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

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03-23-2013, 11:18 PM
  #776
tazzy19
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I will not do that.

Clearly an aberration. Besides, Mario was on his line so one of them had to venture into the defensive end.
Clearly you didn't watch too much of the 1987 Canada Cup games. Mario was only on his line half way through game 2 of the finals against Russia, and parts of game 3.

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03-23-2013, 11:24 PM
  #777
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Watch the 1987 Canada Cup games and tell me Gretzky didn't come back into his zone. He was literally all over the ice. And when he played the "high game" (as did Mario Lemieux), Gretzky's offense was so good, that he could literally pull the opposition out of their own zones in order to cover for him. This in turn would open up the middle of the ice for Coffey and others to make the attack that much easier. Glen Sather actually wanted Gretzky to do this rather than play the typical "low game". It was for good reason.
Here's a case in point in how Gretzky would pull opposition defenses away from their zone -- even while killing a penalty. It must have been murder for opposing teams to try and focus on their power plays knowing Gretzky was sniffing out short handed goals! Just watch the slow motion replays on this one...

At 4:00:



And oh yeah, they really let Wayne have all the space and time in the world on that one, right? The guy is being held, and spun around 360 degrees, and still scores....

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03-24-2013, 01:31 AM
  #778
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Here's a case in point in how Gretzky would pull opposition defenses away from their zone -- even while killing a penalty. It must have been murder for opposing teams to try and focus on their power plays knowing Gretzky was sniffing out short handed goals! Just watch the slow motion replays on this one...
Interesting bit of foreshadowing in that video. The montage at the beginning showed a magazine with a tag line at the bottom (re: the Oilers) "Have they revolutionized the game?" Later on we see the Oilers create a scoring chance while killing a penalty, about which the colour commentary guy says "I don't think I've ever seen a team killing a penalty get a 4-on-1 break..."

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03-24-2013, 05:05 AM
  #779
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Originally Posted by NorthStar4Canes View Post
Already saw a better player than Gretzky....Orr.

Will we see a better player than Gretzky since Gretzky?....Yes, it's inevitable given enough time and players.

How will we know it?...Like porn, we'll know it when we see it and there will be gobs of supporting evidence that will outweigh his probably-unsurpassable scoring records.

What will this evidence be past stats, awards, and the eyeball test?...beats me. Maybe they'll have invented a Best-o-Meter by then.
The majority of experts disagree with you. Gretzky comes out on top of every list ever created. There are some that rank orr number one, but if it's a comprehensive list with many contributors, Gretzky wins every time.

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03-24-2013, 05:47 AM
  #780
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This may have been brought up before, but even if some kid comes through the ranks better than Gretzky, would their team allow that player to play their game instead of sacrificing offense for defensive purposes and what not? I mean, the game is coached to the point where individual skill is not as conducive to winning as a good system is with players making the high percentage play instead of taking risks to score. The Crosbys, Ovechkins, and Malkins still get their points, but it makes me wonder what their real ceilings are if they were allowed to play their own game.
I don't think Ovechkin was held back at all. Crosby on the other hand is an interesting case study.

He was the best offensive prospect since Mario and, as a 18 year old, his first two years in the league were only bettered by Wayne. If he progressed offensively like most players do as they get into their 20's, he should have been putting up dominating numbers, like he is now, a few years ago.

Was he not allowed to play his game or did he focus on other aspects of his game that are needed these days to compete better?

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03-24-2013, 08:43 AM
  #781
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Clearly you didn't watch too much of the 1987 Canada Cup games. Mario was only on his line half way through game 2 of the finals against Russia, and parts of game 3.
I watched it when they played it.

Clearly that's the part I remembered. And wasn't that Gretzky at his best?

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03-24-2013, 10:09 AM
  #782
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I watched it when they played it.

Clearly that's the part I remembered. And wasn't that Gretzky at his best?
That was Gretzky at his best, but that wasn't at all the point. Gretzky was all over the ice -- be it the defensive end or offensive end -- the entire tournament. The fact that he was at his best during the most important game of the tournament shouldn't be a surprise. 99 was at his best 99 percent of the time during the most important game of anything.

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03-24-2013, 10:15 AM
  #783
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True. However the "many" your are referencing are still the minority of hockey experts. There are many people in the world who think Britney Spears is the best singer in the world.....but are they right? We can debate that, but one thing we know for sure: they are definitely the minority.

All I will say on this is, "experts" that watched Wayne and Bobby play usually choose Orr for greatest player. That should stand out more than the newer fans allow it.

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03-24-2013, 10:18 AM
  #784
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All I will say on this is, "experts" that watched Wayne and Bobby play usually choose Orr for greatest player. That should stand out more than the newer fans allow it.
If this is true, then why is it not reflected in the major polls comprised almost entirely of "experts" who have seen them both play? Shouldn't Orr win at least one of these polls? Why is Gretzky every single time? I could see your point if these experts had only seen Gretzky play. But they've seen both play. (It should be noted, I'm not talking about fan polls.)

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03-24-2013, 10:37 AM
  #785
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
If this is true, then why is it not reflected in the major polls comprised almost entirely of "experts" who have seen them both play? Shouldn't Orr win at least one of these polls? Why is Gretzky every single time? I could see your point if these experts had only seen Gretzky play. But they've seen both play. (It should be noted, I'm not talking about fan polls.)
The 70s were a long time ago man. It's not scientific what I am saying. I know in this era of the interwebzz everything needs to be backed by 1500 links but it is not so easy proving/showing what happened in the 70s.

I know it is easy to look at the records Gretzky smashed, the list is longer than my arm,I understand. But go watch the many videos on Orr, they all say it, he was the best that ever played. What's very important and forgotten, is how Orr changed the game. The game will never be changed to that much of a degree ever again. As great as Wayne was, he didn't change how the game was played, Orr forever made hockey a different game. Something like "changed the game" can not be put onto a nice stat sheet and wave around like a Hart trophy. It just is what it is.

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03-24-2013, 10:47 AM
  #786
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I don't think Ovechkin was held back at all. Crosby on the other hand is an interesting case study.

He was the best offensive prospect since Mario and, as a 18 year old, his first two years in the league were only bettered by Wayne. If he progressed offensively like most players do as they get into their 20's, he should have been putting up dominating numbers, like he is now, a few years ago.

Was he not allowed to play his game or did he focus on other aspects of his game that are needed these days to compete better?
I agree with this. I'd say for Sid it was a combination of both plus injuries

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03-24-2013, 11:15 AM
  #787
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
That was Gretzky at his best, but that wasn't at all the point. Gretzky was all over the ice -- be it the defensive end or offensive end -- the entire tournament. The fact that he was at his best during the most important game of the tournament shouldn't be a surprise. 99 was at his best 99 percent of the time during the most important game of anything.
All over the ice but only scored 3 goals in 9 games.

Not as easy to score goals when its not all about offense.

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03-24-2013, 11:25 AM
  #788
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
All over the ice but only scored 3 goals in 9 games.

Not as easy to score goals when its not all about offense.
Nice cherry pick.

Who led the tournament in points again?

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03-24-2013, 11:31 AM
  #789
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Nice cherry pick.

Who led the tournament in points again?
The best offensive player ever.

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03-24-2013, 11:39 AM
  #790
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Originally Posted by BamBamCam View Post
The 70s were a long time ago man. It's not scientific what I am saying. I know in this era of the interwebzz everything needs to be backed by 1500 links but it is not so easy proving/showing what happened in the 70s.

I know it is easy to look at the records Gretzky smashed, the list is longer than my arm,I understand. But go watch the many videos on Orr, they all say it, he was the best that ever played. What's very important and forgotten, is how Orr changed the game. The game will never be changed to that much of a degree ever again. As great as Wayne was, he didn't change how the game was played, Orr forever made hockey a different game. Something like "changed the game" can not be put onto a nice stat sheet and wave around like a Hart trophy. It just is what it is.
How is changing the game the ultimate criteria to determine if a player is the best ever, I don't get it. Is the first goalie to wear a mask the best ever because he changed the game?

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03-24-2013, 11:50 AM
  #791
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How is changing the game the ultimate criteria to determine if a player is the best ever, I don't get it. Is the first goalie to wear a mask the best ever because he changed the game?
Did putting a goalie mask on have the kind of impact that defenseman are now part of the offensive flow of the game? Goalie masks are not on the same level as all of a sudden defensemen are contributing to goals and assisting in great numbers. Prior to Orr, you never really saw that. Defensemen didn't score goals, they didn't rush the puck up the ice or set up forwards before Orr. If Orr didn't do what he did, there is no Coffey, Bourque, Potvin or Leetch. Before Orr there was no such thing as a QB on the powerplay, there wasn't a defensemen before Orr to score 20 goals but he rolled off 7 in a row, first player to hit 100 assists (either forward or defensemen), lead the league in points, and there are several more.

Goalie masks were a reaction to players who started using the slap shot and curved sticks, it was not a tread setting move. I am not sure how much they changed the game as the game was already changing around them.

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"Nobody is a perfect hockey player," Montreal Canadiens center Jean Beliveau said. "The important thing is to correct your mistakes. Orr, he does that. He is always there. He blocks the shots. He can skate. He can shoot. Is there anything more?"

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03-24-2013, 12:00 PM
  #792
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Did putting a goalie mask on have the kind of impact that defenseman are now part of the offensive flow of the game? Goalie masks are not on the same level as all of a sudden defensemen are contributing to goals and assisting in great numbers. Prior to Orr, you never really saw that. Defensemen didn't score goals, they didn't rush the puck up the ice or set up forwards before Orr. If Orr didn't do what he did, there is no Coffey, Bourque, Potvin or Leetch. Before Orr there was no such thing as a QB on the powerplay, there wasn't a defensemen before Orr to score 20 goals but he rolled off 7 in a row, first player to hit 100 assists (either forward or defensemen), lead the league in points, and there are several more.

Goalie masks were a reaction to players who started using the slap shot and curved sticks, it was not a tread setting move. I am not sure how much they changed the game as the game was already changing around them.
But before Gretzky there was no such thing as a skinny hockey player dominating relentlessly getting 200pts seasons...

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03-24-2013, 12:20 PM
  #793
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But before Gretzky there was no such thing as a skinny hockey player dominating relentlessly getting 200pts seasons...
Hey I agree with you. This is not an easy debate on my side. However,there are people out there that think Orr was better for some solid reasons. In the end Wayne will win out by more than 80% of the opinions and with good reason.

Not sure about the little skinny argument though. There have been some little guys that have lead the league before Wayne did. Stan Mikita comes to mind, just off the top of my head and he is consider (generally speaking) the best centerman in the 60s.

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03-24-2013, 12:39 PM
  #794
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How is changing the game the ultimate criteria to determine if a player is the best ever, I don't get it. Is the first goalie to wear a mask the best ever because he changed the game?
Maybe not, but how about the guys like Bobby Hull, who are famous for the kind of shots that made them become more necessary?

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Not sure about the little skinny argument though. There have been some little guys that have lead the league before Wayne did. Stan Mikita comes to mind, just off the top of my head and he is consider (generally speaking) the best centerman in the 60s.
5'9 169 lbs in the 60s isn't quite like 6' 150 lbs in the 80s, though (even allowing for slight inaccuracies in listed measurements), and Mikita never even made it half way to 200 points.


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03-24-2013, 12:49 PM
  #795
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Maybe not, but how about the guys like Bobby Hull, who are famous for the kind of shots that made them become more necessary?



5'9 169 lbs in the 60s isn't quite like 6' 150 lbs in the 80s, though (even allowing for slight inaccuracies in listed measurements), and Mikita never even made it half way to 200 points.
Understood and yes, However, if talking in terms of dominance than Mikita fits the bill. By the time Wayne came around the game was changed. Difficult to compare in my mind, I was speaking strictly in terms of dominance and little guys. I am sure if I tried I could find some other. Bossy wasn't that big of a guy either.

I can't figure out what Wayne weighed and stood. I have seen many different heights and weights for him. Ask Eva Unit and he was as big as Fedorov and Mike Modano

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03-24-2013, 01:13 PM
  #796
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I can't figure out what Wayne weighed and stood. I have seen many different heights and weights for him.
I can't remember which of his early seasons it was, but in some of the easier found Youtube videos of old Hockey Night in Canada Oilers' broadcasts, he answers the question directly in an (intermission?) interview: 150 lbs. I might try to find it later on, but I'm prepared to 100% guarantee that it's the answer straight from the horse's mouth circa ~'81/82-82/83 (can't guarantee that range, though). I've seen him listed as 6'1" in places, but let's just call him 6', 150 lbs.

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03-24-2013, 01:20 PM
  #797
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I can't remember which of his early seasons it was, but in some of the easier found Youtube videos of old Hockey Night in Canada Oilers' broadcasts, he answers the question directly in an (intermission?) interview: 150 lbs. I might try to find it later on, but I'm prepared to 100% guarantee that it's the answer straight from the horse's mouth circa ~'81/82-82/83 (can't guarantee that range, though). I've seen him listed as 6'1" in places, but let's just call him 6', 150 lbs.
Exactly , I don't know. I know Eva Unit was pumping up Fedorov and his slap shot by claiming Wayne was 6-1 185 and was comparable to Fedorov's height and weight. But I remember Wayne being a string bean, he was tall but mega-skinny. 150 sounds about right and it is hard for me to think he put on another 35 pounds, maybe though....

Again,though, too many tales on his actual height and weight.

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03-24-2013, 01:28 PM
  #798
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Exactly , I don't know. I know Eva Unit was pumping up Fedorov and his slap shot by claiming Wayne was 6-1 185 and was comparable to Fedorov's height and weight. But I remember Wayne being a string bean, he was tall but mega-skinny. 150 sounds about right and it is hard for me to think he put on another 35 pounds, maybe though....

Again,though, too many tales on his actual height and weight.
I don't find it hard to believe that, with the experience of his first couple of seasons under his belt, Wayne started dedicating more time to getting a bit bigger and stronger. I really need to find that video now, because I think he even mentions how that might have to be a focus of his moving forward in the same interview (which was, again, and to the best of my recollection, ~'81-83). I'm prepared, in the absence of more concrete numbers from later years, to believe that he could have gotten himself up to about 170-175 lbs by his late 20s without "out-of-the-ordinary" training/nutrition, given the 6'-6'1" frame to stretch that out upon, but 185 lbs sounds a bit "optimistic", or reflective perhaps of a near retirement weight.

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03-24-2013, 01:29 PM
  #799
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I always thought Wayne was 5'10''

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03-24-2013, 01:31 PM
  #800
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I always thought Wayne was 5'10''
I'd say he's taller than me, and I'm a shade under 5'11 (literally just a hair over 5'10.5" - even the teachers get measured every year in Japanese schools - and have stood beside/near him since finishing my growth spurt back in the 90s).


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