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Is there any meaningful way to compare Gretzky and Orr?

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Old
03-21-2017, 10:43 AM
  #51
BNHL
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Gretzky winning a Selke while winning a scoring title might compete with Orr winning a Norris and the scoring title.

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03-21-2017, 06:07 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNHL View Post
Gretzky winning a Selke while winning a scoring title might compete with Orr winning a Norris and the scoring title.
It would be funny if Gretzky after January 1987 and for the remainder of the season, having the Art Ross wrapped up, just for ***** and giggles, concentrated on playing defense and shut down the opponent's best forwards. With his brain, I'm sure he would excel and get the Selke.

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03-21-2017, 06:47 PM
  #53
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Gretzky dominated for much longer, and delivered more in the playoffs.At their best, you cannot say either one was far ahead of the other.From that it follows that Gretzky was the greatest between the two.

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03-22-2017, 12:47 AM
  #54
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Orr controlled the pace of the game at his will.

He did whatever he wanted to when he wanted to, watching clips on YouTube he is a full gear above everyone else.

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03-22-2017, 10:33 AM
  #55
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And Orr never,ever had a bodyguard.

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03-22-2017, 11:00 AM
  #56
rfournier103
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Is there a meaningful way to compare the two? Maybe not. The numbers clearly favor Wayne Gretzky. Hands down.

Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky were so very different in almost every way. Not only were they different as players; but their circumstances were entirely different as well.

In addition to his well documented injuries, Orr had the grave misfortune of playing during an era of Montreal Canadiens excellence. Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers were the dynastic and dynamic team of his era - having succeeded the New York Islanders. Gretzky didn't have to compete against the Oilers for the Stanley Cup until the second act of his career, and by then the Oilers were being sold off and traded away, anyway. Beside Calgary, Edmonton's competition just wasn't as strong as Orr's Bruins had to face. The Canadiens and Flyers were a thorn in the side of the Bruins.

I did not have cable TV as a kid growing up, and therefore didn't get to see very much Smythe Division hockey, but I am under the impression that the 1980s Oilers didn't have to play as physical a game as the 1960s and '70s Bruins did. Maybe that lent itself to more scoring and better numbers? Orr had nasty streak in him that Gretzky has never seemed to have. I've seen video of him diving into another teams bench to go after a player who had something snarky to say to him. Would the Great One ever do such a thing? Not likely. Maybe if Orr born 10 years later and played for Winnipeg things may have been different.

All in all, their eras; styles; teams; positions; and competition are really too different to compare.

They're just too different.

Having said that - ANY team would be blessed beyond words to have either one at even 80%... nevermind in their prime. This is an amazing hockey question that will live forever.

Brady or Manning?

Mustaine or Hammett?

Coca-Cola or Pepsi?

Williams or DiMaggio?

Deep dish or thin crust?

Gretzky or Orr?

It always comes down to taste; preference; and circumstances.

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Old
03-22-2017, 11:02 AM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNHL View Post
And Orr never,ever had a bodyguard.
I bet he could kick the ass of a man 15 years younger than him today.

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03-22-2017, 11:56 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by BNHL View Post
And Orr never,ever had a bodyguard.
Gretzky never had busted knees, that's fairly important too.

Both had their stronger and weaker aspects and none of those, individually, are enough to determine who was the greatest.

As a whole though, I much prefer Gretzky.

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Old
03-22-2017, 05:58 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfournier103 View Post
Is there a meaningful way to compare the two? Maybe not. The numbers clearly favor Wayne Gretzky. Hands down.

Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky were so very different in almost every way. Not only were they different as players; but their circumstances were entirely different as well.

In addition to his well documented injuries, Orr had the grave misfortune of playing during an era of Montreal Canadiens excellence. Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers were the dynastic and dynamic team of his era - having succeeded the New York Islanders. Gretzky didn't have to compete against the Oilers for the Stanley Cup until the second act of his career, and by then the Oilers were being sold off and traded away, anyway. Beside Calgary, Edmonton's competition just wasn't as strong as Orr's Bruins had to face. The Canadiens and Flyers were a thorn in the side of the Bruins.

I did not have cable TV as a kid growing up, and therefore didn't get to see very much Smythe Division hockey, but I am under the impression that the 1980s Oilers didn't have to play as physical a game as the 1960s and '70s Bruins did. Maybe that lent itself to more scoring and better numbers? Orr had nasty streak in him that Gretzky has never seemed to have. I've seen video of him diving into another teams bench to go after a player who had something snarky to say to him. Would the Great One ever do such a thing? Not likely. Maybe if Orr born 10 years later and played for Winnipeg things may have been different.

All in all, their eras; styles; teams; positions; and competition are really too different to compare.

They're just too different.

Having said that - ANY team would be blessed beyond words to have either one at even 80%... nevermind in their prime. This is an amazing hockey question that will live forever.

Brady or Manning?

Mustaine or Hammett?

Coca-Cola or Pepsi?

Williams or DiMaggio?

Deep dish or thin crust?

Gretzky or Orr?

It always comes down to taste; preference; and circumstances.
Marty > Hammett

Dave > James


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Old
03-22-2017, 06:00 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Gretzky was by far the healthiest of the Big 4
Uh, lol

There was this one guy...

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Old
03-22-2017, 06:08 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
I'm doing a little project for a class of mine that's hockey related, and I was wondering if anyone could chime in on the subject of comparing Gretzky to Orr as a measure of who is the better player.

They both dominated so heavily, but they never shared the ice for a single season. A defenseman vs. a forward. What can we do to contrast them against each other?
You can probably compare player playing different position in different era, even goaltender vs forward, by trying to evaluate their ability to help a team win game vs the elite of their time, to do that the way to go is probably find the best metric to evaluate how many goal for the team was created and saved by having that player playing those minute instead of a really good player that would have been getting those minute if they were not playing for the team.

That way, you are trying to translate everyone to the same metric, wins for the team.

Probably much easier in baseball than hockey.

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Old
03-24-2017, 05:33 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Uh, lol

There was this one guy...
I don't get it.

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Old
03-24-2017, 09:06 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I don't get it.
I believe he's referring to the old guy who played 2186 career games, also a charter member of the big four.

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03-25-2017, 04:51 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I don't get it.
Well, it's not exactly a Gordiean Knot. It's beyond me Howe you can overlook the obvious.

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03-25-2017, 08:36 AM
  #65
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I believe he's referring to the old guy who played 2186 career games, also a charter member of the big four.
Oh, Gordie Howe.

The player who came close to death with a fractured skull caused by a collision with the boards. He's the one who had a more injury free (healthier) career than Gretzky. I get it now.

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03-26-2017, 03:44 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Oh, Gordie Howe.

The player who came close to death with a fractured skull caused by a collision with the boards. He's the one who had a more injury free (healthier) career than Gretzky. I get it now.
Howe missed the rest of the playoffs after his skull fracture and played the full schedule the next season, leading the league in goals, assists and points. He missed a chunk of the '48-'49 season to knee surgery previously, but was still on the cusp of his prime at that point. He played the full regular season schedule in 16 of his 25 years in the NHL.

Gretzky missed close to half of the '92-'93 season with a herniated disc that some thought would be career-ending, and it's generally accepted lore that he lost a step after getting knocked out of the Canada Cup by Gary Suter a few years earlier. He played the full regular season schedule in 8 of his 20 years in the NHL.

There's no need to be snarky about it.

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03-26-2017, 03:57 PM
  #67
Dennis Bonvie
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Howe missed the rest of the playoffs after his skull fracture and played the full schedule the next season, leading the league in goals, assists and points. He missed a chunk of the '48-'49 season to knee surgery previously, but was still on the cusp of his prime at that point. He played the full regular season schedule in 16 of his 25 years in the NHL.

Gretzky missed close to half of the '92-'93 season with a herniated disc that some thought would be career-ending, and it's generally accepted lore that he lost a step after getting knocked out of the Canada Cup by Gary Suter a few years earlier. He played the full regular season schedule in 8 of his 20 years in the NHL.

There's no need to be snarky about it.
You're right, no need. My apologies.

Howe also broke his wrist somewhere along the line (1955?).

Considering the amount of contact he had during his career, isn't it safe to say he probably played hurt quite a bit? At least more than Gretzky had to?

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03-26-2017, 04:20 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Howe also broke his wrist somewhere along the line (1955?).

Considering the amount of contact he had during his career, isn't it safe to say he probably played hurt quite a bit? At least more than Gretzky had to?
That's probably true to some degree. Whether that was something everyone else was doing too, and what actual effect that had on Gordie's freakishly resilient body, is debatable.

In the end, "healthiest" is as fuzzy a concept as "greatest" - you can make your case with numbers (Howe looks healthiest with those) or visuals (Gretzky injuries weren't as bloody), but there isn't really a single number you can attach to a player regarding how ready they are to play hockey.

In any case, two of the big four had healthy careers - not Doug Jarvis healthy, but they both made it to age 40 relatively unscathed - and two of them had major health problems from wire to wire. That much is clear.

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Old
04-20-2017, 09:39 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by crobro View Post
Orr controlled the pace of the game at his will.

He did whatever he wanted to when he wanted to, watching clips on YouTube he is a full gear above everyone else.
so he simply chose not to win the cups the years the Bruins weren't the champs?

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04-21-2017, 01:43 PM
  #70
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Ultimately, there's no perfect way to compare a forward and a defenseman. You'd have to figure out how many goals each player PREVENTED, not only how many points they put up. A high scoring forward will normally score more than a high scoring defenseman, but the d-man is going to prevent a lot more scoring than the forward, even if he is offensive minded. I just don't know how to figure out how much more? Possible perks in Orr's favor is that the position of a d-man may be considered more important than a forward, because they are usually out there longer and there are less of them on the team (although it may be argued Gretzky was a center, not just a wing?). Gretzky is going to have a huge advantage in points scored, but how many great defensive plays did he make in his own end compared to Orr? A lot of Orr's highlights are blocking shots and stealing pucks around his own goal. Did Gretzky even PLAY around his own goal? I saw him live once and I remember he was hanging out close to the red line when the puck was in his own end, hoping for a breakout pass.

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Old
04-21-2017, 03:04 PM
  #71
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
Ultimately, there's no perfect way to compare a forward and a defenseman. You'd have to figure out how many goals each player PREVENTED, not only how many points they put up. A high scoring forward will normally score more than a high scoring defenseman, but the d-man is going to prevent a lot more scoring than the forward, even if he is offensive minded. I just don't know how to figure out how much more? Possible perks in Orr's favor is that the position of a d-man may be considered more important than a forward, because they are usually out there longer and there are less of them on the team (although it may be argued Gretzky was a center, not just a wing?). Gretzky is going to have a huge advantage in points scored, but how many great defensive plays did he make in his own end compared to Orr? A lot of Orr's highlights are blocking shots and stealing pucks around his own goal. Did Gretzky even PLAY around his own goal? I saw him live once and I remember he was hanging out close to the red line when the puck was in his own end, hoping for a breakout pass.
Why would he do that, there were other players on ice that assumed that role. Gretzky had to be the highest in the zone to be the most efficient on the counter-attack, I mean how many 2-on-1 would he make happen if he was not playing there?

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