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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  09:16:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Willus, I do not disagree that Gretzky was an athlete, but you said it yourself, he was not a strong skater and did not have a hard shot. That is my entire point, and you did not answer my question. Name another all time great that did not have at least one physical attribute that was well above average??


And to bring up Ali is interest, and I don't think he held a candle pound for pound with Sugar Ray. Another arguement that would be filled with hypotheticals and what ifs.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  10:03:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris Evert. If you can, get a hold of the Sports Illustrated 1976 Sportswoman of the Year article where they rate the top ten forehands, backhands, etc. in women's tennis at the time. Near or close to the top were Navritilova and other more talented players. As I recall, the then Number 1 ranked Chris Evert was not even in the top three in any category.

I know we are getting off hockey, and I'm not sure whose point, if anyones, this supports, but thought it was an interesting answer to Bean's question.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  10:49:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andyhack, It's really not because Chris Evert never played hockey. I know there are players in most sports that are like Gretzky in the fact they are good all-around athletes, but did not have any above average physical gifts.

My question is regarding hockey players. Can anyone name another player regarded as one of the best ever who did not have at least one specific physical gift???
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  11:26:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry - for some reason I thought your question was referring to athletes from any sport. You never know though, she may have played some hockey in her spare time.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  11:30:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe Bourque? At least as Willus3 says, he didn't have one "WOW THE FAN" physical talent.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  11:33:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

Andyhack, It's really not because Chris Evert never played hockey. I know there are players in most sports that are like Gretzky in the fact they are good all-around athletes, but did not have any above average physical gifts.

My question is regarding hockey players. Can anyone name another player regarded as one of the best ever who did not have at least one specific physical gift???


Earlier you just said athlete so I think that's why Andyhack said Chris Evert. In the sport of tennis I was also going to add John McEnroe. It was his passion that helped him win.
In the hockey world, Stan Makita comes to mind.
And regarding My boxing comments you are correct I should have siad greatest heavyweight. That said, I'd still take Ali as the best. Not taking anything away from Robinson. He was phenomenal. As was Rocky Marciano. The debate between those three is tantamount to hockey's Howe/Orr/Gretzky debate.

Edited by - willus3 on 03/23/2007 11:33:56
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  11:59:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I should have clarified hockey player.

Stan Makita. Ok. I can't agree or disagree as I never seen him play in footage or live.

I guess I am thinking about the top 10 players of all time. Gretzky is in that list. Who else is there that didn't have a physical skill or trait that was above average? Who was not either strong, fast, gifted hand, hard shot, etc?

And you are right about the boxing. Heavyweight, Ali maybe. I was considering Sugar Ray Leonard. Not a heavyweight, but pound for pound, I think better than anyone else. But you are also right, that is just another Howe/Orr/Gretzky debate.

The best thing about this is no one is right, and no one is wrong. It's still a blast debating this with people who have objective opinions who also respect other's opinion.

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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  12:14:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

I should have clarified hockey player.

Stan Makita. Ok. I can't agree or disagree as I never seen him play in footage or live.

I guess I am thinking about the top 10 players of all time. Gretzky is in that list. Who else is there that didn't have a physical skill or trait that was above average? Who was not either strong, fast, gifted hand, hard shot, etc?

And you are right about the boxing. Heavyweight, Ali maybe. I was considering Sugar Ray Leonard. Not a heavyweight, but pound for pound, I think better than anyone else. But you are also right, that is just another Howe/Orr/Gretzky debate.

The best thing about this is no one is right, and no one is wrong. It's still a blast debating this with people who have objective opinions who also respect other's opinion.



Agreed, it is entertaining. I think all of us enjoy a little arguing. LOL

I wouldn't say Gretzky didn't have some excellent physical abilities. He had a few. His hand eye coordination was as good as anyone's and his stick handling and agility/maneuverability were as well. Like i said, he wasn't a plug.
I was going to ask which Sugar Ray you were referring, i just assumed you meant Robinson as Ali himself says he is the best ever. Leonard was most definitely one of, if not the fastest i've ever seen but i wouldn't put him in the same category as the other three we mentioned.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  12:35:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really off topic, but Leonard had power that no one ever seen in his weight class before as well.

And I am bias towards him too. The fight that made me a boxing fan was Leonard vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler. You know who won that fight, hence, Sugar Ray will always be the man in my eyes.

And, taking all the crap away from Iron Mike, he was absolutely devistating as the World Champ. At what, 19 years old?? I think he would have been the best ever if he didn't have such a messed up head.

Look at me being all hypothetical!!
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  13:03:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess you guys never saw Chris Evert box!

Anyway, I admire the less-talented athletes or teams which succeed due to hard work or just being mentally tough (the article on Evert referred to "true grit"). Although I understand Bean's point about Gretzky's skating, I think it is a bit of a stretch to lower his skill level to the category of the real "true grit" guys out there - guys who really, truly had to work their ass off to make up for their relative lack of pure (non-work) talent. Terry O'Reilly comes to mind as one example. Maybe compared to Lemieux, Gretzky had less natural talent (most players did), but let's not confuse Gretzky with the real "true grit" guys out there.
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  13:21:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, forgot which thread I was in - well, same comment goes for comparing Gretzky to Orr talent-wise. Sure, Orr had more but that doesn't put Gretzky in the "true-grit" class to me. I know, Beans, you are not saying this, you are only talking about the top ten, etc. I'm just using this opportunity to get across the point (for the youngsters out there) that there really are lesser-talented guys who really should be admired (and Gretzky is not a good example of one).
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  13:27:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andyhack, I am talking about physical talents. There are many players out there with amazing phyical gifts that don't have the talent. MA Bergeron comes to mind for me. He is blazingly fast and has a huge shot, but just no hockey sense. He is missing that talent factor to make him a really good player.

And I wouldn't put Gretzky in a gritty player catagory. You understand my point that he wasn't fast(Orr/Coffey/Savard), didn't have a hard shot(Bourque/Orr), wasn't strong(Howe/Messier), and wasn't big(Lemiuex). All of these players had amazing hockey talents AND a physical gift or two. Gretzky just had the talent.

And you are right that there are guys out there than should be admired. Being an Oiler Fan, Kelly Buchburfer comes to mind. No physical gifts or talent, but the heart of a lion. I admire that. I'm sure there are tons of other players out there that fit that bill.
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OILINONTARIO
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
807 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  13:51:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

Top 5(in order)

Gretzky
Orr
Lemiuex
Howe
Messier

I would say that most people who know hockey would have those 5 guys at the top 5, although the order may be argued.



Much like the order of the letters in Mario's last name?
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Guest1603
( )

Posted - 05/05/2007 :  01:41:07  Reply with Quote
Everyone knows that Peter Forsberg is the most complete and dominating hockey player that has ever lived FINAL!
(if he would been a canadian you would have thought so too).
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Leafsfan_94
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1070 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2007 :  17:44:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Defenetley Wayne Gretzky
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Guest4159
( )

Posted - 11/19/2007 :  19:07:30  Reply with Quote
Robert Gordon Orr had the best +- ever. He was the best defenseman, forward, goalie and enforcer in the league and won the scoring title. The others may hold his jock strap if he allows.





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Antroman
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
537 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2007 :  21:47:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think basing your answer to this post entirely on stats is really not indicative to who was actually the greatest. I think the generation in which these guys played is a very important factor because the NHL is forever changing. Of course, another problem we have in determining greatness is that we all have not seen all the candidates play because of our age differences etc. For instance, I have never seen Howie Morenz, Ace Bailey or Max Bentley play for instance but I know the hockey played in the early era was much different than what is played today and today's hockey right now in the "New NHL" is different than the hockey played in the Gretzky era. If you go strictly by stats it is a no brainer, it's Gretzky hands down. Because I am somewhat of an old fart I have been watching the game since the mid fifties and have lived through and seen a good part of the careers of some of the players you guys have mentioned like Howe, Richard and Beliveau. My favourite player that I have ever seen is Bobby Orr. He came into the league the last year of the old six teams and completely revolutionized the way the game was played. I don't think anyone knew what to think of him at the time but was he ever something. Allot of people didn't like him at first just because of the radical changes he brought into the game. Bobby Orr almost singlehandedly brought in the new era of the NHL which we enjoy today and that is no exaggeration!!!! For me, the greatest is Gretz but my fav will always be Bobby......Antroman......
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andyhack
PickupHockey Pro



Japan
891 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  06:23:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I turned GREATEST PLAYER EVER, GREATEST PLAYER EVER. And no, I am not 9999 years old!

Ahhh, the topic that won't die. I think that many of the conversations we have had since this poll was being hotly contested in the early part of the year indicate that a lot depends on exactly how the question is defined. For instance, under a certain definition, it would seem that even Flyguy, a HUGE Gretzky guy (is it safe to call him CHIEF ENFORCER of the Gretzky Camp) might opt away from Gretzky.

Anyway, Gretzky camp members, Orr camp members, Hal Gill camp members , have a good day!
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Guest8372
( )

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  06:50:45  Reply with Quote
I thought this horse was buried already. Each of us knows who is the greatest hockey player ever, just too bad we can't agree with each other.
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Guest6841
( )

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  08:32:48  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest5122

I apoligize and agree that Gretzky was not done after his 13th year but he certainly did not dominate the game much after that (he only finished in the top 10 point getters 3 times in his last 8 years and did not make the top 10 in goal scoring in any of his last 11 seasons). Gretzky's statistics are a refelction of the over inflated number of goals scored during the 1980's. Howe's 49 goals were more dominate because the next closest player had only 32 goals and there were only 8 other guys who scored more than 19. On the other hand when Gretzky got 92 there were guys who got 64 and 60 goals and lots with 50 and 40 plus goal seasons. The only way compare players of different eras is to compare how proportinately dominate they were over players of their own era. Take a look at the statistics and Howe's dominance over an extended career clearly make him the greatest ever.



Yes but 92 is a far bigger number than 49 and when Gretzky scored 92 goals in a season, and the others scored 40-60, that is dominance only because he played against better players in his era, compare it to Howe
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Guest4912
( )

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  10:08:50  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lyall

And no Yzerman or Sakic?



Yzerman and Sakic are great players, no question on that. But realistically, Gretzky put up the most astonishing numbers in history. Frankly, those two cant compare to the hockey level that Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, and Howe were playing at.
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Guest4912
( )

Posted - 11/20/2007 :  10:10:03  Reply with Quote
It is tough to determine who the greatest player of all time is, we can merely compare players of their respective eras. Gordie Howe was the greatest player of his day, Bobby Orr was the greatest of his day, Wayne Gretzky surpassed him, and Mario Lemieux surpassed him.

However, with almost 3000 career points, 4 200 point seasons, 163 assists in one year, almost 900 goals and almost 2000 assists, it is tough to say anyone could be better.
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Guest4739
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  08:53:02  Reply with Quote
How would Orr have handled the trap?
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  08:56:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4739

How would Orr have handled the trap?


Pavel Bure didn't seem to have too much trouble navigating his way to the net during the height of the trap crap.

"I'm a man of principle... or not. Whatever the situation calls for." - Alan Shore
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Guest8708
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  09:14:10  Reply with Quote
Bure, are u on something?
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Guest4739
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  09:19:54  Reply with Quote
Did I say Orr, or B-Orr-e?

Obviously there are a different set of circumstances for a defenseman trying to go redline to redline in the trap era, especially when there is the likelihood of coughing up the puck in the neutral zone. For a forward, the loss of the puck here is bad enough - for a D-man, leaving his partner all alone after being stripped between the blue lines, it's not a pretty picture (see: Bryan McCabe)

It just kind of makes one wonder about how Bobby would've adapted to the trap game.
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Guest4739
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  10:18:08  Reply with Quote
And my two cents on a number 1 draft pick (Gretzky, Messier, or Orr...)

If you have any business sense whatsoever, you pick Gretzky. As a GM, you know your owner demands you acquire this kid who has been the focus of every hockey story in every medium from Toronto to New York to Moscow. Here's a player that has dominated at the minor league level, captured the imagination of all fans (lovers and haters), and been a household name since the age of 7.

You want to sell jerseys, tickets, and luxury suites. You want to build a new arena, have your team name publicized around the globe, and surround your club with incomparable buzz. You want to attract free agents at a discount, guys who know their careers and stats can be revived, if only they could play with "him."

So, is that guy Messier? Well, a great player and leader who may lead you to a Cup may seem rather enticing, as would the infectious grin and the gossip-worthy social life (in his prime.) But I doubt in a league or draft which included Gretzky he would get so much exposure or billing as to create the raw business which #99 would. And Orr? Slick skating and soft-spoken guy, another great leader who could play an exciting game or lead your team to an eventual Cup. But again, a guy who could outsell Wayne? Um, nope.

I'm certain everyone will say, nothing matters but a Stanley Cup, and that GMs would see beyond the pure marketing and dollars. *Cough* Now back to reality.

Gretzky goes number 1 every time.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  11:44:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest8708

Bure, are u on something?


Perhaps...

"I'm a man of principle... or not. Whatever the situation calls for." - Alan Shore
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:08:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't forget, hindsight is 20/20.

Guest 4739, is that the reason that Gretzky was not drafted in the NHL?? Yes, undrafted. He got into the league by playing in the WHA with Indianapolis, then got traded to the Oilers. Then, the Oilers became an NHL team.

Besides that a guy like Orr, if playing at the same time as Gretzky, would sell as many jerseys, put as many butts in the seats, and make as much money for the owner as Gretzky would. Orr played in a world before NHL was marketed like it was in the 80's and 90's. To say that Gretzky would completely out sell Orr is a bit of a stretch.

If Orr was a slick skating, soft spoken leader who could play great hockey and win Cups, isn't Gretzky the exact same player who couldn't skate as well??

The way I see it, if a player came along today with Orr's skills, with the way the NHL markets players today, the next generation would be saying Bobby and Wayne who?? Same with Gretzky. The NHL over markets player today.

Wayne or Bobby?? How about both!!!
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Guest9274
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:13:33  Reply with Quote
Gretzky put up most of his big numbers while playing on a whole team of Hall of Famers, while Lemieux put up his numbers largely on his own. Lemieux still managed to put up similar numbers when you look at the average points per game. If he had better teammates, his assists would have been way up and his ppg would have blown Gretzkys away. Lemieux had a career filled with back problems, hodjkins and other ailments, yet time after time, he would miss over a month and then come back and put up 3 or 4 points in his first game back. In my mind, he was the most skilled player ever.
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:17:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4739

Did I say Orr, or B-Orr-e?

Obviously there are a different set of circumstances for a defenseman trying to go redline to redline in the trap era, especially when there is the likelihood of coughing up the puck in the neutral zone. For a forward, the loss of the puck here is bad enough - for a D-man, leaving his partner all alone after being stripped between the blue lines, it's not a pretty picture (see: Bryan McCabe)

It just kind of makes one wonder about how Bobby would've adapted to the trap game.


Orr would often strip the puck from players on the attack and head the other way. His explosive speed would allow him to do what we saw Bure do in the 90's.
By the way the trap wasn't invented in the 90's and Orr did play against teams who employed it. His speed and vision allowed him the space to pull off the amazing end to end rushes.

"I'm a man of principle... or not. Whatever the situation calls for." - Alan Shore

Edited by - willus3 on 11/21/2007 12:20:22
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Guest2918
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Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:22:00  Reply with Quote
Hey Beans, Gretzky has never by anyone who matters been called a poor skater. he has not being credited as being one of the greastest skaters the league has ever seen, like Orr has. There is a big difference. Ask one defender how they liked being caught behind Gretzky once he positioned himself to breakout on a goaltender. He's not Orr but he wasn't a poor skater either. As for the draft does anyone know why Gretzky went undrafted?
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Guest2918
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:25:10  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9274

Gretzky put up most of his big numbers while playing on a whole team of Hall of Famers, while Lemieux put up his numbers largely on his own. Lemieux still managed to put up similar numbers when you look at the average points per game. If he had better teammates, his assists would have been way up and his ppg would have blown Gretzkys away. Lemieux had a career filled with back problems, hodjkins and other ailments, yet time after time, he would miss over a month and then come back and put up 3 or 4 points in his first game back. In my mind, he was the most skilled player ever.



Playing with Ron Francis and Jagr didnt help?
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willus3
Moderator



Canada
1948 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  12:31:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4739

And my two cents on a number 1 draft pick (Gretzky, Messier, or Orr...)

If you have any business sense whatsoever, you pick Gretzky. As a GM, you know your owner demands you acquire this kid who has been the focus of every hockey story in every medium from Toronto to New York to Moscow. Here's a player that has dominated at the minor league level, captured the imagination of all fans (lovers and haters), and been a household name since the age of 7.

You want to sell jerseys, tickets, and luxury suites. You want to build a new arena, have your team name publicized around the globe, and surround your club with incomparable buzz. You want to attract free agents at a discount, guys who know their careers and stats can be revived, if only they could play with "him."

So, is that guy Messier? Well, a great player and leader who may lead you to a Cup may seem rather enticing, as would the infectious grin and the gossip-worthy social life (in his prime.) But I doubt in a league or draft which included Gretzky he would get so much exposure or billing as to create the raw business which #99 would. And Orr? Slick skating and soft-spoken guy, another great leader who could play an exciting game or lead your team to an eventual Cup. But again, a guy who could outsell Wayne? Um, nope.

I'm certain everyone will say, nothing matters but a Stanley Cup, and that GMs would see beyond the pure marketing and dollars. *Cough* Now back to reality.

Gretzky goes number 1 every time.


Perhaps you should do a little research and find out just how much impact Orr had on the game. There was nowhere near the media coverage there is today and yet the popularity of Hockey in the entire North Eastern region of the States, (where the majority of American hockey players come from) is in large part due to Orr.
Today I would wager more people would prefer to watch Orr than Gretzky. Orr was an exciting player in so many ways. He could do everything. That's who you build a team around.


"I'm a man of principle... or not. Whatever the situation calls for." - Alan Shore
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Guest2918
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Posted - 11/21/2007 :  13:05:41  Reply with Quote
Does anyone wonder about whether Yserman would be getting the praise Gretzky has gotten if he started playing in the league in 1979-1980. Here is a player who in his prime rivalled Gretzky's stats. Played in the trap are. Totally bought in to team defense first. Is considered to be one of the best 2-way players the game haas ever seen. Captained his team for 20 years to 3 stanley cup's.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8152 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  13:06:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I never said Gretzky was a poor skater. I said he couldn't skate as well as Orr.

However, Gretzky wasn't the strongest skater out there. He did enough to get him by, but he rarely beat a guy with speed or manouvering. He beat them by being in the right place at the right time.

And Willus, I can't see how you say that more people prefer to watch Orr over Gretzky. That's an opinion I can't outright agree with.

Wayne or Bobby?? How about both!!!
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Guest9274
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  13:12:49  Reply with Quote
Of course palying with Jagr and Francis help, but Lemieux put up his best numbers before those 2 arrived, he already had seasons of 70 and 84 goals.
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Guest2918
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  13:22:14  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Beans15

I never said Gretzky was a poor skater. I said he couldn't skate as well as Orr.

However, Gretzky wasn't the strongest skater out there. He did enough to get him by, but he rarely beat a guy with speed or manouvering. He beat them by being in the right place at the right time.

And Willus, I can't see how you say that more people prefer to watch Orr over Gretzky. That's an opinion I can't outright agree with.

Wayne or Bobby?? How about both!!!



I remember a opposition player responding to a question about Gretzky's poor skating skill in the early 90's. I believe he said "you dont see Gretzky do end to end runs like Bure or the wind up's like Messier. Its his first 2 strides when he gains position on you. He can score from anywhere on the ice." This was a defender responding to criticizm of a goal Gretzky made where he burnt this defender.
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Guest4739
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  13:56:36  Reply with Quote
The original question re: the draft was: "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?"

Addressing the original question, if there was a draft with Gretzky, Messier and Orr all up for grabs - and I'm assuming they'll all be playing in the league similtaneously, not in a "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"-type fashion, I still choose Gretzky. In any age, and with whatever skating ability (c'mon Beans...) Gretzky would have the higher profile, be more marketable, and overall bring more cash to a team.
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Guest4739
( )

Posted - 11/21/2007 :  14:00:47  Reply with Quote
Oh, and willus3, your statement: "Today I would wager more people would prefer to watch Orr than Gretzky." This is still contingent on your elusive answer about whether or not Bobby could beat the new trap and systems which severely limit the mobility of defensemen.

(I apologize if by not having access to watching number 4 live I missed witnessing the unfurling of some invisible cape or rocket from his nether regions which could somehow mystically propel him over a four-man smothering in the neutral zone.)
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