HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie
Notices

The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Is there any meaningful way to compare Gretzky and Orr?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
01-24-2017, 05:34 PM
  #26
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 12,321
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I don't think I can agree with this reasoning. You just said "No defenseman between WWII and Orr had Hart-worthy season." But it was entirely possible to win it, as Shore, Goodfellow, and Orr himself have proven. When Orr was the best player in the league, he received his Hart. Three times. At other times he was not unquestionably the best player in the league, so he lost. Sure, you can argue that he deserved one more, over Clarke, but it's still nowhere near Gretzky's territory. You could argue that Gretzky had weaker competition for Hart, but that's a real stretch.
He was always the best player in the league.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-24-2017, 07:52 PM
  #27
The Panther
Registered User
 
The Panther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Country: Japan
Posts: 5,589
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
He was always the best player in the league.
This would actually be an interesting question -- from 1966-67 through 1974-75, was Orr in fact the best player in the NHL every season?

The Panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-24-2017, 08:36 PM
  #28
Irato99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 292
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
This would actually be an interesting question -- from 1966-67 through 1974-75, was Orr in fact the best player in the NHL every season?
You could also ask legitimately, was he the best player on his team every season...

Irato99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-24-2017, 09:12 PM
  #29
The Panther
Registered User
 
The Panther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Country: Japan
Posts: 5,589
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irato99 View Post
You could also ask legitimately, was he the best player on his team every season...
I would say he almost certainly was the best player on his team every one of those seasons, with the arguable exception of 1968-69 when he missed 9 games and produced 64 points (still won the Norris trophy, mind). But that season Esposito had 126 points (+56), was 1st-team All Star and won the Hart and Art Ross.

I don't think Orr was the best player in 1966-67 (rookie year), was he? The Bruins were still terrible and Orr was behind Howell and Pilote in Norris voting, and was a distant 6th in Hart votes (no first or second-place votes). In that season, it's gotta be Mikita or Bobby Hull as best player, right?

In 1967-68, Orr may very well have been the best player in hockey but he played only 46 games, so it's hard to make his case. 1968-69 is already mentioned, above, where Bobby was arguably outperformed by Esposito.

Certainly, I would say from 1969-70 through 1974-75 Orr was the undisputed best player in hockey.

So, looking at Orr and Gretzky's first nine seasons (Orr's Boston years and Gretzky's Edmonton years):

I think we safely say that Orr was the game's best player in talent / ability in at least 7 of the 9 seasons, but he was only the best by actual performance in maybe 6 of the 9 seasons.

Then, I think we can say Gretzky was the game's best player in talent / ability in at least 8 of the 9 seasons, and he was the best by actual performance in at least 7 of the 9 (excepting 1979-80 and 1987-88), most probably in 8 of the 9 (excepting only 1987-88), and possibly in all 9 (it's hard to argue him over Lemieux in performance in 1987-88, since Wayne missed a lot of games).

By this comparison, I think Gretzky comes out a bit ahead.

The Panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-25-2017, 08:09 AM
  #30
DNA
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 100
vCash: 500
In a word, no. To the OP, there is IMO no meaningful way to compare the 2. They are an apple and an orange, period. And the greatest of each. And maybe Howe was the greatest Pear.

But their career arcs are so strikingly different that I believe any conversation is un-meaningful. Orr was heads & shoulders above his peers, in skating and stickhandling, since childhood. He developed his abilities on the frozen bay of Parry Sound, took them to Oshawa, then Boston, and simply dazzled the entire way. Comments from Milt Schmidt, Bobby Clarke, and others about his dominance are legendary. He was unfortunately struck by injuries early on!

Gretzky had a hockey dad, backyard rinks, and shooting targets. His training seemed more oriented to discipline, hard work, and time put in. He was of course a child prodigy too. But it was, "my God, look at the points he's putting up!". That's kind of what I think defines his unparalleled career. The points, the records, the hardware. But also, he simply didn't miss games, international tournaments, or many playoffs. He showed up to play each and every day! Never turned down a sweater for a team that wanted him. And won just about everything he could!

Two different animals. Skating & stickhandling may count more than any other skills in the game of hockey. And Orr's near +1 as a career plus/minus stat, when the next best are barely above +0.5, may be thrown out there to challenge Gretzky's amazing records. But Gretzky had incredible discipline, longevity, and proved that an almost supernatural cerebral 6th sense was an additional hockey skill, possibly heretofore unknown, and not since.

The fact that one was defense and the other forward, is even a minor issue IMO.

My 2 cents.


Last edited by DNA: 01-25-2017 at 08:24 AM.
DNA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-25-2017, 02:58 PM
  #31
Pizzarena91
hot and REaDy Wings
 
Pizzarena91's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: MI
Posts: 3,815
vCash: 500
I think maybe looking at per game statistics and measuring them against their positional piers would be the best way. Maybe take their top 3 seasons head to head with those stats

Pizzarena91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-25-2017, 10:41 PM
  #32
Big Phil
Registered User
 
Big Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Country: Canada
Posts: 25,509
vCash: 500
I think Gretzky was just a bit better at his best. Like someone said, you compare their first 10 years in the NHL, because Gretzky still had a great career after 1989 while Orr didn't after 1976. I think Gretzky just dominated the league at a higher pace.

If push comes to shove you can look at how the teams did. Were the Bruins capable of having a dynasty? Absolutely. This is a team that could have won in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974 and no one would have batted an eyelash. That's 4 in 5 years, just like the Gretzky Oilers. However, they underachieved I think. Other than in 1975 the Bruins always lost to an elite team, I'll give them that, but they still lost to teams that they could have and maybe should have beaten. Orr was usually good statistically even in a loss so you can't pin that much on him but with Orr the thing you say is that he should have won more Cups. With Gretzky you never say this. We know why Edmonton wasn't a dynasty after 1988. They won one Cup, not 5. There was a reason, Gretzky was traded to one of the worst teams in the NHL. So in the limited time Gretzky had on a great team I think he did as good as anyone could possibly do. Sure they lost in 1986, but this was a series where Gretzky still had 13 points.

Big Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-26-2017, 07:37 PM
  #33
BraveCanadian
Registered User
 
BraveCanadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,832
vCash: 500
It is really hard to compare a forward and a defenseman. Their responsibilities, opportunities and ice time are so different.

When you look at the numbers Orr looks better in goal differential at his best (albeit in a watered down league with poor parity). So I'm not sure what that tells us.

But IMO Orr (and the Bruins at that time) never had the killer instinct that Gretzky had. If aliens invaded and winning one hockey game would save the Earth.. with a gun to my head I'd pick Gretzky to try and win it.

I'd rather hang out with Bobby though. What a class act.

BraveCanadian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-26-2017, 07:57 PM
  #34
The Panther
Registered User
 
The Panther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Country: Japan
Posts: 5,589
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I'd rather hang out with Bobby though. What a class act.
I have a feeling Gretzky would be good to hang out with when the camera is turned off, and it's just him and some friends. He's far too media-aware and zero-risk with his public comments.

(As an example, we see a 'camera-off' side of young Gretzky here at the 2:00 mark):



I completely agree with what you say about Orr, though. I love how he kept a low profile after he retired, and didn't throw anybody under the bus when he was upset, near broke, and being ripped off. Orr had to suffer the indignity of doing those tacky early-80s TV commercials for money, but he stayed classy all through it. I also love how he lives on in Parry Sound, today, still fiercely Canadian and sticking to his guns. You know, I was born directly across the bay from Parry Sound, and at least once a week (here in Tokyo, of all places) I fantasize about living simply in the villages around Georgian Bay....

The Panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-26-2017, 08:23 PM
  #35
cupcrazyman
Chex Lemeneux
 
cupcrazyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Leafland
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,833
vCash: 500
Gretzky best player ever
Orr best dman ever

cupcrazyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-27-2017, 06:57 PM
  #36
DNA
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 100
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
If aliens invaded and winning one hockey game would save the Earth.. with a gun to my head I'd pick Gretzky to try and win it.
For sure. If it was to be a 30-year war of attrition however, I'd pick Howe. But if I was forced to rely on diplomatic negotiations to save our kind, I'd have them watch Bobby Orr play hockey!

DNA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-27-2017, 08:07 PM
  #37
Big Phil
Registered User
 
Big Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Country: Canada
Posts: 25,509
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
This would actually be an interesting question -- from 1966-67 through 1974-75, was Orr in fact the best player in the NHL every season?
1967 he's a rookie and didn't even win the Norris. So, no. Would I have taken him over Harry Howell though in 1967? Yes. But you've still got Hull and Mikita and even Howe with excellent years. 1968 I don't think he played enough to get there and even then. 1969 I think it's hard not to take Esposito here. Some might still say Hull. After that for sure, he has a 6 year span where he is the best player in the game. It is true that Clarke and Esposito win a combined three Harts in that time frame but let's face it, do we all not agree Orr is the best player in the world in 1975? Would Gretzky still not be better than Mike Liut in 1981 if he lost the Hart? 1973 Clarke wins again and in all honesty the 15 games missed by Orr might be the reason. Some vote splitting by Orr and Esposito might have helped give Clarke the Hart too. 1974 Esposito wins the Hart over Orr. I've stated some reasons before why I think Esposito got a bit of a boost from the voters in 1974. He was absent during the 1973 playoffs when the Bruins collapsed and I think the following season the voters realized just how important Esposito actually was. I think Orr is still known as the best player in the NHL in 1974 though.

With the Canada Cup performance in 1976 I think you get a glimpse as to how Orr would be with a full season and I think he's still probably the best player in the NHL in 1976 with a full season. Or it is known that he's the best if healthy. However the gap is closing by then.

Big Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-27-2017, 08:38 PM
  #38
ChrisK97
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,672
vCash: 500
Yes.

They were both hockey immortals.

ChrisK97 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
01-28-2017, 05:12 PM
  #39
JackSlater
Registered User
 
JackSlater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 7,055
vCash: 500
I thought about this very randomly, but it kind of demonstrates how ridiculous Gretzky was. If the NHL had discriminated against Gretzky so that every player other than Gretzky received 1.5 points for a goal or an assist, while Gretzky only received one point... Gretzky would still be a five time scoring champion and the all time leading scorer in NHL history. Even in that setting he would be pretty much equivalent to Jagr, who would only pass him in career points later this year.

I didn't have a random Orr thought like the above, but obviously he was a similar outlier to Gretzky. As for comparing them, Orr may or may not have been better at his best than Gretzky was at his own best, but Gretzky did it for longer and that has to be worth something.

JackSlater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-29-2017, 03:44 PM
  #40
Merya
Jokerit & Finland
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,506
vCash: 500
Nothing really meaningful aside from Gretzky being the best in the world for a couple years longer than Orr. After that it's not only position that makes it weird, but also the whys of how they dominated. Orr did it by being ten years ahead of his peers physically, Gretzky did it by being undisputedly the greatest hockeymind ever as a player.

I've said this before, but I like to repeat it. Orr looked like he used a cheatcode. Gretzky looked like he played instant replays.

ps. Even more romantic. Orr did what he was supposed to do. Gretzky broke the idea of what could be done.

Merya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-29-2017, 05:09 PM
  #41
Theokritos
Moderator
 
Theokritos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8,262
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merya View Post
Orr did what he was supposed to do. Gretzky broke the idea of what could be done.
Huh? I don't think anyone thought a defenceman could win the Art Ross trophy before Orr came along, let alone that he was supposed to do that.

Theokritos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-29-2017, 05:34 PM
  #42
BLNY
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dartmouth, NS
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,516
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to BLNY Send a message via Yahoo to BLNY
First things first, I think you need to factor in the average number of goals scored per game. Then, you need to factor in Orr's impact per goal compared to his peer group. Then do the same with Gretzky.

BLNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
01-30-2017, 08:59 AM
  #43
seventieslord
Student Of The Game
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 31,114
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLNY View Post
First things first, I think you need to factor in the average number of goals scored per game. Then, you need to factor in Orr's impact per goal compared to his peer group. Then do the same with Gretzky.
offensively and defensively.

seventieslord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
01-31-2017, 03:39 PM
  #44
Merya
Jokerit & Finland
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,506
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Huh? I don't think anyone thought a defenceman could win the Art Ross trophy before Orr came along, let alone that he was supposed to do that.
Orr had the tools and the box. Gretzky invented new tools and threw out the box.

Thoughtexercise:
You can combine other players to make an Orr. Because Orr doesn't have any qualities, that we haven't seen, one or two of, in other players.
You can't combine players to make a Gretzky. Because noone has even come close to Gretzky's awareness and IQ.

Mind over matter will always be more impressive to me.

ps. re: "offensively and defensively" - but for same amount of consecutive years.


Last edited by Merya: 01-31-2017 at 03:52 PM. Reason: soc
Merya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
01-31-2017, 05:14 PM
  #45
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 12,321
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merya View Post
Orr had the tools and the box. Gretzky invented new tools and threw out the box.

Thoughtexercise:
You can combine other players to make an Orr. Because Orr doesn't have any qualities, that we haven't seen, one or two of, in other players.
You can't combine players to make a Gretzky. Because noone has even come close to Gretzky's awareness and IQ.

Mind over matter will always be more impressive to me.

ps. re: "offensively and defensively" - but for same amount of consecutive years.
I think this is way over-stating it. If no one comes close I would assume Gretzky would have continued to score at a fairly steady pace into his 30's. To me it takes away from his greatest ability, to put the puck exactly where he wanted to weather it be forehand or backhand, pass or shot, slapper or wrister.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-02-2017, 05:40 PM
  #46
Merya
Jokerit & Finland
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,506
vCash: 500
You can't have it both ways DB.

Merya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-02-2017, 05:51 PM
  #47
Merya
Jokerit & Finland
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Posts: 1,506
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I think this is way over-stating it. If no one comes close I would assume Gretzky would have continued to score at a fairly steady pace into his 30's.
Mind can get weary as much as the body. Janet, LA, kids, Walter, etc.
Then there's the back. Backproblems actually lead to disability pension, kneeinjuries don't. Backpain is there for every second of your life, kneeinjury is there only when you use the knee. With backpain you can't sleep, sit, lie down, ****, **** or even eat without the backpain being a BIG presence. Pain has scientifically shown to adversly affect brainfunctions.

Merya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-02-2017, 06:54 PM
  #48
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 12,321
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merya View Post
Mind can get weary as much as the body. Janet, LA, kids, Walter, etc.
Then there's the back. Backproblems actually lead to disability pension, kneeinjuries don't. Backpain is there for every second of your life, kneeinjury is there only when you use the knee. With backpain you can't sleep, sit, lie down, ****, **** or even eat without the backpain being a BIG presence. Pain has scientifically shown to adversly affect brainfunctions.
Got enough excuses? God, how did poor Wayne survive. What a warrior!

Gretzky was by far the healthiest of the Big 4, but you even want him to claim the Most Injured Trophy too.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-02-2017, 07:21 PM
  #49
The Panther
Registered User
 
The Panther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Country: Japan
Posts: 5,589
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I would assume Gretzky would have continued to score at a fairly steady pace into his 30's.
He did.

Gretzky's finishes in scoring, per age
27 - 2 (would be 1 but for injury)
28 - 2
29 - 1
30 - 1
31 - 3 (would be 2 but for injury, Walter, etc.)
32 - (missed half the season)
33 - 1

After that (1994), his final 5 seasons are relatively disappointing, as he was never the game's dominant scorer for any sustained period again. Having said that, he was still the #1 scoring North American player as late as 1998 when he was ten years past his prime.

Anyway, I guess 16 elite pro seasons in a row at an unprecedented level of dominance aren't enough for you.

The Panther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-03-2017, 03:35 PM
  #50
SCampo98
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Mississauga, ON
Country: Canada
Posts: 194
vCash: 300
The ways I compare them are in terms of innovation and revolutionaryness (if that's a word). Putting stats, cups, and awards aside, Gretzky is almost solely responsible with popularizing hockey in the American south while Orr is almost single handedly responsible for creating the offensive defenceman position. Without Gretzky, chances are there would be no Sharks, Ducks, Panthers, Lightning, etc. Without Orr, current stars like Doughty, Karlsson, Subban, etc, would either play different positions or would not be in the NHL. Whichever way you look at it, the innovations Gretzky and Orr brought to the game are unmatched by any other

SCampo98 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:24 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. @2017 All Rights Reserved.