When you say greatest, if you look at the stats (both per-and post NHL) lifetime is E.C. newsy Lalonde with an average of 1,4 goals per game (454 goals in 345 games) Single season is Joe Malone with 2,08 for the 1921 season. Too bad these records don't make it into the HHoF logs, since they sem to think nothing existed before 1925 or thereabouts
You are right, The old-timers get no respect. Actually, anybody pre-1980 doesn't get much respect. Best goal scorer discussions seem to start & end with a Gretzy vs Lemiieux argument with a few accolades to Bure & Bossy. It seems to be generally accepted that dominance relative to your peers is the best way to compare eras. After paying homage to Newsy & Joe, lets look at the most dominant goal scoring seasons over the last 50 or so seasons. Comparisons are per cent over the runner-up.
If Bobby Hull had stayed in the NHL, there is no doubt he would be considered the best goal scorer of all-time. Whatever total he would of put up, may have been broken by Gretzky anyhow, but regardless Hull was amazing.
Leaving for the WHA really hurt his legacy, but what he did in the WHA and for the WHA was amazing as well.
Good work pappy. A couple of other great seasons (just for comparison) that I can think of:
Charlie Conacher 33/34 - 19%
Charlie Conacher - 34/35 - 44%
Bill Cook - 26/27 - 32%
Jean Beliveau - 55/56 - 24%
It's just amazing how much of a gap there is even at the top. Hull and Howe stand out as clear #1 and 2 then Gretzky/Richard are close behind at #3/4. But even those guys are well ahead of all time greats like Beliveau, Conacher and Cook.
Here are Gartner's appearances in the top ten goals for a season:
90-91: 5th place
89-90: 9th place (4-way tie)
87-88: 9th place (3-way tie)
84-85: 9th place
80-81: 10th place
That is why he never gets mentioned in these threads.
I understand he didn't lead the league in goal scored, but the fact that he is one of only six players to ever score 700 goals in still a mighty impressive statistic in itself you can't deny that. And to score 700+ goals and not lead the league in scoring suggests that at the very least, he is one of the most consistant goal scorers of all time.
Watching both 99 and 66 play - and being a bigger fan of Gretzky overall, I still have to say that Mario had the softest scoring hands I've ever seen - Jagr reminds me of him but Mario could carry a team on his shoulders for scoring, much like Gretz did with setting up goals.