What is Gretzky's legacy if he retires after 1988?
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07-07-2013, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Originally Posted by
Yes I'd agree with that on a certain level, absolutely. The memory of Orr, The Legend if you will has grown brighter with the passage of time. I guess I have a rather unique perspective on Orr, as I was fortunate enough to have faced him (goalie) live & in-person on the ice in shooting drills, in some serious scrimmages, and of course he could be stopped. Absolutely. I didnt consider him Superhuman nor anything to fear, indeed quite the contrary, take your best shot Pal. A treat to play against someone so talented & creative, a constant learning experience and certainly one that built, instilled a great deal of confidence in my game, abilities. Both Orr & Gretzky were more than capable of seriously embarrassing their opponents, opponents who had they worked on their own games with considerably more diligence couldve' avoided such. Not entirely, but at minimum mitigated the likelihood or chances of that happening. Orr was a lot more temporal, rugged; Gretzky lithe, ethereal. I rank Orr as the Greatest Player All Time, on par with and equal in stature/status with Gretzky & vice-versa. I realize thats a bit wishy-washy for some, but objectively, I cant rationally elevate one over the other. Does not compute especially so if we imagine Gretzky retiring in 88.... perhaps Ive been staring at those balls of fire for too long, Sunspots, but thats how I see it, call it.
Wow, what an amazing first hand experience to play against Orr. This of course gives you an entirely different perspective on him. I'm just hypothesizing, but I would imagine if you had played against Gretzky, you might have not understood him as well as you understood Orr. In 1985-86, Gretzky won the scoring title by 74 points, obliterating 2nd place Mario Lemieux -- and broke records (of course, his own) with 163 assists and 215 points. Yet the players still gave the Pearson to Lemieux as the best player in the game. Why is this? I think it's because Gretzky was also the most
player in the game. He seemed like a normal player out there on the ice. Players and fans alike couldn't read the slight, subtle adjustments and manipulations he was constantly making while getting lost in the ebb and flow -- often letting the flow find him at just the right time before executing -- that allowed him to break those countless scoring records. As such, it kind of went over everyone's head. Yet it was precisely this "mis-understanding" that Gretzky used to exploit the record book and pretty much every success he had. If you were to play with him on the ice, he probably wouldn't impress you much. At least not until you started watching everyone else on the ice, and how the puck was finding them. But that's just a theory.
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