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10-30-2012, 10:54 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by 85highlander View Post
Bobby Orr was better than Gretzky, of this I have zero doubt. I would never deny the fact that Gretzky is king for offensive hockey - no question and no argument. But when you consider that Gretzky also personally witnessed more goals while on the ice than any other skater during his career, and that he was a negative +/- six out of his last seven seasons, some of the career "advantage" begins to be tarnished (at least for those without the Gretzky colored glasses). Orr redefined his position and the game. He dominated his positional peers to a far greater degree than Gretzky ever did. No other defenseman has ever sniffed an Art Ross, nor could Gretzky ever dream of winning a Norris.

Ten years may not be the longest career - but no one was ever better for their peak - heck, when Orr retired, he was #1 ppg all-time,not to mention his defensive and physical play. Bobby Orr, # 1, and everyone else is still playing for second place.
Remember this though, the top 10 players who were on the ice for the most goals against are some of the all-time greats. All of them are HHOFers. Larry Robinson of all people is at #14 on that list and we all know the great teams he played on. Lidstrom is #13.

The top 10 goes as follows: Gretzky, Messier, Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Salming, Murphy, Chelios, Francis, Yzerman.

The reasons can vary from loads of ice time to playing on poor teams to playing for 20 years in a higher scoring era. Stevens is considered one of the best defensive defensemen of all-time and playyed the bulk of his career on a defensive team and he's #5. So take a list like this with a grain of salt.

Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Gretzky's rookie season was 1979-80. Mario's 1984-85.

Gretzky was 27 when Mario won his first scoring title. So in Gretzky's prime, Mario was challenging him.

Anyway, its not much of an argument because you are basing who was better on other players and you picked a guy that played on Orr's team to compare him to.

Gretzky's accomplishment after age 28?

3 scoring titles, one Cup final appearence, -61 in regular season.
The next best player in the NHL during Orr's time was Esposito and it doesn't really matter that he was on the same team as Orr. Esposito won the Hart twice while Orr was a teammate (although I'll admit in 1969 Orr wasn't at that Christ-like level yet). Think about that for a second though. Orr lost in Hart voting to his own teammate in 1974. This tells me two things. Esposito was a lot better than people give him credit for or the gap between those two players wasn't as big as Gretzky and Bossy.

Obviously Orr is the better player than Esposito, but the voters at the time had different ideas. And this wasn't an unusual season for Esposito either. Nor was it an injury riddled season from Orr.

Look, you're downplaying Gretzky post 1989 (28 years old). He's a HHOFer if he only plays those 10 seasons. A lock cinch. He led the NHL for the entire decade of the 1990s in points, by a decent margin. There is no doubt he adds significantly to his resume because of this. 20 years as an elite player (most of them as THE elite player) is almost impossible to do. If Orr maintains his greatness like Gretzky then who knows, but he didn't.

Last edited by Big Phil: 10-30-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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