What is Gretzky's legacy if he retires after 1988?
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07-07-2013, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
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?
From the time he was a pee wee player he had haters and jealous types chastising him. It was no different in the NHL. I mean this was a guy who broke into the NHL and didn't just dominate. He embarrassed the league and its records. Now not by his choice. This was not his goal. He was just that good. I believe a lot of the Canadian public at the time resented this kid having so much fun doing this while looking like he should be asking 'do you want fries with that' at some hamburger joint. (Can you imagine if Michael Jordan looked like a 6'6" Erkel?) It came so easy to him. As Killion stated, his on-ice moves were so subtle even at ice-level they were hard to pick up. I think it took a long time for hockey observers and players not on his team to really appreciate what he was doing. As I've said before, it wasn't until after the trade that the Canadian public as a whole really understood and appreciated what he did in hockey. Now he was across the border and we just lost are greatest Canadian asset since oil and water. Ok, misunderstood, perhaps in the sense of most geniuses, yeah. However, most geniuses are ignored or called crazy during their time rather than idolized, resented and called lucky. Most geniuses are shut-ins, doing their thing until they find a way to communicate their invention to the general public in an understandable way. Gretzky was a genius right in the mix challenging the egos of every Canadian who ever played or watched the game. Personally, I hated him. Being 12 at the time of his onslaught on the NHL; my younger brother idolizing him and the Oilers trouncing the Habs in 3 games. That Habs team was old but still a formidable force. Gretzky embarrassed the most revered franchise in the history of hockey. Huh? A lot of this just didn't compute for us. It took
to settle in,
to get past our denial and personal biases,
to finally say, "Wow! That's incredible!" Of course I am speaking more for myself than the Canadian public as a whole, but I think I probably speak for a lot of Canadians.
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