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Gretzky, Orr, Howe or Lemieux- Who revolutionized the game the most?

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01-13-2014, 09:36 PM
  #101
aemoreira1981
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In terms of play---#4, Bobby Orr, as he completely redefined the defenseman position, playing almost like a 4th forward on the ice, yet being good enough to get back on defense and play his position. Only a select few have even come close since, most notably Denis Potvin and Raymond Bourque.

Bruins fans are spoiled in this regard.

If the subject is expanded beyond skaters and includes goaltenders, I will say Martin Brodeur for goalies---not because of his longevity, but how great of a puck-handling goalie he is---so good that the trapezoid was brought into the rulebook because of him.

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01-13-2014, 09:38 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
Yep, agreed. Roy may have popularized the butterfly style. But his biggest impact might have been on the equipment front--trying out bigger pads, tweaking his gear to gain any advantage, wearing that ridiculously oversized jersey to catch pucks, working with Koho to create lighter pads, painting his pads to confuse shooters. It set off the goalie-equipment arms race of the '90s.

--Grant Fuhr was very influential on the stickhandling front--he was the first goalie (I think) who would actually help push the play forward and get the attack started. Ron Hextall, too.
While its true Roy sorta/kinda revolutionized the game so too did Tony Esposito who studied the NHL Rule Book inside out, up & down, sideways in looking for loopholes in order to gain an advantage & he found several. First with the Trapper whereby there was no specification as to width, so he added a "Cheater", an extra aftermarket sewn on jobbie he had a shoemaker produce for him & attach to the outside edge. Extra 2-3"'s & everyone followed suit, followed by the manufacturers themselves.... he also added a "Crotch Net" to his pants. Had a tailor add extra fabric to the area with padding so the crotch was practically at his knees like a Gangbanger wearing his pants halfway down his butt. Oversized sweater as well... And no, Fuhr was nowhere near the first but yes, he was excellent that way, aggressive. You can trace that back through numerous players, most notably Eddie Giacomin & earlier Jacques Plante.

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01-13-2014, 09:43 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Jimi Hendrix View Post
Yes, I would say the Patricks have had the greatest impact on the game of hockey overall. In 1911, both brothers went out west and created the PCHA, a rival league to the NHL. Some changes they implemented in their league were and that are still in use today were:

-Goalies were allowed to get down on their knees to make a save. Before this wasn't allowed at all.
-Inventor of the penalty shot, blue line
-Introduction of the forward pass concept
-Numbers were put on player's sweaters to easily identify players
-Crediting of assists

The HHOF website credits both brothers for 22 rule changes still in use today.

I've always thought that Lester Patrick could be inducted into the HHOF 3 times over.

Also, Lester Patrick was one of the first rushing defenceman in the game.
They were credited for introducing numbered jerseys for all North American sports. There is a great book out there about the Patrick family, I believe it was published in the the late 70s or early 80s

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01-13-2014, 09:59 PM
  #104
Sprague Cleghorn
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Originally Posted by aemoreira1981 View Post
In terms of play---#4, Bobby Orr, as he completely redefined the defenseman position, playing almost like a 4th forward on the ice, yet being good enough to get back on defense and play his position. Only a select few have even come close since, most notably Denis Potvin and Raymond Bourque.

Bruins fans are spoiled in this regard.

If the subject is expanded beyond skaters and includes goaltenders, I will say Martin Brodeur for goalies---not because of his longevity, but how great of a puck-handling goalie he is---so good that the trapezoid was brought into the rulebook because of him.
I wouldn't say completely redefined. As I mentioned, there were plenty of defenseman back in the early days that rushed the puck. Then for some reason, in the 40s? it became taboo for them to rush the puck.

Orr just reintroduced that concept and mastered it. He disproved the theory in the 40s and 50s that defenseman rushing the puck does more good than harm.

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01-13-2014, 11:06 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
While its true Roy sorta/kinda revolutionized the game so too did Tony Esposito who studied the NHL Rule Book inside out, up & down, sideways in looking for loopholes in order to gain an advantage & he found several. First with the Trapper whereby there was no specification as to width, so he added a "Cheater", an extra aftermarket sewn on jobbie he had a shoemaker produce for him & attach to the outside edge. Extra 2-3"'s & everyone followed suit, followed by the manufacturers themselves.... he also added a "Crotch Net" to his pants. Had a tailor add extra fabric to the area with padding so the crotch was practically at his knees like a Gangbanger wearing his pants halfway down his butt. Oversized sweater as well... And no, Fuhr was nowhere near the first but yes, he was excellent that way, aggressive. You can trace that back through numerous players, most notably Eddie Giacomin & earlier Jacques Plante.
Very interesting--thanks for posting.

I'd heard before that Plante was one of the first goalies to really venture outside the crease, but I have no idea if this is true or not.

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01-13-2014, 11:17 PM
  #106
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Patrick roy easily, changed the way the position was played and most of all made people realize how important goaltenders are when they were not seen as important as other positions when fighting for the cup. No other player made such an impact on tbe game besides bobby orr
Dryden? Sawchuck? Plante? Parent? A million other great goalies before him?

You make it sound like Roy won a hart trophy.

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01-13-2014, 11:24 PM
  #107
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I'd heard before that Plante was one of the first goalies to really venture outside the crease, but I have no idea if this is true or not.
Yes quite true, as prior to his actually playing in the NHL he played one year on a team (Senior I think it was) whereby his defencemen were shall we say "challenged" when it came to skating. One guy couldnt skate backwards to save his life; another couldnt turn right, the other couldnt turn left without falling down. So on shoot ins he started by corralling the puck behind the net, then he started wandering out & about as far as the corners playing the puck, then straight out almost to the blue-line. Extremely helpful. It was however anathema to how goaltenders were supposed to play, and it certainly gave Toe Blake Kinipshin Fits at first but he soon recognized the brilliance of the strategy. Took a lot of self confidence & hubris on Plantes part to do that, to break from the mold, but like Patrick Roy generations later hubris & self confidence was not in any short supply with Jake the Snake.... in fact, he'd tell just about anyone who would care to listen how great he was. Maybe even knit you a toque in the the time it took tell a few stories.

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01-13-2014, 11:35 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Yes quite true, as prior to his actually playing in the NHL he played one year on a team (Senior I think it was) whereby his defencemen were shall we say "challenged" when it came to skating. One guy couldnt skate backwards to save his life; another couldnt turn right, the other couldnt turn left without falling down. So on shoot ins he started by corralling the puck behind the net, then he started wandering out & about as far as the corners playing the puck, then straight out almost to the blue-line. Extremely helpful. It was however anathema to how goaltenders were supposed to play, and it certainly gave Toe Blake Kinipshin Fits at first but he soon recognized the brilliance of the strategy. Took a lot of self confidence & hubris on Plantes part to do that, to break from the mold, but like Patrick Roy generations later hubris & self confidence was not in any short supply with Jake the Snake.... in fact, he'd tell just about anyone who would care to listen how great he was. Maybe even knit you a toque in the the time it took tell a few stories.
The greater challenge is finding things that DIDN'T give Toe Blake kiniption fits.....

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01-13-2014, 11:39 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
The greater challenge is finding things that DIDN'T give Toe Blake kiniption fits.....
And looking up all the new words Killion injects in each new post. I need and dictionary and a thesaurus at my convenience every time I read one of his posts.

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01-13-2014, 11:56 PM
  #110
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The greater challenge is finding things that DIDN'T give Toe Blake kiniption fits.....
Indeed. I used to love watching Toe Blake behind the bench. Never was there a truer Sportsman & Coach. Total Class Act. Players wanted to perform for him... but as for the Wandering Goalie Revolution, that actually took place long before Plante ever came along or was even born for that matter. But like Rushing Defenceman, fell from favor, out of vogue. The first notable Wandering Goalie was Paddy Moran, a long time fixture in Quebec prior to the NHA & through its existence. Back then there were no Creases, and so it was up to the goalie to create room for himself and the best way to do it was to seriously lay on the lumber ala Billy Smith only then, with considerably more frequency. You had to protect your net like a Junk Yard Dog protecting a bone. Moran notorious for being beyond nasty....

... then there was his wandering. Not only did he play stand-up, he moved towards the shooters & cut down the angles. This was in the 19 odd 3's, 6's, 1912 etc. An art & science then lost until Plante again in the 50's, early 60's re-deployed them. Paddy Moran as well would skate well out of his net carrying the puck, and often on an incoming rush or breakaway would literally charge the opposing players and check them off the puck before they even had a chance to shoot it. Knock them ass over tea kettle. Just launch himself at them. So ya, you go back far enough & you'll find early versions of Hasek, Roy, Plante, Orr and just about any other individual who you might think an innovator. Most of those streets have been walked before, continents discovered a lot earlier than one might imagine or what history proclaims it to be.

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01-14-2014, 12:06 AM
  #111
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This is Orr by a mile and it is not even close. Until Bobby Orr came along, teams did not prepare for a D man that could jump into the rush and D man in general never thought about jumping into the rush. Doug Harvey would jump in before Orr came along but not as often or as well, so teams did not prepare and other D did not emulate him. After Orr, every kid playing D wanted to be him, rush the ice, not all stay at home any more.

Wayne Gretzky came along in the eighties during rapid expansion. Numbers went up every where as talent was diluted while player skills increased. Team systems came along because it was the only way to try and slow down scoring, not just Gretzky, but everyone. Gretzky was the most skilled forward ever, but he did not change his position or the game.

Esposito was a buttery goalie long before Roy and I believe Glen hall also. Both very good at it too. More athletic goalies entered the NHL and were capable of being butterfly goalies, Roy didn't change much..
While I agree with much of what you say, I don't really understand the 2nd paragraph. The 80's had less expansion than the 70's did, talent was less diluted than the 70's as well (the extra players all came from another pro-level league, unlike the 70's where the number of teams doubled w/o any influx of pro-level talent). I do think Gretzky changed the game to a much bigger degree off-ice than any of the others (that's not even really debate worthy, IMO). Orr probably changed it the most on-ice of the players listed in the thread topic, but as others have mentioned, Roy with the popularization of butterfly goaltending (others did it before but it never caught on in a big way until Roy) was also huge.

Honestly, Plante may have changed the game as much as any of these guys since he was the first goaltender to really start leaving the net to play the puck. He also popularized the mask.

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01-14-2014, 12:31 AM
  #112
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Indeed. I used to love watching Toe Blake behind the bench. Never was there a truer Sportsman & Coach. Total Class Act. Players wanted to perform for him... but as for the Wandering Goalie Revolution, that actually took place long before Plante ever came along or was even born for that matter. But like Rushing Defenceman, fell from favor, out of vogue. The first notable Wandering Goalie was Paddy Moran, a long time fixture in Quebec prior to the NHA & through its existence. Back then there were no Creases, and so it was up to the goalie to create room for himself and the best way to do it was to seriously lay on the lumber ala Billy Smith only then, with considerably more frequency. You had to protect your net like a Junk Yard Dog protecting a bone. Moran notorious for being beyond nasty....

... then there was his wandering. Not only did he play stand-up, he moved towards the shooters & cut down the angles. This was in the 19 odd 3's, 6's, 1912 etc. An art & science then lost until Plante again in the 50's, early 60's re-deployed them. Paddy Moran as well would skate well out of his net carrying the puck, and often on an incoming rush or breakaway would literally charge the opposing players and check them off the puck before they even had a chance to shoot it. Knock them ass over tea kettle. Just launch himself at them. So ya, you go back far enough & you'll find early versions of Hasek, Roy, Plante, Orr and just about any other individual who you might think an innovator. Most of those streets have been walked before, continents discovered a lot earlier than one might imagine or what history proclaims it to be.
Don't forget Chuck Rayner carrying the puck himself to the enemy zone.

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01-14-2014, 12:46 AM
  #113
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Honestly, Plante may have changed the game as much as any of these guys since he was the first goaltender to really start leaving the net to play the puck. He also popularized the mask.
Ya, see, the problem I have here in crediting Patrick Roy with being the "innovator" is that he was merely the product of the real innovator, and that would be Goalie Coach Francois Allaire and the Quebec School of Goaltending. He was hired by the Canadiens in the early 80's to work with Roy, and who is largely responsible for the popularization of the Butterfly that is today the mandatory style of play. He also worked with Felix Potvin & J.S. Giguere amongst others, along with equipment manufacturers in re-designing & re-developing the pads using synthetics rather than the heavier leather & horsehide styles that had been in use for decades, the master of that craft old Pop Kenesky out of Hamilton and through the 60's & 70's Cooper.

Patrick Roys success then engendered a rush to copy, so rather than stating "Roy was the innovator" I prefer to look at it as "Roy popularized the innovations & designs of Francois Allaire". Give credit where credit is due. Plante on the other hand worked in a vacuum. There were no Goalie Coaches back then to guide him. So ya, he truly was an "innovator" as was Glenn Hall with the early version of the Butterfly, it too copied by many, most notably a young Roger Crozier who until being traded to Detroit had been Blackhawks property & down on the depth charts from Hall in the minors. Later you had Tony Esposito who's game came together under Halls tutorials but for Hall, Plante, Bower and the rest of them playing pre-tandem they were on their own. Innovation the name of the game.

As for the mask, thats an interesting one alright. A new and potentially deadly weapon had been re-introduced by Geoffrion & Bathgate, the Slap Shot. Those guys didnt create the Slap Shot, it had been around since at least 1903 and been deployed at various times at all levels but wasnt considered terribly efficient due to its lack of accuracy, stick technology fairly basic. By the 50's however with fiberglass wrappings of the blade, you could put extra pressure on the stick and it wouldnt disintegrate with a serious windup. It was a Bathgate Slap Shot that cut Plantes face up so badly that he refused to return to play without his mask and the rest as we know is history.

Still though, the mask didnt catch on. That accidental Bathgate shot was followed by the accidental curving of the blade when in practice one day an upset Stan Mikita started breaking sticks & bending blades. Having a Canary over God only knows.... picks up one of his bent toothpicks, winds up and Mother Mary, would you just look at that! Wicked! Thereafter refines the process, and Hull wants some a that action as well please. Next thing you know, everyones doing it & if your playing without a mask, your certifiable. So there mandated. Innovation sure, but accidental innovations.


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01-14-2014, 12:49 AM
  #114
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Ya, see, the problem I have here in crediting Patrick Roy with being the "innovator" is that he was merely the product of the real innovator, and that would be Goalie Coach Francois Allaire and the Quebec School of Goaltending. He was hired by the Canadiens in the early 80's to work with Roy, and who is largely responsible for the popularization of the Butterfly that is today the mandatory style of play. He also worked with Felix Potvin & J.S. Giguere amongst others, along with equipment manufacturers in re-designing & re-developing the pads using synthetics rather than the heavier leather & horsehide styles that had been in use for decades, the master of that craft old Pop Kenesky out of Hamilton and through the 60's & 70's Cooper.

Patrick Roys success then engendered a rush to copy, so rather than stating "Roy was the innovator" I prefer to look at it as "Roy popularized the innovations & designs of Francois Allaire". Give credit where credit is due. Plante on the other hand worked in a vacuum. There were no Goalie Coaches back then to guide him. So ya, he truly was an "innovator" as was Glenn Hall with the early version of the Butterfly, it too copied by many, most notably a young Roger Crozier who until being traded to Detroit had been Blackhawks property & down on the depth charts from Hall in the minors. Later you had Tony Esposito who's game came together under Halls tutorials but for Hall, Plante, Bower and the rest of them playing pre-tandem they were on their own. Innovation the name of the game.

As for the mask, thats an interesting one alright. A new and potentially deadly weapon had been re-introduced by Geoffrion & Bathgate, the Slap Shot. Those guys didnt create the Slap Shot, it had been around since at least 1903 and been deployed at various times at all levels but wasnt considered terribly efficient due to its lack of accuracy, stick technology fairly basic. By the 50's however with fiberglass wrappings of the blade, you could put extra pressure on the stick and it would disintegrate with a serious windup. It was a Bathgate Slap Shot that cut Plantes face up so badly that he refused to return to play without his mask and the rest as we know is history.

Still though, the mask didnt catch on. That accidental Bathgate shot was followed by the accidental curving of the blade when in practice one day an upset Stan Mikita started breaking sticks & bending blades. Having a Canary over God only knows.... picks up one of his bent toothpicks, winds up and Mother Mary, would you just look at that! Wicked! Thereafter refines the process, and Hull wants some a that action as well please. Next thing you know, everyones doing it & if your playing without a mask, your certifiable. So there mandated. Innovation sure, but accidental innovations.
Funny thing is, if you watch Roy in the 80s before Allaire came up with the new equipment he'd probably be considered a hybrid by today's standards. As would Esposito and Bouchard.

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01-14-2014, 01:07 AM
  #115
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Funny thing is, if you watch Roy in the 80s before Allaire came up with the new equipment he'd probably be considered a hybrid by today's standards. As would Esposito and Bouchard.
Esposito & Bouchard were Hybrids, and I actually consider Roy a Hybrid as well as there was a lot more to his game than just the Butterfly. Way more. He could skate, his puck handling skills decent, would adjust and use whatever or whichever technique was appropriate to the situation he faced. He wasnt over-reliant on it the way todays guys are. He also had serious attitude. Personality. Polarizing. No gray area really. You either loved him or hated him. Extremely self confident, loudly arrogant at times on the ice. In your face type of goalie. Very effective, his style, his way. Brodeur as well. Arrogant & cocky, just not quite so noisy about it. Hasek same. Get into the oppositions heads. All they'll see is you and they WANT to fire the puck at you. To Hell with scoring. Lets kill that guy. Messin with our heads Man. You just dont see that today but for a handful Goalies in the league and they generally enjoying only modest success, flashes in the pan, here today & gone tomorrow.

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01-14-2014, 01:49 AM
  #116
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Don't forget Chuck Rayner carrying the puck himself to the enemy zone.
... ya, suffered from the same Madness as Gary Suitcase Smith years later. Suitcase there one time carrying the puck clean across Center and into the Habs Blue Line before getting decked. Also had this thing about wanting to punt the puck over the scoreboard at Maple Leaf Gardens. If he held the puck for a stop in play or if the opportunity arose while play was in full swing, he'd punt the puck with his pad, see how high she flys. All kinds of eccentricities that one..... just leave the rink altogether after a loss without first going into the dressing room, taking off his mask, gloves, skates etc, taking a shower & changing. Just walk right off the ice in Vancouver, down a hall, outside, into his car, drive home in full gear.

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01-14-2014, 07:06 AM
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Has to be Orr. Nobody even came close to dominating the game of hockey in the world like Orr did. As a defenseman it is even more remarkable. He was as close to perfection as you could get in a hockey player in all facets of the game.

Had medical technology been what it is today, Orr would without a doubt be considered the greatest NHL player of all time. Some think that despite a career which essentially ended after the 75 season at age 27. We're talking about a guy who could have legitimately pushed 2000 points from the blueline.

Wayne has the name recognition around the world but Orr revolutionized the game before the Great One.

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01-14-2014, 07:32 AM
  #118
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First guy I recall using the lightweight goalie pads was Reggie Lemelin. They were really boxy and he put up some nice seasons with the Bruins when he started using them.

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01-14-2014, 07:42 AM
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It was not the first time the NHL changed the rules because one team or player was grossly benefiting. Changing a penalty ending after the opposing team scored was made solely because of the Habs in the 50's routinely scoring 2 or 3 times per man advantage.

And there's a difference between revolutionizing the game and expanding the game. Gretzky was no doubt one of, if not the biggest contributors of the latter.
Well for your first point, Doug Harvey was a huge influence on the 1950's rule change, but he wasn't on the list of four names.

For your second point, this is semantics. Revolutionize, expand...I think helping grow the game is part of the revolutionizing of the sport, but if you don't agree then that's also fine.

For me, Gretzky changed the game more than anyone else. He probably changed hockey more than anybody has ever changed any other sport, too.

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01-14-2014, 08:41 AM
  #120
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I think Tarasov deserves a mention. From the three I say Gretzky.

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01-14-2014, 10:21 AM
  #121
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Has to be Orr. Nobody even came close to dominating the game of hockey in the world like Orr did. As a defenseman it is even more remarkable. He was as close to perfection as you could get in a hockey player in all facets of the game.

Had medical technology been what it is today, Orr would without a doubt be considered the greatest NHL player of all time. Some think that despite a career which essentially ended after the 75 season at age 27. We're talking about a guy who could have legitimately pushed 2000 points from the blueline.

Wayne has the name recognition around the world but Orr revolutionized the game before the Great One.
While Orr caused others to play differently, so did Gretzky. But the way both played was pretty unique. You don't see many defensemen who played like Orr did (Coffey was closest, but wasn't as good obviously), and really no one who plays like Gretzky did. So neither changed the way others played (as in being duplicated), but rather changed the way others reacted to them. They spawned a lot of the defensive systems, etc.

I honestly think they were pretty equal in that regard. I may give Orr the slight edge just because his style was more influential in others wanting to play D and be like Orr. Off ice, Gretzky contributed more than any of these 3.

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01-14-2014, 11:43 AM
  #122
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I think Tarasov deserves a mention. From the three I say Gretzky.
Ya absolutely. Anatoli Tarasov was a master of innovation. Really he completely re-thought the way the game was played, how players were trained & Coached.... then again, what choice did his subjects really have?.

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I honestly think they were pretty equal in that regard. I may give Orr the slight edge just because his style was more influential in others wanting to play D and be like Orr. Off ice, Gretzky contributed more than any of these 3.
I think thats a pretty fair, honest & objective observation & comment. Frankly I think by the time Orr did come along we were seeing more of the Rushing Defencemen regardless, however without a doubt he speeded up the development, the changing of the way the game was being played, showed the world what could be and what was to come. A harbinger of sorts. Gretzky was so unique a talent, once in maybe 100yrs, and the actual ice surface itself reconfigured as a result of his play in moving the goal & blue lines. As for influence "off-ice", to be frank & critical, I think thats somewhat over-stated & over-rated.

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01-14-2014, 06:26 PM
  #123
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Definitely Orr. I don't think he's the best player of all time but what he did for defensemen was pretty special.

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01-14-2014, 07:05 PM
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Ohashi_Jouzu
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If Gretzky isn't on full display at those Canada Cups of the '80s, followed by creating an environment where NHL base salaries started entering the $1 million+ range, while also being an international marketing icon world-wide for huge multinationals like Anheuser-Busch and MacDonalds, are as many Russians/Europeans defecting/jumping ship as soon as they could for the NHL? If the Iron Curtain had started to fall 10 years earlier, would the same (type of) players still have rushed over to play in the NHL of 1979?

I think Gretzky played a huge part in making the NHL not just an attractive option, but THE option, for luring top players from other domestic leagues around the world, which could be "revolutionary" on some level. Heck, he may even be more than just partially responsible for player salaries having to be disclosed, with Goodenough introducing it in 1990 after (but not explicitly because of, mind you) "The Trade"; which is interesting and salary-related, if not revolutionary, lol.

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01-15-2014, 12:04 AM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
If Gretzky isn't on full display at those Canada Cups of the '80s, followed by creating an environment where NHL base salaries started entering the $1 million+ range, while also being an international marketing icon world-wide for huge multinationals like Anheuser-Busch and MacDonalds, are as many Russians/Europeans defecting/jumping ship as soon as they could for the NHL? If the Iron Curtain had started to fall 10 years earlier, would the same (type of) players still have rushed over to play in the NHL of 1979?

I think Gretzky played a huge part in making the NHL not just an attractive option, but THE option, for luring top players from other domestic leagues around the world, which could be "revolutionary" on some level. Heck, he may even be more than just partially responsible for player salaries having to be disclosed, with Goodenough introducing it in 1990 after (but not explicitly because of, mind you) "The Trade"; which is interesting and salary-related, if not revolutionary, lol.
Good post. I'm kind of guessing, but I think the increasing access to technology, such as television, played a significant role in the number of Czech's that defected to play in North America. Many of them were also exposed to North America through their CC experiences too. Its a mystery to me why some of the Soviets did not defect in the 70's and 80's. I'm guessing many had families, but I'm sure the younger players without spouses and children could have defected. Maybe the USSR would follow through with other consequences if a player defected? I don't know. To those that are aware, what would have been the major differences between the Soviets and Czech's defecting?

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