would have loved to have pasted Gretzky, but never could. And anyone who would hit a player from behind 10 seconds after he scored a goal isn't worried about suspensions, is he?
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