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What is Gretzky's legacy if he retires after 1988?

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Old
07-05-2013, 08:29 AM
  #1
Ruston*
 
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What is Gretzky's legacy if he retires after 1988?

...if he retires immediately after the '88 Stanley Cup final/before "the trade"?

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07-05-2013, 09:19 AM
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tony d
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I don't know if he's considered the best forward to ever play the game but he'd be pretty darn close.

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07-05-2013, 09:30 AM
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he'd be very similiar to Orr IMO

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07-05-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
he'd be very similiar to Orr IMO
Certainly eons better than Orr, no? Those first 9 seasons are dizzyingly dominant. It was the rest of Gretzky's career that made it an argument.

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07-05-2013, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruston View Post
Certainly eons better than Orr, no? Those first 9 seasons are dizzyingly dominant. It was the rest of Gretzky's career that made it an argument.
Orr was arguably more dominant in his career than Gretzky was in his first years. What makes Gretzky the beast he is is the fact that he produced for like 20 years, getting every record. If he retired prior joining the Kings, Messier would have the all time most points etc.

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07-05-2013, 10:14 AM
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Never showing fans a long and/or noticeable decline is great for your legacy. Just ask Orr, Lemieux, Forsberg etc.

He'd probably be much more highly thought of than he is now.

Which is saying something..

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07-05-2013, 10:18 AM
  #7
unknown33
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Would be rated #1 by more people than he is now.
Edit: Retiring after the alltime point record would be better

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07-05-2013, 11:21 AM
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Killion
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Never showing fans a long and/or noticeable decline is great for your legacy. Just ask Orr, Lemieux, Forsberg etc....He'd probably be much more highly thought of than he is now.... Which is saying something..
Ya, absolutely. Played brilliant & gutsy hockey in LA etc, but thereafter in decline. Had he retired in 88, his legend would be even bigger than it is. Same thing with several others. Phil Esposito, Guy Lafleur... Bill Durnan played a grand total of just 7 seasons, winning everything including his last season, then retires. Top that. Absolute Legend.

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07-05-2013, 11:38 AM
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696 GP, 583-1086-1669, +551
0.84 GPG, 1.56 APG, 2.40 PPG

At his retirement Bossy's 1.50 PPG would be second best. Gretzky's PPG lead over Bosy actually compares well against Orr's lead over Park.

While he does miss something by not having the career marks for goals, assists, and points, and it is more impressive to lead in assists 16 times then 9 times, etc., he had accomplished most of what makes his case for #1.

I agree with Brave Canadian on how he's viewed. People could only remember prime Gretzky.

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07-05-2013, 12:19 PM
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tazzy19
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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
Orr was arguably more dominant in his career than Gretzky was in his first years. What makes Gretzky the beast he is is the fact that he produced for like 20 years, getting every record. If he retired prior joining the Kings, Messier would have the all time most points etc.
What? Gretzky had the most dominant 9 years out of anyone in history: 8 straight MVPs (say what?); he averaged 190 points per year for 9 years! 4 Stanley Cups. And he broke 80% of his 60 NHL records before he left Edmonton!! No one, not even Orr, was this dominant over a 9 year stretch.

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07-05-2013, 01:01 PM
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Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
What? Gretzky had the most dominant 9 years out of anyone in history: 8 straight MVPs (say what?); he averaged 190 points per year for 9 years! 4 Stanley Cups. And he broke 80% of his 60 NHL records before he left Edmonton!! No one, not even Orr, was this dominant over a 9 year stretch.
Well, Bobby Orr's dominance was also mind boggling.
He averaged 114 points over 7 years(Starting with his 64 point year which was a defenseman record)

During that time frame the average Elite defenseman in the league were scoring around 40-55 points. The 4 outlier top seasons for defensemen Brad Park, Denis Potvin and Guy Lapointe at that time were an astonishing 73-82 points.

The NHL opened up offensively later in the decade and such numbers became more common because it was easier to score in the late 70's and 80's due to more teams employing offense first systems, but at the time, it was ridiculous and mind boggling.

Those seasons for Orr, had they been in the more wide open 80's likely run closer to 150-170 point seasons.

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07-05-2013, 02:35 PM
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tazzy19
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Well, Bobby Orr's dominance was also mind boggling.
He averaged 114 points over 7 years(Starting with his 64 point year which was a defenseman record)

During that time frame the average Elite defenseman in the league were scoring around 40-55 points. The 4 outlier top seasons for defensemen Brad Park, Denis Potvin and Guy Lapointe at that time were an astonishing 73-82 points.

The NHL opened up offensively later in the decade and such numbers became more common because it was easier to score in the late 70's and 80's due to more teams employing offense first systems, but at the time, it was ridiculous and mind boggling.

Those seasons for Orr, had they been in the more wide open 80's likely run closer to 150-170 point seasons.
Fair enough....and I totally see that and understand that Orr was ridiculously dominant. I just keep going back to 8 straight Hart Trophies....and 49 NHL records in 9 years. Not to mention 3 out of 3 Canada Cup scoring titles. Just in the 365 day stretch alone from the 1987 Stanley Cup to the 1988 Stanley Cup, Gretzky had won 3 Championships (if you include the 1987 Canada Cup), 3 MVPs, and 4 scoring titles. Again, all in one calendar year....just absurd.

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07-05-2013, 02:40 PM
  #13
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It just leaves so much to the imagination that he would likely ascend to a mythical status.

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07-05-2013, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
It just leaves so much to the imagination that he would likely ascend to a mythical status.
Just like Bobby Orr.... I sincerely believe that had Gretzky retired after 1988 after his 4th Cup in 5 years, he would have been even more revered than he already is. Forget the all time points and goals records. Everyone would know he would have reached those. Most would have expected him to hit the all time points record the very next season. 182 points is all he needed, and he was on pace for 190 points his last year in Edmonton before his 16 game injury. Nobody would ever see the sub-160 point Gretzky (forgetting his rookie year) without missing games. All everyone would know is the 180-215 point Gretzky. And the fact he won the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in his very last NHL season would have been enough to cap off a real life fairytale hockey player for the ages.

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07-05-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Just like Bobby Orr.... I sincerely believe that had Gretzky retired after 1988 after his 4th Cup in 5 years, he would have been even more revered than he already is. Forget the all time points and goals records. Everyone would know he would have reached those. Most would have expected him to hit the all time points record the very next season. 182 points is all he needed, and he was on pace for 190 points his last year in Edmonton before his 16 game injury. Nobody would ever see the sub-160 point Gretzky (forgetting his rookie year) without missing games. All everyone would know is the 180-215 point Gretzky. And the fact he won the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in his very last NHL season would have been enough to cap off a real life fairytale hockey player for the ages.
The thing about Bobby Orr is, in his last few seasons, you can see how buggered his knees were. Despite his larger point total in his last real year, you could see a tremendous negative difference in his skating despite his 46 goals and 135 points. The league had opened up a lot offensively by this point and he could no longer skate like he used to. I get chills thinking of the numbers he would have been hitting if you magically returned his knees to 71 form.

Orr was so damn good that he was the first defenseman I ever saw having a shadow assigned to his coattail. But Bowman decided to have any chance whatsoever, he needed to stick someone on Orr like glue. I tell you, it was beyond strange to see a Bruins powerplay in the Stanley cup final in which Orr and a Blues player(Can't remember who) still in the Bruins zone just kinda circling around Cheevers with Orr laughing, while the rest of the Bruins were all the way up ice just pounding shots at the Blues goalie, while they were shorthanded. The blues player with Orr kept looking to his bench to see if he should go back to help kill the penalty, but Bowman kept shaking his head and motioning for him to stay with Orr. I have never seen that before. I doubt I will ever see that again. I thought Bowman was cuckoo at the time.


Last edited by Dark Shadows: 07-05-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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07-06-2013, 05:00 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Gretzky...averaged 190 points per year for 9 years!
That's just....I have no words.

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07-06-2013, 06:43 AM
  #17
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I don't think it would make a big difference. It's impossible to elevate Gretzky's status higher than it already is, and Orr / Lemieux / Howe's supporters would still be making the same arguments they are making now ("he was a defensemen," "he was injured," "his longevity").

To me Gretzky is the best player ever AINEC.

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07-06-2013, 09:39 AM
  #18
VanIslander
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If Gretzky had been done in '88, then Messier winning cups in '90 and '94 would have raised comparison questions, peak versus career, which was better, Gretzky or Messier?

I personally think it's obscene that Orr is considered on par (better!) than Howe and Gretzky. Orr had the sort of shortened career posited in this thread.

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07-06-2013, 09:44 AM
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696 gp
583 g
1086 a
1669 p
8 Hart
7 Art Ross
2 Conn Smythe
4 Cups
5 Pearson/Lindsay
1 Lady Byng
5 goal scoring leader
2 Canada Cup
7 first team all stars
2 second team all stars

That is a pretty good legacy there already. If it was a few years later than he would have even more to gloat.

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07-06-2013, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
If Gretzky had been done in '88, then Messier winning cups in '90 and '94 would have raised comparison questions, peak versus career, which was better, Gretzky or Messier?

I personally think it's obscene that Orr is considered on par (better!) than Howe and Gretzky. Orr had the sort of shortened career posited in this thread.
As important as Stanley Cups are to individual quantification, Stanley Cups are also team awards. I think the following far outweighs 6 Cups vs 4 Cups:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuffalo313 View Post
696 gp
583 g
1086 a
1669 p
8 Hart
7 Art Ross
2 Conn Smythe
4 Cups
5 Pearson/Lindsay
1 Lady Byng
5 goal scoring leader
2 Canada Cup
7 first team all stars
2 second team all stars
[Added: 1 Canada Cup MVP]
[Added: 3 Canada Cup scoring titles]
[Added: 49 official NHL records]
[Added: 190 points per season average over 9 years]

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07-06-2013, 10:42 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
I personally think it's obscene that Orr is considered on par (better!) than Howe and Gretzky. Orr had the sort of shortened career posited in this thread.
"Obscene" in terms of the premise & criteria of this specific thread or are you suggesting Orr shouldnt be ranked on par with much less elevated above Howe & Gretzky due to his shortened career? That his "body of work" so to speak is thin, lacking the weight of years. A shooting star as opposed to a comet if you will.

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07-06-2013, 10:45 AM
  #22
tazzy19
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
The thing about Bobby Orr is, in his last few seasons, you can see how buggered his knees were. Despite his larger point total in his last real year, you could see a tremendous negative difference in his skating despite his 46 goals and 135 points. The league had opened up a lot offensively by this point and he could no longer skate like he used to. I get chills thinking of the numbers he would have been hitting if you magically returned his knees to 71 form.

Orr was so damn good that he was the first defenseman I ever saw having a shadow assigned to his coattail. But Bowman decided to have any chance whatsoever, he needed to stick someone on Orr like glue. I tell you, it was beyond strange to see a Bruins powerplay in the Stanley cup final in which Orr and a Blues player(Can't remember who) still in the Bruins zone just kinda circling around Cheevers with Orr laughing, while the rest of the Bruins were all the way up ice just pounding shots at the Blues goalie, while they were shorthanded. The blues player with Orr kept looking to his bench to see if he should go back to help kill the penalty, but Bowman kept shaking his head and motioning for him to stay with Orr. I have never seen that before. I doubt I will ever see that again. I thought Bowman was cuckoo at the time.
Love that story. I wish I could have a time machine sometimes to watch Orr.

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07-06-2013, 10:47 AM
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Orr's injuries should count against him, not for him. Same for Forsberg etc. They're caused by their playing style. Diseases on the other hand... Lemieux Non-Hodgins clearly isnt sportsrelated.

9 years Gretzky would mean everyone praying on an altar built to honour him not as great one but the godly one.

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07-06-2013, 10:50 AM
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"Obscene" in terms of the premise & criteria of this specific thread or are you suggesting Orr shouldnt be ranked on par with much less elevated above Howe & Gretzky due to his shortened career? That his "body of work" so to speak is thin, lacking the weight of years. A shooting star as opposed to a comet if you will.
This is precisely my argument for Gretzky's first 9 years being better than his full 20 year career. His "shooting star" (Edmonton) was more impacting than his "comet", despite his "comet" being the most impressive comet of all time. I would argue that Gretzky's "shooting star" was ever so slightly brighter than Orr's shooting star -- but, just as the moon can eclipse the sun, it has been eclipsed by Gretzky's "comet" in the collective imagination.

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07-06-2013, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
This is precisely my argument for Gretzky's first 9 years being better than his full 20 year career. His "shooting star" (Edmonton) was more impacting than his "comet", despite his "comet" being the most impressive comet of all time. I would argue that Gretzky's "shooting star" was ever so slightly brighter than Orr's shooting star -- but, just as the moon can eclipse the sun, it has been eclipsed by Gretzky's "comet" in the collective imagination.
Yes I'd agree with that on a certain level, absolutely. The memory of Orr, The Legend if you will has grown brighter with the passage of time. I guess I have a rather unique perspective on Orr, as I was fortunate enough to have faced him (goalie) live & in-person on the ice in shooting drills, in some serious scrimmages, and of course he could be stopped. Absolutely. I didnt consider him Superhuman nor anything to fear, indeed quite the contrary, take your best shot Pal. A treat to play against someone so talented & creative, a constant learning experience and certainly one that built, instilled a great deal of confidence in my game, abilities. Both Orr & Gretzky were more than capable of seriously embarrassing their opponents, opponents who had they worked on their own games with considerably more diligence couldve' avoided such. Not entirely, but at minimum mitigated the likelihood or chances of that happening. Orr was a lot more temporal, rugged; Gretzky lithe, ethereal. I rank Orr as the Greatest Player All Time, on par with and equal in stature/status with Gretzky & vice-versa. I realize thats a bit wishy-washy for some, but objectively, I cant rationally elevate one over the other. Does not compute especially so if we imagine Gretzky retiring in 88.... perhaps Ive been staring at those balls of fire for too long, Sunspots, but thats how I see it, call it.

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