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Will we ever see a better player than Gretzky? Will we know it?

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Old
03-07-2013, 01:53 PM
  #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalfoot View Post
Here's a thought... maybe Karlsson and Letang are the Orr/Potvin (OK, I know, I know) of our generation and the next Gretzky's just around the corner...
I can at least see the Karlsson Orr thing stylistically as rushing defensemen.. but Letang Potvin? yikes.. not close

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03-07-2013, 02:18 PM
  #427
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Potvin was a defensive juggernaut. Letang is well, not. Defensively, he's not even the Pen's best player.

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03-07-2013, 03:45 PM
  #428
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Originally Posted by Jag68Sid87 View Post
Again, it's a chicken-and-egg question. If a Wayne Gretzky ever came along again, then yeah the game would change once again (as Big Phil said). Coaches would stop worrying so much about sound two-way hockey from their centers if they produced 120, 130, 140, 150 (or in Wayne's case 200) points.

When coaches can't get consistent offensive production, then two-way play gets magnified. But when your No. 1 center produces at a consistently high level, who cares? There are more than a few ways to skin a cat. There is more than one way to win at hockey.

We just need another Gretzky, and that's not going to happen.
Scoring was already rising the years before Gretzky entered the league and the largest jump was after his rookie season, when he scored "just" 137, compared to his later 200 point seasons. There is really no evidence that Gretzky increased league scoring much beyond that of his own team. I have no idea how someone could come to the conclusion that having Wayne Gretzky in the league
made a team like the Capitals score more goals.

As for the bolded, there was only one Gretzky, not every coach had one. There was not a higher quantity of high-end forwards in the early 80s.

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03-07-2013, 07:12 PM
  #429
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I have seen players better than Gretzky.

They are Lemieux (Mario, not Claude) and Fedorov (Sergei, not Fedor).

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03-07-2013, 07:18 PM
  #430
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Originally Posted by Yamaguchi View Post
I have seen players better than Gretzky.

They are Lemieux (Mario, not Claude) and Fedorov (Sergei, not Fedor).

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03-07-2013, 07:33 PM
  #431
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Talent is talent, skill is skill, desire is desire.
Bossy and Stastny would produce points and do so among the best in the league in any era.
And Gretzky would dwarf whatever they put up by huge margins in any era.

THAT'S your circle squared.

We can argue over exactly how much they would get and by exactly how much Gretz would dwarf them till we're blue in the face but it would be substantial.
Thanks for proving my point as that circle can't be squared by opinions.

I have no idea on what your post is alluding to other than suggesting that nothing ever changes in the NHL.

Like I said before there is quantitative proof that the NHL was quite different in 1965,1973,1984 and 2012.

Just because you like certain players isn't going to make a very strong argument for anything.

Like I have said before just because we look at Orr and Wayne as hockey legends, it doesn't mean that their circumstances can be recreated in every team situation in every NHL year.

I'm not sure if you even understand that concept or are just choosing to ignore it.

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03-07-2013, 07:39 PM
  #432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamcam4ever View Post
Scoring was already rising the years before Gretzky entered the league and the largest jump was after his rookie season, when he scored "just" 137, compared to his later 200 point seasons. There is really no evidence that Gretzky increased league scoring much beyond that of his own team. I have no idea how someone could come to the conclusion that having Wayne Gretzky in the league
made a team like the Capitals score more goals.
True "fire wagon" hockey typically results in more goals for AND against.

But getting to the Capitals specifically, for example, it's not actually that hard to see how there could have been an influence there. They, in particular, were a bottom-feeding expansion team for years, with rosters built around low-talent grinders. Even with Maruk, Gartner, Walter, and Langway in the fold, though, they were a below average producing team offensively and finished low in the standings.

With the early 80s Oilers exploiting defenses that used to get the job done with (relative) size, toughness and hard work (see the Flyers of the late 70s, and the streaks they had with those defensemen), mobility on defense started becoming not just a luxury but a need. Look at the impact Bourque and Coffey had on this era as well, and look at how much of that involved mobility/elusiveness in the defensive zone leading to dissecting stretch passes through static neutral zone coverages.

Now look at the players the Capitals added to their blueline in the early 80s - having seen where things were going for a couple of seasons. Scott Stevens, Larry Murphy, Kevin Hatcher, etc. There's still some size in there, obviously, but the common theme is increased success with increased skill/mobility from the defense. I don't think it's any coincidence that a slower generation of defensemen started making way for the very successful Bourques, Stevens', Murphys, Lidstroms, Niedermayers, etc once teams started having to contend with the way a guy like Gretzky (and his teammates, of course) was(/were) getting pucks through the second layer of the team defense.

That's all a bit loose, weak, stretching... what have you. I do think, though, that the way the Oilers (led by Gretzky) started moving the puck around the rink influenced how other teams started building their rosters to deal with that. And I think that, naturally, the players they brought in to serve that purpose also served to increase their teams' scoring (or success, at least) as a result. Of course, not every team necessarily saw a need to change their approach, different teams no doubt took slightly different approaches, and just because a team identifies a need doesn't mean they're able to immediately address everything.

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03-07-2013, 07:43 PM
  #433
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Originally Posted by Yamaguchi View Post
I have seen players better than Gretzky... They are Lemieux (Mario, not Claude) and Fedorov (Sergei, not Fedor).
Sure. Ive seen Howe, Hull, Beliveau, Geoffrion, Esposito, Lafleur, Gilbert, Sittler, Bossy, Kurri, Lemieux, Yzerman, literally tonnes of em' do things Gretzky was incapable of doing the way they did them. For some, its a matter preference. Style & execution, maybe grit & determination, varying perspectives of criteria, preferences. For many, despite the unbelievably gaudy numbers, sixth sense in playing the game, Gretzky is so much the outlier, removed from the proto-typical & temporal that he's classified in a separate category. Removal from the charts altogether or listing him south your prerogative. Either way, I dont consider it blasphemy. Very unique & interesting player, absolutely so far out there that even now, some 13yrs after his retirement, still hard to figure out, let alone understand. Ive long since more or less pushed him to the side of the plate. Prefer not to even include him in a list of the Greatest Ever as to me he's incomparable. Like Orr, he redefined the game itself.

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03-07-2013, 08:11 PM
  #434
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
... ya, see, Im not so quick to discount opinions like Yamaguchi's. Different perspectives. The criterias' upon which they base such opinion is in fact quite sound. Theres a disconnect with both Orr & Gretzky in the minds of many. I remember well the crys' of heresy from the hockey establishment when both hit the ice, wont last, just too far out of the box to ever be replicated. Yet kids in seeing it "reached", dared to dream. Earlier stars, be it Bentley and the full-on dipsy doodle with the puck; Richard's bust through the gates beyond furious determination; the introduction of curved blades, Hull's incredible skating skills combined with his slapshot all in sync, changing how goaltending was played. On & on. All Superstars who transformed the game. Tends to be subjective & Im cool with that. Heck, I know people who think Keon and Larry Bloody Murphy were better than Gretzky & Orr, you name it. Stan Mikita? Greatest player who ever lived according to some.

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03-07-2013, 08:52 PM
  #435
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Thanks for proving my point as that circle can't be squared by opinions.

I have no idea on what your post is alluding to other than suggesting that nothing ever changes in the NHL.

Like I said before there is quantitative proof that the NHL was quite different in 1965,1973,1984 and 2012.

Just because you like certain players isn't going to make a very strong argument for anything.

Like I have said before just because we look at Orr and Wayne as hockey legends, it doesn't mean that their circumstances can be recreated in every team situation in every NHL year.

I'm not sure if you even understand that concept or are just choosing to ignore it.
Too bad we have an ample resource of players that played other players that stretches era to era to go on eh.

The league changes, the players adapt.
Ray Bourque played 22 freakin seasons and was an all-star in his first and his last!
Please for the love of the hockey gods, explain to me how under your "league changes theory" allowed him to play 22 freakin seasons at that level?
What about Lidstrom or Messier or Yzerman or Sakic or Jagr???

Explain to me how Joe Sakic gets 118 points in the middle of the DPE and yet he couldn't even tie Gretzky's skate laces in the 80's or the 90's???

Your theories DO NOT hold water when we get to the player to player, decade to decade comparisons period!!!

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03-07-2013, 09:02 PM
  #436
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Bobby Orr changed the game more and was a better overall player.

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03-07-2013, 09:22 PM
  #437
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Too bad we have an ample resource of players that played other players that stretches era to era to go on eh.

The league changes, the players adapt.
Not this again, single isolated seasons might actually be the exception to the rule but to your examples.


Quote:
Ray Bourque played 22 freakin seasons and was an all-star in his first and his last!
Please for the love of the hockey gods, explain to me how under your "league changes theory" allowed him to play 22 freakin seasons at that level?
Bourque didn't play at the same level for 22 seasons, just like Lidstrom didn't either.

Bourque was in his decline with Boston and there is very little chance he gets that last all star without the trade to Colorado and looking "better."

Even his 99 2nd team selection looks an awefull lot like his last "reputation" vote as no one saw the trade to Colorado coming and his "resurgence."


Quote:
What about Lidstrom or Messier or Yzerman or Sakic or Jagr???
What's the question here, what about them?

Jagr we have already dealt with in this thread, once again an isolated season at age 33 that was preceded by average seasons.

Moose played a long time and doesn't have Wayne's bell curve, not sure what you are getting at.

Quote:
Explain to me how Joe Sakic gets 118 points in the middle of the DPE and yet he couldn't even tie Gretzky's skate laces in the 80's or the 90's???
So Joe has a peak season at age 31 (outside of the normal bell curve that Wayne has that you always hold out as well). Maybe everything came together for him in a perfect storm of variance much like in 07.

To take one season and not the bigger sample is the usual tactic here again.

Quote:
Your theories DO NOT hold water when we get to the player to player, decade to decade comparisons period!!!

I guess the "Wayne is the best ever he would do as well as i say he would do" is a better theory when not backed up by anything but cherry picked examples, some of which contradict your other ideas, like the natural bell curve from age 25 afterwards?

Look, Wayne might indeed be able to score 150 today in a perfect storm but by simply pointing out what he did in the 80's and not making it relevant to the current NHL isn't helping your argument any.

Look another 3 points by sid today giving him a 4 point lead over Stamkos.

He better make an impression as he is 25 and his natural bell curve will start next year.

And also only 8 non Canadians in the top 20 as well.

9 of the top 20 goalies in save % are non Canadians, just like in the 80's too right?

Or if it doesn't, like it did to Wayne, will you give Sid any credit for it?

I doubt it.


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 03-07-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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03-07-2013, 09:24 PM
  #438
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We'll never see a better one than the Great One....

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03-07-2013, 09:25 PM
  #439
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Originally Posted by ted1971 View Post
Bobby Orr changed the game more and was a better overall player.
Hmmm. Not sure I agree with that statement, but to qualify, lay the cards on the table, he's my pick at #1 All Time.... rushing defencemen were nothing new by the time Orr came along. He just kicked it up several notches. You had direct-links from Shore to guys like Horton (broken leg early in his career stunted his wandering ways to wit he was well noted), Red Kelly & Doug Harvey, Carl Brewer amongst others. The game was naturally evolving, a defender joining the rush, instigating it. Philosophy of stay at home, being stationary at the Blue Line on attack & playing it by the Lanes evolving. Was happening organically, naturally. Gretzky on the other hand, actual rules created based on his play forever altering the game. First to provide safety (moving the goal line out) but in doing so, creating more room in the corners as an adjunct, giving room to the cycle with greater corner depth, an alteration to the angles as played by goaltenders & defencemen. Far more profound than the generations of the Coffeys et al that followed Orrs' lead technically, strategically with respect to Coaching, execution.

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03-07-2013, 09:44 PM
  #440
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Not this again, single isolated seasons might actually be the exception to the rule but to your examples.




Bourque didn't play at the same level for 22 seasons, just like Lidstrom didn't either.

Bourque was in his decline with Boston and there is very little chance he gets that last all star without the trade to Colorado and looking "better."

Even his 99 2nd team selection looks an awefull lot like his last "reputation" vote as no one saw the trade to Colorado coming and his "resurgence."




What's the question here, what about them?

Jagr we have already dealt with in this thread, once again an isolated season at age 33 that was preceded by average seasons.

Moose played a long time and doesn't have Wayne's bell curve, not sure what you are getting at.



So Joe has a peak season at age 31 (outside of the normal bell curve that Wayne has that you always hold out as well). Maybe everything came together for him in a perfect storm of variance much like in 07.

To take one season and not the bigger sample is the usual tactic here again.




I guess the "Wayne is the best ever he would do as well as i say he would do" is a better theory when not backed up by anything but cherry picked examples, some of which contradict your other ideas, like the natural bell curve from age 25 afterwards?

Look, Wayne might indeed be able to score 150 today in a perfect storm but by simply pointing out what he did in the 80's and not making it relevant to the current NHL isn't helping your argument any.

Look another 3 points by sid today giving him a 4 point lead over Stamkos.

He better make an impression as he is 25 and his natural bell curve will start next year.

And also only 8 non Canadians in the top 20 as well.

9 of the top 20 goalies in save % are non Canadians, just like in the 80's too right?

Or if it doesn't, like it did to Wayne, will you give Sid any credit for it?

I doubt it.


Wayne would already have the Art Ross all but wrapped up already half way through the season.

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03-07-2013, 10:14 PM
  #441
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
9 of the top 20 goalies in save % are non Canadians, just like in the 80's too right?.. Or if it doesn't, like it did to Wayne, will you give Sid any credit for it?
And there really all quite dreadful Hv. Canadian, American, European, no matter. Caught out West to East or vice-versa, cant skate so they cant play North South challenging, tonnes of injuries in the shortened season, guys arthritic at 23, torn MCL's, hip replacements required at 30, wat dat? ... And no, to mention Crosbys' name in the same breath as Gretzky's?... Sawwy. Thats just plain wrong on every level.

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03-07-2013, 10:28 PM
  #442
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Wayne would already have the Art Ross all but wrapped up already half way through the season.
Your position is quite clear, on which team would he be doing that on?


I suppose any of them right?

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03-07-2013, 10:28 PM
  #443
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I always wonder how dominant Gretzky would be in todays game, and I cant help but think it would suffer quite a bit. He would still likely be a perennial art ross candidate, but unless he became a fitness freak I just cant see him dominating in the same way.

Then I think about a healthy Mario in todays game, and I see no drop at all, in fact I see a rise in his dominance. He was able to dominate the way he did with 2 guys draped all over his crippled back at all times. Imagine Mario in todays game with no clutching and grabbing combined with modern fitness and training regiments, and its absolutely frightening.

Still, I cant say Lemieux was the GOAT, or even better than a prime Gretzky, because he simply wasn't. He had the ability to be the GOAT, but fate had a different plan for him. Just the way it goes.

Edit: Mind is blown, there is a thread discussing exactly what I just posted about. Adios!


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03-07-2013, 10:31 PM
  #444
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
And there really all quite dreadful Hv. Canadian, American, European, no matter. Caught out West to East or vice-versa, cant skate so they cant play North South challenging, tonnes of injuries in the shortened season, guys arthritic at 23, torn MCL's, hip replacements required at 30, wat dat? ... And no, to mention Crosbys' name in the same breath as Gretzky's?... Sawwy. Thats just plain wrong on every level.
Yes I know we can't say anything about the guys in the 80's, as per the sticky, but the current guys suck right?....okay must be a good vintage this evening my friend.

Hey Wayne was the 1st guy to bring up Sid's name and I'll defer to him.

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03-07-2013, 10:40 PM
  #445
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I always wonder how dominant Gretzky would be in todays game, and I cant help but think it would suffer quite a bit.... Imagine Mario in todays game with no clutching and grabbing combined with fitness and training regiments and its absolutely frightening.
And I wonder how it is based on historical fact that people still simply cant get their minds around the freak show called Wayne Gretzky. You "think" huh? You "think his game would suffer"? Well think again. If possible, and we could magically transport Gretzky's to todays or even 10yrs hence game, you'll need help pulling your Bigfoot outta yer mouth because that guy didnt even play the game on temporal levels. He'd excel in any era, age.... as for Mario? Know what? He'd just find something else to complain about. If not the clutching & grabbing, the Left Wing Lock or Neutral Zone Trap. Buttonhole Shahanaban & Bettman demanding it be outlawed. How do you "outlaw" that?

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03-07-2013, 11:01 PM
  #446
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Originally Posted by Yamaguchi View Post
I have seen players better than Gretzky.

They are Lemieux (Mario, not Claude) and Fedorov (Sergei, not Fedor).
What possible argument is there to have both Lemieux and Fedorov above Gretzky? If you say Fedorov because of his 2 way play, that eliminates Lemieux who was worse defensively than Gretzky. If you say Lemieux because of his offensive domination, that eliminates Fedorov, who never dominated the league offensively, and certainly not to the degree Gretzky did.

I understand that people look for different things in different players, but there is no rational standard which could have BOTH those players above Gretzky. If you'd picked 2 great two-way players, at least that would have been consistent, and it would have been clear you are looking for more than just offense. But when you pick one player who was all offense like Gretzky but managed to put up less PPG, GPG, and APG even in his best years while playing no defense whatsoever, and then a guy who was a good two-way player but never dominant offensively, I'm honestly confused as to any metric of measurement at all.

Unless you only saw Gretzky play for the Rangers? That would explain a lot.

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03-07-2013, 11:08 PM
  #447
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post

Look, Wayne might indeed be able to score 150 today in a perfect storm but by simply pointing out what he did in the 80's and not making it relevant to the current NHL isn't helping your argument any.

Look another 3 points by sid today giving him a 4 point lead over Stamkos.

He better make an impression as he is 25 and his natural bell curve will start next year.

And also only 8 non Canadians in the top 20 as well.

9 of the top 20 goalies in save % are non Canadians, just like in the 80's too right?

Or if it doesn't, like it did to Wayne, will you give Sid any credit for it?

I doubt it.
I think you have a legitimate point about the non-canadians in the league, but it's not like Gretzky didn't face the best international competition and dominate them as well. 4 Canada Cups, and he led all 4 tournaments in scoring, won 3 golds, 1 silver, and 2 MVPs. And if anything, it should be harder to lead a short tournament like that in scoring because anyone can have 1 or 2 big games and beat you in points. The fact that he managed to outscore everyone in all four is pretty incredible.

I do think the international competition would eat into some of his point leads, but let's face it - other than Jagr, no Euros won scoring titles in the 90's even. That includes some incredible players like Selanne, Bure, Mogilny, Fedorov, Forsberg, etc. In fact, Gretzky usually outscored any of them and that was in the 2nd decade of his career. I find it unlikely that any of the Euro players would have been threatening him in the 80's when he was much more dominant. Maybe he'd have won scoring races by 60 points instead of 70+? Either way, I don't think it would have made a difference.

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03-08-2013, 12:35 AM
  #448
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
What possible argument is there to have both Lemieux and Fedorov above Gretzky? If you say Fedorov because of his 2 way play, that eliminates Lemieux who was worse defensively than Gretzky. If you say Lemieux because of his offensive domination, that eliminates Fedorov, who never dominated the league offensively, and certainly not to the degree Gretzky did.

I understand that people look for different things in different players, but there is no rational standard which could have BOTH those players above Gretzky. If you'd picked 2 great two-way players, at least that would have been consistent, and it would have been clear you are looking for more than just offense. But when you pick one player who was all offense like Gretzky but managed to put up less PPG, GPG, and APG even in his best years while playing no defense whatsoever, and then a guy who was a good two-way player but never dominant offensively, I'm honestly confused as to any metric of measurement at all.

Unless you only saw Gretzky play for the Rangers? That would explain a lot.


My dear, I've watched Gretzky since early 1980s.

Maybe I'm wrong but I think there are at least 3 reasons why Gretzky was such a dominant player back then:

1. Extremely talented supporting cast (Messier, Kurri, Coffey etc)
2. Lemieux hasn't arrived yet
3. The Soviets weren't allowed to compete in the NHL

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03-08-2013, 12:50 AM
  #449
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Originally Posted by Yamaguchi View Post
My dear, I've watched Gretzky since early 1980s.

Maybe I'm wrong but I think there are at least 3 reasons why Gretzky was such a dominant player back then:

1. Extremely talented supporting cast (Messier, Kurri, Coffey etc)
2. Lemieux hasn't arrived yet
3. The Soviets weren't allowed to compete in the NHL
Makes sense.
1. The players he nearly doubled in points each year, including after he went to another team.
2. The player he also out scored by a wide margin
3. Of course, all the other, non NHL superstars that Gretzky also dominated in every world tournament, head to head.

Wake up. The lockout is over.

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03-08-2013, 01:05 AM
  #450
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Wayne would already have the Art Ross all but wrapped up already half way through the season.
Oh, like he did almost every year where he was remotely healthy? Regardless of team, linemates or era?

The guy who broke 90pts two years in a row when he was a decade past the 80s? And a shell of what he was in his prime?

I don't understand how anyone who watched these things happen can now dismiss the impact.

I understand that these accomplishments seem unachievable, but they also seemed that way in 1979. To suggest that kid would eclipse (okay, completely shatter) scoring records among the greatest of players would have seemed completely absurd. Experts were made to look the fool.

But clearly, that's not enough for some.

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