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Greatest Hockey Player of All Time?

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Old
02-10-2006, 02:31 PM
  #1
Slick
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Greatest Hockey Player of All Time?

I know this is a broad question that I'm sure has been covered many times on here, and for creating a new thread on this matter I apologize but I do not have the ability to search the forum for some reason.

Is Wayne Gretzky necessarily the greatest hockey player of all time? Due to his nickname being "The Great One", they are hard up on considering anyone else as a better player. What about Gordy Howe (though his records were broken by Gretzky), or Bobby Orr? Anyone else have an opinion, and can explain why they feel this? Thanks.

I already posted this same question in the Bruin's thread, however my friend believes that it is too biased. Here is the original thread
http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=220748

Thanks for your input.
Kevin

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02-10-2006, 02:39 PM
  #2
roryb
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Bobby Orr.

disgusting +/- record. Led league in scoring, as a DEFENSEMAN, and simply dominated on the penalty kill, just wasting the clock. Just an amazing all around game and a sensational career, unfortunately cut short by bad knees.

Bobby is number one, and Wayne, as great as he was, is second.

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02-10-2006, 02:41 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick
I know this is a broad question that I'm sure has been covered many times on here, and for creating a new thread on this matter I apologize but I do not have the ability to search the forum for some reason.

Is Wayne Gretzky necessarily the greatest hockey player of all time? Due to his nickname being "The Great One", they are hard up on considering anyone else as a better player. What about Gordy Howe (though his records were broken by Gretzky), or Bobby Orr? Anyone else have an opinion, and can explain why they feel this? Thanks.

I already posted this same question in the Bruin's thread, however my friend believes that it is too biased. Here is the original thread
http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=220748

Thanks for your input.
Kevin
I have done extensive research on this subject and the conclusion is this:

1. Wayne Gretzky
2. Gordie Howe
3. Bobby Orr
4. Mario Lemieux
5. Eddie Shore

This is based on the value of the careers these players have built - not their "peak" value.

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02-10-2006, 02:42 PM
  #4
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Bobby Orr. He dominated every aspect of the game.

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02-10-2006, 04:42 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
Bobby Orr. He dominated every aspect of the game.
Agreed. Gretzky had the best career ever. That incorporates all the awards, the records, the four Stanley Cup rings (and two final appearances), the on-and-off-ice contributions to the game, etc. Best offensive player ever, and far and away the smartest player ever.

But the best player who ever laced up skates is Bobby Orr. Nobody in the history of the game has dominated as many aspects of the game like Bobby did. He'd score 120 points from the blueline, while providing strong defensive play and an underrated physical presence. I'll take 120 points from a defenceman, who played the way Bobby did, over anyone in the history of the game.

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02-10-2006, 06:18 PM
  #6
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Career it is clearly Gretzky and then Howe in my opinion - Career goalie - Roy

In peak value it is Orr, Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe and for a goalie Hasek

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02-10-2006, 07:09 PM
  #7
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I have had the pleasure of watching a tremendous amount of NHL hockey over the last three+ decades.

Bobby Orr is the best hockey player I have ever seen....And ever will see, I'm quite sure.

Mario Lemieux is second. Wayne Gretzky is third.


Last edited by Trottier: 02-11-2006 at 01:14 AM.
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02-10-2006, 07:46 PM
  #8
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Wayne Gretzky...

The best I have ever seen.

Since I never saw Orr, it's kind of a two horse race between Wayne and Mario for me. Wayne was clearly better from what I saw.

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02-10-2006, 08:26 PM
  #9
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Gretzky's greatness cannot be captured by statistics - great as they were.

He seemed to play as if he saw everything in slow motion, you know, as if he could see everything happening before everyone else could. It was really uncanny the moves and decisions he made. It was a genius.

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02-10-2006, 08:44 PM
  #10
McDonald19
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Give Mario Lemieux 100% health and put him on those high scoring Oilers teams that Gretzky was on...and the best player of all time is:

Mario Lemieux

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02-10-2006, 08:44 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roryb
Bobby Orr.

disgusting +/- record. Led league in scoring, as a DEFENSEMAN, and simply dominated on the penalty kill, just wasting the clock. Just an amazing all around game and a sensational career, unfortunately cut short by bad knees.

Bobby is number one, and Wayne, as great as he was, is second.
As simple as that.....

A-n-y D-man today have a snowballs' chance in h#ll to win the Art Ross???????????????

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02-10-2006, 08:47 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonald19
Give Mario Lemieux 100% health and put him on those high scoring Oilers teams that Gretzky was on...and the best player of all time is:

Mario Lemieux

Yeah, Mario would have looked super lined up with Blair McDonald.

Out of curiosity, which high scoring Oilers do you remember Gretzky regularly lining up with, and how would you rate their careers versus Kevin Stevens and Jagr??

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02-10-2006, 08:51 PM
  #13
McDonald19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Yeah, Mario would have looked super lined up with Blair McDonald.

Out of curiosity, which high scoring Oilers do you remember Gretzky regularly lining up with, and how would you rate their careers versus Kevin Stevens and Jagr??
Come on those teams were stacked...Coffey, Kurri, Messier, etc.

I'm also talking eras...put Lemieux as an 18 year old in the early 80s hockey...Lemieux didn't get to play as much hockey in the open ice 80s as Gretzky did.

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02-10-2006, 08:56 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonald19
Come on those teams were stacked...Coffey, Kurri, Messier, etc.

I'm also talking eras...put Lemieux as an 18 year old in the early 80s hockey...Lemieux didn't get to play as much hockey in the open ice 80s as Gretzky did.

Messier was a center, Kurri definitely no more offensively gifted than Jagr..

Lemieux also got to play a few seasons with Coffey, and is four years behind Gretzky, not a whole generation as seems to be the sentiment here...

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02-10-2006, 09:14 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonald19
Give Mario Lemieux 100% health and put him on those high scoring Oilers teams that Gretzky was on...and the best player of all time is:

Mario Lemieux

No offense, that is confusion on several levels.

First, what ifs are complete garbage. What if your aunt had balls? She'd be your uncle. What ifs are a waste of time.

Next, saying that ANY player is the product of the players around him is complete garbage. Wayne, Mario and many, many others put up huge numbers with or without stars around them. NO PLAYER ever built a career by tagging along for the ride.

Finally, trying to invent "phantom" statistics is dumb. You either produce or you do not produce. Injuries, mental breakdowns and taking time off are facts of life. You either put up numbers or you don't. Nobody really cares what the reason is. Why did we not award a Stanley Cup in 2005? Why not just look at the rosters and say "Well ______ would have won the cup. Let's engrave the names on it". Garbage. You either accomplish it or you don't.

Your statement is one of the weakest and overused arguments in hockey. Please find something a little more substantive to discuss.


Last edited by Ogopogo*: 02-10-2006 at 09:52 PM.
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Old
02-10-2006, 09:35 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
No offense, that is utter stupidity on several levels.

First, what ifs are complete garbage. What if your aunt had balls? She'd be your uncle. What ifs are a waste of time.

Next, saying that ANY player is the product of the players around him is complete garbage. Wayne, Mario and many, many others put up huge numbers with or without stars around them. NO PLAYER ever built a career by tagging along for the ride.

Finally, trying to invent "phantom" statistics is dumb. You either produce or you do not produce. Injuries, mental breakdowns and taking time off are facts of life. You either put up numbers or you don't. Nobody really cares what the reason is. Why did we not award a Stanley Cup in 2005? Why not just look at the rosters and say "Well ______ would have won the cup. Let's engrave the names on it". Garbage. You either accomplish it or you don't.

Your statement is one of the weakest and overused arguments in hockey. Please find something a little more substantive to discuss.
If statistics were the final story, then Madonna and Celine would be better than the Beatles.

I saw everybody from 1971 on and Orr and Lemieux are on another planet. Hasek, Jagr and Lafleur, Trottier etc are others of the highest rank.

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02-10-2006, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Chooch, your eyewitness accounts are so heavily biased, I doubt your children even take them seriously.
I agree with Chooch on statistics. They are meaningless in comparing players of different eras. Any method of comparing players of different errors by assigning points using some kind of convoluted system may be an interesting exercise but doesn't prove anything, We can only go by what we have seen. I have been watching since the late 50's and the best i have seen are as follows: Orr, Howe, Hull, Lemieux, gretzy, Richard, Harvey, Beliveau, mikita and lindsay. Just my opiion and yes I probably am biased as is everyone else participating in this forum.

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02-10-2006, 10:42 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Yeah, Mario would have looked super lined up with Blair McDonald.

Out of curiosity, which high scoring Oilers do you remember Gretzky regularly lining up with, and how would you rate their careers versus Kevin Stevens and Jagr??
Warren Young, Rob Brown? Career AHLers that Mario turned into scoring stars for a few years at least.

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02-10-2006, 10:47 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
I agree with Chooch on statistics. They are meaningless in comparing players of different eras. Any method of comparing players of different errors by assigning points using some kind of convoluted system may be an interesting exercise but doesn't prove anything, We can only go by what we have seen. I have been watching since the late 50's and the best i have seen are as follows: Orr, Howe, Hull, Lemieux, gretzy, Richard, Harvey, Beliveau, mikita and lindsay. Just my opiion and yes I probably am biased as is everyone else participating in this forum.
If you have not seen Howie Morenz and Eddie Shore, that creates a problem now doesn't it? How could you possibly have an opinion of who the greatest player of all time is, if you haven't seen every single player?

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02-10-2006, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
If you have not seen Howie Morenz and Eddie Shore, that creates a problem now doesn't it? How could you possibly have an opinion of who the greatest player of all time is, if you haven't seen every single player?
That's my point you can't. You can only have a supported opinion based on your own experience. I know a lot about Morenz and Shore and my gut tells me they belong in the top 10. I believe Morenz was considered the best player in the first half of the 20th century and I know all about the legendary Eddie Shore and his 4 Hart trophies. I do commend you for making the attempt to rate players of different eras statistically but it is not possible to compare defenceman Shore of the 20's & 30's with forward Gretzy of the 80's & 90's with any degree of accuracy.

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02-10-2006, 11:14 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Instead I have had the pleasure of watching a tremendous amount of NHL hockey over the last three+ decades.

Bobby Orr is the best hockey player I have ever seen....And ever will see, I'm quite sure.

Mario Lemieux is second. Wayne Gretzky is third.


Exact same order as my list.

Of course, I'm a bit on the young side hockeywise, so most of my opinion is based on trusting the opinions of people I respect.

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02-10-2006, 11:23 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
That's my point you can't. You can only have a supported opinion based on your own experience. I know a lot about Morenz and Shore and my gut tells me they belong in the top 10. I believe Morenz was considered the best player in the first half of the 20th century and I know all about the legendary Eddie Shore and his 4 Hart trophies. I do commend you for making the attempt to rate players of different eras statistically but it is not possible to compare defenceman Shore of the 20's & 30's with forward Gretzy of the 80's & 90's with any degree of accuracy.
I use the eyewitnesses that actually watched Shore and Morenz play. The scoring statistics - WHEN ANALYZED CORRECTLY - are effective tools as well.

I think it is very possible to compare players across eras when the available evidence is analyzed correctly.

But, to each his own.

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02-10-2006, 11:30 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I use the eyewitnesses that actually watched Shore and Morenz play. The scoring statistics - WHEN ANALYZED CORRECTLY - are effective tools as well.

I think it is very possible to compare players across eras when the available evidence is analyzed correctly.

But, to each his own.
Again, I commend you for your effort but whatever rating methods you use are still subjective and it all comes down to opinion. I do respect your attempt to give old time players their due. That is refreshing as many posters on History of Hockey don't seem to look back any farther than gretzy's rookie year.

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02-11-2006, 12:49 AM
  #24
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I've gotta get in on this one. If we're going to compare these players at the peak of their careers would any of you honestly pick anyone else over the Gretzky of 1981-85? Sure some of you can take the "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" route but at the same time some of these numbers can't be ignored. In 84-85 he scored 255 points in the regular season and playoffs combined. He hit 500 goals at age 25! Guy Lafleur once said "the thing about Gretzky that makes him the best he'd ever seen was that he was very rarely up staged. If someone scored 2, Wayne would score 3."

My position is not to diminish the other superstars of the game. Orr revolutionized the way a defenseman played and showed how a rearguard could dominate offensivly. Two Art Ross and eight consecutive Norris are proof enough to put Orr in the argument for top spot. Howe is the original Power Forward who was ahead of his time. In '91 Mario could almost score at will. His 1st goal in the final against Minnesota is a microcosim of this.

I'm glad the point regarding "IF" was made. Who knows what Orr or Lemieux could have accomplished IF their careers weren't hampered by injury but they weren't. In fact it adds a degree of intrigue to their careers giving a discussion like this legs. Would Mario have scored more than 200 points in a season? Maybe. Gretz did it five times. Would Orr have scored 10 straight 100 point seasons instead of 6? Proabably. But he didn't. Gretz had 13 straight.

"This was absolutely crazy! At least with Bobby you'd see him wind up in his own end and you could try to set up some kind of defense to stop him. Gretzky comes out of nowhere. It's scary." - Bobby Clarke the night Gretzky scored 50 in 39.

"I think of him like Michael Jordan. No matter how many times I watched him play, he never did disappoint." - Bobby Orr

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02-11-2006, 01:11 AM
  #25
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I'd say Mikhailov, but then again I am partial. Not like anybody here can be called impartial...

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