Would Gretzky still be called the "Great One" if...
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10-05-2003, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Old School
Originally Posted by
If you take for example Joe Thornton in his current state with and you throw him in a 72 Boston Bruins time warp he'd easily score over 130 points, maybe even 150.
In the same way, I don't think a player like Guy Lafleur or Marcel Dionne would ever hit 100 points in today's NHL. They were gritty players with heart bigger than the rink, but if you look at them in terms of pure ability--speed, strenght, power, stamina, reaction time, etc, they would struggle a lot. The game is so much faster today, the hits are more powerful, the shots are harder, the players are stronger, faster, better trained, etc. Not to mention the closed up defensive systems that take monsters to get around.
I think if you took Lafleur or Dionne and subjected them to same training schedule, equiptment, nutrition, and supplements that todays athletes have, they'd do just fine. Similarly if Thorton had the training schedule of a hockey player from the 70's (that is, almost none) he would still be good, but not as dominant as you think.
I agree with you that the game is faster and players are bigger and stronger and have better reaction times, but that is largely due to the better science of today both biological and technological, as well as the year round dedication of todays athletes IMHO. Today's athletes do not have more "pure ability" than the oldies, they're just in better shape and have better equiptment.
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