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If Lemieux & Gretzky played the same # of games (the best comparison I've ever seen)

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Old
04-04-2012, 11:56 AM
  #201
CarlWinslow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wayne View Post
Yeah he was. After the the one or two years with Lemieux, Rob Brown spent the rest of his career tearing up the minors, or playing like crap sporadically in the NHL.
That wasn't the result of a lack of skill. You keep trying to convince everyone that Brown was a pylon off of which Mario banked pucks though.

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04-04-2012, 06:50 PM
  #202
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Originally Posted by CarlWinslow View Post
That wasn't the result of a lack of skill. You keep trying to convince everyone that Brown was a pylon off of which Mario banked pucks though.
Brown wasn't a pylon. He had a great brain and good hands. But great brain + good hands + crap skating + lack of size isn't an equation for NHL success (and never has been; it IS an equation that can produce success in the WHL) absent someone like Mario, who could balance the equation for him. The same could never be said of a guy like Kurri or Mess, who are still point-per-game-plus guys during their prime, Gretzky or no.

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04-05-2012, 09:07 AM
  #203
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Brown wasn't a pylon. He had a great brain and good hands. But great brain + good hands + crap skating + lack of size isn't an equation for NHL success (and never has been; it IS an equation that can produce success in the WHL) absent someone like Mario, who could balance the equation for him. The same could never be said of a guy like Kurri or Mess, who are still point-per-game-plus guys during their prime, Gretzky or no.
Though I agree with what you are saying, I don't really see how Messier vs Brown is related to Gretzky vs Lemieux. I think we can all agree that Gretzky had better linemates through the majority of his career. The point is though, that when Gretzky had bums like Semenko and Lumley, he still scored 92 goals and 50 goals in 39 games. He scored 212 pts that year, most of it before Kurri ever played on his regular line, and when Messier was on the 2nd line.

Lemieux had bad teams for a long time, its true. But once he finally had guys like Jagr he still didn't beat Gretzky's records. IMO they were pretty close skill-wise, but Gretzky stayed healthier, played longer, was more driven for success, found more individual success (hart/art ross trophies), more team success (4 cups and another cup run on a sub-par team), more international success (3 Canada Cup golds, 1 silver, 2 Canada Cup MVPs, led all 4 Canada Cups in scoring), and obviously had the better career.

Its easy to make excuses for Lemieux because of health issues, but fact is even when healthy he never managed to beat 50 in 39 or Gretzky's 51 game point scoring streak. Obviously he had fewer opportunities to make a run at these records because of his health, but there were chances none the less.

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04-06-2012, 05:28 AM
  #204
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i went on record and said Mario's 1993 cancer season 160pts in 60gp was the greatest season ever, i changed my mind.... his 2003 season in the height of the dead puck era, playing with a team full of scrubs that traded away all it's stars, bad back and skating like a broken 1975 john deer tractor..he still managed 91 points in 67 games, was leading the league in scoring before he had to shut it down was the most impressive season, something Gretzky can never do.

but seriously...if i was a GM and I had to built a team around 1 guy and I had to choose Mario or Gretzky I'd go with Mario...Gretzky had better numbers but Mario was just a talent that will never come around again...

a friend who doesn't follow hockey & only watches nba once asked me what's Mario Lemieux like? I told him, imagine someone with the size and dominance of a Shaquille O'Neal + the skill and finesse of a Michael Jordan..that is Mario Lemieux.

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04-06-2012, 08:12 AM
  #205
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Originally Posted by nerdman60 View Post
i went on record and said Mario's 1993 cancer season 160pts in 60gp was the greatest season ever, i changed my mind.... his 2003 season in the height of the dead puck era, playing with a team full of scrubs that traded away all it's stars, bad back and skating like a broken 1975 john deer tractor..he still managed 91 points in 67 games, was leading the league in scoring before he had to shut it down was the most impressive season, something Gretzky can never do.

but seriously...if i was a GM and I had to built a team around 1 guy and I had to choose Mario or Gretzky I'd go with Mario...Gretzky had better numbers but Mario was just a talent that will never come around again...

a friend who doesn't follow hockey & only watches nba once asked me what's Mario Lemieux like? I told him, imagine someone with the size and dominance of a Shaquille O'Neal + the skill and finesse of a Michael Jordan..that is Mario Lemieux.
Gretzky came back from a career-threatening back injury, led the Kings to the SC finals, and scored 40 pts in the post season. He had his share of remarkable accomplishments too, and did a ton of things Lemieux never did. Like set 60 NHL records.

I can see why someone would pick Lemieux - I really can. But if I had 1 guy to build a team around, it would not be Lemieux. He wasn't able to lift the Pens from a basement dwelling team until he got Coffee, Jagr, and others. Gretzky was able to do that in LA, however, taking them from 4th worst to 4th best in a single season, and taking them to a cup within 5 years. He was the greatest player ever when it came to raising the level of those around him (as proven by his numerous assist records). If I have to build a team around 1 guy, it would be the player who is going to make the entire team better, not the one who is going to have a lot of individual success, but nothing else.

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04-06-2012, 04:11 PM
  #206
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Gretzky led a team of scrubs his very first, and probably also second, season.

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04-06-2012, 04:16 PM
  #207
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I get taking Mario in his prime, but if you know in advance how their careers will turn out and are guaranteed to have them for their entire career, I can't see a single GM ever picking Mario.

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04-06-2012, 09:31 PM
  #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdman60 View Post
i went on record and said Mario's 1993 cancer season 160pts in 60gp was the greatest season ever, i changed my mind.... his 2003 season in the height of the dead puck era, playing with a team full of scrubs that traded away all it's stars, bad back and skating like a broken 1975 john deer tractor..he still managed 91 points in 67 games, was leading the league in scoring before he had to shut it down was the most impressive season, something Gretzky can never do.

but seriously...if i was a GM and I had to built a team around 1 guy and I had to choose Mario or Gretzky I'd go with Mario...Gretzky had better numbers but Mario was just a talent that will never come around again...

a friend who doesn't follow hockey & only watches nba once asked me what's Mario Lemieux like? I told him, imagine someone with the size and dominance of a Shaquille O'Neal + the skill and finesse of a Michael Jordan..that is Mario Lemieux.
you cannot be serious? His 2003 season isn't even as good as Jagr's 2000 season.

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04-06-2012, 09:50 PM
  #209
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I get taking Mario in his prime, but if you know in advance how their careers will turn out and are guaranteed to have them for their entire career, I can't see a single GM ever picking Mario.
You're still looking at about 8 seasons where you'll have a healthy Mario in the playoffs.

With a good team that's essentially 6-8 Championships.

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04-06-2012, 10:04 PM
  #210
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
You're still looking at about 8 seasons where you'll have a healthy Mario in the playoffs.

With a good team that's essentially 6-8 Championships.
Except for real life, when it was 2 Championships.

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04-06-2012, 10:39 PM
  #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
You're still looking at about 8 seasons where you'll have a healthy Mario in the playoffs.

With a good team that's essentially 6-8 Championships.

Not if you're facing a good team that has a healthy prime Gretzky. Then it's zero championship, maybe one.

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04-07-2012, 12:12 AM
  #212
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Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
you cannot be serious? His 2003 season isn't even as good as Jagr's 2000 season.
please read my post again, in 2003 the pens already lost Kovalev, Hrdina, Morozov, Lang, Jagr, thus he was playing with team full of scrubs, had a bad back which caused him to skate like a broken lawn tractor and he still lead the league in scoring for most of the year, was on pace for 100 points in the height of the dead puck era and on top of that he was already 38 years old! that's not impressive?

Jagr was still young and was putting up 120 points in 2006, can't compare that to an over the hill Mario.

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04-07-2012, 12:33 AM
  #213
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
You're still looking at about 8 seasons where you'll have a healthy Mario in the playoffs.

With a good team that's essentially 6-8 Championships.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Except for real life, when it was 2 Championships.
Exactly.

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07-28-2014, 04:09 AM
  #214
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If Lemieux was 100% healthy for his entire career, would he have surpassed Gretzky?

Let's assume that Mario Lemieux stayed reasonably healthy for the entirety of his career. No injuries, no cancer, no major health issues.

Let's assume he plays at least 70+ games every season of his career (excluding lockouts, where he plays at least 40 games), and plays the exact same amount of career games as Gretzky (1487).

For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that he doesn't make a "comeback" because he wasn't forced to retire in the first place. He retires whenever he hits 1487 games.

Does he surpass Gretzky in:

Goals?
Assists?
Points?

And most importantly, is he considered the better player when both their careers are over?

If so, or if not, how close is it? Does the debate about who is the best player of all time become much more controversial?

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07-28-2014, 04:31 AM
  #215
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Originally Posted by SillyRabbit View Post
Let's assume that Mario Lemieux stayed reasonably healthy for the entirety of his career. No injuries, no cancer, no major health issues.

Let's assume he plays at least 70+ games every season of his career (excluding lockouts, where he plays at least 40 games), and plays the exact same amount of career games as Gretzky (1487).

For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that he doesn't make a "comeback" because he wasn't forced to retire in the first place. He retires whenever he hits 1487 games.

Does he surpass Gretzky in:

Goals?
Assists?
Points?

And most importantly, is he considered the better player when both their careers are over?

If so, or if not, how close is it? Does the debate about who is the best player of all time become much more controversial?
I'd say Mario surpasses Gretzky in goals most likely but not in assists or points. Without major injuries he would still decline in his later years and the Goals per game also would go down in latter parts of his career. Mario would definitely get few more lindsays, harts and art rosses even maybe cup or two. I would still think Gretzky would be considered best because of his single season records and higher dominance against his peers. and then you would have the argument that how much better Gretzky would have been without his back problems. there would be those whom would question Mario because he was not able to surpass Gretzky's point totals who was pretty beat down for many seasons of his latter career whereas Mario stayed healthy.

Mario surpass Howe and Orr and there would be a lot more whom would say Mario was the best, but if and when Mario would decline it would somewhat hurt his legacy.

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07-28-2014, 04:53 AM
  #216
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There's no chance Lemieux would ever have surpassed Gretzky in points, even if he'd played 80 games a year for twenty years.

I say this because, let's assume 1989-90 is the first season when Lemieux was (arguably) slowed down a bit by injuries to his back. (He still scored 123 points in 59 games so he wasn't exactly SLOW, but he was slowed noticeably from the previous year's pace.)

So, let's do a comparison of the same number of games, Gretzky vs. Lemieux, before that 1989-90 season of Mario's. Prior to that season, Mario had played 368 NHL regular season games.

Mario's first 368 games:
300 goals + 415 assists = 715 points

Wayne's first 368 games:
328 goals + 529 assists = 857 points

It's seems relatively close, but not really -- Gretzky is already 142 points (a scoring title in itself) ahead of Lemieux after only 328 career games.

Gretzky declined far more in goal-production after ten NHL seasons than Lemieux did, and Mario seemed more able to keep scoring goals in the early Dead-puck era, so perhaps Lemieux would have had a chance to catch Gordie Howe and Gretzky in the 800-900 goal range. But points, no way.

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07-28-2014, 08:56 AM
  #217
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Just from the simple fact that Gretzky started earlier in the higher scoring 80's means it would be doubtful that Lemieux could surpass him in the same number of games, let along the fact that he just generally fell slightly short when it came to Gretzky. To do it he would have to maintain a higher level of play that Gretzky did into his mid-30's, and while brief periods after his comeback suggest this may have been possible, I think he would have had trouble playing at that level for full seasons. Lemieux's points declined sharply in 96-97 as the league started to tighten up, so I don't think he could have made up the necessary ground during the dead puck era.

Like Panther said though, Lemieux seemed to maintain his goalscoring later in his career, so I think there's a decent chance he takes that from Gretzky. I'd say very slim to none chance on the points, and zero chance at assists.

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07-28-2014, 09:03 AM
  #218
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I seem to remember someone making this comparison few times. The result's are the same always. No matter which stat-manipulation is used, Gretzky comes ahead always.

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07-28-2014, 09:11 AM
  #219
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Mario wouldn't have scored more points but he may have edged him in goals. And, yes, I actually think he could have been considered a better player than Gretzky at the end. There's some who consider Lemieux top dog now and that's with all the injuries and cancer, etc. Mario was a freak. Being able to do what he did in a 6-4, 220 body is remarkable.

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07-28-2014, 09:20 AM
  #220
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There's some credit to be given for the awesome longevity of a Howe, Gretzky, Bourque. Let's not lose that in counterfactually trying to erase gaps in the careers of others, like Mario's.


Last edited by hatterson: 07-28-2014 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Not needed
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07-28-2014, 09:25 AM
  #221
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There's some credit to be given for the awesome longevity of a Howe, Gretzky, Bourque. Let's not lose that in counterfactually trying to erase gaps in the careers of others, like Mario's.
I agree with that. Credit is due. But luck also plays a big part in that. Lemieux got cancer, that's just horrible luck.

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07-28-2014, 09:51 AM
  #222
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Maybe Lemieux passes him for goals since he aged much better as a goalscorer.. but he wouldn't come close for assists and Gretzky would still beat him for points.

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07-28-2014, 11:32 AM
  #223
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He could. I think it depends on how many times his team goes deep into the playoffs. That took more of a toll on Gretzky than Lemieux in their careers as we look at them now. Had Lemieux's teams done better after 96, he could have been looking at retirement anyway.

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07-28-2014, 11:59 AM
  #224
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Just gonna echo what everyone else is saying. I think Mario would've caught him in goals, though I don't think he would've put up 1,000.

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07-28-2014, 12:09 PM
  #225
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BlogofMike did a great comparison on his site based on if they had played the same amount of games -- and Gretzky came out on top in both goals and assists. Unfortunately, his site is no longer available for some reason. Hopefully he will post his data in this thread for us. I do remember Gretzky's PPG average was WAY higher than Lemieux's during the first 12 years or so (up until Lemieux retired the first time).as was his goal scoring, which really surprised me.

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