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

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Old
03-16-2013, 11:43 AM
  #651
shazariahl
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
It means that just because Gretzky can win a scoring title well past his prime on a terrible team does not prove he was SOLEY the best offensive player of all time. All it shows is that he is indeed the best offensive player of all time. It does nothing to negate his overall greatness which he had more than exemplified by his prior decade of winning 9 regular season MVPs, 2 playoff MVPs, a Canada Cup MVP, and let's not forget carrying his team to the Stanley Cup finals 55% of the time before he was traded, and winning 4 Cups, and then carrying that same terrible afformentioned Kings team a year prior to the Cup finals. If you watch that 1993 playoffs, including a legendary game 7 performance against Toronto, and not consider that one of the greatest performances in history, you are lying to yourself. But if you want to let his 1994 season supersede all of this, all the more power to you I suppose...
Ya, its surprising how many people will try to pick apart the 2nd decade of his career like he was somehow overrated in the 80's because he wasn't scoring 200 pts in the 90's. Meanwhile no one else scored 200 pts then either (Lemieux's closest was also in the 80's). The guy started his NHL career in the 79-80 season, and still won a scoring title in 1994. They ignore his great +/- with the Oilers because it was a great team, then try to focus in on his bad +/- with the Kings like that's somehow important.

First, +/- is nearly useless. Second, if you think its important, it has to be important in the 80's and the 90's, not just the 90's. You can't pick and choose when you want to apply each stat like some people here seem to want to do. Not directing that comment at you, of course, since I agree with everything you said in your post. Just ranting.

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03-16-2013, 06:44 PM
  #652
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
And Luc Robitaille was -20. Quite a line they made. Art Ross trophy winner, 2 future HHOFers and the worst line on a bad team at even strength.

Go back to the 1980 Kings, who were 30-36-14, 17th (out of 21) in goals allowed.
As a team they were -72. But Simmer-Dionne (137 points)-Taylor were +47, +35, +37.

So I guess its not too much to ask of a great scorer to actually make his line the best (by far) even on a terrible team.
And that same year Bob Gainey won the Selke with a -2, shows you how that statistic can be highly subjective...

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03-16-2013, 07:59 PM
  #653
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Ya, its surprising how many people will try to pick apart the 2nd decade of his career like he was somehow overrated in the 80's because he wasn't scoring 200 pts in the 90's. Meanwhile no one else scored 200 pts then either (Lemieux's closest was also in the 80's). The guy started his NHL career in the 79-80 season, and still won a scoring title in 1994. They ignore his great +/- with the Oilers because it was a great team, then try to focus in on his bad +/- with the Kings like that's somehow important.

First, +/- is nearly useless. Second, if you think its important, it has to be important in the 80's and the 90's, not just the 90's. You can't pick and choose when you want to apply each stat like some people here seem to want to do. Not directing that comment at you, of course, since I agree with everything you said in your post. Just ranting.
As usual, brilliantly put. I still maintain that if Gretzky had broken 400 records, and had scored 4000 points, it would have actually hurt his legacy. There is no winning an argument that people have already decided against due to his numbers being "too good to be true". And the irony is, of course, that the very reason he is called the greatest of all time (the gaudy numbers) is also why people so easily dismiss him as "a product of his time".


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03-16-2013, 08:06 PM
  #654
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And that same year Bob Gainey won the Selke with a -2, shows you how that statistic can be highly subjective...
Yes, plus minus is far too dependent on linemates, and many other factors. No one ever talks about Gretzky's ridiculous +28 in only 18 games in the 1985 playoffs - which happens to be the best single season playoff plus/minus ever....but they certainly like to harp on about his post prime plus minus with bad teams. Again, their minds are made up before hand - always looking for ways to justify their belief that Gretzky was "too good to be true".

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03-17-2013, 07:13 AM
  #655
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Yes, plus minus is far too dependent on linemates, and many other factors. No one ever talks about Gretzky's ridiculous +28 in only 18 games in the 1985 playoffs - which happens to be the best single season playoff plus/minus ever....but they certainly like to harp on about his post prime plus minus with bad teams. Again, their minds are made up before hand - always looking for ways to justify their belief that Gretzky was "too good to be true".
Yeah I don't think 1994 is where you should be looking for the legacy of Gretzky either. It is consensually agreed the guy wasn't the same player at that time anymore and if you even look at his skating at that time he was obviously hampered. And yet..........in that condition he wins a scoring title on a bad team. A year earlier he scord 40 points in the playoffs and was +6. That was on a team that had no business being in the Cup final and where Kelly Hrudey had a .887 sv% and a 3.52 GAA in the playoffs! This is a team that reached the final if you can believe it. In 1993-'94 Hrudey had a 3.68 GAA. I don't think you can look at plus/minus without seeing the whole picture here. Overall Gretzky is a +518 for his career which is the best among forwards. That really should be all you need to know about his plus minus.

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03-17-2013, 12:05 PM
  #656
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Yes, especially when you consider Dionne was still in his prime, and Wayne had just lost a huge chunk of his mobility, speed, lateral movement, and the back strength needed for one of his biggest weapons (his slap shot), as well as losing even more strength to an already below average wrist shot. Unless you think that he took a 40 point dip after the 1991 Canada Cup injury and subsequent herniated disc because goaltending and defensive systems magically improved overnight over the summer of 1991.
So what?

Forseberg got injured, so did Lindros and Bure, all of this impacts on how we look at them but for Wayne do we really need to make excuses?

He was still good enough to play almost every game in the NHL but everything that most players go through like natural aging are attributed to the Suter hit?

It's almost comical and ironic that even the best player of all time needs a crutch by some to make him even better if not for that Suter hit.

Wayne was already declining , the change of teams may have quickened that decline as the Suter hit might have.

As for the OP we have seen at least 3 players that have had a Gretzky like impact offensively in Mario, Jagr and Sid.

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03-17-2013, 12:23 PM
  #657
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
As for the OP we have seen at least 3 players that have had a Gretzky like impact offensively in Mario, Jagr and Sid.
Gretzky-"like", or Gretzky-"lite"?

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03-17-2013, 12:59 PM
  #658
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Gretzky-"like", or Gretzky-"lite"?
Either way, actually the case for Sid having more impact than the other 2 guys with his more well rounded two way game makes him closer to Wayne IMO.

Injuries and line mates are the only real thing that might fuzzy that view.

His goal today assisted by Kunitz and Dupuis.

Oh ya but for some line mates don't matter right (not implying you specifically but they are out there)?

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03-17-2013, 01:16 PM
  #659
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Either way, actually the case for Sid having more impact than the other 2 guys with his more well rounded two way game makes him closer to Wayne IMO.

Injuries and line mates are the only real thing that might fuzzy that view.

His goal today assisted by Kunitz and Dupuis.

Oh ya but for some line mates don't matter right (not implying you specifically but they are out there)?
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Sid fan who lives at the other end of the lake and buzzes his dock in the boat many times a summer, and I agree - but only to an extent.

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03-17-2013, 05:51 PM
  #660
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Gretzky-"like", or Gretzky-"lite"?


Brilliant.

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03-17-2013, 06:00 PM
  #661
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So what?

Forseberg got injured, so did Lindros and Bure, all of this impacts on how we look at them but for Wayne do we really need to make excuses?

He was still good enough to play almost every game in the NHL but everything that most players go through like natural aging are attributed to the Suter hit?

It's almost comical and ironic that even the best player of all time needs a crutch by some to make him even better if not for that Suter hit.

Wayne was already declining , the change of teams may have quickened that decline as the Suter hit might have.

As for the OP we have seen at least 3 players that have had a Gretzky like impact offensively in Mario, Jagr and Sid.
These guys had an herniated thoracic disc that at one point made them question if they would ever even walk again? I had no idea...

Taken from Sports Illustrated in Jan, 1993: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...7563/index.htm

"We visited him in the hospital," recalls Granato, "and everyone became as scared as he was." Doctors knew of no other athlete who had recovered from a herniated thoracic disk to play again. "We have no timetable for this program and will not speculate on a date for his return," said Dr. Robert Watkins, an orthopedic consultant.

Yeah, seems like just any other injury to me....

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03-17-2013, 06:40 PM
  #662
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Just to further add from my post above - from a rather amazing article, which includes quotes from then LA Kings trainer, Pete Demers: http://frozenroyalty.net/2011/03/13/...r-pete-demers/

That Gretzky’s injury was career-threatening was an understatement. In fact, doctors thought Gretzky’s career was indeed, over. “I did not [believe that Gretzky would recover],” Demers noted. “In fact, Dr. Robert Watkins, the most renowned back surgeon of the era, he published that in a book. I think it might even show that the disc shrunk up,” Demers added. “He talked about it, saying that it was pretty unusual for it to shrink up.”

Indeed, behind closed doors, the thought was that Gretzky would never play hockey again.
But, miraculously, the disc shrunk, and he recovered from the injury. He returned to the lineup in January, 1993, after missing 39 regular season games that year. He went on to score 16 goals and contribute 49 assists for 65 points in 45 games, helping lift the Kings into the playoffs, where he put the team on his back, leading them with 15 goals and 25 assists for forty points in 24 games.
Lost and found, indeed.

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03-17-2013, 06:59 PM
  #663
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These guys had an herniated thoracic disc that at one point made them question if they would ever even walk again? I had no idea...

Taken from Sports Illustrated in Jan, 1993: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...7563/index.htm

"We visited him in the hospital," recalls Granato, "and everyone became as scared as he was." Doctors knew of no other athlete who had recovered from a herniated thoracic disk to play again. "We have no timetable for this program and will not speculate on a date for his return," said Dr. Robert Watkins, an orthopedic consultant.

Yeah, seems like just any other injury to me....
I'm not a medical doctor and medicine isn't my thing but you are quoting a hockey player in a sports journal that is in the business of making money.

It isn't from the Lancet.

It's still an injury, unless you are suggesting that somehow Wayne's skill set includes life miracles now.

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03-17-2013, 07:17 PM
  #664
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I'm not a medical doctor and medicine isn't my thing but you are quoting a hockey player in a sports journal that is in the business of making money.

It isn't from the Lancet.

It's still an injury, unless you are suggesting that somehow Wayne's skill set includes life miracles now.
Read it again. The quote is not from Tony Granato. It is by Sports Illustrated. But if you want a better quote, why don't you read what Dr. Robert Watkins had to say on the subject.....since that quote originated from him. But nice try on sidestepping my point.

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03-17-2013, 07:32 PM
  #665
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And to further add.....taken from another article: http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...3&slug=1514565

Dr. Watkins would not speculate on what caused an injury he described as "Extremely unusual, perhaps unprecedented, in a sports star." He said a single incident or repeated pounding both can result in such an injury.

"Being hit from behind also could be a cause," he said.


"That's an excellent way to get that type of injury," Watkins said.


The 2nd bold is rather interesting, isn't it? I still maintain it stems from the 1991 Gary Suter hit. Before that hit, Gretzky never scored less than 40 goals and 100 assists in a season. After that hit, he never scored either 40 goals or 100 assists again. Coincidence? Or was it just that goaltending and defensive systems miraculously changed over that summer in 1991? Hmmm.....

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03-17-2013, 08:12 PM
  #666
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
And to further add.....taken from another article: http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...3&slug=1514565

Dr. Watkins would not speculate on what caused an injury he described as "Extremely unusual, perhaps unprecedented, in a sports star." He said a single incident or repeated pounding both can result in such an injury.

"Being hit from behind also could be a cause," he said.


"That's an excellent way to get that type of injury," Watkins said.


The 2nd bold is rather interesting, isn't it? I still maintain it stems from the 1991 Gary Suter hit. Before that hit, Gretzky never scored less than 40 goals and 100 assists in a season. After that hit, he never scored either 40 goals or 100 assists again. Coincidence? Or was it just that goaltending and defensive systems miraculously changed over that summer in 1991? Hmmm.....
Yes you are totally right Wayne was in his prime and peak after all and would still be scoring in today's NHL if not for that hit....

As far as the hits that Wayne did take, it was an era of much less contact as well so maybe some actual context could be given here?

BTW Wayne didn't break the 100 assist mark until his 2nd season.

from 94-96 Wayne also missed like what 3 games?

So much for the lingering affect.

We could play the what if game with Sid as well if you would like but then cries of "not fair" will ring loud and true.

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03-17-2013, 10:07 PM
  #667
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Yes you are totally right Wayne was in his prime and peak after all and would still be scoring in today's NHL if not for that hit....

As far as the hits that Wayne did take, it was an era of much less contact as well so maybe some actual context could be given here?

BTW Wayne didn't break the 100 assist mark until his 2nd season.

from 94-96 Wayne also missed like what 3 games?

So much for the lingering affect.

We could play the what if game with Sid as well if you would like but then cries of "not fair" will ring loud and true.
It's pretty funny that you have to dig up Wayne's rookie season (oh, now you're going to say it wasn't his official rookie season since he played in the WHA before hand) in order to try and win an argument on a technicality. Ok, you got me. He didn't have 100 assists once in his career before his back injury. It happened to be his first year in the NHL when he was still a teenager. Good find!

You failed to acknowledge any of Dr. Watkins' points about it being an unprecedented back injury (in all of professional sports) and that there was doubt he would ever play again. You also bring up Gretzky's ability to play though injury despite the obvious pain he was playing through between 94-96. That should be a plus for Gretzky, not a minus. If you cared to read the article I posted that interviewed Pete Demers, the Los Angeles Kings trainer, you would have seen what he had to say about Gretzky's mental toughness and ability to play through injuries when he was banged up. But keep believing that his herniated thoracic disc was just another injury....that just happened to coincidentally coincide with a 40 point drop off overnight immediately following the Gary Suter hit.

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03-18-2013, 12:10 AM
  #668
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It's pretty funny that you have to dig up Wayne's rookie season (oh, now you're going to say it wasn't his official rookie season since he played in the WHA before hand) in order to try and win an argument on a technicality. Ok, you got me. He didn't have 100 assists once in his career before his back injury. It happened to be his first year in the NHL when he was still a teenager. Good find!

You failed to acknowledge any of Dr. Watkins' points about it being an unprecedented back injury (in all of professional sports) and that there was doubt he would ever play again. You also bring up Gretzky's ability to play though injury despite the obvious pain he was playing through between 94-96. That should be a plus for Gretzky, not a minus. If you cared to read the article I posted that interviewed Pete Demers, the Los Angeles Kings trainer, you would have seen what he had to say about Gretzky's mental toughness and ability to play through injuries when he was banged up. But keep believing that his herniated thoracic disc was just another injury....that just happened to coincidentally coincide with a 40 point drop off overnight immediately following the Gary Suter hit.
I read the article and know full well that many players in the NHL play through pain.

You are still making a rather big deal about the injury, like it doesn't happen to other people.

Wayne was obviously declining in his impact, his time on the ice and the GF and GA while he was on the ice started to become less than superstar like in his 1st season in LA.

Did Wayne have more pain than Forsberg? Well between you me and the esteemed doctor you mention none of us know.

One thing we do know is that major injuries and concussions are up more than they were in the 80's when Wayne played due to the speed, size and increased number of collisions between players game in game out.

I'm sure you will agree with me that in a perfect world there would be no injuries but to deny or imply that Wayne wasn't declining already and might have scored more points longer if he wasn't hit by Suter (or as the doctor states it could have been cumulative as well) is simply denying what happens to every player they decline with age.

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03-18-2013, 02:21 AM
  #669
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I read the article and know full well that many players in the NHL play through pain.

You are still making a rather big deal about the injury, like it doesn't happen to other people.

Wayne was obviously declining in his impact, his time on the ice and the GF and GA while he was on the ice started to become less than superstar like in his 1st season in LA.

Did Wayne have more pain than Forsberg? Well between you me and the esteemed doctor you mention none of us know.

One thing we do know is that major injuries and concussions are up more than they were in the 80's when Wayne played due to the speed, size and increased number of collisions between players game in game out.

I'm sure you will agree with me that in a perfect world there would be no injuries but to deny or imply that Wayne wasn't declining already and might have scored more points longer if he wasn't hit by Suter (or as the doctor states it could have been cumulative as well) is simply denying what happens to every player they decline with age.
I agree that Wayne was already beginning to decline. He'd been in the league for over a decade and that's just what happens to forwards around that time (Messier being perhaps the one exception as a player better in the 2nd decade of his career than the first). The stats also show that he was in decline as well.

That being said, the injury was serious and career threatening. To think that it had no impact on his decline, which had already begun, would be rather unbelievable. No career threatening injury to any player really goes bye without some impact on their career. Even if a player recovers to 95% health, they've still lost that little extra. Gretzky didn't seem to be at 95% though, it was more like 75%. Still great, still better than most players, but it seems obvious that the injury accelerated his natural decline. That stats also seem to back that up. He has a normalish arc before that (hitting his peak as a forward around his 3rd-8th seasons), then the inevitable decline at a fairly predictable rate. Then suddenly the injury, and he drops drastically from 2PPG to 1.6. Combined with many statements from doctors and medical staff, it seems silly to say that he injury had no bearing on his decline. There is the testimony of medical professionals and the visible drop in stats to prove it.

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03-18-2013, 05:51 AM
  #670
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So what?

Forseberg got injured, so did Lindros and Bure, all of this impacts on how we look at them but for Wayne do we really need to make excuses?

He was still good enough to play almost every game in the NHL but everything that most players go through like natural aging are attributed to the Suter hit?

It's almost comical and ironic that even the best player of all time needs a crutch by some to make him even better if not for that Suter hit.

Wayne was already declining , the change of teams may have quickened that decline as the Suter hit might have.

As for the OP we have seen at least 3 players that have had a Gretzky like impact offensively in Mario, Jagr and Sid.

please. Mario was in Wayne's ballpark, but Jagr and Sid? come on. at least one notch lower, maybe two. numbers are one thing, and percieved dominance over peers another, but 8 consecutive MVP trophies is in a league of its own. Sid is considered the best player in the world, but he isn't winning the Hart every year. If someone has a career year (ie, Daniel Sedin, Evgeny Malkin), they get it. When Bossy got 50 goals in 50 games, Gretzky still won Art Ross and Hart. When Yzerman scored 65m goals, Gretz still won the Hart.

to be compared the 99, you can't just be percieved to be the best, you have to prove it every year for a decade.

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03-18-2013, 11:39 AM
  #671
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I read the article and know full well that many players in the NHL play through pain.

You are still making a rather big deal about the injury, like it doesn't happen to other people.

Wayne was obviously declining in his impact, his time on the ice and the GF and GA while he was on the ice started to become less than superstar like in his 1st season in LA.

Did Wayne have more pain than Forsberg? Well between you me and the esteemed doctor you mention none of us know.

One thing we do know is that major injuries and concussions are up more than they were in the 80's when Wayne played due to the speed, size and increased number of collisions between players game in game out.

I'm sure you will agree with me that in a perfect world there would be no injuries but to deny or imply that Wayne wasn't declining already and might have scored more points longer if he wasn't hit by Suter (or as the doctor states it could have been cumulative as well) is simply denying what happens to every player they decline with age.
I agree with you that injuries are a part of the game, and Wayne wasn't the only superstar that suffered major injury. However, this particular injury was unprecedented according to medical experts, including the specialist who dealt with it (Dr. Watkins himself). No other professional athlete (not just hockey player) had ever had ever come back from that type of injury before. I think that's all we need to know as to why Gretzky had an immediate 40 point drop off. To deny it is to have extreme faith in expedited aging at the magical age of 30.

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03-18-2013, 11:43 AM
  #672
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please. Mario was in Wayne's ballpark, but Jagr and Sid? come on. at least one notch lower, maybe two. numbers are one thing, and percieved dominance over peers another, but 8 consecutive MVP trophies is in a league of its own. Sid is considered the best player in the world, but he isn't winning the Hart every year. If someone has a career year (ie, Daniel Sedin, Evgeny Malkin), they get it. When Bossy got 50 goals in 50 games, Gretzky still won Art Ross and Hart. When Yzerman scored 65m goals, Gretz still won the Hart.

to be compared the 99, you can't just be percieved to be the best, you have to prove it every year for a decade.
Exactly right. Sid has one Hart Trophy in 7 years. How many did Gretzky have after 7 years? And after 8 years? And after 10 years? If Gretzky had not been injured in 1987-88 for 16 games, he would have had 10 in 10 years! An easy litmus test for me is Sid losing the Hart and Art Ross to the Sedins. As much as I like the Sedin twins, Gretzky or Lemieux would never in an infinite number of possible universes ever lose an Art Ross to a Sedin without missing significant time during the season. That tells me everything I need to know.

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03-18-2013, 11:53 AM
  #673
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Havent read any other post here but... We've already seen Lemieux.

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03-18-2013, 02:33 PM
  #674
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
So what?

Forseberg got injured, so did Lindros and Bure, all of this impacts on how we look at them but for Wayne do we really need to make excuses?

He was still good enough to play almost every game in the NHL but everything that most players go through like natural aging are attributed to the Suter hit?

It's almost comical and ironic that even the best player of all time needs a crutch by some to make him even better if not for that Suter hit.

Wayne was already declining , the change of teams may have quickened that decline as the Suter hit might have.
There's a difference between the natural and gradual decline Gretzky was on and the sudden drop after '91.
This has been proven to you over and over and over again!!!




Quote:
As for the OP we have seen at least 3 players that have had a Gretzky like impact offensively in Mario, Jagr and Sid.
No, we really haven't.
Mario was the only one at Gretzky's level.
Jagr was clearly at least a level below and Sid is at least a level below Jagr.


Last edited by Rhiessan71: 03-18-2013 at 02:40 PM.
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03-18-2013, 02:47 PM
  #675
tazzy19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
There's a difference between the natural and gradual decline Gretzky was on and the sudden drop after '91.
This has been proven to you over and over and over again!!!






No, we really haven't.
Mario was the only one at Gretzky's level.
Jagr was clearly at least a level below and Sid is at least a level below Jagr.
I like the graph, but just a minor correction. Gretzky's peak was 2.77 PPG in the 83-84 season.

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