To be honest I thought more people would have voted. Instead of adding one forward I'm going to add six of them. Gretzky won with 64.71% of the vote. Im going to add Lafleur, Bobby Hull, Messier, Mikta, Esposito and Morenz. Vote on who to add next. I voted for Gordie Howe. It was a tough choice between him and Lemieux. Mario had more talent but Howe was a better player overall. Add Bobby Clarke.
I think it's Howe, Gretzky and Lemieux in the top 3. I'd take Howe No. 1 because no forward has ever dominated as many aspects of the game like Gordie did. Gretzky's the best offensive forward ever, and Lemieux's the most physically blessed, but Howe brought a physical and defensive presence that neither of them could. Richard and Beliveau should round out the top five, their playoff records giving them an edge over Bobby Hull or Stan Mikita.
Depending on how far we're taking this, I'd say 9 of the top 15 should be centres. Along with Wayne, Mario and Beliveau, also appearing in the top 15 should be Esposito, Mikita, Trottier, Clarke, Morenz and Messier. Bobby Hull and Ted Lindsay would be the only LWs, and Howe, Richard, LaFleur and Bossy should be the RWs. Jagr has a good playoff record, but was never an irreplaceable player on a Cup champion or Cup finalist, let alone the best player. Marcel Dionne shouldn't be mentioned until at least the 20th forward. Worst playoff record of any top-50 all-time player.
PS: Major props in putting hockey's first superstar, Howie Morenz, on this list.