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The "Gretzky was protected" myth.

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Old
06-26-2008, 02:35 PM
  #51
lextune
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vakar Lajos View Post
I'm going through the Ultimate Gretzky DVD right now and in some of the clips it's pretty evident how good Gretzky was at avoiding hits.
Yep...probably the best ever at it. I saw him play hundreds of games, dozens live in person, and it was uncanny.

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06-26-2008, 02:41 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by lextune View Post
Yep...probably the best ever at it. I saw him play hundreds of games, dozens live in person, and it was uncanny.
The more I watch again, looking specifically for how he succeeded in beating defenses, I'm noticing him getting hooked and slashed. Teams put a body on him but he either accelerates past or fought through the check.

Almost all of his shots are right inside the post. Incredible.

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06-26-2008, 02:52 PM
  #53
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As you're seeing, Vakar, Gretz did get hooked and slashed and whatnot. However, he was so quick that he was by a guy before you saw it happen. You notice the shots on Crosby et al because they tend to go and fight for pucks and stay stationary. Gretz would just appear, and then he'd be gone just as quick and the puck would be in your net somehow.

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Old
06-26-2008, 03:15 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Mr Bugg View Post
As you're seeing, Vakar, Gretz did get hooked and slashed and whatnot. However, he was so quick that he was by a guy before you saw it happen. You notice the shots on Crosby et al because they tend to go and fight for pucks and stay stationary. Gretz would just appear, and then he'd be gone just as quick and the puck would be in your net somehow.
I read a post on here about Crosby being bred to be a player. Gretzky's Dad would have to be considered the all time hockey Dad wouldn't he ? They say you can't teach vision and instinct, but I think Walter Gretzky may take exception.

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Old
06-26-2008, 03:15 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
How many actually insisted on the "enforcer" being part of a trade package? Just because one player got "special treatment" is no certification at all that every other player received it. Gretzky said it himself "I don't believe I would have had as an individual player the same success without Dave Semenko" end of quote.
Gretzky also said Crosby could potentially break his offensive records. The guy is ridiculously humble and never acknowledges how amazing he was. So I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into that quote.

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06-26-2008, 03:27 PM
  #56
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Didn't look like Gretzky's 'protection' prevented Taylor from punching him out,

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Old
06-26-2008, 03:35 PM
  #57
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Yeah.....there are hundreds of examples, hence the silliness of the myth.

99% (pun intended ) of the people who believe it probably never saw Gretz play a whole game. They hear the myth, see a few highlights and;

BAM! "It 's True!" I've Seen It!"

:rollseyes:

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Old
06-26-2008, 04:15 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I read a post on here about Crosby being bred to be a player. Gretzky's Dad would have to be considered the all time hockey Dad wouldn't he ? They say you can't teach vision and instinct, but I think Walter Gretzky may take exception.
In the DVD Gretzky says his dad believes Gretzky was indeed taught these traits.

However, I think it's kind of apples and oranges. Walter Gretzky trying to teach his son is different from institutionalized training that is prevalent now. Dryden talks about the game moving from the pond to the rink in that the hockey classroom so to speak has shifted from learning on the player's own time to being formally trained from an earlier and earlier age.

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Old
06-26-2008, 04:52 PM
  #59
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As the prevailing (and correct) view in this thread shows, Wayne Gretzky was NOT protected by the league any more than any other superstar face of the NHL has ever been. Dave Semenko was gone from the Oilers by 1987, yet Gretzky still did not get hit much. Nor was he "smashed" in L.A., St. Louis, or NY. Hummm.....

As has been mentioned several times, he was just so smart and saw the ice too well to really get laid out much. And he had the knack for spinning away at the time of the hit, so it did not do as much damage as it would to other players.

I, too, seriously doubt Dale Hunter ever worried about Dave Semenko, Kevin McClelland, or anyone else coming after him for hitting someone. You just know he would have loved to have pasted Gretzky, but never could. And anyone who would hit a player from behind 10 seconds after he scored a goal isn't worried about suspensions, is he?

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Old
06-26-2008, 05:43 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit View Post
Gretzky also said Crosby could potentially break his offensive records. The guy is ridiculously humble and never acknowledges how amazing he was. So I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock into that quote.
What about the gesture of giving Semenko a car? What about what other players/coaches said? No myth here.

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Old
06-26-2008, 05:49 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lextune View Post
Yeah.....there are hundreds of examples, hence the silliness of the myth.

99% (pun intended ) of the people who believe it probably never saw Gretz play a whole game. They hear the myth, see a few highlights and;

BAM! "It 's True!" I've Seen It!"

:rollseyes:
Hundreds of examples on the Ultimate Gretzky DVD,wow it must be true. 40 year Bruin season ticket holder here and saw the man in full a couple of dozen times live. The man said it's true,Semenko says it's true,Sather coments on it to Brian Burke in an interview,Gretzky gives Semenko a car,Gretzky requests McSorley to accompany him in a trade to LA and everyone knew it at the time and revisionist history is a lie by you or anyone else.

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06-26-2008, 06:03 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vakar Lajos View Post
I don't see the prevailing myth as being Gretzky "was protected", but rather "Gretzky never got hit" or even stupid conspiracy theories involving NHL brass.
I think you are right, and that that expresses the myth much more specifically.

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Old
06-26-2008, 06:09 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
Hundreds of examples on the Ultimate Gretzky DVD,wow it must be true. 40 year Bruin season ticket holder here and saw the man in full a couple of dozen times live. The man said it's true,Semenko says it's true,Sather coments on it to Brian Burke in an interview,Gretzky gives Semenko a car,Gretzky requests McSorley to accompany him in a trade to LA and everyone knew it at the time and revisionist history is a lie by you or anyone else.
Of course Gretzky was protected by Semenko to some extent. But it was no different than the protection any other star player around the league received.

I'm willing to admit there is a small deterrent effect from having an enforcer in the lineup, although nowhere near what the pro-enforcer crowd claims. But the notion that Gretzky received protection from his enforcer that was somehow different than what every other enforcer did, and that opposing players were willing to run other stars, but not Gretzky, is what is patently absurd.

Additional comment - Semenko was a pretty fringe player on the Oilers' roster, and only played more than 70 games once. 20-30 % of the time between 1979 and 1986 he wasn't even on the ice. Did Gretzky get pounded then? Nope.

Teams tried everything they could to hit Gretzky throughout his career. They couldn't do it. He just almost never left himself in position to be smoked.

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Old
06-26-2008, 06:44 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
Of course Gretzky was protected by Semenko to some extent. But it was no different than the protection any other star player around the league received.

I'm willing to admit there is a small deterrent effect from having an enforcer in the lineup, although nowhere near what the pro-enforcer crowd claims. But the notion that Gretzky received protection from his enforcer that was somehow different than what every other enforcer did, and that opposing players were willing to run other stars, but not Gretzky, is what is patently absurd.

Additional comment - Semenko was a pretty fringe player on the Oilers' roster, and only played more than 70 games once. 20-30 % of the time between 1979 and 1986 he wasn't even on the ice. Did Gretzky get pounded then? Nope.

Teams tried everything they could to hit Gretzky throughout his career. They couldn't do it. He just almost never left himself in position to be smoked.
How do you then explain all of the times I witnessed where a player could have been physical with Gretzky and would have been with any other player but weren't with him? Go back and watch some 80's Oiler's games. It won't take long before you see it happen if you watch for it.
Yes he was good at eluding hits but he was not "unhittable" like people are trying to say. A lot of times they could hit and just didn't or let up a lot.

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06-26-2008, 08:24 PM
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
Of course Gretzky was protected by Semenko to some extent. But it was no different than the protection any other star player around the league received.

I'm willing to admit there is a small deterrent effect from having an enforcer in the lineup, although nowhere near what the pro-enforcer crowd claims. But the notion that Gretzky received protection from his enforcer that was somehow different than what every other enforcer did, and that opposing players were willing to run other stars, but not Gretzky, is what is patently absurd.

Additional comment - Semenko was a pretty fringe player on the Oilers' roster, and only played more than 70 games once. 20-30 % of the time between 1979 and 1986 he wasn't even on the ice. Did Gretzky get pounded then? Nope.

Teams tried everything they could to hit Gretzky throughout his career. They couldn't do it. He just almost never left himself in position to be smoked.
Please research and find the answer to one question;Why did Gretzky insist on McSorley's inclusion in the LA trade? BTW,enforcers can be major deterrents without ever leaving the bench.

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06-26-2008, 08:30 PM
  #66
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"Marty McSorley who used to be a team mate of Gretzky said that a teammate must be prepared to take a game misconduct every time Gretzky gets touched, not necessarily hit, but touched" (courtesy of rangerplundit.blogspot.com)

"Gretzky, in turn, refused to allow the trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988 unless McSorley was included." (wilkepedia)

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Old
06-26-2008, 09:06 PM
  #67
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I think you guys need to think about what you are arguing about. Cause I don't think you are arguing anything.

Yes, there were enforcers on Wayne's team. Has been on every team in every era. This isn't special to Wayne. They are there to make sure players don't take any "extra" liberties with a player.

What the myth is that players intentionally decided not to give Wayne a bodycheck or the ref's made sure no hit him or he had a free ride. This is the myth. Gretzky avoided contact like the plague during actual play. That's where his smarts came in like peopke are saying etc etc etc. Opposition tried like heck to lay Gretzky out with a bodycheck, it was nearly impossible. Watch some old games.

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Old
06-26-2008, 09:35 PM
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
Please research and find the answer to one question;Why did Gretzky insist on McSorley's inclusion in the LA trade? BTW,enforcers can be major deterrents without ever leaving the bench.
Heres a question for you - do you feel that Gretzky was protected significantly more than other stars in the league?

How about another question - who was protecting Wayne in the early games that Semenko was not playing in? McClelland was brought in after Gretzky had 4 full seasons under his belt. McSorely wasnt there till the 85-86 season. Plus, Semenko never played a full season. Heck, the year Greztky got 92 goals and 212 points, Semenko only played in 59 games and had less than 200 penalty minutes (less than half of the league leader).

This myth is propagated by the fact that his stats are unreal. It just doesnt make sense that a skinny kid can put up the numbers he did. And back then the games werent televised very often, so people outside of the Edmonton area would hear about this guy, see the stats, but only actaully get to witness it a handful of timesover the season.

So people are skeptical. They figure there has to be some external reason why a player of Gretzkys stature can put up 92 goals, or break 200 points on multiple seasons. Its tough to imagine the stats he put up for the people who didnt see much of him. They figure there has to be some sort of trick.

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06-26-2008, 09:37 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Cawz View Post
Heres a question for you - do you feel that Gretzky was protected significantly more than other stars in the league?

How about another question - who was protecting Wayne in the early games that Semenko was not playing in? McClelland was brought in after Gretzky had 4 full seasons under his belt. McSorely wasnt there till the 85-86 season. Plus, Semenko never played a full season. Heck, the year Greztky got 92 goals and 212 points, Semenko only played in 59 games and had less than 200 penalty minutes (less than half of the league leader).

This myth is propagated by the fact that his stats are unreal. It just doesnt make sense that a skinny kid can put up the numbers he did. And back then the games werent televised very often, so people outside of the Edmonton area would hear about this guy, see the stats, but only actaully get to witness it a handful of timesover the season.

So people are skeptical. They figure there has to be some external reason why a player of Gretzkys stature can put up 92 goals, or break 200 points on multiple seasons. Its tough to imagine the stats he put up for the people who didnt see much of him. They figure there has to be some sort of trick.
...and still people refuse to acknowledge the quotes of McSorley,Semenko,Sather etc. What's the use.

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06-26-2008, 09:43 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
...and still people refuse to acknowledge the quotes of McSorley,Semenko,Sather etc. What's the use.
to be fair, your last quotes were not exact quotes but from sources that aren't the most reliable.

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06-26-2008, 09:47 PM
  #71
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Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
...and still people refuse to acknowledge the quotes of McSorley,Semenko,Sather etc. What's the use.
It's pretty incredible how people deny and deny isn't it...
You've provided exact quotes where people made no bones about it and still it's "nope, nope couldn't have happened".

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Old
06-26-2008, 09:51 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
...and still people refuse to acknowledge the quotes of McSorley,Semenko,Sather etc. What's the use.
What do you want people to say? Yes Gretzky, like other stars, had some muscle riding shotgun. This is not a phenomenon pertaining only to the Great One. Its just that nobody cares that, say, Steve Yzerman had McClelland, Probert and Kocur on his team becasue people are not trying to normalize his stats.

Feel free to answer my questions.

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06-26-2008, 09:54 PM
  #73
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It's pretty incredible how people deny and deny isn't it...
You've provided exact quotes where people made no bones about it and still it's "nope, nope couldn't have happened".
If I had found the exact same sources quoting the exact same players only to support the myth argument it would be happily accepted.

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Old
06-26-2008, 10:07 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by eyeball11 View Post
There's no question Gretzky was good at avoiding hits. I watched his entire career and I'll tell you one big difference between him and Crosby: guys didn't punch Gretzky or cross check Gretzky in the face on a nightly basis. When I watch Crosby, I am flabbergasted at what he has to put up with compared to other superstars of the past. I've never seen a superstar receive more blatant shots to the face and head than Crosby does.
Just to go a bit off topic, exact same reaction here.

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Old
06-26-2008, 10:19 PM
  #75
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Here's a question:

How many players can you name that had rules of the game specifically changed for them? I can only think of one. I know other rules that were changed due to specific teams but only 1 player.

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