Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

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Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pucks_and_Pols on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:26 pm

Here we go:

Wayne Gretzky was a great hockey player. His nickname, the Great One, while well earned, does not mean he is deserving of:
A) an entire floor of the hockey hall of fame being dedicated just to him
B) his #99 jersey to be retired across the league for all teams, even those he didn't play for

Gretzky is the best point collector in NHL history. He was a dynamic offensive player, on the best team in the league, at a time when scoring in the league was at an all time high. He stayed relatively healthy throughout his career, and his playmaking skills did not diminish with age, so he holds all the scoring records, and a bunch of cups with Edmonton. There is no doubt he is AMONG the greatest to ever play the game. But cases could certainly be made for Lemieux, Orr, Howe, Richard being just as good of players, if not better when taking all things into consideration.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Juice on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:45 pm

:pop:
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Juice on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:46 pm

also

Image

no hotlink, no hotlink, no hotlink...
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby canaan on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:48 pm

if you're gonna say "Player A isnt the greatest player ever" you need to say who is, not a list of maybes.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pavel Bure on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Nothing to see here. Mikey comes in with tangible proof, other person can't provide tangible proof that anyone else is the greatest. End of story.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Pavel Bure wrote:Nothing to see here. Mikey comes in with tangible proof, other person can't provide tangible proof that anyone else is the greatest. End of story.


Sigh...yeah...I was really expecting a better effort in the OP. It's just complaining about Gretzky being so much than everyone instead of just slightly better than everyone...I'm pretty disappointed.

The only thing I can do to make this remotely interesting for me is say that Beliveau > Richard for 5th best player of all time.

Everything else is just easily answered with a bare minimum answer.

So I'll just post mildly interesting things instead...

* 8 Hart Trophies
* 8 scoring titles (and tied for another his first season)
* 9 assist titles
* 5 goal scoring titles
* 4 Stanley Cups (and 5 Finals)
* At least three dozen NHL records (maybe more, maybe 50)
* 5 playoff scoring titles (including 2 Conn Smythes)
* 3 Canada Cup Scoring Titles in all 3 Canada Cups (plus an MVP)

...and then he turned 28 and went to the Kings and played for another 11 seasons!
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pucks_and_Pols on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:29 pm

sorry to bore you, but I'm not going to say gretzky wasnt good. that would be stupid. i am saying that the worship by the cult of the great one puts him on another plane of existence from every other player cause he collected the most points in the leagues highest scoring era. why can some scrub from the flames wear 66 but nobody can use the all holy 99? Marios ppg are right on pace with gretz.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Maybe he made the era high scoring?
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby KG on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:43 pm

The only thing you need to know about Gretzky is that he has more assists (1,963) then the next person (Messier) on the list has points (1,887)....think about that...SIC
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pucks_and_Pols on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:52 pm

Yes, Gretz has pretty much every points record. Mario would be very close tho if he had stayed healthy. They both played in the 80s and early 90s, the highest scoring era in league history. But Wayne had a better team for more years, and more importantly did not lose large chunks of his prime career to injuries. If Mario had been able played as many total games as Messier did, he would have eclipsed 3000 points. Gretzky was great, but not locked in as, with no debate, the greatest.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:56 pm

If Gordie Howe was playing in an expansion-filled, diluted era, he would have beat them all. Instead, Gordie had to play against the 5 best goalies in the world every night and going against the 5 best defensive pairings in the world every night and get checked by 5 best left wingers every night...he never got to score 12 goals in a game against the expansion Lightning or Senators...he never got to shoot on Allan Bester or Murray Bannerman (well, maybe him).

There's mild debate, but it's not a very convincing case. Just a lot of ifs. So far, the subject here hasn't been broached.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pavel Bure on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:13 pm

mikey287 wrote:If Gordie Howe was playing in an expansion-filled, diluted era, he would have beat them all. Instead, Gordie had to play against the 5 best goalies in the world every night and going against the 5 best defensive pairings in the world every night and get checked by 5 best left wingers every night...he never got to score 12 goals in a game against the expansion Lightning or Senators...he never got to shoot on Allan Bester or Murray Bannerman (well, maybe him).

There's mild debate, but it's not a very convincing case. Just a lot of ifs. So far, the subject here hasn't been broached.

I guess... although the European nations weren't tapped at all during his time soooooooo hard to say if the "best" moniker is true. I could be very wrong though just going off logical steps.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby DropEmJayBird on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:13 pm

Gretzky owned the beer league nhl of the late 70's / early 80's.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:19 pm

Pavel Bure wrote:
mikey287 wrote:If Gordie Howe was playing in an expansion-filled, diluted era, he would have beat them all. Instead, Gordie had to play against the 5 best goalies in the world every night and going against the 5 best defensive pairings in the world every night and get checked by 5 best left wingers every night...he never got to score 12 goals in a game against the expansion Lightning or Senators...he never got to shoot on Allan Bester or Murray Bannerman (well, maybe him).

There's mild debate, but it's not a very convincing case. Just a lot of ifs. So far, the subject here hasn't been broached.

I guess... although the European nations weren't tapped at all during his time soooooooo hard to say if the "best" moniker is true. I could be very wrong though just going off logical steps.


European nations weren't really producing all that great of talent until after the 60's...I recommend a quick bit of research on the most unknown great goaltender Seth Martin and the Trail Smoke Eaters. It might help to gauge the fledgling level of competition in the 1960's international game.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby DocEmrick on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:20 pm

trollcity

I will give you that the late 70s and early 80s was a different era...which is why you can't really compare Gretzky to modern players, or even the late 80s early 90s. I say who really cares, we are privileged to see players this good play at all, especially here in Pittsburgh.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:21 pm

To be fair, he's not trolling. In fact, you can say I trolled him into starting the thread. This was basically my doing, I'm a sucker for historical debate now a days...
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Pucks_and_Pols on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:23 pm

Gretzky had 1.91 points per game. Lemieux had 1.88 on lesser teams while playing through more injuries. How is that case closed?
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Beveridge on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:26 pm

I always felt that in any sport you can't compare greatness across the entire history but only across a generation.

We only know what a player did when they played. What he or she might have done or would have done in a past time or future time is pure speculation.

Gretzky was the best player of his era, just like Howe was of his era, and etc. Beyond that, I can't say for certain he would have lit it up before or after the time frame that he played.


If the premise of the argument is why should his jersey be retired for other NHL teams, I agree that it shouldn't. For the Oilers and Kings, yes, no doubt.

Stats across generations is like saying what cost a dollar in 1950 costs a dollar today. It doesn't. But it makes for one fun discussion.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby relantel on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:27 pm

why do we have to rehash this argument? Can't we be satisfied enough to have witnessed such greatness? Take the black and gold glasses off, and tell me that 99 wasn't the best and I scoff at the argument. Now if you were to throw older names in - Morenz, Malone, Nighbor, etc., at least it would be something to talk about and require thought.

As it were, longevity is not something so easily dismissed. At the top of the game for an extended period of time, are the names that litter the top of the all time scorers. Names that were up there for 20+ years. Was Messier in Gretzy's class? Probably not, but there he is at #2, and no less deserving of consideration of the best of his time.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:29 pm

Pucks_and_Pols wrote:Gretzky had 1.91 points per game. Lemieux had 1.88 on lesser teams while playing through more injuries. How is that case closed?


Points per game is nice and all, but Lemieux couldn't sustain it like Gretzky did. No one is blaming anyone, but one thing happened and the other didn't. No reason to punish Gretzky. In my opinion, Lemieux is 4th in that indisputable tier of greats (99, 4, 9, 66). Not to say Lemieux isn't great, far from it, but Gretzky did it better for 700 more games or thereabouts...

So this points-per-game seems to be the stat of choice. Gretzky's is marginally higher x ~1700 vs. Lemieux's marginally lower x ~1000. All things being equal, neither were winning a Selke any time soon, both dominant playoff players, neither were physical, Gretzky was probably the better leader (largely based off of the 1987 Canada Cup)...the career value can't point any other direction but Gretzky's. It's the easiest comparison to make (99 vs. 66) and it's the easiest win for Gretzky out of the 3 (Orr and Howe being the other two).
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby mikey287 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:32 pm

@relantel - I'll go there with older names. I love Frank Nighbor. No one can touch the "top 4" but I'll go down pre-memory lane for sure.

And I don't debate history for anything but the fun of it and the education of it. It's not that I don't appreciate what I have been so lucky to witness.

And I don't have Messier in my top 20 of all time, for the record. And I don't say that blindly either.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:38 pm

If I had to build my team around any player in History, I wouldn't give a single thought to anyone else.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby npv708 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:50 pm

mikey287 wrote:@relantel - I'll go there with older names. I love Frank Nighbor. No one can touch the "top 4" but I'll go down pre-memory lane for sure.

And I don't debate history for anything but the fun of it and the education of it. It's not that I don't appreciate what I have been so lucky to witness.

And I don't have Messier in my top 20 of all time, for the record. And I don't say that blindly either.


But what about Messier's leadership?

/Pierre
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby pcm on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:05 pm

I think Lemieux wins out for me when it comes to the case of: one game, winner takes all, who do you pick?

But being a professional is all about consistency, and nobody compares to the heights that Gretzky sustained for so long.
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Re: Gretzky isn't the greatest player ever

Postby Rylan on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:25 pm

Who cares? Anyone that talks in absolutes (Player A is the greatest of all time stuff) is going to be wrong. There is no way to compare players across generations or even in the same generation.

Examples of Lemieux, Gretzky, Howe, and Orr are all completely different players. Lemieux was a rare breed of size, grace, and offensive creativity that probably is unrivaled. Gretzky was a man of speed, talent, and offensive skills that have him head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of offensive production. Howe is a player that played in a generation where talent was not diluted by expansion teams and he was dominant in hockey's golden era. Orr is first and foremost a defenseman. That alone makes him his own conversation. But, his ability to go end to end has left an impact on the NHL with league always looking for the next "prototypical" defenseman that hasn't been seen much since Orr.
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