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Why didn't Gretzky win any Pearsons (Lindsays) after 1987?

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Old
02-07-2014, 09:00 PM
  #1
illpucks
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Why didn't Gretzky win any Pearsons (Lindsays) after 1987?

He won 5 in 6 seasons and then 0 the rest of his career. He had many exceptional seasons between 1988 and 1999. How is it that during that time he was never considered 'the most outstanding player' in the NHL?

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02-07-2014, 09:26 PM
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Well, look who won them.

Code:
1987–88 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	2
1988–89 	Steve Yzerman 	Detroit Red Wings 	C 	1
1989–90 	Mark Messier 	Edmonton Oilers 	C 	1
1990–91 	Brett Hull 	        St. Louis Blues 	        RW 	1
1991–92 	Mark Messier 	New York Rangers 	C 	2
1992–93 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	3
1993–94 	Sergei Fedorov 	Detroit Red Wings 	C 	1
1994–95 	Eric Lindros 	Philadelphia Flyers 	C 	1
1995–96 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	4
1996–97 	Dominik Hasek 	Buffalo Sabres     	G 	1
1997–98 	Dominik Hasek 	Buffalo Sabres 	        G 	2
1998–99 	Jaromir Jagr 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	RW 	1
All of those players deserved those awards that year, most certainly.

He could've stolen the one from Messier in 92.

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02-07-2014, 10:24 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I think that the players were simply tired Gretzky winning everything. I mean, why the hell did they vote Mike Liut over Gretzky in 1981 or a young Lemieux over Gretzky in 1986?

That said, the only Pearson after 1987 that Gretzky truly deserved was 1991, and Hull won the Hart too - something sexy about 86 goals, but Gretzky still won the Art Ross 161-131. Yzerman didn't deserve it in 1989, but Mario Lemieux probably did.

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02-08-2014, 02:16 AM
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I've never understood the 1981 or 1986 snubs either. I can understand post 1987. Although I pick Gretzky in 1991 either way. 1988 he misses 16 games or else he likely wins it. Heck, he could have had it in 1990 as well. Gretzky won three scoring titles after 1987. That can tie into the whole "Most Outstanding Player" thing.

Gretzky was also in his 30s at a time when Mario was in his prime. Not to mention there isn't a year he "should" have won anything after 1991 in my opinion.

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02-08-2014, 05:03 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think that the players were simply tired Gretzky winning everything. I mean, why the hell did they vote Mike Liut over Gretzky in 1981 or a young Lemieux over Gretzky in 1986?
I've heard this as the reason Clarke won those Harts over Orr as well as whichever misc players won the Vezina/Hart instead of Hasek.

It's a stupid phenomenon.

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02-08-2014, 06:06 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Well, look who won them.

Code:
198788 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	2
198889 	Steve Yzerman 	Detroit Red Wings 	C 	1
198990 	Mark Messier 	Edmonton Oilers 	C 	1
199091 	Brett Hull 	        St. Louis Blues 	        RW 	1
199192 	Mark Messier 	New York Rangers 	C 	2
199293 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	3
199394 	Sergei Fedorov 	Detroit Red Wings 	C 	1
199495 	Eric Lindros 	Philadelphia Flyers 	C 	1
199596 	Mario Lemieux 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	C 	4
199697 	Dominik Hasek 	Buffalo Sabres     	G 	1
199798 	Dominik Hasek 	Buffalo Sabres 	        G 	2
199899 	Jaromir Jagr 	Pittsburgh Penguins 	RW 	1
All of those players deserved those awards that year, most certainly.

He could've stolen the one from Messier in 92.
I doubt he steals one away from Messier in 92. Messier's reputation after Edmonton's cup win in 90 was just soaring as a great two way, physical player. His play numbed the Gretzky trade and gave the fans of Edmonton a star until he was traded away.

I agree with BP though. How could Gretzky have not won in 81 or 86? I've always said that Gretzky had to do twice as much early in his career to really impress people because they, and I mean players, reporters and many fans, wouldn't acknowledge that this geeky looking bean pole was tearing up the league. So what does he do to follow up breaking the points record in 81? 92 goals and 212 points. Then he gets his due. 86 is another mystery to me. He shatters his own assists record and it didn't seem to impress the players. In arguably his most impressive season.

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02-08-2014, 08:08 AM
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It seems Mario was disliked by the players who voted. He got snubbed in both 89 and 92.

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02-08-2014, 08:15 AM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think that the players were simply tired Gretzky winning everything. I mean, why the hell did they vote Mike Liut over Gretzky in 1981 or a young Lemieux over Gretzky in 1986?

That said, the only Pearson after 1987 that Gretzky truly deserved was 1991, and Hull won the Hart too - something sexy about 86 goals, but Gretzky still won the Art Ross 161-131. Yzerman didn't deserve it in 1989, but Mario Lemieux probably did.
1981 Edmonton had only been in the NHL for 2 seasons. They were still a below .500 team. The idea that a no contact, no defense kid protected by WHA goons was the best player in the game probably rubbed many players the wrong way at that time. There was also a possible underlying fear that Gretzky was going to make a mockery of the record books and thus diminish the greats before him.

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02-08-2014, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
1981 Edmonton had only been in the NHL for 2 seasons. They were still a below .500 team. The idea that a no contact, no defense kid protected by WHA goons was the best player in the game probably rubbed many players the wrong way at that time. There was also a possible underlying fear that Gretzky was going to make a mockery of the record books and thus diminish the greats before him.
Edmonton didn't have any more goons than anyone else at that time.

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02-08-2014, 09:58 AM
  #10
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Edmonton didn't have any more goons than anyone else at that time.
No one said they did.

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02-08-2014, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobnobs View Post
It seems Mario was disliked by the players who voted. He got snubbed in both 89 and 92.
But he won an undeserved one in 86

And hard to say Mario got snubbed in 92, when the Pearson winner (Messier) won the Hart in one of the biggest landslides ever.

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02-08-2014, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
1981 Edmonton had only been in the NHL for 2 seasons. They were still a below .500 team. The idea that a no contact, no defense kid protected by WHA goons was the best player in the game probably rubbed many players the wrong way at that time. There was also a possible underlying fear that Gretzky was going to make a mockery of the record books and thus diminish the greats before him.
Never really thought about that. I know that many resented Gretzky by saying things like "He'd never do that in the old days". It was pure jealousy. The guy shatters two different records in 1981 (assists and points) and they give it to Liut who - don't get me wrong - had a good year but it wasn't THAT much better than other times we saw a goalie get a 1st team all-star. I just think you had to simply watch the kid with an open mind. Even a once arrogant Bobby Clarke ("Gretzky wouldn't last") personally shook his hand when he did 50 in 39. Funny thing is the Hart in 1981 was a close call too. Hmmm.

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02-08-2014, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
No one said they did.
Ok, I think we are both essentially making similar points about Gretzky in his early years. They were jealous of him, in awe of him and resented that a player who came from the WHA was skating circles around the league.

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02-09-2014, 11:07 AM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Ok, I think we are both essentially making similar points about Gretzky in his early years. They were jealous of him, in awe of him and resented that a player who came from the WHA was skating circles around the league.
Correct.

And made no contact and played no defense.

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02-09-2014, 10:25 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Correct.

And made no contact and played no defense.
But he controlled the pace of the game every time he was on the ice. He didn't need to play great defense. The game revolved around him whenever he stepped on the ice. There was just bitterness. Even Mike Bossy is a guy who I've always felt had resentment towards Gretzky.

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02-09-2014, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
But he controlled the pace of the game every time he was on the ice. He didn't need to play great defense. The game revolved around him whenever he stepped on the ice. There was just bitterness. Even Mike Bossy is a guy who I've always felt had resentment towards Gretzky.
Not to mention that there's more to defense than just backchecking and intimidation. Gretzky was a master puck thief.

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02-10-2014, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Never really thought about that. I know that many resented Gretzky by saying things like "He'd never do that in the old days". It was pure jealousy. The guy shatters two different records in 1981 (assists and points) and they give it to Liut who - don't get me wrong - had a good year but it wasn't THAT much better than other times we saw a goalie get a 1st team all-star. I just think you had to simply watch the kid with an open mind. Even a once arrogant Bobby Clarke ("Gretzky wouldn't last") personally shook his hand when he did 50 in 39. Funny thing is the Hart in 1981 was a close call too. Hmmm.
The thing that always amazes me about Gretzky's 1981 season is that he broke the single season points record, while the second highest scoring player on his team had 75 points. I mean... how does that even happen?

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02-10-2014, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Correct.

And made no contact and played no defense.
And, as somebody else on this board has said, Picasso didn't paint barns (as far as I know).

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02-10-2014, 10:21 AM
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The thing that always amazes me about Gretzky's 1981 season is that he broke the single season points record, while the second highest scoring player on his team had 75 points. I mean... how does that even happen?
Ya, you see a lot of people mention the next season (212 pts, 92 goals) and they mention that Gretzky had over double anyone on his team's points. Which he did. But they forget that in 81, he was WAY over double anyone on his team's points. He had even less help than the next season, but still broke single season records for assists and points.

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02-10-2014, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
But he controlled the pace of the game every time he was on the ice. He didn't need to play great defense. The game revolved around him whenever he stepped on the ice. There was just bitterness. Even Mike Bossy is a guy who I've always felt had resentment towards Gretzky.
Indeed, and for a couple of reasons really. The first being that in subsequent years the Islanders achievements & 3 Stanley Cups were/are overshadowed by the Canadiens Dynasty of the 70's and the Oilers ascendancy of the 80's. The Isles, according to Bossy & as expressed by other members of those teams over the years largely forgotten so there is some resentment on that score.

I think however its more oriented to the "team", to the Oilers as opposed to Gretzky specifically or any one or more of Edmontons players. However then theres this...... In 1993 Wayne gave an interview in the NY Post where he said "Bossy was one of the best Wingers who ever played the game and had we played together he wouldve gotten even more points". Bossy on learning of this statement replied with "our styles were entirely different; I had the best Center in Trottier" or words to that affect. Gretzky never responded to Bossys' comments of course. But I dont think its difficult to put oneself in Bossys shoes & empathize, that though Gretzky meant to be complimentary, Mike felt it was somewhat disrespectful to Trottier & to himself, that he'd have done more, scored more had he played with Wayne Gretzky.

So you had the Oilers overshadowing the Islanders, Gretzky overshadowing Bossys' scoring feats, forever 2nd or 3rd or 10th or whatever best. The young Oilers of that era really captured peoples imagination with their total run & gun style of play, seemingly oblivious to Defense, not caring, because if you score 5, we'll score 10. This was all quite a bit different from the way the great teams of the immediate & distant past had played it, indeed, hockey in general. It was a revolutionary period, era. The game had really changed between 68-84. The Oilers had beaten the Islanders, comparisons then made that "wonder how they'd have faired against the 70's Habs" & so on. Gretzky was resented by many in the hockey establishment & players, a complete outlier who "cheated". Wasnt at all proto-typical. Didnt hit, you couldnt hit him because he was so deceptive, just a total Freak Show. Wunderkind, a phenom. Loathed, hated & loved all at the same time. Conflicting. Confusing. Still is in fact on some levels, and 14-15yrs after he's retired.

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02-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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On Gretzky vs. Liut:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail; February 17, 1981
Mike Liut of St. Louis Blues is expected to take the Hart Trophy (most valuable player) and, in a tough field of rookies, Don Beaupre of Minnesota North Stars is slightly favored to win the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year). On Saturday, Liut's strong goaltending helped the Blues gain a 1-1 tie with New York Islanders.

The last goaltender to win the Hart was Montreal Canadiens' Jacques Plante in 1962.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail; March 30, 1981
Obviously, Gretzky carries almost the entire offensive load - he leads his team in scoring by more than 80 points and has a rating of plus-29 for a team that has allowed more goals than it has scored. He has a chance to become the first NHL player to collect more than two points a game. (His father says that Wayne wants this distinction badly. Wayne says that his father expects him to score three points a game.) The record was set by Bill Cowley of Boston during the Second World War - 71 points in 36 games. Not everybody who plays hockey knows that. But the fact remains - and the Hart Trophy race with Mike Liut should reflect it - that this unprecedented output has not elevated his team's standing one bit. "There are a lot of hockey teams that are not in the playoffs this year," Gretzky said in defence of the Oilers' record. "They haven't been in the playoffs for a couple of years and they're going to be the same way next year. We know where we're headed. Some teams don't. Our management isn't panicking. We feel like we're like the Islanders of '72 and '73, that our time is going to come all at once."
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Globe and Mail; April 4, 1981
Injuries were numerous, but the majority of 12 general managers interviewed said the calibre of play wasn't as rough. "Everything about hockey this year has been weird," an NHL official said, commenting on the wide-open style, the number of goals allowed and the spotty performances by almost all of the league's 21 teams. Parity arrived. Lower-level teams started knocking off the so-called powerhouses, the mighty Montreal Canadiens had a losing road record, and "inconsistent" became the favorite word of management everywhere.

"Only two teams have been consistent," one general manager said on the eve of the regular season's final weekend. "St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets."

The Blues were steady winners, the Jets, losers.

Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, beating Phil Esposito's 10-year mark of 152 points in a season. But if the general managers were the people who vote for the league's most valuable player, the winner would not be the 20-year-old Edmonton Oiler centre. They opted for Mike Liut, the Blues' excellent goaltender.

...

Gretzky, last season's MVP with a team that finished well down in the standing, was a close second to Liut in the general managers' view. But Sinden echoed a view of many of his peers: "I had difficulty with Gretzky last year and I have difficulty with him this year. When a team ends up 15th, 16th or 17th and the other team ends up first, I would lean to a guy who has created a winner."
Quote:
Originally Posted by THN; April 25, 1981
Edmonton Oilers' Wayne Gretzky and St. Louis Blues' Mike Liut have tied for The Hockey News player-of-the-year award, the sports publication announced yesterday.

The boost from 12 playoff teams (17 team league) to 16 playoff teams (21 team league) was still fresh in people's minds when the Oilers finished 13th (up from 16th the previous year). And there might have been some goodwill owed to Liut for replicating a successful first season on a team that was 18-50-12 before his arrival - and the fact that the Vezina was not yet voted.

The Blues were 7 points ahead of the Islanders in March before losing the #1 Seed in the last three games of the season. We were that close to Mike Liut, Hart Trophy winner.

I don't know that the players necessarily take a different approach in voting than the media or the GMs, but the timing of the voting leads to different results. Lemieux in 1986 looks suspect because of the Hart results, but if the players are voting prior to the stretch in March/April where the Penguins went winless in 14 of 17 games, then the idea of a Mario Lemieux MVP season doesn't seem out of the question. Detroit in 1989 had a similar misstep, going 3-7-1 to close the season (the Kings, at the time, had 76 points to the Red Wings' 73, but would go on to finish the season 11 points ahead).

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02-10-2014, 04:35 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
On Gretzky vs. Liut:

The boost from 12 playoff teams (17 team league) to 16 playoff teams (21 team league) was still fresh in people's minds when the Oilers finished 13th (up from 16th the previous year). And there might have been some goodwill owed to Liut for replicating a successful first season on a team that was 18-50-12 before his arrival - and the fact that the Vezina was not yet voted.

The Blues were 7 points ahead of the Islanders in March before losing the #1 Seed in the last three games of the season. We were that close to Mike Liut, Hart Trophy winner.

I don't know that the players necessarily take a different approach in voting than the media or the GMs, but the timing of the voting leads to different results. Lemieux in 1986 looks suspect because of the Hart results, but if the players are voting prior to the stretch in March/April where the Penguins went winless in 14 of 17 games, then the idea of a Mario Lemieux MVP season doesn't seem out of the question. Detroit in 1989 had a similar misstep, going 3-7-1 to close the season (the Kings, at the time, had 76 points to the Red Wings' 73, but would go on to finish the season 11 points ahead).
Hmm, interesting stuff. Those articles do seem to paint a picture. Not that I agree with it though. Liut had a great year in 1981 but there was also 3 Blues players who had more points than Gretzky's closest teammate (75 points). On St. Louis Federko had 104, Wayne Babych had 96 and Blake Dunlop 87. Not that Liut wasn't the driving force behind that team, but it seems like the big difference for some of the GMs was the fact that St. Louis' 107 points which was good for 2nd overall is the main reason that Liut nearly won as opposed to the Oilers' 74 points (14th overall). Sure that's a big difference in points but as we can see, Gretzky didn't have much help at this time and breaking otherwise gaudy records should have put his stamp of approval on this one rather than a close race.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Indeed, and for a couple of reasons really. The first being that in subsequent years the Islanders achievements & 3 Stanley Cups were/are overshadowed by the Canadiens Dynasty of the 70's and the Oilers ascendancy of the 80's. The Isles, according to Bossy & as expressed by other members of those teams over the years largely forgotten so there is some resentment on that score.

I think however its more oriented to the "team", to the Oilers as opposed to Gretzky specifically or any one or more of Edmontons players. However then theres this...... In 1993 Wayne gave an interview in the NY Post where he said "Bossy was one of the best Wingers who ever played the game and had we played together he wouldve gotten even more points". Bossy on learning of this statement replied with "our styles were entirely different; I had the best Center in Trottier" or words to that affect. Gretzky never responded to Bossys' comments of course. But I dont think its difficult to put oneself in Bossys shoes & empathize, that though Gretzky meant to be complimentary, Mike felt it was somewhat disrespectful to Trottier & to himself, that he'd have done more, scored more had he played with Wayne Gretzky.

So you had the Oilers overshadowing the Islanders, Gretzky overshadowing Bossys' scoring feats, forever 2nd or 3rd or 10th or whatever best. The young Oilers of that era really captured peoples imagination with their total run & gun style of play, seemingly oblivious to Defense, not caring, because if you score 5, we'll score 10. This was all quite a bit different from the way the great teams of the immediate & distant past had played it, indeed, hockey in general. It was a revolutionary period, era. The game had really changed between 68-84. The Oilers had beaten the Islanders, comparisons then made that "wonder how they'd have faired against the 70's Habs" & so on. Gretzky was resented by many in the hockey establishment & players, a complete outlier who "cheated". Wasnt at all proto-typical. Didnt hit, you couldnt hit him because he was so deceptive, just a total Freak Show. Wunderkind, a phenom. Loathed, hated & loved all at the same time. Conflicting. Confusing. Still is in fact on some levels, and 14-15yrs after he's retired.
Bossy was an all-time great but he just had tons of resentment with Gretzky. Always a boastful guy. I remember Bossy being asked on Off the Record which goalie had his number. Bossy responded by saying: "I averaged 57 goals a year, not many." For those that like theatrics, Bossy's response is for you. But I prefer an athlete that doesn't need to tell me how great he was.

That being said, Trottier was a great center, but Gretzky doubled him in points every year. I'm not saying Bossy has to say anything negative about Trottier but it's pretty dismissive to respond that way as if Gretzky couldn't have boosted his totals.

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02-10-2014, 05:27 PM
  #23
Dennis Bonvie
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Not to mention that there's more to defense than just backchecking and intimidation. Gretzky was a master puck thief.
In 1981, Gretzky was not making many defense plays, period. He was only 20 and (like almost all 20 year-old talented offensive players) still had no inclination to play defense. He got better.

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02-10-2014, 08:04 PM
  #24
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In 1981, Gretzky was not making many defense plays, period. He was only 20 and (like almost all 20 year-old talented offensive players) still had no inclination to play defense. He got better.
Considering the Oilers gave up considerably more goals than they scored, and that Gretzky led the team in +/-, one has to ask if anyone else on the team was playing defense either. I agree that he was not a defensive stalwart, especially that early in his career, but he was great at stealing pucks from other players, even in his rookie season.

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02-11-2014, 11:02 AM
  #25
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I think Bossy said the right thing. Defend your teammates.

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