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Why Mike Gartner isn't famous?

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Old
03-31-2013, 10:50 PM
  #1
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Why Mike Gartner isn't famous?

Mike Gartner is 6th all time in NHL goals with with 708!!! Only Gretzky, Howe, Hull, Dionne, and Esposito have more goals than him. Yet, Gartner is a hardly recognized name. He'd be known only to a relatively well-versed hockey fan. Most hockey fans today probably don't even know who Mike Gartner is, especially the younger fans. They'll know who Brett Hull or Steve Yzerman are, but not Mike Gartner.

What do you think was the reason(s) behind why Mike Gartner didn't become as famous as guys he's surpassed in goals or at least amongst? Was it his personality? Was he too clean? Too quiet? Too well-mannered? Or was it his name? Mike Gartner doesn't have a great ring to it? Or was it the teams he played on?

He holds the record for most 30+ goals seasons (17) and most consecutive 30+ goal seasons (15 tied with Jagr). Yet you'd never hear his name be compared to the likes of Jagr or Lemieux. I thought at first it was being too consistent...maybe all he did was so consistent that he never stood out...but he did have tremendous years where he scored 48, 49, and 50 goals in a season.

Despite still having over 1300 career points, I guess having only 1 100+ point season (102) in his career did him in. I guess Gartner is to goals what Francis was to assists (2nd all time only after Gretzky). Francis, too, is also not a named likened to legendary like the Howes, Messiers, Yzermans, Lemieuxs...

What do you think was the reason why a guy with over 700 goals is hardly known at all, especially outside of hockey. Yet, players with far significantly less goals are known to be goal scorers and all-time greats but his name never comes up in conversations.

Very curious.

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03-31-2013, 10:52 PM
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sjshark91
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Islanders.

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03-31-2013, 10:56 PM
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GoAwayDanCleary
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Never heard of him.

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03-31-2013, 10:56 PM
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alcoraces
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My favourite player ever.....to me he's as famous as they get.

Maybe because he wasn't really a well rounded player. He could shoot, and he could score, but that was about it.

I met him after a Caps game in Vancouver in 1985....he was very patient and great to talk to. I never forgot that.

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03-31-2013, 10:58 PM
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Evincar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin0416 View Post
What do you think was the reason why a guy with over 700 goals is hardly known at all, especially outside of hockey. Yet, players with far significantly less goals are known to be goal scorers and all-time greats but his name never comes up in conversations..
In order to be considered an all-time great you have to actually be great. Gartner was basically a Miro Satan/Matt Moulson type player that played his entire career in the highest scoring era in league history.

His career numbers look nice if you compare it to today's players.


Last edited by Evincar: 03-31-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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03-31-2013, 10:58 PM
  #6
Roo Mad Bro
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He was never known to be one of the great players of his generation. Great goal scorer, but his peaks weren't amazing. Amazing consistency and career, though.

Zero MVP's, Conn Smythe's, etc.

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03-31-2013, 11:02 PM
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Anth93
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He's a modern day Phil Kessel with tremendous longevity.

He's famous, but it's no surprise that he isn't talked about with regularity.

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03-31-2013, 11:06 PM
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JamieG
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As someone who watched Mike Gartner play, I firmly believe he shouldn't even be in the Hall of Fame.

He was NOT one of the games all time greats. He wasn't even a "star" player. He wasn't a player that other teams set their game plan around.

He was a one dimensional (soft) 2nd line winger. That's it. He played in an era where most 2nd liners scored 30 goals.

Sure, give him some credit for the consecutive 30 goal seasons, but that was in the true greats were always scoring 50 or 60 goals.

Being a 2nd tier, one dimensional player does not make one a legend.

The other thing is you could pick just about any time in his career - if you named the top 5 players in his position - he would not be there.

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03-31-2013, 11:08 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Well, he's in the Hall of Fame, so...

But the reason he isn't more famous is that he was never really a top-tier player, just an incredibly consistent one.

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03-31-2013, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litework View Post
In order to be considered an all-time great you have to actually be great. Gartner was basically a Miro Satan/Matt Moulson type player that played his entire career in the highest scoring era in league history.

His career numbers look nice if you compare it to today's players.
He played little more than half is career in the 80s. One could easily argue that by playing in the 90s - one of the lowest scoring eras in hockey - that it more than balances out his career.

He was incredibly consistent, and used his shot and speed to score goals. He wasn't a dominant force, but he was still an excellent player. He's a HHoF player, and that's something Miro Satan will never be.

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03-31-2013, 11:26 PM
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tarheelhockey
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He played little more than half is career in the 80s. One could easily argue that by playing in the 90s - one of the lowest scoring eras in hockey - that it more than balances out his career.
Gartner retired in 1998. Except for one or two seasons, his entire career was played during the highest scoring period of modern hockey history.

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03-31-2013, 11:32 PM
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For what it's worth, Gartner was in the top-10 in goals scored five times during his career. He's often derided as "the ultimate compiler", but did have higher peaks than Ciccarelli, Recchi, and Andreychuk as it pertained to putting the puck in the net.

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03-31-2013, 11:36 PM
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Islanders.
I think you're mixed up with Bossy?

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03-31-2013, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Gartner retired in 1998. Except for one or two seasons, his entire career was played during the highest scoring period of modern hockey history.
I know full well when he retired. Goal scoring went down from the onset of the 90s. No one who was a factor in the 80s scored the same level of points in the 90s. He was there for the advent of butterfly goalies, and the trap. He still scored. Many of the goals he scored would have been scored in any era. He'd be a 30-40 goal scorer today if he began playing now.

Gartner was a first line player for much of his career (Washington, Minny, and even in New York. He scored his 500th and 600th goals with the Rangers. He tallied more than 1300pts, only tailing off to less than a ppg player in the last couple of years of his career.

There were plenty of fantastic players in the 80s who were point a game players in that era, and likely would have been in any area. The decade might have spawned some of the most amazing offensive talents of all time, but Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, etc would have produced prolific numbers in any generation. What they accomplished doesn't diminish the accomplishments of Gartner. 708 goals is an amazing thing.

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03-31-2013, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieG View Post
As someone who watched Mike Gartner play, I firmly believe he shouldn't even be in the Hall of Fame.

He was NOT one of the games all time greats. He wasn't even a "star" player. He wasn't a player that other teams set their game plan around.

He was a one dimensional (soft) 2nd line winger. That's it. He played in an era where most 2nd liners scored 30 goals.

Sure, give him some credit for the consecutive 30 goal seasons, but that was in the true greats were always scoring 50 or 60 goals.

Being a 2nd tier, one dimensional player does not make one a legend.

The other thing is you could pick just about any time in his career - if you named the top 5 players in his position - he would not be there.
Then why don't any other 2nd liners have 700 career goals?

He wasn't a star when he came top 10 in scoring in 84/85?

Would you argue that consistency isn't a virtue? Going near-PPG and averaging 41G over 1432 games isn't an outstanding accomplishment?

--
To answer the OP:
-No Stanley Cup, no individual awards, not even one #1 finish in goals/points, not even one Stanley Cup Final appearance

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03-31-2013, 11:58 PM
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So many people claim his goal totals are because of the era he played in...

If that were the case, then why didn't every mediocre player finish 6th overall in goals all-time?

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04-01-2013, 12:09 AM
  #17
tarheelhockey
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I know full well when he retired. Goal scoring went down from the onset of the 90s. No one who was a factor in the 80s scored the same level of points in the 90s.
Ok, but what you said was that the second half of his career was during "one of the lowest scoring eras in history", which is not true, and that this offsets the level of scoring during the 1980s, which is also not true.

The year before Gartner entered the league, 1979, Goals Per Game broke the 7.00 barrier for the first time in league history*. The prior record high was 6.85, set in 1975.

The next time the league dropped below 6.85 -- that is, the next time it was NOT at an historic high -- was in 1994, when Gartner was a 14-year vet and nearing retirement. Even at that, scoring remained at around the 6-goal mark for three more seasons, which is typical of where it had been since the late 1950s.

So there is no basis for saying that Gartner played in "one of the lowest scoring eras" at ANY point in his career other than his retirement season.

Another way of saying all this: 74% of Gartner's career was played during the highest-scoring period in NHL history*, and another 22% was during an average period. This does not balance out into an average scoring level for his career. In fact, he was only about four years off playing during the highest-scoring 19-year window that would be mathematically possible!

* with the exception of 3 seasons during WWII when the NHL employed primarily minor-league replacement players.

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04-01-2013, 12:09 AM
  #18
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Why all the hate for Gartner? If you just came in this thread without knowing who he was you'd think he was a trash player that rode the longest luck streak of all time.

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04-01-2013, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
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So many people claim his goal totals are because of the era he played in...

If that were the case, then why didn't every mediocre player finish 6th overall in goals all-time?
It's been said repeatedly - his big advantage is consistency. Consistency during a high scoring era (which lasted until 1994) was enough to make him #6 all time, without ever being one of the best in the game.

I think the Kessel comparison is a good one. Very good player, but never among the best. If Kessel didn't get hurt much and kept plugging away for his career, he'd have a comparable relative career.

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04-01-2013, 12:09 AM
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hah, oh yeah.

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04-01-2013, 12:11 AM
  #21
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It's been said repeatedly - his big advantage is consistency. Consistency during a high scoring era (which lasted until 1994) was enough to make him #6 all time, without ever being one of the best in the game.

I think the Kessel comparison is a good one. Very good player, but never among the best. If Kessel didn't get hurt much and kept plugging away for his career, he'd have a comparable relative career.
kessel will never come close to 500 goals in his life. I see a massive tail off once he hits his 30's. Let alone 700 for that matter.

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04-01-2013, 12:13 AM
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Funny, He was my coach my Minor Midget year! ****ing awesome guy and probably the best coach i ever had in my entire hockey career. His son is still a good buddy of mine.

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04-01-2013, 12:21 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Canadian Airlines View Post
So many people claim his goal totals are because of the era he played in...

If that were the case, then why didn't every mediocre player finish 6th overall in goals all-time?
Nobody said he was crap.

What they said is that he was a good to very good offensive player for a long time.

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04-01-2013, 12:22 AM
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kessel will never come close to 500 goals in his life. I see a massive tail off once he hits his 30's. Let alone 700 for that matter.
Start Kessel's career in 1983

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04-01-2013, 12:27 AM
  #25
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Why all the hate for Gartner? If you just came in this thread without knowing who he was you'd think he was a trash player that rode the longest luck streak of all time.
No one has said anything like that, it's been mostly a bunch of pretty rational responses. A negative tone might be implied with some of them, but that's pretty natural considering how the original question was phrased.

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