as a huge Kings fan since about 1989, I never had a chance to see him play. He ended his last couple seasons with the Rangers, I believe-but his hayday, in L.A., I never saw. What type of a player was he? I know he will go down in history as "one of the best", but what set him apart from others or was he just good at everything?
Dionne was fourth on NHL's all-time points list (1,771) and third on goals list (731) through 2002; tied Wayne Gretzky for the league lead in points (137) in 1980; scored 50 goals in a season 6 times; won the Lady Byng Award for gentlemanly play in 1975 and 1977; member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Now my father tells me that this guy was just one of the best in his era but the only thing about him is he played on a team where it had little to no exposure in LA, in a team that was very weak. However he still dominated the NHL in the 70-s and beginning 80-s along with Lafleur, Bossy, Gilbert Perrault, and of course Wayne Gretzky.
Dionne scored in bunches right from the start, he had almost zero adjustment from junior to the NHL. That was back in the days of drafting 20 year olds, but he scored 40 in his sophomore season.
As far as skills are concerned, I would say he had a wide range of them instead of one outstanding area and that may be part of why he is likely underrated. He had terrific speed and although he gained weight later on he was a terrific athlete who played big minutes for LA. A wizard with the puck, he also had a quick release.
Outstanding player over a very long period of time, he was overshadowed early by Lafleur and later by 99, but there's not much doubt that he is among the greatest in NHL history.
He was just a tough little waterbug out there, a great skater before he got kind of chubby in the early 90's. Fabulous stickhandler, had a good shot, played for some TERRIBLE teams his first 10 years or so (Detroit, 1972-75, L.A. 1975-1986 or so?), and ended with the Rangers in a greatly reduced role. Had he had better wingers longer, he may have had 400 more points than he got, and he's STILL the 4th highest-scorer of all-time!
Think a short, chubbier Dany Heatley, only better. THAT'S Marcel Dionne.
Dionne was about one of the best give and go players as I've ever seen. He always seemed to know when to move the puck and how to get open. He was a good skater but his stride was a little choppy (think Mark Recchi). Great wrist shot and scored most of his goals in close. As great as his skills were the thing that always stood out to me was how he would work for the puck. Check out the video: http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/...t=ByName#photo
I've seen lots of debate from posters on this site and hockey historians who don't think he ranks in the top 20 of all time and that he falls in the 25 -35 range.
That being said, in my opinion, he was one of the top players of the 70's and early 80's. He racked up quite a few points in his day and if he been drafted and spent his career with a Canadian team, he'd certainly have more respect and supporters than he does.