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Orr vs. Gretzky (Vote and Head-to-Head Comparison)

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Old
11-09-2011, 12:13 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
56% is better than 65%? Please help me to understand.
Potvin has 56% of Orrs production, Lemeuix had 65% of Waynes production, so Lemieux was closer to #99, then Potvin was to Orr.
Hardly scientific I realize....

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11-09-2011, 12:20 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by ekcut View Post
Follow up.
1975, Orr had 135pts, the 2nd best dman was Dennis Potvin with 76. (56%)
in 1986 Wayne had 215pts, Mario Lemiuex was 2nd with 141pts (65%)

I know it is apples and oranges, but Orr was "more better" then his competition then Wayne was according to just offense.
Problem is, you are comparing players who have the primary job of scoring points (forwards vs Gretzy) to defensive players (Dmen vs Orr). Orr outscored others at his position because others at his position weren't trying to score. When we compare to other offensive defensemen like Coffey, Orr's records don't hold up nearly as well as Gretzky's have, even against the likes of Lemieux. If Orr had to compete against other strong offensive defensemen, his scoring dominance over them wouldn't look nearly as impressive. While its certainly not Orr's fault that he didn't have any similar Dmen during his career really, comparing his numbers to defensemen of his era doesn't really prove anything except that he was far better than them offensively. We already knew that.

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11-09-2011, 12:37 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by WaveRaven View Post
I've seen 99 play live a lot and in a lot of those games it seemed like never seen his own end.

Have you seen him play ? Because if you had you know he loved to stand between the blue line and centre ice while the play was in his end. He'd rely on them making the big save or turnover and get it up to him. The definition of a cherry picker.

Look he was great offensive talent no doubt. Orr could do it all so 99 needs to better at all of it or he's not better.
You're comparing them as if hockey is a one-on-one game., like Orr can stop Gretzky more times than Gretzky can stop Orr. That's not how it works, it's a team game. It has been clearly proven that Gretzky playing the way he did results in success when a team is assembled around him correctly, and a lot of that success came at the hands of Gretzky scoring clutch goals.

The cherry picker comment is completely false. Gretzky certainly wasn't the best defensive center in the league or even close, but he wasn't a Pavel Bure in Florida either.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm fine with people saying Orr had the better peak, I go back and forth on it myself and pick Orr more often than not, but I do not agree with people saying the peak difference between the two is so large that it makes up for the huge edge in longevity that Gretzky has.

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11-09-2011, 01:06 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
Problem is, you are comparing players who have the primary job of scoring points (forwards vs Gretzy) to defensive players (Dmen vs Orr). Orr outscored others at his position because others at his position weren't trying to score. When we compare to other offensive defensemen like Coffey, Orr's records don't hold up nearly as well as Gretzky's have, even against the likes of Lemieux. If Orr had to compete against other strong offensive defensemen, his scoring dominance over them wouldn't look nearly as impressive. While its certainly not Orr's fault that he didn't have any similar Dmen during his career really, comparing his numbers to defensemen of his era doesn't really prove anything except that he was far better than them offensively. We already knew that.
The other defenseman like tremblay, vadnais and park were just as offensive minded. They just didnt have the skill set to score as many points. Red Kelly was playing with gordie howe and even he comes nowhere near orr. Denis Potvin was playing with 2 legends and even his numbers clearly fall short. What you are saying is merely assumptions, there is no proof to back up your statements.

Trying to say orr's records dont hold up is also a an argument that suggests you dont take eras into account. Orr played in a medium scoring era, the league was averaging 5.8-6.5 goals per game, not 7.7-8 goals per game. Coffey scored more raw points than howe, hull, beliveau and mikita. I guess he is offensively superior to them.

Gretzky's job was to score points like you said, thats why his numbers look better. Orr spent far less time in the offensive zone than gretzky did,


Last edited by ushvinder: 11-09-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old
11-09-2011, 01:38 PM
  #30
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While defensive play is absolutely vital in hockey, for a guy like Gretzky the fact that he didn't have the most dominant defensive skill-set in the league is relatively unimportant. At his peak, whenhe was on the ice, the Oilers dominated play. Elite work in the defensive zone isn't required if you don't spend much time there.

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11-09-2011, 02:06 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
The other defenseman like tremblay, vadnais and park were just as offensive minded. They just didnt have the skill set to score as many points. Red Kelly was playing with gordie howe and even he comes nowhere near orr. Denis Potvin was playing with 2 legends and even his numbers clearly fall short. What you are saying is merely assumptions, there is no proof to back up your statements.

Trying to say orr's records dont hold up is also a an argument that suggests you dont take eras into account. Orr played in a medium scoring era, the league was averaging 5.8-6.5 goals per game, not 7.7-8 goals per game. Coffey scored more raw points than howe, hull, beliveau and mikita. I guess he is offensively superior to them.

Gretzky's job was to score points like you said, thats why his numbers look better. Orr spent far less time in the offensive zone than gretzky did,
Obviously eras matter, and Coffey played in a higher scoring era. I'm not saying he was better offensively than Orr, and clearly he wasn't as good defensively either. He wasn't as good - I'm not saying he was. HOWEVER, he did beat many of Orr's records, and IMO he was much less a threat to them than Lemieux was to Gretzky's - afterall, Lemieux is a top 4 player of all time, Coffey isn't even a top 4 defenseman.

My point is, that Gretzky's job was to score points. He did that better than anyone. What makes Orr stand above other Dmen was his strong defensive play, combined with his offense. Fair enough, but his offensive numbers haven't stood the test of time as well as Gretzky's. I knew era matters, but they still haven't stood up as well. His +/- was nearly beaten by Robinson as well, so even that record doesn't stand out like many of Gretzky's. Combined with a shortened career, I just think Gretzky was the better player.

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11-09-2011, 02:22 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
You're comparing them as if hockey is a one-on-one game., like Orr can stop Gretzky more times than Gretzky can stop Orr. That's not how it works, it's a team game.
Aha, but imagine in your minds eye a one on one scenario between the two. Gretzky on offence, Orr on defence, then reverse it. Orr would absolutely clean Gretzkys' clock coming or going. Sure hockeys' a "team" game but for the purposes' of determining who the better all round player is whats the problem with a little "one on one"?. Had Orr's knee's held together & he'd been able to compete internationally & for as long as Gretzky the comparisons would still be made, however, his time at peak was brief and those who saw it will never forget it. Seen flashes of it over the years from various players but nothing like it consistently. In a team situation, Orr was the Greatest Defencemen of All Time & Gretzky was the Greatest Forward of All Time. Im perfectly content accepting that. "All Round" its Orr hands down in my book.

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11-09-2011, 02:38 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by CountDownToImpact View Post
Its close. I know many people who I have asked who have seen both play and 90% of them say Orr. That adds value. The way Orr dominated and revolutionized the position also adds some weight. Look at clips of Bobby Orr or vintage games and you will change your opinion I'm sure. Wayne had the better career Yes he did but in terms of peak value it's Orr and many people agree with this. Orr was more talented than Gretzky, the things he could do offensively along with his defensive game are much more impressive than scoring a ton of points. Their is more to the game than just goals and assists. You need to watch a full vintage game of Orr because if you don't your opinion has no bearing.
I don't need to watch vintage Orr games. I've watched Orr throughout his career and think Gretzky gets the nod by a pretty good margin. Now what?

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11-09-2011, 02:42 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by ekcut View Post
Potvin has 56% of Orrs production, Lemeuix had 65% of Waynes production, so Lemieux was closer to #99, then Potvin was to Orr.
Hardly scientific I realize....
And potvin was better defensively, Lemieux, not so much. lol. These comparisons are ridiculous, because Wayne had many seasons where he blew 2nd place away, not just one or a couple.

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11-09-2011, 02:46 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Aha, but imagine in your minds eye a one on one scenario between the two. Gretzky on offence, Orr on defence, then reverse it. Orr would absolutely clean Gretzkys' clock coming or going. Sure hockeys' a "team" game but for the purposes' of determining who the better all round player is whats the problem with a little "one on one"?. Had Orr's knee's held together & he'd been able to compete internationally & for as long as Gretzky the comparisons would still be made, however, his time at peak was brief and those who saw it will never forget it. Seen flashes of it over the years from various players but nothing like it consistently. In a team situation, Orr was the Greatest Defencemen of All Time & Gretzky was the Greatest Forward of All Time. Im perfectly content accepting that. "All Round" its Orr hands down in my book.
Yeah I imagine when you take away Gretzky's best asset as a player (vision and playmaking) Orr would stand out as the best pretty starkly.

How about we try another one on one experiment where Orr doesn't have skates so we can see how he'd do without his best asset?

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11-09-2011, 02:47 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Aha, but imagine in your minds eye a one on one scenario between the two. Gretzky on offence, Orr on defence, then reverse it. Orr would absolutely clean Gretzkys' clock coming or going. Sure hockeys' a "team" game but for the purposes' of determining who the better all round player is whats the problem with a little "one on one"?. Had Orr's knee's held together & he'd been able to compete internationally & for as long as Gretzky the comparisons would still be made, however, his time at peak was brief and those who saw it will never forget it. Seen flashes of it over the years from various players but nothing like it consistently. In a team situation, Orr was the Greatest Defencemen of All Time & Gretzky was the Greatest Forward of All Time. Im perfectly content accepting that. "All Round" its Orr hands down in my book.
because hockey isn't played one on one, Gretzky's biggest strength was utilizing his team mates to get the desired results, now you want to have a comparison between two players and remove one guys skillset that elevates him above everyone.

There are probably 100 players who would beat Gretzky in a game of one on one, it's too bad it means absolutely nothing.

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11-09-2011, 03:09 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
And potvin was better defensively, Lemieux, not so much. lol. These comparisons are ridiculous, because Wayne had many seasons where he blew 2nd place away, not just one or a couple.
When looking at the top percentage leaders over their positional peers (using adjusted stats) from the center position, Gretzky holds 2 of the top four spots, but Esposito holds the top spot overall using adjusted stats:

1) Esposito Phil 1970-71 147 pts 79.27%
Ullman Norm 1970-71 82 pts

2) Gretzky Wayne 1983-84 164 pts 72.63%
Stastny Peter 1983-84 95 pts

3) Gretzky Wayne 1986-87 157 pts 70.65%
Lemieux Mario 1986-87 92 pts

4) Esposito Phil 1973-74 135 pts 66.67%
Clarke Bobby 1973-74 81 pts

Bobby Orr holds the top four spots for top percentage leaders over his positional peers (using adjusted stats) from the defence position, and at a much higher % than any other positional peer comparison :

1) Orr Bobby 1969-70 124 pts 175.56%
Mckenny Jim 1969-70 45 pts

2) Orr Bobby 1970-71 136 pts 122.95%
Trembley J.C. 1970-71 61 pts

3) Orr Bobby 1972-73 92 pts 87.76%
Lapointe Guy 1972-73 49 pts

4) Orr Bobby 1974-75 116 pts 81.25%
Lapointe Guy 1974-75 64 pts

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11-09-2011, 03:14 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by WaveRaven View Post
I will never ever understand how the 1 dimenisional Gretzky can ever be considered anything more than the best Offensive player ever.

#99
1. Toughness ..... none
2. Defence .... none
The objective of the game is to have more goals at the 0:00 mark than your opponent. Nobody helped at this more than #99.

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11-09-2011, 03:14 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
I don't need to watch vintage Orr games. I've watched Orr throughout his career and think Gretzky gets the nod by a pretty good margin. Now what?
Nothing, your entitled to your opinion, you are in the minority though.

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11-09-2011, 03:15 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
because hockey isn't played one on one, Gretzky's biggest strength was utilizing his team mates to get the desired results, now you want to have a comparison between two players and remove one guys skillset that elevates him above everyone.

There are probably 100 players who would beat Gretzky in a game of one on one, it's too bad it means absolutely nothing.
This. This debate really comes down to which style of play you prefer, because if it was based simply on results (ie, creating more goals for your team than the opposition), Gretzky wins handedly.

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11-09-2011, 03:38 PM
  #41
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IMO, the "stacked" Oilers team got a lot better because they had a decade long clinic of playing with Gretzky. Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson, Lowe, Huddy et al, all became much better players due to this long relationship.

Orr also made a lot of players play better and become better, Esposito for one.

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11-09-2011, 03:38 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85highlander View Post
When looking at the top percentage leaders over their positional peers (using adjusted stats) from the center position, Gretzky holds 2 of the top four spots, but Esposito holds the top spot overall using adjusted stats:

1) Esposito Phil 1970-71 147 pts 79.27%
Ullman Norm 1970-71 82 pts

2) Gretzky Wayne 1983-84 164 pts 72.63%
Stastny Peter 1983-84 95 pts

3) Gretzky Wayne 1986-87 157 pts 70.65%
Lemieux Mario 1986-87 92 pts

4) Esposito Phil 1973-74 135 pts 66.67%
Clarke Bobby 1973-74 81 pts

Bobby Orr holds the top four spots for top percentage leaders over his positional peers (using adjusted stats) from the defence position, and at a much higher % than any other positional peer comparison :

1) Orr Bobby 1969-70 124 pts 175.56%
Mckenny Jim 1969-70 45 pts

2) Orr Bobby 1970-71 136 pts 122.95%
Trembley J.C. 1970-71 61 pts

3) Orr Bobby 1972-73 92 pts 87.76%
Lapointe Guy 1972-73 49 pts

4) Orr Bobby 1974-75 116 pts 81.25%
Lapointe Guy 1974-75 64 pts
Meaningless. Adjusted stats and possitional differences. As I already mentioned, Orr's peers weren't all trying to score, and he wasn't up against any top tier Offensive Dmen in his day.

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11-09-2011, 03:48 PM
  #43
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How about we try another one on one experiment where Orr doesn't have skates so we can see how he'd do without his best asset?
You mean send him out there wearing a pair of vinyl galoshes
one on one, Mano a Mano?. Can he at least have a stick?.

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11-09-2011, 03:48 PM
  #44
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Gretzky vs Orr Prime vs Prime

Orr's six 100 point seasons vs Gretzky six year span where he averaged 200 points per season
GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH S% G A PTS GC S
Orr 70-75 447 214 520 734 258 484 604 139 61 14 9.7 0.48 1.16 1.64 0.58 4.94
Gretzky 82-87 473 437 782 1219 452 456 250 304 88 45 21.5 0.92 1.65 2.58 0.96 4.31

Playoff Performance for same period
GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH S G A PTS
Orr 60 25 57 82 N/A 95 14 8 3 0.42 0.95 1.37
Gretzky 89 60 125 185 56 36 38 15 7 250 0.67 1.4 2.08

Gretzky's International Performance. Orr did not play in the Summit Series

GP G A PTS PIM
Canada Cup 84 8 5 7 12 2
Canada Cup 87 9 3 18 21 2

I'd lean towards Gretzky, but in the Regular season I can see that they're close. Gretzky has 6 Harts, and Ross Trophies. Orr has 6 Norris Trophies.

Internationally, Gretzky led both tournaments in scoring, Canada won, and he was MVP in 1987.

In any playoff comparisons, Gretzky murders the field. Even though this 82-87 period excludes some brilliant performances, including a 43 point Conn Smythe run in 88 and the 40 point run from 1993, I think he has a clear and substantial advantage over Orr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Orr spent far less time in the offensive zone than gretzky did,
That's a pro-Gretzky statement, no? In any event Orr did manage to take more shots on goal, so he spent enough time there. Orr at his best was on ice for 258 goals, Gretzky for 265. Gretzky's point total shows he had a huge role in the team's goal total. Orr's number shows that he was on the ice while other players actually made the play half the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04' hockey View Post
#4 in a heartbeat ..... no way am I picking someone else and leaving Orr to another team, no way
If your opponent can take Ken Dryden in the second round, they're pretty much invulnerable against Orr. In reality it worked out that the only dynasty that popped up during Orr's career was a dynasty that didn't include Orr.

But I'm sure you'd have plenty of imaginary regular season success to mask your lackustre imaginary playoff performances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountDownToImpact View Post
Orr definitely. A defenseman leading the NHL in points is amazing and he's the only one who has done it and he did it twice. Not to mention being a plus 124 in a season. For me those two things along with making players look like human pylons make me take Orr every single time.
What if +124 was depending on other players scoring and creating the chance while that player didn't get a point half the time? What if +98 came with scoring or creating the chance 80% of the time? What if +98 also had more primary assists than secondary assists? +98 may have been far more responsible for his pluses.

And +98 backed it up by going +28 in the playoffs.
+124 doesn't have an official +/-, but I'm not even sure he followed it up with a positive rating judging from how that series went for him personally in games 6 and 7...

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11-09-2011, 04:50 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
Meaningless. Adjusted stats and possitional differences. As I already mentioned, Orr's peers weren't all trying to score, and he wasn't up against any top tier Offensive Dmen in his day.
Does it mean anything for him to outscore all the forwards in the league?

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11-09-2011, 04:53 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Gretzky's International Performance. Orr did not play in the Summit Series

GP G A PTS PIM
Canada Cup 84 8 5 7 12 2
Canada Cup 87 9 3 18 21 2

I'd lean towards Gretzky, but in the Regular season I can see that they're close. Gretzky has 6 Harts, and Ross Trophies. Orr has 6 Norris Trophies.

Internationally, Gretzky led both tournaments in scoring, Canada won, and he was MVP in 1987.

But Orr did play in 76 Canada Cup but only on one leg. Tied for lead in scoring and was tournament MVP.

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11-09-2011, 04:54 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
What if +124 was depending on other players scoring and creating the chance while that player didn't get a point half the time? What if +98 came with scoring or creating the chance 80% of the time? What if +98 also had more primary assists than secondary assists? +98 may have been far more responsible for his pluses.

And +98 backed it up by going +28 in the playoffs.
+124 doesn't have an official +/-, but I'm not even sure he followed it up with a positive rating judging from how that series went for him personally in games 6 and 7...

Overpass did up a phenomenal thread a ways back packed with great info, might want to check it out.
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...t=adjusted+%2B

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11-09-2011, 11:55 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
Meaningless. Adjusted stats and possitional differences. As I already mentioned, Orr's peers weren't all trying to score, and he wasn't up against any top tier Offensive Dmen in his day.
Brad Park, Guy Lapointe and JC Tremblay were not top tier offensive d-men [mod edit]?


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-10-2011 at 01:26 AM. Reason: flaming
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11-10-2011, 12:02 AM
  #49
shazariahl
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Does it mean anything for him to outscore all the forwards in the league?
Yes, that actually is very meaningful. But comparing his offense to a bunch of stay-at-home defensemen is pointless.

However, I'm not sure his 2 scoring titles are more impressive than Gretzky winning multiple scoring titles just on his assists. I'd say its about even.

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11-10-2011, 12:29 AM
  #50
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Brad Park, Guy Lapointe and JC Tremblay were not top tier offensive d-men?
If you made a top 5 offensive Defensemen of all time list, would any of them make it? None would make mine. Meanwhile Gretzky is being compared to guys like Lemieux, who are top 4 players of all time, regardless of position, let alone niche possitions like offensive defensemen.

Regardless, none of that has anything to do with Gretzky's superior prime, longevity, or international play - all the reasons I originally stated for chosing him over Orr. Even if you could somehow make me care about Orr's scoring dominance over a bunch of players who weren't trying to score goals, it wouldn't change anything about Gretzky or all the reasons I think he was better.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-10-2011 at 01:27 AM. Reason: QEP
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