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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  17:38:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Holy K-rap!! where have I been?!!
I better jump back into the fray here.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  17:41:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

I look at this question this way. What if there were a draft of the best players in the history of the NHL in their prime (excluding goalies for whom there would be a separate draft). What if you had first pick in this draft. Who would you pick?

Personally, I would pick Orr ahead of Gretzky. Some of you might legitimately respond that if this is the question, it would make sense to build your team around defencemen. Maybe so, but actually Gretzky wouldn't be my first forward either. Messier would be. He was the best all-round forward I have ever seen. His physical presence combined with his leadership ability, particularly leading the Gretzky-less 1990 Oilers as well as the 1994 Rangers to the Cup, to me are what puts him above Gretzky.

Having said that, obviously Gretzky was a great, amazing, fabulous etc etc etc offensive player. To seriously suggest otherwise is kind of silly in my opinion. BUT for members of the "Gretzky Camp" to be so offended by someone even remotely suggesting that he wasn't the greatest player ever is, I think, even more silly (and a sad comment on society's obsessiveness with "being the best" as if being third or fourth best ever was not also a huge compliment).

One more point. If the question is, who was the most exciting player ever, Gretzky probably wouldn't make my top five. Lafleur, for example, was more exciting to me. Again this is not to say Gretzky wasn't very exciting at times. But maybe because of Danny Gallivan's announcing, or maybe because I was a rightfully nervous Bruins fan, Lafleur flying down the right side with the hair flowing was more exciting than anything Gretzky ever did.



Andyhack and I will be fast friends.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  18:05:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by guest 7011

[/quote]

I thought this was locked.

Nice stats. But it is unfair to use percentages in the points comparison between gretz and orr since prior to orr's era was lower scoring therefore any significant increase would result in a more favourable light to orr. It's like saying the first person to score a goal was infinitely better than all hockey players that will play the game because the % increase would be infinite.

If you look at absolute increases, Gretz wins 2 of the 3 categories listed. Being the greatest ever would mean in the history of the game past, present and future no one should come close to duplicating the statistical numbers. Considering coffey eclipsed or has come very close to orr's numbersr, suggests that orr's feat is amazing but just not the greatest ever.

Mario came close to gretz but not as regularly due to injuries in total output. Hull came darn close in goals. Maybe crosby someday come close to gretz's numbers on a consistent basis over 20 years. Only time will tell.

Just to show how gaudy gretz's stats are. If you were to play for 20 years without getting injured, to match the total output of gretz in points, you'd have to average 45 goals and 98 assists for 20 seasons to just match his overall number.

That's 143 points per year for 20 years. Is that insane or what? It is not what gretzky did in one year, 4 years or 10 years. It is what he did for 20 years.

Would greatest ever be defined as a player who's numbers could not be approached in a lifetime? Like Nicklaus and Tiger. Unfortunately they don't play a sport but rather a past time. That's another debate.

[/quote]

The scoring was higher when Orr came in due in large part to Orr being there. And it is fair to use the percentages because Gretz played in the high flying 80's, the highest scoring era ever.


What are you referring to here? The absolute increases, 2 out of 3?



Coffey came close and eclipsed one of Orr's records, but there is a rather large caveat. He was a terrible defenseman. Orr set those records while also being the best defenseman period.


Edited by - willus3 on 03/02/2007 18:19:56
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  18:13:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

One more point,

7011 says, "Being the greatest ever would mean in the history of the game past, present and future no one should come close to duplicating the statistical numbers"

I disagree with that as the measure. We can go beyond stats books in answering this question. We can look at the players strengths, weaknesses, overall play in both ends of the ice, etc., etc. etc. Stats cannot be totally ignored but to just use them as the measure is, in my opinion, insufficient analysis of the question.



I wholeheartedly agree with you here. But it's what the Gretzky camp alway refer to. As if that's all there is to hockey. Stats reveal only a portion of what's required to measure a hockey player's worth.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2007 :  18:17:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest8372

[quote]Originally posted by andyhack





OK. I'll bite. To answer your question about who to build a franchise around: It would depend.

If building my franchise for 3 or 4 years yeah, I'd probably take someone else other than gretz. Hooray for all those bright burning flames that die out quickly. Strange way to build a franchise, if the franchise is going to be good only for a couple of years.

Building a franchise, meaning it should last and be good for a long time. If I was going to build my franchise to be good for 20+ years, I'd take gretz over messier, howe, yzerman, coffey, borque....

You can count the number of players who registered 150+ points in a season on one hand. C'mon if someone produces 150 points for 10 years they'd be a shoo in to the hall of fame. To do it for 20 years, not in my lifetime I don't think.



I have never witnessed a franchise be great for 20 years. A 5 year stretch is pretty incredible.
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andyhack
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Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  13:44:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Willus3 - meant to thank you last time for the support. I hope we are not locked up and put in an insane asylum for questioning Gretzky's claim to the Greatest Ever.

I also looked at your list for the first time the other day and noticed the high ranking for Dennis Potvin. Putting aside whether he is above or below Gretzky, I think he is pretty high up there on the all-timers anyway. I loved Bourque, thought he was a terrific all-round defenceman, and am a HUGE Bruin fan (which is not an easy thing to be by the way), but Denis Potvin was an absolutely amazing defenceman and I'd put him ahead of Bourque on my list too.

Ahead of Gretzky? Thats a gutsy call Willus3!!!!!!! I may be with you but I get ridiculed, even by loved ones, for even mentioning the Messier/Orr over Gretzky thing, so to avoid having anyone throw any food at me, I'll stay away from the Potvin over Gretzky topic. But I know where you are coming from. Potvin may have been a bit of a jerk attitude-wise at times (apparently was at Canada Cup 76) but he was really awesome in all departments and probably not enough people realize just how awesome he was.
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ED11
Rookie



Canada
224 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  14:45:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a heck of a question, haha. I don't think the question should be asked in this simple way. As I read some of the respones I can't help to laugh. Then again some other answers bring up interesting points.

Like I said, I don't think this question should be asked in suck a simple way. But indeed it has been asked in a simple way. Well then, here is a simple answer...

Gretzky has almost 1000pts more then Messier.

Question answered.
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jbraiter
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577 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  14:57:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
rory fitzpatrick by far
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  15:43:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ed11,

No, that only answers the question,

"Who got a lot more points in his career, Gretzky or Messier?"

I'd be interested to hear the reasons you would choose Gretzky over Messier other than references to statistics. Just in terms of overall hockey skill.

Remember too, the question is not "who is the greatest offensive player ever?" but rather simply "who is the greatest player ever?". To me that means you have to look at overall play, offensively and defensively, in both ends of the ice.
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Guest7630
( )

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  15:45:52  Reply with Quote
wow, well I just read this all in one sitting and I have to say that I disagree with everyone.

If you want to talk about stats and just stats then there is one player that I have in mind who comes head and shoulders above "the Great One"

It seems like we have beans who is pro Gretzky and willus who is pro ORR and both of you want to say your player is the best.

At first I thought that beans was about my age (i was right, i am 29) and I thought that he did not know much about hockey because he keeps talking about how many post 1967 players have high points per game numbers and how many of them lead the league.

I thought willus was probaby pretty knowledgable, probably moreso than beans but i was wrong. There are lots of players who didn't have enough points to stay up there once the NHL went from 20 game seasons to 82 game seasons. Look up players like Cecil "Babe" Dye and Joe Malone if you want to see large totals, in fact "Phantom" Joe Malone still holds the record for most goals in one game (10 in case you are wondering).

The problem here is that most people are not even talking about anyone from before 1970, excluding Richard and Howe, but what about the greats from before them, like Howie Morenz?

If you are wondering where I get all my facts from its because I run a fantasy hockey league using players from 1891 to present and I have done a boatload of research into hockey from the 1890's to today. (www.naphl.com)

So who is the greatest player of all time? Gretzky averaged about 2 points a game, Orr averaged about a point and a half.

Simple answer, Russell Bowie averaged 2.97 points per game according to wikipedia, and if you did the research i did by combing newspaper articles with game sumamries you would see that he averaged about 4.92 points per game, and they didn't even record asssists back then!!!!!!

He played from 1896-1908, so only 12 years which puts him in between Orr and Gretz in terms of longevity.

In summary

Russell Bowie 4.92 points per game (although wiki only lists 2.97)
Gretzky 1.97 points per game
Orr 1.39 points per game


so Russell Bowie is the greatest hockey player of all time
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andyhack
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Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  15:53:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The reference to "skill" wasn't really what I meant in my last post - meant to say something like "Just overall as hockey players"
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ED11
Rookie



Canada
224 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2007 :  22:07:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

Ed11,

No, that only answers the question,

"Who got a lot more points in his career, Gretzky or Messier?"

I'd be interested to hear the reasons you would choose Gretzky over Messier other than references to statistics. Just in terms of overall hockey skill.

Remember too, the question is not "who is the greatest offensive player ever?" but rather simply "who is the greatest player ever?". To me that means you have to look at overall play, offensively and defensively, in both ends of the ice.




Ok Andy, here is my answer...

Gretzky in my eyes is the best or "greatest" hockey player ever because of one main thing that I think he has done better then anyone else. He SAW the ice better then anyone. That alone, in MY eyes mind you, is the most important thing that a hockey player can have. And just so you know, I am not talking out of my a@@ here. I have played hockey all my life and have gotten as far as junior "A" and University hockey in Canada. I have noticed that the players that excel in the game have great hockey sense. Gretzky could pass through a maze of sticks. He has on many occassions. He controlled the play better then anyone in my mind also. He made everyone around him better. Including Messier.

Ok, you know what? Here is my biggest thing. Why do people constantly doubt that Gretzky wasn't as good as people make him out to be??? What is there, other then that argument that Gretzky wasn't hit, which by the way is BS. In an interview Wendel Clark was asked if he thought that Gretzky wasn't hit enough, in which he responded, "haha, I tried hitting him. It wasn't easy. He never put himself in that position to get hit." So what is there that shows that Gretzky wasn't the best??? His stats sure prove it! His intelligence on the ice proves it! He was the best. Some people just didn't like him. Simple as that. Which is FINE by the way. But in my opinion he was and still is the best.

That interview that I was talking about was on "Off the record"
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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  00:42:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

Ed11,

No, that only answers the question,

"Who got a lot more points in his career, Gretzky or Messier?"

I'd be interested to hear the reasons you would choose Gretzky over Messier other than references to statistics. Just in terms of overall hockey skill.

Remember too, the question is not "who is the greatest offensive player ever?" but rather simply "who is the greatest player ever?". To me that means you have to look at overall play, offensively and defensively, in both ends of the ice.




Both ends of the ice? Perhaps the fact that Gretzy finished his career with a +/- of over 550, and Messier finished about +210.. I guess Gretzky was better at both ends of the rink.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  08:07:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ed11,

Good response. I was glad to hear one with little reference to stats. I agree that Gretzky saw the ice better than anyone.

My main point on this thread really, more than stating my personal opinion about wanting Messier/Orr on my team more than Gretzky, is to try to get across that this question is NOT a no-brainer question, in fact it is far from a no-brainer question. You said you played hockey at very high levels which is a great achievement. But I would hope that as someone with great insight into the game, you would therefore recognize the complexity of this question, particularly as it pertains to the defenceman vs forward issue (see my point on that in an earlier post).


You ask,

"Why do people constantly doubt that Gretzky wasn't as good as people make him out to be???"

Well, if people make him out to be "an absolutely unbelievable great player", I don't doubt that at all, putting him maybe at Number 3 on my list.

But if people make him out to be "obviously the greatest player ever" and say things like "don't even consider anyone other than him - look at his points, look at his plus-minus - forget everyone else", well, I doubt that, and in a big way.

Having said that, I do like your argument about his incredible ability to see the ice and control the play. But that primarily was in the offensive zone. Personally, if I am building a team, I would prefer, if available, an overall player who does everything everywhere.

Also, your argument about making everyone better I think applies to all great players. Yzerman made all the Wings better for instance. It's a very hard thing to measure. Who is to say that Gretzky made Messier better more than Messier made Gretzky better? As for the effect on the other Oilers of that period, I would say that It is very hard to argue against Messier given that he led, in every sense of the word too, the '90 Gretzky-less Oilers to the Cup. And the fact that he went on to lead, again in every sense of the word, the '94 Rangers to the Cup too, to me, answers the point about making other players better.

As for tctitans point about plus-minus, I won't argue stats cause it's pointless when it comes to Gretzky due to his amazing offensive performance. But if you are ultimately saying that Gretzky was a better defensive player, better in the defensive end of the ice, than Messier or Orr were, then of course, I'm ready to argue that. But you are not saying that of course. Rather, you are just reaching for stats again.
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ED11
Rookie



Canada
224 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  08:24:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice answer Andy. I just wish that everyone who argued your case argued it like you do and not just because they didn't like Gretzky because he supposedly never got hit.

Nicely put.
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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  09:54:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack
As for tctitans point about plus-minus, I won't argue stats cause it's pointless when it comes to Gretzky due to his amazing offensive performance. But if you are ultimately saying that Gretzky was a better defensive player, better in the defensive end of the ice, than Messier or Orr were, then of course, I'm ready to argue that. But you are not saying that of course. Rather, you are just reaching for stats again.



#1: Stats are necessary. They are facts. They did happen. They are not subjective. Accept facts in all arguments.

#2: Stats are facts, but interpreting them can be somewhat subjective, and this I acknowledge.

Do I think Gretzky was a better defensive player than Messier? Yes, I sure do. But that doesnt mean that I think either of them were excellent defensive players. Everyone is always talking about Gretzky's floating at center ice, going for the breakaway pass, etc.. And all i can say is that these people must have watched a lot of highlights and not much of the real games. Gretzky did end up on center ice alot, and often behind the opposing teams' D, but he was a master at this. He didnt just stand out there for his shift waiting, he knew exactly when to slide up the ice and when not too. I say Gretzky was a good player at both ends of the rink, not because of his ability to stop a 2-on-1 or a 1-on-1 or the likes.. but he *was* a good defender because of other skills. How many times did we see G steal the puck in his offensive zone before the opponent had time to do anything? how many times did we see his backchecking-stick-lifting-puck-stealing move at his defensive blue-line that started a counter-attack? And most importantly of all, how many times was he able to safely bewilder opponents and bring the puck safely out of his own zone once his team had possesion of the puck? These are all crucial defensive abilities that I think people need to take note of. He's not the typical back-checking, grinding, defensive forward, but that wasnt his role and he still played a heck of a defensive game regarless. Stats go both ways. If he wasnt so offensively gifted, and if the teams he played for didnt focus on an attacking style offense, his defensive numbers (stats) would be even better.

Edited by - tctitans on 03/14/2007 10:00:26
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  10:42:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tctitans,

I don't disagree that stats are part of what should be considered. I just don't think they are anywhere near the only part. If they were then as of the mid-70s I guess Phil Esposito maybe should have been considered one of three or four best players ever. No offence to Phil, an another amazing player, but I think even he would agree that he wouldn't have belonged in such a discussion, even then.

Now, I would agree that with regard to stats, Gretzky is a special case given the absolute enormity of his numbers. It's for this reason that I place him so high on my list regardless of my other points about overall play and, more importantly, my earlier point that a great defenseman may carry more meaning than a great forward. In other words, I agree that there is a point where Gretzky's incredible offensive contributions outweigh other factors. For this reason I'd probably take Gretzky ahead of the best defenceman I saw after Orr, which was Denis Potvin (didn't see Doug Harvey so can't comment).

But I prefer to get the conversation away from only stats. Actually, your argument just now about Gretzky and his contributions defensively in his own way was much more effective than your plus-minus comment before, don't you think. I still think Messier is the better player overall in both ends of the ice but we can agree to disagree on this point.

But let me ask you this. If we have my imaginary draft of greatest players of all time, and I pick Messier or Orr first ahead of Gretzky (the more I think about it Orr would be Number One by the way, due to my point about a great defenceman carrying more weight in measuring "greatness"), would you:

a) Laugh hysterically at the stupidity of anyone even considering a player other than Gretzky; or

b) Just be happy that the player you have labelled as the best in the draft is still available


If the answer is b), we have no argument.

By the way, I think maybe a strong argument against my Messier over Gretzky choice could be that Messier himself might very well choose Gretzky. I haven't quite figured out a way to argue against that yet (but I'm working on it!)
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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  11:11:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack
But let me ask you this. If we have my imaginary draft of greatest players of all time, and I pick Messier or Orr first ahead of Gretzky (the more I think about it Orr would be Number One by the way, due to my point about a great defenceman carrying more weight in measuring "greatness"), would you:

a) Laugh hysterically at the stupidity of anyone even considering a player other than Gretzky; or

b) Just be happy that the player you have labelled as the best in the draft is still available



There have been many Gretzky related discussions lately and I (unusually) keep finding myself responding to them in a pro-Gretzky manner. I don't even really like Gretzky much (impartial is more accurate). But I do respect his talent and abilities.

The only thread so far that I DO "Laugh hysterically at the stupidity of anyone even considering" is the thread that tries to prove Gretzky as a mediocre player. To me, that is completely laughable. While discussing G in that thread, I stated with the utmost sincerity, that the (paraphrased) "Greatest Player of all-time was a completely debatable topic, but Gretzky a mediocre player was sheer lunacy". I think that definately puts me into your category [b]. I do believe that 'the best ever' topic is a very debatable one, and one in which no clear winner is possible (too many variable, uncomparable factors such as era, styles of play, level of competition, teammates, coaches, ..., .., ...). However, I believe there is a set of players that make logical sense to be included in the debate with Howe, Orr, and Gretzky being de facto candidates.
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andyhack
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Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  12:13:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, tctitans, glad to hear that. I personally think the players to consider include a slightly longer list but I understand your reasoning for focussing on those three. I didn't see Howe in his prime and prefer not to comment on players I havent seen (a question does come to mind though - if Howe is on your list, why not Messier?)

Anyway, I agree, to suggest Gretzky was mediocre is laughable.

But it's comments on this thread such as the ones below to which I object (below is only a sampling too of this way of thinking):

"Who wouldn't vote for gretzky?"
"Gretzky..duh"
"apparently a few people voted Orr Lemiux and Howe *cough* no hockey knowledge"
"Gretzky... easy."
"Gretzky, hands down the greatest ever."
"Truth is, stats are stats and records are records. Gretzky is the greatest player ever"
"Gretzky bud, Why would you even make a poll like this everyone knows its Gretzky"


Now I know Willus3 makes sort of similar claims in Orr's favor. I can't speak for him but my guess is that part of that is just a defence mechanism to the above barrage from the pro-Gretzky camp, and another part may be just that he is kind of joking around. If I am wrong though, and he would seriously say, "Orr bud, Why would you even make a poll like this everyone knows its Orr" I would disagree with him too (by the way I know firsthand that some "Gretzky camp" guys are NOT just joking around with these type of comments and actually get really seriously ticked off at the suggestions that he is not the best ever).

So, if nothing else, my intended contribution here is to say that this "why is there even a poll about this" line, if said seriously, is nonsense.
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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  12:20:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

Okay, tctitans, glad to hear that. I personally think the players to consider include a slightly longer list but I understand your reasoning for focussing on those three.



Just to clarify, I said those 3 would be de facto candidates. I didnt say that the candidate list would be limited to only those candidates. I agree, there are other players that can, and should, certainly be considered, but I would think that everyone's list should at least have those 3 players on it.
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tctitans
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Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  12:24:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack
But it's comments on this thread such as the ones below to which I object (below is only a sampling too of this way of thinking):

"Who wouldn't vote for gretzky?"
"Gretzky..duh"
"apparently a few people voted Orr Lemiux and Howe *cough* no hockey knowledge"
"Gretzky... easy."
"Gretzky, hands down the greatest ever."
"Truth is, stats are stats and records are records. Gretzky is the greatest player ever"
"Gretzky bud, Why would you even make a poll like this everyone knows its Gretzky"




Sometimes those comments are made on a whim and out of emotion as well. I'm sure some of these people who made these statements would agree that the topic is at least open for debate when the answers are not reactionary.
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ED11
Rookie



Canada
224 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  12:44:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's an awesome argument you guys had. Good job to the both of you!
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  13:12:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I gotta get in on this latest round of posts.

You all know I think Gretzky is the greatest, however, through this forum I have developed a great deal of respect for other players. Does this change my opinion, No. But, I would not laugh hysterically at someone who picked Orr, Messier, or Howe as thier #1 picks. I would laugh hysterically at anyone who pick anyone else over Gretzky.

Ultimately, it would depend on the team you wanted to make on who would be picked first. I would recommend everyone to take a look at the G.O.A.T Draft Forum. It is a 20 round snake draft of any players from any era of the NHL. Some interesting teams.

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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  13:15:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15
...picked Orr, Messier, or Howe as thier #1 picks. I would laugh hysterically at anyone who pick anyone else over Gretzky.



Hey Beans,

I understand where you are coming from, but I don't quite agree with your statement above, There are lots of other 'potential' candidates for best ever that you shouldnt laugh at, especially once we thing outside the 'modern era of hockey'.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2007 :  11:45:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There may be players outside of the modern era who could crack the list. However, that would have to established on the team as well. Are you making a team for the modern era or the pre-modern era. The game has changed substantially between pre 67 until now. Certain players would be able to adjust while others wouldn't. Like a goalie. A goalie from the 20's would have a horrible time with the game today.


All hypothetically speaking.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  18:58:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest7630

wow, well I just read this all in one sitting and I have to say that I disagree with everyone.

If you want to talk about stats and just stats then there is one player that I have in mind who comes head and shoulders above "the Great One"

It seems like we have beans who is pro Gretzky and willus who is pro ORR and both of you want to say your player is the best.

At first I thought that beans was about my age (i was right, i am 29) and I thought that he did not know much about hockey because he keeps talking about how many post 1967 players have high points per game numbers and how many of them lead the league.

I thought willus was probaby pretty knowledgable, probably moreso than beans but i was wrong. There are lots of players who didn't have enough points to stay up there once the NHL went from 20 game seasons to 82 game seasons. Look up players like Cecil "Babe" Dye and Joe Malone if you want to see large totals, in fact "Phantom" Joe Malone still holds the record for most goals in one game (10 in case you are wondering).

The problem here is that most people are not even talking about anyone from before 1970, excluding Richard and Howe, but what about the greats from before them, like Howie Morenz?

If you are wondering where I get all my facts from its because I run a fantasy hockey league using players from 1891 to present and I have done a boatload of research into hockey from the 1890's to today. (www.naphl.com)

So who is the greatest player of all time? Gretzky averaged about 2 points a game, Orr averaged about a point and a half.

Simple answer, Russell Bowie averaged 2.97 points per game according to wikipedia, and if you did the research i did by combing newspaper articles with game sumamries you would see that he averaged about 4.92 points per game, and they didn't even record asssists back then!!!!!!

He played from 1896-1908, so only 12 years which puts him in between Orr and Gretz in terms of longevity.

In summary

Russell Bowie 4.92 points per game (although wiki only lists 2.97)
Gretzky 1.97 points per game
Orr 1.39 points per game


so Russell Bowie is the greatest hockey player of all time



Wow, nice shameless plug for your site there.
Clearly all your extensive research hasn't helped you understand hockey.
PPG defines the greatest player ever? Really? I don't think I need to say anything more.
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Guest2581
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Posted - 03/19/2007 :  14:02:17  Reply with Quote
All right, me and a friend of mine have been having the same exact argument on who is the best player of all time? I say orr, he says gretzky.
Say you could pick any players for your "dream team", what would it be? im just curious. Mine is
Center - Jean Beliveau
Right wing - Gordie howe
Left Wing - John Bucyk
Defense - Bobby Orr
Defense - Doug Harvey

I'll be waiting for your replies. Thanks
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  17:33:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest2581

All right, me and a friend of mine have been having the same exact argument on who is the best player of all time? I say orr, he says gretzky.
Say you could pick any players for your "dream team", what would it be? im just curious. Mine is
Center - Jean Beliveau
Right wing - Gordie howe
Left Wing - John Bucyk
Defense - Bobby Orr
Defense - Doug Harvey

I'll be waiting for your replies. Thanks


It's my opinion that you win the argument between yourself and your friend.
Also there is another thread that just started with peoples picks for a dream team. I think it was in Hockey History.
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admin
Forum Admin



Canada
2170 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  18:24:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest2581

All right, me and a friend of mine have been having the same exact argument on who is the best player of all time? I say orr, he says gretzky.
Say you could pick any players for your "dream team", what would it be? im just curious. Mine is
Center - Jean Beliveau
Right wing - Gordie howe
Left Wing - John Bucyk
Defense - Bobby Orr
Defense - Doug Harvey

I'll be waiting for your replies. Thanks


Hi Guest 2581. Love to have that debate but I will ask you to create your own forum topic as the "dream team" is unrealted to the topic at hand. Thanks for the great idea and I'm looking froward to seeing the new topic! Cheers!
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  20:32:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ED11

quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

Ed11,

No, that only answers the question,

"Who got a lot more points in his career, Gretzky or Messier?"

I'd be interested to hear the reasons you would choose Gretzky over Messier other than references to statistics. Just in terms of overall hockey skill.

Remember too, the question is not "who is the greatest offensive player ever?" but rather simply "who is the greatest player ever?". To me that means you have to look at overall play, offensively and defensively, in both ends of the ice.




Ok Andy, here is my answer...

Gretzky in my eyes is the best or "greatest" hockey player ever because of one main thing that I think he has done better then anyone else. He SAW the ice better then anyone. That alone, in MY eyes mind you, is the most important thing that a hockey player can have. And just so you know, I am not talking out of my a@@ here. I have played hockey all my life and have gotten as far as junior "A" and University hockey in Canada. I have noticed that the players that excel in the game have great hockey sense. Gretzky could pass through a maze of sticks. He has on many occassions. He controlled the play better then anyone in my mind also. He made everyone around him better. Including Messier.

Ok, you know what? Here is my biggest thing. Why do people constantly doubt that Gretzky wasn't as good as people make him out to be??? What is there, other then that argument that Gretzky wasn't hit, which by the way is BS. In an interview Wendel Clark was asked if he thought that Gretzky wasn't hit enough, in which he responded, "haha, I tried hitting him. It wasn't easy. He never put himself in that position to get hit." So what is there that shows that Gretzky wasn't the best??? His stats sure prove it! His intelligence on the ice proves it! He was the best. Some people just didn't like him. Simple as that. Which is FINE by the way. But in my opinion he was and still is the best.

That interview that I was talking about was on "Off the record"


You asked what is there that shows Gretzky isn't the best. My answer is this this, could he do what Orr could do?
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  20:44:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by andyhack

Okay, tctitans, glad to hear that. I personally think the players to consider include a slightly longer list but I understand your reasoning for focussing on those three. I didn't see Howe in his prime and prefer not to comment on players I havent seen (a question does come to mind though - if Howe is on your list, why not Messier?)

Anyway, I agree, to suggest Gretzky was mediocre is laughable.

But it's comments on this thread such as the ones below to which I object (below is only a sampling too of this way of thinking):

"Who wouldn't vote for gretzky?"
"Gretzky..duh"
"apparently a few people voted Orr Lemiux and Howe *cough* no hockey knowledge"
"Gretzky... easy."
"Gretzky, hands down the greatest ever."
"Truth is, stats are stats and records are records. Gretzky is the greatest player ever"
"Gretzky bud, Why would you even make a poll like this everyone knows its Gretzky"


Now I know Willus3 makes sort of similar claims in Orr's favor. I can't speak for him but my guess is that part of that is just a defence mechanism to the above barrage from the pro-Gretzky camp, and another part may be just that he is kind of joking around. If I am wrong though, and he would seriously say, "Orr bud, Why would you even make a poll like this everyone knows its Orr" I would disagree with him too (by the way I know firsthand that some "Gretzky camp" guys are NOT just joking around with these type of comments and actually get really seriously ticked off at the suggestions that he is not the best ever).

So, if nothing else, my intended contribution here is to say that this "why is there even a poll about this" line, if said seriously, is nonsense.


I understand it's debatable who the best is. But there is almost always a clear winner in a debate. There is no question in my mind that Orr is better than Gretzky. Most that saw both players understand this. I am not a Gretzky hater either. In fact it's because I'm impartial in my view of him that I am able to point out why he isn't the best. Those who get all squirrilly when anything downplaying Gretzky's game are mentioned are clearly partial and not able to view him objectively. If I could find a weakness in Orr's game I would most assuredly point it out.
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tctitans
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
931 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  23:46:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by willus3
I understand it's debatable who the best is. But there is almost always a clear winner in a debate. There is no question in my mind that Orr is better than Gretzky. Most that saw both players understand this. I am not a Gretzky hater either. In fact it's because I'm impartial in my view of him that I am able to point out why he isn't the best. Those who get all squirrilly when anything downplaying Gretzky's game are mentioned are clearly partial and not able to view him objectively. If I could find a weakness in Orr's game I would most assuredly point it out.



I have a problem with your comments.

There is not always a clear winner in a debate, and to think otherwise is simply ignorant. Your answer is, as you said, in your mind and your opinion. That's it. This is a very subjective discussion and although some people might be convinced to change their minds based on the evidence and discussion, there simply is *no* correct or incorrect opinion - it is all subjective.

I believe that is very very hard to compare all the players we debate about, especially the ones that didnt really play in the same era, so we all have to make a personal choice who we 'think was the best'. But, in the end, it is CERTAINLY debatable.
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1 Crosby fan
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1454 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  00:24:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by I HATE CROSBY

[quote]Originally posted by djthatsme


K noone is better then wayne! Mario lemiux is just a big baby! Bobby orr is good tho but he didnt do wat wayne grexesty did!

David
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
my new hero

I HATE CROSBY

I see IHC hates a couple of good pens eh and just imagne this what if Orr and Lemuiex played games and never got injured see the stats would be different always keep that in mind and Gretz no doubt he was good but i think Orr was better becuz he was a defenceman and what if he played forward eh what would be the stats and hey what if Gretz got cancer remember he didn't have to go through what Orr and Lemuiex and
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  06:32:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tctitans

quote:
Originally posted by willus3
I understand it's debatable who the best is. But there is almost always a clear winner in a debate. There is no question in my mind that Orr is better than Gretzky. Most that saw both players understand this. I am not a Gretzky hater either. In fact it's because I'm impartial in my view of him that I am able to point out why he isn't the best. Those who get all squirrilly when anything downplaying Gretzky's game are mentioned are clearly partial and not able to view him objectively. If I could find a weakness in Orr's game I would most assuredly point it out.



I have a problem with your comments.

There is not always a clear winner in a debate, and to think otherwise is simply ignorant. Your answer is, as you said, in your mind and your opinion. That's it. This is a very subjective discussion and although some people might be convinced to change their minds based on the evidence and discussion, there simply is *no* correct or incorrect opinion - it is all subjective.

I believe that is very very hard to compare all the players we debate about, especially the ones that didnt really play in the same era, so we all have to make a personal choice who we 'think was the best'. But, in the end, it is CERTAINLY debatable.


It is debatable, but you could also debate that black is white or the world is flat.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  10:57:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Willus, you made a comment early that asked if Gretzky could do what Orr did. Well no, he couldn't. He wasn't a defenseman he who career and coached to be a defenseman. Gretzky also couldn't skate any where near Orr.

So, although I really dislike hypothetical questions, I would like to pose one to you.

Could Orr have done what he did, or Gretzky did, with Gretzky's skating abilities??


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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2007 :  12:03:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

Willus, you made a comment early that asked if Gretzky could do what Orr did. Well no, he couldn't. He wasn't a defenseman he who career and coached to be a defenseman. Gretzky also couldn't skate any where near Orr.

So, although I really dislike hypothetical questions, I would like to pose one to you.

Could Orr have done what he did, or Gretzky did, with Gretzky's skating abilities??





I think I understand where you're going with that but at the same time, that's one of the things that makes Orr so great,.his tremendous skating ability. So you can't use the fact that Gretzky didn't have some natural physical abilities against Orr. He was blessed with more physical ability than Gretzky. And i cannot honestly say that Gretzky was a better playmaker. It's hard to compare that as they played different positions but I watched Orr make incredible plays every game the same way Gretzky did.
So now imagine this; what if Gretzky could skate like Orr? It's hard to say what effect it would have had on his play but it couldn't have been a detriment.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  05:45:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In support of Willus3 - Nothing wrong with strong opinions. I too definitely feel that Orr was better.

In Support of Taitans - As "definite" as I feel about the above, I acknowledge that it is an opinion and wouldn't call one crazy for disagreeing with it (and, by the way, would welcome any arguments about the world being flat too - I mean, when I go to Japan the plane doesn't turn upside down).

BUT, back to in support of Willus3, I think his point about the value of having actually seen both players has some merit. Old footage is certainly useful but I don't think is a substitute for actually having seen the player. For this reason, I hesitate to comment on guys like Howe, Harvey, etc. I did see Orr when I was a youngster (before I was a Bruin fan by the way), but not as much and as closely as Willus3 I am sure.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  05:56:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
sorry, was referring to tctitans there
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8174 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  07:31:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My point to my question Willus was that partially why Orr was so great was his skating abilities. It helped him a lot. Gretzky, as most of us have agreed, achieved his feats without any outstanding physical abilities. I think many people miss that point when they consider how good of a player he was. If you take Orr's amazing skating abilities away, he loses a whole dimension to his game.

Can you name another player, considered an all time great, that didn't have some kind of recognizable physical talent??
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  08:14:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans I understand what you're getting at but the whole point of a sport is to combine the best of physical abilities with a strong mental ability. To illustrate my point lets take the greatest pugilist of all time for an example. Muhammad Ali was as great as he was because he had incredible physical abilities (speed, strength and mobility) combined with a great mind that he used to adapt and find ways to beat opponents. Take away his mind and becomes Foreman perhaps. Take away his physical abilities and he doesn't win another fight.
The greatest athletes have both.
And lets be honest too. It isn't like Gretzky was physically inept. He wasn't a great skater and he wasn't very strong so he didn't have a hard shot, but clearly he was still an excellent athlete. Before he chose hockey he wanted to play pro baseball and was apparently quite good at it as he had scouts looking at him. So he clearly was physically talented, just not to the level Orr was.
This is why I have a hard time with that argument of "look what he did without the physical talents". As I said earlier the whole point of an athlete is to be physically talented.
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