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Does Gretzky or Lemieux Benefit More if the Other Never Existed?

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07-25-2014, 09:58 PM
  #1
Randomtask68
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Does Gretzky or Lemieux Benefit More if the Other Never Existed?

Sorry if this has been asked before, which I would be surprised if it hadn't, but between Gretzky and Lemieux, which player would have benefited more if the other simply never existed? Other than the player not existing, everything in the NHL unfolds as it did historically, although each player's teammates will be effected to varying degrees but for now I'm mainly focusing on the individuals. Also I'm ignoring Gretzky's influence on Lemieux during the '87 Canada Cup. Regardless of whom you choose, both of their numbers become absolutely mind boggling without the other to serve as any sort of comparable.

Gretzky: Although the vast majority consider him the best offensive player to play the game, there are still Gretzky vs. Lemieux arguments every so often where some contend that Mario was the superior player. Regardless, in this scenario there would be no one even remotely close to Gretzky statistically. Without Lemieux's 199 point season, the second highest non-Gretzky point total would have been Steve Yzerman at 155. That's a 60 point gap between Yzerman's best and Gretzky's best, and Gretzky had 9 seasons that topped Yzerman's best. Also, Gretzky came in 2nd to Lemieux in the '88 and '89 Art Ross races, so he gains 2 more Art Rosses, giving him 12* total, twice as many as Gordie Howe. He retires with a considerable gap in terms of PPG with 1.921 and Bossy 2nd at 1.497, and the only player to score 40+ points in the playoffs, which he did 3 times.

*Realized that in the 91-92 season when Gretzky finished 3rd in the Art Ross race, Kevin Stevens of Pittsburgh finished 2nd, so you could argue that Stevens doesn't finish above Wayne without Lemieux as a teammate.

Lemieux: In a similar fashion, while not as impressive, Lemieux would have been by himself statistically. His 199 points would be 44 points better than Yzerman's total, to go along with his three separate 160+ point seasons. He would have been the only player to score 40+ points in the playoffs. I was a little shocked that he technically only wins 1 more Art Ross, which would give him 7 to Howe's 6, but he does gain 3 additional seasons where he leads the league in assists with Gretzky gone. He also moves into first place in terms of PPG with 1.883, Bossy is second at 1.497. And although there's no way of knowing how Messier's numbers are effected by having no Gretzky, but Messier finished his career with 1887 points and Lemieux with 1723, so Lemieux definitely looks better in that regard as well.

I don't think there is a clear cut answer, but I might go with Gretzky because the only thing, if there is any, that hurts Gretzky is that Lemieux was in his neighborhood statistically and injuries/illness is what stopped Lemieux from getting closer to Gretzky's numbers. Without Lemieux, Gretzky wins 11, possibly 12, straight Art Ross trophies, just adding to the ridiculous legend of his career. I don't think Lemieux dominated his peers as well as Gretzky, and his 7-6 Art Ross edge over Howe isn't close to Wayne's 12/13-6 edge.

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07-25-2014, 10:35 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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I'd say Gretzky... without Lemieux there'd be no other forward within light years of him and Orr would remain where he is generally placed today, solidly 2nd.

Lemieux, on the other hand might be considered the best player ever without Gretzky... but Howe and Orr would be hot on his heels and the group of contrarians that rated them higher would be a larger and more vociferous subset.

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07-25-2014, 10:36 PM
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Lemieux would probably be helped more by this than Gretzky.

He would be the Bobby Orr of forwards. The fact that Gretzky exists is a big impediment to Lemieux's GOAT argument because Gretzky put up better numbers for a longer period of time. The only peg Lemieux really has to stand on is era, but their careers overlapped so much that even that is hard to argue.

Now whether he'd be considered #1, #2, or #3 all time is hard to say, but certainly his argument for #1 is much stronger without Gretzky in the way.

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07-26-2014, 01:49 AM
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TAnnala
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Lemieux would benefit more. Without a doubt. Everything Lemieux did, Gretzky did better and for longer. So it kind of takes away all the arguments for Lemieux being the greatest of all-time.

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07-26-2014, 03:12 AM
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Darth Yoda
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I'll tell you what without Gretzky Lemieux would be more fairly treated when it comes to dominance over his peers: Since Gretzky had no Lemieux during his best years, while Lemieux had Gretzky during his. It's no good Gretzky dominating the likes of Peter Stastny in the scoring race while Mario had Wayne racking up the assists. This is no attempt at ranking the two, just an observation regarding people bringing up Gretzkys 80 point leads in the scoring race or whatever, when it is not really fair to Lemieux.

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07-26-2014, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
I'll tell you what without Gretzky Lemieux would be more fairly treated when it comes to dominance over his peers: Since Gretzky had no Lemieux during his best years, while Lemieux had Gretzky during his. It's no good Gretzky dominating the likes of Peter Stastny in the scoring race while Mario had Wayne racking up the assists. This is no attempt at ranking the two, just an observation regarding people bringing up Gretzkys 80 point leads in the scoring race or whatever, when it is not really fair to Lemieux.
Well, without Gretzky:

Lemieux point lead over 2nd without Gretzky:
87-88: Lemieux 168pts. Savard 131pts. 38pts. lead.
88-89: Lemieux 199pts. Yzerman 155pts. 44pts. lead.
91-92: Lemieux 131pts. Stevens 123pts. 8pts lead.
92-93: Lemieux 160pts. LaFontaine 148pts. 12pts. lead.
95-96: Lemieux 161pts. Jagr 149pts. 12pts. lead.
96-97: Lemieux 122pts. Selanne 109pts. 13pts. lead.

Gretzky factored surprisingly little on the scoring dominance over peers by Lemieux. In fact, only two times was Gretzky the runner-up to Lemieux. 87-88 and 88-89. But those were the years where Lemieux did amass incredible point lead over next.

It was Mario's health that prevented the big dominance over peers. Not Wayne.

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07-26-2014, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
Well, without Gretzky:

Lemieux point lead over 2nd without Gretzky:
87-88: Lemieux 168pts. Savard 131pts. 38pts. lead.
88-89: Lemieux 199pts. Yzerman 155pts. 44pts. lead.
91-92: Lemieux 131pts. Stevens 123pts. 8pts lead.
92-93: Lemieux 160pts. LaFontaine 148pts. 12pts. lead.
95-96: Lemieux 161pts. Jagr 149pts. 12pts. lead.
96-97: Lemieux 122pts. Selanne 109pts. 13pts. lead.

Gretzky factored surprisingly little on the scoring dominance over peers by Lemieux. In fact, only two times was Gretzky the runner-up to Lemieux. 87-88 and 88-89. But those were the years where Lemieux did amass incredible point lead over next.

It was Mario's health that prevented the big dominance over peers. Not Wayne.
True although at least I always take Lemieux's pace into consideration, as do most, maybe not you.

And regarding Gretzky's dominance over his peers?

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07-26-2014, 03:46 AM
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TAnnala
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
True although at least I always take Lemieux's pace into consideration, as do most, maybe not you.

And regarding Gretzky's dominance over his peers?
I do definitely take his pace in to consideration. Absolutely. I think he would have definitely hit 200+ mark in 92-93 had he not been dealing with, well you know. But Gretzky wasn't the factor who made Lemieux miss the crazy "number over peers" that Gretzky did hit. It was his health.

What do you mean about "regarding Gretzky's dominance over his peers"?

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07-26-2014, 04:23 AM
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Darth Yoda
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
I do definitely take his pace in to consideration. Absolutely. I think he would have definitely hit 200+ mark in 92-93 had he not been dealing with, well you know. But Gretzky wasn't the factor who made Lemieux miss the crazy "number over peers" that Gretzky did hit. It was his health.
I should have been more alert during this hour that is true, i should have said that i never use single season margins to the next player in a vacuum when promoting someone. Obviously some PEAK seasons from a third party(Jagr in 1995/96) could also to some extent make "so and so many points ahead of his peers", void. But i was thinking about 1987/88, 1988/89 and 1989/90 as examples of seasons where the perception of Lemieux's dominance over his peers is in different ways severely hampered by Gretzky's existance in the league at the time.
It is true that 1992/93 and 1995/96 is examples of seasons where Gretzky was not hindering lemieux's dominance of his peers, in those seasons, it was all becouse of injury to Mario.

Quote:
What do you mean about "regarding Gretzky's dominance over his peers"?
I mean what would happen if Lemieux's prime years occured during Gretzkys PEAK years. Gretzky peaked very early for some reason, while Lemieux peaked later.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 07-26-2014 at 04:34 AM.
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07-26-2014, 04:28 AM
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TAnnala
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Oh, I get it now.

You have a point.

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07-26-2014, 10:01 AM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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If there is no Gretzky, do people actually rank Lemieux ahead of Howe and Orr? I can't see any decent rationalization for it as 9 and 4 were more complete players.

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07-26-2014, 10:07 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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If there is no Gretzky, do people actually rank Lemieux ahead of Howe and Orr? I can't see any decent rationalization for it as 9 and 4 were more complete players.
I think more would. Without Gretzky, Lemieux has the single season records.

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07-26-2014, 10:12 AM
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I think more would. Without Gretzky, Lemieux has the single season records.
Yeah, looking at it that way, it does change one's perspective.

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07-26-2014, 04:13 PM
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If no Gretzky Lemieux is the undisputed best player of all time or at least forward of all time

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07-26-2014, 04:15 PM
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If no Gretzky Lemieux is the undisputed best player of all time or at least forward of all time
Not true. Even with Gretzky, there are some who would take Gordie Howe over him. With no Gretzky, I would imagine a lively Lemieux vs Howe debate for #1 forward of all-time.

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07-26-2014, 04:43 PM
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Not true. Even with Gretzky, there are some who would take Gordie Howe over him. With no Gretzky, I would imagine a lively Lemieux vs Howe debate for #1 forward of all-time.
Lemieux at his peak is just as good as Gretzky though

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07-26-2014, 05:38 PM
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Lemieux at his peak is just as good as Gretzky though
No he's not.

Gretzky scored 200 + Pts four times in his carer, and had career highs of 92 and 87 goals.

Lemieux at his absolute best just got to Gretzky's level but barely when he scored 85 goals and had 199 Pts, coincidentally, Brett Hull had a better goals scoring season when he scored 86 goals.

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07-26-2014, 06:01 PM
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No he's not.

Gretzky scored 200 + Pts four times in his carer, and had career highs of 92 and 87 goals.

Lemieux at his absolute best just got to Gretzky's level but barely when he scored 85 goals and had 199 Pts, coincidentally, Brett Hull had a better goals scoring season when he scored 86 goals.
Gretzkys best was 215 in 80 games
Lemieuxs was 199 in 76 which is 209 points. So a peak Lemieux notice how I said peak was at the same level. Lemieux 93 was on pace for 213 as well...

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07-26-2014, 07:45 PM
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I would have to say Lemieux would benefit more, based simply on the fact that Gretzky is basically the unanimous GOAT as is, so he has nowhere to go.

I know, his records would be even more impressive and he would have a few more trophies but overall the way he is looked upon by everyone is still basically the same.

Lemieux on the other hand, would be considered far and away the best offensive player to ever play the game, reaching levels that nobody thought were even imaginable. Even though he doesn't end up with the most points but he still ends up with the single season record, single post season record, and has the most scoring titles despite his health.

On top of this his illness/comeback would have been that much more legendary. It would be like "this guy just had cancer and still put up more points than anyone ever has in a season".

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07-26-2014, 07:55 PM
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Lemieux on the other hand, would be considered far and away the best offensive player to ever play the game, reaching levels that nobody thought were even imaginable.
That would only be the case if both Gretzky and Gordie Howe never existed.

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07-26-2014, 08:02 PM
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That would only be the case if both Gretzky and Gordie Howe never existed.
Howe never had anything near 199 points.

Like I said, even though he didn't end up scoring more points overall I think his single seasons and 7 scoring titles despite injuries would put him #1.

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07-26-2014, 08:08 PM
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Howe never had anything near 199 points.

Like I said, even though he didn't end up scoring more points overall I think his single seasons and 7 scoring titles despite injuries would put him #1.
Howe also played in a different era and won 4 of his 6 Art Rosses by very large margins

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07-26-2014, 08:14 PM
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Theokritos
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Howe never had anything near 199 points.
Nobody in the O6 era scored more than 100 points while tons of players did in the 1980s. Scoring relative to peers is what matters.

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07-26-2014, 08:15 PM
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Howe also played in a different era and won 4 of his 6 Art Rosses by very large margins
Different eras no doubt, and yes although Howe did outpace his peers by a larger margin of points in many of his Art Ross years, it is the fact that Mario was even able to win so many despite missing so much time.

It would be a debate for sure, but 199 points would be out of this world insane, 44 points better than anyone ever. His span from 87-97 would easily be the most dominant 10 years for any player, but Howe would have longevity on his side.

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07-26-2014, 08:16 PM
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Nobody in the O6 era scored more than 100 points while tons of players did in the 1980s. Scoring relative to peers is what matters.
Yes and relative to anyone ever (including his peers) he would have 44 more.

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